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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

Thomas Cook (India) has partnered with Mastercard and HDFC Bank to launch another holiday campaign - #FunTasticAsia. This campaign provides an instant discount to customers when they book their holidays to Southeast Asian destinations of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.

The offer is exclusively available for payments made on HDFC Bank Mastercard debit or credit cards. The easing of restrictions coupled with no visa/easy visa regime for short-haul destinations has created strong demand for Southeast Asia. To capitalize on this strong demand and accelerate bookings, Thomas Cook has collaborated with Mastercard and HDFC Bank to offer attractive discounts across the Company’s Southeast Asian holidays. The promotion intends to target India’s families, millennials/young professionals, couples, and honeymoon segments. The special offer is valid until September 12, 2022.

During the announcement, Mr. Abraham Alapatt, President & Country Head – Marketing, Service Quality, Value Added Services & Innovation mentioned, “Post our successful collaboration with Mastercard and HDFC Bank for the Dubai Expo 2020, we are delighted to launch this exclusive promotion - #FunTasticAsia with attractive discounts for HDFC Mastercard cardholders, on holidays to very popular destinations - Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. We have carefully handpicked these destinations for their popularity, short flights for easy access & hassle-free online visas or visas on arrival.”

 

Shri Sachin Kurve takes charge as Secretary of Tourism, Government of Uttarakhand and CEO, Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board.

Shri Sachin Kurve is a 2003 batch IAS officer of the Uttarakhand cadre and has held several senior key positions spanning close to two decades including key positions in the Government of Uttarakhand and Maharashtra. During his tenure, he took responsibility as the District Magistrate of Rudraprayag, Tehri-Garhwal in Dehradun, and Haridwar and as the Director and Additional Secretary, Panchayati Raj Department, and also as the Additional Secretary to the Governor.

In early 2015, he moved to Maharashtra on deputation wherein he held several key positions including District Collector, Revenue and Forest Department in Nagpur and Mumbai Sub Urban. Other prime positions include his role as the Secretary to the Chief Minister, Secretary to the Governor, and Investment Commissioner, Industries.

In the middle of September 2020, he shifted back to Uttarakhand and took up the charge 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. 

By Megha Singhania, Head - Cabin Crew Department, AirAsia India 

2020 brought with it unforeseen challenges that the airline industry has never witnessed in the past. With a crew force of around 700 plus and an age profile of 18-25 on average, covid restrictions on travel, constrained their chances to meet their family. Peer support was provided to ensure the crew did not feel isolated during lockdown. It seems only natural that, in the frame of the uncertain Covid-19 economy, crew members were worried about job security. To ensure the crew's mental health, regular conversations and video calls were held. As the crew is always prepared for unplanned emergencies, we took it as a challenge and with the support of our leadership and the management, we sailed through the tough times.  

Even though the pandemic fear persisted, the crew force maintained a resilient attitude, immediately refreshed their knowledge and skills, and made sure that flying operations resumed not only smoothly but also with a robust implementation of health and hygiene procedures on board for all the passengers and crew.

During the pandemic, the crew fought against all odds and adversities while prioritizing the safety and comfort of our guests and continued extending our line of work to build greater trust. Even during the lockdown, while the fear of the pandemic was at its peak, our crew went above and beyond to ensure that critical supplies managed to reach their destinations which had the potential to effectively mitigate the effects of the pandemic.

Being in a profession that requires interactions with numerous guests at any given time, the priority was to ensure that our crew were well protected from the covid infections. The crew were given priority to get vaccinated and with the help of the government and camps organized by airports and TATA, the crew were fully vaccinated to aid in their and their family’s protection. Other initiatives were to ensure proper sanitation of cockpits and cabins before each flight; maintain adequate ventilation during the flight; make passengers aware of air filtration systems (HEPA filters) on board the aircraft to comfort them; and regularly review Covid passenger management with cabin crew.

Covid and regulatory restrictions brought innumerable travel challenges for both guests and crew, which necessitated them to rapidly adapt to the changing environment. Airlines adapted quickly and strict travel protocols were formalized and adhered to. The airline took numerous precautions, including RT-PCR tests, PPE gowns, masks, and frequent sanitization, as well as face shields and staggered boarding and deplaning. Staggered boarding and Row wise deplaning were emphasized to ensure social distancing was maintained.   

