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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

Cordelia Cruises has appointed Oneel Verma as its Chief Operating Officer.  In his new role, Verma will be spearheading the sales, marketing, customer services, human resources and IT functions.   Prior to Cordelia Cruises he was working with Mahindra Holidays and Resorts India Limited as the Chief Customer Acquisition Officer. 

 

Verma brings to the table a vast experience of over 30 years in sales, marketing, operations and general management across various sectors.

Verma has also worked with organizations like Carona Limited – Puma Division, Coca-Cola India, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages, Cadbury Schweppes, Reliance Infocom, Tata Teleservices and Sterling Holidays & Resorts (India).

Hostel brand goSTOPS is adding 3 more hostels, one each in Ooty, Coorg, and Auroville in the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. With this, the total functioning locations in its network have increased from 28 to 30.

The new properties acquired in February by the full-stack operator brand, which leases and transforms budget hotels into high-quality backpacker hostels, comprise both deluxe private rooms and spacious dorms, starting at an affordable cost of INR 500 per night.

On the expansion announcement, Pallavi Agarwal, Founder and CEO, goSTOPS, said, “Post covid, we are witnessing a demand recovery towards leisure destinations such as Jaipur, Udaipur, Manali, Mussorie, Nainital, and Mukteshwar, which are attracting massive interest among our core audience as they offer a mix of tranquillity, adventure, and local experiences. As we scale further and through a renewed focus towards people, processes, and technology, we are confident that we are well-poised to curate a holistic travel experience for our patrons.”

Pankaj Parwanda, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, goSTOPS, quoted on the announcement, “Through our robust expansion, we aim to provide access, increase availability and rapidly scale up the supply of high-quality hotel accommodation tailored to the evolving psychographics of an underserved Indian youth today through a shared economy model. Our goal is to expand the goSTOPS community by adding more thrilling properties across various locations within the country.”

goSTOPS captures more than 12 crore revenue per anum. Every month, the brand hosts 20,000 travellers in its hostels and adds about 300 beds and 5 hostels. By 2024, goSTOPS aims to reach a mark of 31,000 beds and foray into Southeast Asian countries including Sri Lanka and Nepal. The brand recently added new and second properties to some locations like Mussorie, Kasol, and Bangalore.

AirAsia X (AAX) has resumed its twice weekly services to/from New Delhi, India starting 20 April 2022 with a sendoff event for guests at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (klia2) to mark the occasion.

CEO of AirAsia X Benyamin Ismail said: “Today marks an important milestone for AAX, not only for our recovery as an airline but also for the resumption of the nation’s tourism industry. The gradual resumption of our most popular routes has been highly anticipated by our guests and across the tourism value chain, providing a welcome boost to the countries’ economic recovery as a whole.

“We would also like to applaud and thank governments in our key markets such as Australia, the Republic of Korea and India for reopening their borders and relaxing travel restrictions. AAX looks forward to working with all relevant industry stakeholders to rebuild the aviation and travel industry together. We will continue to review our network and cater to the increasing demand in our core markets. More services to additional destinations will be announced in due course as the world continues to reopen safely.

“As we return to the skies, we wish to assure everyone that we remain committed to upholding the highest standards of safety and hygiene at all times. Every AirAsia Allstar on-ground and in the air is fully vaccinated and ready to provide world-class service and the best quality guest experience including on our award-winning Premium Flatbed, alongside stringent safety rules and procedures for a total peace of mind.”

Following the success of the last festive weekend, OYO has now crossed over 8 lakh bookings this week, a record high for 2022. At its peak, over 950 storefronts (hotels & homes) were sold out with 100% occupancy on Saturday, 16th April.

OYO attributes the success of this milestone to its app that provides increased flexibility to today’s travellers with features like ‘Pay at Hotel’. Additionally, on average, 20% of the bookings were made by OYO’s Wizard members, India’s second largest loyalty programme.

As consumer behavior continues to evolve, OYO rolled out several features offering flexibility to travellers. This combined with the waning out of pandemic-related barriers to travel led to significant rise in travel bookings amid the summer season. Relaxation of restrictions, high vaccination rates across the country, rise in air travel, beginning of school holidays, and pent-up travel demand are key external factors that contributed to this travel resurgence.

The OYO App is built to provide convenience and flexibility to travellers. This reflects in the app’s adoption across India. It is also the third most downloaded travel app, globally. Overall, during the long weekend itself, a majority of the bookings for patron hotels and homes came from OYO’s direct channels, mainly the OYO App, website and corporate bookings. Features such as ‘Pay at Hotel’, 3-click booking process, easy cancellation, and VaccinAid makes OYO the preferred platform to book stays in India.

