Tag Archives: Kerala

Hotels with 3 or more stars to reopen bars in Kerala

The dry spell is over in Kerala with the state government reversing the restricted liquor policy of the previous government and allowing bars to function as usual. The government will allow the bars to function in hotels with three-star status and above. The five-star hotels are already allowed to open bars. Hotels below three-star category will be allowed to run beer and wine parlours. The bars will remain open from 11 am to 11pm. Bars will be allowed to remain open from 10 am to 11pm in tourism centres. Both international and domestic terminals of the airports will be allowed to sell liquor. The permissible age limit for consuming liquor has been increased from 21to 23. The new liquor policy will protect the interests of the traditional liquor, toddy. Bars, including the 5five-star ones, will be allowed to sell toddy. Toddy Board will be constituted to protect the interests of the industry. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the UDF policy of restricted liquor policy was a failure. “It has led to an increase in the demand for drugs. The Supreme Court order on closure of bars and liquor stores on the highways will be implemented,” he added. (Source: Economic Times)

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Etihad expands capacity to Kerala

Etihad Airways has launched a fourth daily non-stop service between Kozhikode in Kerala and its Abu Dhabi hub offering convenient onward connections to cities worldwide. The airline is celebrating 10 years of flying to the southern Indian state with the introduction of additional flights to the destination. The extra capacity takes to 63 the total number of weekly services between Abu Dhabi and its three Kerala gateways of Kochi, Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram. This represents over 30 per cent of Etihad Airways’ frequencies from across 11 Indian cities it serves. In addition, strategic Indian partner Jet Airways operates seven flights a week from Kochi to Abu Dhabi. The services largely cater to the huge expatriate population from all three Kerala cities and the surrounding areas, living and working in the Gulf region. Neerja Bhatia, Etihad Airways Vice President Indian Subcontinent, said: “With our multi-frequency scheduled flights to and from Kerala, Etihad Airways has demonstrated a commitment to this vibrant state by offering convenient global access and boosting the domestic tourism industry. We have been able to bring the world closer to this beautiful state and connect the people of Kerala to destinations in the Gulf, including our Abu Dhabi home, which has also been the base for thriving ventures by Kerala business houses. Reaching a 10-year milestone is fitting tribute to the support Etihad Airways has received from the state government of Kerala in making our operations a success.” Dr Venu Vasudevan, Principal Secretary Kerala Tourism, said: “Kerala Tourism is delighted to learn of the extra flights launched by Etihad Airways, which adds more connectivity to Kerala. We congratulate Etihad Airways on a decade of flying to Kerala and look forward to conducting …

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K.C. Chandrahasan enters the Gallery of Legends

K.C. Chandrahasan, Managing Director, Kerala Travels Interserve, is the stalwart to enter the Gallery of Legends at the 4th South India Travel Awards in Kochi. A visionary in the travel and tourism industry, he has been the President of TAAI- Kerala Chapter as well as the Chairman of Air Passenger Association of India. A renowned author of several Malayalam plays and writer and director of two Malayalam films, Chandrahasan has even won a National Award for ‘The Thekkady Tiger Trail’ project. He is one of the brains behind Interserve, which was reckoned as Indian travel industry’s answer to the inundation of multinational companies in India.

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4th South India Travel Awards concludes in Kochi

The fourth edition of South India Travel Awards was held at Crowne Plaza Kochi, Kerala on May 2. Achievers from the travel and tourism industry of South India were awarded in total of 47 categories. Attended by the who’s who of the region, the Chief Guest for the evening was Dr. A. Jayathilak, Chairman, Spices Board of India. Other dignitaries present during the inauguration ceremony were  K.C. Chandrahasan, Managing Director, Kerala Travel Interserve, M.P. Purushothaman, Chairman and Managing Director, Empee Group, Hanneli Slabber, Country Manager: India at South African Tourism, Gladrags Mrs. India 2017 Arni Saikal, Riyaz U.C., Managing Director, Spiceland Holidays, Shuvendu Banerjee, GM, Crowne Plaza Kochi, and SanJeet, Mentor, India Travel Awards.

