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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

Business travelers across the global, including those from India, are increasingly paying attention to their health while on business trips, says a research by CWT.

According to the survey, 54 per cent of business travelers from India work hard to adhere to their health and wellness routines, while 40 per cent try but find it challenging. The health and wellness amenities most commonly used by Indian business travelers include hotel gyms (58%), hotel swimming pools (48%) and in-room equipment such as yoga mats and stationary bikes (47%).

Half of the Indian respondents surveyed also indicated that they work out more while on the road, while only 6 per cent do not typically work out during business trips. And nearly three-quarters (72%) said they eat healthier when traveling for business – the highest number globally.

“Sticking to your regular routine on business trips can be challenging for various reasons, such as limited options or tight schedules,” said Vishal Sinha, CEO, India, CWT. “You’re focused on your work and trying to make the most of your trip, so you don’t have time to search for a gym or affordable healthy eating options if they’re not easily accessible. By creating travel policies that factor these things in, such as allowing travelers to stay at hotels with fitness facilities and ensuring their meal allowance is enough to cover healthy food choices, companies can create a much better travel experience for their employees.”

Thomas Cook (India) has observed a significant 21 per cent growth in demand for the Durga Puja festive break, from travellers in West Bengal and surrounding source markets. Over the last 5 years, the company has witnessed the Durga Puja season being leveraged by Bengalis to plan a smart mini-vacation/break that coincides with school holidays, and maximise the opportunity to rejuvenate and recharge, as well as bond with their families.

Thomas Cook India has launched a series of attractive domestic and international tour packages: Anandomoy Europe, Darshaniya Europe, Ananda Dubai, Asia-Te Hoi Choi, Monmatano Asia, Mishorer Morichika, Ek Nojore Thailand, and other Durga Puja specials. These unique tours, in combination with attractive discounts and curated itineraries, are serving well to catalyse consumer demand for Festival travel.

Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., said, “Our West Bengal customers are maximising festive breaks to transform them into multiple mini-vacations, as opposed to just one long vacation per year. This festival tourism trend is resulting in an impressive growth in demand of approx. 23-25% Y-o-Y for Durga Puja holidays. We have hence launched a series of special Durga Puja packages, such as Darshaniya Europe, Asia-Te Hoi Choi, Ek Nojore Thailand, Monmatano Asia, Ananda Dubai, and Mishorer Morichika, to inspire even higher uptake from our Bengali travellers.”

Indian Tourists are increasingly looking at Switzerland as a preferred travel destination because of the plethora of offers available for all seasons and all age groups. Indian travellers are getting more diverse, adventurous, and experiential and are now also exploring seasons other than the traditional summer holiday period and travelling in the autumn months as well as in winter.

Switzerland’s growing popularity amongst Indians can be attributed to the successful promotion of the diversity in options the country offers across seasons. It is a 365-day destination that is ready for visitors any time of the year, with every season presenting the country in a new light. Although summer remains the most popular season, autumn or fall is gaining popularity amongst Indians as it’s a shoulder season, a time when the best hotel and airline deals are available with perfect weather conditions. Lucerne, Interlaken and Lake Geneva Region make for a perfect autumn holiday for solos, couples, families as well as adventure seekers.

Destinations like St Moritz, Zermatt and Engelberg-Titlis are popular winter destinations as they offer exciting winter sports activities like skiing, tobogganing and snow-tubing. In the past few years, the country has seen an increasing number of younger travellers who want to experience winter sports. Switzerland offers opportunities such as the first ski experience which allows the traveller to try out the sport with the least hassle. The package includes not just a ski pass, but also an instructor as well as ski equipment for a half day experience in an all-inclusive offer.

Switzerland has a lot of experiences and activities to offer in its boutique cities such as Zurich, Lucerne, Interlaken, St. Moritz and Montreux and Lausanne in the Lake Geneva Region, be it adventure, sports, culture, food, or experiences. Zurich however still remains the most popular region and enjoys a 35 per cent market share of all nights spent by Indians because Indians prefer staying in Swiss cities as they are small, easy to navigate yet very close to nature with all the comforts of a city.

The Swiss Travel Pass - an all on one ticket valid on all modes of public transportation is also very popular with Indian tourists due to its the convenience and ease-of use for tourists, in fact India stands at no- 2 worldwide in the sales of the Swiss Travel Pass.

