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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

Alitalia will increase number of flights in August, when the Airline will operate a total of over 1,600 flights per week, 24% more than in July and more than double compared to those operated in June.

Alitalia aircraft will fly on 75 routes (24 more than July) and 52 airports (16 more than in the previous month), of which 20 in Italy and 32 abroad. Seats offered in August will return to exceed one million per month, with a growth by 29% compared to July. Despite the significant growth of operations compared to the previous two months, Alitalia will increase its activity in August at around 45% of what was planned before the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Alitalia flight schedule will see in August, on the long-haul sector, the beginning of the Rome-Tokyo Haneda route (from 17 August), the resume of the Milan Malpensa-New York service (from 15 August) and the increase of flights between Rome and New York. On the medium-haul international network, Alitalia will increase the number of destinations served in Spain, France and North Africa and will resume services to and from the Middle East, as well as increasing the number of flights to airports already served abroad; in addition, the Airline will launch many seasonal services to the Balearic Islands and to the Greek Islands (both from Rome and Milan). For the domestic sector, Alitalia will increase air services between Northern and Southern Italy.

Furthermore, beginning on 24 July Alitalia will resume operations to and from Milan Linate airport where the Airline will operate, in a first stage, only the PSO routes to and from Sardinia. Starting from 1 August, the Airline will operate to and from Milan Linate airport the other domestic and international routes operated until 31 July to and from Milan Malpensa, in compliance with the limit at the number of hourly movements on the city airport of Milan, that was decided by Authorities in order to reduce the number of departing passengers and ensure social distancing inside the airport.

From the beginning of August, Alitalia will start flights from Rome Fiumicino to Malaga, Algiers, Cairo (6 flights per week for each airport) Marseille and Tel Aviv (10 flights per week for both airports), as well as new seasonal summer flights to Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza, Menorca, Corfu, Kefalonia, Heraklion (Crete), Rhodes, Mykonos (4 flights per week with each of these airports) and Zakynthos (2 weekly flights).From 17 August, Alitalia will inaugurate new service from Rome to Tokyo Haneda (6 flights per week).

Alitalia will also increase from 1 August the number of air services from Rome Fiumicino airportto New York (from 8 to 14 flights per week), Athens (from 2 to 4 daily flights), Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Geneva, Munich, Tunis (from 10 to 14 flights per week for each airport), Malta, Nice and Tirana (from 6 to 14 flights per week for each airport). Frequencies of flights will also be increased on domestic routesfrom Rome to Brindisi (from 2 to 4 daily flights) and Pantelleria (from 4 to 6 flights per week). With the reopening of Milan Linate airport, in August Alitalia will resume services from Rome to both Milan Linate (with 10 flights per day) and Malpensa (4 flights per day) airports.

Alitalia will serve a total of 24 destinations from Milan Linate and Malpensa airports with approximately 710 weekly flights.  

Hotel Association of India (HAI) has expressed steadfast support to the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir for the revival of tourism. Speaking at the recently concluded India Global Week, KB Kachru, Vice President, HAI and Chairman Emeritus and Principal Advisor South Asia, Radisson Hotel Group called on investors to consider J&K for their new ventures citing quick developments and assuring good returns based on promising infrastructure and tools in the Union Territory.

The India Global Week 2020 was recently inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and witnessed the presence of several luminaries from across the country and the world coming together to discuss the India Revival Strategy.

Focusing on Tourism in these unsettling and unpredictable times, Kachru said, “Tourism is a real springboard for giving a major thrust to overall economy particularly in J&K. There is a need to think of some quick wins for survival and revival. Fact remains that J&K and tourism are inseparable. It has established and known multiple destinations for leisure, adventure and religious places. Hospitality is in Kashmiri blood; Kashmir has the capability of becoming a challenge to established world known destinations in the world. As Prime Minister Modi said in his inaugural address, we need to kill the existing anxiety and use this adversity as an opportunity.”

Calling for support from the Central and State Government, Kachru said, “Given that investment friendly policies are being set, key players need to have a steady hand on the wheel. Infrastructure development is the need. We need to identify new destinations and create easy accessibility. Moreover, the Government needs to continue to listen and handhold stakeholders at this time of crisis starting with those operating businesses, hotels, houseboats, and transporters. The government must take care of the workforce. In the long run, policy reforms will be needed.”

Kachru, on behalf the Hotel Association of India made some sharp suggestions to attract investments and for the revival of the sector including:

• Long-term Tourism development plan.

