Mice Breaking News

GoAir to commence international operations from October

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GoAir is all set to commence its international flight operations. It will offer India’s first-ever direct service to Phuket, Thailand effective October 11, 2018, from Delhi and Mumbai. This will be followed by its second international service connecting Mumbai and Delhi with Male, Maldives effective October 14, 2018. These destinations will also be connected from Bengaluru in the near future. GoAir marks its first foray into international skies after completing more than a decade of successful domestic operations. GoAir will continue to operate its A320 aircraft in all operations and on both these international routes. With the introduction of these flights, the airline will increase its operations by 28 flights to a total of 1680 flights per week. GoAir will operate three direct flight services per week between Mumbai – Phuket – Mumbai at a return fare starting from INR 18,999 (All inclusive); two direct flight services per week between Delhi – Phuket – Delhi at a return fare starting from INR 18,999 (All inclusive). Similarly, the airline will operate three direct flight services per week between Mumbai – Male – Mumbai at a return fare starting from INR 17,999 (All inclusive); 02 direct flight services per week between Delhi – Male – Delhi at a return fare starting from INR 18,999 (All inclusive). Commenting on the launch of their international operations, Cornelis Vrieswijk, CEO, GoAir, said, “It is with great pride that we announce the commencement of our maiden international operations. Phuket and Male are key tourist destination and hold a lot of promise. As an LCC, we have always strived to offer the best value for money to our customers and now we extend this proposition to the …

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Virgin Group and Virgin Atlantic to launch new loyalty programme

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Virgin Group and Virgin Atlantic have announced their intention to launch a new Virgin-wide loyalty programme, with unique and differentiated reward opportunities, to reward customer loyalty across Virgin branded companies. This new loyalty programme will offer members the chance to earn and spend ‘miles’, the currency of Virgin Atlantic’s frequent flyer programme, across a range of products and services. A new company, Virgin Group Loyalty Company (VGLC), will be established to own and manage this exciting Virgin loyalty programme. Virgin Red, an existing loyalty start-up within the Virgin Group, will also be integrated into the group-wide loyalty programme, as we bring reward across the Virgin family together into a single company and create a more valuable offer for our customers. VGLC will launch in 2019 and will be owned by Virgin Group and Delta Air Lines. Flying Club will continue as the frequent flyer programme for Virgin Atlantic’s customers and will continue to use miles as its currency. Flying Club members will continue to earn Tier Points and earn and spend miles across Virgin Atlantic, Delta and a range of airline and other partners as they do today. In the future Flying Club members can look forward to an expanded range of valuable ways to earn and spend miles that will be powered by the new Virgin loyalty programme. Andrew Swaffield has been appointed as CEO to lead VGLC. Andrew was previously Chief Executive of Avios and oversaw its creation, and most recently was CEO of the Monarch group. Prior to that he spent 17 years with British Airways and 10 years with Thomas Cook. Swaffield, said: “Virgin is one of the most admired brands in the UK and across …

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Travel Money opens an exclusive retail store in Vijaywada

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Travel Money, the flagship Foreign Exchange brand of FCM Travel Solutions, Indian subsidiary of Flight Centre Travel Group Australia, strengthened its presence in South India with an inauguration of its first owned retail store at one of the key locations at Vijaywada, Andhra Pradesh. The outlet was inaugurated by Gagan Malhotra, Vice President, Foreign Exchange, FCM Travel Solutions India Pvt Ltd. This expansion augments total number of outlets to the 34 stores across India, out of which 14 are in South India. Observing the higher demands and trends in the travel space and from the passionate travellers, Travel Money stores have been designed to help the customers with unbeatable pricing and quality related to Foreign Exchange. Spread over 1,000 sq. ft. at M. G Road, the store offers a range of foreign exchange services such as forex, travel cards and outward remittances for education or close relative maintenance. Speaking on the launch, Gagan Malhotra, Vice President, Foreign Exchange, FCM Travel Solutions India, said, “We are extremely pleased to announce our first owned exclusive retail store in Vijaywada and thereby in Andhra Pradesh. According to the BCG report titled ‘Demystifying The Indian Online Traveller 2017’, the Indian travel market is projected to grow at 11 to 11.5 per cent to the tune of $ 48 billion by 2020. Indian travel given the significant outbound tourism growth in South India market, we aim to deliver quality and convenience in all aspects of foreign exchange including remittance for students, Leisure & Business travel, Prepaid Travel Cards, and much more to our travellers. Our new branch at Pothuri Towers, M.G. Road is a prime location, which will allow our consumers an easy access. With …

