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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

The Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) announces its Convention at Kuching in Sarawak, Malaysia this September from 20th to 23rd 2022. TAFI is organizing this convention after a gap of four years. The theme of the convention is ‘Build Back Better’.

Elaborating on the theme, Ajay Prakash, President, TAFI said: “As we seek recovery post-COVID, it is vital that the tourism industry does not forget the lessons of the Pandemic. As one of the biggest Global Industries, the power of Tourism to shape the world is phenomenal. It can be a powerful force for doing good, not only for the stake holders but for the entire world. Build Back Better encapsulates the resolve to rebuild Tourism in a more responsible and sustainable manner.”

The Convention Committee is Chaired by Seeraj Sabharwal and Jigar Dudakiya is Deputy Chairman.

Commenting on the choice of Destination, the Convention Chairman Sabharwal said “Sarawak is a relatively unexplored Destination for the Indian Traveller. Sarawak is an excellent destination for Family Travel, Honeymooners, MICE, Weddings and the Film Industry. TAFI has often organised conventions in Unique and Unusual locations to expand the portfolio of Travel Agents & Tour Operators of INDIA.” The Convention package will be inclusive of a 3 Nights Pre or Post Convention Tours to beautiful places within Malaysia.

Dudakiya further commented on the choice of the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) – “with its state-of-the-art equipment & facilities BCCK is the first International purpose-built Convention Centre in Kuching Sarawak, Malaysia. The Convention Centre can host upto 5000 People with an uninterrupted WIFI internet service for upto 8000 simultaneous users.

The TAFI Convention is supported by Tourism Malaysia, Sarwak Tourism Board, Business Events Sarawak, Malaysia Airlines, Malindo (now rechristened Batik) and Air Asia.

“There is palpable excitement among our Membership since a Convention is happening after 4 years and TAFI Conventions are always eagerly awaited. We expect an excellent turnout of delegates and Speakers. Sarawak is at the forefront of responsible, sustainable eco-tourism and is the ideal destination to begin our journey to BUILD – BACK – BETTER,” Prakash concluded.

TAFI with a membership of more than 1400 tour operators and travel agents account for approximately 70% of all outbound travel from India.


Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) paid tribute to the national carrier’s 85-year journey and unveiled the coffee-table book titled ‘Rising to a New Horizon: A New Journey Begins’, letting readers go on a historical journey of Malaysia Airlines. The book is presented in seven chapters that narrate MAG's massive transformational journey from organizational culture, performance, and business sustainability perspectives. The book highlights Malaysia Airlines’ rich history and is an insightful reflection of its People, captured through curated images and moments from the airline’s past until the present day.

The event took place in MAB Academy with the presence of YB Datuk Seri Ir. Dr. Wee Ka Siong, Minister of Transport of Malaysia. The event also witnessed the presence of Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, Group Chairman and Captain Izham Ismail, Group Chief Executive Officer, and representatives from the airline’s stakeholders.

Captain Izham Ismail mentioned, “This book is an ode to the beloved carrier that all of us, from across Malaysia and the world have helped to build and sustain over the years. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we looked beyond the initial crisis and dug deep to find the hidden opportunities that it created for us. We then embarked on a massive restructuring exercise and successfully reset our balance sheet and transformed our business dynamics to realign with our long-term aspirations and ensure business sustainability.

Malaysia Airlines has, thus far, successfully navigated through some of the worst times for the industry. When the industry was still reeling from a global crisis, we narrowed our full-year net loss for 2021 by 60%, achieving a positive EBITDA of RM433 million from strong cargo revenue performance and stringent cost management without retrenching our staff. We are set to reach breakeven by 2023, but with headwinds from fuel and forex, this may be a continuous challenge for the organization. However, we remain bullish and focused on our path to success, yet also cautious about mitigating any future organizational shocks.”

Royal Orchid & Regenta Hotels opened two new hotels in Himachal Pradesh last month. The newly launched hotels are located in the beautiful locations of two hill station destinations, Regenta Place Green Leaf Manali and Regenta Place Hilltop Shimla.

Regenta Place Green Leaf, Manali - with 37 well-designed rooms & many amenities. Property is hosted in the lap of nature, with a cascading water stream, apple orchards, and the majestic 'Hamta' range and pass covered with sheets of snow, nearby.

Regenta Place Hilltop, Shimla - Nestled at the hilltop amidst the serene prospect hill. The hotel offers cozy 25 rooms & suites is designed & has a revolving restaurant the only one in Shimla. The hotel is at an altitude of 2200 meters from sea level and offers a 360-degree panoramic view of Shimla on one side and Chandigarh on the other.

