Category Archives: Incentives

Indian business travel to grow 7.2% over next decade, says Travelport-WTTC

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India’s business travel industry has grown by 16.2 per cent over the past five years (2011-2016), according to a report by Travelport and World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) launched at the WTTC Global Summit 2017 in Bangkok. It has been predicted that Asia-Pacific will lead the way at a predicted rate of 6.2 per cent each year to 2027, with India (7.2%) among the top five countries attributing to the growth. Over the past five years, at a global level, business travel spend has grown at an annual average of 3.6 per cent, with the strongest growth in the past 5 years having taken place in Asia, the Middle East and Sub Saharan Africa. The CEO of Travelport, Gordon Wilson, commented: “Every day we see business travel growing at a significant rate in many emerging markets with technology playing an in increasingly important role in easing the way for those on trips for their work. As an industry, we need to continue to invest in the best technologies and infrastructure whilst governments need to be more business-friendly by removing burdensome visa requirements.” David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC, said: “Travel & Tourism generates USD$7.6 trillion in GDP and supports over 292 million jobs. Business travel is a vital part of the sector, and it is a key catalyst for global growth. It drives the relationships, investments, supply chains and logistics that support international trade flows.”

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Carlson Wagonlit Travel launches solution for SMEs

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Carlson Wagonlit Travel has launched a business travel solution specially designed for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in India called ‘CWT For You’. Geeta Jain, CEO-India, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, says, “Indian SMEs and start-ups have seen tremendous growth in recent years, with many expanding nationwide and some even venturing into international markets,” said. “Yet most of these companies have very little control over what they spend on business travel – a significant chunk of their total spend.” With no minimum spend threshold or applicable transaction fees, this new service is available through a web-based registration and is focused on giving these growing businesses access to some of the benefits of managed travel that larger corporations enjoy. It is estimated that India has close to 50 million SMEs, accounting for nearly 40 per cent of the gross domestic product. Aimed at companies without a managed travel program, ‘CWT For You’ is available both as a mobile app and an online booking tool (OBT), providing SMEs with a highly user-friendly, intuitive and cost-effective self-servicing solution for their business travel needs. “CWT For You offers SMEs a cost-effective business travel solution by including the essential components of managed travel, without certain added services required by organisations with global travel programs or high travel volumes. This has allowed us to give these growing businesses unprecedented access to our global negotiating and buying power along with our award winning products and services,” said Jain. The solution will give SMEs access to CWT’s specially negotiated airfares and hotel rates, as well as added benefits like in-flight meals, preferred seat selection, flight changes and cancellations at no extra charge on various low-cost carriers. Typically these benefits can …

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Vodafone India launches unlimited roaming plans for US, UAE, Singapore

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Vodafone India has launched an unlimited international roaming proposition for travellers to the US, UAE and Singapore in its international roaming pack, Vodafone i-RoamFREE, where customers opting for this pack will not be charged a single additional rupee for calls and data while roaming in these three countries. This pack is available at price points with options of Rs 5,000 for 30 days, Rs 3,500 for 10 days, Rs 2,500 for seven days and Rs 500 for 24 hours, the company said in a statement. ‘There is no cap on the number of calls or amount of high speed data that can be used. Also, calls include all incoming calls and outgoing calls anywhere in the world. This means customers travelling in the US can even make calls to Hong Kong at no extra charges,’ the statement said. Vodafone i-RoamFREE is an international roaming pack which offers home-like tariffs while roaming in 47 countries of the globe,” said Sandeep Kataria, Director – Commercial, Vodafone India.

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Business travel to grow 3.7% annually by 2027: WTTC

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Business Travel sector would grow by 3.7 per cent per year over the next decade, according to a new report by Travelport and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). Released at the WTTC Global Summit in Bangkok, the report shows that the fastest growth for the business travel sector is expected in the emerging markets, with Asia-Pacific leading the way at a predicted rate of 6.2% each year to 2027. CEO of Travelport, Gordon Wilson, commented: “Every day we see business travel growing at a significant rate in many emerging markets with technology playing an in increasingly important role in easing the way for those on trips for their work. As an industry we need to continue to invest in the best technologies and infrastructure whilst governments need to be more business-friendly by removing burdensome visa requirements.” David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC, said: “Travel and tourism generates USD$7.6 trillion in GDP and supports over 292 million jobs. Business travel is a vital part of the sector, and it is a key catalyst for global growth. It drives the relationships, investments, supply chains and logistics that support international trade flows.”

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Thomas Cook India eyes forex for leisure market

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Thomas Cook (India), in a focused initiative to tap into the high growth potential of the foreign exchange leisure market, has announced a ‘Grand Forex Festival’ across 180 foreign exchange outlets (including its four airport counters) pan India, extended over a two-month period ending June 30, 2017. This scheme has been timed to capitalise on the peak season for foreign exchange holiday transactions. During the festival, India’s travellers can benefit from the range of gifts and attractive rates available on purchase of foreign exchange from Thomas Cook. Also available during the festival are additional advantages to consumers, like the rate block feature to protect against rate fluctuations, convenient online purchases via Thomas Cook website and doorstep delivery across major cities in India. Abraham Alapatt, President & Group Head – Marketing, Service Quality, Financial Services & Innovation, Thomas Cook (India), said, “Foreign exchange is the next logical step post booking a holiday, and hence in an initiative to induce purchases and maximize transactions, we conceptualized The Thomas Cook Grand Forex Festival, timed perfectly to coincide with this the peak holiday season.”