• Declare Tourism as an industry and accord all infrastructure benefits

• Creating Tourism Zones, clusters and new destinations with incentives

• Recognise and support existing stakeholders

• Special incentives and approvals

The session “Revival of Tourism in Jammu & Kashmir” saw a high-powered panel with Girish Chandra Murmu, Lieutenant Governor, Government of Jammu & Kashmir, Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, Commissioner Secretary, Jammu & Kashmir representing the Administration along with leading entrepreneurs from the region Farooq Amin, CEO, Kanwal Foods & Spices, Vikrant Kuthila, Director, R B Jodhamal Bishan Lal Hotel & Resorts, Amit Wanchoo, CEO, Space Communications and Sanjay Puri, Managing Director, PBI India.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced the ‘Amazing Thailand Grand Sale 2020 – Non-Stop Shopping’ from 15 July to 15 September 2020, to stimulate tourism spending and help entrepreneurs in tourism-related industries.

TAT has invited over 10,000 establishments across the country to join the ‘Amazing Thailand Grand Sale 2020 – Non-Stop Shopping’ project and give special privileges to Thai and foreign residents throughout the two-month period in the main tourism centres of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Pattaya and Hat Yai.

The project will differ from the last three years, which formerly focussed on discounts from participating establishments, and event marketing in key areas and lucky draws. This year’s project will take an “O2O: Online to Offline approach” through online activities on the project’s LINE official account (online) that will offer gift vouchers for shoppers to redeem as discounts at participating establishments (offline).

Weekly online sales promotions on different categories of products and services will be introduced to entice interest among Thai and foreign residents throughout the two-month period.

TAT expects the project to generate 100 million Baht in direct spending on products and services in the various categories, and help enhance sales promotion for at least 10,000 entrepreneurs in the tourism and travel-related industries in Thailand.

Following the partial lifting of international flight restrictions by Indian authorities to allow outbound travel from 12 July to 26 July 2020 for eligible individuals from India to Abu Dhabi, Etihad Airways will resume a limited number of special flights from six Indian gateways. During this period, the airline will operate services to Abu Dhabi from Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai to Abu Dhabi. Etihad will recommence daily services from Mumbai, six weekly from Delhi, five weekly from Chennai and Bengaluru, two from Cochin and one weekly from Hyderabad.  

Eligible passengers include UAE nationals and residents as well as people with relevant UAE entry approvals from India. All passengers must have ICA approval from the government of Abu Dhabi before they travel and will not be permitted to check-in without the necessary approvals.

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) India Offices, New Delhi and Mumbai implemented a unique idea to stay connected with the bloggers and social media influencers of India who otherwise keep travelling to various parts of Amazing Thailand and share their amazing experiences round the year. As a token of gratitude, TAT wanted to convey to all these social brand ambassadors how important they are in promoting a destination to the audience.

During the last week of May 2020, the contest was thrown open to all the Indian bloggers and influencers initially for about one week. They were asked to create a nice video / photo story from their stock materials of previous trips to Thailand, a story that gives a throwback memory. The videos submitted by the contestants were worth watching as many of them were of great quality with good creative expression, voice narration of the story or depiction of colourful visual art to express their experiences in Thailand.

With more than 100 high quality unique entries, including many top/award-winning ones; the contest is a success in terms of reaching out to the blogger and influencer community of India. We reached out a total of +2,400,000 people across India.

After a very careful process of multiple layered selection considering both quality and engagement, the winners were picked by the selection committee. Out of hundreds of participants, 5 were selected as Grand Winners and each received a GoPro Hero 8 Sports and Action Camera while 10 were chosen Secondary Winners receiving attractive gifts.

Speaking on the excellent response of the contest, Vachirachai Srisumpan, Director - TAT (New Delhi) said: “This activity was conceptualized keeping the millennial in mind, considering that they would be the early travelers once situation normalizes. I would like to congratulate all the winners who have shared their bond with Amazing Thailand by creating some beautiful videos and made Thailand as “Top of the Mind Destination”. Thank you, participants, for joining this online event and keeping the spirit of travel and tourism moving during this challenging period. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is looking forward to welcoming all to the Land of Smiles.”

Continuing the same spirit, Cholada Siddhivaran, Director - TAT (Mumbai) commented: "Congratulations and thanks a lot to all the bloggers who kindly shared their experiences while they were in Thailand with us. Although the world has experienced several pandemics, through all dystopia and ‘new normal’s', life in Thailand never went out of style. We are very well adept with our daily life to the next level of the new normal. Thus, whenever travel resumes, Thailand will be waiting to welcome you where you can enjoy nature, culture, food and shopping even better!"

