Tourism Breaking News

Courtyard by Marriott Madurai opens with 86 rooms

Marriott International has announced the opening of Courtyard by Marriott Madurai, making it the first Marriott International property in Madurai. Neeraj Govil, Area Vice President- South Asia, Marriott International, said, “Marriott International is elated to debut in the heritage city of Madurai with the Courtyard by Marriott brand. The addition of Courtyard by Marriott Madurai brings the brand’s footprint in India to 16 hotels. Being the third largest city in Tamil Nadu, Madurai promises a lot of potential for travel and tourism sectors with its increased air, road and rail connectivity.” He further added, “The Courtyard brand has been evolving to meet the needs of business and leisure travellers since it was founded 35 years ago. This new hotel in Southern India will be a showcase of the brand’s passion in supporting our guests with both their professional and personal pursuits.” This smart, modern hotel features 86 guestrooms including four exquisite suites that are designed to perfectly balance form and function. Every guestroom features high-speed wireless internet, an LED TV, and a well-appointed work area with comfort lighting and a snug corner that’s suitable for both working and relaxing. The property also houses a fully-equipped fitness center, which allows guests to maintain their fitness schedules, whilst on the road. Guests also have the opportunity to enjoy three tempting dining options at the hotel, along with several other amenities.

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Thailand launches special schemes and offers for Indian market

Geared up to capitalise on the upcoming festive season, Tourism Authority of Thailand has recently introduced some attractive scheme and offers to ensure maximum footfalls from India and other countries to Thailand. This year Thailand has already recorded 919,130 tourist arrivals from India a Y-O-Y increase of 13.24 per cent. Recently the government granted a visa-on-arrival fee waiver for tourists from 20 countries. From 15 November, 2018, to 13 January, 2019, citizens of Andora, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China including Taiwan, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan will be exempted from the 2,000 Baht visa-on-arrival fee for the purpose of touring in Thailand not more than 15 days. Tourism Authority of Thailand now launches Amazing Thailand Grand Sale ‘Passport Privilege’ campaign during the same period.” Tourism Authority of Thailand gives delightful experiences in shopping and using services for foreign tourists who come to Thailand during November 15, 2018 – January 15, 2019. The campaign will help tourists to increase buying power on a variety of products and services from leading service providers Furthermore tourist travelling to Thailand (arriving at Suvarnabhumi and Donmuang Airport) can now avail of E Visa on Arrival. The Nation Immigration Bureau acting commissioner Pol Maj-General Surachate Hakpal officially launched the e-Via on Arrival (E-VOA) system that is expected to cut visa processing time to as little as one minute. Surachate presided over a ceremony to launch the new system, which has been used on trial basis at Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang airports since November 15. The launch ceremony was held at Suvarnabhumi International Airport. The facility is available at Phuket International Airport since …

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AirAsia India appoints Sanjay Kumar as Chief Operating Officer

AirAsia India has appointed Sanjay Kumar as its Chief Operating Officer (COO) with effect from December 03, 2018. In his new role, he will be responsible for commercial operations of the airline. He will be instrumental in shaping next phase growth at AirAsia India and will be reporting to the newly appointed CEO & MD, Sunil Bhaskaran. Kumar has over 25 years of experience in the airline industry across functions like Business Planning, Strategy, Network Development, Distribution and Sales, Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations. He comes with valuable experience in the low-cost airline business model and scaling-up start-up airlines to market leadership positions. His previous assignment was with IndiGo where he worked as Chief Commercial officer. S Ramadorai, Chairman, AirAsia India, said, “We are thrilled to welcome Sanjay to the AirAsia India leadership team. He joins us at a time when the airline is in a growth momentum with an aim to venture forward in international operations. I am confident that Sanjay’s experience and knowledge of this sector will prove to be valuable in steering the company forward.” Kumar said, “I am delighted to be taking on the role of AirAsia India’s Chief Operating Officer. The airline has the best constituents with the Tata Group’s credibility and AirAsia’s innovative, proven, cost-effective and sound business model with a keen focus on customer satisfaction and people-friendly practices. I am looking forward to be a part of the airline’s journey of growth and expansion in the Indian aviation industry.”

