Tag Archives: Chennai

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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OYO acquires Chennai-based Novascotia Boutique Homes

Having inked its first business acquisition, OYO has entered into an agreement with Chennai-based service apartment company, Novascotia Boutique Homes. The acquisition will add to the company’s existing portfolio and reiterate its focus on corporate service. Commenting on the development, Ritesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, OYO said, “The acquisition forms an integral part of our inorganic growth plan, in line with our ambition to create quality living spaces and add value to every form of real estate. OYO is poised to deliver 180,000 keys by the end of 2018 and with Novascotia’s strength, we will be adding service apartments to our existing portfolio.” With this acquisition, OYO will bring its distribution, operational, transformational and technological capabilities on board for offering corporate travellers accommodation options. The acquisition will boost OYO’s portfolio by 350 rooms across locations where Novascotia has its footprints. Novascotia has built a portfolio in locations including Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Kochi and Trivandrum. OYO plans to expand these offerings to 12 cities by the end of 2018. These serviced apartments are located in the heart of business hubs equipped with spacious rooms, upscale interiors, meals, gym and dining area to cater all the requirements of business travellers.  

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Cox & Kings and Morocco host travel agents meet in Delhi

Cox & Kings Global Services (CKGS) and The Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco hosted a joint event in Delhi. The occasion was graced by His Excellency Mohamed Maliki, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco, along with the senior management of Cox & Kings Ltd. The event showcased Moroccan culture and various tourist attraction in Morocco from the imperial cities to stunning beaches. “I’m honoured to co-host the travel agents event together with CKGS, which gives us opportunity to promote the Kingdom of Morocco as an Authentic and Exotic destination and showcases the numerous Tourism potential it has. Foreseeing growth and significance of the Indian tourism market to Morocco, we are also planning to open of a full-fledged Moroccan National Tourism Office in Delhi very soon.” said His Excellency, Mohamed Maliki. CKGS has recently opened Morroco Visa application centres in different cities of India including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Goa and Indore. Centres in more cities will be opened shortly. “We provide visa application services to Indians travelling to Morocco through our various offices in India. we have taken one more step further to promote Indian outbound travel to Morocco by partnering with The Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco for this event.” said Venku Murthi, Chief Operating Officer, CKGS.

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Seychelles to conduct three-city roadshow

Seychelles Tourism Board is set to conduct roadshows at Kolkata, Pune and Bengaluru. The pre-fixed meetings format which was introduced last year will continue this year as well. Sherin Francis, CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board, says, “Last year’s roadshow allowed top agents to meet all partners in a quick pre-fixed meeting of 15 minutes each in a round-robin flow. This no-frills format focused on serious business generation and ensured that every agent invited could spend quality time with every partner from Seychelles.” For 2018, the tourism board plans to conduct workshops with its key B2B partners in cities of Raipur, Indore, Kochi, Coimbatore, Baroda, Surat and Rajkot. “We will also continue to meet and educate agents in main cities that will include Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune and Kolkata. We plan to support tour operators with incentive-based trainings to encourage bigger numbers to Seychelles,” Francis adds. Seychelles Tourism Boards recently hosted an appreciation evening in Mumbai to acknowledge high performers from the travel trade in association with Air Seychelles. India emerged as the seventh-largest source market for Seychelles with an arrival of 13,518 tourists from India in 2017 which indicated a 23 per cent growth compared to 2016. In 2018, the tourism board expects a similar percentage growth.  

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Vistara launches Kolkata-Chennai double daily from March 25

Vistara has announced double daily flights between Kolkata and Chennai, as well as a direct same aircraft service to Kochi via Chennai, starting March 25, 2018. The airline has increased its frequencies between Kolkata and Delhi with the launch of a third daily flight to the national capital. With these additions, Vistara will connect Kolkata directly with Delhi, Chennai, Port Blair (Andamans) and Kochi. Customers from Kolkata can also connect via Delhi to many other domestic and international destinations, including Chandigarh, Srinagar, Jammu, Amritsar and Lucknow domestically, and multiple cities internationally through Vistara’s 21 international interline partners. Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara, said, “The launch of these new routes and flights from Kolkata reflects the commitment Vistara has to Kolkata, and of the positive response we have received to our flights from the city. Our Kolkata flights have high loads in all classes, and we are truly grateful to our customers for placing their trust in us and making us their airline of choice in such a short span of time.”

