Tag Archives: Mumbai

SriLankan to increase Mumbai and Delhi frequencies

With a focus on the Indian market, SriLankan Airlines intends to increase its frequencies to 13 flights per week to Delhi and 14 flights a week to Mumbai. According to Chinthaka Weerasinghe, Country Manager, SriLankan Airlines, “We are keen on increasing the destinations and flight frequencies in India as the demand is constantly on the rise. With the new development ventures, we anticipate significant passenger numbers from our key contributors to inbound tourism traffic that includes India, China, Europe, Australia and the Maldives.” India has been a vital partner in SriLankan Airlines’ route network from the early days since it is Sri Lanka’s number one source of inbound tourist traffic. Today, the airline directly operates to 14 Indian destinations with a total of 135 flights a week. Weerasinghe adds, “The Indian government authorities and related state institutions have always been a firm supporter to all SriLankan Airlines and Sri Lanka Tourism projects.”

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Ural Airlines looking for GSA in India

As a result of a sharp rise in inbound numbers from India into Russia, Ural Airlines is planning to appoint a GSA in India. Valeriya Sorokina, Head (Touristic Division), Route Network Development Department, Koltosovo (Yekaterinburg) Airport, reveals, “The Indian market is one of the largest in the world and the most rapidly growing market. So we are going to grab all kinds of passenger traffic originating from India. We are looking to appoint a GSA representative here instead of having our own airline office.” The airline plans to start flights from New Delhi and Mumbai. Sorokina adds, “However, these are only in plans as there are no traffic rights yet and no slots available. The plan is to start flights from Delhi and Mumbai to Yekaterinburg and further to all over Russia as well as other popular European points. We hope the flight starts from October 2018.” The airline is also seriously developing itself as a hub where it captures not only point-to-point traffic, but also more transit traffic.

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SA’s five-city roadshow sees 60-member supplier delegation

South African Tourism (SAT) began its five-city roadshow from February 12-19 with Mumbai, followed by Kolkata, Bengaluru, Delhi and Ahmedabad. The 60-member strong participation from South Africa’s travel trade industry and scale is a reflection of the strong consumer demand witnessed from India. One of the key focus areas is to go create awareness about new destinations such as Oudtshoorn, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Port Elizabeth and the Drakensberg region. Hanneli Slabber, Regional General Manager, Asia/Australasia/Middle East, SAT, said, “The demands of Indian travellers are in a constant and rapid state of evolution. This makes cross sharing of insights, trends and observations between our Indian and South African partners extremely crucial. We have had South African products being tailored to suit these specific needs as a testament of the value proposition we see in the market.” Alpa Jani, Acting Hub-Head, Middle East/India/South East Asia, SAT, said, “We have always recorded an outstanding response from the Indian travel trade and are eagerly looking forward to seeing the positive impact this roadshow will have towards driving Indian traveller traffic to South Africa in 2018. We are also focusing on customising our engagements and product offerings to suit the unique requirements from each of our target regions within India.”  

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UAE concludes three-city roadshow in Mumbai

The National Tourism Programme (Ministry of Economy) concluded its three-city roadshow titled ‘Visit UAE’ in Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and finally Mumbai – the city that sees the maximum number of tourists visiting the UAE every year. This is the third roadshow in India in the recent few years. UAE welcomed 2.6 million Indian tourists in 2017. Abdulla Saleh Al Hammadi, Director, National Tourism Programme, said, “It gives us immense pleasure to revisit the city of Mumbai, which my country is familiar with and visits often. India is one of the most promising markets, and the UAE delegation is looking forward to build relationships and further strengthen ties with the people, especially the tourism industry, under the banner of the ‘Visit UAE’ campaign.” The ‘Visit UAE’ roadshow included a huge delegation of tourism officials, airlines, and senior members from the UAE’s tourism and hospitality industry. Local tourism departments included Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing–Dubai, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, Ajman Tourism Development Department, Fujairah Tourism & Antiquities Authority, Dubai Police and Dubai Health Authority.

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Dusit showcases properties at India roadshow

Dusit International recently organised ‘India Roadshow 2018’ as part of its newly-acquired focus on India as a source market for its hotels and resorts. Designed to present Dusit’s ever-growing global portfolio of distinctive properties to the Indian travel trade fraternity, the roadshow featured one-day workshops held in both Mumbai and Bengaluru. B2B sessions along with sessions for wedding planners were also conducted. On both occasions, Dusit executives presented the company’s properties in Thailand, Maldives and Dubai, as well as key openings in 2018 across Bahrain, Bhutan, China, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam. Dusit International is represented in India by its Global Sales Office in Mumbai, headed by Keshwar Bhagat, Director of Sales. Prachoom Tantiprasertsuk, Vice President Sales, Dusit International, said, “As evidenced by the recent opening of our new Global Sales Office in Mumbai, India is a key market for our international properties, and this roadshow is just one of the ways we are actively promoting our brands and hospitality to Indian travellers. Taking into account our own expansion, which will see our current tally of 27 properties top 80 worldwide within the next four-to-five years, we will be well positioned to leverage the rapid growth of India’s outbound market with a plethora of options for MICE and leisure travellers.”

