Tourism Breaking News

IndiGo to offer special extra baggage rates to IATO members

In a mutual agreement with Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) to benefit the travel trade, IndiGo is set to provide special extra baggage rates exclusively for IATO members. Keeping in view the free baggage allowance of 23 kgs allowed by international airlines into India, IndiGo has agreed to extend special prepaid excess baggage rates for the members of IATO, when they are handling foreign tourists on the airline’s domestic network. During the IATO Interactive Luncheon Meeting organised in Delhi, Rajiv Mehra, Vice President, IATO informed, “With reference to our meetings and points discussed with IndiGo, we are pleased to extend this facility to all our members. Tourists can avail 8 kg of extra baggage for a special rate of Rs 1000. Likewise for 15 kg extra baggage, they can avail the facility by paying just Rs 1500. By informing the concerned authority before 72 hours of date of travel, IATO members can avail this facility.” The bimonthly IATO luncheon meeting was aimed at discuss key issues about the association’s activities and its deliberations on future event. On the occasion, IATO invited Ashwani Lohani, Former CMD, Indian Railways Board and former CMD, Air India to bid farewell to him, who superannuated from his services on December 31, 2018. Mehra also shared details about the celebration of IATO Annual Day on February 17, 2019 at Heritage Village Resort & Spa, Manesar.

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J&K Tourism Secretary finalises arrangements for Jammu Mahotsav 2019 from February 8-10

Rigzin Samphel, Secretary—Tourism, Jammu & Kashmir, recenty chaired a review meeting to finalise the arrangements for Jammu Mahotsav 2019 set to be held from February 8-10. Samphel instructed the tourism department to work in coordination with other departments to mobilise maximum participation of people for making the festival a grand success. He asked the concerned to showcase the natural beauty and landscape, diverse culture, art and craft, cuisine and music to attract tourists during the festival. He also asked the tourism department to encourage the local tour operators, hoteliers and guest house owners to develop network with the best tour operators of the country to invite tourists for the festival and the upcoming tourist season.

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Taj Mahal, Red Fort & Qutub Minar among the top 10 revenue generating monuments

The top 10 revenue generating monuments during 2015-18 are Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, Sun Temple Konark, Group of Monuments Mamallapuram, Ellora Caves, Group of Monuments Khajuraho and Ajanta Caves, Aurangabad. The information was shared by Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (I/C) for Culture and Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate change in reply to a starred question in the Rajya Sabha. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) spent Rs 41,076.79 lakh in 2017-18 for the conservation of protected monuments.

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MOT asks states to classify ‘no selfie zones’ at tourism spots

The central government has issued an advisory for all state governments, asking them to identify tourist spots, where there is a need to erect signage warning visitors of the danger involved in taking selfies there and barricading areas wherever possible danger is identified. According to Hansraj Ahir, Union Minister of State for Home, said that a number of accidents while taking selfies are reported time and again, which has made Ministry of Tourism (MOT) to come out with an advisory to all state governments and Union Territory administrations to take a number of measures to safeguard tourists. He reportedly said TGA safety and precautionary measures, including declaration of ‘No Selfie Zones’, to prevent any untoward incident are the primary responsibilities of the state governments and the concerned Union Territories administrations.  

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Taj forays into Himachal Pradesh with Taj Theog Resort & Spa, Shimla

The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) is introducing the iconic Taj brand in Himachal Pradesh with the opening of Taj Theog Resort & Spa, Shimla. Puneet Chhatwal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, IHCL, said, “We are delighted to open our first hotel in Himachal Pradesh. This will be the company’s first mountain resort. With this new addition, we have expanded our resort portfolio which is the largest in India. The state has great tourism potential and we look forward to expanding our footprint to showcase the pristine beauty of this region.” Nestled amidst thick Cedar forests and spread over five acres, every nook and corner of the hotel offers mesmerising views of the mighty Himalayas. Taj Theog Resort & Spa’s design and architecture echoes colonial charm reminiscent of hill station appeal. Each of the 99 rooms, with warm wooden furniture, traditional rugs and tall French windows offer spacious balconies overlooking snow peaks and quaint villages. “Taj Theog Resort & Spa is a sanctuary amidst conifers, cedars and tiny hamlets with the stunning skyline of the Himalayan range as a backdrop. It serves as an ideal location for guests seeking a mix of adventure and relaxation coupled with Taj’s legendary service.” said Naveen Barthwal, General Manager, Taj Theog Resort & Spa, Shimla. Guests have a choice of distinctive culinary options which include an all-day diner – Tragopan that offers the robust Pahari cuisine along with global cuisines and comfort food; Peony, the oriental restaurant offers Sichuan and Cantonese cuisines.