Commenting on the steady bounce back in travel, Shreerang Godbole, SVP - Product & Chief Service Officer - OYO said, “OYO continues to see a surge in weekend travel demand two weeks in a row. Last weekend, we saw over 3 lakh bookings and this week, we’ve crossed the 8 lakh bookings mark. This is exciting news for the travel and hospitality sector. It indicates that India is set to witness travel resurgence over the next few weeks of the summer season. Over the years, we focused our innovations to build a consumer-friendly app and become the preferred platform among evolved travellers. ‘Pay At Hotel’, Nearby Stays, and our easy cancellation policies give consumers the flexibility to make last minute travel decisions even during peak weekends.”

He added, “Our data also indicates an expected rise in bookings across leisure destinations such as Gangtok, Srinagar, Coorg, McLeodganj, Nainital, Rishikesh, Darjeeling, Manali and Shillong. We’re thrilled about the bounce back and continue to work towards offering quality and flexible experiences to our consumers as they head out.”

flydubai, the Dubai-based airline, has announced today that it will resume operations to Hail and Tabuk in Saudi Arabia, which will bring the number of destinations served by the carrier in the Kingdom to ten. Flights to Hail and Tabuk will commence on 09 May with five weekly flights.  

flydubai has built a network of more than 95 unique destinations in 50 countries served by a young fleet of 63 Boeing 737 aircraft. With the resumption of flights to Hail and Tabuk, flydubai’s network in Saudi Arabia has now grown to ten destinations including AlUla, Dammam, Gassim, Jeddah, Madinah, Riyadh, Taif and Yanbu.

Flights to Hail International Airport (HAS) and Tabuk International Airport (TUU) will operate five times a week from Dubai World Central (DWC). Following the completion of the northern runway refurbishment project which is scheduled to take place in Dubai International (DXB) from 09 May to 22 June 2022, flights to Hail and Tabuk will resume from Terminal 2 from 23 June.

From May 1-3, 2022, top representatives of the international travel industry and media landscape from 34 countries will come to Oberammergau to learn about the latest trends, developments and tourism products in Germany and get to know the region at the Germany Travel Mart (GTM).

The focus is on business deals for the coming year. The GTM is the most important sales event for incoming tourism in Germany and is organized annually by the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) in cooperation with changing partners as a Green Meeting.

At the heart of the GTM are two workshop days, where this year 164 companies from the German tourism industry will present the diversity and quality of their services in incoming tourism to over 200 buyers from the international travel industry and negotiate business deals.

For the approx. 90 international media representatives an extensive information program is planned with emphasis on topics nature, culture, active, health as well as tradition and customs. The official opening of the GTM will take place at the Oberammergau Passion Theater shortly before the start of the 42nd Passion Play. The following day, GTM participants are invited to an evening event at the Festspielhaus below Neuschwanstein Castle.

Petra Hedorfer, Chief Executive Officer : "After we were only able to hold the GTM virtually for the past two years due to the pandemic, we are sending out a clear signal for the further recovery of incoming travel in 2022, 80 percent, the highest level since the beginning of the pandemic. Our GNTB Expert Panel of more than 250 key accounts in the international travel industry confirms an increase in demand for sustainable travel, for which they see Germany in first place.

Our partners this year, Oberammergau and the Zugspitz Region, as well as Bayern Tourismus Marketing, have prepared a supporting program with a high degree of professionalism, which impressively presents the efficiency of the German tourism companies and the variety of offers, especially in the rural regions.

Walter Rutz, Managing Director Passionsspiele Oberammergau Vertriebs GmbH & Co. KG: "We had to postpone the Passion Play for two years, but now the time has come. We are very happy about the great interest of the international participants and journalists to visit the dress rehearsals and to take a look behind the scenes shortly before the premiere. We are sure that we can also make an attractive contribution to presenting Germany as a tourist destination."

Philipp Holz, Tourism Manager Zugspitz Region GmbH: "The GTM is an excellent opportunity to show the international trade audience the attractive tourism offers of our region. A highlight will certainly be the workshop day on the summit of the Zugspitze."

Romit Theophilus, Director, Sales & Marketing, India said ‘‘ The GTM Germany Travel Mart™ is a high-calibre forum at which German providers will meet key buyers from the Indian travel industry. The Providers and buyers specifically selected for the GTM, combined with highly professional organisation, make the GTM the top event of the travel year – a season opener and a key event. This highly efficient platform for buying and selling also presents the latest news and trends in Germany's incoming tourism industry to selected Indian journalists, whose reports then generate additional impetus in the German travel market.”

GO FIRST (formerly known as GoAir) has announced that it has been accorded approval for night parking at Jammu and Srinagar airports from Airport Authority of India (AAI), becoming the first airline to receive the permission. Shri Manoj Sinha, Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir made the announcement yesterday at an official event, allowing one Airbus A320neo aircraft each to be parked at Jammu airport and Srinagar airport.

