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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

Sachin Kurve, a 2003 batch IAS officer of the Uttarakhand cadre, has taken charge as Secretary of Tourism, Government of Uttarakhand, and CEO, Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board.

He has held several senior key positions so far in his career spanning close to two decades. He has held key positions in the Government of Uttarakhand and Maharashtra. The prime positions he held during this tenure includes, District Magistrate of Rudraprayag, Tehri-Garhwal, Dehradun, and Haridwar and Director and Additional Secretary, Panchayati Raj Department, and Additional Secretary to the Governor.

In early 2015, he moved to Maharashtra on deputation wherein he again held several key positions including District Collector, Revenue and Forest Department in Nagpur and Mumbai Sub Urban.

In the middle of September 2020, he shifted back to Uttarakhand as Secretary, Industries and Excise, positions which he still holds along with food, civil supply & consumer affairs with his current role as secretary of Tourism and CEO of Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board.

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) along with co-hosts Thai Airways International and partners Khao Group and Hyatt Regency Sukhumvit Bangkok organised the Amazing New Chapters: Thailand Gastronomy experience Networking Lunch on 1st August 2022 in New Delhi.

The delegation for this event was led by Tanes Petsuwan Deputy Governor, International Market (Asia & South Pacific region), Tourism Authority of Thailand. Amongst the guests present were Vir Sanghvi and Seema Goswami, renowned Journalists, Sonny Walia of Gourmet Planet and Shivani Wazir Pasrich. 

The event showcased authentic Thai cuisine by Michelin star restaurant - Market Café by Khao located at Hyatt Regency Sukhumvit Bangkok, with a four-course meal, featuring some of the most popular Thai dishes.

The Objective of this networking event was to promote and showcase Thailand as an ideal destination for Gastronomy tourism that offers top quality global culinary experiences, as well as to celebrate authentic Thai cuisine and flavours. Thai cuisine is as rich and diverse as its culture.

Since 2017, TAT has teamed up with the renowned Michelin guidebooks, to produce Michelin Guides covering Bangkok, Phuket, Phang Nga and Chiang Mai. This has significantly boosted the quality and standards of Thai chefs and helped boost the kingdom’s status as one of the world’s leading gastro tourism destinations.

By Kuhelika Roy Choudhury

To celebrate 125 years of operation, Kempinski Hotels organized the Kempinski Hotels India Roadshow, 2022 in Mumbai. The objective of the roadshow was to inform the Mumbai’s travel fraternity about the preparedness of the chain to draw Indian guests. Present on the occasion were Amanda Elder, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) as well as the member of Kempinski Hotels Management Board and Ankush Nijhawan, Managing Director - Nijhawan Group. Nijhwan Group is the India representative of Kempinski Hotels in India.

Talking about the positioning of Kempinski Hotels in India, Elder said, “We are glad to celebrate the 125 years anniversary in India of authentic European hospitality with such amazing energy. Since Feb 2020, we were with a notion when we could come back to India, and we must say that Kempinski Hotels is amongst the primary hoteliers to have bounced back so well and are here to appreciate the contribution of India in trusting and coming together with Kempinski”

Divulging more information on the India market, Elder informed that India holds the 8th position as source market. “We are already at 50% of what we were getting before pandemic in 2019 but the travel restrictions in several destinations are still slowing down the process of recovery. But we are moving ahead and are truly hoping to meet the pre-pandemic levels by early 2023,” the CCO said adding that the hotel chain is also mostly focused on tapping the potential of Indian wedding & honeymoon and MICE segments. “We have got the right properties and experience to meet these three target groups,” she added.

Replying to a question over which international properties get the maximum traction from India, she said: “Our top destinations loved by Indian customers include Dubai, Seychelles, Bali, and Munich. And we really hope that the Indian customers discover the new Kempinski Palace, Engelberg in Switzerland. Also, the buzz created and the response for Kempinski Hotels in Doha for the upcoming FIFA World Cup is amazing. Kempinski Hotel and Residences Palm Jumeirah, Dubai is very popular among Indian travelers,” she said.

She further said that the partnership with Nijhawan Group and the amazing sales force representing in India will definitely help us to let people know about Kempinski hotels. “We also look forward to introducing new property in India soon in the future,” she informed.