The pan-India contest saw winners from all over India. The top five Grand Winners shared their experiences on the excitement of participating in the contest and how they see post-pandemic travel and Amazing Thailand as a preferred destination.

India Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. (ITDC) has signed an MOU with AIIMS, New Delhi to come together and monitor the situation to prevent COVID-19 infection and implement preventive measures that can be taken up by ITDC across its hotels and offices to provide a safe, hygienic and healthy environment to guests and staff.  

Talking about the MOU, Prahlad Singh Patel, Union Minister of State for Tourism and Culture said, “The MoU between ITDC and AIIMS to fight the COVID 19 battle is a commendable and appreciable step taken by ITDC. We need to win over our fear and do everything possible in order to revive the tourism industry, which is one of the key contributors to the country’s GDP. This move by ITDC would be helpful in rebuilding trust & confidence of international as well as domestic tourists.”

“The ongoing pandemic has had a severe impact on the travel and tourism industry. The MoU with AIIMS, New Delhi will help us in monitoring the situation and take necessary measures to fight the pandemic. The tourism sector contributes immensely towards the creation of jobs, as well as the GDP of India, it is imperative to ensure preparedness and readiness of the sector in order to gear it back into action.” Patel added.

To take this forward an advisory board will be formed consisting of representatives from AIIMS, ITDC and/or representative from any other organisation to provide inputs on designing and developing the safety Protocols with respect to COVID-19 infection, based on existing and ongoing situation as well as on real time basis. This would help in instilling trust and confidence in domestic tourism and also help in image building of the nation for international tourists and travellers.

These measures are in addition to following guidelines issued by Govt of India as well as extensive training provided to more than 1000 employees of hotel in areas of Front Office, Guest Relation, House Keeping, F&B etc. to effectively handle the situation.

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has announced a codeshare agreement with Abu Dhabi’s first low-cost airline, Air Arabia Abu Dhabi. Effective 9 July, Etihad will place its ‘EY’ code on Air Arabia Abu Dhabi’s inaugural flight from Abu Dhabi to the Egyptian city of Alexandria on 14 July, followed by the Nile city of Sohag the next day.

 The new agreement enables guests to book Etihad flights in conjunction with Air Arabia Abu Dhabi services, connecting its global route network beyond the UAE capital to new airline’s routes. Etihad plans to add further codeshare destinations to the partnership scope as more Air Arabia Abu Dhabi destinations are announced in the coming weeks.

 Air Arabia Abu Dhabi was formed following an agreement by Etihad Airways and Air Arabia to establish an independent joint venture company that will operate as a low-cost passenger airline with Abu Dhabi International Airport as its hub. The airline will start its operations with two Airbus A320 aircraft based at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is collaborating with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to expand its Crisis Resource Center (CRC) to provide further aid in the rapid, robust and responsible renewal of the Asia Pacific travel and tourism industry.

“Timely, accurate, and useful information is the need of the moment for our members as they manage their recovery from COVID-19,” said Trevor Weltman, PATA Chief of Staff. “The generous support we received from ADB has allowed us to invest in bringing these essential tools to our region at this critical time. As 65% of PATA members polled had no crisis plans pre-COVID, the CRC will be a permanent offer from PATA going forward to continue meeting their evolving needs for crisis preparedness, management and recovery from this crisis, and beyond.”

The PATA Crisis Resource Center and Tourism Recover Monitor was launched in April 2020, to provide reliable and up-to-date policy statements, authoritative information, and tourism indicators from around the globe. The new CRC will officially be launched on Tuesday, July 14, 2020.

The ultimate vision of the CRC is to lead, coordinate and sustain a comprehensive world-class digital resource for crisis response, management, and recovery for the Asia Pacific Travel Industry. In the immediate term, PATA believe Asia Pacific will be the leading force of tourism’s global recovery from COVID-19, as both an inbound destination as well as a robust source market.

“The tourism industry accounts for a substantial amount of private sector employment and investment in the Asia Pacific, especially within the Greater Mekong Subregion. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the industry’s vulnerability to crisis. Through the Crisis Resource Center, PATA is building much-needed infrastructure to make the Asia Pacific tourism sector more resilient,” said Dominic Mellor, ADB Senior Investment Specialist and head of the Mekong Business Initiative, which supported the CRC through technical assistance.

