Tourism Breaking News

SpiceJet to start Hyderabad-Puducherry flight under UDAN

SpiceJet has announced its third daily direct flight on the UDAN routes of Hyderabad-Puducherry, starting August 16, 2017. After the new flight, Puducherry will be connected with Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Tirupati, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Vijaywada and Varanasi with convenient onward connections. SpiceJet was awarded six proposals and 11 routes in the first phase of Ministry of Civil Aviation’s UDAN scheme. Out of the six finalised proposals, four will cater to the unserved markets of Adampur, Kandla, Puducherry and Jaisalmer, and the other two will be for the underserved markets of Porbandar and Kanpur. Flights have already started on Mumbai-Porbandar-Mumbai and Mumbai-Kandla-Mumbai routes from July 10.

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Jet Airways’ new flights from Indore and Silchar

Jet Airways has launched three direct flights from Indore to Jaipur, Ahmedabad and New Delhi. In addition, Jet Airways also started new daily flights from Silchar in southern Assam to New Delhi, Kolkata and Guwahati. All flights started on July 16, while flight from Indore to Ahmedabad started on July 17. With the three new launches, Jet Airways will operate a total of nine flights from Indore.

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Emirates and flydubai join forces, announce extensive partnership agreement

Emirates and flydubai have announced extensive partnership agreement which will include an expansive codeshare agreement, schedule alignment and network optimisation. Passengers will benefit by gaining access to over 200 unique destinations, seamless travel experience and frequent flyer programmes alignment. Both airlines will continue to be managed independently, but will leverage each other’s network to scale up their operations and accelerate growth.The two airlines will also further develop their hub at Dubai International, aligning their systems and operations to ensure a seamless travel experience through the ultra-modern airport; currently the world’s busiest for international passengers. The innovative partnership goes beyond code-sharing and includes integrated network collaboration with coordinated scheduling. The new model will give flydubai customers seamless connectivity to Emirates’ worldwide destinations spanning six continents. For Emirates’ customers, it opens up flydubai’s robust regional network. HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Group and Chairman of flydubai, said, “This is an exciting and significant development for Emirates, flydubai, and Dubai aviation. Both airlines have grown independently and successfully over the years, and this new partnership will unlock the immense value that the complementary models of both companies can bring to consumers, each airline, and to Dubai.” Emirates today has a wide-body fleet of 259 aircraft, flying to 157 destinations (including 16 cargo-only points). flydubai operates 58 New-Generation Boeing 737 aircraft to 95 destinations. The current combined network comprises 216 unique destination points. By 2022, the combined network of Emirates and flydubai is expected to reach 240 destinations, served by a combined fleet of 380 aircraft.

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Ginger Hotels expands its footprint in Mumbai with Ginger Mumbai–Andheri East

Ginger Hotels, the dominant budget hotel chain from the house of TATA continues its growth in the country with the opening of Ginger Mumbai, Andheri East. This is their second hotel in Mumbai. Strategically located off the Western Express highway, 3.5 kms from the airport, Ginger Mumbai, Andheri East is in close proximity to the Bombay Exhibition Center as well as the railway station. The hotel also provides convenient access to the city’s thriving corporate hub on the Andheri Kurla Road. With 142 rooms, this hotel offers a unique check-in experience of Coffee and Keys, an interactive social lobby, seamless high speed free Wi-Fi, a multi-cuisine restaurant and bar, a pan Asian eatery, a state-of-art fitness center, RFID access control and efficient meeting facilities. Ginger is a great choice for today’s value conscious and discerning travelers. Sharing his thoughts on the opening, Rahul Pandit, MD & CEO, Ginger Hotels said, “We are proud to expand our presence in the commercial capital of India with the opening of Ginger Mumbai – Andheri East, our second hotel in Mumbai. This Ginger hotel gives our customers a small insight into the refreshed Ginger experience. Ginger Hotels is the pioneer and the largest chain of branded budget hotels in India with a resilient promise of safety, cleanliness, a relaxing sleep experience, an invigorating shower experience, a hearty breakfast and seamless Wi-Fi. We assure travelers of a consistently pleasant experience across our 42 properties in 30 locations around the nation.”

