Category Archives: Agents

STB launches second wave of brand campaign in India

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has launched the second wave of its ‘Passion Made Possible’ brand campaign in India with an evening of fun and entertainment for the travel trade, media and influencers – focusing on the Socialiser tribe offerings available in Singapore. Held at Verbena Brewpub & Skygarden in Kamala Mills, the event featured performances by Singapore’s noted artistes – Wayne Liu aka DJ KoFlow, the turntablist icon and Yung Raja who mixes his lyrics in both English and Tamil. The STB launched the new brand identity ‘Passion Made Possible’ in August 2017 to showcase the destination’s unique attitude and mindset- a passion-driven, never-settling spirit of determination and enterprise that constantly pursues possibilities and reinvention. As part of this, the STB introduced the concept of passion tribes and unveiled four specific tribes, namely Foodies, Collectors, Explorers and Progressors. For its second wave, the campaign will shine spotlight on the Socialiser, Action Seeker, and Culture Shaper passion tribes for encouraging Indian travellers to indulge in their passions in Singapore. Speaking at the launch, GB Srithar, Regional Director, South Asia, Middle East & Africa, highlighted the importance of why the Socialiser tribe would be appealing to Indian consumers, “We are keen to engage the young and fun-loving Indian travellers. Show them a different side of Singapore, in addition to being a great family destination. From the coolest indie gigs and the biggest international concerts to eclectic music festivals, raves and jazz nights, Singapore has a diverse and vibrant music and event scene. This will appeal to the lifestyle- and entertainment-seeking travellers. As we launch wave 2 of our brand, we invite our Indian visitors to come, make new friends or re-connect …

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73 per cent Indian travellers use economy apps

Indian travellers are avid users of sharing economy apps and services compared to other APAC travellers, reveals ‘Amadeus Journey of Me’ report. According to the report, Indian travellers are embracing these services with 73 per cent using apps like Uber, Grab, Lyft, Ola, Didi Chuxing etc to get around during me trip, compared to only 37 per cent in the rest of APAC. Apart from it, almost half (48 per cent) use Airbnb, couch surfing for stays, more than the 29 per cent APAC average. The research, Journey of Me Insights: What Asia Pacific travellers want has been conducted in collaboration with YouGov.

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Slovakia to operate 38 new VACs in 10 countries including India

VFS Global has signed a contract with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic for providing visa services in 10 countries including India. The other countries to get visa application centres for Slovakia via VFS Global are China, Kazakhstan, Palestine, Belarus, Russia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Egypt. The rollout of 38 visa application centres is expected to be completed by December 2018. Under the new contract, VFS Global will accept both short and long-term visa applications on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. Chris Dix, Head – Business Development, VFS Global, said, “We are excited about our new partnership with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. The countries where we will be operating are markets where VFS Global has worked for several years and whose travellers are familiar with our services and expertise. We are also pleased to have the opportunity to serve our new clients in new locations, and bring applicants in these locations the same benefits and high-quality service that we have been offering our customers worldwide for the last 17 years.”

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Hi-Life Tours receives TravTalk WTM World Travel Leaders Award

Bharat Bhushan Atree, CMD, CTC Holding, received the TravTalk-WTM World Travel Leaders Award for Hi-Life Tours at the recently held World Travel Market in London. The World Travel Leaders Awards honours companies and individuals for their outstanding contribution to the industry over the last 24 months voted for by the WTM Media Partners. Speaking on the occasion, Atree said, “Awards like these keep us motivated and eggs us to work harder and harder. It puts us on the global recognition platform because this company is catering to online tourism and it makes a lot of difference when such organisations recognise us for our good work. We hope to get a lot of positive response from our partners, who have been wanting to work with us but have been thinking about it, a recognition from a platform like this will instill more confidence among them.”

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KSRTC users can now reserve bus tickets through AbhiBus

AbhiBus has bagged the online bus ticket reservation system project from the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC). The online system provides an option for users to reserve bus tickets on the official website of KSRTC. Doing it online gives users an opportunity to access booking and reserve their bus tickets 30 days in advance. AbhiBus will also deploy a user-friendly mobile app for KSRTC that can be used for reserving ticketing through their mobile phones. Kerala becomes the fifth state road transport corporation in the country that AbhiBus would be engaged with after Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh. Commenting on the engagement with KSRTC and the unique system for Sabarimala pilgrims, Sudhakar Reddy Chirra, Founder & CEO, AbhiBus said, “AbhiBus is the pioneer in the service of creating online bus ticket booking platforms for private bus operators and State RTCs in the country. Our success over the years and the wide reach we enjoy stands to testify the technological supremacy AbhiBus enjoys in the space we operate in. With the signing of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation, AbhiBus now has its strong presence spread to all corners of South India.” In addition to the regular engagement with the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation, AbhiBus has deployed unique time-slot-based bus ticket reservation system for pilgrims visiting Sabarimala. KSRTC will use this unique system for selling bus tickets online for chain services operated between Nilakkal and Pamba for the convenience of pilgrims.  

