Category Archives: Incentives

Newly-opened Holiday Inn Resort Kolkata NH6 to cater to MICE

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InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced a partnership with SDB Developers to bring a second Holiday Inn hotel to Kolkata. As part of the agreement, the 110-room Holiday Inn Resort Kolkata NH6 will have 90 rooms operational by the end of 2018, with 20 additional rooms expected to be operational by 2020. The upcoming Holiday Inn Resort Kolkata NH6 will house impressive meeting and banquet facilities along with beautifully landscaped lawns, especially suited for wedding functions. All rooms will be equipped with modern amenities for guests’ comfort. The resort will also feature a state-of-the-art gymnasium, pool, and a spa for guests to relax and revive. Furthermore, guests staying at the hotel will be spoilt for choice with three dining options offering excellent food and beverage selections. Sprawling across 12 acres of land in Uluberia, a city that comes under the Kolkata Metropolitan Area, Holiday Inn Resort Kolkata NH6 is strategically located to offer excellent connectivity to central Kolkata. Well suited to cater to leisure, business and MiCE guests, the resort will be an hour’s drive from the City Centre and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport. The resort will also be well connected to the National Highway and the Orissa Trunk Road. Commenting on the announcement, Sudeep Jain, Vice President – Development, South West Asia, IHG said, “The signing of Holiday Inn Resort Kolkata NH6 is in line with our strategy to grow our portfolio of midscale hotels in the country, comprising the Holiday Inn brand family. Given the location, facilities and best in class amenities that will be available at the resort, we expect strong demand from various guests’ segments including, leisure, MiCE, social events and weddings.” Pawan Bhimsaria, Director, SDB Developers said, “With IHG’s …

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ITC Kohenur opens in Hyderabad with nine meeting spaces

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ITC Hotels has announced the addition of ITC Kohenur in Hyderabad as the 12th hotel to join its luxury hotel portfolio, from June 1, 2018. Located in the heart of Hyderabad’s new business district, overlooking the picturesque Durgam Cheruvu Lake, the hotel features nine versatile meeting, banquet and conference spaces. This includes the pillar-less Deccan State room, which can be divided into two separate halls, each with its own pre-function area. The hotel also boasts of two sprawling outdoor venues, the Pearl Deck & the Golconda greens that are perfect for a range of theme events, corporate functions, celebrations and parties. The hotel’s banqueting and convention facilities endeavour to transform Hyderabad into India’s convention capital. The hotel endeavours to create ‘Rare and Priceless’ experiences through its super-premium offerings; 271 high technology-enabled rooms, suites and service apartments, six culinary brands, meeting and convention spaces, and Kaya Kalp spa. Located in HITEC city, the architecture and design of the hotel mirror the facets of the feted jewel by bringing to life art, culture, cuisine and heritage of the region in a contemporary milieu. Inspirations range from the striking boulders of Hyderabad, to the famous Bidri work, showcase of local arts & crafts to presenting the rich culinary legacy of the region. A stand-out in-room tech feature is the amalgamation of all services through the E-Butler iPad.

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SITE India holds networking evening in Delhi

ANUP NAIR , SITE

The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), recently held its networking meeting in Delhi for its members, to share knowledge on incentive travel business. Anup Nair, President, SITE, during his address, said, “We aim to introduce SITE and bring the India chapter to the limelight. We have 40 members in India; the idea is to tell people about the value of the membership with SITE. I am hoping there will be more traction.” Shoba Mohan, Founder-Partner, RARE India, informed, “The new hat that I am wearing is the Director Communication for SITE India chapter.  SITE believes in education content, empowering people with knowledge based around incentives. That is something we will be focusing on. There is a schedule charted out for next six months. Every member was asked to bring a potential member with them from the incentive segment to inform them what gains they can reap from becoming members of SITE.” Elucidating on the value of the membership, Nair stated, “Being informed on incentive travel will be what as a member you gain. Incentive travel is a powerful tool for driving business results. India is an enormous market for incentive travel. It’s time that the Indian MiCE industry explored SITE’s platter of offerings, to be more productive for clients. The destination does not matter, it’s the experience of the event that makes it worthwhile.  The world is surrounded with exotic locales and its important how you can create the magic that would drive corporate results.” The SITE India Chapter, founded in 2015, comprises of 40 members including young leaders who represent some of the finest professionals of the Indian Incentive Industry. It is their endeavour to grow the SITE India Chapter to …

