Category Archives: Incentives

Technology metamorphosing business travel: FCM, KPMG report

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FCM Travel Solutions and KPMG released a whitepaper titled ‘The Digi-Smart Indian Business Traveller’ with a focus on how technology is rapidly revolutionising travel by maximising efficiencies, improving experience and increasing options for the average traveller worldwide and increasingly in the Indian market. Rakshit Desai, Managing Director, FCM Travel Solutions, said, “Digital technology today is rapidly growing. Self-booking tools, travel analytics, Artificial Intelligence and sharing economy services are not only here to stay but hold myriad and exciting possibilities for the future. The report aims to assist organisations that wish to serve today’s digi-smart travellers, understand their needs and make strategic decisions, based on these insights.” Jaideep Ghosh, Partner and Head, Transport, Leisure and Sports, KPMG in India commented, “Globally, technology has penetrated deep into business travel practices — it finds a host of applications in travel, including online booking tools, sharing economy services, travel analytics, virtual assistance, payments and compliance. With this whitepaper, we have set out to explore the concept of smart travellers, technology trends in business travel, their enabling ecosystem, as well as some potentially disrupting developments that could transform business travel landscape.” According to Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), India is the world’s fastest growing business travel market.

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FTAs on e-TV witnessed 48.3% growth in December y-o-y

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The number of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in December 2017 was 11.76 lakh as compared to FTAs of 10.21 lakh in December 2016 and 9.13 lakh in December 2015. The growth rate in FTAs in December 2017 over December 2016 has increased to 15.2 per cent, compared to 11.9 per cent in December 2016 over December 2015. FTAs in 2017 were 101.77 lakh with a growth of 15.6 per cent over 2016, compared to FTAs of 88.04 lakh with a growth of 9.7 per cent in 2016 over 2015. The percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during December 2017 among the top 15 source countries was highest from Bangladesh (19.04%) followed by USA (16.90%), UK (10.41%), Australia (5.31%), Canada (3.85%), Russian Fed. (3.79%), Malaysia (3.11%), Germany (2.08%), China (2.06%), Sri Lanka (2.01%), Singapore (1.85%), France (1.81%), Japan (1.64%), Thailand (1.60%) and Italy (1.44%). The percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during December 2017 among the top 15 ports was highest at Delhi Airport (25.80%) followed by Mumbai Airport (17.31%), Haridaspur Land Check Post (9.75%), Chennai Airport (6.36%), Bengaluru Airport (5.33%), Dabolim (Goa) Airport, (5.29%), Kolkata Airport (4.95%), Cochin Airport (3.92%), Hyderabad Airport (3.02%), Ahmadabad Airport (2.63%), Gede Rail Land Check Post (1.94%), Trivandrum Airport, Trichy Airport (1.44%), Ghojadanga Land Check Post (1.26%) and Sonauli Land Check Post (1.14%).

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Delhi to witness Adventure Sports Expo Asia from Jan 27-29

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The first ever Adventure Sports Expo Asia is going to be held in New Delhi from January 27-29 at Four Points by Sheraton. Some 15000 visitors and sports enthusiasts are expected to attend the show. Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, informed that the government has declared 2018 as the Year of Adventure and the ministry is going all out to promote the country as an important hub for adventure tourism. Ajeet Bajaj, Senior Vice President, Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) and the Managing Director of Snow Leopard Adventures, said, “The mission behind the Expo is bringing together all stakeholders to make India an adventure powerhouse while keeping risk management, sustainability and responsible tourism at the forefront. ATOAI is the backbone as far this industry is concerned in India and our aim is to make India a global hub for adventure tourism. Internationally, the adventure sports industry is a $400 billion industry. According to industry estimates, the Indian inbound industry for adventure tourism in growing by 5-7 per cent annually and domestic tourism for this segment is on an upswing, growing by 20-25 per cent annually.” The expo will host many sessions addressing the various issues of the adventure sports industry with luminaries from across the globe. Commenting on the Expo, Rishi Narain, Founder and Managing Director, RN Sports Marketing, said, “India already has huge potential as an adventure sports destination with so much diversity from mountains to rivers and desserts. ASEA 2018 will market India as an iconic destination for adventure to the world with the support of ATOAI. The event will also recognise individuals/groups and companies in the field of adventure on the opening night of the …

