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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

Sabre Corporation today announced an agreement with Malaysia Airlines (MH) to enable the carrier to enhance its network planning and optimization with Sabre technology as it continues to ramp up operations.

MH and Sabre have a successful, valued, long-standing relationship, having worked together for more than two decades. This latest agreement supports Malaysia Airlines’ efforts to deliver robust schedules that are operationally feasible and profitable. It will use Sabre’s network planning and optimization products for critical decision support to help it to forecast schedule profitability, match capacity and demand, and improve aircraft utilization and network connectivity.   

“With industry recovery progressing well, we’re firmly focused on providing optimum routes whilst ensuring the integrity of our flight schedules,” said Mr Bryan Foong, Group Chief Strategy Officer, Malaysia Airlines. “As such, we’re thrilled to further cement our relationship with Sabre by selecting a full suite of network planning and scheduling solutions that will help the airline in designing  the right schedules and deploying the right aircraft on the right route and time to maximize revenue opportunities, optimize costs and meet high traveller demand.”   

With travel restrictions having eased in Malaysia earlier this year, bookings immediately surged for both inbound and outbound travel. The carrier is now firmly focused on longer-term plans including launching new routes, expanding codeshare partnerships, replacing aircraft and exploring sustainable aviation fuel options.

Vistara today announced the addition of Jaipur (Rajasthan) to its domestic network with direct connectivity to and from Mumbai, starting 30 September 2022. Vistara strengthens its presence in Rajasthan, with Jaipur being the second destination in the state, after Udaipur. The airline will operate double daily flights using its A320neo aircraft with a three-class configuration.

Vinod Kannan, Chief Executive Officer, Vistara, said, “The glorious city of Jaipur continues to be listed amongst the world’s major tourist destinations, attracting people from across geographies. We are delighted to be able to contribute towards further elevating the tourism potential of the pink city by offering this connectivity to/from Mumbai to our customers. We are confident that Vistara’s world-class product and services, especially our premium cabins, will be greatly appreciated by travellers on the route.”

Kerala receives 35 domestic and 2 international tourists every minute post pandemic. The state has bounced back positively after the pandemic by achieving a higher number when compared to 2019. “In terms of international tourism, we have achieved 20-25% of what we had and assume that we will reach the pre-pandemic levels by 2023. We want the tourists to experience the richness and diversity of nature that Kerala possesses and let them explore the nook and corners where they can see the best of nature and not just infrastructure,” Krishna Teja Mylavarapu, the then Director of Tourism, Govt. of Kerala, said during a PATA webinar.

He added that Kerala is focused on moving towards a track of conscious tourism. “Kerala Tourism is focused on creating plastic-free destinations. We are creating a series of green check-posts to check and collect the plastic materials from the tourists,” he added.

Teja also mentioned, “Kerala is a place with responsible tourism which is environmentally sustainable, led to be economically beneficial for the local people as well. The objective is to benefit the local citizens by circulating the money we receive from each tourist. “

Recounting the negative impact of pandemic on the tourism, he said that the vaccination ratio that Kerala has achieved depicts how resilient and committed the state is in terms of safe and secure tourism. Kerala has achieved 100 percent of the population above 18+ years of age single dose vaccinated, 88.5% above 18+ age of the population double vaccinated, and 50% of the population booster dose vaccinated.

He informed that Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) has come up with a diverse set of products and events for 2022-23 to offer experiences to tourists round the year. The new set of experiences includes Wellness Holidays - Leveraging Ayurveda, Backwater Holidays - Resorts & Houseboats, Caravan Tourism, Forests & Wildlife Holidays, Adventure & Active Holidays, and MAYA.

Teja also mentioned, “We have also planned events and activities for the entire year to keep our tourists occupied. 2022 is surely going to be the year for Kerala’s tourism. We have the largest art exhibition in the country and the biggest contemporary art festival in Asia - Kochi Muziris Biennale, from Dec 12, 2022 - Apr 10, 2023. The Champions Boat League is also going to happen from 11th Sep till 26th Nov 2022 which is the world’s largest team sport at the World’s Greenest Racetrack.”

Talking about the newly launched Caravan tourism, Teja mentioned, “There are now 11 on-road caravans and 25 caravans on manufacture. Also, people have shown interest in buying 430 caravans by next year. So, we are expecting 500 caravans and 120 caravans parks in a span of oneyear. Besides, we have 15 wildlife sanctuaries, 2 tiger reserves, 5 national parks, and 60+ eco-tourism destinations to serve nature enthusiasts. We also have developed nature-based soft-adventure activities for hills and forests of the Western Ghats like trekking, biking, kayaking, rafting, jungle safari, and camping at several destinations across the state to cater to the youth,” he informed.