The Grand Train Tour of Switzerland encompasses the country's top panoramic trains and gives tourists an opportunity to explore all main attractions of Switzerland via these scenic routes. 'The Grand Train Tour' has been one of the most important aspects of the promotions for 2018-19, with strategic campaigns running across new media with specially curatedGrand Train Tour videos using popular television celebrities and influencers as they are very relatable to Indian audiences.

A big contributor to Switzerland’s increasing number of Indian overnights is the passionate and effervescent Ranveer Singh who is the brand ambassador for Switzerland Tourism. His last trip to Lake Geneva Region showcased an unexplored side of the country and introduced Indian travellers to regions like Montreux, Lausanne, Lavaux, Glacier 3000, Golden Pass Panoramic train and more.

Ritu Sharma, Deputy Director, Switzerland Tourism India said, “We are very pleased with the way Indian travellers are increasingly looking at Switzerland as a 365-day destination that has something for every member of the family. The campaigns we did this year with Ranveer Singh and for 'The Grand Train Tour', were very well received by viewers as they were able to see Switzerland and  all the new and unexplored experiences and destinations it has to offer. Both 2017 and 2018 have been really exciting years for us. We saw a 9.6 per cent increase in the overnights spent by Indians in Switzerland during 2017-2018. Our overnights in 2017 stood at 739,185 while they moved up to 809,940 in 2018. In 2019, too, we hope to continue with this growth.”

Switzerland Tourism also held their annual roadshow in the cities of Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Chennai. These road shows which included 21 Swiss partners including destinations, hoteliers, transport partner as well as mountain excursions representatives from various parts of Switzerland were very well received by the travel trade in these cities.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, part of Marriott International, recently announced that the Ritz-Carlton, Pune is primed to open in October 2019. Owned by Panchshil Corporate Park, the hotel’s unique location at the downtown precinct and adjacent to the prestigious Poona Club Golf Course, will create a business and lifestyle destination for the city.

The Ritz-Carlton, Pune will offer an inspiring juxtaposition of classic grandeur and modern sophistication with its 198 guest rooms, including 35 suites, with views of the Golf Course, iconic art prints and Asprey amenities in the heart of the downtown business district.

Neeraj Govil, Senior Vice President - South Asia, Marriott International said, “We are very excited to launch the second Ritz-Carlton in India. The Ritz-Carlton, Pune underlines Marriott International’s commitment to India market and serving its growing affluent tribe. The hotel promises to offer a truly enriching experience with distinct experiences and the legendary service to create indelible memories.”

The hotel will have crafted culinary offerings with five signature dining options - A three-kitchen dining experience featuring Pan-Asian, Regional Indian and European cuisine, a modern Japanese restaurant, a signature Afternoon tea lounge, poolside bar and grills and a rooftop lounge and Indian dining offering overlooking the verdant golf course.

The Ritz-Carlton, Pune will offer exquisitely appointed venues for weddings, social events and meetings in the city. Seamless in – room check in, complimentary high speed internet, The Ritz-Carlton spa, 24-hour fitness and movement studio, along with concierge service will also be available. The interiors at The Ritz-Carlton, Pune pay homage to the architecture, history and culture of India through patterned motifs and iconic art prints that offer a thoughtful path towards discovering the storied past of the destination.

The Fern Hotels & Resorts has opened The Fern - An Ecotel Hotel, an upscale hotel in Lonavala. This is the second property which the company has started managing in Lonavala. Earlier this year, Viola Beacon Resort started its operations. This takes the tally to 18 hotels managed by the company in Maharashtra. Overall the company is managing 66 hotels.

Suhail Kannampilly, CEO, Concept Hospitality said, “We are very happy to announce the opening of an ecotel in the Western Ghats, an area which has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will ensure sustainable hospitality without harming the environment in this rich bio-diverse area.”

The Fern, Lonavala an 80-room hotel spread over two acres offers quintessential hill charm. Brushing the back walls of the Valvan Dam off the Expressway the hotel provides contemporary accommodations, a coffee shop, a finely designed multi-cuisine restobar, state-of-art banquet halls, a swimming pool and poolside lawns. The hotel is close to the Lonavala market, with easy access to the major sightseeing attractions in and around the vicinity.

