Tag Archives: India

Mumbai among Cvent’s top meeting destinations in Asia

The economic capital of India has made its way to Cvent’s top ten list of meetings destinations for 2019 in Asia. Cvent, a market-leading meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider, released its annual lists of the Top Meeting Destinations for meetings and events worldwide. The lists were compiled based on meeting and event booking activity across Cvent’s venue sourcing sites, including the Cvent Supplier Network, through which more than $16 billion in business was sourced in 2018. “Business events add $1.5 trillion to the global GDP and because of this positive economic impact, the cities featured in this year’s Top Meeting Destinations lists have put significant time and resources into attracting more group business to their locales,” said Chris McAndrews, Vice President- Marketing, Cvent Hospitality Cloud. Due to increased sourcing volume to the Asia Pacific region, Cvent unveiled two additional lists this year – Asia and Australia & Oceania – which were previously represented in one Asia Pacific list. The top 10 cities in Asia for 2019 are: Singapore Bangkok, Thailand Hong Kong Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Shanghai, China Tokyo, Japan Seoul, South Korea Beijing, China Bali, Indonesia Mumbai, India

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IMWF 2019 witnessed participation of 94 buyers

The stalwarts from the global MiCE and wedding industry came together for fourth International MICE & Wedding Forum (IMWF), which was powered by Inventum Global at Antalya Rixos Premium Belek from May 12-16. The event had around 46 exhibitors and a total of 94 buyers, out of which 54 were from India. Antalya and Turkey were well promoted and highlighted with the IMWF 2019 by the magnificent night at the Ancient Theater of Aspendos as well as the breath-taking nights and events. Being the largest event organised by any institution or organisation with the budget of 2 million Euro until today, IMWF has provided a substantial added value to the promotion and economy of Turkey. The forum, with the participants on CEO level from the premium wedding agencies shaping the world’s wedding sector, particularly India, has substantially contributed for the promotion of Antalya and the global event sector by means of the biggest promotional activity of India and Turkey’s tourism history. IMWF was founded under the partnership of Asil Akar and Bünyat Özpak, organising major groups such as domestic and overseas congresses, conferences and Indian weddings and the event marketing corporation founded under the partnership of Necip Fuat Ersoy.

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TAT confirms visa on arrival fee waiver extended till October

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced that the Royal Thai Government has approved the extension of the visa-on-arrival fee waiver for citizens of 20 countries for another six months, until 31 October, stated an official statement dated, May 2, 2019. The decision was announced in the Royal Thai Government Gazette on April 30, reasoning it as a measure to stimulate and promote tourism as well as to enhance the kingdom’s attractiveness among foreign visitors. Citizens of Andora, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China including Taiwan, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan will be exempted from the 2,000 Baht visa-on-arrival fee for the purpose of touring in Thailand for not more than 15 days. The government first approved the visa-on-arrival fee waiver from November 15, 2018, to  January 14, 2019, and further extended the measure to April 30.

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Indian business travellers prefer earning loyalty points: Study

According to a new survey commissioned by American Express Global Business Travel (GBT),  92 per cent of Indian business travellers believe in earning personal loyalty points or rewards as a suited reason to book outside of company policy.  With airlines and hotels nowadays offering a range of personal incentives for continued loyalty, it appears that personal rewards provide sufficient justification for some employees to ignore standard company policies. While a large majority of business travellers from India acknowledge the value of travelling for work, and are aware their company has a travel policy, many are reluctant to comply with company travel policies citing issues including wanting business lounge access (93 per cent), using preferred airlines not within current policy (88 per cent) and desire to stay in a safer location (94 per cent). Ashish Kishore, GBT’s Managing Director, India, said companies need to regularly review their travel policies and ensure they are fit for purpose. Desiring accommodation closer to a meeting or business event venue (96 per cent), staying in a more convenient location (96 per cent), and staying in a better quality hotel (96 per cent) were the top reasons Indian business travellers provided as a rationale for booking outside the company travel policy. “Businesses can set themselves up for success by ensuring their travel policies cover the most suitable airlines and hotels. Offering a wide variety of appropriate options will help encourage employees to book within policy while also enjoying luxury of choice. Automated travel approval technology can also make it easier for travellers to make the right decisions.” “When employees book within travel policy it not only helps companies keep track of their staff and fulfil their …

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Emirates Skywards reaches 20 mn members

Emirates Skywards, a loyalty programme popular for its unique offerings has reached 20 million members. Those travelling from Dubai on Emirates flights during the week beginning March 4, 2018, can look forward to surprises at check-in, onboard and in the lounges for some of its longest-standing members. “The programme has evolved in the 17 years since its inception in line with changing travel and lifestyle habits. Emirates Skywards is focused on delivering ever more personalised experiences for its members. We provide a wide array of earn and redeem options across a number of categories – travel, retail and lifestyle and across geographies, leveraging more than 100 partners worldwide,” explains Dr Nejib Ben Khedher, Senior Vice President, Emirates Skywards. In an average month, Emirates Skywards welcomes 220,000 new members across the globe. The top five countries with the largest member bases are spread across four continents reflecting Emirates’ six-continent global network. UK has the biggest membership base at 2.6 million, followed by the US with 1.8 million members, Australia with 1.7 million members and India and the UAE following closely with 1.4 million members each.  