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MoCA looking at 20-min benchmark for immigration

The Ministry of Civil Aviation is looking at a benchmark of 20 minutes for passengers at immigration, said Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation while addressing a gathering at CAPA Conference in Mumbai via a video link. Speaking about the steps taken at the Delhi airport in response to the recent spike in international travel, Sinha pointed out, “We recently saw a dramatic spike of 30 per cent in international travel in the winter schedule, particularly at the Delhi airport. Mumbai did not grow as much due to slot constraints. But these are two airports where we are facing some congestion. In response to that, we along with the Ministry of Home Affairs acted swiftly by increasing capacity for immigration officers as well as immigration counters at the Delhi airport. In Mumbai however, we are much more constrained even though we have added capacity, although it is not at the same level as Delhi. We are thankful to Ministry of Home Affairs for acting so swiftly. Our benchmark as far as immigration is concerned is 20 minutes. If anyone has to wait more than that, then we are not doing our job well.”  

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SpiceJet is not bidding for Air India stake

Ajay Singh, Chairman, SpiceJet, has confirmed that the airline will not bid for any stake in the process of privatisation of Air India. Speaking at the recently-concluded CAPA India Aviation Summit 2018 in Mumbai, he said, “We are just too small to bid for Air India. We may not be the appropriate candidate for this. Vistara and Singapore Airlines will probably do it. Conceptually, we are too small for this. Nevertheless, it’s a great asset and a fantastic brand.” Speaking about government’s move to privatise the national airline, Singh added, “The government has taken an appropriate decision and the reason for that is not lack of performance. I think we had some really great managers at Air India. Problem is the government system itself. If Air India is required to take every decision through a tender process, it is almost impossible to function. Either you need to allow them to run like a private operator or sell it to a private operator. .” He also confirmed that SpiceJet will expand its international routes albeit without mentioning any destinations. CAPA acknowledged his effort in turning around the airline over the last 32 months.

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HICSA 2018 in Mumbai from April 4-5

The annual hospitality event, Hotel Investment Conference-South Asia (HICSA), will be held in Mumbai from April 4-5 at the Grand Hyatt. The first 13 editions was organised by HVS but this year, the conference will be conducted by Hotelivate. Confirming this is Manav Thadani, Founder Chairman, Hotelivate, who reveals, “HICSA is being organised by the Hotelivate team and we have made a few changes to the same. The idea is to make the sessions more interesting and interactive. Firstly, there will be far fewer speakers than before as we have reduced the number of panel discussions and substituted them with more interviews, keynote addresses and master classes. So you will see a lot more interesting speakers at the conference who will talk about their experiences with hotels from their fields. Suhel Seth, Roshan Abbas and Deep Karla are just a few such names.” Thadani adds, “We believe with interest levels in hotels on the rise this year, we will have more people registering for the conference. I also believe that international participation at the event is expected to go up if we are to go by early trends in terms of who all are attending.”

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MSC World Cruise 2020 includes stop in Mumbai

MSC Cruises has announced the opening of sales of its second world cruise, setting sail in 2020. With a halt in Mumbai, the 2020 MSC World Cruise has a new itinerary that includes exotic destinations with 43 destinations and 23 countries on board MSC Magnifica. Other destinations include Ushuaia in Argentina, Rapa Nui in Easter Island, Darwin in Australia, Valparaiso in Chile and Salalah in Oman. Gianni Onorato, Chief Executive Officer, MSC Cruises, says, “Following on from the successful launch of our first MSC World Cruise last year due to set sail in January 2019, we are now delighted to open sales for a new world cruise for 2020 developed to offer unforgettable experiences and destinations to guests. In addition, the experience onboard MSC Magnifica been designed to reflect the cultures and cuisines of the countries that the ship visits, giving guests the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in a true around-the-world voyage of discovery both on board and on shore.” Guests embarking from Civitavecchia/Rome, Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona on January 4-7, 2020 respectively will cross five continents on a three-month voyage of discovery to some of the world’s most talked-about destinations.

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India in top five list of visitors to Thailand

India ranks in top five list of highest number of visitors to Thailand after China, Malaysia, Korea and Laos. In 2017, over 1.4 million Indians travelled to Thailand which is over 18 per cent increase as compared to last year. Thailand welcomed over 35.3 million international visitors in 2017 and earned 1.82 trillion baht in tourism revenue. The precise number of overseas tourists visiting Thailand in 2017 was 35,381,210; showing an increase of 8.77 per cent over 2016. Soraya Homchuen, Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Mumbai said, “TAT is initiating many unique activities and projects this year with a focus on promoting women, family and first-time traveller segments for the Indian market.” Santi Chudintra, Deputy Governor for International Marketing (Asia and the South Pacific) said, “Our new campaign ‘Open to the New Shades of Thailand’ aims to give more attention to unique local experiences and inclusive tourism, reflecting Thainess and Thai people’s warmth in welcoming visitors. The new campaign ‘Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018’ has been launched to support the government’s national tourism development plan, ensuring that Thailand remains a preferred destination.”  

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