The guests have the choice of staying in four different categories of rooms’ viz. Winter Green, Fern Club, Hazel Suite and Fern Club Suite.  The hotel has a Presidential Suite as well. All the rooms are equipped with all modern facilities. Some of the amenities in the room include packaged drinking water, eco-friendly light arrangement and bathroom conveniences, tea maker, satellite TV connections etc.

Airbus has forecast the need for over 39,000 new aircraft in the next 20 years. The world’s passenger and freighter aircraft fleet is set to more than double from today’s nearly 23,000 to almost 48,000 by 2038 with traffic growing at 4.3 per cent annually, also resulting in a need for 550,000 new pilots and 640,000 new technicians. By 2038, of the forecast 47,680 fleet, 39,210 are new and 8,470 remain from today.

Airbus has simplified its segmentation to consider capacity, range and mission type. For example, a short haul A321 is Small (S) while the long-haul A321LR or XLR can be categorised as Medium (M). While the core market for the A330 is classified as Medium (M), it is likely a number will continue to be operated by airlines in a way that sits within the Large (L) market segmentation along with the A350 XWB.

This new segmentation gives rise to a need for 39,210 new passenger and freighter aircraft - 29,720 Small (S), 5,370 Medium (M) and 4,120 Large (L) - according to Airbus’ latest Global Market Forecast 2019-2038.

Of these, 25,000 aircraft are for growth and 14,210 are to replace older models with newer ones offering superior efficiency.

Resilient to economic shocks, air traffic has more than doubled since 2000. It is increasingly playing a key role in connecting large population centres, particularly in emerging markets where the propensity to travel is amongst the world’s highest as cost or geography make alternatives impossible.

Today, about a quarter of the world’s urban population is responsible for more than a quarter of global GDP, and given both are key growth drivers, Aviation Mega Cities (AMCs) will continue to power the global aviation network.

Developments in superior fuel efficiency are further driving demand to replace existing less fuel efficient aircraft.

Christian Scherer, Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International said, “The four per cent annual growth reflects the resilient nature of aviation, weathering short term economic shocks and geo-political disturbances. Economies thrive on air transportation. People and goods want to connect. Globally, commercial aviation stimulates GDP growth and supports 65 million livelihoods, demonstrating the immense benefits our business brings to all societies and global trade.”

Accor has launched a new economy segment brand, ‘greet’. Alert to new trends, Accor claims the new flag is a sustainable tourism offer that combines environmental considerations with a socially responsible approach for travellers seeking authenticity.

greet is a community-based, responsible and non-standardised brand, that is in keeping with current trends and seeks to serve travellers who are looking to add meaning to their purchases and are aware of their impact on the planet.

It sets itself apart through its name and its unique identity within Accor Group’s brand portfolio. Created in early 2019, the greet brand brings a distinctive touch to the group. greet was created in response to a single observation – today, more than ever before, travellers want a high-quality and affordable hotel experience, while simultaneously seeking to add meaning to their purchases and reduce their impact on the planet. The greet concept addresses this dual challenge through a flexible business model for partners, and a totally new hotel experience for customers.

The only guidelines are that greet hotels must include a number of the brand’s key features, including its logo in the common areas, a large table d’hôte for sharing special moments, and ensuring that 20 per cent of rooms can accommodate between four and six people.

Each hotel owner is free to express themselves while staying true to the three ways of being greet: by salvaging objects sourced via second-hand networks or from eco-responsible suppliers; by upcycling unusual decorative items, and by revisiting these objects to repurpose them and give them a second lease of life.

Franck Gervais, Chief Executive, Europe Accor said, “Since its creation, Accor has always been attentive to the needs of its partners and franchisees. Through our plan to expand our portfolio of brands, launched by Sébastien Bazin, we are upholding our commitment to always offering unforgettable experiences to our customers while simultaneously supporting our network of franchisees. With the launch of greet, our aim is simply to provide an ideal solution to independent hotel owners by offering a brand that combines the regeneration of existing hotel structures with cost control, both in terms of renovation and redevelopment of the spaces.”

Accor Group hopes to open 300 greet hotels throughout Europe by 2030.

The greet network will quickly extend to various European destinations, with the German city of Darmstadt welcoming the very first greet hotel outside France in the coming months.

