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To promote Kokan region and to share its experiences, Konkan Bhumi Pratishthan is organising first ever Village Tourism Festival to kick start the first phase of 8thGlobal Konkan Festival. The Village tourism festival will commence during the Christmas vacation starting from December 22 to 31, 2018. Starting in Arnala in stage one the Village Tourism Festival will move on to four other villages namely Ainshet (Wada), Chowl (Revdanda), Ambivali (Palghar).
Sanjay Yadavrao, Chief Convener, Global Konkan Festival said, “The Village Tourism Festival has been organised to provide business opportunities and job generation for locals and rural youth of Kokan belt and also to bring a slice of village life to people of the city. Kokan Bhumi Pratisthan and Global Kokan have always been at the forefront of Konkan development, and it will always be our endeavour to maintain Kokan region and maintain its 10000 years old heritage.”
Village Tourism Festival will start at Arnala Village, near Virar, where tourists and visitors will be able to experience first-hand typical everyday village life. Visitors will be able to learn various arts, crafts, feel a life of a proper village which the children from modern cities are deprived off. Besides arts and crafts, they can take part in activities like playing traditional games of Vitidandu etc, take ride in bullock cart, nature walks, and many more. One can also chat with the head of the village, gain understanding of the rural economy, village grammar and language, traditions, folk art. The foodies will be able to savour real authentic kokani delicacies made from fish, chicken and delectable desserts. Ardent shoppers will be able to shop at the Kokan Flea market, where they can buy artefact, local food, pickles, art, and much more.
Besides the traditional activities, Arnala Village is famous of its beaches and aero sports. On its pristine beaches, visitors can spend a day at the beach doing adventure sports like paragliding, boating etc. At Arnala, visitors can also soar to the skies at 1st ever Aero Sports activity center in Kokan started by Arnala resident Samson D’silva. They can get a birds-eye view of the village of Arnala and surrounding areas in a “Paramotor”, which is a most popular form of aerial adventure where one takes flight using a parachute attached to a motor. In addition, there is a 200 meter long zip line valley crossing, Rappling, kayaking, etc. For the nature enthusiasts, Mamachi Wadi, an agri-tourism center started by local resident Johnson Lopez in Arnala, is a treasure trove of local flora and fauna where one can see a wide range of popular flowers like Mogra, Lily, Zhendu (Marigold) and Rose and lesser known ones like Sonchafa. Visitors can experience total Kokan village life at Arnala.
In the second phase, "8th Global Konkan International Festival" will take place at Nesco, Goregaon from January 3-6, 2019 in august presence of several key dignitaries. India Tourism, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, Bassein Catholic Bank, Pitambari and more are supporting these rural tourism festivals.
The Fern Residency, Mumbai is all set to become zero carbon footprint hotel. “The Fern Residency, Mumbai is doing its level best to reduce its carbon footprint and has adopted a number of environment friendly practices to ensure that it reaches its ultimate goal of becoming a zero carbon footprint hotel,” Raj Shetty, General Manager of the hotel said.
One of the foremost measures adopted by the hotel is setting up a bottling plant. The hotel has completely eliminated the use of packaged water and is providing water in glass bottles in the rooms as well as restaurant. Water is purified from the ionizing machine set up in the plant. The hotel has identified a few core issues and has been endeavouring hard to achieve success in these core areas of environment sustainability.
According to Shetty, the issue of plastic usage is one of the grave concerns and one that clearly requires global commitment and collaborative action. Various other measures taken up by the hotel includes; Banning the use of disposable or single-use plastics like plastic water bottles, straws etc; Replacing plastic bags with paper bags and plastic cutlery with wooden cutlery, for take-away; Changing biodegradable plastic containers with more eco-friendly options like containers made of corn starch or sugarcane; Replacing plastics straws and stirrers with steel and paper straws and wooden stirrers; Replacing garbage bags with biodegradable garbage bags; Utilizing old newspapers to make paper bags
Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) and Sarangkheda Committee recently organised The Sarangkheda Chetak Festival 2018-19 celebrating the rich legacy of age-old horse festival. Starting from December 12 2018 to January 8, 2109, the festival is all set to witness various breeds and different kind of horses which become a horse lover’s delight.
An ancient pastoral fair of horses has now transformed into a one-month long celebration held in the scenic rural vicinities of Northern Maharashtra on the banks of Tapi River. The festival exhibits horses from the states including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat. The district of Nandurbar comes alive during the Sarangkheda Chetak Festival, exhibiting horse shows, horse race and dance performances such as Lawani along with enchanting Kavi Sammelani, the one -month festival is a perfect platform to appeal to tourists from across the globe. The objective is to showcase the art, culture and numerous facets of the region. To promote this festival at an international platform, the organizers have also associated with TripXOXO the online booking platform for things to do activities and to provide the information for tourists across the globe.
