Mice Breaking News

Mumbai, Delhi airports adjudged world’s best in APAC region


The international airports of Mumbai and New Delhi have been rated as the number one airports in the Asia Pacific region serving over 40 million passengers a year. This is announced by the Airports Council International (ACI) – a trade association of 1,953 member airports across 176 countries – for its Airport Service Quality (ASQ) ratings it conducts every year. Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) operated and managed by GVK MIAL shared the spot with Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) for the World’s Best Airport for customer experience. They were selected by millions of passengers in a survey carried out by ACI. The Hyderabad airport became the number one in the 5-15 million passengers per annum category for the year 2017. As part of the ACI’s worldwide programme, passengers were surveyed across international airports for their feedback on 34 key performance indicators including airport access, check-in, security screening, restrooms, stores and restaurants. This year an unprecedented 16 airports were first-time winners, which reflects the increasingly competitive airport industry operating environment, where continuous service improvement is a key ingredient in business performance. These include Indore and Ahmedabad apart from Athens, Zagreb and Bandung. ASQ is the only worldwide programme to survey passengers at the airport on their day of travel. The programme measures passengers’ views of 34 key performance indicators. The ASQ Awards Ceremony will be held during the inaugural ACI Customer Excellence Global Summit to be held in Nova Scotia, Canada from 10–13 September 2018.

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Radisson Hotel Group unveils Radisson Rewards loyalty programme


The newly-rebranded Radisson Hotel Group has introduced a refreshed loyalty programme namely, Radisson Rewards, replacing Club Carlson SM. Radisson Rewards will align with the hotel group’s new corporate identity and will make it easier for members to associate their benefits with all brands and initiatives. The updated programme comes with some exciting enhancements including making status more accessible for members. All current members account numbers and point balances remain the same. “Embedding the Radisson name into the heart of our programme, will help us instantly boost the global brand awareness of our loyalty programme. Radisson is a name that’s instantly recognizable, respected and stands for award-winning, innovative hospitality,” said Eric De Neef, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Commercial Officer, Radisson Hotel Group. “Our refreshed programme will serve as a powerful driver of our commercial and brand awareness strategy, and build a stronger relationship with our members. The Radisson affiliation across the entire global brand portfolio and all markets, will ensure that our members worldwide can easily associate their rewards with the hotels where they earned their valuable points.” With more than 1,100 hotels in operation worldwide, members of the Radisson Rewards programme enjoy member only rates, access to exclusive benefits including room upgrades, early check-in/ late check-out, and points towards free nights across these Radisson Hotel Group hotels: Radisson Collection, Radisson Blu, Radisson, Radisson RED, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson and Country Inn & Suites by Radisson.

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MiCE industry to be valued $1245 bn in 2023: Study


The meetings and events industry is projected to reach $1245 billion in 2023, registering a CAGR of 7.5 per cent growth from 2017 to 2023, states a new report published by Allied Market Research, titled, ‘MiCE Industry by Event Type: Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2017-2023’. According to the report,  the global MiCE industry was valued at $752 billion in 2016. This growth is seen to emerge from rapid globalisation and expansion of service industries, and evolution of scientific and technological innovations. The meetings segment dominated the global MiCE industry in 2016, due to the growth of the travel and tourism industry, increase in international business travels, and rise in government initiatives for the development of MICE segment & SME sector. Recent trends of organising hybrid meetings, and use of social media and meeting apps are  expected to the boost market growth in the near future. Asia-Pacific is expected to witness the highest growth rate of 8.6 per cent during the forecast period. This region is significantly driven by emerging countries such as Singapore, China, and India. Moreover, ease of visa restrictions, investments in better infrastructure, and high demand in commercial aviation further fuel the growth of the Asia-Pacific MiCE industry. The report also stated that in 2016, Europe dominated the global market with more than 42 per cent market share, in terms of value.

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SWISS unveils Zurich First Class Lounge for inbound First Class guests

SWISS_First_Lounge_A_à la carte restaurant (002)

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) have launched new SWISS First Lounge A at Zurich Airport on March 5. The 650-square-metre lounge features check-in facilities, its own security checkpoint, an à la carte restaurant, lounge suites, a lounge club, a business zone and a meeting rooms. SWISS will also be introducing an exclusive new chauffeur service in Zurich this summer for its inbound First Class guests. The new lounge, which is accessible via an escalator from the Terminal A departure concourse, enables guests to check in conveniently. Travellers departing in winter for warmer climes can also deposit their coat free of charge in a lockable wardrobe facility. Travellers to long-haul destinations will be taken directly by limousine from Lounge A to the SWISS First Lounge in Terminal E, which is the departure point for long-haul flights. The new SWISS First Lounge A is available to all SWISS First Class guests and HON Circle Members of the Lufthansa Group. The lounge will be open daily from 05:30 to 22:30. SWISS will also be offering an exclusive new service this summer to its First Class customers arriving in Terminal E, in Terminal B or at a remote aircraft stand. The new chauffeur service will collect the customer from the aircraft door and take them directly to the relevant passport or security control in Terminal A or B.

