Tourism Breaking News

Time to unlearn, update and upgrade: TAAI

With an intent to focus on supporting its members and foresee the trend and updates of the tourism industry, the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), organised its first of the series ‘Knowledge Conclave’ in Delhi. The conclaves are meant to support TAAI members with a vision for the future and upgrade them with executive education. Sunil Kumar R, President, TAAI, “The objective of these Knowledge Conclaves is to help our members unlearn, update and upgrade their knowledge. Over the two-day conclave, we will have five different sessions on executive education including sessions aviation trend, technology and optimising business opportunities. With 120 members attending the conclave in Delhi, TAAI members can attend Conclave in other cities as well, if they miss out.” After Delhi, the Knowledge Conclave will take place in four other locations across India during June-July 2019. In Mumbai, the conclave is scheduled on 19-20 July. These five conclaves are based on geographical location and members of respective TAAI regions and chapters are invited to attend the conclaves.

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Sri Lanka to witness 5-10 per cent drop in Indian tourists this year

Sri Lanka is expecting 5-10 per cent decline in Indian tourist arrivals this year. Sri Lanka’s Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga, stated, “We were moving along to our expectation of 5,00,000 visitors from India, but unfortunately, the events of April 21 have derailed our expectation…Sri Lanka is now safe to travel. I can give assurance or guarantee to all Indian people that Sri Lanka remains secure.” The island nation was expecting a 25 per cent growth from Indian travellers this year, over 5 lakh visitors from around 4,25,000 last year.

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Issuance of chip-enabled passports soon: Minister of External Affairs

The government is in process to roll out advance security feature in passports. On the Passport Seva Divas, External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar said India was on its way to deliver passport booklets with advance security features. They would have chips installed for security. “We propose to pursue the manufacture of e-passports on priority so that a new passport booklet with advanced security features can be rolled out in the near future.”

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CII to organise Kerala Health Tourism 2019 in Kochi from 3-4 July

The Confederation of Indian Industry is organising the Seventh Edition of Kerala Health Tourism from 3-4 July at Hotel Le Meridien, Kochi. The Kerala Health Tourism will mainly have 3 components – an International Conference, Exclusive Medical Exposition and B2B Meeting. The event will provide an interactive platform during which practitioners and leading experts in the Medical Tourism sector will share, discuss and construct strategies for future growth and innovation. We are expecting to have more than 400 delegates for the conference (national & international) and above 1000 visitors for the exhibition. The Kerala Health Tourism 2019 will deliberate on the Importance of Cultural Competency in International Patient Care; Challenges In Healthcare Insurance & Medical Tourism; Medical Tourism Marketing : New Age Online Marketing / The Power of Public Relations; The Future of Telemedicine and Health; Specialised Treatments in Health Tourism – Sports, Dentistry, Eye care, Geriatrics; Role of Medical Facilitators in Medical Tourism; Using Technology to Power your Healthcare Business etc. There will be a Banquet Session on day 1 on “Health Tourism and way forward” by an eminent personality – apart from Inaugural Sessions and Valedictory sessions of the Summit.

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The Rail Journeys now holds the largest inventory with RTDC for the Palace on Wheels

The Rail Journeys – An Initiative of Ebix Cash, does a record pre purchase with RTDC for its flagship product-The Palace on Wheels, for season 2019-20 & 2020-2021. The Rail Journeys did a record pre purchase with RTDC spreading till 2021, by virtue of the recently done pre purchase -The Rail Journeys, now are holding the largest inventory with RTDC for the Palace on Wheels Train. The company has already done pre purchase with Deccan Odyssey till Sep 2020. The company is into major expansion mode and as per Arun Kundu – Director The Rail Journeys, the company will very soon buy more inventory of other Luxury Trains in India. The Pre Purchase of Luxury Trains allows the company to decide the price point and The Rail Journeys is bound to offer the best deals in the market this season for luxury trains.

