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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

Sarovar Hotels Pvt. Ltd. proudly announces the opening of its 100th hotel in India with the opening of Lagoon Sarovar Premiere, Pondicherry. Lagoon Sarovar Premiere Resort is nestled on the banks of Chunnambar Backwaters and is conveniently located 20 minutes away from Pondicherry airport.

Commenting on the development, Anil Madhok, Executive Chairman, Sarovar Hotels said, “2022 is a milestone year for us as we open our 100th hotel. This hotel holds a special place in our portfolio of hotels. Our vision 27 years ago was to make hospitality accessible in every part of the country. Our future vision is to strengthen our strong presence in tier 2 and tier 3 cities.”

The Fern Hotels & Resorts announced the opening of The Fern Seaside Luxurious Tent Resort in Diu. This is the chain’s third resort in the Union Territory of Daman and Diu, after the earlier launches of a Fern and a Beacon resort in Daman.

Expressing pleasure at the opening of the Diu property, Suhail Kannampilly, CEO, The Fern Hotels & Resorts said, “This is a new beach-front property that we have opened. Our resorts all over India have been doing fantastic business and I am sure this new resort will also get similar rave reviews from our guests”.

The Fern Seaside Luxurious Tent Resort is located on the Nagoa Beach in Diu and offers 81 well-furnished tents with multiple food and beverage options serving multinational cuisine. The resort is conveniently located with easy access to major sightseeing attractions.

Cleartrip has announced the appointment of Priyaah Sundaraam as Vice President - Head of Customer Experience and Fulfilment. In her new role, Priyaah will spearhead the customer experience charter with a focus on building propositions that put customers at the forefront and drive brand equity - in line with Cleartrip’s motto to always keep the customer at the ‘centre of the brand’s DNA’.

With cross-functional experience in aviation and hospitality of over 2 decades, Priyaah’s vast experience in handling planning and strategy-focused initiatives will aid Cleartrip in elevating its consumer experience across platforms and setting industry benchmarks in terms of delivery.

Regarding the appointment, Prahlad Krishnamurthi, Chief Business Officer at Cleartrip, said “As we continue to progress toward several important milestones in our journey, we are pleased to welcome Priyaah to our team. With her extensive knowledge and experience in the Aviation and Hospitality sector, she embodies our values as a leader. She shares our vision and passion for making travel simple and accessible. Priyaah's track record will significantly impact us as we expand our footprint, support new categories, and build a long-term business through a high-performing team and customer NPS platform. With Priyaah on board, we continue our commitment towards building superior customer service and offering better fulfilment.”

Her latest stint was with Indigo which she has joined since its inception in 2006. She has set up the entire customer relation division, developed various interaction channels and measured customer experience for the organisation at all touchpoints. She has previously worked with esteemed brands like KLM, Hyatt & Trident.

Pandemic broke the back of the entire hospitality sector, but the worst hit has been the inbound tourism industry with the arrival of foreign tourists going down to trickle.

Now the pandemic seems to be over, with the hospitality sector rebounding but similar rebound seems to be eluding the inbound industry. There are multiple reasons for it like high airfares, restriction on travel and above all difficulty in procuring the visas.

In this regard IATO has made numerous representations and sent letters to the Ministries of Tourism, Home Affairs and External Affairs requesting them for restoration of E-Visa for UK, Canada and other source markets as maximum foreign tourists travel to India from these countries. “Having failed to evoke any response from these ministries, we have written to the PM, hoping for a quick resolution” says IATO President Rajiv Mehra.    

It is well known that tourists decide well in advance about the destinations they will be travelling to and given the delay and difficulty in procuring Indian visas from source countries, the sector may not see the revival that was expected and quite probable that they may travel to neigbouring countries as it is easier to procure their visas. According to Mehra  “IATO is in receipt of a number of requests from our members/foreign counterparts expressing their concern on the delay the intending tourists in UK are facing in getting Normal Visa for India as there is NO e-Tourist Visa at present. Appointments are not available to intending foreign tourists at the VFS Global offices in the UK.  It is taking 6 to 8 weeks’ time in the UK to get a Normal Indian Visa and even for that also appointments by the VFS Global offices are not being given. Handling of Normal paper Visa for India by the Embassy in the UK/VFS Global is very discouraging and harassing for the tourists planning to come to India as it is taking 2 to 3 months to get a Normal Tourist Visa and that too after a lot of efforts”.

IATO is getting feedback that if the situation does not improve, foreign tour operators will stop selling India tour packages. Due to Non-availability of E-Tourist Visa for UK, Canada and other source markets, we as a country are losing huge business as tourists from these countries are opting for alternative destinations. If this situation continues it will be a big loss for the Inbound tourism business and the entire season may be lost, causing further loss of foreign exchange earnings and loss of employment as one foreign tourist coming to India creates 9 jobs directly or indirectly.