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Uzbekistan eases visa norms for 39 countries


The Republic of Uzbekistan has introduced a simplified procedure for issuing tourist visas for citizens of 39 countries. The list includes countries of the European Union, East Asia and the Middle East, as well as India, Canada, New Zealand and the United States. Citizens of these countries now should not submit tourist voucher or invitation letter to receive visa. Consular offices of Uzbekistan will issue visas for citizens of these countries within two working days. Travellers from India no longer have to show LOI (letter of invitation) but simply apply for a visa at the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Delhi. From July 2018 onwards, tourists can apply for visas online (E-visa) and collect it on arrival.

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Emirates Skywards reaches 20 mn members


Emirates Skywards, a loyalty programme popular for its unique offerings has reached 20 million members. Those travelling from Dubai on Emirates flights during the week beginning March 4, 2018, can look forward to surprises at check-in, onboard and in the lounges for some of its longest-standing members. “The programme has evolved in the 17 years since its inception in line with changing travel and lifestyle habits. Emirates Skywards is focused on delivering ever more personalised experiences for its members. We provide a wide array of earn and redeem options across a number of categories – travel, retail and lifestyle and across geographies, leveraging more than 100 partners worldwide,” explains Dr Nejib Ben Khedher, Senior Vice President, Emirates Skywards. In an average month, Emirates Skywards welcomes 220,000 new members across the globe. The top five countries with the largest member bases are spread across four continents reflecting Emirates’ six-continent global network. UK has the biggest membership base at 2.6 million, followed by the US with 1.8 million members, Australia with 1.7 million members and India and the UAE following closely with 1.4 million members each.  

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Thomas Cook India signs MoU with Wildlife Reserves Singapore


Thomas Cook (India) has entered into a three-year strategic agreement with Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) — an organisation that manages Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo – making it the first Indian travel company to sign an MoU with WRS. The MoU was signed between Mahesh Iyer, Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Cook (India) and Mike Barclay, Group Chief Executive Officer, Mandai Park Holdings (the parent company of WRS) in Mumbai. Iyer, Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Cook (India) said, “We are bullish on the larger trend towards experiential holidays. Singapore as a destination has been constantly reinventing itself with its new, unified brand identity ‘Passion made Possible’-that showcases the fundamentals of the nation – its cultural diversity, rich food heritage and the mindset of its people shaped by unique circumstances and promises to reshape the Singapore experience across the B2C and B2B space. Our partnership with Wildlife Reserves, Singapore also marks the start of a strong commitment to protect biodiversity in Singapore and Southeast Asia through partnerships with like-minded partners, organisations and institutions.

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JW Marriott Jaipur Resort & Spa, opens with 52,000 sqft MiCE space


Marriott International has announced the opening of the JW Marriott Jaipur Resort & Spa with 200 guest rooms. Targeted at weddings, special events and business meetings, the resort has indoor and outdoor banqueting venues of over 52,000 sqft, featuring multi-functional event spaces equipped with state-of-the-art audio-visual systems, including a 11,000 sqft pillar-less Ballroom. Chandrashekar Joshi, General Manager, JW Marriott Jaipur Resort and Spa, says. “We offer our guests unforgettable experiences, whether it is through our impeccable service, culinary memories that honour the region’s flavours brought to life by our master chefs, or exciting experiences for guests of all ages to discover Jaipur’s rich history and culture.”

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HRAWI’s 18th regional convention to be held in Sri Lanka in June


The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) has announced plans of hosting its 18th Regional Convention in Colombo, Sri Lanka. HRAWI, for the first time ever, is going to host the Regional Convention overseas. Scheduled to take place from June 27-30, 2018, the convention will integrate business sessions on specially curated topics for hospitality professionals with evening gala over cocktails and dinner. With over 300 participants expected to gather at one place, the convention will offer business networking opportunities for industry players. As an added attraction, HRAWI will also organise post-convention tours for delegates to unwind and relax in the paradise beach destination of Sri Lanka.

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UK sees a surge in Indian arrivals


British visas issued to Indian nationals in 2017 increased sharply over the previous 12 months, according to the latest quarterly report from the UK’s Office for National Statistics. Over 526,000 UK visas were issued to Indian nationals between January and December 2017, a jump of nearly 10 per cent from 2016. The increase was driven by a surge in visitors and students with visitors increasing by 11 per cent to 427,000 and students 28 per cent to 14,500. Indian nationals still receive more employment visas for than all other nationalities combined, with 59,000 Indians choosing the UK to further their careers. The British High Commissioner to India, Sir Dominic Asquith KCMG, said, “These statistics illustrate the continuing strength of the UK and India’s relationship.  I am delighted that more Indians than ever before are choosing the UK for work, study, tourism and business travel.  Particularly welcome is the 28 per cent increase in Indian students, showing that our world-class universities are again attracting more of India’s brightest and best young people. Our visa service for Indians is as good as any other.  Almost 90 per cent of applicants are issued visa, in line with global norms.  Some 99% of Indian applicants get their visa within our 15-day service standard and we have more visa application centres across India than we do in any other country.”

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