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Marriott International combines its three loyalty programmes

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Marriott International’s three loyalty programmes – Marriott Rewards, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) – will operate under one set of unified benefits and one currency spanning the entire loyalty portfolio of 29 brands and more than 6,700 participating hotels in 130 countries and territories.  Members can now combine their separate programme accounts into one to take advantage of Marriott’s loyalty programmes offered worldwide. Members now earn on average 20 per cent more points per dollar spent and have their Elite status recognised consistently at every hotel as they indulge in the elevated benefits they’ve earned. Additionally, members now have the added convenience to book stays throughout the portfolio on Marriott.com, SPG.com, and the Marriott and SPG Apps, or by contacting customer engagement centres. “We merged the incredible earning and redeeming power of Marriott Rewards with the phenomenal Elite benefits of SPG to create one of the richest travel loyalty programmes with the most extraordinary global portfolio of hotels – from overwater bungalows to mountainside ski resorts and iconic urban landmarks,” says David Flueck, Senior Vice President, Global Loyalty, Marriott International.

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Tourism Australia’s ITM 2018 witnesses over 6,500 meetings

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The 16th edition of Tourism Australia’s India Travel Mission 2018 (ITM 2018) in Jaipur brought together 75 Australian tourism businesses to meet with 87 travel retailers from India in over 6,500 business appointments over three days. The event witnessed participation from 14 first-time sellers and 20 buyers. The spotlight during ITM 2018 was on Signature Experiences –a collection which offers a diverse range of travel options including Australian Wildlife Collection, Great Golf Courses of Australia, Great Walks of Australia, Luxury Lodges of Australia and the Ultimate Winery Experiences of Australia. “India is a significant market for Australia and has been seeing a very encouraging growth trend. The introduction of Signature Experiences, the participation of new products showcasing at ITM this year and commitment of tourism suppliers who have been investing in India over the past decade is a cohesive effort to bring top selection of Australian tourism experiences to Indian High Value Travellers (HVTs),” stated Brent Anderson, Regional General Manager – South & South East Asia, Tourism Australia. Nishant Kashikar, Country Manager – India & Gulf, Tourism Australia, said, “ITM 2018 has the largest ever delegation of Australian tourism suppliers. Our focus for the year is to sustain the growth in arrivals and drive yield through our strategic trade and consumer initiatives. After achieving the 2020 goal of 300,000 visitors, three years ahead of the target date, our ambitions are fuelled to go bigger and achieve higher milestones.” In addition to ITM, the distribution strategy of Tourism Australia includes an enriched trade engagement programme.

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Travelport introduces new cloud technology

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Travelport has unveiled new cloud technology for the onboarding and management of new car rental content, provided through Travelport’s new partnership with AutoEurope. Travelport’s cloud-based platform enables quicker content acquisition, with AutoEurope’s content available through Travelport’s commerce platform within six months of the agreement being made. This increased speed and partnership approach will become the benchmark for future content addition, as well as providing a model to enable Travelport to grow and evolve with its customers. Commenting on the use of cloud technology, Travelport’s Chief Architect, Mike Croucher, said, “Through using cloud-based management, we’ve significantly decreased the time-to-market for our new rental car content, bringing increased choice to our customers and their customers faster than before.” On Travelport’s partnership with AutoEurope, Steve Matise, VP and Global Head of Rental Car and Ground Transport Sourcing, said: “The growth of our car business is a key pillar of Travelport’s content strategy and we’re delighted to have partnered with AutoEurope, who are a global leader in supplying rental cars. The ability to pre-pay for rental cars is common in many parts of the world, meaning this new partnership offers real choice for our customers and their customers.” AutoEurope provides car rental services at over 20,000 locations in 180 countries, globalising Travelport’s bookable car content and increasing choice and flexibility for Travelport’s agency partners. Travelport’s XML solution for car enables the display of car providers content in the way they prefer to sell it.

