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Thai Smile to Kolkata, five times a week from Mar 31

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Thai Smile is all set to start operating from Kolkata to Bangkok, five times a week, from March 31, 2019. The aircraft used for the operations on this route is Airbus 320. The starting fare for the flight is Rs. 8993 all included. The direct flight will also place TG-coded flight numbers on this route. The flight from Kolkata would take off at 01:00 hrs and would arrive in Bangkok at 05:30 hrs on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. From Bangkok it will fly every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 22:05 hrs and would land in Kolkata at 23:30 hrs.

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Sanjeev Joshi elected President for SITE India Chapter 2019-2021

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SITE India Chapter has elected a new board and Sanjeev Joshi is the new President for 2019-2021. Sanjeev Joshi is the Director, Tourism India Management Enterprise Pvt. Ltd. While Nitin Sachdeva, Executive Director, Venture Marketing is the new Vice President for Society of Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) India Chapter. The other office bearers are Barun Gupta, VP- Corporate Alliance Group as Vice President- Secretariat, and Vikrant Gulani, Head-Commercial and Operations, Icon Planners as Vice President- Finance. The Board members include: Amaresh Tiwari, Managing Director, A T Seasons and Vacations; Abinash Manghani, Area Manager and HEAD, ITC Hotels Vikas Suda, Managing Director, VDOIT4U; Prashant Yadav, Managing Director, Liberty India DMC Pvt. Ltd; Vishal Yadav, Director, IDMS Pvt. Ltd; Naveen Rizvi, Executive Director, Pacific World; Rajeev Kohli, Joint Managing Director, Creative Travel; Anup Nair, Managing Director, Inspiration India Shoba Mohan, Give & Seek will be Director of Communications- Ex Officio. Sanjeev Joshi said, “I feel extremely happy, privileged and honoured to be trusted with this position which allows me to take SITE India Chapter to the next level”

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MITT 2019 comes to a close with Russian Deputy PM’s visit

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The 26th Moscow International Travel & Tourism Exhibition(Mitt) 2019, was held from 12–14 March 2019 at the Expocentre, Moscow, Russia. It was attended by Olga Golodets, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, and Zarina Doguzova, Head of the Federal Agency for Tourism. The exhibition has been a great success, with 12,191 professionals attending on the first day alone. Exhibitors from more than 54 countries presented new destinations, routes and tourism products ahead of the 2019 season. The honored guests paid particular attention to the Russian Pavilion, where new tourist products from more than five dozen regions of Russia were presented. Exhibiting companies shared their prospects and plans for the future, as well as unique offers for Russian and international tourists with the VIP guests. The visit was organised by Dmitry Zavgorodniy, Director General of MITT organisers ITE Expo, and MITT Exhibition Director Artyom Chernyshov, who shared their plans for the development of the exhibition. In 2020, MITT will move to a new venue – Crocus Expo – the largest exhibition centre in Eastern Europe. The venue move will improve the quality of services provided to exhibitors, enable the show to use large-scale pavilions, and improve the event for visitors.

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Singapore bullish on business events for 2019

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Singapore will play host to a sizeable number of business events from 2019 and beyond, with several of these events secured being inaugural editions. In particular, there are more business events from the Professional Services, Technology and F&B clusters. These events will help Singapore bolster its reputation as a leading world-class business events destination. This comes on the back of a strong performance of the BTMICE industry in 2018. From January to September 2018 (year-to-date 3Q2018), tourism receipts1 from the BTMICE sector rose by 10 per cent, to hit S$3.44 billion, compared to the same period in 2017. This was driven by growth in BTMICE visitor arrivals, which also rose 14 per cent year-on-yearfor the same period, to hit 2 million arrivals. Melissa Ow, Deputy Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board, said: “High profile events in 2018 that garnered strong global interest, such as the DPRK-USA Singapore Summit and the Bloomberg New Economy Forum, have helped increase awareness of Singapore’s business events industry. This has also bolstered our reputation as a choice destination for meetings and business events.” “In 2019 and beyond, we look forward to a strong slate of events in the Professional Services, Technology and F&B clusters. As these clusters are aligned to Singapore’s key economic sectors and play well to our strengths, we are confident that Singapore will provide many opportunities for decision-makers, event organisers and business executives looking to chart a path in this space,” Ms Ow added. These tourism receipts exclude Sightseeing, Entertainment and Gaming (SEG). The full-year results for BTMICE will be available only later in the year. Prominent business events secured in professional services and technology sectors The strong presence of regional company headquarters …