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Crowne Plaza Riyadh – RDC Hotel and Convention Center offers new MICE space

InterContinental Hotels Group has announced the opening of Crowne Plaza Riyadh – RDC Hotel and Convention Center. The 326-room hotel is located in the Al Ra’idah Digital City (RDC). The Crowne Plaza Riyadh – RDC Hotel and Convention Center offers a comprehensive range of facilities to meet the needs of corporate and MICE guests. The hotel features over 12,000 m2 of exhibition and conference space including a three-level circular conference center, a ballroom, large pre-function areas and 12 daylight meeting rooms equipped with modern digital technology. Pascal Gauvin, Managing Director, India, Middle East & Africa, IHG, said: “We are delighted to announce the opening of the Crowne Plaza Riyadh – RDC Hotel and Convention Center. The hotel is located in the new information technology area of Riyadh, that will be developed as the IT and Communications hub in the city, and is expected to attract business travellers from across the world. We are observing an increased demand for guests who would like to have access to world-class business amenities. This hotel and the overall master development are perfectly suited to cater to this demand. The IHG brand has built an excellent reputation in the Kingdom and we are proud to add the Crowne Plaza – RDC Hotel and Convention Center to our growing portfolio in the Middle East region.” Waleed Al Eisa, Chief Operating Officer, Al Raidah Investment Company, said: “The Crowne Plaza Riyadh – RDC Hotel and Convention Center reflects our commitment to bring a full range of amenities to our tenants and to business travellers who are looking for a high quality hospitality experience.” Additionally, Crowne Plaza Riyadh – RDC Hotel is in close proximity to the new …

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Israel simplifies visa process for Indian tourists

To encourage more Indian travellers to visit Israel, the country has eased the visa application procedure for Indian citizens. The relaxed visa rule involves less documentation for Indians who have availed visas of Schengen countries, US, Canada, Australia or Israel and have completed their travel to these countries.  For these travellers, the documents include a valid passport, completed visa application Form, two photographs, cover letter with travel information, traveller’s insurance and passport copy. Hassan Madah, Director of the Israel Ministry of Tourism, India, says, “This is an initiative we have been working very closely with Interior Ministry and Foreign Affairs Ministry to introduce in India and I am happy to see this change for the Indian travellers who wish to travel to Israel.  Easing the visa requirements will not only make the application process faster, I am confident it will also increase travel to Israel as well.  We are also working on an express service with VFS which will be introduced soon.  In addition to this, we are working towards e-visa processing as well as easing the group visa process.” In September this year, one year multiple entry visas for business travellers was introduced. Visa processing is available through VFS processing centres located all over India for the Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai and Bengaluru as well as the Embassy of Israel in Delhi.  The Ministries are working with the VFS offices to introduce express visa services, which will be available to applicants for an additional fee.

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All cheers for passenger demand in October: IATA

According to global passenger traffic results by International Air Transport Association (IATA), the passenger demand in airlines rose 7.2 per cent in October compared to the same month last year. The capacity grew 6.2 per cent and load factor climbed 0.8 percentage points to 80.8 per cent, a record for the month. October’s performance was a strong rebound after the hurricane-related disruptions in September. Domestic and international travel growth largely was in balance. “As expected, the recent severe weather in the American region had only a temporary impact on the healthy travel demand we have seen this year, and we remain on course for another year of above-trend growth,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. For Asia-Pacific carriers, the large markets in India, China and Japan mean that domestic travel accounts for 45 per cent of the region’s operations. Asia-Pacific airlines led all regions with traffic growth of 10.3 per cent compared to the year-ago period, which was up from an 8.7 per cent rise in September. Capacity climbed 8.4 per cent and load factor rose 1.3 percentage points to 78.0 per cent.

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Air Astana plans to start Mumbai flights in 2019

Having completed 13 years of service between India to Kazakhstan and Eurasia, Air Astana plans to start a new connection to Mumbai in 2019. Currently, the airline operates 10 flights a week between Kazakhstan and India. This includes a daily service between Almaty and New Delhi and three flights between Astana and New Delhi, which started in July this year. Peter Foster, President and Chief Executive Officer, Air Astana, said, “India is an important destination for Air Astana and has connected both business and leisure passengers well between both the countries. The number of passengers carried between India and Kazakhstan in 2017 is 43,459, an increase of 43 per cent as compared to that in 2016. In fact, the number of transit passengers travelling from New Delhi via Almaty to other international destinations grew by 33 per cent in 2016.”

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Standard Chartered’s ‘ultimate’ card for business travellers

Standard Chartered Bank has announced the launch of its new credit card to enable lucrative benefits for travellers, business and leisure, alike. Called as ‘Ultimate’ credit card claims to be optimal with one of the highest reward point value in the market. The credit card will also provide consumers a range of attractive and enhanced benefits like upgrades at luxury hotels, cashback at duty free shops and access to total of 170 premier golf courses in India and across the globe, among others premium benefits. This card is available for a nominal fee of Rs 5,000 however customers will get a host of benefits, such as Rs 10,000 cashback on spends on a specific travel portal in first three months of on boarding. These customers will also earn 5X rewards on all spends while availing exclusive rewards redemption platform with options across air travel, hotel booking and premium products catalogue. Shyamal Saxena, Country Head – Retail Banking, India, Standard Chartered Bank, said, “We had recently launched our Premium Banking programme for the emerging affluent customers with key benefits extended to the customers’ family members. Now, we believe this Ultimate credit card too will be a compelling product in the HNI & affluent segments with its feature rich offerings.” Benefits offered: Value of One reward point is equal to Re 1 Complimentary access to over 900 airports across the world Complimentary access to 20 premier golf courses across India & 150 across the globe. Upto 25% instant discount at top 200 restaurants through the Standard Chartered Bank concierge Travellers can earn cashback up to 5 per centat duty free shopping Reduced Forex mark-up at 2 per cent

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