The crew ensured that the guest interaction may be limited but the guest connection should not be. Delighting guests by providing clean and sanitized aircraft and clean lavatories were of prime concern. After all, the aircraft is our office and on-board guests are the reason we are there.

 

 

 

Novotel Visakhapatnam Varun Beach launched its new, Calm - Salon and Spa, a thoughtfully crafted, holistic hub of wellness treatments and salon experiences, on the  4th  of July 2022. Surrounded by scenic avenues, Calm - Salon and Spa offers signature body treatments such as Vinotherapy, Aromatherapy, Balinese, Thai massage, and more for a tranquil state of your mind, body, and soul.

The spa packages also offer a combination of massages, traditional body scrubs, and facials with enriching products to soothe and refresh. Calm - Salon and Spa have a dedicated reception and retail area along with 5 treatment rooms consisting of 4 single rooms and a dedicated room for couples with a delightful view of the Bay of Bengal.

On the occasion of its announcement, Ravi Rai, Cluster General Manager at Novotel Visakhapatnam Varun Beach said, “We are delighted to open our doors for the Calm- Salon and Spa at Novotel Visakhapatnam Varun Beach, designed to offer an exclusive and invigorating experience. We look forward to welcoming our guests to unwind with its refreshing spa and wellness treatments”.

In addition to effective treatments with select ingredients, the spa also offers premium skincare solutions, and other services including bridal makeup, hair stylist services, nail care and other beauty facilities. The Calm - Salon and Spa offers expert care while nourishing serene mindfulness for all senses.

 

Haritha Villas + Spa, Sri Lanka appoints LINKIN Reps as the India sales, marketing and public relations representation office. LINKIN Reps will be responsible for driving holistic sales, trade marketing, and planning PR Strategies in India for Haritha Villas + Spa, Sri Lanka.

Thanuja Weerasinghe, Sales & Marketing, Haritha Villas + Spa mentioned, “India has always been a very important market for us, not only as it is the number one inbound market to Sri Lanka, but also due to them being our closest regional neighbor. The long-standing friendship and support rendered to Sri Lanka by the people of India have been pivotal in supporting us in this very difficult time of unprecedented economic uncertainty as well as the global pandemic and other international shocks. Keeping this in mind, we are happy that LINKIN Reps will represent us, with their vast tourism experience and through their large network of travel agents in the country to promote our little island and Haritha Villas + Spa to the luxury travel segment in India”.

On this occasion, Komal Seth, Founder & Director, LINKIN Reps said, “We take pride in announcing that Haritha Villas+ Spa is the newest addition to our brand portfolio. We are looking forward to working closely with Haritha Villas + Spa to position them as an attractive leisure Resort for Indian travelers to Sri Lanka."

The Recaro Aircraft Seating (Recaro) BL3710 was selected to outfit IndiGo’s brand-new A320neo and A321neo aircraft. The low-cost airline will be the first to feature the bestselling economy class seat in the Indian sub-continent. The BL3710 economy class seat will be installed on 75 Airbus aircraft starting from January 2023.

Dr. Mark Hiller, CEO at Recaro Aircraft Seating said, “Our new partnership with IndiGo demonstrates our commitment to not only building a distinct product with a sustainable lifecycle, but also our comprehensive approach to customer service. The BL3710 is an excellent product that will serve both IndiGo and its passengers for many years.”

The BL3710 was specifically created for short and medium-haul flights. The combination of the ergonomic design and weight of less than 10kg per pax has made the economy class seat a bestseller since it first entered the market in 2019.

Sanjay Kumar, Chief Strategy & Revenue Officer of IndiGo said, “As we expand our network, domestically and internationally to cater to the travel demand, the comfortable seats will be key to upgrading the customer experience onboard IndiGo.”

Since its founding in 2006, IndiGo has grown into India’s largest passenger airline. Today, the low-cost carrier flies passengers to 74 domestic and 25 international destinations on its fleet of over 280+ aircraft.

