Nisha Verma

Singapore launches platform to shape future of travel

Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has announced a new initiative to reimagine travel for Singapore and the rest of the world, by sparking conversations, stories and ideas to collectively shape the future of travel. Called SingapoReimagine, it will kick off with a series of forums around the world to start discussions on how to reshape global travel. Global partners will be invited to share knowledge and exchange ideas, with the first one to be held in Singapore next year before being hosted in other parts of the world.

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Need to nurture employees’ skill sets to recover

Rupinder Brar, Additional Director General, Ministry of Tourism, has said that the tourism industry will experience consistent growth with skilful employees. “To come out successfully from the current crisis, organisations will need to nurture their employees’ digital, cognitive, and resilience skill sets,” she said while speaking at the webinar on ‘Trends in Future Jobs, Skill Development & Training in Travel, Tourism & Hospitality’ organised by FICCI.

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Air Asia India not going out of business, clarifies TAAI

In a written statement, Air Asia India has clarified with TAAI that they are not going out of business. The statement by Ankur Garg, CCO, Air Asia India, pointed out, “While the current pandemic has severely impacted the aviation sector and AirAsia India is no exception, we have remained adequately capitalized throughout these months by securing the funding from our majority shareholder as and when required.” He further said that they continue to grow their network and are already at ~55% of their pre-COVID capacity and looking to increase to 70% as per the recent relaxed capacity mandate from the government last week. They have also recently added a brand new A320 NEO to their fleet in Oct, adding a 2nd NEO in Nov and will add another 3 aircraft in as many months. Giving another evidence of the financial stability of AirAsia India, Garg reveals that they have been smoothly processing all refunds in the last few months and never forced a conversion of bookings during lockdown to “credit shells”. In the months of Sep-Oct, Air Asia leadership proactively engaged in regional meetings with travel agent partners across the entire country and addressed any questions on refunds, long term growth plans, etc. On the employee front, we have not retrenched any staff and have not done salary cuts for employees earning less than Rs 50,000 per month, and also no delay in salary pay-outs has happened for any month since the pandemic, he informed. Citing these points, Garg said that he hopes that it would dispel any doubts and provide enough confidence in the financial sustainability and growth plans of AirAsia India.

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Mumbai trade visits and promotes Kashmir

Tour operators from Maharashtra have started the ‘Unlock Kashmir Tourism Campaign’ with support from the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department, for which a 70-member delegation of travel operators from Mumbai visited Kashmir. Since the tourism industry in J&K took was shaken post COVID, tourism department of J&K supported this initiative and invited the trade and media to promote tourism sector in the valley.

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Accor adds India, Turkey in its Asia & ME region

Accor has added India and Turkey to its Middle East & Africa region. Under the newly expanded region would come a portfolio of over 84,000 rooms across 400 hotels. This regional expansion brings an increased pipeline of over 112 properties, scheduled to open in the coming 24 months, bringing the overall number of keys close to 110,000 rooms. “The addition of Turkey and India to our already diverse region means that we will be able to consolidate the existing relationship and work that has been accomplished over the years and centralize it into a collective effort. It is in a strategic but natural move that we are integrating India and Turkey to our portfolio with long term plans in sight for the future of the region,” says Mark Willis, Chief Executive Officer, Turkey, India, Middle East & Africa for Accor.

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Spain Tourism to conduct first virtual roadshow on Dec 2-3, 2020

The 2-day virtual roadshow organised by The Tourism Office of Spain in India will have regional tourism boards, hotels and DMCs from Spain who will focus on restarting tourism into Spain from India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. Elisa Robles-Fraga, its Director, says, “We are organising our annual show virtually for the very first time. It will include meetings between buyers and sellers, product presentations, plus interesting panel discussions and contests with prizes to be won.”

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