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In a bid to live up to its commitment to promote heritage tourism in India, Resbird Technologies Private limited (part of Bird Group) signed an MoU with the Ministry of Tourism to launch ‘Audio Odigos’ - a mobile audio guide app for travelers.
The handing over ceremony of ‘Memorandum of Understanding' and 'Letter of Intent’ (for Beatles Ashram - Uttrakhand) by Ministry of Tourism under ‘Adopt a Heritage: Apni Dharohar, Apni Pehchaan’ was held today in Delhi where in Mr. Himanshu Kumar, Business Head - BirdApps and Ms. Geetanjali Nanda, Senior Executive Assistant – Business & Projects received the MOU at the ‘National Conference of Tourism Ministers’ amidst the gathering of delegates from the ministry.
Audio Odigos will equip users with information on each monument with pictures, content and voice over support in a variety of languages including English, Hindi, Japanese, Korean.
The Audio Odigos app will contain an inbuilt map of the locations for a smooth navigation during the tour. Listeners will be offered various options like synopsis, detailed description and podcasts which can be selected depending on their preference.
Audio Odigos will soon be available for download on all Android and iOS supported mobile phones.
Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) has re-appointed TRAC Representations as their India Representative to strengthen press relations and marketing strategy as a destination for diverse segments of travellers. The key objective is to enhance the positioning of Jamaica as a favoured travel destination for weddings, honeymoon, leisure and b-leisure amongst the travellers from the India market.
Commenting on being re-appointed as the India Representative for JTB, Simeron Ghei, Associate Director, TRAC Representations, expressed, "We are delighted with this re-appointment and privileged to be representing JTB in India. Jamaica is the ideal romantic island destination for those seeking an unforgettable experience for an anniversary or a honeymoon or simply just an unusual getaway. With so much to offer, destination Jamaica, promises the best of everything to the Indian travellers. On the anvil are various engagements with Travel Trade as well as Consumer Marketing activations. We continue to promote this surreal beauty of Caribbean in the India market, exclusively with Media to increase the visitor arrivals from India to Jamaica."
Jamaica, a land of unique culture, engaging activities and breath-taking landscapes, presents a magnificent palette of experiences, a kaleidoscope of colours and sounds that make the island the most precious jewel in the Caribbean. The country offers an exhilarating choice for all age groups and has enough ingredients to incite a perfect Caribbean vacation.
The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) announced plans to prohibit the sale of water in plastic bottles effective August 20, 2019. This move will require all airport retailers, restaurants, airline lounges, and vending machines to sell or provide water in recyclable aluminum, glass or BPI-certified compostable bottles. The policy applies to purified water, mineral water, carbonated or sparkling water, and electrolyte-enhanced water, but does not include flavored beverages such as sodas, teas, or juices.
“SFO continues to lead the way in airport sustainability initiatives,” said Airport Director Ivar C. Satero. “With this move, we take a giant step towards our goal to achieve zero waste going into landfill. I appreciate the support of our SFO business community in making this bold move for our environment.”
In 2016, SFO established a goal to achieve zero waste going to landfill by 2021. Since then, SFO has been working with concessions and tenants on policies to achieve this goal, including a requirement to provide single-use food ware in compostable packaging.
In addition to the purchase of bottled water, customers may bring a reusable beverage container to fill up at any of SFO’s approximately 100 free Hydration Stations and drinking fountains, located in all terminals both pre- and post-security. As a reminder, TSA regulations still limit liquids in a carry-on to less than 3 ounces.
Passenger activity at SFO generates over 28 million pounds of waste annually, which includes approximately 10,000 bottles of water sold every day at SFO. Worldwide, less than 25% of plastic bottles get recycled, and the market for the recycling of plastic bottles continues to shrink. It is estimated that a single plastic bottle takes anywhere from 450 – 1,000 years to biodegrade in landfill.
Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT) conducted a roadshow in New Delhi yesterday to enhance commercial ties with the Indian travel trade fraternity. The team interacted with over 300 key travel and tour operators, MICE providers, up-market leisure operators and media personnel.
The Israeli delegation was led by the newly appointed Director of Tourism for India & Philippines markets, Sammy Yahia along with Judah Samuel, Director – Marketing, Israel Ministry of Tourism, India and included representative partners from the tourism industry of Israel.
