Tag Archives: Chennai

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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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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