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Jazeera Airways to connect Delhi with Kuwait from December 15

Jazeera Airways has announced the launch of its services to New Delhi from December 15. The airline, which commenced operations in India last year, currently flies to Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kochi and Ahmedabad from the Gulf nation. The airline has also announced special one-way fare starting from Rs 10,599 for an Economy Class journey and Rs 19,146 for Business Class travel on the new route. Rohit Ramachandran, Chief Executive Officer, Jazeera Airways, said, “The introduction of services to New Delhi and the expansion of network will bring more choice to travellers to and from India, connecting them to Kuwait and other cities in the Gulf and the Middle East that are served within the airline’s network.” Source: PTI

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Minor Hotels announces strategic investment in Global Hotel Alliance

Minor Hotels has announced its stake in the Global Hotel Alliance, (GHA). Following this shareholder announcement, Dillip Rajakarier, CEO, Minor Hotels, will now join the GHA Board of Directors. The investment is worth a total of $3.2million, representing a 10 per cent share of the Global Hotel Alliance. First entering with the Anantara brand, Minor Hotels have been longstanding members of the GHA since 2007. As the GHA will enter its 15th year in 2019, Minor Hotels took the opportunity to support the alliance which is currently investing in new CRM and shared technology to build on the success of the Discovery loyalty programme. Dillip Rajakarier, CEO, Minor, commented, “Since joining the GHA in 2007, we have grown and developed our own brands and continue to acquire new ones, and membership of GHA fits well with our multi-brand strategy. GHA has consistently demonstrated the value of global customer reach and a strong CRM and loyalty programme for our hotels, and so we are delighted to be able to take our place as a shareholder in the business, with the opportunity to help guide its growth over the coming years.” He added, “The 13 million Discovery members will produce US$1.7 billion in room revenues in 2018, of which around US$125 million is from customers moving between our member brands. We plan to double those numbers in the next few years, as independent brands look to collaborate with each other to share the common challenge of competing with the ever-consolidating major brands and third party distribution providers.

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Jet Airways introduces 18 new flights on select domestic and international routes

Beginning December 2018, Jet Airways will introduce 18 additional flights on select destinations such as Bangkok, Kathmandu and Singapore in ASEAN as well as Doha and Dubai in the Gulf. Further, it will soon add a third daily frequency to Bangkok and Singapore each from Delhi and a third daily service to Singapore from Mumbai. Additional frequencies will also be introduced to the Gulf, strengthening the airline’s status as one of the largest carriers to/ from the region. December will see the introduction of second daily services connecting Mumbai and Delhi with Doha respectively. The addition of a seventh daily frequency between Mumbai and Dubai will also make Jet Airways the only airline to offer unparalleled 24-hour connectivity to the Gulf’s favourite destination with maximum number of daily services. Apart from it, the carrier will offer a fourth daily frequency between Delhi and Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. Jet Airways also continues to augment its domestic connectivity at these hubs, and will increase operations between Mumbai and Amritsar to daily frequencies, and add a fourth daily frequency on the Delhi-Amritsar route in December. These steps are in addition to new services already introduced at the beginning of winter schedule, including new flights on the Delhi & Bangalore-Vadodara routes, increased frequencies in the Mumbai-Guwahati and Mumbai-Patna markets and an enhancement of capacity from ATR to 737 operations on the Delhi-Jodhpur route. Raj Sivakumar, Senior Vice President – Worldwide Sales & Distribution, Jet Airways, said, “The strategy will enable Jet Airways to offer extensive connectivity via Mumbai to most of its network in south and west India. Similarly, new services to Delhi will offer seamless connectivity to the north and east of …

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7th International Tourism Mart to be held in Tripura from November 22