With an aim to initiate the flawless process of gathering information, MAYA, an artificial intelligence-enabled chatbot has been developed by KTDC, which can be accessed through WhatsApp on the number 7510512345. Maya would assist in giving the best information to the tourists about the place when one just says a ‘Hi’.

 

Kuhelika Roy Choudhury

With the debut of Resorts World Cruises’ first sailing on 15 June 2022 from Singapore, the response from the Indian outbound cruise tourism via the Fly-Cruise segment has been very positive and encouraging. Within the first 2 months of bookings opened, we had secured over 20,000 cabins from India, signalling a healthy and thriving Fly-Cruise market, Naresh Rawal, Vice President – Sales & Marketing (India), Resorts World Cruises, informs.

Rawal opines that the MICE segment is gaining strong traction. “We are optimistic that the MICE segment will further contribute towards the growth of the overall Fly-Cruise market in the coming months,” he adds.

Talking on the regaining the trust of the cruise holidayers, Rawal says that creating ongoing awareness and educating both travel partners and consumers are essential in regaining the confidence of holiday makers. “The pandemic has shifted the mindset of travellers with the focus on safety and well-being, which is clearly reflected in cruise lines these days. At Resorts World Cruises, we have the affiliated experiences in successfully operating safe cruises in the region and we are applying these measures and expertise on our ship,” he says.

Responding to a question over cruise segment coming back on the pre-pandemic level, Rawal says it will take some time for numbers to reach pre-pandemic days, but we can be very hopeful and optimistic, as the interest and bookings signified a strong and positive comeback. “It’s important that we continue to work closely with our travel partners to educate consumers on the benefits, value and safety of cruising to further grow the Fly-Cruise market,” he suggests adding that educating and creating awareness among travel agents are equally crucial to gradually change their perception on selling cruises.

“At Resorts World Cruises, we are constantly engaging and exploring new opportunities with new travel agents to identify and expand options to get them involved and interested, to be part of the growing potential of the cruise tourism industry,” he adds.

Recently, Resorts World Cruises launched its dual homeports in Singapore with the addition of Kuala Lumpur (via Port Klang) in Malaysia. Fly-Cruise travellers from India will now have more options to either embark from any one of these popular cities to experience the 2Nights and 3 Nights cruises to Singapore and other popular destinations in Malaysia.

Besides that, Resorts World Cruises - ‘Resorts Cruising at Sea’, has reimagined its cruise offerings to elevate its guests’ cruise experience to a new and different level, redefining personalized cruise lifestyle experience with diverse international offerings on ship and shore.

In addition, the cruiseliner had also introduced a new concept of combining entertainment and dining experiences. “The Genting Dream is also the world’s first OIC/SMIIC standard Halal-friendly cruise ship, which offers Halal and authentic Jain Vegetarian certified cuisines in dedicated venues,” he says.

Resorts World Cruises is regularly organising FAM trips for travel partners and media to enable them to experience cruising first-hand. This personal experience is important and one of the best ways for them to promote cruising effectively, he adds.

As a homegrown Asian luxury brand, Resorts World Cruises caters to a wide spectrum of segments from mid-market onwards to luxury and super luxury. “For instance, in terms of accommodations on board, we offer a range of choices from inter-state to oceanview and balcony staterooms. On top of that, the luxury The Palace – ‘A ship-within-a-ship’ private enclave with exclusive amenities will continue to be a popular choice of accommodation for many luxury travellers from India. At Resorts World Cruises, we aim to cater to different segments with the goal of achieving optimum operations for the ship, Rawal says.

By Kuhelika Roy Chowdhury

Pallathuruthi Boat Club emerged the winners of the 68th Nehru Trophy Boat Race (NTBR) in a photo-finish, thereby topping the first round of the Champions Boat League (CBL-2) at the scenic Punnamada Lake.

Today’s winner, whose CBL name is Tropical Titans, clocked an impressive 4.30.77 minutes to cover the distance of 1,050 metres. The runner-up was Mighty Oars (NCDC, Nadubhagom: - 4.31.57). Finishing third and fourth were Backwater Ninjas (Punnamada Boat Club, Veeyapuram) and Raging Rowers (Police Boat Club, Champakulam).

Being organised by Kerala Tourism, the CBL, with nine snake boat teams, features 12 rounds of races slated across consecutive Saturdays till November 26. Next weekend will see an Onam-time break, following which the rounds from the second will resume on September 17.

