Tourism Breaking News

IATO’s 34th annual convention inaugurated in Visakhapatnam

The 34th annual convention of one of India’s biggest inbound travel trade associations, the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), started with a grand opening here in Visakhapatnam. Arriving on time for the inauguration, K J Alphons, Minister of State (IC) for Tourism, Govt of India, graced the event that saw an overwhelming attendance from IATO members pan India. The three-day event whose theme aims at 20 million foreign tourists by 2020, will debate on pertinent issues that India currently faces in reaching this milestone. At present, India welcomes approximately 11 million FTAs per year. The evening started with cultural performances local to Andhra Pradesh followed by welcome speeches from the IATO team and keynote addresses from various state dignitaries present. Kerala Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran, whop was present at the event has invited IATO to organise their next convention in the state.

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IATA appoints Bird Academy as regional training partner

With an aim to develop skilled human capital for the aviation industry, The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has appointed Bird Academy as their regional training partner in India. The partnership was made official during a signing ceremony between Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO, IATA and Radha Bhatia, Chairperson, Bird Group. Speaking on the partnership, Conrad Clifford, Regional Vice President- Asia Pacific, IATA said, “India is expected to treble to 520 million passengers travelling to, from or within by 2037. The demand for trained aviation professionals will continue to grow. We look forward to a successful partnership with the Bird Academy to fulfill India’s training requirements.”On the occasion, Bhatia also announced that India will be hosting the next IATA Global Training Partner Conference in April 2019.

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Vistara becomes British Airways’ only codeshare partner in India

Vistara and British Airways have signed a codeshare agreement, further deepening their already existing interline partnership. Under the agreement, British Airways will add its ‘BA’ designator code to approximately 60 Vistara-operated flights each day covering 13 Indian cities, including eight new virtual British Airways destinations, namely Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Goa, Kolkata, Kochi, and Pune. Additionally, the BA code will also be put on Vistara flights between Mumbai and Amritsar, and Chennai and Kolkata. Sales under the codeshare agreement are open on all channels and major GDS systems for flights starting September 27, 2018. Commenting on this milestone partnership, Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara said, “We are delighted to extend our existing interline and through check-in partnership with British Airways to a codeshare agreement. This partnership reaffirms our commitment to taking India’s finest airline brand beyond Indian borders, and it gives us the opportunity of welcoming travellers from around the world to experience the ‘new feeling of flying’ in India with Vistara. We share a lot in common with British Airways, key among which is our focus on delighting customers. We are confident that our respective customers will truly enjoy the reciprocal benefits of this collaboration.” Rishi Kapoor, Head of Alliances, British Airways said, “We have been flying to India for more than 90 years, so it is incredibly exciting for us to be able announce this partnership with such a well-respected carrier.”  

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Immense scope for medical tourism between India and Netherlands: Ayush minister

There is an immense scope for cooperation in medical tourism between India and the Netherlands, Union minister of state for Ayush Shripad Yesso Naik said. The healthcare system in the Netherlands is one of the best in Europe, and there is a lot of potential to integrate traditional knowledge from India, he said at a seminar titled ‘India-Netherlands collaboration in Healthcare, including Ayurveda’ at Leiden. Ayush refers to traditional and non-allopathic medical systems in India. It includes ayurveda, yoga, unani, siddha, and homoeopathy. “India is the world’s largest producer of generic medicine and there is wide scope for medical value travel to India, both in conventional and alternative medical treatments such as Ayurveda,” Naik said at the seminar organised by the Indian Embassy in Hague. Emphasising that the scope for cooperation in the health sector between the two countries is immense, he said, “India and the Netherlands can work together closely to promote healthy living.” Asserting that both the countries have top class medical practitioners, Naik said the Netherlands with its 2.25 lakh Indian origin population can lead the way in promoting Indian traditional medicine across Europe. Addressing the seminar, Dutch minister for Medical Care and Sport Bruno Bruins said Ayurveda’s approach for healthcare differs for individuals and being healthy does not only mean being free from illness but also being independent, functional and participating in society. The Indian Ambassador to the Netherlands, Venu Rajamony, pointed out that the biggest health challenge the Netherlands faces is high costs and the need for care for an ageing population. Source PTI      

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First flight from Navi Mumbai airport to start in 3 years: RN Choubey