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Indore Marriott Hotel introduces Club Marriott programme

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Indore Marriott hotel has launched the new Club Marriott programme, combining Club Marriott, eat drink & more, into one single paid membership programme. The newly combined Club Marriott will provide members with more choices and benefits whenever they dine out in the city or visit one of the 300 participating hotels with over 1,000 restaurants in 16 brands across Asia Pacific. Members can avail F&B certificates, accommodation certificates in which they can enjoy 30 to 40 per cent off on F&B, exclusive benefits on buffet lunch and dinners and best available room rates at more than 300 participating hotels in Asia Pacific. As the Club Marriott member you will have the world at your fingertips with special offers, select access to leisure facilities, more fun at exclusive member events, birthday rewards and kids’ surprises and more flavours with year-round savings on fine dining at restaurants across Asia Pacific. The new Club Marriott also provides the members with Banquet Referral Certificate which includes One (1) certificate entitling the Bearer to a Hotel credit certificate worth Rs. 15,000 for every Rs. 5, 00,000 of net banquet revenue referred. The membership is valid for 12 months from the date of issuance of the membership. The membership fee is Rs. 9,000 + 18% GST amounting to Rs.10, 620/- only. The upgraded membership with the additional certificates is available at a special price of Rs.12,000 + 18% GST amounting to Rs.14,160/- only.

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Thailand to host Horti ASIA 2018 and AGRITECHNICA ASIA 2018

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Thailand is set to host two major agricultural business events which feature smart technologies during 22-24 August 2018. Attracted by Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) , these events will underscore the country’s leading position in the world’s agriculture sector and are expected to attract up to 20,000 international delegates coming to explore agricultural innovations displayed under one roof. Highlights of the smart-tech designed from Thailand such as an intelligent sugarcane cutting machine and a smart plant-nursery with an artificial lighting system will be showcased along with an agricultural drone technology from China. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, President of Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (Public Organization) or TCEB, said that TCEB provides support for two agricultural trade fairs which to be hosted in Thailand namely Horti ASIA 2018 – a leading international trade show for horticulture and floricultural production and processing technology, and AGRITECHNICA ASIA 2018 – the world’s largest trade fair for agricultural machinery and equipment. Both events will take place in Bangkok during 22-24 August 2018 at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Center or BITEC. These trade fairs will further strengthen Thailand’s position as a major hub for trade and investment in agricultural machinery as well as innovative technologies which have been building on the country’s significant role in the world’s agricultural sector. For this year’s edition, the co-located fairs will be emphasising on the ‘Solutions for Horticulture and Agricultural Industries’. The Horti Asia 2018 is recognised as the region’s leading event for horticultural professionals involved in growing fruit, flowers, vegetables, and plant production and greenhouse technology. This year’s highlights showcase agricultural and horticultural technologies including academic works from the Embassy of The Netherlands and the International …

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Lufthansa Group launches its new NDC Partner Programme in India

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Travel agencies, corporate customers and travel technology providers in India can now find out about the airline group’s various direct sales interfaces on a new website. www.lhgroupairlines.com/ndc was set up as part of the NDC Partner Programme. This programme now bundles offers, exclusive content and solutions of the NDC API connection of Lufthansa Group Airlines on a single platform. The website is freely available on the internet and provides information on services that are beneficial for sales partners and customers, the so-called NDC Smart Offer, as well as technological and strategic cooperation options. The programme also offers user support for connected sales partners and training programmes. Travel agencies interested in the free web-based NDC solution SPRK can now register on the website and gain access to the booking and service platform. The registration is possible by filling in a form available on the new website. “We want to provide our local distribution partners with the best possible solutions. The newly launched NDC Partner Program and its website is an important tool. A steadily increasing number of travel agencies are already using and benefiting from NDC Smart Offer,” says Wolfgang Will, Senior Director Sales – South Asia, Lufthansa Group. “At the same time, we extend our NDC Smart Offer to Indian customers. Partners using one of the NDC solutions will benefit from an additional price advantage of Rs 1.500 to our destinations in Europe.”

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Skål International India to introduce three new clubs by April 2019

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During the recently-concluded 3rd Skål International India National Congress in Kolkata, Ranjini Nambiar, President, Skål International India has announced the commencement of three new Skål clubs by April 2019. “We are planning to come up with a new Skål club in Jammu & Kashmir, Coimbatore and Bhubaneswar. There is also a possibility of a club in Vizag as well. We are aiming a total of 20 Skål clubs by 2020.” Skål International Asia Area Congress 2019 will be held in Bengaluru from June 27-30, 2019.

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