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Emirates Skywards gives makeover to its family programme, allows 100% pooling of miles

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Emirates Skywards has revamped its family programme, offering to provide a richer, more rewarding programme called ‘My Family’. Family members can now pool up to 100 per cent of Skywards miles earned on Emirates flights, allowing them to redeem rewards faster than before. Each member can pool up to 100 per cent of their miles earned on Emirates flights and the nominated contribution of miles from each member can be adjusted at any time. Emirates Skywards has a global membership of 20 million and all members are eligible to join ‘My Family’. Each account can have up to 8 family members including a nominated Family Head. “We’re always working to enhance our offerings to ensure our members are given greater value, choice and flexibility at every touchpoint across the Emirates Skywards programme. The new enriched ‘My Family’ programme will provide our members with a better, more intuitive customer experience, allowing them to consolidate up to 100 per cent of Skywards Miles earned on Emirates to reap faster rewards as well as tailor the proposition to meet their travel needs,” said Nejib Ben Khedher, Senior Vice President, Emirates Skywards. The new Emirates Skywards ‘My Family’ programme complements the airline’s exceptional family offering both on board and on the ground. In flight, young travellers can look forward to special toys, activity packs, child-friendly meals and dedicated kids’ content on ice, Emirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment system. On the ground, Emirates provides a dedicated family check-in area and complimentary strollers in Dubai and priority boarding for families across all airports.

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Tourism minister unveils first-ever safety guidelines on adventure tourism

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KJ Alphons, Minister of State (I/C), Tourism, Government of India, has launched the Indian Adventure Tourism Guidelines along with Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Tourism; Satyajeet Rajan, Director General, Tourism; Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Tourism and Swadesh Kumar, President, Adventure Tourism Association of India (ATOAI). A total of 26 activities have been covered in the guidelines including land, air and water based activities. The guidelines have been put in place to make the unorganised sector to adopt them. These guidelines will be reviewed every three months. In an effort to make adventure sports safer, the set of guidelines lists out the basic minimum standards required for adventure tourism activities in India. Adventure tourism has grown rapidly over the past few years playing a vital role in the economic growth of India as well as attracting a large number of travellers from across the globe to the country. The sole aim is to help adventure tour operators understand and execute safety guidelines in a better manner. These guidelines cover activities like mountaineering, trekking, bungee jumping, paragliding, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkelling, river rafting and many other sports.

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India’s millennial business travellers demand booking info through human advice: Travelport

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Millennial business travellers in India are changing the landscape of corporate travel by demanding both cutting-edge digital support throughout their trips and on-demand advice from human consultants, according to a recent independent global study commissioned by Travelport. For the research, 11,000 travellers were surveyed in 19 countries who took at least one return flight in the last year. The results showed that half (47 per cent) of India’s millennial business travellers now count being unable to access booking information across their devices 24/7 as one of their biggest gripes, compared to two fifths (40 per cent) of Gen X2 travellers and one third (35 per cent) baby boomers. The research also revealed that three fifths (56 per cent) say they get frustrated when companies don’t use data analytics to provide highly personalised travel recommendations based on their past preferences, compared to two fifths of both Gen X (43 per cent) and baby boomer (41 per cent) travellers. Two fifths (43 per cent) say not being able to get expert advice from human consultants during the booking process is a major pain point. Sandeep Dwivedi, Chief Operating Officer, InterGlobe Technology Quotient, said, “The findings demonstrate the digital shift among Indian business travellers before and during their journeys. And the necessity of $7.6 trillion global travel and hospitality industry to adapt continually to provide responsive, relevant and timely services for customers. More importantly, in an age where Gen X and Millennials are increasingly becoming tech savvy, they want relevant and timely content at their fingertips, at the very moment, from the time they search to their return from the trip.”  