The festival was inaugurated on December 11, 2018 by Jaykumar Rawal, Tourism Minister, Government of Maharashtra, Madan Yerawar, State Tourism Minister, Government of Maharashtra in the presence of Taisaheb Nayankumar Rawal, President, Dandaicha Municipality.
Rawal said, “The main aim of the festival is to encourage the rich legacy of the horse fair and I am positive that the Department of Tourism & MTDC will take this festival on an international platform. The festival exhibited more than 2500 horses from across Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. We wish to create new paths for tourism with special attention to adventure tourism to attract a huge number of visitors to the state. I am certain in days to come the Nandurbar district will create a niche for itself and make a mark in the tourism map.”
Yerawar said, “Sarangkheda Festival is an ideal platform to attract tourists nationally as well as internationally. I am happy to be a part of this festival celebrating the rich culture and heritage. Nandurbaug district has immense scope for tourism and we envisage to boost tourists in this destination through Sarangkheda Chetak Festival. From horse show to sports and dance performance, the festival is going to be grand.”
The Sarangkheda Chetak Festival 2018 is overall a festival of speed, energy and glamour a festival for all. This year the festival is back filled with more energising entertaining events for all age groups across the country and worldwide.
The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) has announced one more Taj branded hotel in Lucknow. This hotel will be in partnership with Luxus Hospitality. With this addition, IHCL will have three hotels across two of its brands in the city.
Puneet Chhatwal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, IHCL said, “We are delighted to partner with Luxus Hospitality. This signing is aligned to Aspiration 2022 with its focus on aggressive domestic growth. The Company is very optimistic about Lucknow as it is an important centre of governance, business, culture and tourism.”
The Taj branded hotel will be conveniently located at Vibhuti Khand, New Gomti Nagar Centre with close proximity to key corporate parks, institutions and recreational facilities. The hotel will comprise of 185 spacious guest rooms, an all-day diner, a specialty restaurant, a bar, a wellness area and banqueting facilities. The Greenfield project is slated to open in 2022.
Amit Singh, Director, Luxus Hospitality said, “We are proud to partner with The Indian Hotels Company Limited for its iconic Taj brand and bring their famed hospitality to Lucknow.”
Sands Resorts Macao’s sales team will be attending SATTE 2019, South Asia’s premier trade travel show, taking place at the India Expo Mart, Greater Noida, New Delhi, from Jan 16 to 18, 2019. The integrated resorts’ team will be on hand to launch the latest 2019 meeting and events package and showcase other new offerings including refurbished suites at flagship properties The Venetian Macao and the French-themed integrated resort The Parisian Macao.
Visitors can stop by Sands Resorts Macao’s booth B53 to find out more about the dynamic new package Meetings Beyond Imagination at Sands Resorts Macao and the opulent new Champagne Suites at The Parisian Macao. They will also be able to enjoy live performances from a talented French accordionist, just one of many in-house entertainers who bring an enticing French flavour to The Parisian Macao. The Parisian Macao’s stunning half-scale Eiffel Tower and new French garden Le Jardin will also be featured at the booth.
Sands Resorts Macao’s Meetings Beyond Imagination is valid for meetings between Feb 11, 2019 and Dec 18, 2020, and available to book from Feb 11 to Dec 31, 2019. The new offer allows event and conference organisers and delegates to take advantage of Sands Resorts Macao’s comprehensive one-stop meeting and incentives solutions.
Enabling entire events to be managed under one roof by one team, including accommodation, dining, entertainment and transportation, the package is available at all seven of Sands Resorts Macao’s world-class hotels: The Venetian Macao; The Parisian Macao; Four Seasons Hotel Macao; The St. Regis Macao, Cotai Central; Conrad Macao, Cotai Central; Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel, Cotai Central; and Holiday Inn Macao Cotai Central.
It also includes discounts on event master bills, at selected restaurants and spas, on audio-visual equipment hire and entertainment and leisure activities, alongside complimentary rooms, room upgrades and transportation offers.
The Venetian Macao recently completed the refurbishment of all its suites. Beautifully revitalised and reimagined, the Premio Royale and Premio Bella Suites are luxurious and spacious, each at least 70 square metres, and feature a sunken living room, private bedroom and lavish bathroom. Guests can enjoy a uniquely Venetian experience with iconic gondola-inspired furnishings exquisitely crafted in dark woods, creams and ivories, with sumptuous fabrics, elegant marble bathrooms with gold or Venetian blown-glass accents.
