Tourism Breaking News

Seychelles conducts destination trainings in Surat and Nagpur

Seychelles Tourism Board recently completed destination trainings in Surat and Nagpur. The workshops were conducted to engage a new set of tour operators who have the potential to promote the destination and equip them with information and details about Seychelles. The events were attended by 25-30 companies in both cities which included a destination presentation followed by question and answer and networking sessions. While the training was conducted by Shakambri Soni from Seychelles Tourism Board, Neeti Bhatia, GM—Marketing and PR at Blue Square Consultants orchestrated the networking sessions ensuring quality meetings. Seychelles has seen a steady growth in inbound tourism from India with more than 10,000 passengers till September 2018. India is the top sixth source destination for Seychelles and is seeing an increase in traffic from Tier-II cities of India. Commenting on the success of the workshops, Lubaina Sheerazi, COO, Blue Square Consultants, Seychelles Tourist office India said, “The workshop gives a common platform for all to get information and support from the tourism board. Limiting the presentation to around 30 companies ensures good one to one interaction between the tourism board representative and invited operators and leads to more serious business meetings between the two. Seychelles is now a choice of destination for target audiences beyond honeymooners and metro cities, and penetration into Tier-II cities through this format provides a larger stage to initiate and nurture quality B2B interaction.”

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HollandCity Global Travel Trade Show 2019 to be held in The Hague & Delft on October 8

At the first HollandCity Global Travel Trade Show in the Hanseatic City of Zwolle, Carola Muller–van Rijn, Global Travel Trade Manager, NBTC Holland Marketing, informed, “The next edition of the travel trade show will be held in The Haugue and Delft on October 8, 2019.” NBTC Holland Marketing and MarketingOost welcomed over 100 international travel organisations with a goal to put the Netherlands on the map with international travel organisations as an attractive travel destination. In addition to 105 international tour operators from India, Russia, Brazil, Japan, China, Indonesia, Italy, Germany and other countries, there were 75 organisations from the tourism sector as well, including museums, hotels, attractions, events venues and restaurants. Expressing happiness with the growth from the Indian market, Muller says, “In terms of growth, India is our second fastest growing market, after Russia. The Netherlands welcomed 165,000 visitors from India last year registering a growth of 31 per cent and we are expecting 24 per cent growth from India this year.”

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MSC Cruises’ newest flagship MSC Grandiosa opens maiden voyage for sales

MSC Cruises has announced that sales for MSC Grandiosa’s maiden voyage departing on November 10, 2019, from Hamburg (Germany) to the Mediterranean are now open exclusively for MSC Voyagers Club members. MSC Grandiosa is currently under construction at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique (formerly, STX France) in Saint-Nazaire, France. It will be the first of two yet again highly-innovative Meraviglia-Plus class ships to come into service in November 2019. MSC Voyagers Club members will have exclusive access to bookings for a two-week period through October 21. Guests who will be the first to experience this state-of-the-art cruise ship can choose from a 10- or 13-night sailing, embarking in Hamburg and disembarking in Genoa, Italy or Marseille, France. MSC Grandiosa will also call Southampton, UK, Lisbon, Portugal and Barcelona Spain. An overnight in each port will allow guests to explore each of the destinations and will also offer an opportunity for MSC Cruises to invite local travel agents and other partners on board to discover and explore this new MSC Cruises ship. Furthermore, MSC Grandiosa will become the company’s newest flagship – the biggest and richest in features ship yet to be built by MSC Cruises. The newest MSC Cruises flagship will be christened in Hamburg on November 9, 2019 and will make the maiden voyage to her new home port of Genoa, where she will commence seven-night sailings in the Mediterranean starting on November 23. From October 22 onward, sales of MSC Grandiosa’s maiden voyage will open to all guests.    

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French Ambassador rewards exemplary itineraries from India

Held at Sujan Rajmahal Palace in Jaipur, French Ambassador’s Travel Award ceremony recognised the efforts of Indian tour operators in promoting the destination. The awards, launched in 2015, reward the itineraries that display the very best of France highlighting this destination and its experiences. Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India, appreciated the dedication that the Indian travel fraternity has shown to promote France.  

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India & New Zealand strengthen aviation & tourism partnership

The success of the fifth India New Zealand Business Council (INZBC) annual summit in Auckland has highlighted the strong will among both nations to take their trade and investment relationship up several notches, riding on India’s fast growing economy. Themed on Aviation, Tourism and Technology, the one-day summit heard substantively from some of the most successful business people and policy influencers in these sectors both from India and New Zealand and from New Zealand’s Members of Parliament across the main political parties. In a video message from New Delhi, Suresh Prabhu, India’s Minister for Commerce, Industry and Civil Aviation, welcomed the summit and invited New Zealand businesses to join India’s unfolding growth story tipped to go from $5 trillion to $10 trillion in the next 15 years.​While trade agreements were touched upon, presenters were emphatic and unanimous in their opinion that strengthening better air links – especially direct flights – between the two countries was key to not only boosting tourism numbers but also growing the education sector, trade and investment exponentially. “Growth in Indian tourist numbers into New Zealand has been encouraging over the past few years but the potential was great,” said Suresh Nair, General Manager, Air Asia—India. “Air Asia had developed expertise in creating and marketing new tourist destinations with robust and frequent air links in Asia and India, working with the hospitality industry. New Zealand could similarly tailor its own destinations to suit preferences of the growing and increasingly mobile Indian tourist industry,” he said.

