Mice Breaking News

India to witness rise in FTAs from South Asia over the next five years: PATA

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According to a recent research study by Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), India is set to welcome increased international visitor arrivals over the next five years with an average annual growth rate of 14.5 per cent from South Asia between 2018 and 2022. Bangladesh is anticipated to top the chart (with a 17 per cent increase) of IVAs to India, followed by Afghanistan which is forecast to transcend Sri Lanka in the growth table with an average annual increase of 14.8 per cent over the same period. Nepal closely follows, expecting a rise of 11.5 per cent annually.

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ITC Kohenur opens in Hyderabad with nine meeting spaces

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ITC Hotels has announced the addition of ITC Kohenur in Hyderabad as the 12th hotel to join its luxury hotel portfolio, from June 1, 2018. Located in the heart of Hyderabad’s new business district, overlooking the picturesque Durgam Cheruvu Lake, the hotel features nine versatile meeting, banquet and conference spaces. This includes the pillar-less Deccan State room, which can be divided into two separate halls, each with its own pre-function area. The hotel also boasts of two sprawling outdoor venues, the Pearl Deck & the Golconda greens that are perfect for a range of theme events, corporate functions, celebrations and parties. The hotel’s banqueting and convention facilities endeavour to transform Hyderabad into India’s convention capital. The hotel endeavours to create ‘Rare and Priceless’ experiences through its super-premium offerings; 271 high technology-enabled rooms, suites and service apartments, six culinary brands, meeting and convention spaces, and Kaya Kalp spa. Located in HITEC city, the architecture and design of the hotel mirror the facets of the feted jewel by bringing to life art, culture, cuisine and heritage of the region in a contemporary milieu. Inspirations range from the striking boulders of Hyderabad, to the famous Bidri work, showcase of local arts & crafts to presenting the rich culinary legacy of the region. A stand-out in-room tech feature is the amalgamation of all services through the E-Butler iPad.

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SITE India holds networking evening in Delhi

ANUP NAIR , SITE

The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), recently held its networking meeting in Delhi for its members, to share knowledge on incentive travel business. Anup Nair, President, SITE, during his address, said, “We aim to introduce SITE and bring the India chapter to the limelight. We have 40 members in India; the idea is to tell people about the value of the membership with SITE. I am hoping there will be more traction.” Shoba Mohan, Founder-Partner, RARE India, informed, “The new hat that I am wearing is the Director Communication for SITE India chapter.  SITE believes in education content, empowering people with knowledge based around incentives. That is something we will be focusing on. There is a schedule charted out for next six months. Every member was asked to bring a potential member with them from the incentive segment to inform them what gains they can reap from becoming members of SITE.” Elucidating on the value of the membership, Nair stated, “Being informed on incentive travel will be what as a member you gain. Incentive travel is a powerful tool for driving business results. India is an enormous market for incentive travel. It’s time that the Indian MiCE industry explored SITE’s platter of offerings, to be more productive for clients. The destination does not matter, it’s the experience of the event that makes it worthwhile.  The world is surrounded with exotic locales and its important how you can create the magic that would drive corporate results.” The SITE India Chapter, founded in 2015, comprises of 40 members including young leaders who represent some of the finest professionals of the Indian Incentive Industry. It is their endeavour to grow the SITE India Chapter to …

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Bhubaneswar likely to get a second airport

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To reduce the congestion at the existing Bhubaneswar airport, the city is now likely to get a second airport, according to the Civil Aviation Ministry. “Identification of a suitable land to build a second airport near Khurda on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar has been initiated. The set-up process will be fast tracked. The new airport will traffic congestion while improving passenger convenience,” the ministry tweeted. The airport registered a growth of 39.4 per cent in 2017-18 fiscal, making it one of the fastest growing airports in the country. Earlier this month, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had urged Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu to set up a new airport on the outskirts of the city as the existing airport was nearing saturation. “The airport, which was started in 1962, is near saturation and faces severe space and runway-related constraints. There is, thus, an urgent need to set up a new airport at Bhubaneswar given the tremendous growth potential of this smart city,” he had said in a letter to Prabhu.

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Emirates Skywards gives makeover to its family programme, allows 100% pooling of miles

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Emirates Skywards has revamped its family programme, offering to provide a richer, more rewarding programme called ‘My Family’. Family members can now pool up to 100 per cent of Skywards miles earned on Emirates flights, allowing them to redeem rewards faster than before. Each member can pool up to 100 per cent of their miles earned on Emirates flights and the nominated contribution of miles from each member can be adjusted at any time. Emirates Skywards has a global membership of 20 million and all members are eligible to join ‘My Family’. Each account can have up to 8 family members including a nominated Family Head. “We’re always working to enhance our offerings to ensure our members are given greater value, choice and flexibility at every touchpoint across the Emirates Skywards programme. The new enriched ‘My Family’ programme will provide our members with a better, more intuitive customer experience, allowing them to consolidate up to 100 per cent of Skywards Miles earned on Emirates to reap faster rewards as well as tailor the proposition to meet their travel needs,” said Nejib Ben Khedher, Senior Vice President, Emirates Skywards. The new Emirates Skywards ‘My Family’ programme complements the airline’s exceptional family offering both on board and on the ground. In flight, young travellers can look forward to special toys, activity packs, child-friendly meals and dedicated kids’ content on ice, Emirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment system. On the ground, Emirates provides a dedicated family check-in area and complimentary strollers in Dubai and priority boarding for families across all airports.

