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V Resorts has announced the launch of its mobile phone app, 'V Resorts', for both iOS and Android operating systems. The new app has been designed by V Resort's in-house tech team and will provide customers and travellers the option to browse through and book over 150 resorts across India quickly and efficiently on both smart phones and tablet devices.
The V Resorts app has been designed to meet significant customer demand for a simple, mobile friendly extension of the website. It not only offers a seamless transition but has easy-to-use features like Editor's Choice of resorts, the option to browse through various resort and travel packages, theme-wise segregation of resorts, a list of new resorts that is updated regularly and of course, a detailed guide to all the activities & experiences available at each resort.
Aditi Balbir, CEO & Founder, V Resorts said, “The app will allow users to be completely tech-enable, letting them navigate through the property, and the experiences each property offers. Guests can even check-out using the app, making their stay truly hassle-free and transparent.”
Kalyan Gali, Chief Technical Officer, V Resorts said, “This is an exciting move for us, and ensures we remain flexible. The V Resorts app has been designed to work seamlessly with our website, enabling a smooth switch from desktop to mobile wherever and whenever our users need it.”
After downloading the V Resorts app, users will automatically connect to their central CRM platform, replicating the experience currently available through the V Resorts website, directly on a mobile device.
Along with real-time notifications, travellers will also get a wide range of innovative services linked to V Resorts, including the option to get directions towards a particular destination based on geo-location. They will also enjoy coupons and other discounts that are exclusive to the app.
Providing end-to-end information with destination guides, and an easy search option (you can search by location, city, resort or state), the app will soon also introduce an online chat feature so users can communicate directly with resort managers.
Preferred Hotels & Resorts, one of the world’s largest independent hotel brand representing more than 750 distinctive hotels, resorts, and residences across 85 countries has added 25 new member hotels to its global portfolio between January 1 to March 31, 2019. From iconic heritage buildings in the cosmopolitan cities of Sydney and London to contemporary beachfront luxury in New Jersey, these exciting new properties deliver authentic, one-of-a-kind experiences that embody the spirit of independent travel and capture the essence of #ThePreferredLife.
In India, the group added Fortune Park JP Celestial, Bengaluru. The hotel offers 129 guestrooms featuring polished wooden floors, modern amenities, and whirlpool baths in spacious suites, two dining options including a rooftop bar specialising in popular Indian Tandoor (grill) specialties, and an on-site spa. Guests will also enjoy the hotel’s proximity to historical sites such as the Mughal Emperor Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace and the Bangalore Palace, which was modelled on England’s Windsor Castle, as well as quaint cafes, bustling nightlife, and shopping malls within the vicinity.
Air Arabia received its first Airbus A321neo Long Range. The aircraft flew nonstop from Airbus’s facility in Hamburg to Sharjah International Airport. Air Arabia is the first Middle Eastern airline to operate the A321neo LR and this delivery is the first of six aircraft that will join Air Arabia’s fleet that comprises of 53 A320 Family aircraft serving more than 155 routes across the globe from four hubs in the UAE, (Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah), Morocco and Egypt. The addition of the A321neo LR will enable Air Arabia to expand to new medium-haul markets in addition to strengthening the existing routes with increased seat capacity.
Adel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer, Air Arabia said, “We are glad to welcome the first A321neo LR to our fleet, which marks another milestone in Air Arabia’s journey. The addition of this new aircraft allows us to expand our service to farther and newer destinations while remaining loyal to our low-cost business model. We look forward to receiving the remaining aircraft in 2019 as we continue to offer our customers an excellent product with more destinations to discover.”
Air Arabia’s new A321neoLR, powered by CFM LEAP-1A engines, accommodates 215 passengers and is equipped with Air Arabia’s new state of the art cabin interior that was launched as part of Air Arabia’s new brand identity unveiled in October last year. The new cabin interior includes new generation of seats providing extra comfort onboard while maintaining Air Arabia’s known generous seat pitch.
The A321neo LR builds on the success of the A321neo and provides additional flexibility as it has the longest range of any single-aisle airliner, enabling airlines to tap into new markets previously not accessible. Air Arabia Group has now grown to become a leading publicly listed company consisting of airlines and businesses providing travel and tourism services across the globe.
