Category Archives: Incentives

Simplifying business travel experience is vital, states Sabre and Egencia anaylsis report

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Sabre Corporation, the leading technology provider to the global travel industry, and Egencia, the business travel company of Expedia, Inc., have released analysis and recommendations on ways companies can support their business travellers through focusing on the perks and travel policies. The joint whitepaper titled, “The Year of the Business Traveller: Four keys to utilising data to support road warriors in 2017”, states that based on Sabre’s global air, hotel and ancillary booking data, companies have the opportunity to increase traveller satisfaction in several areas, and can simplify the experience for all frequent travellers with fairly minor updates to their programmes. “Smart businesses can leverage travel insights in more creative ways to strengthen corporate programmes, while making trips more productive and travellers more satisfied. With the data, we have today, the strategic approach is simplifying the travel experience by putting the business traveller first,” said Wade Jones, interim President of Sabre Travel Network. “Business travel is projected to reach $1.6 trillion by 2020. Historically, as spend increases, companies increase their travel policy constraints. Egencia helps clients drive compliance without mandates, without constraints.  We do this by focusing on the business traveller, by offering solutions that guide efficient decisions without sacrificing choice,” said Rob Greyber, President of Egencia.

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MPSTDC signs MoU with MakeMyTrip on homestays

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In an attempt to promote its home-stay scheme in the state, the Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation (MPSTDC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with MakeMyTrip. Under this collaboration, MakeMyTrip would promote and help in implementing the state-run MPSTDC’s scheme which is meant for the owners of apartments, bungalows, cottages at the places of tourist interests. The homeowner, who can provide accommodation and food facility to domestic and international tourists, may register under this scheme. According to a state official, the programme has seen a good response so far. It was informed that so far, 82 people have registered themselves under the home-stay scheme with the highest number-26- being from Indore followed by Bhopal at 13. Among others, nine each have registered themselves in Ujjain and Pachmarhi, five in Amarkantak and four each in Jabalpur, Gwalior and Balaghat.

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India among top 10 business travel markets: FCM-KPMG

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The Indian business travel market is expected to surge 12 per cent in five years and is also ranked among the top 10 business travel markets with a spend of $29.6 billion in 2015. This was revealed in a white paper titled ‘Business Travel in India’ Emerging Trends & Opportunities’ released by FCM Travel Solutions along with KPMG. The report also details business travel spending in top 15 countries across multiple sectors over a period of five years. India is all poised to lead this growth and accordingly by 2030 business travel spending in India will have trebled from the present levels. The paper gives a comprehensive glimpse in to where and how business travellers in India are spending. Asia has become the world’s largest business-travel market, and trends suggest India’s significance within APAC will only grow with time. Rakshit Desai, Managing Director, Flight Centre Travel Group – India, said, “The report identifies six key business travel trends and reveals new travel behaviours of the future – Increasing number of business travellers relying on user generated content and mobile devices. With an increase in online and mobile booking tools and an ever- growing appetite for on-the-go travel management, technology to play a disruptive role in the future.”

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DCB Bank launches multi-currency foreign exchange card

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DCB Bank have launched a multi-currency foreign exchange card called as the DCB TravelSmart for resident Indians travelling abroad.  The DCB TravelSmart can be loaded with 16 currencies on a single card. Each currency has a digital wallet or section on the card. Based on their need and convenience travellers may load one, many or all 16-foreign currency on one card. Praveen Kutty, DCB Bank Head of Retail and SME Banking, said, “DCB TravelSmart Multi currency Card allows customers to transact in several currencies as and when they like, without having to carry foreign exchange of the countries they visit. Travel Smart is a cool and smart way to travel abroad and takes care of one’s personal and professional currency requirements, such as visit tourist spots, buy food, pay the taxi fare, car hire or business travel.”  The card has a five-year validity during which it can be reloaded for any number of foreign trips at attractive exchange rates.

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Via.com ties up with Capital Float for collateral-free loans

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Capital Float, Bengaluru-based digital lending platform to SMEs in India, has announced a partnership with Via.com to unveil its ‘VIA Loan Mela’. This loan festival, targeted at 5,000 travel agents across India, will provide them access to working capital finance across five cities in the country. This initiative aims at driving the adoption of Capital Float’s collateral-free product ‘Pay Later’, which will provide agents the necessary working capital support needed to scale up their operations and reach new customers. This festival was organised in Mumbai, Delhi and Faridabad in December and Kolkata and Hyderabad in November, targeting the travel agent community in these cities. ‘Pay Later’, a credit product designed by Capital Float, enables travel agents to make multiple drawdowns from a pre-determined credit facility, increasing their accessibility to instant finance. This revolving credit product can be accessed using Capital Float’s mobile app, which is available for download on the Play Store and the App Store. Agents can conveniently make payments to the principal using this app. Interest is charged on the drawdowns only and not the entire credit facility. Gaurav Hinduja, Co-Founder, Capital Float, said, “The revenue in the tourism industry fluctuates seasonally. During peak seasons, many travel agents from tier II and tier III cities have insufficient working capital to undertake bulk bookings. Through this, we aim to provide travel agents across India with more funds at their disposal to increase their booking capacity and revenue. Our Pay Later product helps small and medium-scale travel agents significantly increase their booking capacity and earn higher income.”