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ITB India to be held in Mumbai in 2020

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Messe Berlin has announced that it will be organising the inaugural ITB India in 2020. The three-day B2B travel trade show and convention will be held at Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai from April 15-17, 2020. The show will bring together key travel industry leaders and buyers from cities across India, and international exhibitors from the MiCE, leisure and corporate sectors. ITB India will also have a Hosted Buyers’ Programme that will cater to buyers from first, second, and third tier cities in India. The Indian travel industry is expected to be valued at US$56 billion by 2020 with UNTWO, the World Tourism Organization, predicting that there will 50 million outbound travellers by then. ITB India represents a major opportunity for National Tourism Organisations (NTOs), travel, and hospitality companies to be part of this dramatically expanding market opportunity. “In recent years we have given the ITB brand an increasingly international dimension,” said Dr. Christian Göke, Chief Executive Officer of Messe Berlin. “From a global and regional perspective, India is a vast source market for the travel industry with a huge growth potential. We are delighted that ITB India will in future complement the trio of ITB Berlin, ITB Asia and ITB China, making it a quartet and strengthening the global ITB brand.” India’s economic growth means that its citizens are earning more disposable income to spend on travel. India’s outbound travel expenditure increased 7% on average year-on-year between 2006 and 2016 and saw an even higher growth rate of 8.5% in travel expenditure from 2015 to 2016. This rate was considerably higher than growth rates seen by other major countries including China, Indonesia, and Brazil for the same period. “Having …

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SpiceJet to launch operations on Hyderabad-Colombo route from April 15

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SpiceJet has announced that it will be connecting Hyderabad with Colombo along with the launch of 11 other new direct flights on domestic routes from March 31 onwards. The Hyderabad-Colombo route, the first by any domestic carrier, will commence from April 15 and operate on all days except Tuesdays and Wednesdays, said the budget carrier in a statement. “Our new flight to Colombo reinforces our commitment to strengthening the network between India and Sri Lanka. We see tremendous potential in this sector for both leisure and business travelers,” said Shilpa Bhatia, Chief Sales and Revenue Officer, SpiceJet. Expanding its footprint on the UDAN routes, SpiceJet will launch services on six new flights on the Kishangarh-Ahmedabad, Lakhimpur-Guwahati and Jaipur-Amritsar routes. With this announcement, the budget carrier became the first operate to fly between Hyderabad and Colombo and between Chennai and Patna. With the launch of its services between Hyderabad and Colombo, SpiceJet will connect the Sri Lankan capital with three direct flights from India, the release said. It currently connects the city with single daily frequencies from Chennai and Madurai each.

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Thailand Bullish on MICE for 2019

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International travellers attending events in Thailand generated revenue of THB18,031 million during the first quarter of the fiscal year 2019 according to Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (Public Organization) or TCEB. In the report covering the first quarter October to December 2018 of the current fiscal year that ends 30 September 2019, TCEB president, Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, confirmed Thailand welcomed 241,407 high spending international MICE travellers. Accommodation, food & beverage, and shopping topped the spending list. “Of the four core segments making up MICE (meetings incentives, conventions and exhibitions), the exhibition sector demonstrated an outstanding performance with visitors increasing by 60.66%,” the TCEB president reported. “The growth was supported by key factors including positive trends in the global economy, while MICE travellers continue to show confidence in Thailand reflecting the government’s efforts to stimulate business activities and travel sector,” he added. Contributing factors that increased the revenue earned from the MICE industry in the first quarter included the waiver of the visa-on-arrival fee launched in November 2018 for 21 nationalities. Waiving the fee benefited travellers from China and India. In addition, Thailand’s positive business climate supported an expansion of airline services between Thailand and destinations in ASEAN. According to the latest statistics from TCEB, the top five markets for international MICE travellers to Thailand in Q1 were China (85,498), Laos (29,547), Malaysia (21,352), Indonesia (21,051) and Japan (19,205). Asia contributed the most MICE visitors due to short air distances from key source markets and the abundance of competitively priced fares. In terms of MICE events, there were 275 international MICE events held in Thailand during Q1, which included 37 meetings, 153 incentive events, 16 conventions, and 19 exhibitions. Incentive …

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ITB creates a new platform for Virtual and Augmented Reality