Featuring stunning views of the Eiffel Tower and the magnificent garden Le Jardin, The Parisian Macao has recently unveiled its stunning Champagne Suites. With elegant touches of warm white stone and luxurious amenities, the suite provides the perfect venue to celebrate with a special someone, whether for a memorable anniversary or romantic getaway.
Taj recently unveiled its special festive offer. Guests will receive complimentary Taj Experiences Gift cards while doubling Taj InnerCircle loyalty points when booking directly tajhotels.com. The offer includes daily breakfast, a meal of choice, a spa treatment and a host of other benefits.
One can choose from world-renowned landmarks to modern city hotels, beach resorts, to authentic Grand Palaces with each Taj hotel offering an unrivalled fusion of warm Indian hospitality and world-class service.
Urban Oasis– Experience the colonial charm of the city of Chennai at Taj Connemara or take a heritage walk and be awed by the 115 year journey of The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai. Discover the tranquil tropical paradise in the heart of Bengaluru at Taj West End, set in a lush 20-acre garden.
Serene Sojourns – Guests can choose from night kayaking at Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans to the authentic Ketuvallam houseboat cruise down the backwaters of Kerala at Taj Bekal Resort & Spa or spend their days amidst the misty hills of Coorg at Taj Madikeri Resort & Spa.
Royal Escapes – Indulge in the lifestyle of kings and queens when you stay at the living Palaces of the Taj. Go vintage at Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur where the royal collection of classic cars will take you down memory lane. Wake up to admire the white marble reflecting in the pristine waters of Lake Pichola at Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur. Discover secret recipes from the glorious past as you dine at Rambagh Palace in Jaipur. Uplift your spirit perched 2000 ft above the historic city of Hyderabad at Taj Falaknuma Palace.
Ginger opened its first prototype hotel with a complete new brand identity at Panjim, Goa after an intensive repositioning exercise. The current portfolio of the other 45 plus hotels will be repositioned reflecting the new brand identity and brand promise. Ginger will introduce the lean luxe segment, the first of its kind in India.
Puneet Chhatwal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, The Indian Hotels Company Limited said, “The Ginger brand journey is aligned to Aspiration 2022 that defines a brandscape that addresses diverse customer segments and price points. It will be an important growth vehicle for the company and we are looking at quickly scaling up the brand to a large number of hotels across India.”
The new identity of Ginger presents a co-existence of contrasts through re-imagined spaces blurring the lines of work and play, bringing about a fusion of global and local and create experiences that are vibrant, quirky, intuitive and smart.
Deepika Rao, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Ginger said, “The brand is slated to appeal to an on-the-go lifestyle and is anchored in the idea of seamlessness, facilitating a ‘never stop’ lifestyle. Ginger will now be an aspirational hotel chain that is also surprisingly affordable.”
The redesigned spaces will bring together attractive public areas as well as spots designed for solitude, allowing the smooth transition from one to the other. They come alive with vivacious high energy glocal music and unique artwork installations. The all-day diner Café Et Cetera offers comfort food and doubles up as a personal workstation.
The service style is designed around the on-the-go lifestyle of the target audience enabling them to do more whether it is on-the-go breakfast, express laundry service or quick munch snack bars.
The company has received overwhelming interest from the hotel development community and has signed 6 new hotels already in this financial year taking the portfolio to 56 hotels, the highest in its competition set. The new openings in the next two quarters will be in Madgaon in Goa, Patna, Sanand, Surat, and Visakhapatnam.
Travelport has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by affiliates of Siris Capital Group and Evergreen Coast Capital Corp., in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately US$4.4 billion. Evergreen is the private equity affiliate of Elliott Management Corporation.
Under the terms of the agreement, Siris and Evergreen will acquire all the outstanding common shares of Travelport for US$15.75 per share in cash.
The Board of Directors of Travelport unanimously approved the agreement and recommended that shareholders vote in favour of the transaction. Elliott and its affiliates have agreed to vote the common shares owned by them in favour of the transaction.
Frank Baker, Co-Founder of Siris Capital said, “Travelport has an impressive track record of developing and bringing to market best-in-class distribution capabilities, technology services, innovative payment solutions and other value-add digital tools for the global travel industry. We have been impressed by the company’s industry-leading GDS technology platform, which supports mission-critical transactions for both travel providers and agents. At the same time, Travelport is redefining the travel payments industry through eNett, a disruptive and fast-growing leader in secure, virtual travel payments. Siris looks forward to partnering with the company’s management team and Evergreen in this next phase of Travelport’s evolution and growth as a private company.”