The boat race was inaugurated by Kerala Finance Minister Shri K.N. Balagopal in the presence of his Cabinet colleagues Shri P.A. Mohammed Riyas (Tourism) and Shri P. Prasad (Agriculture). Together, the three ministers lit the lamp, after Shri Balagopal hoisted the flag and Andaman and Nicobar Islands Lt. Governor Retd Admiral Shri D.K. Joshi flagged off a mass drill of all the 20 teams NTBR.

A.M. Ariff, MP, released an NTBR souvenir, in the presence of legislators P.P. Chitharanjan, Saji Cheriyan, Thomas K. Thomas, H. Salam, M.S. Arun Kumar, civic body functionaries and senior bureaucrats.

Balagopal, addressing the festive gathering in the afternoon, said the government was planning to host a new boat race for upstate Malabar, with Chaliyar as the focal river running along Kozhikode and Malappuram districts.

Riyas, noting that the government tried its best to retain the continuity of the boat races amid two years of Covid-19 spells, said the comeback of NTBR and CBL will boost tourism.

Prasad said boat races are integral to Kerala’s farming culture, adding that NTBR at Onam time boosts the state’s spirit of equality in society.

Department of Tourism Principal Secretary K.S. Srinivas presented a report of CBL at the function. NTBR Society Chairman V.R. Krishna Teja, who is also Alappuzha District Collector, welcomed the gathering, while Kerala Tourism Director P.B. Nooh proposed thanks.

The next leg is the Karuvatta Boat Race at Karuvatta in Alappuzha district on September 17.

Emirates has announced plans to debut its newly retrofitted A380s featuring its latest Premium Economy cabins to five new cities from December - New York JFK, San Francisco, Melbourne, Auckland and Singapore.

 

The airline will also add more Premium Economy seats on services to London Heathrow and Sydney, as its newly enhanced aircraft sporting refreshed cabins roll into scheduled service.

The airline aims to offer customers more opportunities to experience its highly acclaimed Premium Economy product, and its latest deployment plans will also see 85 A380s back in the sky by December, well-timed to serve the year-end travel demand.

Emirates will also start A380 services with a Premium Economy debut to Christchurch from 26 March 2023, as an extension of the Dubai to Sydney service, operating with EK 412 and EK 413.

The airline is optimising its network to meet robust demand and enhancing its existing schedules to over 400 A380 departures from Dubai, offering 460,000 weekly A380 seats by March 2023, including 81,000 seats across its premium cabins, offering the very best in customer comfort.

By year end, the airline will be serving close to a third of its network with its flagship on 85 A380s as it unlocks more destinations like Houston, Bengaluru, Perth, Auckland, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur, with additional cities to be announced in the coming weeks. With an expanded list of cities, Emirates will have recovered 75% of its pre-pandemic A380 network. The airline is also adding frequencies to popular cities already served by its flagship, bringing greater resiliency and stability to its operation.

Emirates recently announced plans to kick-off of its fleet retrofit programme, consisting of a multi-billion dollar investment to ensure customers continue to have the best experience in the sky. Starting from November, the airline will begin intensive work to upgrade and retrofit the interior cabins of 67 Airbus A380 and 53 Boeing 777 aircraft, with one aircraft rolling out into service every 16 days. By 2025, nearly 4,000 new Premium Economy seats will be installed, 728 First Class suites refurbished and over 5,000 Business Class seats upgraded to a new style and design.

Insurtech startup InsuranceDekho has recently expanded its product portfolio by offering ‘Travel Insurance' on its online platform. InsuranceDekho has partnered with HDFC Ergo, Reliance General, Care, ICICI Lombard and Bajaj Allianz to offer the travel insurance products and is in the process of tying up with other insurers.

The platform offers curated travel plans for family and individuals, corporates and students, with prices starting at INR 552 and covering 198 countries, subject to terms and conditions which may vary from insurers to insurers. The policies provide a wide range of coverage, depending on the plan chosen. However, almost all of them include important covers like loss of passport, emergency medical expenses, flight delay, loss of checked-in baggage, medical evacuation, etc.

Commenting on the launch Ankit Agrawal, Co-Founder and CEO of InsuranceDekho, said, "In the post-COVID era, Indians are traveling again with international travel growing at 76% YoY which has widened the market for insurance providers. There is high digital adoption for travel insurance as currently more than 33% Indian international travelers buy insurance directly from the insurance company’s websites, which makes this an attractive segment for innovation and disruption.  We are building InsuranceDekho as a one-stop shop for all insurance solutions and diversified investment options; this is one crucial step in that direction."