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MOT’s ‘Smart India Hackathon 2017’ from April 1-2

The Ministry of Tourism will host the Grand Finale of “Smart India Hackathon” on April 1-2, 2017, in Kochi, Kerala, featuring 53 teams comprising of 230 students from technology institution/engineering colleges across the country. The Smart India Hackathon is being held across 26 cities in the country including Kochi with the involvement and support of 29 government departments. This Hackathon is an initiative of the Ministry of Human Resources Development organised in collaboration with All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and i4c and is aimed to help institutionalise the model of harnessing the creativity and technical expertise of youth in technical institutions. The Hackathon for Tourism sector, to be held at the Mar Baselios Institute of Technology and Science [MBITS], Kothmangalam, Cochin, will focus on the use of technology to solve problem statements pertaining to Tourism Sector posed by Ministry of Tourism such as Safety & Security of Tourist, Path breaking technological solutions that would catapult India as a leading tourist destination, Museum Commentary etc. The problem statements pertaining to tourism sector were given directly by the Ministry of Tourism based on the industry requirements which will be used to challenge the students for developing innovative digital solutions. The newly developed solutions/technical products will be evaluated by experts and prizes shall be distributed for winners, 1st runner up and 2nd runner up. After the event, the Ministry of Tourism will prepare a plan of action for integrating the products/software which has come out this hackathon into the Departmental functioning.

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Kerala rolls out customised trips to Biennale

In keeping with Kerala’s new ‘Land of Biennale’ branding, its District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) has launched the ‘Biennale Deluxe’ initiative, which will provide free, customised tours of the ongoing third edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. The first of a number of such buses planned over the Biennale’s run pulled in from Thiruvananthapuram, bringing 17 visitors across age groups for a weekend trip to India’s only Biennale. The group took in a tour of primary venue Aspinwall House and other sites. K. Suresh Kumar, assistant manager, DTPC – Thiruvanthapuram, said, “The Biennale has become a major unique selling point to promote Kerala and this prompted us to roll out this attractive and unique tourism initiative. The Biennale Deluxehas been conceptualised and executed by the DTPC. The DTPC organises customised tours from the state capital to various tourist destinations in the state. We already have a well chalked-out itinerary, which engages the guests with both the host city and the Biennale. The one-day trip to the KMB is totally free of cost.” The initiative is supported by a leading tour operator. The Council is planning to associate with other tourism stakeholders across the state to bring in more people to the Biennale, especially from southern Kerala, and organise similar trips.

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Kerala Tourism’s impressive debut at Dutch trade event

Kerala’s highlights as tourism destination were on full display for the Dutch and other European travelers at the five-day Vakantiebeurs 2017, the biggest tourism trade event in the Netherlands. Laidback cruises on serene backwaters and Ayurveda rejuvenation therapies showcased at the Kerala pavilion grabbed attention and generated several inquiries at Vakantiebeurs 2017, which was held in Utrecht from January 10-15 and drew up to 1,08,000 visitors. The pavilion spread over 18 sq m, marked Kerala Tourism’s first appearance at the trade fair which is held annually in the second week of January in Utrecht and provides a gateway to the Dutch and European markets. For Kerala Tourism, the Netherlands is the 11th biggest originating market with 22,276 tourist arrivals registered during 2015, a 40% increase from 2010. “South India is yet to get as much attention in the Dutch market as the north of the country, and Vakantiebeurs was a chance for us to close the gap,” said Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran. “Our promotional campaigns in such prestigious fairs will help Kerala compete not just with north Indian destinations but international ones such as Sri Lanka and Thailand.” Kerala Tourism’s pavilion had the theme ‘Slow Down in God’s Own Country’, a nod to the relaxing and rejuvenating offerings of the state. The Dutch are big-time travellers and are keen to gather more information on new destinations, said Dr Venu V, Principal Secretary, Tourism. “Our pavilion attracted many enquiries which we expect to translate into holiday bookings over the next two years,” he added. Surveys show that of the Dutch people who visited the Vakantiebeurs event, 64% were there to gather information on holidays still to be booked and 54 per …