Talking about marketing strategies, she said that Kempinski Hotels is launching its new website on the occasion of 125 years anniversary. “We are going to tailor information to all market segments. The website would have a better look and feel experience with better content, information, and booking engine. We are trying to join hands with other booking platforms to encourage more networking and diverse modes of obtaining business,” she concluded. 

 

Bhopal will be hosting WTM (World Travel Market) Responsible Tourism India Awards on 7th September 2022 at Kushabhau Thakre Convention Centre, Bhopal, informed Sheo Shekhar Shukla, Principal Secretary Tourism and Culture, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh. This is the first time that ICRT is presenting the award out of London, U.K.

The event will also see an International Seminar on Responsible Tourism to be organized by the 'International Center for Responsible Tourism, UK (ICRT) in collaboration with the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board & ADTOI-MP Chapter (Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India).

Shukla said that it is a proud moment for the state to host the International Seminar and WTM awards. The events that will start on August 30 will go on till September 10. An ICRT team comprising representatives from different countries including the UK, Australia, South Africa, and France will visit various destinations in Madhya Pradesh.

The team will be led by Dr. Harold Goodwin, Founding Director of ICRT and Managing Director (MD) of Responsible Tourism Partnership. The team will visit the rich heritage sites of the state and villages developed under rural tourism. Along with this, he will also participate in village stays, local excursions, traditional dishes, and cultural programs in different cities of the state. He will also review Project Clean Destination (Solid Waste Management) & Project Responsible Sovereign at Madla and Project Humsafar in Orchha.

On 1st and 2nd September, will visit Orchha and surrounding villages (Radhapur and Ladpurakhas). The team will visit Khajuraho, Madla, Dhama and Basata on 3rd and 4th September. ICRT workshop will be organized on 6th September at Kushabhau Thackeray Convention Centre, Bhopal.

WTM (World Travel Market) Responsible Tourism India Awards will be held on 7th September 2022 at Kushabhau Thackeray Convention Centre, Bhopal. On September 8 and 9, the team will visit villages including Dhaba, Chedka, Sabarwani, Madhai and Pachmarhi. An art and craft exhibition will also be organized in the courtyard of Kushabhau Thackeray Convention Center from September 5 to September 10.

The Ministry of Tourism under its ‘Swadesh Darshan’ scheme provides financial assistance to State Governments/Union Territory (UT) Administrations/Central Agencies etc. for development of tourism infrastructure in the country. The projects under this   scheme are sanctioned subject to availability of funds, submission of suitable Detailed Project Reports (DPR), adherence to scheme guidelines and utilization of funds released earlier etc. The Ministry of Tourism under its Swadesh Darshan Scheme (SDS) has sanctioned 10 projects under the theme of Coastal Circuit.

The Ministry of Tourism has now revamped its Swadesh Darshan scheme as Swadesh Darshan 2.0 (SD2.0) in order to develop sustainable and responsible destination centric approach with the following objectives:

(a)        To enhance the contribution of tourism to the local economies.

(b)        To create jobs including self-employment for local communities.

(c)        To enhance the skills of local youth in tourism and hospitality.

(d)       To increase private sector investment in tourism and hospitality.

(e)        To preserve and enhance the local cultural and natural resources.

In order to harness the potential of Cruise Tourism in the country, a Task Force has been constituted with Secretary (Tourism) as the Chairman and Secretary (Shipping) as the Co-chairman. The Task Force consists of representatives from the ports, Ministries of Health, Home Affairs, External Affairs, Customs, CISF, Coastal States, etc. The 13th meeting of the Task Force on Cruise Tourism was held on 27.04.2022.

The first Incredible India International Cruise Conference was held on 14th to 15th May, 2022 in Mumbai. It was the first cruise conference to bring all stakeholders together.  Further, the Ministry of Tourism undertakes various promotional activities in the international and domestic markets to promote tourism products of the country including Coastal Tourism in a holistic manner. This includes release of media campaigns under ‘Incredible India’ brand-line, promotional events, social media promotions etc. The Ministry of Tourism is promoting Coastal Tourism through its website www.incredibleindia.org.

This information was given by Minister of Tourism G. Kishan Reddy in a written reply in Lok Sabha yesterday.

