Manas Dwivedi

HKTB Debuts Great Outdoors Summer Video Series to Tickle and Titillate the Senses

This summer, Hong Kong’s great outdoors will be very much within reach to those who reside abroad — thanks to a series of uniquely soothing sensory videos created under the 360 Hong Kong Moments initiative by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), which have managed to capture and bottle the city’s auditory essence into highly immersive and pleasurable viewing experiences. A highlight of the Great Outdoors Hong Kong (GOHK) 2021-2022 summer campaign, four distinctly themed Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) videos will each feature 30-second snapshots of dreamy environmental acoustics heard in far-flung corners of the city. The videos are designed to stimulate the senses and heighten one’s sensitivity to the harmonic countryside symphonies just like a stone’s throw from the city. ASMR in Peng Chau invokes a ship’s horn, a temple’s chimes and the hypnotic kau cim (shaking of fortune sticks). Swaying leaves, dripping waterfalls, chirping birds and flapping wings angle for attention in ASMR in Shing Mun Reservoir. ASMR in Stanley spans splashing in the ocean and swooshing open a paper fan, to biting into a piece of deliciously warm French toast at a local cha chaan teng diner. Finally, ASMR in Sai Kung delves into the myriad tones and timbres of the open sea, which can be encountered during a lone stand-up paddle-boarding session. Both calming and provoking, the video series stars curious individuals exploring the outskirts of Hong Kong through a hyper-focused lens and culminates in a three-minute magnum opus, which brings all the contrasting elements together into one beautifully euphoric whole. The ASMR videos form part of the broader GOHK summer campaign, which will also showcase 13 seasonal routes, covering hiking and sightseeing destinations, island-hopping …

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Lords Hotels & Resorts eyes 60 hotels by 2022

Lords Hotels and Resorts, a  leading mid-segment hotel chain with over  42 hotels across India and Nepal is looking further to expand its presence across India and beyond.  The hospitality industry is facing an immense challenge due to this ongoing pandemic. Lords Hotels and Resorts with its extensive portfolio of brands like Plaza, Resorts, Inn, Eco Inn is seeking partnership with standalone hotel owners to enter into a management agreement. Pushpendra Bansal, COO of the group stated “ This is a right time for standalone hotels to partner with us as we offer a pan India sales network, dedicated revenue and market intelligence team, deepest pool of talent, extensive pre-opening support. Rigorous checks and balances during operations to enable owners maximize their revenues.” “In the coming months, Lords Hotel will be opening their second property both at  Rajkot and also in Jammu, followed by new hotels at Belgaum, Lucknow, Karjat, Shikrapur and three hotels in Gangtok. We are poised to reach more than 60 Hotels by 2022,” stated Bansal along with further expanding internationally. “Our new safety and Hygiene guidelines, along with vaccinated staff ensures a safe environment for all our guests. Individual hotels aligning with Lords Hotels can also benefit from our enhanced SOP and safety Protocol. A partnership with Lords Group is best suited for Individual hotels in these uncertain times to grow their Corporate, Mice and Leisure business,” he further said.  

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Vistara operates India’s first flight with fully vaccinated pilots and cabin crew

Vistara in its industry-leading efforts to ensure the highest standards of safety on board, today operated India’s first flight with pilots and cabin crew fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The special flight UK963 on 16 June 2021 departed Delhi at 0850 Hours and arrived in Mumbai at 1110 Hours, operated by the crew that have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The crew will also be operating the return flight, UK 960, which is scheduled to depart from Mumbai at 1155 Hours and expected to reach Delhi at 1405 Hours today. Vistara plans to operate more such flights in the coming days as their number of fully vaccinated staff increases. Vinod Kannan, Chief Commercial Officer, Vistara, said, “Vaccination is the best known defence against the pandemic that is helping the world get back to normalcy, subsequently aiding the recovery of the aviation industry. We have been consistently getting our staff vaccinated in our endeavour to ensure safety for them, their families and our customers whom they serve. This special flight operated by our fully vaccinated cabin crew and pilots is a sign of our continued commitment towards making ‘flying feel safe again.” The airline recently announced that it had got nearly 100% of its eligible employees vaccinated with at least their first doses. This included Vistara’s airport and corporate staff, cabin crew and pilots. Vistara continues to ramp up its efforts to ensure all eligible employees receive their second doses as well in time and are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at the earliest.

