Tag Archives: Kochi

Kerala’s tourism industry revival is astounding: Alphons at KTM

The tourism industry in Kerala has showed its strong character post the devastating floods and the way it made the revival is astounding, said K J Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism at the inaugural ceremony of the tenth edition of Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) held at Samudrika and Sagara Convention Centre, Willingdon Island in Kochi. “I give emphasis on Kerala Tourism’s ability to recoup after a severe natural calamity as an epitome wherever I go. We bounced back defeating all the never-seen-before challenges. It gives the positive sign that tourism has regained its vigour post the flood,” he remarked. On the occasion, he also inaugurated the pavilion of Responsible Tourism put up by Kerala’s Department of Tourism. Later, he made a round of the various exhibition stalls and pavilions. Rani George, Tourism Secretary, Kerala; Baby Mathew, President, KTM Society; M Vijayakumar, Chairman, KTDC; E M Najeeb, Senior Vice President, Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO); and Abraham George, Former President, KTM, accompanied the minister. The four-day event inaugurated by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has its focus on the Malabar as a core theme. KTM 2018 features 1,600 buyers, one-third of them from 66 foreign countries. KTM, with 325 sellers in 400 stalls, has 1,635 buyers who are top functionaries of firms in tourism industry within the country and outside. The number of foreign buyers is 545, and they come from 66 countries, including USA, Russia, Japan, China, Australia and Britain.

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Vistara becomes British Airways’ only codeshare partner in India

Vistara and British Airways have signed a codeshare agreement, further deepening their already existing interline partnership. Under the agreement, British Airways will add its ‘BA’ designator code to approximately 60 Vistara-operated flights each day covering 13 Indian cities, including eight new virtual British Airways destinations, namely Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Goa, Kolkata, Kochi, and Pune. Additionally, the BA code will also be put on Vistara flights between Mumbai and Amritsar, and Chennai and Kolkata. Sales under the codeshare agreement are open on all channels and major GDS systems for flights starting September 27, 2018. Commenting on this milestone partnership, Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara said, “We are delighted to extend our existing interline and through check-in partnership with British Airways to a codeshare agreement. This partnership reaffirms our commitment to taking India’s finest airline brand beyond Indian borders, and it gives us the opportunity of welcoming travellers from around the world to experience the ‘new feeling of flying’ in India with Vistara. We share a lot in common with British Airways, key among which is our focus on delighting customers. We are confident that our respective customers will truly enjoy the reciprocal benefits of this collaboration.” Rishi Kapoor, Head of Alliances, British Airways said, “We have been flying to India for more than 90 years, so it is incredibly exciting for us to be able announce this partnership with such a well-respected carrier.”  

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Industry upbeat, Kerala Travel Mart on its schedule

Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) is set to take place as per schedule despite the recent floods in Kerala leading to huge devastation and loss. Abraham George, President, KTM Society confirmed that KTM will take place as per schedule with the inauguration on September 27 and business meetings from September 28-30, 2018 in Kochi. “The Kerala tourism industry is back for business and we will be showcasing our products and hold business meetings at KTM. Most of the destinations are not much affected by the floods; it’s only a few roads that have damaged. The government is working to fix that. Also, whatever work needs to be done at the resorts and the tourist destinations will be completed in about 10 days and we will be ready to welcome tourists,” he said.

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Cochin airport to resume operations on August 29

Kochi airport is set to resume flight operations at 14hrs on August 29, according to a recent update by Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL). In a meeting held at CIAL to review the damage control activities at Kochi airport, most of the stakeholders including airlines and ground handling agencies expressed their concerns over mobilising man power. About 90 per cent of their staffers got affected with the flood and are out of station. Nearby hotels, restaurants and eateries still remain closed. As central Kerala is yet to recover from post-flood trauma, it is a daunting task to arrange local commutation and logis­tics of catering items which will cause a cascading effect on the passengers. In view of these apprehensions, CIAL extended the date of resuming operations.

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GPS kick-starts in Kochi with over 700 registrations

The Global Panaroma Showcase (GPS) in Kochi opened with over 700 registrations on the inaugural day at Le Meridien, Kochi. The guest for honour for the event was Ashwin Guna Sekeran, Chief Executive Officer, Penang Convention & Exhibitons Bureau. The show was inaugrated by Anish Kumar PK, President, Association of Tourism Trade Organisations India (ATTOI); Ross Masood, Chaiman, TAAI Kerala Chapter; Balu Abraham Varughese, Manager, Central & South Kerala, Oman Air, among others. The day concluded with insightful knowledge sessions by various exhibitors.