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Mumbai Port Trust to introduce new international cruise terminal

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A top-level delegation led by Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Govt of India, gathered inside Mumbai Port to lay the foundation stone for the new international cruise terminal. Mumbai Port Trust (MPT) proposes to handle 80 per cent of the cruise passengers that will arrive at the port once the terminal is complete. Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman, MPT, said, “As per our consultant’s report, we have the potential to bring in 30 lakh passengers. Based on that projection, we have prepared a second SOP on a national level. We have also recently exempted cruise passengers from e-visa and this is in line with our efforts to make immigration process for international tourists easier and faster. With the new terminal, the area of cruise terminal will be 4.15 lakh sq feet, almost 10 times bigger than what we have today.” Bhatia added that the new terminal will have all the facilities of the domestic airport. Also present at the ceremony were Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister, Maharashtra and Jaykumar Rawal, Minister of Tourism, Government of India.

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Thomas Cook launches new store in New Delhi

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Thomas Cook (India) strengthened its presence in North India with the inauguration of a flagship store at Connaught Place. The store was unveiled by Vijay Kumar,  Brand Ambassador, Thomas Cook India. This expansion augments Thomas Cook India’s total number of outlets to 16 consumer access centres with six owned branches and 10 Gold Circle Partner (franchise) outlets in Delhi. Thomas Cook’s new store will offer travellers a range of holiday products (domestic and international tickets, and hotels, cruises, individual and group tours, luxury vacations), foreign exchange, visa services and insurance. Rajeev Kale, ‎President, Country Head–Leisure Travel and MICE, Thomas Cook (India), said, “North India is delivering a strong growth of 20 per cent YoY for our leisure travel business and Delhi has been identified as a prime growth driver as part of our strategic plan. Our new branch at Connaught Place is at a prime location, thus giving our consumers convenient access to a range of holiday products, travel and foreign exchange services.”

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Qatar Airways offers discounts with Global Travel Boutique

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Qatar Airways has announced discounts across all of the award-winning airline’s cabin classes through its global sales campaign ‘Global Travel Boutique’. The passengers will have the opportunity to win up to one million Qmiles from Qatar Airways Privilege Club, as well as many more discounts from Qatar Duty Free (QDF) and Qatar Airways Holidays. Passengers can plan their next trip with Qatar Airways and take advantage of 50 per cent discounts on fares, as well as the airline’s special ‘Companion Offer’ in Business and First Class. Families with children can also enjoy special discounts with a kid’s special offer. Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer, Ehab Amin, said: “This promotion is a wonderful way to start to 2018, and we invite all of our passengers to take advantage of the exciting discounts and prizes on offer.” Passengers will also have the chance to earn double Qmiles on all bookings made from January 9-16, with travel validity from January 9 to December 10, 2018.

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Indian millennials spend more on travel than seniors, says study

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India’s millennials are on the move, and willing to spend. Not only are they taking more trips per year than before, they are also spending more on expensive stay options as compared to seniors, reveals a new Phocuswright study co-commissioned by ixigo. While 22 per cent seniors aged 55+ spent over Rs 6,000 per night for their most significant trip during the year, over 34 per cent of the millennials, specifically in the age group of 25-30 spent this much or more. This, despite the fact that one out of every two millennial considers non-hotel lodging options such as private homes, bungalows, homestays or service apartments in preference to hotels. On the other hand, 70 per cent of seniors tend to prefer hotels over non-hotel accommodations. The study aggregates responses from 2,700+ online travellers, out of which almost half (48 per cent) of the respondents were millennials. Millennials also lead the trend towards independent and solo travel in India as compared to other major markets in APAC. About 45 per cent of all Indian online leisure travellers have taken at least one solo trip in the last 12 months which is higher than travellers from other APAC countries. In addition, Indians are taking shorter but more frequent trips, with only 14 per cent of travellers surveyed having taken a trip of 14 days or longer in 2017. Commenting on this trend, ixigo CEO and Co-founder, Aloke Bajpai said, “Millennials are changing the way Indians travel. Travel apps, coupled with rising smartphone penetration, has brought about a marked evolution in traveller behaviour. In 2017, online Indian travellers on an average spent Rs. 1.5 Lakhs on their travel and took 3 leisure …

