Category Archives: Incentives

Marriott International rolls out Club Marriott in India

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Marriott International has launched the new Club Marriott dining loyalty programme in India. This programme integrates three powerful dining loyalty programmes: Club Marriott, Eat Drink & More, and Star Privilege into a single paid membership programme. The programme provides members with more choices and benefits whenever they dine out in their hometowns or visit one of the 250 participating hotels across 16 brands in 13 countries across the region, with more hotels joining every month. The Club Marriott programme will grant its members exclusive access to a diverse assortment of hotels that will furnish locally relevant benefits and dining options. As Club Marriott members, the guests will have easy access to a range of select hotel facilities and also be entitled to lucrative discounts over fine dining and accommodation at the participating hotels across APAC countries. “Club Marriott, the union of three prestigious dining loyalties, is a celebrated food and beverage loyalty program of its kind in Asia-Pacific. We’re all set to recognise and reward our Indian guests with memorable experiences with a distinctive range of dining options and exclusive benefits across our wide portfolio of brands under Marriott International,” said Ralph Frehner, Vice President, Food and Beverage, Asia-Pacific for Marriott International. “The core of Club Marriott is to inspire loyalty that extends beyond just a stay and confer special benefits to our loyal members.” “The integration of our programmes has widened the scope of rewards and options for our guests. It will allow our guests to redeem exclusive events, experiences and feel a sense of community at their favourite destinations,” said  Neeraj Govil, Area Vice President – South Asia – ‎Marriott International. Members of Club Marriott can avail maximum …

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FCM introduces international group tours

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FCM Travel Solutions, the Indian subsidiary of Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG), Australia, under its retail leisure arm ‘Flight Shop’ has launched Group Inclusive Tours (GITs) in the country. Foraying into the segment, Flight Shop has introduced new exclusive itineraries to Europe specially designed for large group travellers. The service will also offer customers the flexibility to choose dates and destinations in its group tours. Shravan Gupta, Executive Director, Leisure Businesses, FCM Travel Solutions, Indian subsidiary of FCTG, Australia, said, “GITs are the biggest segment in the organised travel sector and are growing at 10-12 per cent every year. Travelling in a group costs lesser and is around 20-30 per cent cheaper than travelling solo to any destination. At Flight Shop, we believe that we have the required land and cruise holidays’ expertise to organise unbeatable group tour experiences for Indian travellers. While we want to experiment with the flexible tour concept, which is a pioneering concept in India, our GITs will have fixed departure dates and conventional packages too.” Offering travellers the opportunity to leverage and make the most of the services, Flight Shop has announced ‘Europe on Sale’ Campaign as an introductory offering to their customers. Flight Shop has curated over 200 Europe Group Tour itineraries with departures beginning from April 2018. Flight Shop specialists can also provide individual customisation of itineraries for travellers requiring extensions on a trip, etc. Groups are also eligible for discounted deals on ‘Europe on Sale’ itineraries until December 10, 2017. Each tour group will include – Return Economy Airfare with Taxes, Visas, Insurance, Accommodation in Standard Hotels, Meals & Sightseeing.  

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Cathay enhances its Marco Polo Club offerings for members

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Cathay Pacific has improved its offerings for its loyalty programme, the Marco Polo Club. Effective December 8, 2017, all Marco Polo Club members will earn more points on Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon flights across all distance zones in selected fare classes. In addition, the annual requirement for Green members will be reduced from 100 to 20 club points. Members travelling short or ultra-short haul to popular destinations such as Taipei, Shanghai, Japan and India with Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon will earn an additional 5 to 10 club points per sector across most fare classes in all cabins. While flights to Europe and the Americas will carry an additional 10 to 15 more club points in Economy and Premium Economy. In addition, 5 to 20 extra club points will be awarded to some discounted and promotional fares on almost all routes. Also, the threshold to maintain Green membership will be reduced, allowing members to enjoy exclusive club benefits such as priority check-in and boarding, lounge access redemption amongst other privileges. Cathay Pacific Head of Customer Loyalty, Elaine Lee, said, “We continue to improve our offerings to ensure the Marco Polo Club evolves to meet our members’ travel needs. The new club points will better reward our members so that their travel experience is enhanced and their loyalty recognised.” Cathay Pacific Regional Sales & Marketing Manager – South Asia, Rajesh Menon, said, “We have made these changes based on recent feedback and to ensure that the club evolves in a way that reflects our members’ travel needs in a changing environment, particularly for regional travel within Asia which members are flying more frequently.”