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IndiGo adds two new flights on Tiruchirappalli-Chennai route

IndiGo is all set to add two more sectors connecting Tiruchirappalli by operating a direct flight between Tiruchirappalli and Bengaluru and Tiruchirappalli and Kochi. IndiGo with its seventh ATR will operate four direct flights from Chennai to Tiruchirappalli from June 1. Chief Commercial Officer Sanjay Kumar presented the airline’s expansion plan during a travel agent meet held in Tiruchirappalli. The new flights are designed to cater to business and leisure travellers who are constantly on the lookout for new and affordable flying options. The introduction of these flights will further strengthen airline’s ATR operations, and will provide enhanced connectivity between Chennai and Tiruchirappalli with all-inclusive fares starting from INR 2299. Elaborating on the new route expansion in south India, Kumar said, “Just like Coimbatore, Madurai and Chennai, Tiruchirappalli is also a key market for IndiGo in Tamil Nadu. With rising business and tourism stemming from the southern hubs, IndiGo is determined to provide the best travel experience to all those who wish to fly to these destinations. We are looking at providing affordable fares on these new routes for 6E travellers. It is our constant endeavour to provide more flexibility of choice to our customers as IndiGo continues to offer them on time, hassle-free and always affordable flying experience”

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OYO acquires Chennai-based Novascotia Boutique Homes

Having inked its first business acquisition, OYO has entered into an agreement with Chennai-based service apartment company, Novascotia Boutique Homes. The acquisition will add to the company’s existing portfolio and reiterate its focus on corporate service. Commenting on the development, Ritesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, OYO said, “The acquisition forms an integral part of our inorganic growth plan, in line with our ambition to create quality living spaces and add value to every form of real estate. OYO is poised to deliver 180,000 keys by the end of 2018 and with Novascotia’s strength, we will be adding service apartments to our existing portfolio.” With this acquisition, OYO will bring its distribution, operational, transformational and technological capabilities on board for offering corporate travellers accommodation options. The acquisition will boost OYO’s portfolio by 350 rooms across locations where Novascotia has its footprints. Novascotia has built a portfolio in locations including Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Kochi and Trivandrum. OYO plans to expand these offerings to 12 cities by the end of 2018. These serviced apartments are located in the heart of business hubs equipped with spacious rooms, upscale interiors, meals, gym and dining area to cater all the requirements of business travellers.  

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Kerala showcases new tourism products in Delhi

Kerala Tourism has showcased its array of new tourism offerings at a recent Partnership Meet held in in New Delhi. For art aficionados, the state endorses Fort Kochi and a pilgrimage to the Kochi Muziris Biennale. There is Muziris Heritage Project for history buffs looking to transport themselves to another era. Further, the Spice Route Project re-establishes Kerala’s maritime associations with the countries on Spice Route and revives their cultural, historical and archaeological exchanges between these countries. The state also exhibited its traditional dance forms and visual storytelling presentations. “Most foreign tourists flock to Kerala to experience its cultural heritage but what we are trying to showcase is the idea that our culture isn’t limited to performances on stage. It is ingrained in our way of life and the department is taking small but significant steps towards helping a traveller experience the richness of Kerala,” said Rani George, IAS, Secretary (Tourism), Govt of Kerala.

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Vistara launches Kolkata-Chennai double daily from March 25

Vistara has announced double daily flights between Kolkata and Chennai, as well as a direct same aircraft service to Kochi via Chennai, starting March 25, 2018. The airline has increased its frequencies between Kolkata and Delhi with the launch of a third daily flight to the national capital. With these additions, Vistara will connect Kolkata directly with Delhi, Chennai, Port Blair (Andamans) and Kochi. Customers from Kolkata can also connect via Delhi to many other domestic and international destinations, including Chandigarh, Srinagar, Jammu, Amritsar and Lucknow domestically, and multiple cities internationally through Vistara’s 21 international interline partners. Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara, said, “The launch of these new routes and flights from Kolkata reflects the commitment Vistara has to Kolkata, and of the positive response we have received to our flights from the city. Our Kolkata flights have high loads in all classes, and we are truly grateful to our customers for placing their trust in us and making us their airline of choice in such a short span of time.”

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