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Tourism from India to Russia grows 27.5 per cent

At the recently-concluded Round Table on Tourism on the sidelines of the Russian Indian Summit 2018, Ivan Breganov, Regional Manager of IFS (Russian Visa Center) confirmed that the number of tourist visas issued from January to September 2018 has already surpassed the total number of visas issued in 2017, pegging the YoY growth around 27 per cent. The round table was organised by Russia Expo Center, Moscow along with Russian Information Center, Mumbai (RIC) with more than 120 trade professionals from India attending along with TAAI MC Member Rajan Sehgal and EEMA Executive Vice President Sanjiv Pasricha making the keynote address along with Timur Vekilov, Chief Representative in India of Russ Expo Center. The round table moderated by Paresh Navani, Director, Russ Information Center discussed the needs and special services required by Indians and ways to address the same. In this regard, Russ Information Center announced the pre-launch of Ural Airlines set to begin operations from March 24, 2019 connecting Mumbai to Yekaterinburg and Moscow along with some tourism products to take advantage of the new airline service between the two countries, further RIC presented its ‘Indian Friendly’ programme to the Indian travel trade, the Indian friendly programme trains Russian hotels on Indian culture, cooking Indian dishes and ensure that other specific needs are provided to Indians in Russia. Another point noted by the attendees was that tourists from Russia to India has also grown over the last years by around 29 per cent, showing good recovery of arrival compared to the past few years.

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Amadeus roadshows showcase new range of products & solutions for India market

Amadeus held roadshows in Delhi and Mumbai to showcase a comprehensive range of products and solutions in travel technology space especially beneficial for the Indian market. Commenting on the product portfolio, Rakesh Bansal, CEO, Amadeus Indian Subcontinent said, “To keep up with global industry standards, companies world over need to constantly innovate and evolve. With dynamic changes and growing demand within the travel technology industry it has become essential to create diverse solutions for different subscribers. Our portfolio of products & solutions introduced for the market today offers effective and efficient variety of solutions that help in generating additional revenue and improving productivity and efficiency for travel agencies thus, reducing costs.” The range of Amadeus products and solutions showcased at the forum included Amadeus Ticket Changer (ATC), Amadeus Travel Alerts Notifier (ATAN), Amadeus Master Pricer Expert and Amadeus Sell Connect (SECO), the only fully cloud-based booking and fulfilment platform within the travel industry, designed to save time, money, improve performance and efficiency. The range of products also included CashX, a complete web-based business accounting software which is convenient for back office operations. It enables multi service options designed to handle multiple currencies at a single point within the same document and is accurate and reliable at the same time.  

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Hyatt acquires Two Roads Hospitality; adds Alila to portfolio

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced an agreement to acquire Two Roads Hospitality. In India, Alila Diwa Goa and Alila Fort Bishangarh are the two properties that belong to Two Roads Hospitality. Through the addition of Two Roads, its established lifestyle brands and the management agreements for the majority of its 85 properties in eight countries, Hyatt will expand its brand presence into 23 new markets while enhancing its offerings in lifestyle hotel experiences and well-being. With Two Roads and its collection of lifestyle hotels, resorts and vacation residences, Hyatt will offer an expanded and more powerful portfolio of brands with best-in-class offerings to deliver compelling experiences and benefits for guests and World of Hyatt members, expand its relationship with valued hotel owners, and drive growth for shareholders. “Hyatt and Two Roads are dedicated to learning from each other and taking the best of both organisations forward,” said Mark Hoplamazian, President and CEO, Hyatt Hotels Corporation. “Two Roads’ passionate team members, strong brands, global footprint and robust development pipeline will expand our lifestyle offerings and grow Hyatt’s brand presence in more places where our guests and World of Hyatt members want to travel.” After the close of the transaction, which is expected later this year, Hyatt will create a dedicated lifestyle division as a catalyst to bring together the operations of Two Roads’ and Hyatt’s lifestyle brands. “Hyatt’s unique position in the marketplace brings with it the powerful benefit of global scale while maintaining meaningful personal relationships with team members, guests and owners,” said Jamie Sabatier, CEO, Two Roads Hospitality.

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Jeju Tourism conducts two-city roadshow in India

Jeju Special Self-Governing Province and Jeju Tourism Organization recently held a joint roadshow in New Delhi and Mumbai to present the destination to travel agents. This was their second tourism presentation in India since 2015 when they made their India debut. Park Hong Bai, President, Jeju Tourism Organization, led the Korean delegation that comprised Jeju Special Self-Governing Province and three domestic businesses that were participating in the roadshow. About 100 tour operators attended the show in each city. Indian nationals do not require a visa for visiting Jeju Island. Hong Bai, said, “This roadshow is a very important first step for Jeju to tap the Indian market. Jeju will be working with Korea Tourism Organization and Hong Kong Tourism Board to boost promotion of each region in India and to increase the satisfaction of Indian travellers who plan to visit Jeju.”

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IndiGo announces daily non-stop flights to Male and Phuket from November 2018

IndiGo will start operating its daily non-stop flights to Male and Phuket from next month. Male will be connected with Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kochi, while services to Phuket will be operated from Delhi. The new flights are designed to cater to business and leisure travellers from these cities, who are constantly on the lookout for new and affordable flying options. William Boulter, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo, said, “We are pleased to announce Male and Phuket as our 13th and 14th international destinations, effective November 2018. We will operate direct flights to Male from three key cities of Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kochi. And, we will also operate non-stop flights between Delhi and Phuket. Both Male and Phuket are key markets for us and we see great potential in the growth of tourism from India.” He further added, “IndiGo will continue to expand its network to meet the requirements of both business and leisure travellers wherever they demand it. It is our constant endeavour to provide more flexibility of choice to our customers as IndiGo continues to offer them on-time, courteous and hassle-free service, and an affordable flying experience always.”

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