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Indian carriers told to skip Iranian airspace by DGCA

In a statement issued through its Twitter handle, Directorate General of Civil Aviation stated, “All India operators in consultation with DGCA have decided to avoid the affected part of Iranian air space to ensure safe travel for the passengers. They will re-route flights suitably.” As the majority of Pakistani airspace has remained closed for Indian airlines since the Balakot strike on February 26, the decision to avoid affected Iranian airspace on Saturday is going to further disturb the routes of their international flights towards middle-eastern and European countries, and the US. They will be rerouted and take more time to arrive or depart. However, Air India CMD Ashwani Lohani said, “There will no substantial effect on Air India flights. Details are being worked out for rerouting on incoming flights.” While DGCA advisory does not bar Indian airlines from transiting Iran over-land, the latter are seeing if that also can be avoided. Airlines have indicated to the regulator fares of affected flights could see a rise by Rs 500. With rising oil prices due to the tension and higher fuel burn due to extra distance, operation costs are going to hurt airlines flying to Europe. The Etihad Airways has also suspended operations through the Iranian airspace over the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman

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Finland’s Lapland comes to India

Papori Bharati has recently been appointed the official India Representative of VISIT LEVI-a pristine destination of Lapland Finland. Papori has been in the travel and tourism sphere for the last 28 years in different verticals. She says, “Levi is truly a hidden gem of the Finnish Lapland and has its own airport- Kittila. The destination is well connected with Finnair flights. It is 170 kms above the Arctic Region and Rovaniemi. More known for the ski resorts and the slopes in the winter, Levi summer is also very beautiful and the midnight sun is seen at its best and for a longer period. Keeping Levi as a base, one can easily travel to all the places around the Finnish Lapland. With vast space all around, the northern lights are more visible in the winters.” Papori will work closely with the pan India travel trade in terms of sales calls, training programmes , joint campaigns etc. and ensure all possible co-operation to have Levi as an unusual and must visit destination for those travellers keen to travel in the Nordic Region. She is accessible to come and meet agents interested in promoting this gem of a destination and sharing details of this Region, as this is truly a bucket list destination.

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North Avenue by Spree to open on 15 July in Delhi

Located in the heart of Delhi University, North Avenue by Spree is few mins away from the prime shopping hubs and historical places like Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib, Jama Masjid, Red Fort, Raj Ghat. The hotel features 28 well-designed rooms with 24/7 room service, high-speed WiFi, in-room safe deposit, coffee & tea amenities along with a mini-fridge. Treat–the multi-cuisine restaurant renders round the clock in-room dining service.

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Multilink launches online marketplace for DMCs and travel agents

Multizebra is another trend-setting product from the Multilink stable, which is touted to be the future of a modern travel industry. Multizebra is a market place for DMCs and travel agents across the globe. While the DMCs may upload their static packages and component rates, the travel agents can log on to the portal and create a quotation for any destination in a few clicks. Sharing this news is Nikhil Shah, Co-founder, Multilink. He says, “Traditionally, the travel agent sends a query to a DMC and wait for two to three days for them to revert with the quotation. Then the travel agent has to make some changes and send it again to the DMC for revised quotation which again takes about two to three days. This entire process takes about a week and sometimes more. Meanwhile, the end-traveller either closes with another travel agent or in a few cases even cancels the tour. This results in loss of precious manpower, time and loss of revenue.” What does Multizebra is cuts off all the unnecessary time consumption and waste of manpower and provides the convenience of quoting a query in a few clicks which takes about five to 10 minutes. “As of now we have already on-boarded more than 40,000 agents across the globe mainly from the Indian subcontinent, Indonesia and the UAE,” Shah reveals.

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Tourism to employ 53 million people by 2029

The tourism sector has been a key source of employment in India, directly accounting for 26.7 million jobs in 2018, according to WTTC India Annual Research 2019. Further, the total jobs from indirect and induced activity was 42.7 million. The number is estimated to reach 43.7 million in 2019, accounting for 8.1% of the total employment in the country. By 2029, the sector is expected to provide employment to nearly 53 million people, directly and indirectly.

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