The Phuket Tourist Association with cooperation of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) organized the “Amazing New Chapter: Phuket Road Show to India 2022” in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore on in the first week of August 2022. The 3-city roadshow witnessed the participation of 40 hospitality, travel and tourism companies (sellers) from Phuket in order to reconnect and build new connections with the Indian travel agents. 

The event was supported by Phuket Provincial Administration Organization with airlines partners including GoFirst, Thai Smile Airways and AirAsia joining the event.

Delivering the welcome remarks at the Delhi event, Pattarat Hongtong, Ambassador of Thailand to India, said: “Phuket is always the top destination in Thailand for most Indian visitors with stunning views of beautiful beaches, white sand and crystal-clear blue sea, a perfect place for weddings, parties and family gatherings. The road show is another event that helps to strengthen stronger ties between the two countries, to become strategic partners at all levels, as this year marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Thailand and India”.

“Indian market was a very high potential market for Phuket before the pandemic. The good news is that from May this year, India has been our number one market to Phuket” highlighted Anuparph Vachvanichsanong, Deputy Chief Executive of the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization.

Speaking at the roadshow in Mumbai, Tanes Petsuwan, Deputy Governor for International Market (Asia and South Pacific), TAT emphasised to all the outbound travel trade in India that “Once again, Thailand is now open without any restrictions. Travelling to Thailand is now as easy as the pre-COVID times with the same Visa on Arrivals facilities and process. For flights between India and Thailand as of now, there are 188 flights a week operating across India to Bangkok (Suvarnbhumi and Don Muang) and Phuket”.

During Jan – July 2022, Thailand welcomed more than 3 million travellers to the country. As such, India has also had a share of 10 per cent of the overall number, which is more than 300,000 Indians that have visited Thailand and out of this number nearly 90,000 Indian tourists have travelled to Phuket.

Japan Airlines (JAL) currently operates the only non-stop air service connecting Bengaluru and Tokyo. JAL has now increased the flight frequency from twice a week to three times, starting August 6, 2022. This additional flight is another convenient option for persons travelling to and from Japan and for passengers connecting to and from the United States and Canada.

Hailed as the latest ‘cloud service that techies are looking forward to’, in their launch campaign back in 2020, JAL was scheduled to inaugurate the first and only direct flight connection between Bengaluru and Tokyo (Narita) in March that year.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the airline started operations with special flights only when it was necessary. Under the Indian Government’s Air Bubble arrangement, JAL operated regular flights once a week from March 2021. Following the gradual recovery around the world from the pandemic, JAL is pleased to increase its flight frequency. The airline’s latest flight schedule operates three weekly roundtrip flights. JAL is working towards the original plan of operating one daily flight.

To celebrate the progress in the resumption of direct flights from Bengaluru to Tokyo (Narita), JAL and Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL) organised a lamp-lighting ceremony at the check-in counter for flight JL754, and a gate ceremony before departure on the night of August 5, 2022.

Gracing the event were, Dr. Murugesh R Nirani, Honourable Minister for Large and Medium Scale Industries, GoK, and Gunjan Krishna, IAS-Commissioner of Department of Industries and Commerce, both of whom represented the Indian State of Karnataka and travelled to Japan on JL754.

Also present at the event, Shinya Naruse, Vice President & Regional Manager of India for Japan Airlines, said: “We are very excited to make this progress in better serving the community in Bengaluru with more convenient flights to Japan, and hence also providing greater options to connect to North America. We will continue striving to ensure utmost safety and comfort for our guests travelling between India and Japan, and in doing so, contribute to the robust flow of social and economic values between the two countries.”

“At BIAL, one of our key strategic priorities is to enhance non-stop connectivity to key international destinations, as passenger volumes continue to grow. Japan holds strong market potential for direct flights from India for both business and leisure travellers. We are the only airport in South India having direct connectivity to Japan. We are therefore excited about the addition of the third weekly frequency to Tokyo Narita Airport by Japan Airlines, which will further enable the way people travel between India and Japan and points beyond Japan,” said Satyaki Raghunath, Chief Strategy and Development Officer, Bangalore International Airport Ltd.