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Melbourne Convention Bureau launches new AIME

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Melbourne Convention Bureau has raised the bar for the 25th anniversary of the Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME), launching a new pre-trade show program called ‘Uncover Melbourne’. Designed to showcase Melbourne’s world-class business events capability, Uncover Melbourne will offer international and local hosted buyers two days of immersive experiences that capture the unique pulse of the city.Taking place on 19-20 February 2017, Uncover Melbourne will showcase Melbourne’s competitive strengths as an innovative knowledge city and its collaborative ‘Team Melbourne’ approach to hosting and delivering highly successful and memorable events. Uncover Melbourne incorporates five distinct experiences, each telling its own unique story about the city’s special qualities and capability as a business events destination. Day one of Uncover Melbourne includes new city touring experiences located within the CBD, each one jam packed with activities that will inspire new ideas for incentive or conference travel. The city touring experiences summarise the key attributes of Melbourne as destination for conducting business blended with pleasure. The day concludes with Uncover Melbourne: The Magic of Flemington, a welcome function for hosted buyers presented in partnership with Business Events Australia. Uncover Melbourne: The Magic of Flemington brings one of Australia’s most iconic destinations to life, in one of Melbourne’s most picturesque settings. The Magic of Flemington is the first opportunity for hosted buyers to catch up with old friends, make new business acquaintances and experience an Australian tradition. The second day of Uncover Melbourne includes two new experiences.

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650 meetings at first Travel Business Show

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India’s first Travel Business Show was held on Dec 17, 2016 in Le Meridien Gurgaon, Delhi. Punam Singh, Associate, Pacific Leisure Group, says, “This is the first edition of the Travel Business Show, which goes beyond MICE. It’s meant for the exhibitors to connect with the corporate buyers. We have had an absolutely fantastic response from the corporate buyers. We have concluded at the end of today almost 650 meetings. There are a slew of comments and from the corporate buyers, which we will be sharing with the tourism boards and the airlines, as to how they can maximise their presence at the next edition of the show. The next travel business will take place in December, 2017. Sarika Bhambani Rawal, General Manager, Travel Business Show says. “The show is a diverse forum featuring the best of MICE brands. Successful meetings took place between selected exhibitors, and top-level buyers. Meeting top-level decision-makers along with elite meeting planners as buyers from meetings and events industry was an added advantage. At Travel Business Show, networking and building relationships enhances future dealings. It is an excellent platform for companies which are looking to gain a slice of demand or are looking to grow their existing shares.”

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Amravati poised to become a MICE hub

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Andhra Pradesh capital region Amravati is poised to attract reputed players from the infrastructure and hospitality space to bid for the construction of convention centres with a seating capacity of at least 2,000, along with other attached facilities. There is going to be a crucial part of the Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing and Exhibitions (MICE) hub being proposed to be developed in Amaravati. K. Lakshminarayana, Advisor to the Government on tourism and Chairman of A.P Chambers of Commerce and Industry Federation’s Tourism sub-committee, while in an interview with Hindu, observed that Amaravati needed a big convention centre with facilities like star hotels and spas as it aspired to be a world-class city. Predicting a bright future for the (MICE) sector in capital region, Lakshminarayana said the government had already invited tenders for a convention centre at Ibrahimpatnam and the MICE hub in Amaravati and the response for both is awaited.

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Thailand gets its first in-depth MICE portal

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Thailand’s first and only in-depth, interactive online portal for MICE industry – meetinthailand.com – was launched by Image Asia Events. “Phuket – the pilot geographical area – is up and running and work has started on phase two: Koh Samui, Krabi and Khao Lak, to round out the south of Thailand, before moving on to tackle Bangkok,” said Grenville Fordham, IMAGE Asia’s Founder and Managing Director. For buyers in these industries, meetinthailand.com affords a real opportunity to preselect venues and other components of an event based on real, hard information. The automated ‘Request For Proposal’ (RFP) feature, sends a detailed enquiry direct to a list of pre-selected suppliers with a single click, is a real time saver, while interactive checklists help ensure that no detail is forgotten in the event planning process.

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Saudi Arabia to invest $1.6 billion in MICE industry

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Saudi Arabia aims to become the main destination for conferences and exhibitions in the Middle East by 2020. The Kingdom has announced ambitious plans to invest USD1.6 billion in its MICE tourism industry for the coming years to 2019, and several centres and venues will benefit from this financial boost. Traditionally seen as a site for religious travel, Makkah is attracting a growing number of local companies and government authorities looking to combine their meeting and training requirements with Umrah pilgrimage. Conrad Makkah Jabal Omar, the first Conrad property opened by Hilton in Saudi Arabia earlier this year, has seen its MICE business grow steadily, driven by demand from pharmaceutical companies and government entities that tend to conduct their board and annual meetings, as well as training and development programs, over weekends in the Holy City. “There are several factors that contribute to the development of MICE tourism in Makkah including the improving infrastructure, companies’ desire to hold their meetings and trainings in nearby locations, and continuous government support,” said Ismail Sirry, General Manager of Conrad Makkah Jabal Omar.

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