IHG Hotels & Resorts has signed an agreement with Doreen Hotels & Resorts Limited to open Crowne Plaza Dhaka Gulshan in Bangladesh by the end of 2022.

IHG currently has presence in Dhaka through hotels operating across its leading global brands, InterContinental and Holiday Inn, both of which are located in the old business district of the city.

Crowne Plaza Dhaka Gulshan will become IHG’s third hotel to open in the city and will further strengthen the company’s offering for both business and leisure travellers looking for quality hospitality experiences.

Strategically located in the heart of Gulshan 2 area, the Central Business District and the highest-rated market in Dhaka, the hotel is spread over two sites - the first is in the mixed-use Tower block with 119 rooms, while the second Tower is in close proximity featuring 30 suites with independent facilities.

Commenting on the announcement, Sudeep Jain, Managing Director, South West Asia, IHG said, “We are delighted to partner with Doreen Hotels & Resorts Limited to expand presence of our premium brand, Crowne Plaza in Dhaka. Being a commercial hub and centre for all activities in Bangladesh, Dhaka is an important market for us in the region and we are always looking for opportunities to strengthen our offering in line with market demands .

He further added, “We are confident on the hotel being a great success and benefiting from the latent demand that will be generated owing to its excellent location and proximity to business and recreational hubs. The signing also aligns with our strategy to strengthen our footprint across our core brands in key market within South West Asia.”

Tanzeer Alam Siddique, Managing Director, Doreen Group, added, “We are proud to be partnering with InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, one of the world’s most renowned and trusted hospitality brand. Following a conversion process, and as the hotel will become a part of the IHG family, I am confident it will benefit from company’s strong local presence, global scale, enterprise and systems. We look forward to opening the hotel as Crowne Plaza Dhaka Gulshan soon and building a successful partnership with IHG.”

MansionHaus, a heritage property turned boutique hotel, is all set to regale guests with its timeless architecture, curated gastronomic journeys and luxury stay at Goa’s most effervescent neighbourhood, Anjuna. MansionHaus is an 18th Century family residence restored by Kezya De Bragança.

The pre-independence era private residence has been transformed into a luxury hospitality property where old-world Portuguese charm blissfully marries contemporary aesthetics. The property is envisaged as a private escape for the conscious traveller providing comforts, privacy and familiarity of a home enriched by a wealth of history, art, culture. world class hospitality to provide an immersive experiential hospitality that has a warm human connect.

Kezya De Bragança says, “We pledge to offer a true conscious hospitality experience, in harmony with the environment, local cultures, traditions and the communities that uplift them.” The property was a home to Kezya’s paternal grand agnate Marie Antoinette. The Salon Privé previously a ‘Sala’ (room for entertaining visitors) has been named after her and the property layout was retained to exemplify how these spaces interacted for centuries. In restoring the iconic structure, the complex, multi-layered evolution of architecture in Goa and the intricate cultural expressions of Goa have been kept as the leit motif.

MansionHaus’ nine suites come either with pool access, private pool or jacuzzi and range from 310 – 650 sq. ft.  Each suite has a garden or overlooks the mansion’s main garden. The restoration has been fashioned with weathered wood, porcelain floors, polished marble, distressed surfaces, and muted fabrics accented by eclectic art on rotation from local artists.

“MansionHaus brings a unique hospitality experience to the discerning traveller who appreciates old-world influences balanced with life’s finer indulgences. Everything we offer here from the luxurious private suites to our culinary journeys is aimed at providing a bespoke private experience punctuated with unforgettable moments.” says Kezya De Bragança.

Thomas Cook (India) and SOTC Travel have launched Vistara Getaways – International, in an extension of their exclusive partnership with Vistara. Post the success of Vistara Getaways (Domestic), launched in 2021, to capitalise on easing of international restrictions and the convenience of no-visa/easy visa short haul destinations, the first phase of the international launch offers attractive air-inclusive holidays across Thailand, Singapore, Dubai and Maldives.

Vistara Getaways, powered by a cutting-edge technology platform designed and built by the Thomas Cook India Group, presents customers with dynamic inventory and ready-to-book holidays.

