Tourism Breaking News

TrawellTag Cover-More to benefit from acquisition by Zurich

Travel insurance provider TrawellTag Cover-More planned an accelerated growth strategy with the recent acquisition of Cover-More Group by Swiss-based Zurich Insurance Group. Dev Karvat, CEO, TrawellTag Cover-More said, “Zurich Insurance Group is one of the top three insurers in the world. With this development, we will benefit from their infrastructure and technology. Our Customer Care facility has now merged with Zurich’s World Travel Protection. We will not only manage claims now but also have a fully in-house support system to take care of customers anywhere in the world.” “The mother brand will continue as is and while the front-end will not change for its travel partners in India, the back-end will in terms of better facilities and infrastructure,” Karvat adds. He also revealed that TrawellTag Cover-More planned to tie up with another airline in the next few months. It currently works with GoAir to offer travel insurance to its passengers.

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71% surge in foreign arrivals on eTV in September YOY

As per latest data released by the Ministry of Tourism, FTAs on e-Tourist Visa during September 2017 was a total of 1.18 lakh tourist as compared to 0.69 lakh during September 2016, registering a growth of 71 per cent. During January-September, 2017, a total of 10.67 lakh tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 6.75 lakh during January-September, 2016, registering a growth of 58 per cent. The percentage shares of top 15 ports in tourist arrivals on e-Tourist Visa during September 2017 were New Delhi Airport (53.4 per cent), Mumbai Airport (18.5 per cent), Chennai Airport (6.7 per cent),  Bengaluru Airport (6.3 per cent), Kochi Airport (4.2 per cent), Hyderabad Airport (2.8 per cent), Kolkata Airport (2.2 per cent), Amritsar Airport (1.1 per cent), Trivandrum Airport (1 per cent), Ahmadabad Airport (0.9 per cent), Tirchy Airport (0.8 per cent),  Dabolim (Goa) Airport (0.6 per cent), Calicut Airport (0.5 per cent),Jaipur Airport (0.4 per cent) and Pune Airport(0.2 per cent).

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18.8% growth in foreign tourist arrivals in September YOY

Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) this September were 7.23 lakh as compared to FTAs of 6.08 lakh in September 2016 and 5.43 lakh in September 2015, according to the latest data released by the Ministry of Tourism. The growth rate in FTAs in September 2017 over September 2016 is 18.8 per cent as compared to 12.1 per cent in September 2016 over September 2015. FTAs during the period January-September 2017 were 71.20 lakh with a growth of 15.5 per cent over the same period of previous year, as compared to the FTAs of 61.63 lakh with a growth of 9.8 per cent in January-September, 2016 over January-September, 2015. The percentage share of FTAs in India during September 2017 among the top 10 source countries was highest from Bangladesh (29.65 per cent) followed by USA (10.24 per cent), UK (7.04 per cent), Sri Lanka (3.98 per cent), Australia (3.50 per cent), Malaysia (3.32 per cent), Germany (2.57 per cent), Japan (2.50 per cent), China (2.46 per cent) and Canada (2.40 per cent).

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ibis makes its debut in Coimbatore

AccorHotels and InterGlobe Hotels announced the opening of ibis Coimbatore City Centre, marking the debut of the smart hotel brand in the second largest city in Tamil Nadu. The business hotel is strategically located in the city’s central business district at Lakshmi Mills Junction, within close proximity to local tourist attractions and shopping hubs. With 129 well-appointed rooms, the hotel boasts of a contemporary design that offers unparalleled comfort and convenience. Speaking at the hotel’s launch, Shwetank Singh, Vice President – Development and Asset Management, InterGlobe Hotels Pvt Ltd, said, “The city is not only a business destination but also a vacation stop for those travelling to other parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. ibis Coimbatore is positioned at offering great value with international standards at a mid-market price-point.” Pierre-Etienne de Montgrand, Director of Operation ibis & ibis Styles India, AccorHotels, said, “The city is fast emerging as a growing business hub for textiles, industries, commerce, education, information technology, healthcare and manufacturing. The opening of this hotel caters to the growing needs of business as well as leisure travellers in the region.”

