Tag Archives: Chennai

Tourism Australia launches Premier Aussie Specialist Program in India

Tourism Australia has introduced a second tier to its specialist program in India with the introduction of the Premier Aussie Specialist Program. Membership in the Premier Aussie Specialist category is an acknowledgement of the destination expertise, insider knowledge and strong ties with the Australian travel industry of Aussie Specialist agents with an established record of selling Australia. As part of the launch, 70 agents from across cities like Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Ludhiana, Mumbai and Pune have been inducted into the Premier Aussie Specialist Program in India. The programme offers professional validation for retail agents selling Australian holidays to discerning consumers. As part of the membership, Premier Aussie Specialists are invited to attend exclusive travel industry workshops, market updates and training events hosted by Tourism Australia and Australia’s States and Territories. Speaking at the launch, John O’Sullivan, Managing Director, Tourism Australia said, “The Premier Aussie Specialist Program seeks to recognise the invaluable advocacy that travel advisors, who have been selling Australian holidays for many years, deliver for the destination. This group of elite agents are important contributors to our efforts to make Australia a destination of choice for travellers from India and it is a proud moment for us to congratulate and show our appreciation to these industry friends for their incredible passion and dedication to selling Australia.” Tourism Australia’s distribution strategy for India includes an enriched trade engagement programme. As one of the pioneers of the online destination training, Tourism Australia’s Aussie Specialist Program has recruited more than 2,981 travel agents across India.

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Turkey Tourism to conduct six-city roadshow in India from October 8-13

The Turkish Culture and Tourism board in India will be conducting a roadshow and destination workshop in six cities across India from October 8-13, 2018. To be held in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Mumbai, the aim of the roadshow is to interact with stakeholders, agents, policy makers and travellers in these cities on current tourism offerings of Turkey and create more awareness on destination. The roadshow will also help in positioning Turkey as a leisure, wedding and MiCE destination amongst Indian travellers. Deniz Ersöz, Culture & Tourism Counsellor, Turkish Culture and Tourism Office in India said, “India is a very important market and we are aware of the potential it holds in terms of inbound visitor traffic to Turkey. In 2017, Turkey hosted more than 32 million international tourists while from India the number was 87,000. This year, from January to July, we recorded 25 per cent increase in the number of overall tourists. That means we will be hosting 40 million international tourists by the end of 2018. When we look at figures from India, we see 95 per cent increase for the same period. If this trend continues we will be hosting almost 2 lakh Indian tourists by the year-end.” The roadshow will also witness participation from Turkish Airlines, luxury hotels and important delegates and officials from Turkey.

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Southern Belgium region conducts 4-city roadshow along with TAAI

The Wallonia Foreign Trade along with Wallonia Export-Investment Agency (AWEX) recently took a tourism mission to Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Delhi. The Consulate General of Belgium, AWEX and BIE in association with Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) organised the event for its members in Mumbai. Nine delegates from different tourism attractions from Brussels and Wallonia (Southern Belgium) presented its undiscovered and unique tourist attractions to the TAAI members. The delegation also visited top tour operators in the city. Peter Huyghebaert, Consul General, AWEX Team; Emmanuelle Timmermans, Trade and Investment Commissioner, and Dominique Andre from Wallonia Belgium Tourism, joined Ellona Pereira, India Director, Visit Brussels, for the roadshow. Also part of the delegation were Albert Joris from Caves of Han, Catherine Vuidar from Euro Space Center, Rodolphe Brohée from Durbuy, Malati Dasi and Martin Gurvich from Radhadesh Castle, Jérôme Aussems from Ardennes Incoming and Steven Truyman from Hey Belgium. Top tour operators from Mumbai and Pune attended this event.

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SOTC witnesses 25-30% growth in South India

In a focused effort to cater to its growing south region travellers, SOTC has organised special regional Tamil tours. For SOTC, Tamil Nadu has recorded a growth of over 25-30 per cent annually as compared to the previous year. Cities like Salem, Coimbatore, Chennai, Erode and Pondicherry continue to show impressive growth. With the emerging potential witnessed from Port Blair as well, SOTC will be venturing into opening a branch shortly to meet its demand. SOTC’s entry into the Tamil Nadu market segment has drawn focus to not only the business travellers but also the leisure business segment and the highly viable b-leisure segment (business plus leisure). The company’s highest enquiries come from the State include leisure, bleisure and MiCE. Daniel D’souza, Head of Sales – India & NRI Markets & E-Commerce, SOTC Travel said, “The Tamil Nadu market is an advanced market and they look to travel and indulge in new experiences and culture. Tamil Nadu currently contributes significantly to our overall SOTC business and given the strong YoY growth and high potential, we have identified the state as a key strategic focus for our company.” He added, “To offer value to our loyal and growing Tamil customer segment, we had created unique regional tours that offer a regional touch while on an international holiday and this has been inspiring impressive uptake with a growth of 25-30% YoY.”

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Business travel spending to grow at 6.7% in 2018

Business travel spending is expected to grow at 6.7 per cent in 2018 and rise to 7.0 per cent per annum between 2018E-2028, according to a recent report by World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). The emergence of business hubs like Mumbai (Finance), Bengaluru (IT), Chennai (IT) and Delhi (Manufacturing, IT) is likely to boost business travel. Leisure travel spending (inbound and domestic) generated 94.6 per cent of direct travel and tourism GDP in 2017 US$ 201.7 billion compared with 5.4 per cent for business travel spending US$ 11.6 billion. Leisure travel spending is expected to grow at 7.6 per cent in 2018 and rise to 7.1 per cent per annum between 2018E-2028.