As part of the expansion, the Association has formed a CRC advisory team to help provide further content and development of online toolkits and resources for industry stakeholders to navigate their way through the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Destination marketing and crisis management expert Damian Cook will provide resource and recommendation kits for destinations, airlines and airports, hospitality, tours operators and SMEs; while crisis communications and communication strategy expert, John Bailey, will draft best practice guidance documents on how to develop and implement a holistic communication strategy to support a destination recovery campaign.

Etihad Airways is gradually resuming services to more destinations across its global network after the easing of travel restrictions by UAE regulatory authorities. All travel remains subject to the entry and health regulations set by the UAE authorities, and those at the end destination.  

Throughout July and August, subject to the lifting of international restrictions and the re-opening of individual markets, the airline plans to fly to 58 destinations worldwide from its Abu Dhabi hub. These will include major gateways in the Middle East, North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, with destinations in India scheduled from August 1 (subject to the lifting of international flight restrictions).

The return to a larger network of international flights will be greatly supported by the Etihad Wellness sanitisation and safety programme, which ensures the highest standards of hygiene are maintained at every stage of the customer journey. This includes specially trained Wellness Ambassadors, a first in the industry, who have been introduced by the airline to provide essential travel health information and care on the ground and on every flight, so guests can fly with greater ease and peace of mind.

Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “We are delighted to announce the gradual expansion of normal scheduled services to more cities across our global network. The easing of restrictions on travel to and from the UAE is an important first step and a great development for Abu Dhabi. By August we aim to operate approximately 45 per cent of our pre-COVID capacity.

“While we have continued to operate a schedule of special passenger, cargo and humanitarian flights over the last few months, the priority is now to build the network back up on markets that have opened up, and to provide a secure and hygienic flying environment across the entire guest journey.

“Over the last few months, we have seized every opportunity to improve our processes, review our product offering, and to undertake the biggest fleet maintenance programme in our history. We are tremendously grateful to our customers and partners for their continued loyalty.”

Subject to the applicable government approvals, Etihad’s summer schedule will feature a wider network and increased frequencies to the following destinations from, to, or via Abu Dhabi.

Preferred Hotels & Resorts has launched Loving Local, a global travel series designed to facilitate highly localized, luxury hotel experiences across 21 compelling regional markets including India – as consumers prepare to hit the open road once again for exploration and rediscovery of destinations close to home.. This limited-time global campaign – valid for bookings made by July 31, 2020 for stays of two nights or more through December 31, 2020 – entices eager travelers to staycation within their hometown or venture further into their surrounding region for the opportunity to enjoy authentic, memorable hospitality along with value-rich amenities at more than 200 participating hotels and resorts worldwide.         

Travelers who book Loving Local will receive the best available rate, daily breakfast options for two, and a stay credit ranging from US$25-$70 that can be used toward on-property expenditures, along with immediate fast track to Elite status in the brand’s I Prefer Hotel Rewards program, which features a VIP amenity, next category room upgrade, 2,500 bonus points, and complimentary internet. Upon confirmation, all Loving Local bookings will also unlock access to special benefits from partner brands including Sixt (for car rentals in Europe), Avis (for car rentals in the Americas and Asia), and Travel Curious (for those who want curated tours of their chosen destination).

Understanding the inherent value of the travel agent community in supporting the return to travel, Preferred Hotels & Resorts is also offering a 3% bonus on top of the standard 10% agency commission for Loving Local bookings made through the GDS or direct channels with a qualifying IATA/TIDS number.

“With all indicators showing that domestic travel will be an essential driver for economic recovery as travel restrictions are lifted at different times around the world, we created Loving Local to encourage interrupted travelers to once again embrace the virtues of community and explore destinations closer to home through our incredible independent hotels,” said Kristie Goshow, Chief Marketing Officer for Preferred Hotels & Resorts. “This global campaign is designed to fuel an inherent belief in the power of travel and inspire global citizens to take advantage of their newly restored freedoms by hitting the open road with family and friends, supporting local businesses, and knowing that our member hotels will greet them with a warm welcome as they reopen their doors.”        

Seema Roy, Area Managing Director - South Asia, Middle East & Africa for Preferred Hotels & Resorts, added, “India has one of the most varied mix of cultures, communities and landscapes in the world, and we welcome perceptive travelers to explore this regional diversity at our member hotels with the Loving Local campaign. Immersive experiences and authentic journeys have always been at the core of the stellar hospitality offered by our independent hotels across segments. As a renewed hope for travel emerges around the world, Preferred Hotels & Resorts celebrates the spirit of resilience and independence through this travel series.”

 

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