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121-room Fairfield by Marriott, Visakhapatnam opens doors

Marriott International has announced the opening of Fairfield by Marriott, Visakhapatnam. The 121-room Fairfield by Marriott Visakhapatnam offers a Business Centre and meeting rooms equipped with audio-visual facilities. All public areas and guest rooms have high-speed Wi-Fi. It is located in the heart of Visakhapatnam city and about 2km from the Visakhapatnam International Airport. It is the latest addition to the brand’s footprint in South Asia with four hotels in India currently open, including Fairfield by Marriott Bengaluru Rajajinagar, Fairfield by Marriott Bengaluru Outer Ring Road, Fairfield by Marriott Lucknow and Fairfield by Marriott Belagavi. Neeraj Govil Area Vice President, South Asia, Marriott International Inc, says, “Recognised as one of the ‘smart cities’ in India, Visakhapatnam holds tremendous potential for high economic growth, infrastructure development and further evolution of the services sector, we are excited to open our 5th Fairfield by Marriott in India. With our hospitality expertise, in conjunction with our owners K. Subba Raju, CMD, KSR Developers, we are confident in delivering a seamless hotel experience at great value.” “Adorning a contemporary style and pastel hues, Fairfield by Marriott Visakhapatnam is the newest addition to the port city of Andhra Pradesh. The property and staff aim to provide a comfortable and convenient stay to both business and leisure travellers,” said Sudhanshu Singh, General Manager, Fairfield by Marriott Visakhapatnam. “There is a lot of excitement and enthusiasm as we launch the Fairfield by Marriott brand in Visakhapatnam. As a Marriott International brand we strive to set the standards of delivering a great hotel experience through consistent and reliable service.”

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Jet Airways introduces 3 new international services this winter

Jet Airways will introduce three new international services this winter, besides reinforcing six existing routes with additional frequencies. The carrier will introduce its first non-stop service between New Delhi and Riyadh. It will also deploy additional frequencies on the Mumbai-Riyadh, Mumbai-Kuwait, Delhi-Doha and Delhi-Dammam sectors. Effective October 29, new non-stop flights will commence connecting Bengaluru and Chennai to the airline’s gateways in Amsterdam and Paris, respectively, as part of the carrier’s strategy to connect more cities, especially in the South of the country to destinations in Europe and North America. The airline is the first to operate flights on these routes which, along with a third daily flight on the increasingly popular Mumbai-London sector, will give guests a greater choice of convenient connections to other European cities and destinations in North America. Jet Airways will deploy its Airbus A330 aircraft on the Chennai-Paris and Bengaluru-Amsterdam routes The new intercontinental services to Amsterdam and Paris will operate in codeshare with KLM, Air France and Delta Air Lines. Guests who are members of Frequent Flyer programmes of the codeshare partners – JetPrivilege (JP), Flying Blue and SkyMiles will also be able to easily accrue and redeem points on each other. Jet Airways is also adding new frequencies on certain select routes, including the extremely popular Mumbai-London Heathrow as well as Delhi-Singapore, further enhancing connectivity and choice for guests travelling between North India, United Kingdom and South East Asia. Jayaraj Shanmugam, Chief Commercial Officer, Jet Airways, said, “Jet Airways’ network will see new introductions, in Europe and the Gulf that will strengthen our commitment to provide our guests with wider choice, convenience and connectivity over our hubs in Mumbai and Delhi and onwards …

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PATA extends CEO Mario Hardy’s term for 3 years

The Executive Board of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has extended the contract of Chief Executive Officer Dr. Mario Hardy for a period of three years commencing January 1, 2018. Dr Hardy said, “I am delighted to have an opportunity to work with our outstanding management team in building upon the PATA successes of the past three years. We still face many challenges as a membership organisation but our determination to add value to the many benefits of PATA membership is being recognised in the public and private sectors. We shall continue with our primary mission of promoting sustainable and responsibly tourism development throughout the world as we encourage travel to, from and within the Asia Pacific region.” Mario Hardy joined PATA in 2012 as Chief Operating Officer and was appointed Chief Executive Officer on November 1, 2014. He is a past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PATA Foundation, a non-profit organisation with a focus on the protection of the environment, the conservation of culture and heritage, and support for education. He worked for 26 years in specialised aviation businesses with a focus upon data analytics and technology, occupying leadership roles in Montreal, Vancouver, London, Beijing and Singapore. In 2016, he received an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Capilano University for his philanthropic work in Cambodia where he helped develop a school for underprivileged children and for his support in the development of a Community Based Tourism (CBT) project in Vietnam. In January 2017 Mario Hardy graduated from the Singularity University, Executive Program on the subject of Exponential Technologies. PATA Chairperson Sarah Mathews said, “I am delighted that Mario has agreed to continue as our Chief …

