Mice Breaking News

Madhya Pradesh Travel Mart showcases MP’s myriad offerings


The fourth edition of Madhya Pradesh Travel Mart (MPTM) was held from October 27-29 at Hotel Lake View, Bhopal. Over 200 national and international buyers and close to 100 domestic exhibitors took part in the event. With B2B sessions scheduled over two days, participants had the opportunity to form successful collaborations and network with industry players including airlines, accommodation providers, destination management companies, heritage hotels, wildlife resorts, etc. Surendra Patwa, Minister of Tourism, Government of MP, said, “I believe that within a year or two, our team will be at the international level. Security for foreign tourists is one of our biggest priorities and we are continuously ensuring that tourists feel safe and welcome when they travel to the state.”

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VFS Global likey to expand Thailand VACs to 13 Indian cities


VFS Global recently received authorisation from the Royal Thai Embassy in New Delhi and its Consulates in Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai to process Thailand Visa Application Centres across India. In order to provide convenience to the travellers from across East, West, North and South India, VFS Global has expanded its network of Thailand Visa Application Centres to 13 cities. VFS Global has already been servicing Thailand visas in East, North and South India, with centres in the cities of Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Bengaluru, Gurugram, Kochi and Chandigarh. With the addition of operations in Western India, travellers can now also apply for a Thailand visa at any one of the VFS Global Thailand Visa Application Centres in Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad and Goa. Vinay Malhotra, Chief Operating Officer – Middle East and South Asia, VFS Global, says, “Thailand has long been a popular destinati0n for Indian travellers, and a long-standing partner of VFS Global. For well over a decade, we have proudly served The Royal Thai Embassy and The Royal Thai Consulate General in India, with nine centres. It is therefore an honour to announce that VFS Global has been authorised to expand its Thailand visa services across India through its network of visa centres in 13 cities.”  

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PHILINDEX 2017 captivates Chandigarh


Department of Tourism (DOT), Philippines, along with its prominent travel partners from the destination successfully conducted PHILINDEX 2017 in Hyderabad (October 23), Jaipur (October 24), Chandigarh (October 25) and will conclude in Lucknow on October 27. These roadshows are in line with the destination’s continued efforts to sensitise the Indian markets, especially those of the Tier-II and Tier-III portfolios. Led by Glen Agustin, Officer-in-Charge, Office of Product and Market Development, DOT, Philippines, this was the largest delegation from the destination to have visited India in recent times and apart from tourism board officials and prominent tour operators, it also included delegates from Singapore Airlines, Philippines Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airlines, Shroff International Travel Care Inc., etc. Talking about the tourism figures from the Indian market at the roadshow in Chandigarh, Glen revealed, “We are very excited to see an average annual growth of 20-22 per cent from the Indian market and are looking to cross the 100,000 milestone by the end of this calendar year. Our team has identified four feeder markets namely Hyderabad, Jaipur, Chandigarh and Lucknow where we see a huge potential to educate and subsequently gain a lot of business through the agents of these regions.’’ The interactive event also saw two regional directors of Philippines in attendance from Mimaropa and Bicol respectively, to inform the agents of the various offerings and opportunities that their region presents to the Indian market. In recent times, DOT, Philippines has been aggressively promoting MICE, small groups; luxury and the wedding segment in addition to the holiday segment. As a result of this, Glen further informed that the MICE and Corporate FIT segment have become one of the biggest revenue providers for …

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ITB Asia 2017 underway in Singapore

itb asia

ITB Asia 2017 is underway  at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Over 940 exhibitors from 951 buyers from MICE, corporate, leisure and other sectors with over 11,000 delegates are attending the event. The programme features its strongest line-up of exhibitors and speakers, as well as many firsts for the travel trade show. While African and Russian markets make a strong showing at this year’s show, North Asia features prominently with a strong showing by Japan and South Korea. Running parallel with the exhibition, the conference programme looks into ‘The Future of Travel’. The three-day conference presents an extensive programme of presentations and discussions. A two-day keynote line-up features IBM Asia Pacific and Google on the latest trends in Artificial Intelligence, Ctrip on its global strategy as well as a panel with leading online travel agents.

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Vistara introduces Vistara Corporate Flyer for coporate customers


Vistara has launched ‘Vistara Corporate Flyer’ programme under which the airline will provide its corporate customers several benefits designed to make business travel hassle-free. The unique programme will be available to all eligible customers travelling on Vistara’s corporate fares, regardless of class of travel.   With ‘Vistara Corporate Flyer’, all eligible customers will enjoy complimentary ‘Carry On Plus’ benefits which provide increased cabin baggage allowance of 12 kg for the larger cabin bag that goes in the overhead bin (which equates to 70 per cent more allowance than the usual 7 kg limit), in addition to a smaller item such as a laptop bag that can fit under a seat in the cabin. This is by far the most generous free cabin baggage allowance for any airline in India. Corporate customers travelling in economy class will be eligible for free selection of exit-row seats that provide more legroom, ensuring greater comfort onboard. Additionally, Vistara’s top 100 corporate clients travelling in economy class will receive complimentary priority check-in, baggage handling and boarding across all destinations on Vistara’s network, and can also choose a complimentary option of taking a same-day earlier flight by arriving at the airport 45 minutes prior its departure (subject to availability) under the ‘Vistara Fly Early’ programme. All of these benefits come over and above other benefits of being a Corporate customer, which include special fares and free changes and cancellation of bookings. Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara, said, “We understand what a more generous cabin baggage allowance and more comfortable and hassle-free experience means for the “road warriors”, today’s frequent business travellers who travel often as much as our crew, and are routinely pressed for …