The proposed transaction is currently expected to close in the second quarter of 2019 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by Travelport shareholders and receipt of required regulatory approvals. The transaction is not subject to any financing condition.
Upon the completion of the transaction, Travelport will become a privately held company and Travelport common shares will no longer be listed on any public market. Travelport’s headquarters will remain in Langley, U.K.
Gordon Wilson, President and CEO, Travelport said, “Travelport welcomes this proposed transaction with Siris and Evergreen, who are specialist technology platform investors. Throughout the process, Siris and Evergreen have demonstrated their deep technology expertise together with a strong commitment to the success of our customers, employees and partners. We will continue to develop and invest in our platform to serve the changing needs of our customers in the travel industry. It is very much business as usual at Travelport and we look forward to this new era in the company’s development.”
Travelport says it can still actively solicit alternative acquisition proposals from third parties during a "go-shop" period from the date of the agreement through 23 January 2019. Travelport will then have the right to terminate the agreement to enter into a superior proposal subject to the terms and conditions of the agreement.
Thomas Cook (India) strengthened its presence in Surat with the inauguration of its second outlet in Vesu, Surat, inaugurated by Romil Pant, Sr. Vice President, Thomas Cook (India). This expansion augments Thomas Cook India’s distribution and reach in Gujarat to 11 consumer access centres: five owned branches and six Gold Circle Partner (franchise) outlets.
Thomas Cook India’s internal data had highlighted Surat, Gujarat as a high potential source market for its holiday business. Hence, in an initiative to harness this opportunity, the company has identified Vesu, Surat to set up its new Gold Circle Partner franchise outlet.
The Thomas Cook Gold Circle Partner programme is an exclusive franchise partner initiative that increases the brand’s presence-reach across the country, giving consumers access to the company’s products & services in metros/mini-metros and strongly emerging Tier II & III markets. The Gold Circle Partner benefits via brand association with the leading travel company in India, along with knowledge sharing/training and expertise to manage a travel business. In addition, a Gold Circle Partner is equipped with sales & marketing support to further business development and acquisition of a wider customer base.
Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head Leisure Travel & M.I.C.E, Thomas Cook (India) said, “Gujarat has been identified as a prime growth driver and continues to deliver strong growth of 35 per cent YoY for our Leisure Travel business. Surat offers us significant potential and we have selected one of the prime localities of the city for our new branch. Shop No. 8 – 9 Agam Emporio, University Road, Vesu is a key locality in Surat, providing us with a viable catchment of consumers across families, business professionals, senior citizens and NRIs.”
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), recently hosted a wedding showcase at InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort from December 5 – 7, 2018. The event exhibited IHG’s exclusive wedding offerings in India, across brands including InterContinental Hotels and Resorts, Crowne Plaza and the Holiday Inn brand family, featuring sessions and discussions around the wedding business in India, with industry experts such as Parthip Thyagarajan, CEO, Wedding Sutra, Sushil Wadhwa, Founders- Platinum Worldwide and Weddings, Darshan Shroff, Co-founder- Momente, Arti Mattoo, CEO- Momentum Worldwide, Siddharth Ganeriwala, CEO- Aura Integrated Solutions, Swathi Sabharwal, Founder- BigBash Entertainment, Chitvan Jaipuria, CJ Events and Snehal Modi Lakshya Events amongst others. The exclusive soiree was attended by some top wedding planners, designers, and celebrities from across the country, including Arti Surendranath, Vivek Karunakaran and Ash Chandler, Shraddha Salla.
During the event, IHG’s international hotels focused on the Indian wedding segment, hosted a raffle draw and gave out exciting offers for weekend staycations to winners at some of their renowned properties such as, InterContinental Regency Bahrain, InterContinental Singapore, Crowne Plaza Amman, Crowne Plaza Bahrain, InterContinental Doha, Crowne Plaza Doha, InterContinental Fujairah.
The wedding industry in India is a burgeoning sector, estimated to be worth over US$40 billion. Tapping into this sector, last year, IHG introduced customised offerings, with a vision to curate and execute dream weddings for guests with different requirements and preferences. The offering includes thoughtfully designed wedding packages inclusive of exquisite indoor and outdoor venues and customized wedding services ranging from bespoke food menus to exclusive event decors, across IHG hotels and brands in the country.
Vivek Bhalla, Regional Vice President, SWA, IHG said, “Over the years, IHG has established itself as a formidable player within the Indian wedding segment and we continue to focus on this growing category by strengthening our guest offerings. Indian weddings have become more elaborate with a lot more customisation expected by the guests. At IHG, we are focused on providing the best facilities and personalised services to our guests, which makes wedding planning for the couple and their families a convenient and an enjoyable experience.”
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