“We are trying to recreate jobs for the trained tourism professionals who have lost their jobs due to Covid-19,  but under the circumstances when there are lot of problems in getting Indian Visa, it is difficult to achieve our goal of recreating employment in tourism sector and to contribute for the economic development through inbound tourism” adds Mehra

OYO has introduced an improved patron-facing app - CO-OYO. The app enables patrons to design and run their own promotional programs such as Discover Sale, Flash Sales etc.

CO-OYO app will now have a one-click-check-in capability for bulk bookings to minimize time taken for check-in. New features also provide competitive data insights about other hotels in a specific geographical cluster to support higher revenue generation for each hotel.

The new app has been designed to enhance customer experience, operational efficiency and aid in maximising revenues by utilising the power of data science, SaaS technologies and AI technologies that offer real time insights to OYO patrons (hotel owners).

The new and revamped pricing section on the CO-OYO app advises patrons on the right pricing to attract larger footfalls. This enables smarter and personalised promotions, alerts the patrons when the pricing is suboptimal and dynamically optimises prices.

With CO-OYO, local hotel owners can strengthen their customer experience via direct access to reviews and ratings, data insights on neighborhood hotels, and the ability to run their own promotions. 

Anuj Tejpal, Chief Business Development Officer, OYO said, “Hotels with OYO get benefits CO-OYO’s cohesive full stack technology accessible on a single platform, ability to run promos at their own discretion, among other features, empowers hotel owners and their staff with necessary tools to boost revenues.”

The revamped CO-OYO app boasts features such as Growth Hub, Guest Experience Hub, Opt-In program options, Bookings Hub to support small and medium hospitality businesses run their operations through a single platform on their smartphones.

India’s newest airline Akasa Air has completed the first two months of its operation. Vinay Dube, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Akasa Air said, “Our first two months have been very exciting and satisfying as we moved from planning to commercial operations. We have been hyper focussed on establishing and delivering an empathetic, dependable, and reliable flying experience unlike anything witnessed in the Indian skies thus far”. “We are delighted that a significant number of flyers have already chosen to fly with us and are very pleased with the positive feedback we have received on our product and service. It is equally satisfying to see the pride in our employees as they work together to deliver the Akasa Experience”, he added.

 

After the successful completion of two months of its operations, Akasa Air will establish Delhi as the sixth destination on its network and inaugurate its first flight on the Delhi-Bengaluru and Delhi-Ahmedabad routes, on October 7, 2022. 

Both routes will be served with daily flights in each direction. The airline has announced eight destinations so far, including Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Kochi, Chennai, Delhi, Agartala and Guwahati being covered with 11 non-stop routes.

Praveen Iyer, Co-Founder, and Chief Commercial Officer, Akasa Air, said “We are elated by the response we have received as we welcomed on board more than 100,000 passengers within just 60 days of operations. Further strengthening our domestic connectivity and catering to more flyers during the festive season, we are delighted to be able to add Delhi to our network and connect the capital city to the rapidly growing and vibrant cities of Bengaluru and Ahmedabad. By expanding our network with an aircraft arriving every 15 days, we aim to fulfil our goal of developing a strong pan-India presence and expect to operate 300 weekly flights by October end.”

Belson Coutinho, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing & Experience Officer, Akasa Air said, “We set out with a promise to be a dependable airline focussing on warm, efficient, and reliable service. We are extremely happy with the reception and feedback on our product and service which motivates us not just to sustain but raise the standard of our service delivery. We will continue to provide our passengers with category-first and personalised product features which will help Akasa create a satisfied and loyal base of customers in the months to come”.

 “Further, as we continue with our vision to create an inclusive and humane travel experience, Akasa’s pet-friendly service will commence from 1st November 2022, wherein passengers flying on Akasa Air will be able to travel with their pets in the cabin. Taking an additional step to ease the travel experience of pet parents and their wards, we have joined hands with Umeed for Animals Foundation to ensure smooth pet-friendly travel”, he added.

TBO.com is all set to launch a SAAS-based booking platform ‘Paxes’ for corporates and travel management companies after its beta phase roll-out.

TBO has introduced Paxes as a purpose-built platform for TMC’s powered corporate travel. The platform has been utilized and acknowledged by some of the leading corporates fulfilled by Paxes network TMCs.

The platform enables corporations and TMCs to manage business travel globally and is a mobile-first corporate travel automation and self-booking solution focused on the business travel market.  It offers TMCs the entire gambit of functionalities including corporate profiling, implementation, inventory type and form of payments.