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Singapore most powerful passport, India at number 75


According to Passport Index developed by global financial advisory firm Arton Capital, Singapore tops the rank of being the most powerful passport in the world under the Global Passport Power Rank 2017. This ranks passports of the world by their total visa-free score. Singapore is closely followed by Germany, Sweden and South Korea who are tied at number three, followed by eight other countries holding the number four spot jointly. The Indian passport appears at number 75 with a visa-free score of 51, ranking even lower than African countries like Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. Some of the countries with a lower ranking than India are Egypt, Bhutan Cambodia, Jordon and our neighbours Sri Lanka and Nepal. The last on the list is Afghanistan with a score of 22 preceded by Iraq and Pakistan with a joint visa-free score of 26.

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CIDCO awards Navi Mumbai airport project to GVK Mumbai


The GVK-led Mumbai International Airport (P) Ltd (MIAL) was handed over the Letter of Award from CIDCO, the nodal agency of the Government of Maharashtra for the Navi Mumbai International Airport. In February 2017, MIAL was declared the winning bidder for the Greenfield airport that will be built on 1,160 hectares in a PPP mode with CIDCO. MIAL will hold a 74 per cent stake while the remaining 26 per cent will be with CIDCO. Dr GVK Reddy, Executive Chairman MIAL and founder Chairman of GVK said, “We are delighted that GVK has been awarded this exciting project. In collaboration with CIDCO, the Government of Maharashtra and the Government of India, we are confident of providing yet another landmark airport for the city of Mumbai. The invaluable experience that our team gained whilst developing the Mumbai airport will be very useful and will enable us to deliver yet another world class facility. GVK is committed to develop its airport business globally and the award of the Navi Mumbai project to us is another major step in this direction.”  

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GST, demonetisation may impact wedding market: ASSOCHAM


The upcoming wedding season starting in November may be impacted by 10-15 per cent particularly wedding services like marriage garden/marriage hall booking, tent booking, confectionery services, photography and more, reveals by industry chamber ASSOCHAM. The factors attributed are demonetisation together with Goods and Servies Tax (GST) are likely to impact the upcoming wedding season in India as people will have to shell out more on buying jewellery and apparels, at salons and beauty parlours, photography, even for hiring venues like hotels/marriage palaces, courier and other related services, reveals the ASSOCHAM. It is being estimated that the average cost of many wedding services like shopping, tent booking, food services, etc., is higher due to GST. The GST rate on most of these services is from 18 to 28 percent. Before GST, most of the wedding service businesses like tent services, confectionery booking, etc., were using unregistered bills on which they didn’t have to pay any tax, adds the paper. Destination wedding or the wedding tourism sector in India which accounts for less than 10 per cent share in the overall industry is not likely to face much adverse impact of GST and demonetisation as it is already a very costly affair which mainly lures foreigners, NRIs, rich and famous people for exotic weddings at beaches, royal palaces, adventurous places, says the ASSOCHAM paper. However, all footwear above Rs.500 is taxed at a whopping 18 per cent.  Tax on gold and diamond jewellery has increased from 1.6 per cent to 3 per cent. The booking for a 5-star hotel will cost 28 per cent extra in the form of GST. Also, event management service, will have to pay an additional 18 per …

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Jammu & Doda to avail Heli service from Oct 24


The Government of Jammu and Kashmir shall unveil a chopper service between Jammu and Doda to boost connectivity during the winter. The service will commence from Tuesday, October 24. Pawan Hans helicopters would be used for this service and will operate twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays between the two districts. The one-way fare for a traveller has been fixed at Rs. 2,500. The service is likely to help promote tourism and provide an alternative means to communicate between the two districts during the winter season when parts of the region remain cut off.

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AI to start Chandigarh-Bangkok direct flight from Dec 11


Air India plans to start a direct flight from Chandigarh to Bangkok from December 11, 2017, which will operate thrice a week. This was informed by R K Negi, Local Manager, Air India. He said, “The round trip initially will cost Rs. 22,000, while the rest of the cost will depend on the demand.” Negi also added that the airline’s latest aircraft – Airbus A320 Neo, will operate on this route and will offer 12 Business Class seats and 150 Economy Class seats. This aircraft will operate every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The Chandigarh-Bangkok flight will be the third international flight operating from the Chandigarh International Airport. At present Indigo’s Chandigarh-Dubai and Air India Express’ Chandigarh-Sharjah flights are the only two international flights operating from Chandigarh. Source: Hindustan Times

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