InterContinental Hotels Group has signed a master development agreement with Valor Hospitality Partners Africa to roll out multiple franchise hotels over the next ten years. The deal is expected to include properties across IHG’s portfolio of brands in the midscale, upscale and luxury segments. It will see IHG expand its presence in sub-Saharan Africa, including key countries such as South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Mauritius, Ethiopia, Zambia and Kenya.
The development adds to IHG’s growing pipeline in the Middle East and Africa and cements its position as one of the leading operators in the region. Valor Hospitality Partners Africa is a subsidiary of Valor Hospitality Partners Global and manages and asset manages projects across America, the UK, Middle East, South Africa and south-east Asia.
Pascal Gauvin, Managing Director, India, Middle East and Africa, IHG said, “Valor has been our long-term partner in America and the UK for many years and we are pleased to be building our network with an experienced existing operating partner in new markets. This signing is in line with our growth ambition in the region and will add approximately 1,000 rooms to our portfolio in the African continent, primarily in the midscale segment and select hotels in upscale and luxury segments. This will allow us to cater to the increasing number of diverse domestic and international travellers looking for quality branded accommodation in Africa. We currently have 26 operating hotels across eight countries in Africa, and we are looking at expanding our presence further by close to 40 per cent, in three-five years.”
IHG currently operate hotels with Valor Hospitality Partners in America and the UK.
Graham Wood, Managing Director, Valor Hospitality Partners Africa added, “We are thrilled to further strengthen our partnership with a global hospitality leader such as IHG and expand our portfolio in Africa with their well-established brands that are loved by travellers across the world. We have consistently benefitted from IHG’s global distribution system in the Americas and the UK, best in class revenue management tools, and their commitment to deliver commercial success in partnership with their owners. With the new brands IHG have added in recent months, this agreement presents us with a unique opportunity to provide a range of high-quality branded accommodation options to suit the evolving needs of guests travelling to Africa.”
Jalesh Cruises, India’s first premium cruise catering to the Indian domestic and international cruise business, christened ‘Karnika’ in an official naming ceremony in Mumbai recently. Shreyasi Punit Goenka took on the mantle of the Godmother of the ship and showered blessings of good luck, success and safety on the magnificent liner.
A special postal stamp of ₹5 was also released on the occasion to commemorate the historic occasion on Indian waters. The National Flag was hoisted and the National Anthem was sung onboard the ship.
Karnika marked the occasion while celebrating the achievements of five Indians who are credited to bring international fame to the country by being the first ones to achieve pinnacle in their fields. The personalities included, Milkha Singh, first Indian Athlete to win a Gold at Commonwealth Games (1958), Subhash Chandra, Chairman, ZEE & Essel Group, the first Indian to launch a private satellite TV channel (1992), Actor Sushmita Sen, the first Indian Miss Universe (1994), Mahesh Bhupati, first Indian to win Grand Slam Tournament (1997) and Mary Kom, the first Indian woman boxer to win Asian Games (2014).
The 70,285 ton ship sailed on its maiden voyage from Mumbai to Goa on April 17. Karnika will undertake 15 sailings for Mumbai-Goa-Mumbai and Mumbai-High Seas-Mumbai between April and mid-May 2019. The ship will undertake its first international sail from Mumbai to Dubai on May 24, 2019 where it will port until mid-September 2019 before coming back to Mumbai.
On board the ship, passengers will have a variety of cuisines, entertainment, adventure and relaxation to choose from. Additionally, the cruise offers land based excursions at different ports for passengers.
Jurgen Bailom, President & CEO, Jalesh Cruises said, “Jalesh Cruises is immensely proud to give India its first premium ship Karnika, which has been curated to indulge and entertain you in the true Indian style. She is a beautiful ship designed to enthrall both domestic and international guests with the famed Indian hospitality. Our ship will make it possible for Indians to experience cruise vacations closer home with high level of customisation that touches the sensibilities of people here.”
Karnika has been named after a celestial nymph, who according to legend emerged when gods and demons churned the ocean for Amrit, the elixir for life. Apsara Karnika, a celestial maiden stood for exquisite beauty and alluring charm for carrying treasures and pleasures to reward and indulge those engaged in hard labour. The name also reflects a true Indian identity drawing inspiration from the first Indian ghat - Manikarnika in Varanasi, which is considered as one of the oldest Indian city.