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On Thursday, 7 March at 10.30 a.m., Michael Faber of Tourismuszukunft will have information on VR trends in the travel industry. Afterwards at 11 a.m., Prof. Dr. Cornelia Zanger, chair of the Marketing and Commercial Business Studies at TU Chemnitz, and David Ruetz, head of ITB Berlin, will discuss ‘Digitalisation at trade fairs and events with a special focus on AR and VR’. At 11.30 a.m. in her lecture on ’Augmented Reality Games meet Tourism’, Anne Beuttenmüller, head of Marketing EMEA, Niantic Inc., will show how Ingress Agents and Pokémon GO Trainer can be used to travel the world with AR games, and how the tourism industry can learn from this. At 2 p.m. Johannes Berdin, CEO, Urban Timetravel S.A, Urban Time Travel, and Guy Breden, project manager of VR-Timetravel Luxembourg, will illustrate how the city of Luxembourg has integrated VR and AR in its Smart City concept. At 2.30 p.m. Prof. Dr. Ulrich Wünsch, consultant and former founder and president/rector of Berlin hdpk, Congruens GmbH, will talk about ‘Immersion – delving into a virtual environment’. Wünsch will explain the non-technological side of immersion and why our brains want to be entertained. Events on Friday, 8 March will kick off at 11.30 with a lecture by Sebastian Plesch, research associate of Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin. Plesch will provide an overview of the latest developments in VR/AR and interaction technology as well as its possible uses in the tourism industry. At 2.30 p.m., taking Beethoven VR as an example of tourism promotion in Germany, Thomas Bedenk, director of Immersive Media at Agentur für Digitale Transformation Exozet, will talk about VR destination marketing. Concluding the event at 2.30 p.m. Andreas …

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Reimagine Meetings and Events with Signia Hilton

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Hilton has launched Signia Hilton, its dynamic, new meetings-and-events-focused brand. The portfolio of hotels is setting out to transform the industry for meeting professionals and sophisticated business travellers by infusing state-of-the-art technology and design into every aspect of the guest experience. The brand further reinforces Hilton’s commitment to innovation that meets the evolving needs of today’s travelers and will bring premium experiences to top urban and resort destinations around the world. “In our 100th year of hospitality, we are more focused than ever on providing exceptional experiences to all of our guests – and that includes evolving those experiences to meet their changing needs,” said Christopher J. Nassetta, president and CEO, Hilton. “We are proud to launch Signia Hilton, which exemplifies our innovative spirit and will raise the bar on what it means to deliver truly customer-inspired hospitality.” With a minimum of 500 guest rooms and 75 square feet per key of flexible meetings and events space, each Signia Hilton will offer business and leisure travelers elevated experiences from arrival to departure with the following elements: • Impressive arrivals: Signia Hilton will offer a true sense of arrival with modern architecture, manicured landscaping and welcoming team members who will invite travelers to enjoy the grandeur and energy of the hotel. • Unmatched lobby experiences: Thoughtful design connected to the local culture will foster an impressive and comfortable space that doubles as a lobby and social destination for guests throughout their stay. • Modern guest rooms: From the premium design and quality finishes that take inspiration from each hotel’s unique destination, to the innovative technology that matters most to guests, like Digital Key, the rooms will serve as a haven for …

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CWT to be the new brand and identity for Carlson Wagonlit Travel

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CWT has been unveiled as the new official name of Carlson Wagonlit Travel, the global travel management company. The three-letter classification combines honouring the company’s heritage and its digital leadership ambitions, as well as reflecting the three pillars of its focused value proposition: simplifying corporate travel, connecting to unlock possibilities, and collaborating with businesses. It also connects with the three-fold intent to be the undisputed global leader in digital business travel, hotel distribution, and meetings and events. “This identity change is the latest phase in our digital development plan to combine the power of technology and innovation with the expert know-how of our people,” said CWT’s President and CEO Kurt Ekert. “There’s a romantic link with the Wagons-Lit era, and we are justifiably proud of our 150-year heritage, however, today’s developments reinforce our intention to continue to lead our industry for the next century and a half.” Three of CWT’s four specialist services, CWT Energy Resources & Marine, CWT Meetings & Events, and CWT Solutions Group will also benefit from the rebrand with new logos, while clients of the global hotel distribution division, RoomIt by CWT, will only see minor changes in the color palette.

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