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MOT’s Global Travel Mart in Sep, 2018

RASHMI VERMA

Ministry of tourism is set to organise its Global Travel Mart from September 18-20, 2018 in association with Federation of Associations of Indian Travel and Hospitality (FAITH). Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, said, “We are taking a number of new initiatives. For a long time, it was the demand of the industry that we should also have a Global Travel Mart in our country on the lines of WTM and ITB, and this year we have finalised the mart in partnership with the industry. MOT will be organising this Global Travel Mart from September 18-20 in Delhi and we will be getting participants from all over the world and about 200-250 foreign delegates and media will be participating in it. The entire travel trade industry will be partners in this and their apex organisation FAITH will be doing it with us in partnership. This new initiative would give opportunity to the entire travel trade and will give a lot of fillip to the tourist traffic to India.

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ICICI Bank enables customers to instantly reload travel card digitally

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ICICI Bank has enabled its customers to reload foreign currency to ‘ICICI Bank Travel Card’ instantly, using the Bank’s internet banking platform and its mobile banking app, iMobile. This new service makes international travel more convenient as it allows customers to instantly reload their travel card with foreign currency for their international travel in a completely digital and paperless manner. A customer can also enjoy the improved convenience of reloading the travel cards of their close relatives including their parents, children or spouse after linking their travel cards to his/her own savings account. In a bid to offer the enhanced convenience of managing a travel card seamlessly on-the-go to the customer, the Bank has also enabled an array of other services on its mobile app and internet banking platform. These services allow the customers to block/unblock travel card, view the mini statement, update email address and mobile number, thereby making their experience holistic and comfortable. Additionally, in an industry first move, the Bank recently enabled customers to refund the funds loaded on their travel card to the linked savings account using the bank’s internet banking platform.

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In-flight Wi-Fi, game changer for business travellers: FCM-KPMG

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FCM Travel Solutions and KPMG’s recent whitepaper titled ‘The Digi-Smart Indian Business Traveller’ forecasts that Indian travellers have higher inclination towards in-flight Wi-Fi as compared to travellers from other countries, according to a survey by Inmarsat. With current nil penetration and high demand amongst Indian travellers, in-flight Wi-Fi can be a potential game changer in enhancing business traveller experience considering that fliers are potentially willing to shift travel experiences for on board Wi-Fi. For business travellers, the need for seamless connectivity makes them natural users of these services. While the use of in-flight Wi-Fi should be encouraged, it is necessary to consider various factors including aircraft upgrade requirements, connectivity speed and quality, cyber security concerns, etc.

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CKGS opens Thai Visa Application Centre in Chennai

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Cox & Kings Global Services (CKGS) has opened a new Thai Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Chennai last week. The centre located at Wellingdon Estate Building will serve as the Hub VAC for its South India operations. The centre will cater to all categories of visas such as tourist, transit, non-Immigrant, business, work, crew and medical visa. The new centre in Chennai was inaugurated by Her Excellency Krongkanit Rakcharoen, the Consul- General, Royal Thai Consulate-General, Chennai on May 2, 2018 in presence of the senior CKGS officials. Speaking on the occasion, Her Excellency Krongkanit Rakcharoen said, “Thailand has emerged as one of the most favourite destinations for Indians with the number of travellers crossing a million mark. Chennai also contributes significantly with improved air connectivity and increased number of direct flights to Thailand. Considering the growing number of travellers from Chennai, it was essential to start the visa application service centre for this region. With CKGS, we aim to continue hassle-free visa processing for Indian travellers and maintain high professional standards.” Commenting on the opening, Venku Murthi, Chief Operating Officer, CKGS, said, “We are expanding out footprints in south India with the commitment to ensure excellent visa services to applicants who want to travel to Thailand.’’ The visa application form can be filled online but the applicants would have to visit the VAC to submit printout of the duly signed application form along with other required documents and collect them once the visa has been issued. The centre is open between Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 17:30 pm. Embassy takes minimum three working days for issuance of visa on receipt of application. CKGS has already opened Thai VACs …

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