India's Travel Insurance Market is estimated to be US$ 892 million in 2022 and is expected to exceed US$ 2 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 17.6% according to Research & Markets. We are excited to announce the launch of travel insurance on our platform which would allow travelers to choose plans in a few clicks for all their travel needs.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises has once again topped its own single day booking record with the launch of its 2024-2025 Voyage Collection, as sales commenced on 24 August 2022. The cruise line beat its previous largest booking day of 18 August 2021, when it launched its 2023-2024 Voyage Collection.

“This is an incredible achievement and is testament to the hard-working Regent teams across both our ships and shore-side offices around the globe. We thank our valued travel advisors we partner with and our loyal guests for their passion for luxury travel,” said Jason Montague, president and chief executive officer of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “This year’s voyage collection was highly appealing with more variety featuring over 160 new port-intensive itineraries that discover every part of the globe, including on board our newest ship Seven Seas Grandeur® once she joins The World’s Most Luxurious Fleet™ in 2023.”

Booking data also revealed that there was an increase of reservations made by travel partners compared to the previous year’s 2023-2024 Voyage Collection launch. Additionally, the cruise line saw a large upsurge of sales made on the day by guests who were already sailing the five-ship fleet.

The feat is the company’s eighth record-breaking launch since 2019 where it achieved its then largest World Cruise launch day. Regent has subsequently attained three more World Cruise launch day records through May 2022 when Regent’s 2025 World Cruise was unveiled in June 2022, fully reserved before officially opening for bookings. The second launch day record of 2022 occurred when Regent launched its 2024-2025 Grand Voyage Collection in July. In addition, the cruise line has broken its own single biggest booking days each year since 2020 with successive Voyage Collection launches.

Zostel launched its app for both iOS and Android users. Now live on the App Store and the Play Store, the Zostel app will offer users the utmost convenience while booking their stays at any of Zostel’s 64 properties across India and 2 hostels in Nepal.

The new app, launched on 2nd September 2022, will offer users prioritised booking access where users who book through the app will get access to dates that haven’t been opened yet on Zostel’s OTA partners’ or even its own website. The app will also feature The Great Zostel Map, in which Zostel leverages Google Maps to showcase all its properties in India and Nepal and directly book them.

Speaking on the app launch, Deep Banka, chief Operating Officer, said, “Since its inception, Zostel has built a loyal fan base of travellers who are constantly seeking new experiences across different locations. They rely on Zostel for recommendations alongside affordable, safe, and vibrant accommodations. The new Zostel app brings all of this and more under a single umbrella, and building this app was the next natural progression for us in our 9-year-long journey. We are present in 60+ locations currently, and we will only grow further in the next couple of quarters, so creating an app is a necessity for us at this point. We are confident that the app will be popular among travellers and look forward to their response. Users booking through the Zostel app will gain prior access to inventory that gives them the opportunity to plan their travel well in advance.

Tourism New Zealand’s iconic trade event, Kiwi Link returned with a spectacular buzz this year as it welcomed travel trade partners from Asia to reconnect with New Zealand tourism businesses. 

After two years, Kiwi Link Asia 2022 is Tourism New Zealand’s first in-person trade event in Asia spanning across three days in Singapore between 29 – 31 August 2022.

Elaborating on the event, Gregg Wafelbakker, General Manager – Asia, Tourism New Zealand said, “With the New Zealand borders having opened to the rest of the world on 1 August 2022, this was the perfect time to reconnect with the Indian travel trade fraternity to showcase destination New Zealand and the ever-growing Kiwi hospitality.

Kiwi Link Asia was a splendid platform that enabled key Indian buyers to reconnect with New Zealand and its wide range of offerings, thus enabling them to promote the destination better and support conversions. We are ecstatic to see the turnout this year and we’re looking forward to Summer 22/23 and beyond as we welcome back visitors. India is one of the priority emerging markets for Tourism New Zealand and Kiwi Link Asia provided a great opportunity to strengthen our partnership with our travel trade partners in India.”

Kiwi Link Asia provided a unique opportunity for representatives of the New Zealand tourism industry to educate and establish business relationships with key travel partners from India, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and South Korea.

Fifteen buyers from India attended the event, which included Thomas Cook India, MakeMyTrip Kulin Kumar Holidays, Kesari Tours, Veena World, FCM Travels and Pathfinders Holidays among others. The event saw Indian buyers engaging with 55 industry operators across New Zealand such as Air New Zealand, Hobbiton Movie Set, Scenic Hotel Group and more, giving a holistic understanding of the product offerings and building deeper connections.

 

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