The Ministry of Tourism, in association with the Department of Tourism, Government of Tripura and the north-eastern states is organising “7th International Tourism Mart” in Tripura from November 22-24, 2018. To be held at the Pragna Bhawan, the event will be inaugurated by Professor Kaptan Singh Solanki, Governor, Tripura, in the presence of KJ Alphons, Union Minister for Tourism; Biplab Kumar Deb, Chief Minister, Tripura; Rashmi Verma, Union Tourism Secretary and other dignitaries from central ministries and north-eastern states. The event aims at highlighting the tourism potential of the region in the domestic and international markets by bringing together the tourism business fraternity and entrepreneurs from the eight north-eastern states. The event has been planned and scheduled to facilitate interaction between buyers, sellers, media, government agencies and other stakeholders. The earlier editions of this mart have been held in Guwahati, Tawang, Shillong, Gangtok and Imphal. The ITM will see wide participation of International buyers and media delegates from countries around the world and from different regions of the country. They will be engaging in business-to-business meetings with sellers from the North Eastern Region. A total of 41 foreign delegates from 18 countries namely Australia, Canada, China, France, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, the UAE and the USA will be in Tripura for the mart. These include 23 tour operators and travel agents, 18 media representatives, journalists, travel writers and bloggers. The three-day event will also include presentations by state governments of the region on their tourism potential, panel discussion, cultural evenings, sightseeing visits to local attractions in and around Agartala and a press meet on November 23.

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MakeMyTrip appoints Vipul Prakash as COO

MakeMyTrip has announced the appointment of Vipul Prakash as Chief Operating Officer for MakeMyTrip and Goibibo. In this role, Prakash will be responsible for developing and executing  strategic direction and priorities of the company. He joins MakeMyTrip from PepsiCo where he was last serving as Senior Vice President–Beverage Category for PepsiCo India region. Rajesh Magow, Co-Founder and CEO–India, MakeMyTrip, said, “We are excited to welcome Vipul to our leadership team. His rich experience of two decades at PepsiCo spanning geographies, deep understanding of consumer market and expertise in industry leading operational practices are truly invaluable. We are confident that his proven track record and extensive experience will extend MakeMyTrip’s upward trajectory.” Speaking about his new role, Prakash said, “MakeMyTrip is an iconic brand that has played a defining role in shaping the online travel space in India. I have been truly impressed with the company’s institutional expertise and relentless focus on serving customers better. I look forward to drive the next phase of innovation and growth through operational excellence.” Prior to joining MakeMyTrip, Vipul was associated with PepsiCo for 20 years. In his previous role, he was responsible for delivering revenue growth, share and brand equity for PepsiCo’s beverage portfolio of five brands. Vipul joined PepsiCo in 1998 and held various positions in marketing and franchise, at sector and global levels. In 2007, he relocated to the US, where he spent three years on the International Beverages Marketing team and moved to Dubai in 2010 to head the Foods and Beverages Innovation department for PepsiCo Asia, Middle East and Africa before moving back to India.

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13 Indian buyers participate at ‘Queensland on Stage India 2018’ in Gold Coast

A total of 13 Indian buyers including top travel companies from across India, Tourism Australia and Malaysia Airlines, marked their participation at ‘Queensland on Stage India 2018’ at Top Golf, Gold Coast held on November 20. Around 17 Queensland sellers exhibited their offerings at the event. Speaking on the occasion, Ryna Sequeira, Country Manager of Tourism and Events Queensland in India said, “Queensland witnessed a 17 per cent growth in June 2018 and welcomed around 78,000 Indian visitors. We have seen a strong year-on-year growth out of the market. We thank all the Indian buyers for their consistent business to Queensland and the sellers who believe and invest in the market.” The event provided participating operators the opportunity to meet with Indian agents to enable them to expand their product knowledge; look for new and exciting experiences and products; and to build on existing relationships.

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Dubai concludes 4-city roadshow in North India

Dubai Tourism Corporation and Marketing (DTCM) India recently conducted a four-city roadshow in North India. Represented by Nijhawan Group in India, DTCM held roadshows in Lucknow on November 12, in Jaipur on November 13, in Chandigarh on November 15, and finally concluding it in New Delhi on November 16. Khalid Al Awar, Manager–India & Pakistan, International Operations, led the delegation which consisted of partners including airlines, hotels and popular attractions in Dubai. Addressing the attendees at the Delhi roadshow, Al Awar thanked the travel agents and their support in making India the number one source market for tourism in Dubai.

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