The first flight from the upcoming Navi Mumbai International Airport could start operating by September 2021, Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey has said. Choubey, who reviewed the progress of the greenfield project at a high-level meeting in Mumbai recently, said both the state government and the concessionaire are hopeful of starting flight operations in three years. “The state government and the concessionaire are optimistic that they will be in a position to start the first flight possibly in three years time from now,” Choubey told reporters in New Delhi. “We are trying to, off course, even compress it even further to see the first flight earlier because not all facilities need to be build to initiate the flights. But that’s probably the timeline and it’s going at very good speed,” he added. He said there has been “good cooperation” between the concessionaire, the project-affected persons and the state government in executing the airport project. The project is being carried out under the public-private-partnership model and Cidco has been mandated to execute the project. GVK group is developing the project. The group through its subsidiary, Mumbai International Airport (MIAL), holds 74 per cent stake in Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIAL), while Cidco holds 26 per cent. In February this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the airport, which will give a breather to single-runway and slot-constrained Chattrapati Shivaji International airport in Mumbai. Source: PTI

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MTDC participates in roadshow in China

With the rising tide of Chinese tourists visiting India, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) participated in Tourism Roadshow in China organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, in association with the Indian Embassy, Beijing and Consulate General of India in Guangzhou and Shanghai. The event was successfully concluded in major cities, including Guangzhou, Wahun and Shanghai in the presence of KJ Alphons, Tourism Minister (I/C), Government of India; Jaykumar Rawal, Tourism Minister, Government of Maharashtra; Gautam Bambawale, Indian Ambassador to People’s Republic of China; Vice Governor, Hube region Wuhan, Chang Hyei and other officials. The roadshow consisted of buyer-seller meet, Incredible India seminar, a presentation on tourism promotion strategy by Chinese companies focussing on why Chinese travellers should travel to India and the state of Maharashtra. The aim is to draw Chinese travellers by highlighting Buddhist circuits across the state and the country. Circuits in Aurangabad, Pune, Nashik, Mumbai, Satara and Kolhapur, Raigad and Nagpur were promoted to encourage Buddhist tourism. The objective of the roadshow was to create awareness about Maharashtra and its many destinations among Chinese travellers. Rawal said, “It’s a pleasure to perceive that the roadshow has received an overwhelming response from all the stakeholders across China.”

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Industry upbeat, Kerala Travel Mart on its schedule

Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) is set to take place as per schedule despite the recent floods in Kerala leading to huge devastation and loss. Abraham George, President, KTM Society confirmed that KTM will take place as per schedule with the inauguration on September 27 and business meetings from September 28-30, 2018 in Kochi. “The Kerala tourism industry is back for business and we will be showcasing our products and hold business meetings at KTM. Most of the destinations are not much affected by the floods; it’s only a few roads that have damaged. The government is working to fix that. Also, whatever work needs to be done at the resorts and the tourist destinations will be completed in about 10 days and we will be ready to welcome tourists,” he said.

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IHHA’s annual convention to be held at Bharatpur from September 13-14

The 7th Annual Convention of the Indian Heritage Hotels Association (IHHA) is scheduled to take place at Bharatpur in Rajasthan from September 13-14, 2018 on the theme ‘Revitalizing India as the Heritage Destination’. “We are all here to explore, debate, deliberate and arrive at a definite roadmap for resurrection of this sacred land. We have thus far taken our heritage for granted and been extremely irresponsible to provide the desired care to protect and preserve our invaluable heritage both tangible and intangible,” said Randhir Vikram Singh, Secretary General, IHHA. Several eminent national and international speakers are expected to share their respective nations’ conservation experiences.

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Booking.com partners with Air India to power the airline’s online accommodation offering

Booking.com has partnered with Air India to offer the airline’s customers access to over 28.9 million accommodation listings, including everything from homes, apartments, villas to world-class hotels and resorts from the Air India website. Stewart Jones, Regional Director – Strategic Partnerships, APAC, Booking.com said, “Air India makes it the perfect partner for us to showcase our global online accommodation offering to their domestic and international customers. As India is poised to become the third largest aviation market by 2020 with its fast-growing outbound travel market, we are happy to combine our strengths with Air India’s to deliver the best travel experience to travellers across the country.” Madhu Mathen, General Manager – Sales and Marketing, Air India said, “Booking.com’s global reach and unique accommodation offerings is a key reason we chose the online accommodation platform as one of our first accommodation partner. As a member of the world’s largest airline alliance – Star Alliance, Air India has passengers that are globe-trotters. Partnering with Booking.com enables us at Air India to provide our customers a broad & unique variety of accommodation options in any city we fly them to.”  

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India Tourism Mart to take place at The Ashok, New Delhi

The venue for the upcoming India Tourism Mart (ITM), scheduled to take place from September 16-18, 2018, has been changed by the organisers. The much-awaited travel trade event, which was earlier slated to be held at Vigyan Bhavan, will now take place at The Ashok, New Delhi. Informing about the updated schedule, Subhash Goyal, Hony Secretary, FAITH and Chairman, India Tourism Mart said, “The venue for ITM has been changed by the Ministry of Tourism looking at the overall security arrangements. It will now be held at The Ashok, New Delhi. Other programmes remain intact as per schedule.”  

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