GoAir is set to operate its maiden flight starting today from Kannur to Kuwait with a brand new Airbus A320 aircraft. The flight will take off from Kerala’s 2nd Greenfield and 4th International Airport that is built on Public Private Partnership in an area of about 2,300 acres. GoAir’s inaugural flight from Kannur to Kuwait has received fantastic response and the flights are fully booked.

With Kuwait becoming GoAir’s 4th destination in the Gulf region, close on the heels of launching Muscat, Abu Dhabi, followed by Dubai and now the princely state of Kuwait, reveals GoAir’s robust plans to expand its operations across the Middle East region. In doing so, Kannur has emerged as a strategic hub for GoAir’s domestic as well as international operations.  Kannur is a popular destination for both leisure and business travelers within the state of Kerala and the new route to Kuwait will provide more affordable flying options to the international travellers.

Jeh Wadia, Managing Director, GoAir said, “GoAir is pleased to share that the response to Kannur Kuwait flight has been overwhelming to say the least. We are very enthused with the way things have progressed and tomorrow GoAir’s inaugural flight to Kuwait will take-off. Ever since we started flying international, GoAir has added 16 aircraft to the network in the last 10 months resulting in 90 new flights. We have added 7 new airports to our network – Phuket, Male, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Dubai, Bangkok and Kannur. Tomorrow we will be starting Kuwait operations – our 8th new airport operations. GoAir will be launching Singapore flights soon (subject to regulatory approvals).”

BBC Global News – the BBC’s commercial, international news arm - has announced the results of new research into the global appetite for inflight connectivity. It found that frequent flyers have substantial interest in staying connected while on a flight and are prepared to pay more for it.

Titled ‘Slipstream’, the research was commissioned by BBC Global News and conducted by independent research consultancy MTM, it was revealed this week at the APEX EXPO in California. It shows that almost two thirds (63%) of regular travellers consider access to Wi-Fi important when booking a flight and 69% say it would significantly improve their inflight experience, with the main reasons being the desire to communicate, to be entertained and to keep up to date with what’s happening around the world.

The survey highlights a number of commercial benefits for connected airlines including increased consideration in the mind of the customer because of a better inflight experience and an improved reputation, particularly in terms of being seen as innovative, modern and exciting.

In addition, 62 per cent of respondents said that they would be more likely to choose an airline if live TV was available – a figure which rose to 78 per cent for business class travellers and 89% for first class passengers.  Significantly, travellers consistently reported a willingness to pay more for it, with over half of those surveyed happy to pay 5% on top of their standard fare, and a third prepared to pay an additional 20%. 

The specific TV and news brands an airline opted for also had a discernible impact on consumer perception, with almost half of respondents more likely to travel with an airline offering BBC World News, rising to two-thirds of first class travellers.

Zina Neophytou, Vice President of Out of Home at BBC Global News, said, ‘As bandwidth to aircraft increases, there are growing opportunities for airlines to offer passengers an enhanced inflight experience.  Our research demonstrates a resounding consumer demand for connectivity and access to live news programming while in the air. As airlines’ capacity grows, we look forward to our continued delivery of BBC World News’s unique blend of innovative, impartial journalism.

Panambi Vacations has recently opened its first resort in Rishikesh. The resort was earlier known as Van Vilas Resort & Spa, and has now been taken over by Panambi Vacations. They have completely revamped the resort and have introduced new facilities.

This is the first property of Panambi Resorts and the company aims to add properties in Naukauchiatal, Corbett, Mussoorie, Shimla, Manali, Jaipur etc.

Talking about the property, Neeraj Gupta, Founder, Panambi Vacations, said, “Our aim to get into resorts’ business was to cater to the segments which are looking for some quality family times and are looking for bespoke experiences. With every property of ours, they will find themselves closer to the nature and culture of our country.”

 Vinita Gupta, Co-founder, Panambi Vacations added that the company will be coming up with a few more new properties very soon. “With every property of ours, we will work on creating memories, rather than simply offering hotel amenities. We want people to remember our resort for the quality time they spent and experience to be cherished forever.”

At present, the resort offers 35 rooms and 12 more rooms added by November 2019. Apart from this, the property is coming up with a banquet hall which can accommodate up to 350 people, making this property apt for corporate meetings and social gatherings. The banquet will be ready by mid 2020.



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