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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

Marriott International has signed an agreement with Colombo City Centre Partners (Private) Limited, part of the Abans Group, to debut the Courtyard by Marriott brand in Sri Lanka.  The hotel is expected to feature 164 rooms and is anticipated to open in late 2021. 

“We are delighted to strengthen our Marriott Bonvoy portfolio of hotels in Sri Lanka with today’s signing,” said Rajeev Menon, President, Asia Pacific (excluding China), Marriott International. “This signing underscores our long-term commitment to Sri Lanka as a strategically important market, offering the potential to grow our brands and provide customers with more choices.”

Set in the heart of Colombo city adjacent to the Beira Lake, the Courtyard by Marriott Colombo will provide convenient business connectivity and excellent views of the city skyline.

“We are very pleased to collaborate with Abans Group, who share our vision to offer smart, intuitive service and high-quality accommodation in Sri Lanka,” commented Kiran Andicot, Regional Vice President - Development, South Asia, Marriott International.

“We are happy to have forged this strategic business alliance with Marriott International and are keen to see our relationship grow from strength to strength. We eagerly look forward to the opening of the first Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Sri Lanka. We are excited to have Marriott International with us at Colombo City Centre,” stated Aban Pestonjee, Chairperson of Abans Group.

Behman Pestonjee, Managing Director of Abans Group, shared his thoughts. “We are delighted to partner with Marriott International - the world’s largest hospitality group. This is a testimony to our confidence in the market and our commitment to contribute to the growth of the city. We gladly welcome the entry of Marriott into our prestigious mixed-use development, Colombo City Centre.”

“Abans PLC and Marriott International have jointly recognized the growth potential in the nation. We are confident that tourism will bounce back to its old glory in the country. Colombo is one of the most sought-after cities in South Asia, as it is highly cosmopolitan and is a melting pot of several cultures. Marriott and ourselves are perfectly poised for a long innings together,” affirmed Praveen Methil, CEO of Colombo City Centre.

Travelport has announced a strategic, long-term collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to use advanced cloud technology to accelerate the digital transformation of retailing in the travel industry.

The collaboration, which unites globally renowned expertise in travel technology, cloud technology, and hyper-personalized retailing, will focus on optimizing Travelport’s recently launched next-generation platform, Travelport+.

It will also drive innovation in travel merchandising with the launch of a new accelerator program that will incorporate talent from the tech startup community.

“The travel industry has struggled to keep up with the pace of change in digital retail,” said Greg Webb, Chief Executive Officer at Travelport. “This landmark collaboration is specifically designed to address just that. AWS’s retail heritage makes them uniquely qualified to optimize digital retail platforms, simplify complex environments, and enable game-changing innovation in the travel retailing space. With AWS as our preferred cloud partner, we are going to create a simpler, smarter, and better future for travel retailing.”

As part of the long-term collaboration, Travelport will migrate its global platform that connects travel agencies and travel suppliers to AWS. It will also use AWS technologies, including High Performance Compute (HPC), storage, security, analytics, machine learning and databases to deliver a faster, easier, and more personalized travel booking experience. In addition, Travelport will use AWS Managed Services (AMS) to provide trusted operational expertise to help optimize platform efficiency and security.

“Travelport is using the flexibility, scalability, and reliability of the world’s leading cloud to provide the speed and insights needed to put the customer first,” said Adam Selipsky, Incoming CEO of Amazon Web Services, Inc. “By leveraging the broadest and deepest set of cloud capabilities and AWS’s proven global infrastructure, Travelport can enhance the performance of its platform and continue to develop new ways to simplify the travel booking experience. With people around the world beginning to return to travel, we look forward to working with Travelport to help the travel industry continue to innovate.”

AWS will provide Travelport+ with proven global infrastructure and security that is built to satisfy the requirements of organizations managing highly sensitive data, such as financial institutions and travel companies. AWS was selected for this long-term strategic collaboration due to its proven travel industry experience, along with its scalability, global reach, and culture of innovation.

Sandeep Dwivedi, Chief Operating Officer at InterGlobe Technology Quotient, said, “With growing demand for and application of digital, especially in the unprecedented times, this collaboration with Amazon Web Services shall certainly bring long-term advantage to our customers. Hyper-personalized retailing in the industry has been a rather futuristic goal for many but not anymore. Travelport is indeed reinventing travel retailing as promised.”

TOFTigers has launched a new online resource demonstrating that good business can go hand in hand with care for nature and local communities in a push for sustainable tourism once Covid-19 eases.

The resource aims to spread good practice amongst the accommodation sector in nature and rural destinations and show travel companies and travellers what good looks like.

Inspiring case studies and tips for good practice are presented in nine overlapping themes spanning local employment and enterprise, community support, water, energy, waste, sustainable building, cultural heritage and nature education and conservation.  Health and safety are also included with links to guidelines on Covid-19 developed by the Adventure Tour Operators Association of India in partnership with TOFTigers.