Commenting on the new launch, Chander K. Baljee, Chairman & Managing Director said, "The first quarter of 2022 is a very fruitful and positive move in the hotel industry, at the same time our brand has been growing from strength to strength. With the addition of these, we opened two hotels in the hill station destination of India i.e, Shimla & Manali, now there will be 9 ROHL hotels in the hill station destination. The opening of these two Regenta places will further bolster our portfolio, add revenues and increase profitability in the years to come. We remain steadfast and focused on our goal to reach the milestone of 100 hotels by the end of March 2023. I'm confident that in the months and years to come we will continue to grow at a phenomenal rate and reach greater height's".

Angkasa Pura Aviasi (APA), the Joint Venture Company of GMR Airports Limited (Subsidiary of GMR Infrastructure Limited) and Indonesia's state-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura II (AP2), announced that it has assumed the operational charge of the Kualanamu International Airport in Medan, Indonesia (Medan Airport).

The joint venture (JV) formally took over the operations of Medan airport today in the presence of Budi Karya Sumadi - Minister of Transportation (MOT), Erick Thohir - Minister of State Owned Enterprises (MSOE), Edy Rachmayadi - Governor of North Sumatra and Muhammad Awaluddin - President Director, Angkasa Pura 2.

Speaking on the occasion, Srinivas Bommidala, Chairman - Energy & International Airports, GMR Group, said, "GMR Airports Limited is delighted to be part of such a momentous occasion. We would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our commitment to transforming Medan Airport into the Western International hub of Indonesia and contributing to the overall infrastructure development of the country. Our participation in the project is in line with Hon'ble Prime Minister, Narendra Modi's 'Look East' policy and President Jokowi's commitment to developing infrastructure in Indonesia. The development of Medan Airport under our Joint Venture will lead to further growth in tourism and business activities between India & Indonesia. This also reinforces GMR Group's credentials as one of the largest airport developer and operator globally."

With this, the GMR Group has expanded its international footprint. It is the only Indian airport operator with a significant presence in South-East Asia and Europe. At present, GMR is operating the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) in the Philippines and recently finished the construction of Clark Airport, Philippines. Medan airport would be the second operating asset in the company's portfolio in South-East Asia. The Group is also coming up with a Greenfield airport at Crete in Greece (Europe).

GMR Airports Limited had bid for the development and operation of Medan Airport. The international selection process was conducted by PT Angkasa Pura II to select a strategic partner for Medan Airport. APII is a state-owned enterprise handling 20 airports in Indonesia.

In November 2021, GMR Airports Limited was announced as the winning bidder. The Shareholders' Agreement (SHA) and Share Subscription Agreement (SSA) with Angkasa Pura II was signed in December 2021. With the signing of the agreements, GMR had entered into a 49:51 partnership with APII.

Medan is the 4th largest urban area in the country and is the capital of North Sumatra province.

BLS International has been authorized by the Royal Thai Embassy to provide visa services in Kenya. BLS international has started accepting visa applications on behalf of the Royal Thai embassy from July 1, 2022.

Commenting on this, Shikhar Aggarwal, Joint Managing Director, BLS International said, “We are extremely delighted to further extend our ongoing relationship with the Royal Thai Embassy. In addition to our contract with them for processing visa applications in India, we are now proud to be chosen for Kenya as well. We shall continue to deliver our best-in class services and further strengthen our existing partnerships. Our centre in Kenya will be well equipped with excellent visa processing facilities, which would be easy to access and will be able to provide a delightful experience to the customers.’’

BLS International will be providing form filling assistance to the applicants. Keeping in mind the applicant’s convenience, several value-added optional services like assistance in form filling, printing & photocopy, SMS tracking and courier services for convenience of the applicant. 

Airports Authority of India (AAI) signed an Operation & Management agreement for operationalization of five airports owned by the Government of Uttar Pradesh for a period of 30 years. These five airports are Aligarh, Azamgarh, Chitrakoot, Muirpur & Shravasti.


The agreement was signed by N V Subbarayudu, ED (SIU) on behalf of AAI and Kumar Harsh, Special Secretary, Civil Aviation Department, Government of Uttar Pradesh in presence of Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister, Government of Uttar Pradesh. The MoU was exchanged by Sanjeev Kumar, Chairman AAI and SP Goyal Additional Chief Secretary, Uttar Pradesh. D S Mishra, Chief Secretary of UP, AK Pathak, Member Planning (AAI) were also present.