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AccorHotels opens first ibis in Kochi with 115 rooms

AccorHotels brought its international economy brand, ibis, in the capital of Kerala with the opening of ibis Kochi City Centre. ibis Kochi City Centre is also the first AccorHotels’ property to open in Kerala. The property features 115 guest rooms furnished with the signature ‘Sweet Bed’ by ibis, in-room amenities and Wi-Fi access. The hotels has two meeting rooms with state-of-the-art technology that can accommodate up to 70 guests for meetings and private events. Fitness enthusiasts can sweat it out at the hotel’s Cardio Centre. Located on Ernakulam’s commercial hub – MG Road, the hotel is a few steps away from the upcoming Kochi Metro station and a short drive from the Ernakulam Railway Station. Jean-Michel Cassé, Senior Vice President, Operations, AccorHotels India said, “We are pleased to open our first AccorHotels’ property, ibis Kochi City Centre in Kerala.  Kochi is an upcoming smart city and commercial hub and we are proud to open its first international economy hotel. With a sharp focus on today’s connected business traveller, the hotel promises to be a sophisticated stay destination with a host of innovative facilities, all at an attractive price point. We are proud to introduce the ibis brand to the city and look forward to fortifying our commitment to the picturesque state of Kerala.” Speaking on the opening, Ajit Jose, General Manager, ibis Kochi City Centre, said, “We are delighted to launch our very first ibis in Kochi. The property is reflective of the growing needs of corporate travellers while catering to the needs of leisure travellers to this fast-emerging metropolis. Guests can look forward to the innovative brand concept with welcoming, designer common areas and the modern food and beverage …

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Kerala Tourism’s virtual reality campaign starts with Delhi Airport

Kerala Tourism has rolled out ‘The Great Backwater Experience’ zone at a special interactive stall in the departure terminal at Indira Gandhi International airport in New Delhi. The initiative uses virtual reality to allow passengers to experience a Kerala experience while waiting to catch their flight. Similar zones are also being set up at airports in Mumbai and Bengaluru. U.V. Jose, Director, Kerala Tourism, said, “The zone is up and functional at Indira Gandhi International airport in New Delhi and visitors can get an immersive experience of sitting inside a ‘kettuvellam’, a traditional Kerala houseboat, floating on tranquil backwaters in a place situated over 2,000 km away. This has been made possible through the innovative use of virtual reality.”

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Etihad Airways expands India–UAE service with Jet Airways

Etihad Airways will launch a fourth daily flight between Abu Dhabi and Kozhikode on 26 March 2017, capitalising on the strong traffic flows between the state of Kerala and the UAE, and beyond. The airline will also double its frequency between Abu Dhabi and Ahmedabad in the western state of Gujarat, from 1 February 2017 with the launch of a new daily service. Etihad Airways announced the expansion of scheduled services between Abu Dhabi and India as strategic partner Jet Airways unveiled new routes and additional frequencies to further strengthen their partnership. From early 2017, the two airlines will expand their services between the United Arab Emirates and India by adding 28 weekly flights and three further Indian cities. Jet Airways recently announced the launch of daily flights between Tiruchirappalli (Trichy), Tamil Nadu, and Abu Dhabi on 1 February 2017, offering travellers another option from southern India. Jet Airways will also introduce daily services from Kannur, the fourth Kerala gateway to Abu Dhabi. It also plans daily services from the northern Indian city of Chandigarh to Abu Dhabi, which will benefit travellers to and from the state of Punjab. The two routes are due to begin in the second half of 2017, subject to the completion of operational readiness at these airports. From 15 January 2017, Jet Airways will introduce a second daily service between New Delhi and Abu Dhabi. With Etihad Airways already operating three flights a day between the two capital cities, the enhanced operation will give guests a wider choice of departure times. Etihad Airways currently operates 175 weekly flights between Abu Dhabi and 11 Indian cities. Together, Etihad Airways and Jet Airways offer 252 weekly flights …

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