Commenting on the roadshow, Yahiya said, “The arrivals from India have exceeded expectations in the last few years and we have seen the same trend in 2019. India currently stands third in Asia among the top source markets for Israel. While keeping the current momentum going, the idea is to aggressively work towards increasing connectivity between India & Israel by introducing new airlines to service the route. I am delighted with this new position and foresee ample opportunities for us to push boundaries and reinvent the ever evolving and dynamic Indian traveller”.
Israel Ministry of Tourism participated in various trade fairs and exhibitions this year including APEX, MILT, EXITO and SATTE to showcase the dynamic offerings of the destination to the travel trade community thereby luring travellers to consider Israel for a leisure holiday.
Alongside, Israel has also quickly become Middle-East’s newest business tourism destination, gaining popularity with the Indian corporate and MICE segment. MICE travel to the country is booming at a steady pace as a YPO delegation is expected to travel in September this year while a 25-person delegation from Aries Agro Limited will be visiting Israel in September. A massive MICE movement was the CREDAI 19th NATCON 2019 hosted by CREDAI Telangana & CREDAI Andhra Pradesh in August that witnessed 850 attendees.
IndiGo has announced the opening of the sale for its daily non-stop flights to China, after receiving the necessary regulatory approvals. Having announced its entry in June, IndiGo will operate daily non-stop flights between Delhi-Chengdu effective September 15, 2019. Chengdu, one of the busiest and fastest growing cities in China, will be IndiGo’s 20th international destination.
William Boulter, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo said, “We are pleased to open bookings for Chengdu, our 20th international destination. China, besides being a popular destination for Indian tourists, is also the world’s largest source of outbound travellers. Increased connectivity between India and China will attract Chinese tourists to the country, contributing to economic growth and social cohesion between the two nations. China is a market with immense potential and holds prominent trade, cultural and tourism value”.
Boulter further added, “IndiGo will continue to expand its network to meet the requirements of both business and leisure travellers while offering more flexibility at affordable fares, on-time performance, and a courteous and hassle-free flying experience”.
OYO Hotels and Homes will strengthen its workforce in India by adding 3,000+ OYOpreneurs over a course of six months (H1 2020). The development is aligned with the hospitality company's commitment towards investing around Rs 1400 crores by 2019-end in India & South Asia business, as part of its efforts to further double down on its expansion plans, improve customer experience and ensure an increase in continued asset owner success.
OYO is currently present across 300+ cities in India and has over 200,000 exclusive keys as part of its chain of 10,000+ franchised and leased hotels.
Currently, 9,000+ OYOpreneurs-strong, OYO is looking at recruiting 3,000+ employees across multiple functions, including Business Development, Operations, Service, Sales and Enterprise Partnerships. The efforts will fuel OYO’s next phase of growth in India where the hotel chain has transformed the fragmented hospitality industry with the means of technology and talent. The company had earlier committed to hiring over 2020 technology experts and engineers by 2020. OYO has already crossed the 2020 target and, today, over 2,100+ engineers and data scientists drive its proprietary technology that power the chain’s 23,000+ hotels across the globe and enable hassle-free and comfortable experience for millions of guests.
Commenting on the development, Aditya Ghosh, CEO - India and South Asia, OYO Hotels and Homes, said, ‘’Today, OYO is India’s largest hotel chain and we are at the forefront of transforming India’s and global hospitality experience. In the past six years, each one of the 9,000+ OYOpreneurs has shown relentless commitment towards our mission of creating beautifully designed, chic and comfortable living spaces while ensuring high-quality accommodation for both Indian and international travelers. With the addition of over 3,000 employees over the next six months (H1 2020), we are reiterating OYO’s commitments towards adding value to the country’s hospitality industry by continuing to provide a great experience at an affordable price to guests while building strong relationships with asset owners.’’
IndiGo announces to launch Bengaluru - Belgaum service effective September 08, 2019. Belgaum will be IndiGo’s 58th domestic and 77th overall destination. The airline has inaugurated 4 new flights on Bengaluru-Belgaum and Bengaluru-Madurai. Further strengthening its connectivity out of Bengaluru, these new routes will be serviced by an ATR-18 aircraft.