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TCEB launches special privilege campaign for MICE travellers

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The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau in collaboration with Visa International (Thailand), the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Thai Airways, Thai Smile Airways, and Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce, has launched the ‘Spice Up Thailand 2017’ campaign for the fourth consecutive year. The offers of the campaign include 10 per cent hotel discounts, 50 per cent discounts for car rentals and airport transfers, Bt500 cash coupons for shopping, 25 per cent restaurant discounts, and 50 per cent off golf course green fees. In addition, other hotel, shopping, dining, wellness, activity and transportation promotions have been made available. TCEB president Nopparat Maythaveekulchai said, “TCEB has developed the ‘Spice Up Thailand’ campaign together with five partners in order to promote and create awareness of the MICE industry overseas, as well as delivering a first-class experience to MICE travellers; in turn, this will help to increase spending and encourage MICE travellers to extend their stay in Thailand. “The campaign has been carried out for the previous three years and is continuously developing in terms of adding new privileges for domestic MICE travellers, and targeting the MICE industry in Asia, specifically CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) countries,” he added. In the previous year, a total of 46 MICE events from 16 organisers registered to join the campaign with more than 43,000 coupons redeemed, generating over 20 million views online, Nopparat revealed.

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Penang to generate RM1bn from meetings and events this year

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Penang is targeting to generate RM1 billion from the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) industry this year. Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said, “Last year, Penang recorded 1,250 meetings with a RM808 million economic value so we hope that this year we can break the RM1 billion mark.” Lim signed a proclamation to dedicate April 6 as the Penang Meetings Industry Day to promote the industry. He said the industry created jobs, generated revenue and spurred the local economy. Penang is the second state in Malaysia to have a convention bureau to promote itself as a destination for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE).

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Dubai welcomes largest incentive group for business event

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Dubai has invited one of its largest ever incentive groups, with more than 12,000 visitors from over 100 countries  for the Forever Global Rally 2017, which is underway from April 2 up to April 11, 2017. Dubai Business Events had successfully won the bid in 2015 to host USA-based Forever Living’s annual trip in partnership with a number of local stakeholders, including Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), Emirates and other key suppliers to the tourism and hospitality industry. Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said, “The growing influence of the incentive segment cannot be overlooked as it is a major contributor, not only towards the development of the overall business events industry, but also towards the success of the city’s tourism sector.” Management of operations for the Forever Global Rally 2017 has been undertaken by Arabian Adventures, one of Dubai’s leading Destination Management Companies and part of the Emirates Group. Arabian Adventures has played a vital role in creating tailored itineraries for the visiting group, as well as handling the logistics surrounding each activity.

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Vienna records 11 per cent growth in corporate events in 2016

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Austrian capital Vienna has emerged as a city of international dialogue hosting 4084 congresses, conferences and corporate events in 2016. India, too, had a small but growing role to play in this with the Vienna Convention Bureau reporting 14 corporate events from the Indian sub-continent. According to Vienna Convention Bureau, attendees to corporate events from India contributed to 11,459 overnight stays, nearly 10 per cent of the overall overnight stays of 115,531, and a 43 per cent jump from the subcontinent over its contribution in 2012. “In 2016 Vienna’s meetings industry recorded more events, bednights and value-added than ever before,” says Norbert Kettner, Director, Vienna Tourist Board. An 11 per cent growth in congresses, corporate events and incentives in Vienna led to 567,000 global attendees and 1,718,000 overnight stays. Vienna boasts of dozens of highly attractive venues such as the imperial Hofburg, the Austria Center Vienna and Messe Wien. Viennese meetings, congresses and incentives industry that employs nearly 20,000 year-round jobs in Austria is backed by dedicated event organisers. “Vienna is an easily accessible central European hub with a multifaceted hotel sector and top meeting locations,” explains Kettner. “Meetings are optimally supported by both urban and scientific establishments, and, with 36 licensed certification agencies for Green Meetings, Vienna has already demonstrated far-sightedness with respect to environmental compatibility and sustainability,” adds Kettner. The nation-wide value-added of the Vienna conference industry once again broke the significant billion-Euro barrier, contributing a total of 1.072 billion Euros (+3 per cent) to the Austrian gross domestic product.  

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J&K to focus on MICE tourism: Farooq Shah

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In a crucial meeting, the Secretary Tourism and Floriculture, Jammu and Kashmir, Farooq A Shah along with the ICPB India convention promotion bureau (a body working under the aegis of Ministry of Tourism GOI for promoting MICE Tourism), decided to enable a platform for the state of Jammu and Kashmir to showcase itself as a suited MICE destination. The office bearers of the ICPB assured the Secretary that the state will be promoted as one of the priority venues for conferences and events of national and international standard. Shah showcased the international standard MICE tourism potential of the state particularly in Kashmir like SKICC, Pahalgam club, and places like Gulmarg and Jammu as well. The secretary agreed to organise an intractable evening session specifically for promoting the MICE potential of the state in which leading prominent MICE tourism promoting organisations will be invited to know about the international standard convention and post-convention avenues available in the state. Shah also uprised that Kashmir’s summer is the best in the country to experience leisure activities in the form of shopping, cuisine, sightseeing, rafting among others.

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