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Korea to allow int’l group tours of fully vaccinated travellers from July

With its nationwide vaccination campaign in full swing, South Korea will allow group tours for fully vaccinated people under travel bubble agreement with countries like Singapore and Taiwan to start with, revealed the transport and culture ministries. It is believed that an air bubble with India and Korea is on the cards too. Apart from Singapore and Taiwan, the Government is planning to sign travel bubble agreements with  Thailand, Guam and Saipan for the exclusive travel partnership that have been relatively successful in containing and combating the pandemic within their respective borders, according to the transport ministry. To know more, register for Korea Travel Expo, scheduled on 23-24 June. For registrations, contact Jaspreet Kaur at jaspreet.kaur@ddppl.com

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MoU for seaplane services a big fillip for new kind of tourism in India: HS Puri

Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways & Ministry of Civil Aviation have signed an MoU for the development of seaplane services in India. Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that the MoU between the two ministries will help in expediting the development of new water aerodromes and also operationalisation of new seaplane routes. “It gives a big fillip to the provision of a new kind of tourism,” he said.

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Travellers shifting away from OTAs, prefer booking directly: GlobalData

New research from GlobalData reveals that travellers prefer booking directly with companies, leaving Online Travel Agents (OTAs) behind. In a recent poll, a total of 39% of respondents said they would typically book directly, followed by 17% that said they opted for OTAs and price comparison sites. Flexible cancellation and straightforward refund policies offered by direct booking are the reasons stated by the respondents for choosing direct booking.

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Create strategy, utilise budget for reviving tourism sector: Rajasthan CM to officials

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has asked officials to prepare a roadmap for reviving the tourism sector while utilising the budget allocated to the state tourism department. In a review meeting of the tourism department, Gehlot stressed on effective marketing and promotion of key tourist destinations, fairs and festivals of the state at international level.

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TTAG meets Goa CM & Tourism Minister, requests image-rebuilding exercise

Sharing details of his meeting with Goa CM as well as its Tourism Minister, Nilesh Shah, President, TTAG, says, “Our team met the CM along with the Tourism Minister, Chairman GTDC, Chief Secretary, Tourism Secretary, and Director Tourism of GTDC. We have requested them to conduct an image-rebuilding exercise for Goa to undo the negative publicity received by the state during the last two to three months which has affected the image of Goa as a safe and secure destination.”

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Far East Village Hotel Yokohama is open from 1st June 2021

Far East Village Hotel Yokohama officially opens its doors today. The hotel is managed by Far East Hospitality (Headquarters: Singapore, Chief Executive Officer: Arthur Kiong), one of the leading operators of hotels and serviced residences in Singapore. This is Far East Hospitality’s second property in Japan. Far East Village Hotel Yokohama encourages its guests to “Live Like a Local” Each Village Hotel provides guests with a Village Passport which details unique experiences that guests can enjoy within the vicinity of the hotel. This includes information on nearby restaurants, cafés, and attractions that locals often visit. Commenting on the reason for expansion into Yokohama, Arthur Kiong, Chief Executive Officer of Far East Hospitality Management said, “At Far East Hospitality, we are constantly looking at ways to expand our footprint in the region. As intra-Asia travel is likely to increase in the future, a country such as Japan will be even more in demand. We are excited that we have the opportunity to open our second hotel in Japan within a year and we now have a presence in 2 of the most popular cities in Japan. Both of our hotels are synergistic in that they cater to domestic travellers looking to experience a flavour of Singapore even when travelling for a functional reason between Tokyo and Yokohama. This hospitality concept is relevant especially through this season where international travel is still largely on hold. Hence, domestic tourism will be the main staple for some time to come and FEH wants to be in the markets such as Japan where the domestic tourism growth is robust.” A marriage of Singaporean and Japanese cultures Singapore and Yokohama are port towns. Hence, the hotel …

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