Mice Breaking News

AccorHotels’ twin property opens in Chennai

AccorHotels has announced the opening of Novotel and ibis OMR Chennai. Being termed as the first combo property in Chennai, the hotel has the advantage of being strategically located in the centre of the IT Expressway (OMR). The 342 (combined) room property is AccorHotels’ first joint development in the city. Featuring midscale and economy brands under the same complex, the 153- room Novotel and 189-room ibis Chennai OMR gives travellers a choice of offerings across different price points. The inauguration and the ribbon cutting ceremony on November 9 saw an august presence of some illustrious guests such as Catherine Suard, Consul General of the Republic of France for Puducherry & Chennai; Jean-Michel Cassé, Chief Operating Officer, India & South Asia, AccorHotels; Daniel Chao, General Manager, Novotel ibis Chennai OMR and General Manager Delegate for AccorHotels Chennai and Kapil Bhatia, Executive Chairman, InterGlobe Enterprises. At the press conference, Cassé said, “The Novotel and ibis Chennai OMR joint development is one of our significant openings based on the success of co-locating the most relevant brands for different market needs. AccorHotels has a network of 53 hotels with India, especially with Chennai being a key market for us.” Chao expressed, “Chennai is India’s fourth largest city and a leading business and leisure hub in South India. This winning combination of the Novotel and ibis properties offers guests a unique value proposition and a distinctive choice where they can make themselves comfortable, relax, work and relish a delicious meal under one roof.”

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India ahead in double-digit domestic passenger traffic demand: IATA

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Global passenger traffic demand in September rose 5.7 per cent compared to the same month in 2016, according to IATA’s global passenger traffic results. This was the slowest year-on-year increase since February. Domestic passenger traffic demand climbed 4.2 per cent in September compared to September 2016. India and China continued to lead all markets with double-digit annual traffic increases while elsewhere, results were mixed. Capacity rose 4.7 per cent and load factor slipped 0.4 percentage points to 82.2 per cent. “September’s growth in passenger demand was healthy, notwithstanding the impact of extreme weather events on the Americas,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. “Global economic conditions support rising passenger demand, but with higher cost inputs, the demand stimulation from lower fares has waned, suggesting a moderating trend in traffic growth.” International RPKs climbed 6.5 per cent with airlines in all regions recording growth compared to 2016. Total capacity climbed 5.6 per cent, and load factor rose 0.7 percentage points to 81.3 per cent. Asia-Pacific airlines’ traffic rose 8.7 per cent in September compared to the year-ago period, the strongest growth among regions. Capacity increased 7.8 per cent, and load factor climbed 0.6 percentage points to 78.3 per cent. A solid regional economic backdrop, helped by robust growth in China, is supporting passenger demand within the region.

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Cathay enhances its Marco Polo Club offerings for members

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Cathay Pacific has improved its offerings for its loyalty programme, the Marco Polo Club. Effective December 8, 2017, all Marco Polo Club members will earn more points on Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon flights across all distance zones in selected fare classes. In addition, the annual requirement for Green members will be reduced from 100 to 20 club points. Members travelling short or ultra-short haul to popular destinations such as Taipei, Shanghai, Japan and India with Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon will earn an additional 5 to 10 club points per sector across most fare classes in all cabins. While flights to Europe and the Americas will carry an additional 10 to 15 more club points in Economy and Premium Economy. In addition, 5 to 20 extra club points will be awarded to some discounted and promotional fares on almost all routes. Also, the threshold to maintain Green membership will be reduced, allowing members to enjoy exclusive club benefits such as priority check-in and boarding, lounge access redemption amongst other privileges. Cathay Pacific Head of Customer Loyalty, Elaine Lee, said, “We continue to improve our offerings to ensure the Marco Polo Club evolves to meet our members’ travel needs. The new club points will better reward our members so that their travel experience is enhanced and their loyalty recognised.” Cathay Pacific Regional Sales & Marketing Manager – South Asia, Rajesh Menon, said, “We have made these changes based on recent feedback and to ensure that the club evolves in a way that reflects our members’ travel needs in a changing environment, particularly for regional travel within Asia which members are flying more frequently.”

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Clarks Exotica Convention Resort and Spa to host Indian Cancer Congress

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Clarks Exotica Convention Resort and Spa will be hosting the 2nd Indian Cancer Congress from November 8-12, 2017, at OCEAN Convention Centre at Clarks Exotica in Bengaluru. The event will be an amalgamation of four major national oncology associations and all sub-speciality associations to improve the quality of cancer care in the country. Projected as the biggest Indian cancer Congress, the event is expecting 70+ international faculty and 15+ supporting societies and over 50,000 delegates. M Balaji, CEO, Clarks Exotica, said, “Such events are typically held in convention halls, since most resorts lack the facilities to cater to such crowd. It is a testament to our facilities and capabilities of our staff that we have been chosen to be the venue partner for this massive event. This further establishes our credentials as a MICE destination and we hope to host many more such events in the future.”

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3rd Jeju MICE Expo in November

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The 3rd Jeju MICE Expo will be held from November 8-10, 2017 in ICC JEJU(International Convention Center JEJU) at Jeju, South Korea. The event is hosted by Jeju Special Self-Governing Province and organised by Jeju CVB (Jeju Convention & Visitors Bureau). The show aims to promote the MICE industry of Jeju Island and improve the competitiveness of local business. There will be an opening ceremony, a MICE Job Fair, a MICE Talk Concert, and also one-on-one business meetings between buyers and local MICE businesses on November 9. On November 10, delegates will participate in a FAM tour to explore Jeju Island. Lee Seung Chan, Director of Tourism department at Jeju Special Self-Governing Province and Concurrent Chairman of Jeju CVB said, “The Jeju MICE Expo is the only trade fair organized by a provincial government. We will spare no effort to make this opportunity to promote Jeju’s MICE industry and assist local MICE companies to proactively respond to external changes and explore new markets through exchanges with buyers home and abroad.”