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Yatra introduces self-booking corporate travel solution for SMEs

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Yatra.com has launched a self-booking platform for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) providing corporate customers with comprehensive and convenient travel solutions. Dhruv Shringi, Co-founder and CEO, Yatra.com says, “Yatra’s latest self-booking platform significantly reinforces our position in the large and growing corporate travel market in India. The platform will revolutionise the way business travellers search and book flights and hotels, ultimately saving both time and money in the process.” The newly launched, easy to use online platform includes a range of enhanced features which will empower the SMEs to automate their process to fulfill end-to-end travel business needs. SMEs shall get curated hotel options, best corporate deals and nil to economical cancellation and rescheduling charges. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) complaint system will allow the user to search through a range of flight and hotel options as per the company travel policy and follow the in-built trip approval process to seek their supervisor’s approval. They shall also have access to real time Management Information System (MIS) reports to enable them to monitor their travel expenses. Furthermore, the invoices will be instantly mailed to the registered email ID. There is also a 24×7 support helpline available for support required on visas, passports, and other offline requests. Using this platform, SMEs can manage their company and employee profiles, travel policy compliance, and approval workflow. “We believe that this technological advanced platform will empower SMEs to control their travel needs, while at the same time making it inherently easier for their employees to make bookings in an easy and convenient manner,” Shringi added.  

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AI enhances booking experiences for business travellers: Egnecia study

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A study by Egencia, the business travel arm of the Expedia group, has stated that the emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) will play an even bigger role in 2018 with business travellers seeking personalised booking experiences and extending their trip to a personal vacation. According to the study, business travellers are also looking forward to emerging technologies with 41 per cent believing that advanced AI will improve booking experiences. “Messaging, bots, and voice search, all fueled by AI will drive a new wave of search and booking habits going forward,” says Jean Noel Lau Keng Lun, Senior Director Product Marketing at Egencia. “For 2018, we see the need for such technologies to evolve further. AI has already enabled a range of apps, bots and software that bring personalisation to the traveller, making the whole travel process easier and therefore rising satisfaction,“ Lau Keng Lun states. Another trend Egencia sees is where more and more business travellers extending their trip to a personal vacation. “Blending business and pleasure into multi-purpose trips will influence preferences for hotel and flights. We see an increasing number of business travellers choosing home-sharing services for a business trip that is extended to a private stay. It gives the opportunity for local and authentic experiences,” Lau Keng Lun commented. According to the 4th Business Travel and Technology Survey by Egencia, in the past year, 25 per cent of UK business travellers have made use of a shared economy lodging service and a further 44 per cent are considering it

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2018 to witness ‘transformational’ experiences for cruisers: CLIA

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According to a report by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the next evolution of experiential travel shall witness travellers seeking ‘transformational’ experiences. The recently-released report namely,‘2018 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook’, offered an in-depth look at the cruise industry’s overall global economic impact as well as the trends impacting cruise travel in 2018. Joel Katz, Managing Director, CLIA Asia, said, “With an annual source market growth of more than 40 per cent, Asia is emerging as one of the most significant cruise destinations and cruise source markets in the world. Cruising is expected to capture a much larger percentage of the Asian population in the near future, which could catapult Asia’s share of the global market.” As part of the 2018 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook, CLIA forecast nine top cruise travel trends for the coming year. As per the report, travel agents continue to see a steady demand from consumers in planning and executing holidays. Some upcoming cruise itineraries include the opportunity to indulge in local cuisine, guided tours through small villages and even visits inside private homes.

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