The Vistara Getaways portfolio also offers top domestic locations including Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Leh-Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Goa, Andamans, Kerala and the Northeast. The products feature exclusive offers on Taj Hotels and The Leela Palaces Hotels & Resorts packages. To create awareness and accelerate demand for Vistara Getaways, Thomas Cook and Vistara have launched a joint marketing campaign across media platforms.

Mahesh Iyer, Executive Director & CEO, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. said, “Post the successful launch of our Vistara Getaways domestic range last year, we are delighted to extend our partnership with Vistara to international short-haul destinations. We intend to leverage the strong pent up demand and convenience of no visa/easy visa destinations to introduce Vistara Getaways for S.E Asia, UAE and Maldives. We have ensured great care in selection of hotels and our product range extends from affordable luxury to premium holidays.”

He added, “I am proud of the virtual Vistara Getaways platform designed and developed by our Thomas Cook Tech Team - ensuring speed and a seamless consumer experience. To incorporate that all important human interface, customers can avail of our omnichannnel network – speak to our holiday experts via our call centres or walk in to their closest Thomas Cook outlet - across India.”

Deepak Rajawat, Chief Commercial Officer, Vistara said, “The market has been showing signs of strong recovery, especially since the resumption of scheduled international operations. India’s best airline, Vistara is already trusted by millions of people for its world-class products, service and on-point hygiene and safety protocols. With Vistara Getaways – International, backed by the consistency and quality of SOTC and Thomas Cook, we hope to be able to capitalise on the rising demand, grow our customer base and delight them with holistic travel experiences.

Thomas Cook (India) and its Group Company SOTC Travel have recently signed an agreement with Turkiye Tourism to give fillip to travel to Turkiye in the India market. The collaboration will focus on building awareness and boosting visitations to the destination.

 

Destinations like Turkiye that offer an added advantage of a simple and easy visa process are seeing significant interest. To inspire Indians and catalyse demand, Thomas Cook & SOTC’s partnership with Turkiye Tourism focusses on both product development and wide-ranging marketing initiatives.

The product portfolio has been carefully designed by Thomas Cook & SOTC to showcase multifaceted Turkiye – and its unique position at the crossroads of both Europe & Asia. The partnership aims at targeting India’s high viable segments including millennials/young working professionals, families, couples, solo travellers, B-Leisure and corporate MICE groups from India’s key source markets: metros, mini-metros, as well as Tier 2 & 3 cities.

Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Limited said, “Turkiye is one of the world’s most culturally rich destinations renowned for its warm hospitality, unique history, immense natural beauty, breathtaking architecture, and diverse gastronomy. We are delighted to collaborate with Turkiye Tourism to jointly promote the destination to our range of customer segments as an aspirational destination for Indians. To inspire demand, we will strategically focus on digital advertisements, branding at Mumbai & Delhi international airports and a joint marketing campaign across media platforms. Additionally, we have also extended special offers like Buy One Get One Free.”

Daniel D’souza President & Country Head - Holidays, SOTC Travel said, “From the upscale seaside resorts of Bodrum, magnificent monuments and exquisite museums in Istanbul, to the spectacular landscapes of Cappadocia, Turkiye has something for everyone. Our strategic intent will focus on highlighting the benefits/USPs of easy visa process, coupled with its eclectic vibe, stunning natural vistas, signature wellness experience and extensive range of local food & shopping attractions to drive demand. We invite our customers to explore the beautiful country and dive into its enchanting offerings.”

H. Deniz Ersoz, Culture and Tourism Counsellor, Embassy of the Republic of Turkey said, “Turkiye is one of the most popular tourism destinations for Indian travellers with the interest of Indian visitors in the country, being on a consistent rise over the recent years. In 2019, which was the pre-pandemic period, Turkiye welcomed 51 million international visitors of which Indians comprised a significant share. With Covid related travel restrictions easing up, Turkiye has been amongst the top travel destinations for travellers from India in the past months. This includes all segments such as FITs, MICE and even Wedding groups. 

We expect that our collaboration with Thomas Cook India and SOTC will further boost the demand for Turkiye's tourism in India, which is one of the most important and high potential markets for us. We are excited to host an even higher volume of Indian visitors in the course of this year, as a result of this partnership.”

 

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