JAL operates the route with a Boeing 787-8 aircraft equipped with 30 Business Class and 156 Economy Class award-winning seats. With a flight schedule that leaves Bengaluru past midnight, customers can conveniently arrive in Japan the next morning for a full day’s activity. Furthermore, this provides ample layover time for passengers connecting to 11 destinations that JAL flies directly to in North America, from Tokyo Narita Airport.

Vistara announced more than a 100% increase in frequencies to/from Frankfurt and Paris as it gears up to receive its third Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft which has been leased recently.

Starting 30 October 2022, Vistara will operate 6x weekly flights between Delhi and Frankfurt, up from the current 3x weekly frequency; while connectivity between Delhi and Paris goes up from 2x to 5x weekly. Vistara today opened sale for these additional flights, across all channels including its website, mobile app, OTAs (online travel agencies), and other travel agents.

Deepak Rajawat, Chief Commercial Officer, Vistara, said, “Europe has been a key focus market for us since the very beginning, and we are glad that our customers appreciate our offerings on these long-haul routes. We have been wanting to ramp up frequencies on these sectors and we are delighted to be able to finally do that.”

Akasa Air, India’s newest airline, yesterday commenced its commercial operations with its first flight taking off from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, bound for Ahmedabad’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport.

As a symbolic gesture to mark the occasion during the ceremony, Akasa Air’s boarding pass was handed over to the Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Jyotiraditya Scindia-ji and the Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, General (Dr) V. K Singh. Both guests-of-honour addressed the gathering and officially flagged off the event. The Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis extended his wishes on the commencement of Akasa Air’s operations while addressing the gathering. The ceremony was also graced by the Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation Rajiv Bansal and Joint Secretary(J), Ministry of Civil Aviation Usha Padhee.

Commenting on the commencement of commercial operations, Vinay Dube, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Akasa Air said “Today marks a significant milestone in Akasa Air’s journey as we successfully commence our commercial operations with our maiden flight from Mumbai to Ahmedabad. This is not just a testament to the women and men of Akasa that have made this day possible, but also a testament of India’s ongoing economic transformation and that of the country’s rapidly progressing civil aviation landscape. The Akasa story is aligned with the nation’s journey towards making air travel affordable through PM Modi-ji’s clarion call – Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik. We want to serve our country by creating strong transportation links which are the underpinning of any economic growth engine”.

“We are thrilled to finally begin our commercial journey and bring alive our vision of supporting India’s economic progress and building India’s greenest, most dependable, and most affordable airline. Akasa Air’s empathetic and youthful personality, employee-friendly culture, customer-service philosophy, and tech-led approach will make this commitment a reality for us. We are now focussed on delivering a flying experience unlike anything witnessed in the Indian skies thus far”, he added.

Akasa Air will offer weekly flights between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Progressively adding cities and routes to its network, the airline has already announced a total of five routes along five cities, including Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Bengaluru and Chennai.

With a fleet induction plan of two 737 MAX aircraft each month, the airline is looking to establish a strong pan-India presence, with a focus on metro to tier 2 & 3 route connectivity. The fleet size will be raised to 18 aircraft by the end of March 2023 and over the next four years, the airline will add 54 aircraft, taking its total fleet size to 72.

Erco Travels has come onboard as a strategic investor with TravStack (Gutsytech Travel Solutions). TravStack is a Travel technology Startup based out of Bangalore by 2nd time founders from IITs and other premiere institutes backed by Singapore Tourism Board, Forbes under 30 entrepreneurs and advisors from Google, Netflix etc.

We are happy to onboard a tourism industry veteran Mr. Ravi Gosain as a Strategic Investor and Growth Consultant. He is currently the Managing Director, Erco Travel, Tourism Enterprises and Saffron World B.V. His knowhow about Startups, technology and worldwide network will steer us in the right direction in terms of positioning our product to the prospective clients from travel industry, Mounika Pothineni , Co-Founder, Business & Partnerships.

We would like to closely work with travel and tourism associations to listen to their pain points / use cases and suggest the right product offerings for their members, Pothineni added.

TravStack is on a mission to impact 1 million travel professionals. It provides readily adaptable SaaS tools for tour operators, travel agents, travel advisors and other travel businesses.

The product offerings include smart Itinerary builder, white labelled travel store with CMS, holistic travel CRM with workflow automations. 

 

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