The first flight for night parking was received by Manoj Sinha, Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir in the august presence of  Prakash Ranjan Thakur, Principal Secretary Civil Aviation, Industries and Commerce; AOC IAF G S Bhullar, Sanjeev Gargh, Airport Director; Mahesh Kumar, CASO; Manjeet Singh, IOC Manager; Kapil Tickoo, BCAS Coordinator; Khurshid, Terminal Manager AAI; COO IAF, Group Captain Sandeep Singh; Yogesh Mishra, Assistant Commandant CISF; Mukesh Singh, IGP JK UT Police.

This is a significant development for the union territory as the night parking permission will facilitate better flight operations from the region.

Speaking on the development, Kaushik Khona, Chief Executive Officer, GO FIRST said: “We are delighted at this development. We would like to thank the authorities for their kind consideration and will continue our commitment to the development of J&K.”

Lords Hotels and Resorts has elevated some of its best talent by promoting them to senior positions.

Shailej N Teri, who has been in this organization since April 2018 and has had a good innings; and been awarded with a promotion from General Manager – Support pre -opening & Nepal to Area General Manager.

Pritesh Solanki, who has been in the company since August 2013. He has been promoted from General Manager to Senior General Manager Lords Inn Porbandar.

Joined in November 2019, Prateek Sharma of Lords Inn Somnath has been promoted from General Manager to Senior General Manager.

They have been with the company for a while now, providing valuable service to the company with increasing responsibility. In their respective new positions, they will be responsible for all facets of their Unit’s relation with Lords.

Hilton and Alexis Hospitality announced the opening of Hilton Garden Inn Pune Hinjawadi.

Located within the Rajiv Gandhi Infotech Park, the 144-room hotel marks the entry of the Hilton Garden Inn brand in Pune.

“I am thrilled to announce the introduction of the Hilton Garden Inn brand to Pune. India continues to witness a speedy recovery in travel and our commitment to grow our estate in India remains on track with this opening”. said Navjit Ahluwalia, Senior Vice President and Country Head, Hilton India.

“Alexis Hospitality is delighted to partner with Hilton to introduce the Hilton Garden Inn brand to the city of Pune. The team looks forward to delivering positive, upbeat service to all its guests “Samir Shah, General Manager, Hilton Garden Inn Pune Hinjawadi.

The hotel comprises of 144 rooms with scenic views.

“As one of the fastest growing Hilton brands in the region, Hilton Garden Inn is a popular choice amongst savvy travelers looking to maximise the value of their travels. Beyond its strategic location close to Pune’s IT hub, Hilton Garden Inn Pune Hinjawadi offers upscale and affordable accommodations, modern amenities and thoughtful, heartfelt service that appeals to domestic and international business and leisure travelers alike.” said Jenny Milos, Vice President, Focused Service and All Suites Brands, Asia Pacific.

Vietjet has announced four new services linking India and Vietnam, including Mumbai - Hanoi, Mumbai - Ho Chi Minh City, New Delhi – Phu Quoc and Mumbai - Phu Quoc, marking the airline’s post-pandemic return and continued expansion in the country.

Attending the announcement ceremony were Chairman of the National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Vuong Dinh Hue, Speaker of the Lower House of the Parliament of India Om Birla, and Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam Le Minh Khai. The event was held during the official visit of the Indian Parliament delegation to Vietnam.   

The direct services from Mumbai to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi will commence operation on June 3 and June 4, 2022, with a frequency of four weekly return flights and three weekly return flights respectively.  From September 9, 2022, onwards, the Mumbai - Phu Quoc route will operate four round trips per week while the New Delhi – Phu Quoc will operate with a frequency of three round trips per week.   

Prior to the pandemic, Vietjet had operated two direct routes linking India's capital city of New Delhi with Vietnam’s capital city of Hanoi and the financial hub of Ho Chi Minh City in addition to charter flights from Vietnam to Bodh Gaya, the Indian Buddhist pilgrimage site. The two existing services between New Delhi and Ho Chi Minh City/Hanoi will soon resume, on April 29 and April 30, 2022 respectively, with a frequency of three weekly return flights on each route.   

"We are thrilled to continue connecting Vietnam with India, the country of 1.4 billion population via six direct routes and reenergise our operations right in the post pandemic environment,” said Vietjet Managing Director Dinh Viet Phuong.   

“With flights of just over five hours per leg, and a convenient flight schedule on offer throughout the week, Vietjet's renewed and increased connectivity between Vietnam and India will create many more trade and tourism opportunities between the two countries, helping to boost the economies of both. The expansion of Vietjet's flight network into India also reaffirms the airline's ongoing commitment to continuously help travellers save on cost and time. Passengers can enjoy flying on our new and modern aircraft and taking transit flights to famous destinations in Southeast Asian countries, such as Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and many other countries, thanks to Vietjet’s extensive flight network in the Asia Pacific region,” he added.

 

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