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Tourism minister unveils first-ever safety guidelines on adventure tourism

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KJ Alphons, Minister of State (I/C), Tourism, Government of India, has launched the Indian Adventure Tourism Guidelines along with Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Tourism; Satyajeet Rajan, Director General, Tourism; Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Tourism and Swadesh Kumar, President, Adventure Tourism Association of India (ATOAI). A total of 26 activities have been covered in the guidelines including land, air and water based activities. The guidelines have been put in place to make the unorganised sector to adopt them. These guidelines will be reviewed every three months. In an effort to make adventure sports safer, the set of guidelines lists out the basic minimum standards required for adventure tourism activities in India. Adventure tourism has grown rapidly over the past few years playing a vital role in the economic growth of India as well as attracting a large number of travellers from across the globe to the country. The sole aim is to help adventure tour operators understand and execute safety guidelines in a better manner. These guidelines cover activities like mountaineering, trekking, bungee jumping, paragliding, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkelling, river rafting and many other sports.

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Israel lowers visa fee to INR 1,100 for Indian travellers

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Israel has reduced its visa fee to INR 1,100 from its previous INR 1,700 charge for Indian citizens.  The move is aimed to encourage more Indian travellers to visit the country. VFS Global currently offers visa processing services for Israeli visas in the cities of Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. Centres will soon open in Hyderabad and Kolkata to service the residents in these cities, who will not be required to send their documents to the Consulates in Mumbai and Bengaluru or the Embassy in New Delhi. The revised application fee is on the B2 visa category, where a visit to Israel is for purposes including business, meeting or conference or tourism. Commenting on the initiatives, Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism – India & Philippines, said, “We are happy to announce the reduction in visa fees for Indian travellers with immediate effect. I am confident that this move will encourage more people to choose Israel as a holiday destination and boost inbound numbers from India. With the ease in visa norms and Fast Track visa processing incorporated earlier this year, we have seen an increase in travel and I am confident that the revised visa fees will help grow these numbers. Besides this, we are working towards e-visa processing as well as easing the group visa process.” He also added, “We have seen tremendous growth in the number of tourists from India in the last three years and 2017 has been the best year so far with close to 60,000 visitors. Our inbound figures have already recorded an increase of 27 per cent (approximately 19,000 travellers) in Indian tourist arrivals from January to April as compared to the same …

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India’s millennial business travellers demand booking info through human advice: Travelport

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Millennial business travellers in India are changing the landscape of corporate travel by demanding both cutting-edge digital support throughout their trips and on-demand advice from human consultants, according to a recent independent global study commissioned by Travelport. For the research, 11,000 travellers were surveyed in 19 countries who took at least one return flight in the last year. The results showed that half (47 per cent) of India’s millennial business travellers now count being unable to access booking information across their devices 24/7 as one of their biggest gripes, compared to two fifths (40 per cent) of Gen X2 travellers and one third (35 per cent) baby boomers. The research also revealed that three fifths (56 per cent) say they get frustrated when companies don’t use data analytics to provide highly personalised travel recommendations based on their past preferences, compared to two fifths of both Gen X (43 per cent) and baby boomer (41 per cent) travellers. Two fifths (43 per cent) say not being able to get expert advice from human consultants during the booking process is a major pain point. Sandeep Dwivedi, Chief Operating Officer, InterGlobe Technology Quotient, said, “The findings demonstrate the digital shift among Indian business travellers before and during their journeys. And the necessity of $7.6 trillion global travel and hospitality industry to adapt continually to provide responsive, relevant and timely services for customers. More importantly, in an age where Gen X and Millennials are increasingly becoming tech savvy, they want relevant and timely content at their fingertips, at the very moment, from the time they search to their return from the trip.”  

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MOT’s Global Travel Mart in Sep, 2018

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Ministry of tourism is set to organise its Global Travel Mart from September 18-20, 2018 in association with Federation of Associations of Indian Travel and Hospitality (FAITH). Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, said, “We are taking a number of new initiatives. For a long time, it was the demand of the industry that we should also have a Global Travel Mart in our country on the lines of WTM and ITB, and this year we have finalised the mart in partnership with the industry. MOT will be organising this Global Travel Mart from September 18-20 in Delhi and we will be getting participants from all over the world and about 200-250 foreign delegates and media will be participating in it. The entire travel trade industry will be partners in this and their apex organisation FAITH will be doing it with us in partnership. This new initiative would give opportunity to the entire travel trade and will give a lot of fillip to the tourist traffic to India.

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120 Indians participate in IMWF, Turkey

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300 attendees from over 55 countries are attending the International MICE & Wedding Forum taking place in Antalya, Turkey from May 28-June 1. India is represented by a strong contingent of 120 participants. This is the 3rd edition of  the event and is taking place at the  Titanic Deluxe Golf Belek, Antalya, Turkey.  Speaking at the event, Necip Fuat Ersoy, MD, IMWF said, “I am honoured, proud and so happy to see you all here. Our journey for this event has been hard, consistent and totally exhilarating. A famous philosopher once said, you are only as big as your dreams. We pursued our dreams and each step we took propelled us to where we are today. I am so happy we dared to make this journey come true. Along the way we met some incredible people and they all helped us. Friends, friends of our friends. I thank them all and without you this could not have happened.” International MICE&Wedding Forum-IMWF brings together professionals, opinion leaders with strategic innovative ideas and partnerships in the industry. While the participants have the chance to communicate one-to- one with the world’s best MICE and Wedding planners, they establish long-term friendships and communication networks with industry trend makers from  different countries.

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