William Boulter, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo said, “We are delighted to announce the launch of Belgaum as a new domestic destination along with additional flights between Bengaluru and Madurai. Belgaum with its strong historical significance and nature tourism presents a huge potential for enhancing tourism & trade out of Karnataka. These flights will strengthen point-to-point connectivity out of Bengaluru and enhance mobility within southern India. We will continue to expand as per the sectoral demand and offer an on-time, courteous and hassle-free service and affordable flying experience to our customers.”
In a move to support aviation bodies to revamp airport infrastructure at Delhi and Mumbai, IndiGo will shift a part of its domestic operations to terminal 3 of Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi and Terminal 2 of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport from September 05, 2019. All the flights with call sign between 6E 5000 - 6E 5999 will be departing from and arriving at Terminal 3 of Delhi and Terminal 2 of Mumbai.
During this transition phase, IndiGo has taken measures to ensure passengers are informed at every stage while flying with 6E. IndiGo is reaching out to all affected passengers and their respective travel agents via SMS, calls, and emails provided in reservation. IndiGo passengers are requested to retrieve their PNR on our website or mobile app to check their terminal before leaving for the airport.
Commenting on the development, William Boulter, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo said, “As we expand our domestic and international operations, we are also spreading our footprint across airports within Delhi and Mumbai. September 05, 2019 onwards, IndiGo will be operating domestic flights from the terminals 1,2 and 3 in Delhi and terminals 1 and 2 in Mumbai. We request all the passengers to check their terminal before departing for airport. This move has come as part of enhancing the overall airport infrastructure of these cities. IndiGo, with its focus on supporting economic growth through increased mobility, is happy to cooperate with the authorities.”
The Government has opened 137 mountain peaks for foreigners desirous of obtaining Mountaineering Visa (MX) for mountaineering and trekking. These peaks are located in the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim. While the highest numbers of 51 peaks have been opened to foreigners in Uttarakhand, 15 peaks of Jammu and Kashmir have also been included in the list.
Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (IC) has expressed his gratitude to the Ministry of Home Affairs for acceding to the request of Tourism Ministry to open up more peaks to foreigners. It is an historic step towards promoting adventure tourism in the country, Patel said.
Earlier, while addressing the Tourism Ministers from States/UTs at the National Tourism Conference in New Delhi recently, Patel emphasized on the need for ensuring safety of those travellers going for adventure tourism. He urged the states to exercise utmost caution while registering adventure tourism operators and also to ensure that the adventure tourism guidelines are followed by the states.
Giving a new direction to the promotional activities, Destination Canada has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) recently in Mumbai to jointly conduct presentation workshops to its members in 7 cities across India. The purpose of this activity is to engage with senior members of the retail chain (travel agents, tour operators, OTAs & event specialists) and provide for ideation on new product offerings serving leisure, luxury, MICE and special event segments.
“We are extremely excited to work with Travel Agents Association of India across 7 cities to popularize Canada as a Fall and Winter Wonderland Destination. This second set of workshops follows on an extremely successful 10 city pan-India session with a team Canada approach. Going forward; Destination Canada, Air Canada and the Canadian High Commission will jointly address TAAI members across 7 cities,” Carl Vaz, CEO & Strategy Director, Destination Canada India GSA, said and added that Destination Canada will be further exploring training workshops in Chandigarh, The Punjab, Hyderabad and Kolkata in the coming months.
Commenting on the development, Arun Pandeya, Country Head & General Manager – India Sub-continent, Air Canada said, “Air Canada is extremely happy to be partnering Destination Canada and TAAI for the multi city Destination Canada Workshops. With Air Canada’s direct nonstop daily flights Delhi to Vancouver, Delhi to Toronto (re-starting on 3rd Oct) and the Winter seasonal Mumbai to Toronto, it has become a great connectivity advantage. Air Canada is a Skytrax award winning airline as the best North American airline.”
Sunil Kumar, President, TAAI said, “It was a great moment of pride for TAAI to sign this MoU for the second time in a row to conduct training programs in 7 cities across India between August and December 2019. TAAI has a strong membership base not only in TIER-1 cities but also in TIER 2 cities and this partnership initiative will give the members an in-depth knowledge of Canada which can now be sold as a stand-alone destination.”
The First MoU signed in June 2018 saw TAAI working with Destination Canada successfully in conducted workshops in 10 cities PAN-INDIA. Kumar lauded the efforts of TAAI's Tourism Council Chairman, Anoop Kanuga not only for co-ordinating the workshops done last year, but also ensuring that TAAI signs the partnership this year too.
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