Mice Breaking News

International Buddhist Conclave from Aug 26-28: MOT

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The Ministry of Tourism is increasingly focusing on promoting Buddhist tourism, for which not only are they working on promotion, but also infrastructure development. MOT recently concluded a roadshow to a few ASEAN countries, and is all set to organise the International Buddhist Conclave in August. Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, said, “Buddhist Tourism is our priority area and in line with the same, we just concluded a roadshow in four countries–Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. We saw a lot of interest in people from these countries for coming to India and visiting these sites. We are also organising the International Budddhist Conclave from August 26-28, in which we will have business meetings and will also be inviting prominent monks from these countries. The inauguration will be held at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi, and then by charter flights we will take all the delegates to Ajanta and Ellora caves. This is the first time we will be showcasing other sites related to Buddhism. From there, we will be take them to Bodhgaya and Sarnath. With this, we are hopeful that after this, the delegates would be able to see the improved infrastructure at these sites, which will encourage them to make visits to our country.”

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IndiGo announces 20 new flights from July

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IndiGo has announced the launch of 20 new flights from July, which include introduction of the first direct flight from Kolkata to Chandigarh and Indore. A non-stop flight between Chandigarh and Srinagar, and a daily flight between Indore and Nagpur will also be introduced, the airline said in a statement. From July 1, IndiGo will operate a second daily flight between Bengaluru and Varanasi, Bengaluru and Chandigarh and a third daily flight between Ranchi and Bengaluru, and between Indore and Bengaluru. An additional flight will also be operated between Cochin and Tiruchirappalli, and between Tiruchirappalli and Bengaluru effective June 28. “IndiGo is reinforcing its commitment to on-time performance by announcing new frequencies from Chandigarh, Varanasi, Ranchi, Indore and Tiruchirappalli connecting Bengaluru. Kolkata-Chandigarh, Kolkata- Indore and Chandigarh- Srinagar have also emerged as sectors that have started attracting both leisure and business passengers in the recent past and hold immense potential for IndiGo,” the airline’s chief commercial officer Sanjay Kumar said. Source: PTI

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Domestic air traffic sees a surge of 24.41% from January-April YOY

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Passengers carried by domestic airlines during January-April 2018 were 453.03 lakhs as against 364.13 lakhs during the corresponding period of previous year, thereby registering a growth of 24.41 per cent, according to a latest report by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Passengers flown by domestic airlines in January-April stood at 453.03 lakhs over 364.13 lakhs in the corresponding period in 2017. The passenger traffic month-on-month has risen by 26%—from 91.34 lakh in March 2018 to 115.13 lakhs in April 2018.

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Hilton eliminates plastic from conference spaces across its Asia Pacific hotels

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Hilton announced elimination of plastic straws across its managed hotels in Asia Pacific by end 2018, and transition away from plastic bottles from its conference and event spaces. This follows the company’s global commitment to cut its environmental footprint in half and double its social impact investment by 2030. The company will also double the amount it spends with local and minority-owned suppliers, and double its investment in programs to help women and youth around the world. These goals are part of Hilton’s Travel with Purpose corporate responsibility strategy to further the United Nation’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. “As a global hospitality company operating more than 5,300 hotels in over 100 countries and territories, we are committed to have a positive impact on the communities we operate our hotels in,” said Alan Watts, Executive President and President, Asia Pacific, Hilton. “We believe waste is a solvable problem. By focusing first on plastic straws and plastic bottled water, we take another step forward in our journey to ensure that the destinations where travellers work, relax, learn and explore are vibrant and resilient for future generations to come.” Hilton is already an environmental leader in the industry. Since 2008, the company has reduced carbon emissions and waste by 30 per cent, energy and water consumption by 20 per cent saving more than $1 billion in operating efficiencies. LightStay, an award-winning performance measurement system calculates, analyses and reports the environmental impact at each of Hilton’s more than 5,300 hotels. Hilton will use LightStay to track its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 61 per cent across its portfolio by 2030.

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VFS Global to facilitate Fan IDs for FIFA World Cup

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As Russia looks forward to welcoming football enthusiasts for the FIFA World Cup 2018, VFS Global offers extra convenience to football fans by providing access to more than 165 of its Visa Application Centres across the globe as distribution points for Fan IDs. A Fan ID is a personalised spectator’s card, which provides fast and convenient access to the stadium. Fans have the option of selecting their nearest most convenient Visa Application Centre for delivery of their FAN IDs. In addition, with a Fan ID foreign spectators can enter Russia visa-free. It also entitles spectators to free travel on special trains connecting the host cities and on public transportation of the host cities on match days. Entry and exit to the Russian Federation with a Fan ID will be possible starting ten days prior and after to the date of the first and last matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Prabuddha Sen, Chief Operating Officer – CIS & Eastern Europe, VFS Global, said, “We are delighted to be working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and offer our services to facilitate Fan IDs for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup. Fans can collect the spectator’s card from our 165 application centres across 72 countries worldwide. Vast network of centres, easy accessibility, online tracking, amongst other advantages, will make it much more convenient for visitors, providing them with greater speed and transparency in the process, thereby enhancing their overall World Cup experience.”

