Category Archives: Incentives

The Philippines unveils MICE Roadmap 2030

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The Department of Tourism (DOT) of the Philippines has launched a multi-sectoral plan that envisions to re-establish the Philippines as a top international convention destination, as well as a flourishing business and trade hub in the Asia-Pacific region. The DOT and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), in a joint effort with the Philippine Association of Convention/Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers Inc. (PACEOS) and the Department of Trade and Industry Board of Investments (DTI-BOI), crafted the ‘Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) Roadmap 2030’. “The DOT stands by PACEOS in promoting the Philippines as a top MICE destination. The country’s successful hosting of big-ticket international events recently proved that we are on the right track,” said DOT Secretary, Wanda Tulfo-Teo. The ‘MICE Roadmap 2030’ was unveiled at the historic Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) Summit Halls with the goal of placing the country to the top 10 rankings in International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). Teo assured PACEOS that the government fully supports its efforts to bring back the Philippines’ luster as an international event venue. “The Philippines ranked 8th worldwide and 1st in the Asian region in the annual listing of leading world convention destinations in 1982.  With this roadmap, we can reclaim our rightful place as a MICE powerhouse,” said DOT Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. In the 2016 ICCA Statistic Report Country & City Rankings, the country placed 48th out of the 116 countries worldwide and 14th of 35 countries in the Asia Pacific and the Middle East regions in terms of having the most number of meetings. The country has successfully hosted the recent World Economic Forum, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit and the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) …

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Cathay Pacific introduces yoga on flight

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Cathay Pacific has partnered with Pure Yoga to launch a new inflight well-being programme, ‘Travel Well with Yoga’, this month. In harmony with the airline’s ‘Life Well Travelled’ campaign, the series of videos have been developed by esteemed Pure Yoga instructors to help passengers ease into their journeys with yoga and meditation exercises and tips. Passengers can now view ‘Travel Well with Yoga’ in English, Cantonese, Mandarin and Japanese across all Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon routes by accessing the Lifestyle section on their inflight entertainment screens. Split into six easy-to-follow videos featuring founding teacher Patrick Creelman and senior instructor & co-founder Almen Wong, the series demonstrates yoga and meditation routines that can be done before, during or after a flight. Exercises are designed to improve circulation, enhance joint mobility and relax the mind for a comfortable and restful journey. Simon Cuthbert, Cathay Pacific Entertainment, Platforms and Connectivity Manager, said: “The need to get up, move and get your blood pumping is important during a flight. Yoga is an innovative way to do this. There are a series of exercises that can easily be done from an economy class seat whilst other moves are suitable for after the flight in your hotel.” Pure Yoga is also offering all Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club members a complimentary 10-day trial, 50 per cent discount on studio joining fees, and a complimentary upgrade for access to all Pure Yoga studios across Asia.

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18 per cent more Indians now visiting South Australia

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The International Visitor Survey results released by Tourism Research Australia for the year ended September 2017, indicate an 18 per cent rise in Indians travelling to South Australia in comparison to the year ended September 2016. This makes India the eighth-largest source market for the state and the third highest in terms of growth in arrivals during the year.  In addition to this, spend by Indians visiting South Australia registered a substantial increase amounting to AUD$37mn, a jump by 33 per cent compared to last year. South Australia has seen steady growth from the Indian market over the last three years. The healthy growth in both visitors numbers and spend by Indians is a result of the efforts made by the South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC). A large focus has been on building airline and trade partnerships, training programmes for the travel trade, digital marketing and PR programmes.  In addition to this, tour operators from the State, including the Adelaide Oval and Exceptional Kangaroo Island, participated in the India Travel Mission in August 2017 which gave them an opportunity to engage with over 110 Indian travel trade. Commenting on the results, Dana Urmonas, Regional Director (India & Southeast Asia), SATC, said, “The double-digit growth in arrivals and spend over the last year indicate that South Australia is steadily becoming a favoured destination among Indian travellers. We are extremely pleased that our trade and consumer programs are yielding positive results and we are confident we will see sustained growth over the next few years as well.” In 2018, the SATC will focus on attracting honeymooners, families and independent travellers, especially cricket lovers, between the age of 25-45 years in the primary …

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MSC’s 2020 world cruise includes stop in Mumbai

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MSC Cruises has announced the opening of sales of its second world cruise, setting sail in 2020. The 2020 MSC World Cruise has a new itinerary that includes exotic and aspirational destinations with 43 destinations and 23 countries on board MSC Magnifica. This includes a halt in Mumbai as well. Other destinations include Ushuaia in Argentina, Rapa Nui in Easter Island, Darwin in Australia, Valparaiso in Chile, and Salalah in Oman. Gianni Onorato, Chief Executive Officer, MSC Cruises, says, “Following on from the highly successful launch of our first MSC World Cruise last year due to set to sail in January 2019, we are now delighted to open sales for a new world cruise for 2020 developed to offer guests experiences and destinations that they will never forget. In addition, the experience onboard MSC Magnifica – one of the jewels of our fleet – has been designed to reflect the cultures and cuisines of the countries that the ship visits, giving guests the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in a true around the world voyage of discovery both on board and on shore.” Guests embarking from Civitavecchia/Rome, Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona on 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th January 2020 respectively will cross five continents on a three-month voyage of discovery to some of the world’s most talked-about destinations. To maximise exploration opportunities, eight destinations include an overnight stay in port, giving guests up to two days to experience local attractions, cuisine and atmosphere.

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Technology metamorphosing business travel: FCM, KPMG report

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FCM Travel Solutions and KPMG have 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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