Tourism Breaking News

Air India to include AI Express and AI-SATS in disinvestment

Air India is reportedly going to involve its core aviation assets packaged with low-cost subsidiary Air India Express and AI-SATS for sale as part of its disinvestment process. Apart from that the non-core assets, which includes Air India building in Mumbai and other offices, will not be a part of the sale but part of the special purpose vehicle (SPV). Core aviation assets include aircraft, slots at airports and flying rights to various countries. Both Air India Express and AI-SATS are profit-making subsidiaries of Air India. The other Air India arms — profit-making Air India Air Transport Services and loss-making Air India Engineering Services — will be sold separately. The SPV will include Air India’s non-aircraft debt as well as non-core assets. Source: Economic Times  

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Taxiing at India’s top six airports to cost airlines Rs 2K cr a year by 2021

An average 15 minutes of taxiing at six of the busiest airports in the country is likely to cost airlines Rs 2,000 crore annually by 2021, compelling them to explore ways to reduce fuel consumption and switch to greener ways of steering the aircraft on the ground. According to a study, the total fuel burnt is likely to increase by 40 per cent by 2021–going up from 1,67,000 tonnes in 2016 to 2,34,000 tonnes–as airlines expand their operations. Of the total 85 operational airports in the country, airports at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata handle nearly 65 per cent of the total air traffic. “Slots are almost over at major airports. This situation will result in an increase in waiting time for both departing and arriving aircraft,” said Lalit Gupta, Joint Director General, DGCA. The experts say alternate ways of taxiing can help airlines save up to six per cent of their total fuel costs. Traditionally, an aircraft taxiing between the main terminal and runway uses jet engines causing a significant fuel burn. Source: PTI

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Sikkim to get skywalk by 2019

A one-of-its kind skywalk is all set to be developed in the eastern state of Sikkim. C Zangpo, Secretary, Tourism & Civil Aviation Department, said that they are working on a big project in Bhaleydhunga. “A skywalk in Bhaleydhunga is being constructed by a world-renowned company. We hope to complete the project by 2019. In fact, we have already completed around 40 per cent of work. Apart from this, we are focusing on adventure as we have tremendous trekking trails, which appeal to foreigners too,” he shared. The skywalk is said to be a major tourist attraction in the state for both domestic and foreign tourists visiting Sikkim.

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Air India to fly Jaipur-Agra-Jaipur from December 8

Air India is set to start its inaugural flight on the Jaipur-Agra-Jaipur route from December 8, 2017. The flight will be plying between the destinations thrice a week, namely, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and will be using an ATR aircraft. The flight will depart Jaipur (AI 9687) at 11:15 am and arrive in Agra at 12:05 pm. The airline will then depart Agra (AI 9688) at 12:25 pm and land in Jaipur at 1:15 pm.

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2nd edition of Travel Business Show kicks off in Gurugram

The 2nd edition of Travel Business Show, an exclusive MICE event, was held from December 2-3 at Le Meridien Gurgaon. The show was inaugurated by MA Teresita C. Daza, Ambassador of the Philippines to India, who was also the chief guest for the evening. Tourism and MICE continues to be a great contributor to the economy of nations, Daza said. “In 2016, the Philippines economy grew by 6.8 per cent, faster than 5.9 per cent expansion in 2015.  In the third quarter of 2017, it grew by 6.9 per cent. The top source markets for the Philippines from Asia include China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Currently, India ranks as the 12th largest source market for the Philippines. Many Indians visit Manila, Cebu, Palawan, Angeles and Boracay,” she informed. Giving an insight in the popularity of the Philippines as a destination for Indians, she added, “In 2016, the record of Indian arrivals in the Philippines was 90,000, which is an average of about 246 Indian passengers per day.  This number of Indian arrivals is very encouraging, despite visa requirements for Indians travelling to the Philippines.” On the visa policy, she informed, “To provide better visa services to Indian travellers, the Philippines has already instituted a 14-day free visa for Indian nationals, who are holders of  visas for USA,  Japan, Australia, Canada, Schengen, Singapore and the UK, from all international airports and seaports of the country.”

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Ezeego1.com makes headway in business with 8 new franchise stores

In an attempt to cater to the growing travel demands across markets, Ezeego1.com has recently opened a series of eight new franchise stores across Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Dhule, Uttarakhand, Guwahati and Amritsar. These stores will provide services like flight tickets, hotels, packages, rail holidays and cruise holidays through a single platform from a diverse mix of travel suppliers offering the best in class services. The company will provide the franchisee with an active marketing, technical and store development support. The marketing activity will include print and radio advertising, attractive and preferential commercials while the store development support will include store designing to reinforce the brand’s look and feel. Training and technical support will be provided to all franchisee staff to effectively address the changing technology and enhance customer interface. Neelu Singh, CEO and Director, Ezeego1, said, “Distribution is the key to success in the growing travel market and the opening of our new franchise stores in these markets will help us gain a foothold. Our offerings are curated from a slew of travel aggregators and we enable and distribute it through our platform.’’