The christening ceremony began with a group of priests chanting hymns as the head priest broke the traditional coconut. This was followed by the age-old maritime ritual of the Godmother naming the ship by stating, “I name this ship Karnika. May God bless her, her officers, her staff, her crew and all who sail on her.” The traditional cracking of a champagne bottle on the bow of the ship followed the blessing.
The ship has three fine dining restaurants, which includes Indian cuisine at Waterfront and Chef’s Table and Thai, Malay, Korean, Mongolian, Taiwanese and Japanese cuisines at Chopstix. The ship also hosts nine different buffet and food stations offering a variety of delicacies ranging from street food, barbeque, international grill to patisserie and frozen desserts. The ship also has dedicated cuisine for Jain passengers.
Best Western Hotels & Resorts has launched its new SureStay Plus Hotel Brand in India with the opening of a first SureStay Plus hotel in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
The SureStay Plus Indore is a contemporarily stylized modern upper-midscale boutique hotel. Each of the 57 rooms spread across three categories and 8 suites of the hotel offers boutique-style charm with every modern comfort, complemented by excellent views of the city.
“We are delighted to unveil SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western Indore, an exciting midscale brand that will redefine the hotel landscape in Indore,” said Atul Jain, Best Western’s Chief Operating Officer for India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. “By combining the ease and affordability of midscale hotels with the international standards of a global chain, SureStay Hotel Group is sure to appeal to business and leisure travelers alike”.
“We are seeing rising demand for branded midscale accommodation in key cities across India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. SureStay Hotel Group is perfectly positioned to fill this gap in the market and we look forward to introducing this exciting new concept to more cities across the region in the future years,” Jain added.
SureStay Hotel Group was first introduced in late 2016, and the concept made its Asia Pacific debut in October 2017 with the opening of SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western Sukhumvit 2 in Bangkok.
OYO Hotels & Homes has today announced the launch of ‘OPEN’ (OYO Partner Engagement Network) to reiterate its commitment to asset owner success and start an industry-first series of year long initiatives to help its 8700+ asset owner partners in India reach their business goals. Inaugurating the program, the company made 3 key announcements - 6 core partner promises, an upgraded Co-OYO app for asset owners to monitor progress and a dedicated microsite for stronger interaction and engagement amongst the OYO India asset owner community.
Commenting on the launch of OPEN, Aditya Ghosh, CEO, India & South Asia said, “Today with the launch of OPEN- OYO Partner Engagement Network, we are laying the foundations of a structured way of exchanging ideas, providing support and most importantly, building a relationship of trust on which we hope to build the next several decades to come. We are doing this in several ways but in this fast moving world, being in touch on a real-time basis is key and therefore for the very first time in the hospitality industry, we are proud to launch the Co-OYO app which will transparently provide business metrics. At OYO, we are on a mission to create quality living spaces and make it accessible and affordable for millions of our customers and we cannot do this without the active support and encouragement of our asset owner partners.”
The company also introduced an upgraded Co-OYO app, specially designed for partner franchisees to keep them updated on payment related information in one place. Through the Co-OYO app, asset owners in India can have complete visibility on cash flows, business performance, pricing, customer reviews and recommendations. Oyo also launched a dedicated microsite for OPEN.
OYO Hotels and Homes currently has over 8,700 asset owners in India, across 259+ cities with a room count of 173,000+ rooms. The company had announced an investment commitment of INR 1400 Crores for the current fiscal in India and South Asia last month.
The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has bagged Airports Council International - North America (ACI-NA)’s Environmental Achievement Award at the Airports @ Work conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. SFO received the award in the Environmental Management Category for its Airfield Operations Facility, which was recently certified as a Zero Net Energy facility by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI).
“As an industry leader in sustainability, we are proud to be the first airport in the world to achieve a certified Zero Net Energy facility,” said Airport Director Ivar C. Satero. “This represents a major milestone in our environmental efforts, and we are honored to be recognized by Airports Council International - North America for this achievement".
Completed in 2015, SFO’s Airfield Operations Facility is the first airport facility in the world to operate using zero net energy. Over the past year, the facility generated more electricity than it consumed, thanks to a rooftop solar array which generates 136 kilowatts of energy. It runs off 100% carbon-free electricity and uses zero fossil fuels for the operation of the building.