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Lemon Tree Hotels expands presence in Patna and Alwar

Lemon Tree Hotels announced the opening of its two hotels, Lemon Tree Premier, Patna and Lemon Tree Hotel, Alwar. Signaling the group’s focus on Bihar, and their overall expansion plans across India, Rattan Keswani, Deputy Managing Director, Lemon Tree Hotels and Director, Carnation Hotels, said, “We are delighted to bring the Lemon Tree brand to Patna and Alwar. These hotels are a first for us and present an exciting branded alternative to the city residents as well as our existing customer base. Both cities imbibe a rich cultural heritage and attract business and leisure travelers alike. We invite guests to discover our unique brand and enjoy the same refreshing experience, quality and consistency that Lemon Tree is known for.” Lemon Tree Premier, Patna boasts of plush and stylish interiors and charms its visitors with large glass doors and a beautiful fountain in the driveway, a contemporary lobby accentuated by a serene Buddha sculpture and remarkable modern art. Designed to offer both comfort and convenience to its guests being located in the heart of the commercial and entertainment hub of the city, just 5 minutes from the railway station, it’s proximity to prominent office near Gandhi Maidan such as, RBI, Biscomaun Bhavan, FCI, NABARD, and city landmarks like Vidhan Sabha, Patna Secretariat and Patna High Court, is also an advantage. Together with 105 plush and spacious rooms and suites, a 24×7 multi-cuisine coffee shop– Citrus Café with a show kitchen, a rejuvenating spa and salon- Fresco, a fully equipped gym, a rooftop swimming pool and a soon to open Indian restaurant, the hotel offers a refreshing alternative to both business and leisure travelers as well as city dwellers. The hotel also …

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Seychelles Tourism Board concludes three-city roadshow

Seychelles Tourist Office, India recently organised roadshows in Delhi, Ahmedabad and Mumbai. These three Indian cities churn out some of the highest numbers of visitors each year to Seychelles and comprise of travel trade that facilitates most number of travellers from north and western parts of India. The highlight and differentiator of this roadshow was its format. For the first time since commencing operations in the India market, Seychelles Tourism Board adopted a new format for its roadshow – the Round Robin format, which ensured pre-scheduled meetings between the partners and trade and was strictly by invitation. Each city had partners meeting 60 top agents of Seychelles. Commenting on the roadshow Sherin Francis, CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board said, “The cities were chosen due to their current and potential capacities for outbound tourism to Seychelles. We have received only positive feedback about the format and execution by both our Seychelles partners and agents back in India. We look forward to strengthen our bonds with the Indian travel trade with more of such interactions with them.” The delegation had partners from various segments like DMCs, hotels, Cruise Company, airlines, Seychelles government associations and tourism associations Lubaina Sheerazi, COO, Blue Square Consultants, Seychelles Tourist office India, said, ”We introduced this new format of roadshow in the fourth year of Seychelles’ presence in the country keeping in mind the awareness and interest built over the years. The cities chosen contribute as the top performers for Seychelles and have shown great potential to rise further.”

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Zurich Insurance Group acquires Cover-More Group

Switzerland-based Zurich Insurance Group has successfully acquired Cover-More Group Limited (Cover-More), a travel insurance and assistance solutions provider based in Sydney with a strong market position in Australia, India and the US. Subsequently, TrawellTag Cover-More has also become a part of the Zurich Insurance Group. Cover-More will continue to operate as a discrete entity and will retain its brand. Zurich Insurance Group looks to significantly expand its travel insurance portfolio and grow in global travel and assistance markets. It has acquired 100% of the issued share capital of Cover-More through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Zurich Travel Solutions Pty Limited. The cash consideration amounts to approximately AUD 722 million (USD 551 million) in total.

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