The platform provides for multiple invoice profiles and also helps corporates and TMCs undertake return on investment calculations. Additionally, Paxes allows users to create dynamic custom fields for granular reporting and analyse expenses through the spend analyser.

Speaking about the pan-India launch, Gaurav Bhatnagar, Co-founder, TBO.com , said, “Business travel is a very significant aspect that needs attention within all organizations. The vision at Paxes has always been to create made-to-measure solutions for TMCs and be their go-to partners for business travel needs. We have been tried and tested within the ecosystem by some leading companies, and they have acknowledged our services. There has never been a better time to make business travel in India easier and give many companies the power of Paxes.”

The platform is an offering of TBO Tek Limited which connects 100,000 travel buyers with a millions of suppliers over 110 countries.

Tourism Malaysia has appointed Ediwanto Eddie as Deputy Director of Tourism Malaysia in Mumbai. Eddie has joined Tourism Malaysia Mumbai office from September 1, 2022.

He has earlier worked for 8 years at the Tourism Malaysia headquarters in Putrajaya, Malaysia. At headquarters, he is involved in organizing of various domestic tourism roadshows and familiarization trips.

His key role now in Tourism Malaysia Mumbai would be to encourage marketing Malaysia as an attractive destination, to organize Trade and Media FAMs, to collaborate joint promos with trade & media partners, to participate in various trade fairs and organize Tourism Malaysia roadshow.

Star Air, the aviation arm of Sanjay Ghodawat Group, inaugurated its direct flight services between Mumbai and Kolhapur under the Regional Connectivity Scheme. Star Air will operate thrice a week between Mumbai and Kolhapur on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday to begin with and will plan to expand the frequency to a daily service after observing the passenger response.

The launch of Kolhapur not only celebrates the expansion of Star Air’s travel route but also marks the airline’s homecoming, as it serves as the base of Sanjay Ghodawat Group’s operations.

Commenting on the milestone achievement, Shrenik Ghodawat, MD, Star Air, said, “We are pleased to announce our homecoming flight. With the beautiful city of Kolhapur serving as SGG’s operations base, it is a surreal feeling to connect Star Air to its parent company. With the launch of Kolhapur as our 19th destination, it promises easy access to tourist attractions like the famous Town Hall, Khasbag Maidan, Panhala Fort, and religious destinations like the Mahalaxmi Temple. The launch of our new destination will not only bolster trade but also strengthen tourism between the cities. We hope to add many more regional cities to the travel map of India in the future.”

Currently, Star Air offers scheduled flight services to 19 Indian destinations that include Ahmedabad, Ajmer (Kishangarh), Bengaluru, Belagavi, Delhi (Hindon), Hubballi, Indore, Jodhpur, Kalaburagi, Mumbai, Nashik, Surat, Tirupati, Jamnagar, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Bhuj, Bidar, and Kolhapur.

Minister of Civil Aviation, Jyotiraditya M. Scindia along with Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Bhupesh Baghel inaugurated a direct flight from Bilaspur to Indore on 03rd October 2022.

The flight will operate between Bilaspur-Indore-Bilaspur effective 3rd October 2022. It will operate every Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Sunday on this route.

In his address, Scindia said “this new air connectivity will facilitate people of both the states and contribute to the economic development of the regions. The Minister further added that the Ministry is working to operationalise 200 destinations including heliports and water aerodromes by 2026. The central government is committed to take the civil aviation sector to newer heights and improve air connectivity in every part of the country.

Bilaspur and Indore are prominent cities in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh respectively. Enhanced air connectivity between these cities will help bolster tourism and trade activities in the region and contribute to their overall economic development.

Alliance Air’s Flight 9I 691 will depart from Bilaspur at 1135 hrs. and arrive in Indore at 1325 hrs. with an introductory all-inclusive fare of INR 2,847/-. Flight 9I 692 will depart from Indore at 1355 hrs. and arrive in Bilaspur at 1545 hrs. with an introductory all-inclusive fare of INR 3,218/-.

The inauguration was graced by Tulsi Silawat, Minister of Water, Resources of Madhya Pradesh, Jaisingh Agrawal, Minister in charge of District Bilaspur, Arun Sao, MP (LS) Bilaspur, Shankar Lalwani, MP (LS) Indore, Shailesh Pandey, MLA Bilaspur, Dharamlal Kaushik, MLA Bilha, Ramcharan Yadav, Mayor Municipal Corporation, Bilaspur, Rashmi Ashish Singh, Parliamentary Secretary, Government of Chhattisgarh. Besides, Usha Padhee, Addl. Secretary Ministry of Civil Aviation, Vikramdev Dutt, CMD, AIAHL, Vineet Sood, CEO, Alliance Air, and other dignitaries from MoCA, AAI, Alliance Air, and local administration from Bilaspur, and Indore were also present.

 

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