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Vistara starts Delhi-Chennai direct daily service

Vistara has launched a daily direct service between Delhi and Chennai and is set to double its frequency between the two cities from March 1, offering convenient same-day return options in both directions. Besides, the airline will fly daily direct between Chennai and Port Blair from March 1, and will further expand its operations from the city from March 25 with daily direct flights between Chennai and Kochi and double daily flights between Chennai and Kolkata. Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara said, “Many of our customers had been waiting for us to bring ‘the new feeling of flying’ to Chennai, and we’re pleased to finally inaugurate our service to the city. We may have been late in coming to Chennai, but our aggressive expansion plan from the city truly signals its importance to Vistara. The new Chennai service would offer additional connections through Delhi to many additional destinations including Srinagar, Jammu, Amritsar, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Varanasi, Bagdogra, and Guwahati.”

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Akquasun conducts four-city roadshow

Akquasun Group is set to go digital in terms of operations in 2018. Till now, the portal offered was an integrated system but going forward, the destination management company (DMC) plans to offer its travel partners its own inventory on the digital platform, informs Sujit Nair, Group Managing Director, Akquasun Group at the company’s Delhi roadshow. The DMC is currently conducting its four-city roadshow covering Kolkata, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Chennai. The unique element of this year’s event is the partnership between Tourism Malaysia and Akquasun Group, in which the tourism board has partnered with the DMC to promote Malaysia in India. “We will be buying up our own inventory and offer the same on the online platform. We recently hosted a curtail raiser at IITT Mumbai for the same and the company will be coming out with a host of different technology tools useful for travel agents,” he said. As many as 40 partners from 18 destinations represented by the group participated at the roadshow. According to Nair, the market in Kolkata was very responsive with as many as 250 travel agents in attendance at the roadshow.

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Kerala Tourism organises a Partnership Meet in Mumbai

To reach out to the domestic market, Kerala Tourism is organising a string of Partnership Meets in Mumbai, Pune, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Kolkata, Patna and Delhi in the 1st quarter of 2018. At the Partnership Meet in Mumbai on January 09, Kadakampally Surendran, Minister for Co-Operation, Tourism and Devaswom, Government of Kerala, said, “To ensure the accomplishment of an ambitious target of a 100% increase in arrival of foreign tourists and 50% in domestic tourists in five years, a tourism regulatory authority has been formed. This would help put a stop to any unhealthy practices and guarantee better intervention of the Tourism Department through scrutiny and a licensing system.” The new Kerala Tourism Policy also forms a major highlight of this year’s domestic campaign. The revamped fare with an array of new tourism products was showcased at Mumbai today.

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Delhi-Chennai direct on Vistara from Feb 15

Vistara has announced the addition of Chennai to its expanding network, making it the 22nd destination on the airline’s network. Effective February 15, 2018, Vistara will operate a daily direct flight between Delhi and Chennai, and increase the frequency to twice daily from March 1, 2018. Vistara will also connect Chennai to Port Blair with a daily direct flight between the two cities, effective March 1, 2018. Bookings are now open on all channels, with one-way fares for Delhi – Chennai (economy class) starting Rs. 3,099 all-in, and Rs. 3,699 all-in for Chennai – Port Blair. As Vistara operates from the state-of-the-art Terminal 3 in Delhi, travelers will enjoy a superior experience, and those connecting to and from international flights at Delhi can seamlessly proceed to international transfers for same-terminal connections.

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IAAI’s I-Top issues India’s first NDC ticket

The IATA Agents Association of India (IAAI) and the I-Top team has issued the first NDC ticketing in India. Last week, Magellan Travel Services in Chennai issued the first NDC ticket in India on a British Airways flight for the MAA/LON sector through I-Top using the Vertiel Technologies Direct connect platform. It has issued the NDC tickets at a price lower than all OTAs in India. Reservation and NDC ticketing on Lufthansa and Emirates airlines are also ready and 10 agents across the country shall be starting the pilot run by next week through I-Top. The advantage and the specialty of the I-Top powered by TravelShore is that the portal can be used to issue tickets simultaneously through both GDS connectivity (presently Galileo, which will be followed soon by Amadeus and Abacus) and Verteil Direct Connect for NDC ticketing using BSP mode of settlement. A major benefit is that the NDC ticketing will curtail discrepancies and agents will be free from any ADMs. Biji Eapen, President, IAAI, says, “Our experimental trial runs have turned out to be successful and prove that the I-Top users using NDC ticketing can easily avail better prices than any OTA in India. Especially in a country like India, where zero commission prevails, I-Top will serve as a ‘magic lamp’ for agents to generate revenue. Once I-Top becomes fully operational and more members start using, together and consistently, we will negotiate with airline operators for ‘consolidated special deals’ so that the user member shall be substantially remunerated for their services rendered to the airlines. I-Top shall be offered to the common memberships by second week of January as a New year gift.”

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