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ACE of MICE to be held in Turkey in February, 2018

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The fifth ACE of MICE exhibition is going to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, from February 21-23, 2018. Organised by  Turkish Airlines in Turkey, it is the third largest congress of meeting and events exhibition in the world. The city of Istanbul will once again become the focus of the international MICE industry. The event will be held at Istanbul Congress Center with the motto of previous year ‘MICE industry convenes with all of its colours!’ Held every year by the Tourism Media Group organisation, the exhibition will see 746 hosted buyers from 39 countries flock to the city. Over 9,791 business to business (B2B) meetings have been arranged, along with 220 national and international exhibitors, 19 sessions, 35 speakers, 160 sponsors at the event. Over 15,000 domestic and foreign visitors are expected to witness the event. According to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Turkey is among the top ten of the world’s meeting destinations. The country ranks 18th globally as a growing destination for MICE tourism. Turkey is exceptionally well positioned as a destination for the MICE industry, both in terms of trade and culture.

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Business travel safer today than in the past: CWT survey

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The reason to worry while travelling will always be there, but with changing times, business travel scenario too, has evolved. A recently conducted research by Carlson Wagonlit Travel found that while more than one-third (37 per cent) of European travellers are concerned about safety and security, their counterparts from other regions worry more. Travellers from the Americas say that they worry about safety and security nearly half of the time (47 per cent), while Asia Pacific travellers worry the most (56 per cent). “Despite recent terrorist attacks, business travelers say they’re more worried about other things – and that’s surprising,” said Simon Nowroz, Chief Marketing Officer, Carlson Wagonlit Travel. “We found that, yes, the world seems scarier at times – but travellers believe they have more tools at their disposal to keep them informed and safe.” Components like terrorism only ranks fifth (35 per cent) among safety concerns, despite the high visibility of terrorist attacks. Others like ‘forgetting something needed for work’ was ranked higher (40 per cent), as did ‘losing something important’ at 38 per cent, ‘being robbed or attacked’ saw 37 per cent and ‘weather conditions’ was at 37 per cent. The CWT Connected Traveller survey of more than 1,900 individuals found that two-thirds (67 per cent) of business travellers believe travel is safer today than in the past, as they have more tools to mitigate safety concerns. Seven out of ten travellers use at least one of their employer’s security protocols, such as traveller tracking or emergency contact profiles. And more than two-thirds (68 per cent) buy travel insurance. The study did reveal several findings of concern. For example, one in five travellers have cancelled a trip due …

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Vistara introduces Vistara Corporate Flyer for coporate customers

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Vistara has launched ‘Vistara Corporate Flyer’ programme under which the airline will provide its corporate customers several benefits designed to make business travel hassle-free. The unique programme will be available to all eligible customers travelling on Vistara’s corporate fares, regardless of class of travel.   With ‘Vistara Corporate Flyer’, all eligible customers will enjoy complimentary ‘Carry On Plus’ benefits which provide increased cabin baggage allowance of 12 kg for the larger cabin bag that goes in the overhead bin (which equates to 70 per cent more allowance than the usual 7 kg limit), in addition to a smaller item such as a laptop bag that can fit under a seat in the cabin. This is by far the most generous free cabin baggage allowance for any airline in India. Corporate customers travelling in economy class will be eligible for free selection of exit-row seats that provide more legroom, ensuring greater comfort onboard. Additionally, Vistara’s top 100 corporate clients travelling in economy class will receive complimentary priority check-in, baggage handling and boarding across all destinations on Vistara’s network, and can also choose a complimentary option of taking a same-day earlier flight by arriving at the airport 45 minutes prior its departure (subject to availability) under the ‘Vistara Fly Early’ programme. All of these benefits come over and above other benefits of being a Corporate customer, which include special fares and free changes and cancellation of bookings. Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara, said, “We understand what a more generous cabin baggage allowance and more comfortable and hassle-free experience means for the “road warriors”, today’s frequent business travellers who travel often as much as our crew, and are routinely pressed for …