As per the agreement, AAI will operate and manage the airports and provide all necessary services. Communication Navigation Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) services will also be provided by AAI, for which State Government will enter into a separate agreement.

Further, Reserved Services will be provided by respective GoI for which GoUP shall enter separate Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), GoI. AAI will also be responsible for obtaining and maintaining of aerodrome license for these five airports.

As per the agreement, Government of UP will complete the initial capital works for making airports ready for commercial operation and hand over all moveable and immovable assets along with relevant approvals, document to AAI for operation & management. Government of Uttar Pradesh will provide dedicated infrastructure for utilities like water, electricity and drainage connection etc. at the airport (to & within).

This is the first time AAI is entering into an O&M Agreement with the State Government for Operationalization of State Government owned airports. AAI being the largest airport operator and sole air navigation service provider is committed towards providing air connectivity across the country.   

Gaurav Sinha, who earlier held the position of Director of Operations at JW Marriott Hotel Bengaluru, has been elevated as the Hotel Manager at the property.     

In his career, he has showcased a proven record of attaining goals, cost control and building strong customer relationships to ensure repeat and referral business.

Starting his career with an Indian hospitality chain at Trident Udaipur, Gaurav has worked at various managerial roles with some other brands in India. Gaurav has been part of the Marriott family ever since he joined as the Director of Rooms at JW Marriott Aerocity New Delhi in 2017.

CapitaLand Investment Limited’s (CLI) wholly owned lodging business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott) announced it is acquiring Oakwood Worldwide (Oakwood), a premier global serviced apartment provider, from Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd. The acquisition increases Ascott’s global portfolio by 81 properties and about 15,000 units. Oakwood’s approximately 8,500 operational units are expected to immediately contribute to Ascott’s recurring fee income streams upon completion of the transaction slated in 3Q 2022.

Ascott’s acquisition of Oakwood will leapfrog Ascott’s global presence to more than 150,000 units in about 900 properties across over 200 cities in 39 countries.

It will add new markets which include Cheongju in South Korea; Zhangjiakou and Qingdao in China; Dhaka in Bangladesh as well as Washington D.C. in the United States of America (USA).

Kevin Goh, CLI’s Chief Executive Officer for Lodging, said: “This acquisition of Oakwood is part of Ascott’s roadmap to playing a bigger role in the lodging market. There are significant synergies between Ascott and Oakwood, given our complementary footprint and product offerings. We intend to build on the strong reputation and heritage of the Oakwood brand, especially in markets across Southeast Asia, North Asia and North America. Oakwood will continue to grow alongside Ascott’s current portfolio of global brands as we continue to build growth momentum for our lodging business. We will be able to leverage Ascott’s extensive expertise as a global lodging player to deliver greater value to our expanded network of loyal customers and property owners.”

Union Minister for MSME Narayan Rane recently inaugurated the Maati Nature Resort in Kankavli, in Sindhudurg District of Konkan. The Minister, in a move to promote MSME and tourism in the Konkan region, urged the villagers to come forward and take the advantages of the schemes under his Ministry. He also mentioned that the inauguration of the new Chipi Airport in Sindhudurg has opened new avenues of growth of local trade and tourism.

“Konkan is a popular destination for those looking to combine nature and wellness with cultural interest,” said Sakshi Sawant, Director of Maati Nature Resort. “As we understand the Konkan belt and its beauty, we are delighted to open the doors to this beautiful resort and bring our brand promise of ‘Stay with the Nature’ for the first time to Kankavli, Sindhudurg.”

Wishing the best to the management of Maati Nature Resort, Rane appreciated the unique concept behind designing the resort and advised to give the best experience to the guests and spread the network of Maati all around the country. Maati is a synonym of Soil in Marathi.

SriLankan Airlines confirms that claims made about its operations to Tiruchirappalli in a recent news article on a South Indian daily newspaper are completely untrue.

SriLankan Airlines continues to operate daily flights from Tiruchirappalli to Colombo, and there has been no reduction in the number of scheduled passenger flights being operated between the two cities contrary to what has been reported in the press.

India remains one of SriLankan Airlines’ leading markets and the airline has consistently strived to enhance its services in India and offer Indian customers with a greater overall travel experience.

Moving on from the pandemic, the airline increased its frequency of flights across India at the start of this Summer season, including the introduction of daily flights between Tiruchirappalli and Colombo.



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