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SpiceJet to start Hyderabad-Jeddah daily from March 25, 2019

SpiceJet is set to start a daily direct flight between Hyderabad and Jeddah from March 25. This is the ninth foreign destination of the airline. SpiceJet will operate its new 189-seater Boeing 737 MAX aircraft on the route, the airline said in its press statement. It also announced a special fare of Rs 13,499 (all-inclusive) for the Hyderabad-Jeddah flight and Rs 10,799 (all inclusive) for Jeddah-Hyderabad flight. Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet, said, “It is a moment of great pride for us as we introduce Jeddah as our ninth international destination, thus becoming the first Indian budget airline to fly to Saudi Arabia. Our new flight from Hyderabad will greatly benefit thousands of pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia and our state-of-the-art Boeing 737 MAX promises an unparalleled experience to all our guests,” he said. SpiceJet’s flight SG 33 will depart from Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at 7:10 am (local time) and arrive in Jeddah at 11:05 am (local time) the same day. The return flight, SG 34, will depart at 12:05 pm (local time) and reach Hyderabad at 8:25 pm (local time). Source: PTI

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Now fly direct to Dubai from Kozhikode on flydubai

flydubai has recently started thrice-weekly direct operations between Kozhikode and Dubai. With this launch, flydubai now offers 30 weekly flights to and from Dubai to eight destinations in India. On the launch of operations, Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer, flydubai, said, “As the first Dubai-based carrier to operate direct flights from Dubai to Kozhikode, we expect this route to be very popular for travellers from the UAE to the region.  Similarly, passengers from Kozhikode now have easier access to popular destinations on the flydubai network as well as the Emirates network providing easy access to more destinations when visiting family and friends.” Speaking at a press conference held recently to mark the start of flights to Kozhikode, Sudhir Sreedharan, Senior Vice President—Commercial Operations (UAE, GCC, Subcontinent and Africa), flydubai, said, “With the commencement of our service to Kozhikode, passengers will be able to connect to hundreds of destinations.  flydubai’s professional and friendly service on board will offer an exceptional travel experience whether travelling for business or leisure.” Business Class services will be available on this route and offers faster check-in, priority ground services and onboard comfortable spacious seats. Passengers choosing Economy Class will be able to enjoy the airline’s innovatively-designed seats to optimise legroom and maximise comfort. With the commencement of this new route, the airline further grew its Indian network, which currently includes Ahmedabad, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi, Lucknow and Mumbai.

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InterGlobe Hotels to add six new properties to portfolio by 2022

With 16 hotels now open and six under development, InterGlobe Hotels is set to have a portfolio of 23 operational hotels with a room inventory of about 4,000 rooms by 2022. Shwetank Singh, Vice President—Development & Asset Management, InterGlobe Hotels, says, “We should be able to open six hotels by 2022; out of which one will be a Novotel, an ibis Style and four ibis hotels. IGH will continue to invest in key strategic locations. InterGlobe Hotels ensures that four to five hotels are under development at all points in time.”  The hotels will be opened across three cities – Bengaluru, Mumbai and Goa.    

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Four new museums at Red Fort

The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) in association with Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) organised a touring session to four new museums at Red Fort Complex, Delhi for major tour operators and industry association members in order to give a wide publicity to these museums and discuss ways to make Red Fort a two-day destination. Satyajeet Rajan, Director General, MOT said that around 20 tour operators and other stakeholders, who specialise in promoting tourism in Delhi took the tour, which aims at educating the masses about the rich history and culture of the country. Situated in four barracks of Red Fort, the museum at Barrack 1 is all about First War of Indian Independence 1857 while the other museum at Barrack 2 contains specimens and information on the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. A third museum at Barrack 3 covers history and life of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and the INA movement, while Barrack 4 is a collaboration with ASI Delhi Art Gallery on contemporary paintings. The entire complex of museums will be known as ‘Kranti Mandir’ as a tribute to the revolutionary zeal and courage of the freedom fighters.  

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South Africa aims to cross 100,000 mark for Indian arrivals this year

After witnessing a 25 per cent increase in Indian arrivals in November 2018, South African Tourism now aims to cross the 100,000 mark this year. Addressing a press conference on the sidelines of its four-city roadshow, Neliswa Nkani, Hub Head—Middle East, India and South East Asia, South African Tourism, said, “We want to now go over 100,000 travellers from India. India is our biggest international source market. It is our NIC market, which stands for India, China and Nigeria. India is also our largest consumer of adventure activities. Keeping this in mind, we have a new strategy for the trade for this market. We will now look at above the line marketing collaborations with price points with the trade. This means that when Indians are looking to travel to South Africa, they will first see the price and details of the tour operator with whom they can travel and book right away. We are also looking seriously at developing a mobile campaign to enable this.” The recent visit by the South Africa president to India on Republic Day led to discussions between the two countries about easing of visas and direct flight connectivity by bringing back the South African Airways direct flight between Mumbai and Johannesburg. The South African delegation will travel from Mumbai to Chennai, Kolkata and finally to Delhi for this roadshow. South African Tourism has been working closely with the Consulate General of South Africa in Mumbai to introduce an updated visa procedure. Consul General Maropene Ramokgopa said, “In an effort to ease visa procedures, the Consulate of South Africa is working in close association with South African Tourism. We are collaborating to accredit select travel agents …

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