Tourism Breaking News

Odisha Tourism to create land bank for premium tourism, hospitality infrastructure

After overcoming a major civic and tourism infrastructure challenge post Cyclone Fani, Odisha Tourism is looking to prepare a blueprint for developing its most-visited tourist destinations with a focus on creating a land bank for hotel projects. Vishal K Dev, IAS, Secretary, Odisha Tourism, said, “One of the challenges that Odisha Tourism faced was creating a land bank for developing premium tourism and hospitality infrastructure. We are looking to consolidate an investment-ready land bank of over 2,000 acres for the sector in the coming years.” He added that this plots of land will be identified near all major touristic sites. Land banks will be created in areas close to Chilika, Bhitarkanika, Similipal, Hirakud, Satkosia and sea coastline. Dev added that the tourism board had already developed and launched its Marine Drive Eco Retreat at the Ramachandi Beach near the grand Konark Sun Temple. “It has been developed as an environmentally sustainable model incorporating best practices in material utilisation, zero liquid and sewerage discharge and holistic waste management. It has been envisioned as eastern India’s first glamping set up. Scheduled from 14 December 2019 to 31 January 2020, the Eco Retreat is a unique experience of glamping in 50 luxury cottages along with adventure and water sports activities. We plan to replicate the Eco Retreat model at suitable times of the year on prominent beach stretches along our 482 km coastline, each having its own unique experience,” Dev added.

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MITT Digital Conference to focus on startup technologies for travel agents & tour operators

On March 17, Moscow will host MITT Digital- a conference about internet technologies for tourism sector that will take place at MITT, the largest tourism exhibition in Russia and CIS. MITT Digital program includes session by leading international and Russian experts about online travel sector, current trends, new opportunities for business, and future of tourism business.

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Air India: Flying time up by 40 mins ex-BOM & 20 mins ex-DEL post Iran’s rerouting

Air India spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar, tells Tourism Breaking News that Air India and Air India Express will avoid Iranian airspace until further notice. He said, “We are still observing as to when it will be safe to fly over Iran. This rerouting will affect flights flying to Europe and US and will increase the flying time to 40 minutes from Mumbai and 20 minutes from Delhi.”

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FITUR 2020 to focus on sustainability, technology and specialisation

The next edition of FITUR, organised by IFEMA, will take place at Feria de Madrid from 22-26 January 2020. The 2020 edition will be the 40th Anniversary of the Trade Show. Besides this, Sustainability, technology and specialisation will be the main lines of FITUR, but in addition there will be the promotion of activities aimed at growing in professionalism, representation and internationalisation and, therefore, to exceed the results from the latest edition, which brought together over 11,000 exhibitor companies from 160 countries, and 253,000 participants.  

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GPS join hands with TripperWiFi to offer connectivity to 10 people through one device

GPS has tied up with TripperWiFi, a global WiFi device, which can be rented out by anyone travelling anywhere in the world, revealed Harmandeep Singh Anand, MD, Global Panorama Showcase. He said that this device will be launched at GPS Nagpur, which will be held from January 27-28, 2020. Any corporate or individual can rent out this device, and almost up to 10 people can get connected to the device at a low rental of Rs 400 a day with unlimited data usage. It would be launched in GPS Nagpur, and GPS will be a partner of TripperWiFi in 2020. He explained, “We will be appointing area distributors in most of the major cities across India. Hence, the device will become available to many agents and it would be commissionable to them. We are keeping the interest of the travel agent/tour operator consultant in mind as well, because they will know who is travelling. This would be the best channel to source this out, as there would be a price parity.”