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GST, demonetisation may impact wedding market: ASSOCHAM

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The upcoming wedding season starting in November may be impacted by 10-15 per cent particularly wedding services like marriage garden/marriage hall booking, tent booking, confectionery services, photography and more, reveals by industry chamber ASSOCHAM. The factors attributed are demonetisation together with Goods and Servies Tax (GST) are likely to impact the upcoming wedding season in India as people will have to shell out more on buying jewellery and apparels, at salons and beauty parlours, photography, even for hiring venues like hotels/marriage palaces, courier and other related services, reveals the ASSOCHAM. It is being estimated that the average cost of many wedding services like shopping, tent booking, food services, etc., is higher due to GST. The GST rate on most of these services is from 18 to 28 percent. Before GST, most of the wedding service businesses like tent services, confectionery booking, etc., were using unregistered bills on which they didn’t have to pay any tax, adds the paper. Destination wedding or the wedding tourism sector in India which accounts for less than 10 per cent share in the overall industry is not likely to face much adverse impact of GST and demonetisation as it is already a very costly affair which mainly lures foreigners, NRIs, rich and famous people for exotic weddings at beaches, royal palaces, adventurous places, says the ASSOCHAM paper. However, all footwear above Rs.500 is taxed at a whopping 18 per cent.  Tax on gold and diamond jewellery has increased from 1.6 per cent to 3 per cent. The booking for a 5-star hotel will cost 28 per cent extra in the form of GST. Also, event management service, will have to pay an additional 18 per …

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Jammu & Doda to avail Heli service from Oct 24

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The Government of Jammu and Kashmir shall unveil a chopper service between Jammu and Doda to boost connectivity during the winter. The service will commence from Tuesday, October 24. Pawan Hans helicopters would be used for this service and will operate twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays between the two districts. The one-way fare for a traveller has been fixed at Rs. 2,500. The service is likely to help promote tourism and provide an alternative means to communicate between the two districts during the winter season when parts of the region remain cut off.

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Philindex 2017 to tour to four Indian cities in October

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DOT Philippines, along with prominent travel partners from Philippines, is all set to host Philindex 2017 in four cities in India this October. Representatives from Philippines and DOT Philippines will educate over 600 travel trade partners from Hyderabad, Jaipur, Chandigarh and Lucknow, about the tourism offerings of the Philippines. Participating delegates will get an overview of the booming tourism industry during the interactive sessions. Other partners from Philippines, would include Cathay Pacific, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, Thai Airways, Philippine Airlines, Shroff International Travel Care Inc., and VFC Travel and Tours. The B2B meetings at Philindex 2017 will offer an insight to the travel trade partners on Philippines being an ideal destination for scenic wonders, adventures and business pursuits.

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CWT seals multi-year distribution deal with Bristish Airways, Iberia Airlines

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Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) have announced a multi-year distribution agreement with British Airways (BA) and Iberia Airlines (IB). This partnership will enable CWT customers to avoid the airlines’ proposed surcharge on bookings created within participating global distribution systems (GDS) that agree to these terms with IAG. The agreement, effective  November 1, 2017, applies to CWT business travel and leisure clients.  Brian Mogler, Senior Vice President, Global Supplier Management, CWT, said, “While we believe GDSs provide the best technology platform available for CWT to enable best-in-market user experience and operating efficiency, we will continue to monitor and assess new technologies and capabilities.”

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