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Cathay Pacific celebrates 10 years of operations from Chennai to Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific Airways recently celebrated its 10th year of passenger flight operations between Chennai and Hong Kong. Since flights were launched in 2008, more than 600,000 passengers have travelled from Chennai and approximately 39,000 tons of cargo have been carried. Cathay Pacific began passenger flights with four weekly flights in 2008 operating an Airbus 330-300 aircraft. In 2010, to meet the increasing demand from both business and leisure travellers, the airline expanded to daily operations. The airline has also launched bonus Asia Miles for every round trip or one way journey from Chennai to North America, Asia or Australia between June 15 and 15 August 2018. Rajesh Menon, Cathay Pacific’s Regional Sales and Marketing Manager – South Asia,  says, “We are delighted to have completed 10 successful years of operations from Chennai. We began with 4 weekly flights and in a few years were able to expand to daily flights due to the great potential Chennai offered. Our flights have catered to a wide segment of passengers that include corporate travellers, holiday makers, VFR traffic and students, travelling to the popular destinations of Hong Kong, San Francisco, Tokyo, Shanghai, Sydney to name a few. Chennai continues to hold tremendous opportunity with the growing economic developments in the state. We are excited about our future prospects and look forward to offering our passengers a life well-travelled with our products and services.”

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AccorHotels launches Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road

Chennai welcomes its seventh AccorHotels property with the opening of Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road. The property is conveniently situated in the heart of the city within walking distance of many clubs like Madras Club and elite neighbourhoods like Boat Club. It is a mere 10-minute drive from popular locations like the T Nagar shopping district, Marina Beach and the business districts of Nungambakkam, Egmore, Adyar, Mylapore and Alwarpet. The hotel is less than a 30-minute drive from both the Chennai International Airport and the Chennai Central Railway Station. “We are excited to partner with AG Hospitality to launch Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road and look forward to a fruitful partnership. The opening of this hotel marks our seventh hotel in Chennai and eighth property in the state of Tamil Nadu. Chennai is fast becoming a key market fuelled by both strong business and leisure traveller growth in an improving economic climate.” said Jean-Michel Cassé, Chief Operating Officer – India & South Asia, AccorHotels. Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road is the first Novotel with a contemporary design and interiors. The hotel has been conceptualised by SODA, an international design firm known for creating fresh, innovative yet sustainable spaces. The hotel features around 100 well-appointed rooms including four suites, as well as rooms designed for the specially-abled.

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Cox & Kings opens Thai Visa Application Centre in Chennai

Cox & Kings Global Services (CKGS) has recently opened a new Thai Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Chennai. Located at Wellingdon Estate Building, the centre will serve as the Hub VAC for its South India operations and cater to all categories of visas such as tourist, transit, non-immigrant, business, work, crew and medical visa. The new centre was inaugurated by Her Excellency Krongkanit Rakcharoen, Consul-General, Royal Thai Consulate-General, Chennai in the presence of senior CKGS officials. Speaking on the occasion, Rakcharoen said, “Thailand has emerged as one of the most favourite destinations for Indians with the number of travellers crossing a million mark. Considering the growing number of travellers from Chennai, it was essential to start the visa application service centre for this region. With CKGS, we aim to continue hassle-free visa processing for Indian travellers and maintain high professional standards.” Commenting on the opening, Venku Murthi, Chief Operating Officer, CKGS said, “We are expanding out footprints in south India with the commitment to ensure excellent visa services to applicants who want to travel to Thailand.’’ The visa application form can be filled online but the applicants would have to visit the VAC to submit printout of the duly signed application form along with other required documents and collect them once the visa has been issued.

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MoCA to upgrade infrastructure at Lucknow, Chennai & Guwahati airports

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the investments for expansion and upgradation of integrated terminals at Chennai, Guwahati and Lucknow airports by Airport Authority of India. Airports Authority of India has been assigned for the project with a total estimate of about Rs 5,000 crores to modernise, upgrade services, build new terminal buildings or upgrade the new terminals in Chennai, Lucknow and Guwahati. Jayant Sinha, Minister of Civil Aviation, made the announcement regarding the approval of the investment by Cabinet and assured that work for it would begin at the earliest.  

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OTOAI introduces new team to Western Region members

The Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) conducted a member’s meet in Mumbai last week to introduce the new team to the members in the Western Region. Present at the event were the association’s Executive Committee (EC) led by its President, Mahendra Vakharia. He said, “We have decided to have the EC meeting once a month on every second Saturday so everyone can plan their month accordingly. It will be held in different cities but predominantly in Delhi and will rotate between Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Ahmedabad.” Speaking about the association’s upcoming convention, he said, “It is shaping up very well. We will announce the name of the country in a week. We are doing it with the support of the destination’s tourism board and it will be held sometime in August or September 2018. The team will start working on the logistical details now like airlines, hotels, etc.” The next EC meeting will be held on May 14, 2018 in New Delhi. The EC members had met earlier in the day to discuss the plan of action for the association as well as its upcoming convention. Ajay Sengar, Chapter Chairman – Western India, OTOAI, who is from the tier city of Akola in Maharashtra, was also present at the networking event. Some other EC members had flown down from New Delhi including Shravan Bhalla and Rajeev Sabharwal, along with General Secretary Chitra Bhatia.

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