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Twenty14 Holdings to open 2 hotels in Bengaluru; Rs 800 crore invested

Twenty14 Holdings, hospitality investment arm of LuLu Group International, is developing two high-profile properties in Bengaluru at an investment of Rs 800 crore that will open in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Adeeb Ahamed, Managing Director, Twenty14 Holdings, says, “We currently have three projects in India, one of which is already operational – the first Tribute Collection by Marriott called Port Muziris in Kochi. The other two are brownfield projects under development in Bengaluru – one is near the airport and the other is in the Electronic City. One of them will be ready by 2020 and the other by Q1 2021.” The two Bengaluru properties are at a combined investment of up to Rs 800 crore, Ahamed reveals while the one in Kochi was at an investment of Rs 52 crore. “We are looking to expand in India and are in final stages of negotiations for other projects across India. We are looking at one resort property and one hill station property but we haven’t finalised yet. We are also looking at Dharamshala and Hyderabad as potential destinations,” he shares. Twenty14 Holdings was established in 2014 and aims to become a billion-dollar investment company by 2025. It is an asset-heavy hospitality investment arm of LuLu Group International and already has a few properties operating in different parts of the world. It is now planning to expand further in India and is looking for appropriate hospitality partners.

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Northeast India to have more connectivity through UDAN: Tourism Minister

Northeast India will now have more representation and promotion, said Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State (I/C), Tourism, Government of India. He added, “Every Northeast state has so much diversity with its unique culture, heritage, and food. The circuits that are being created across the country to promote domestic tourism is a great concept. Earlier Northeast India faced connectivity issues. But now, there will be train and air connectivity through UDAN. We need to change the perception of northeast and talk a more about its beautiful offerings. Road developments and infrastructure have to be talked about.”  

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GPS goes completely digital in 2020

The Global Panorama Showcase will go completely digital in 2020, with the first event of the year starting in Nagpur from January 27-28, 2020. Harmandeep Singh Anand, Managing Director, GPS, said, “We had set a goal for ourselves to go completely green in 2020. This year, we will have only 70 table spaces, with a fixed format wherein the backdrop will be eco-friendly. Instead of using flex, we are giving 15-inch screens to everyone, wherein it will be a 4000 ultra HD TV where exhibitors can showcase anything through their smart tabs, phones, devices or laptop, whether it is wired or non-wired. Even the sticker or paint used in the exhibition area will be eco-friendly, reusable, or recyclable. We will go almost 90 per cent eco-friendly, as we are already paperless. In future, we will have water dispensers put for the exhibitors and provide them with copper bottles to be refilled to avoid any plastic waste. This will be followed in all the cities. Every city will have a maximum of 70 exhibitors in 2020 and we have to go green completely. There will be a total of 8 GPS events and 4 Eco Connect events. Additionally, there will be around 4-6 EDWINs like every year.”

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Odisha Tourism launches destination wedding package to promote tourism

Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) has launched a destination wedding package, in a bid to promote tourism in the region. The above package will be available at six Panthanivas (a chain of hotels operated by OTDC) in Rambha, Gopalpur, Chandipur, Puri, Konark, and Barkul. Development work on these places would be started during the first phase. Shreemayee Mishra, Chairperson, OTDC, has reportedly said that apart from the wedding package, the newly-wed pair would also get a complimentary honeymoon as well as packages for their first two marriage anniversaries. She further said that since people are interested in destination weddings, it is expected that this new initiative is likely to become a trendsetter. The wedding package would cost around INR 2.17 lakh, which will cover the cost for two days and would include 25 rooms, the main wedding meal, three principal meals for 50 persons, basket snacks, cocktail snacks, mineral water in the rooms, and the wedding drum. The price may increase in case people require more facilities. The package can be booked online and it could further be extended to other Panthanivas of the state.

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TAT New Delhi to get new Director from Feb 1, 2020

Vachirachai Srisumpan has been appointed as the new Director of Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), New Delhi office, and will be taking up his new role from February 1, 2020. He will be replacing Isra Stapanaseth, who would now move to Bangkok to take up his new assignment, after working as Director of TAT, New Delhi for 4 years. Speaking at the Amazing Thailand evening in the capital Srisumpan, said, “I am honoured to be lucky and to be the representative of TAT in New Delhi. The Indian market is a great opportunity and a very important market for Thailand. We have very good partners with the travel agents and media here. I hope to take forward the work done by Isra Stapanaseth.”

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