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Austria records 28% growth in Indian arrivals

Austria witnessed a growth of 28 per cent in Indian arrivals from January-June 2017,  informed Christine Mukharji, Market Manager-India, Austrian National Tourism Office (ANTO). She added that they are hopeful to welcome over 150,000 Indian arrivals by the end of the year. “Like last year, this year as well India has been a great market for Austria. We witnessed 25 per cent year on year growth from India in 2016 and till June 2017, we have already seen a growth of 28 per cent in Indian arrivals. This also shows that our market share in comparison to our competitors is increasing as Indians realise that we can offer everything from culture, snow and soft sports activities at the destination.” Austria saw the maximum increase from the FIT segment but Mukharji also pointed out that the destination witnessed an Indian wedding in the month of May with 700 people which was a huge revenue booster for Austria. “Not only has the percentage of Indian overnights has gone up for Austria, we have also seen an increase in revenue as these FIT travellers tend to stay mostly in 5-star properties. There has also been an increase in the length of stay amongst the Indian travellers which varies from city to city. Innsbruck has been traditionally a one night destination and the average duration of stay in Vienna is 2.4 days. However Salzburg has developed as a popular tourist destination amongst Indians and the average duration of stay increased from one night to 1.9 nights amongst Indian travellers,” says Mukharji.

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Indian domestic aviation market sees 17.7% growth in May ‘17 y-o-y

India climbed back to the top of the domestic aviation growth chart in May with a 17.7 per cent year-on-year increase, as per IATA’s Air Passenger Market Analysis. This marks the 33rd consecutive month of double-digit RPK growth. However, the very strong upward SA traffic trend has slowed since the unexpected ‘demonetisation’ in November 2016, in line with the wider impact that this looks to have had on economic activity. Business confidence surveys have recovered somewhat in recent months, particularly on the services side. However, the upward trend in domestic RPKs has slowed to an annualised rate of around 7 per cent over the past six months. Year-on-year growth in global RPKs slowed to (a still robust) 7.7 per cent in May, having reached a six-year high of 10.9 per cent in April. Industry-wide RPKs have now grown by 7.9 per cent year-on-year so far this year compared to the same period in 2016. This is equivalent to annual growth of around 8.6% once you allow for the extra day in 2016 on account of it having been a leap year.

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Bird Information Systems join hands with Nepal Airlines

Bird Information Systems (BIS), a subsidiary of Bird Group and a leading provider of automated aviation and travel related software solutions, have partnered with Nepal Airlines Corporation to provide them with Internet Booking Engine (IBE). As per the new partnership, BIS will provide a booking platform that will deliver on time, accurate and reliable processing of online transactions for Nepal Airlines Corporation. This new service will be open for both B2B and B2C channels.

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AI Express mulls fleet expansion and add foreign routes

Air India Express, the low-cost subsidiary of Air India, is preparing a 10-year vision document, and would be increasing its fleet and adding more foreign destinations. According to a senior official of the airline, despite government planning a roadmap of disinvestment of Air India, Air India Express would be consolidating its existing operations and will be looking at adding more aircraft to its fleet and increasing its overseas footprint. Air India Express posted Rs 296.7 crore net profit in 2016-17.

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6% growth in international tourist arrivals in Jan-April 2017 y-o-y

International tourist arrivals worldwide grew by 6 per cent in January-April of 2017 compared to the same period last year, with business confidence reaching its highest levels in a decade. Destinations worldwide received 369 million international tourists (overnight visitors) in the first four months of the year, 21 million more than in the same months of 2016 (+6%), according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. International arrivals reported by destinations around the world were positive overall, with very few exceptions. Most of 2016’s strong performers maintained momentum, while destinations that struggled in previous years continued to rebound in the first part of 2017. This is especially reflected in the better results of the Middle East (+10%), Africa (+8%) and Europe (+6%). Asia and the Pacific (6%) and the Americas (+4%) continued to enjoy robust growth. “Destinations that were affected by negative events during 2016 are showing clear signs of recovery in a very short period of time, and this is very welcoming news for all, but particularly for those whose livelihoods depend on tourism in these destinations”, said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai. “As we celebrate 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, we welcome the continued development of tourism and recall that with growth comes increased responsibility to ensure tourism can contribute to sustainability in all its three pillars – economic, social and environmental. Growth is never the enemy and it is our responsibility to manage it in a sustainable manner,” he added. Regional Results: International arrivals in Europe (+6%) rebounded in January-April after mixed results last year, as confidence returned to some destinations that were impacted by security incidents, while others continued to grow strongly. …

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