Tourism Breaking News

TAAI election nominations announced, VP candidate Jay Bhatia unopposed

The Travel Agents Association of India has received the nominations for the election of its new Managing Committee (2019-20). Jyoti Mayal from New Airways Travels and Sanjay Narula from Apex Travel and Tours have filed nominations for the position of President. However, Jay Bhatia from Tulsidas Khimji Holidays is unopposed for the position of Vice-President. For the position of Secretary General, valid nominations have been received from P. Sarvanan of Viking Tours & Travels and Bettaiah Lokesh of Triway Travels. For Hon. Secretary General, valid nominations have come from Devaki Thiyagarajan of Avocet Tours & Travels; Imtoaz Qureshi of Viceroy Travels and Shreeram Patel of Unicorn Travels.  

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Lufthansa offers simplified and transparent frequent flyer program, introduces point system

Lufthansa has simplified its Miles & More program and has introduced a point system for frequent flyer status, instead of status miles, which is easy to understand allowing more transparency. In future, Frequent Traveller and Senator status will be granted for life for long-term loyalty. The changes made to the program will introduce greater transparency and simplicity in points allocation, in addition to driving long-term loyalty amongst its global consumer base. The loyalty program also reflects the Group’s new, modern understanding of premium travel. George Ettiyil, Senior Director Sales South Asia – Lufthansa Group Airlines asserts that Indian customers, in particular, stand to reap significant benefits from the changes made to the program. He says, “With the latest evolvement of the Miles & More Program, the frequency of flying will be rewarded more than ever to attain and maintain a status with Lufthansa Group Airlines. This simple approach will benefit the Indian customers and fans of our airline brands, as we are personalising their rewards and uncomplicating the points accumulation process. Through this, we aim to enhance their experience of travelling with a Lufthansa Group Airline even further.” All changes apply to flights from 1 January 2021.

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AxisRooms wins World Travel Award for Asia’s Leading Hotel Booking Solutions Provider 2019

Global Distribution System technology provider, AxisRooms has won the World Travel Awards 2019 for ‘Asia’s Leading Hotel Booking Solutions Provider’.The company was awarded with this top prize for the recognition of top-rating in the booking segment. AxisRooms’ provides products for the hospitality industry in one suite from Channel Manager, Booking Engine, Central Reservation System, Rate Shopper, Revenue Management System, Vacation Rental. In 1993, World Travel Awards was established to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry. Today, the WTA brand is recognized globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others’ aspire. Each year, it covers the globe with a series of regional gala ceremonies staged to recognize and celebrate individual and collective success within each key geographical region. WTA gala ceremonies are widely regarded as the best networking opportunities in the travel industry, attended by government and industry leaders, luminaries and international print and broadcast media. Anil Kumar Prasanna, CEO, AxisRooms said, “We are the only Indian Hotel technology company which has been continuously working with a commitment to increase bandwidth & provide hotel booking solutions in Asia. World Travel Awards has helped us in increasing the visibility of our internal feedback processes which has made it easier for hoteliers to learn about our services. We are able to ensure seamless communication between our hotel partners and their guests.” AxisRooms being the only Indian Hotel Technology Solution Provider Company has also been awarded the best in this category for four consecutive years, i.e., 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019.

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Goldstone opens new property in Vadodara

Goldstone has opened a new property in Vadodara, called  Vadpadraka Goldstone Comfort, Vadodara. Located only 20 minute-drive away from the Vadodara Airport and near prominent universities, Vadpadraka Goldstone Comfort offers state of art rooms. They also have a board room for corporate meetings, huge banquet facilities, Lush green lawns, food and beverage and other recreational facilities like swimming pool, spa and gaming zone. The property is the perfect destination for wedding, where hotel boasts for its open lush green lawns and modern banquet hall.

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Need for medical tourism web portal: Commerce Secretary

Anup Wadhawan, Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, has requested the healthcare industry to set up an online web portal, which will facilitate international patients coming to India for treatment. The portal will have relevant information and services to help patients plan their travel and treatment. Speaking at the 5th International Summit on Medical Value Travel at ‘Advantage Healthcare India 2019’, Wadhawan said, “Medical value travel is beyond just treatment, it’s treatment-plus and the industry should see what the qualitative aspects are that need to be improved in our healthcare services.” Wadhawan added that India has significant medical infrastructure, yet the majority of these are in the metro cities. To provide comprehensive medical coverage, it is imperative that rural areas should also have access to the latest and affordable healthcare.

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Karnataka to unveil new tourism master plan focused on infrastructure development

CT Ravi, Tourism Minister, Karnataka, has said that the state is planning to introduce a new tourism master plan, which will focus on the overall infrastructural development of tourist destinations, improving inter-connectivity between destinations, along with providing adequate security measures. Through this, the tourism department plans to increase its revenue contribution to the state’s GDP to 20 per cent from the existing 14.8 per cent. Also, with a new tourism policy, the government hopes to create about 2 lakh direct jobs, said the Minister. Karnataka’s existing tourism policy ends next year. With a thrust on experiential tourism, the tourism department will work towards skill development for tourist guides, promoting local fests at tourist destinations and others. Traditional sports like Kambala will also be promoted, added Ravi.

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Mangalore Port offers helicopter taxis for cruise tourists

In a first-of-its-kind initiative, New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) has launched helicopter services for cruise passengers, which will take them to the nearby tourist spots. The port has hired private operator Chipson Aviation, which will ferry them from the port to Bekal Fort in Kasaragod, thousand pillar basadi in Moodbidri and Sringeri Temple in Chikkamagaluru district, and back to the port. 16 tourists have reportedly booked these services already. In fact, the port has created two helipads for this purpose. NMPT will only be a facilitator and they will allow operators if they have necessary permission from Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

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4 islands to be developed in Andaman & Nicobar and 5 in Lakshadweep: Amitabh Kant

A total of four islands will be developed for tourism in Andaman & Nicobar (A&N), while five will be developed in Lakshadweep, revealed Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog, while speaking at the pre-application conference for Eco Tourism Resorts for Andaman & Nicobar Islands. “These are some of the most pristine islands, and one of the last destinations in the world to be opened. We want to develop them as high-value destinations. They will be built around the carrying capacity of the island after detailed analysis.” Chetan B Sanghi, Chief Secretary, A&N Islands, Administration, said, “The islands are Long, Aves, Smith and Shaheed Sweep of A&N islands. We will ensure that investors get easy and early clearances. Also, initially 30 per cent and later 60 per cent of the local population will get employment.”

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Incredible India roadshows in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur & Bangkok in December 2019

The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) has announced Incredible India roadshows in the cities of Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok to be organised in December 2019. In a statement, the Overseas Marketing Division of MOT said that the roadshow in Singapore will take place on December 9, while in Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, the roadshow will take place on December 10 and December 12 respectively. The registrations for this last series of roadshows in the current calender year has already opened and notified to all the associations. The Ministry has asked the interested people to notify about their participation latest by November 15.

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