In 2017, SFO set an ambitious goal to achieve zero waste going to landfill, carbon neutrality, and Zero Net Energy across its entire airport campus. Since then, SFO has reduced its use of electricity by over 4 million kilowatt hours, saving enough energy to power over 600 homes, and added over 1 megawatt of solar energy across the airport.
This is the third ACI-NA award that SFO has received for its environmental leadership, and its second award in the environmental management category.
Late last night, Jet Airways was informed by the State Bank of India (SBI), on behalf of the consortium of Indian Lenders, that they are unable to consider its request for critical interim funding.
Since no emergency funding from the lenders or any other source is forthcoming, the airline will not be able to pay for fuel or other critical services to keep the operations going. Consequently, with immediate effect, Jet Airways is compelled to cancel all its international and domestic flights. The last flight will operate today.
This decision has been taken after a painstaking evaluation of all alternatives that were made available to the Company and after receiving guidance and advice on the same from its Board of Directors. Jet Airways has informed the DGCA, and the Ministries of Civil Aviation and Finance and other relevant government institutions, of this course of action.
Over the last several weeks and months, the company has tried every means possible to seek both interim and long-term funding. Unfortunately, despite its very best efforts, the airline has been left with no other choice today but to go ahead with a temporary suspension of flight operations.
This has been a very difficult decision but without interim funding, the airline is simply unable to conduct flight operations in a manner that delivers to the very reasonable expectations of its guests, employees, partners and service providers.
After 25 years of sharing the Joy of Flying with Indian and international guests, Jet Airways has been forced to take this extreme measure as prolonged and sustained efforts with lenders and authorities did not yield the desired results.
Essential services needed to support guest services and the re-commencement of the flight operations will be kept onboard until further notice.
Jet Airways will now await the bid finalisation process by SBI and the consortium of Indian Lenders.
In its response to the airline, the lenders have said, “The Expressions of Interest (EOI) have been received and bid documents have been issued to the eligible recipients today. The bid documents inter alia has solicited plans for a quick revival of the company. The bid process will conclude on 10th May 2019 … We are actively working to try and ensure that the bid process leads to a viable solution for the company.”
Jet Airways will continue to support the bid process initiated by the lenders.
The airline will inform all guests about the temporary suspension of flight operations via text message or email to the contact details listed in their bookings.
Jet Airways sincerely and profusely apologises for the disruption to the travel plans of all its guests. The airline would like to thank them for their continued patronage, support and loyalty over the years.
Germany witnessed 921,123 Visitor overnights in 2018 making for a 8.1 per cent growth from India. Buoyed by this growth, the German National Tourist Office (GNTO), India forecasts a 6-8 per cent growth in visitor overnights for the year 2019.
With experiential travel becoming the most sought after genre in leisure travel, the GNTO promotes its worldwide campaign on the “Centenary of the foundation of the legendary Bauhaus movement in Weimar” this year.
“The Bauhas is a lively school of ideas and a field of experimenting in the free and applied arts, design, architecture and educational methods. The famous Bauhaus art school opened in Weimar in 1919, and during its short lifespan it moved to Dessau and then to Berlin. The architecture, art and design that was created there is still revered around the world to this day. To mark the centenary, Destination Germany is inviting culturally minded travellers to explore the birthplace of Modernism,” Romit Theophilus, Director for India, the German National Tourist Office said.
GNTO India Office has always used new and innovative strategies to promote itself, launched its Web Based Destination Training Module www.germanyspecialist.com in December 2017. The platform, which has 4 interactive and informative training modules, is prepared so tour operators can easily access all essential information required to create interesting itineraries for Destination Germany. The platform already has over 800 registered tour operators seeking to improve their knowledge of the destination and aiming at being certified Destination Germany Specialists.
In addition to the Centenary Bauhaus campaign, the GNTO is developing marketing campaigns on the major trends of culture and nature. In 2019 the “German Summer Cities”, the touristic offerings of larger cities and those in more rural areas, take center stage as part of a worldwide marketing offensive. Contents of the campaign are the five clusters Urban city, Romantic, Holiday on the water, Sightseeing as well as Arts and Culture.
On a concluding note, Theophilus stated “From mesmerizing natural scenic beauty, unique and fun traditions and culture, vibrant nightlife and lots more offered at the best value for every Euro Spent, Destination Germany is undoubtedly one of the best choices for a European holiday. We hope that more and more Indian travelers have the opportunity to explore this beautiful destination and experience it.”
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