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TBO Group conducts three-city roadshow to showcase its preferred hotels portfolio

TBO Group hosted its first roadshow for its preferred hotel partners in India. The roadshow, with 30 hoteliers from Las Vegas, Baku, Dubai, Maldives and Thailand,  travelled across three cities starting with Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai. The event brought together 700 decision makers from the Indian travel fraternity resulting in almost 8,000 business meetings across the three city footprint. Ankush Nijhawan from TBO Group said, “This is a first initiative from the TBO Group to engage our India B2B partners first-hand with our preferred hotels to enthuse a sense of confidence and transparency. This one-on-one interaction with hoteliers will ensure a seamless experience for our partners, their groups and FIT requirements as facilitated for them through the TBO online Portal.” The roadshow was spearheaded by Andy Tan, Global Director –Contracting and Supplier Partnerships, TBO Group who led the delegation of hoteliers comprising Sales Directors and General Managers from leading hotels Like Wynn – Las Vegas and Encore, Pan Pacific Hotels group, AccorHotels, Park Hotel Group, Hilton London Metroplole, Papillon Group, Fairmont Baku, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, to name a few. All roadshows featured 30 raffle draws, conducted for all attending B2B partners. 85 lucky winners won for themselves hotel room nights coupled with special privileges at various partner hotels.

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Travel Tours launches fifth retail store in Bengaluru

Travel Tours, the flagship leisure travel brand of FCM Travel Solutions – Indian subsidiary of Flight Centre Travel Group Australia, recently inaugurated its fifth store in Bengaluru. The store was inaugurated by Rakshit Desai, Managing Director, India at Flight Centre Travel Group. With the launch of this store, FCM Travel Solutions now has 30 operational Travel Tours stores across India. The new store in Bengaluru aims to fulfill the diverse needs of travellers in the city by offering both personalised vacations and group tours. The store will cater to the needs of high-end urban consumers such as families, business travellers, honeymoon couples and large groups of travellers. Expressing his thoughts on the launch, Desai said, “The launch is a further development of our expansion and strategic intent at Travel Tours across the Southern India. Bengaluru contributes to 22 per cent of leisure travel at Travel Tours overall and 35 per cent in South India. This year has been exciting for us and as we expand rapidly into the year, we plan to open 50+ stores by 2020.” Travel Tours current footprint extends to a total of 30 stores across Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kochi, Anand and Nagpur via a combination of owned branches and newly opened franchise outlets.

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Treebo Hotels to offer agent specific deals on Atlas Travels Online platform

Treebo Hotels has come on board as a preferred hotel brand on Atlas Travels Online platform offering exciting deals to Atlas’s 20,000 agent network. The campaign kick-starts with roadshows for travel agents across the country with Treebo hosting lucky draws where winners get four-days and three-nights stay at Treebo properties. Atlas Travels is running a month-long campaign for its agents network offering 5 per cent cashback for booking Treebo properties through Atlas’s platform. Vikas Mulchandani, Business Head, Treebo Hotels, says, “With Treebo’s widespread reach in more than 80 Indian cities with 400 hotels and Atlas’s large network of travel agent partners, this partnership is just the beginning of many exciting things which can be done together to create value for the guests and travel partners alike. There is a great fit between the two brands where both Treebo and Atlas are committed towards delivering superior service level without compromising on the quality and I truly believe that the two brands coming together provides a great platform for the B2B agents to cater to the customer’s both travel and accommodation needs. I would like to congratulate both the teams and wish all the best for the success for the campaign.” Talking about their relationship with Treebo, Param Sidhu, COO Atlas Travels Online, says, “Our constant endeavor is to bring best deals, bouquet of varieties across the verticals of air, hotels, visa, foreign exchange that we offer to our agents network helping them to expand and grow their business. Our excellent tech and process driven support helps agents and suppliers to transact seamlessly. We are excited about our alliance with Treebo, with whom we are expanding our existing hotel inventory and running a …

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BigBreaks launches B2B hotels interface for partners to facilitate easy bookings

BigBreaks.com has announced the launch of its B2B hotels interface, agents.bigbreaks.com, enabling its B2B partners to gain quick access to wholesale hotel rates across India. Ashish Agri, Business Head—Domestic Leisure, Bigbreaks said, “This was a much needed addition to cater to the ongoing demand from partners and facilitate easy bookings and near instant turnaround times. This state-of-the-art system will not only enhance the overall productivity of our partners but also ease out the overall process of checking rates and processing reservations.” The list of hotels available currently, is close to a 1000 across India, and is expanding everyday, according to Agri.

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Travelport becomes first GDS operator to offer NDC content

Travelport has become the first GDS operator to manage the live booking of flights using the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) New Distribution Capability (NDC) technical standard. The first transaction was made by a British agency, Meon Valley Travel, on October 19 for a short-haul low-cost flight from London to Milan issued by a major European carrier. The new capability allows bookings to be made for any services on the airline without incurring a surcharge. Travelport’s new NDC capability is enabled using similar XML connections to those Travelport already deploys with APIs for over 20 low-cost carriers. The company published a roadmap for its initial range of NDC products in February, having been the first GDS operator in December 2017 to acquire Level 3 certification from IATA as an aggregator. It will also be followed by a series of product enhancements, including a version for online agents in 2019. Gordon Wilson, President and CEO, Travelport, said: “We are delighted to have taken a lead in bringing the NDC era to life. It has required an extraordinary amount of skill and expertise to make this happen and I want to thank my own colleagues at Travelport as well as our partners. We are still at the earliest stages of NDC deployment. Its evolution will continue to take time as we learn from the practical experience of its first use. Meanwhile, we continue to offer a comprehensive global travel commerce platform capable of handling mass volumes of searchable and bookable content at speed for the world’s travel providers and agents.”

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