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ACE of MICE to be held in Turkey in February, 2018

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The fifth ACE of MICE exhibition is going to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, from February 21-23, 2018. Organised by  Turkish Airlines in Turkey, it is the third largest congress of meeting and events exhibition in the world. The city of Istanbul will once again become the focus of the international MICE industry. The event will be held at Istanbul Congress Center with the motto of previous year ‘MICE industry convenes with all of its colours!’ Held every year by the Tourism Media Group organisation, the exhibition will see 746 hosted buyers from 39 countries flock to the city. Over 9,791 business to business (B2B) meetings have been arranged, along with 220 national and international exhibitors, 19 sessions, 35 speakers, 160 sponsors at the event. Over 15,000 domestic and foreign visitors are expected to witness the event. According to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Turkey is among the top ten of the world’s meeting destinations. The country ranks 18th globally as a growing destination for MICE tourism. Turkey is exceptionally well positioned as a destination for the MICE industry, both in terms of trade and culture.

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Business travel safer today than in the past: CWT survey

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The reason to worry while travelling will always be there, but with changing times, business travel scenario too, has evolved. A recently conducted research by Carlson Wagonlit Travel found that while more than one-third (37 per cent) of European travellers are concerned about safety and security, their counterparts from other regions worry more. Travellers from the Americas say that they worry about safety and security nearly half of the time (47 per cent), while Asia Pacific travellers worry the most (56 per cent). “Despite recent terrorist attacks, business travelers say they’re more worried about other things – and that’s surprising,” said Simon Nowroz, Chief Marketing Officer, Carlson Wagonlit Travel. “We found that, yes, the world seems scarier at times – but travellers believe they have more tools at their disposal to keep them informed and safe.” Components like terrorism only ranks fifth (35 per cent) among safety concerns, despite the high visibility of terrorist attacks. Others like ‘forgetting something needed for work’ was ranked higher (40 per cent), as did ‘losing something important’ at 38 per cent, ‘being robbed or attacked’ saw 37 per cent and ‘weather conditions’ was at 37 per cent. The CWT Connected Traveller survey of more than 1,900 individuals found that two-thirds (67 per cent) of business travellers believe travel is safer today than in the past, as they have more tools to mitigate safety concerns. Seven out of ten travellers use at least one of their employer’s security protocols, such as traveller tracking or emergency contact profiles. And more than two-thirds (68 per cent) buy travel insurance. The study did reveal several findings of concern. For example, one in five travellers have cancelled a trip due …

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2nd Aero Expo underway in New Delhi

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The 2nd Aero Expo organised by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry is underway in New Delhi. The four-day event will also feature India’s first Heli Expo on November 4 and 5. Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the mega event, which will deliberate on the key focus areas for Indian aviation to sustain and grow itself in the coming years. Also gracing the event was Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati, Minister of Civil Aviation, Government of India, and Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Government of India, among other industry stalwarts and key stakeholders. Speaking about the future prospect of the country’s aviation network, Naidu said, “Apart from playing a key role in promoting connectivity between various regions and creating jobs, the civil aviation sector is one of the key drivers of the economy. As such, a continued introspection of the current policies, norms and infrastructure needs to be done to ensure the sectors contribution towards the economy.” Jayant Sinha also met with the leading CEOs and CMD of the industry to discuss the future of civil aviation. With 200 million passenger trips per year currently and growing at a rate of 12 per cent, the Indian industry is looking at one billion passenger trips from across the various airports around the country and the 2nd Aero expo highlighted the investment requirements for the same

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Singapore Airlines retrofits its Airbus A380 fleet

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Singapore Airlines has unveiled new cabin products to its Airbus A380 fleet which will be initiated from next month, following an extensive four-year development programme. The new Singapore Airlines A380 will be configured with 471 seats in four classes, featuring six Singapore Airlines Suites and 78 Business Class seats on the upper deck, as well as 44 Premium Economy Class seats and 343 Economy Class seats on the main deck. With six Suites tucked spaciously within the front cabin of the upper deck, customers will experience a sense of exclusivity and intimate privacy aboard the A380. “The significant investment that we are making with the introduction of new cabin products demonstrates our commitment to continued investment in products and services, our long-term approach to ensure we retain our leadership position, and our confidence in the future of premium full-service air travel,” said SIA CEO, Goh Choon Phong. “The new cabin products are the culmination of four years of work, involving extensive customer research and close partnerships with our designers and suppliers. We are confident that the results will genuinely ‘wow’ our customers, and ensure that we continue to provide them an unparalleled travel experience,” he added.  

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Ethiopian launches Africa’s first 787-9 operation to Mumbai

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Ethiopian Airlines has announced the launch of its B787-9 Dreamliner operation to Mumbai. The aircraft made its debut flight to India’s capital and metropolitan city of Delhi on October 28, 2017. The Dreamliner fleet which is an integration of design and technology with unique features of biggest windows in the sky, high ceiling, less noise, distinctive lighting, and higher air humidity, has further redefined passengers’ travel experience on board. Tadesse Tilahun, Regional Director, Indian sub-continent, remarked, “Ethiopian was the first airline to introduce Dreamliner 787-8 to India in 2012 and Airbus A350-900 XWB in April 2017. India is a strategic market for Ethiopian that has been served for more than 46 years and in line with our expansion strategy in Indian market, we are pleased to deploy our latest fleet and adding capacity on the existing route to better serve our esteemed customers and to further strengthen the growing trade and commercial ties between the booming economies of India and Africa.”

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