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Thailand to be the host country for 2018 IIFA Awards

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The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) announced that Thailand has been named as the host country for the 19th International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA Awards), which is scheduled to be held in Bangkok from June 22-24, 2018. This makes the second time the Thai capital plays host to the biggest celebration of Indian cinema, having hosted the 9th IIFA Awards on 8 June, 2008. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said, “India is one of Thailand’s important sources of visitor markets. Being named as the host country for the glitzy and glamorous IIFA Awards for the second time reiterates Thailand’s positioning as the preferred destination among Indian travellers.” Wizcraft International, the producers and creators of the IIFA, made the official announcement at a press conference held in New Delhi on May 17, 2018. Making the appearances to confirm Bangkok as the host city for this June’s star-studded weekend included Bollywood bigwigs Ranbir Kapoor, Karan Johar, Dia Mirza, Shahid Kapoor and Kartik Aaryan.

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ICPB’s 11th CIC to be held in Kolkata from August 29-31

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India Convention Promotion Bureau (ICPB) has announced the dates for its 11th Conventions India Conclave (CIC) 2018. The convention will be held at Biswa Bangla Convention Centre, Kolkata, from August 29-31, 2018. Some 300 participants are expected to attend the Conclave including 150 domestic and 40 international potential buyers. The sole focus of the event will be on India’s potential as a MiCE destination, through interactive sessions, exhibition, and B2B meetings

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International MICE & Wedding Forum to begin from May 28-June 1 in Antalya, Turkey

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The third edition of the International MICE & Wedding Forum (IMWF) is set to kick off from May 28 – June 1 in Antalya, Turkey, at the Titanic Deluxe Golf Belek Hotel. The biggest players in the fields of MICE and Wedding planners will meet with over 450 agencies from 70 different countries, as well as with industry suppliers and managers from over 150 hotels and airlines. Sabbas Joseph, Director of Wizcraft International Entertainment, will be honorary guest and keynote speaker at the IMFW. Participations from countries like India, United States, Russia, England, Italy, France, Netherlands, Lebanon, Nigeria and China, and more are expected.  Necip Fuat Ersoy, International MICE &Wedding Forum (IMWF) Managing Partner, said: “The main players in tourism, who are driving the world tourism sector, and senior executives of very important companies will have an unforgettable four day experience in Antalya. We are hopeful about the intense meetings and one on one interviews that will be held. Our aim is for Antalya and Turkey to be the preferred destination for weddings, meetings, and congresses for countries from every corner of the world.” IMWF is sponsored by Turkish Airlines and Titanic Hotels. Countries who will participate in the forum will also experience a private night at Aspendos Antique Amphi theatre. They will experience the historical and cultural heritage of Antalya at the 1800 year old ancient theatre.

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HRAWI’s 18th regional convention in Sri Lanka from June 27-30

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The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) will host its 18th edition of its regional convention from June 27-30, 2018. Themed ‘Surfing The Wave Of Global Tourism’, the convention will focus on international tourism trends and best trade practices. Centered around hospitality, the event will integrate related business sessions and business networking opportunities for participating professionals. For recreation, post the convention HRAWI shall organise tours for delegates in Colombo and Kandy. “Annual conventions offer an excellent opportunity to network with fraternity members, professionals, consultants, vendors and many others from the industry,” says Dilip Datwani, President, HRAWI. “The registrations have been pouring in and the response has been fantastic,” he adds.

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BLS to support Sopra Steria in processing applications for UK

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United Kingdom Visas & Immigration, (UKVI), a division of the UK Home Office, responsible for deciding who can visit and stay within the UK, has awarded Sopra Steria a new contract to enable visa renewals for those individuals who are already in the UK. BLS International Services Limited will be supporting Sopra Steria and UKVI by establishing and delivering some of the key value-added services under the contract. BLS International Services Limited currently handles approximately 12 million visa applications annually across its global network. It will now assist in the processing applications for permission to remain in the UK on behalf of the Home Office. Joint Managing Director of BLS International, Shikhar Aggarwal comments, “We are privileged to be part of this new partnership in the United Kingdom. It reinforces our company’s position within the UK and significantly enhances our stature as a leading service partner to client Governments worldwide. We will deploy our world class solution to provide an innovative and convenient service to the UK Home Office and its applicants.”

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