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Madame Tussauds Delhi opens; entry fee @Rs 960

The 23rd edition of Madame Tussauds opens in New Delhi at the historic Regal building in Connaught Place. The entry fee is Rs 960 for adults while children below the age of 12 will be charged Rs. 760. The museum is operational starting December 1 from 10 AM to 7 PM every day, informed Anshul Jain, General Manager and Director, Merlin Entertainments India. With a star-studded line up of Indian and international celebrities, historic personalities and sportspersons from diverse genres, this toiurist attraction features 50 incredibly life like figures. “This is a truly exhilarating and emotional feeling to finally see Madame Tussauds open in Delhi. This will be the 23rd Madame Tussauds attraction globally and following in the footsteps of our sister attractions, we here in Delhi are all set to give our guests a truly unique experience. The tickets can be bought online also and there is a discount of Rs 100. We will also offer special packages to the visitors from outside Delhi who visit Delhi through the travel agents. There will also be special price for groups and school children.”

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Kerala Tourism’s Green Carpet Action Plan set to roll

As part of implementing responsible tourism initiatives in the state, the Kerala Tourism department organised a workshop in Thiruvananthapuram.  P. Bala Kiran, IAS, Director, Kerala Tourism and Managing Director of Kannur International Airport elaborated on the new Tourism Policy, Responsible Tourism and the Green Carpet Action Plan formulated by the government at the workshop. He said, “The Tourism policy 2017 implementation will commence with the implementation of Green Carpet action plan 2017-18. Also, the tourism department shall implement Green Protocol in all 78 locations by Dec 15th.” Speaking on the Green Carpet Action Plan, P. Bala Kiran said that the action plan has been formulated by including nine agendas by inculcating the points from the total 16 agendas that is being discussed and deliberated upon worldwide. The Green Carpet Action Plan, in fact, aims at transforming the tourism sector in Kerala into different travel-friendly destinations. The plan is being implemented by imbibing the points in the new tourism policy. The general development aspects that have been put forward by the Tourism policy, the Green Kerala Mission and Responsible Tourism are being implemented in this regard, he said. Pointing out that Responsible Tourism forms the crux of the state government’s tourism policy. The features incorporated are People-friendliness, Nature-friendliness and aspects that remain socially acceptable. The projects and schemes undertaken toe a well charted out roadmap.

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Fern Surya Resort opens in Dharampur, Himachal Pradesh

The Fern Hotels & Resorts marks its foray in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh by launching The Fern Surya Resort, Dharampur (Kasauli Hills). The resort currently has 22 operating rooms in two categories: Winter Green Room & Winter Green Premium Room. The resort is 55 km from Chandigarh airport and 5 km from Dharampur railway station and bus stand. The COO of the group, Suhail Kannampilly said, “It is a big moment for us as we are entering a new state. This takes the tally of hotels managed by the company to 52. We will be opening a few more properties in the North in the near future.” The rooms are generously proportioned and fully equipped with ecofriendly bathroom amenities and contemporary furniture. Guests can unwind before the LCD TV or avail in-room dining service any time of theday. Various facilities offered by the resort include: Complimentary buffet breakfast,in-room tea & coffee facility, digital in-room safe, free car parking, concierge service, travel desk, etc.

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Railways launches 1st ‘Swarna’ Rajdhani

To improve passenger experience, Ministry of Railways has decided to upgrade Premium Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains under Project ‘Swarna’. 14 Rajdhani trains and 15 Shatabdi trains will be upgraded under the project. With improved passenger amenities, aesthetics and hygiene standards, the nation’s first Swarn Rajdhani (New Delhi-Sealdah Rajdhani Express) was launched in New Delhi on November 29, 2017, at New Delhi Station. Some of the features introduced on Sealdah Rajdhani include complete interior painting to an aesthetic international colour scheme and LED lighting to improve illumination, auto janitor systems in toilets, night signage for easy identifications of berth numbers, CCTV cameras in doorway area and aisles, LED lighting over mirrors. An expenditure about Rs.35 lakhs has gone into this rake which translates into less than Rs.2 lakh per coach. A target budget of Rs. 50 lakh per rake was allowed for this purpose.

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