The examples draw on TOFTigers’ PUG certification, Asia’s highest standard for accommodation providers in nature destinations recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. More than 250 properties have been PUG eco-rated with a complementary Footprint certification programme also available for properties in rural and urban areas.

“India is ranked 14th in natural heritage but is only 128th out of 140 countries in environmental sustainability. This resource showcases that India can be outstanding in both. With world leaders meeting this autumn for COP26 to address the climate crisis and the deadline for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals looming, I’m hoping this new resource will be used by the government and the travel industry to harness tourism as a force for good in the economic recovery we are all hoping for” said Julian Matthews, TOFTigers Chairman.

Vistara today operated India’s first flight with pilots and cabin crew fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The special flight departed Delhi for Mumbai operated by crew that have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Vistara plans to operate more such flights in the coming days as their number of fully vaccinated staff increases.

Vinod Kannan, Chief Commercial Officer, Vistara, said, “Vaccination is the best known defence against the pandemic that is helping the world get back to normalcy, subsequently aiding the recovery of the aviation industry. We have been consistently getting our staff vaccinated in our endeavour to ensure safety for them, their families and our customers whom they serve. This special flight operated by our fully vaccinated cabin crew and pilots is a sign of our continued commitment towards making ‘flying feel safe again’.”

The airline recently announced that it had got nearly 100% of its eligible employees vaccinated with at least their first doses.

Tripjack recently introduces new Rail product to further empower travel agents across India with robust technology solutions.

A statement from the company said, “We are very happy with the progress we have made together as a team, and even after the lockdown we have put our head down and worked hard to deliver the best for our agents.”

Further stating, “Tripjack Rail is by far the best product available for agents. We have focused on building a seamless user experience which allows us to be the first travel company to have an end-to-end mobile booking solution for trains. Agents can now book unlimited IRCTC train tickets, get instant cancellation & refund facility, and increase their income. We encourage all partners to sign up on tripjack.com for the trains product, and you can start your flights, hotels, rail, insurance, and visa business in less than two days. We are very excited for the bright future ahead and look forward to growing even faster as we enter the recovery phase post-pandemic. There’s a lot more to come from us, so stay tuned.”

The group recently took an important step towards the health and safety of its employees. With the completion of its vaccination drive, we urge each and everyone to take this necessary step towards ending this pandemic.

As travel begins, vaccination will become an important criterion.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) and Ministry of Civil Aviation (MCA) of Government of India for development of Sea Plane services in India was signed today. Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State (I/C) Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri were present during the MoU signing ceremony held today.

Signing of this MoU is a major milestone for making seaplanes project a reality very soon. This MoU envisages development of Non-Scheduled/Scheduled operation of seaplane services within territorial jurisdiction of India under RCS-UDAN scheme of government of India.

As per MoU, a Co-ordination Committee with officials of the MoCA, MoPSW and Ministry of Tourism (MoT) is to be set up for timely completion of operationalisation of seaplane services at various locations. MoCA, MoPSW, SDCL will consider operationalising of Seaplane operating routes as identified/suggested by all agencies.

MoPSW would identify and develop waterfront infrastructure of Aerodromes/ locations and obtain required statutory clearances /approvals in coordination with MoCA, DGCA and AAI by defining the timelines for all activities involved in the development of facilities for starting seaplanes operations.

MoCA would carry out bidding and select potential airlines operators based on their commercial consideration through bidding process, incorporate the locations/routes as identified by MoPSW & routes identified through bidding process in UDAN scheme document. MoCA is also obliged to provide funds/financial support in respect of water aerodromes awarded under RCS-UDAN scheme and coordinate with Chief Secretaries of all States for the Seaplanes operations.     

On the occasion, Puri stated that this MoU between the two Ministries will help in expediting the development of new water aerodromes and also operationalization of new seaplane routes in India.  He further stated that this will give a big fillip to the provision of a new kind of tourism service in India.

Speaking on this occasion, Mandaviya stated that signing of this MoU will be a game changer both for Indian Maritime and Civil Aviation sector as it will not only enhance seamless connectivity across the nation by promoting eco-friendly transportation through Seaplanes but also give a boost to the tourism industry”.

Easy Trip Planners has reported total income of Rs.69.28 crores during the period ended March 31, 2021 as compared to Rs.47.17 crores during the period ended December 31, 2020.

The company has posted net profit of Rs.30.46 crores for the period ended March 31, 2021 as against net profit of Rs.21.88 crores for the period ended December 31, 2020.

The company reported total income of Rs.40.37 crores during the period ended March 31, 2020. It posted net profit of Rs.3.38 crores for the period ended March 31, 2020.

Easy Trip Planners has reported total income of Rs.150.75 crores during the 12 months period ended March 31, 2021 as compared to Rs.181.01 crores during the 12 months period ended March 31, 2020.

The company has posted net profit of Rs.61.01 crores for the 12 months period ended March 31, 2021 as against net profit of Rs. 32.98 crores for the 12 months period ended March 31, 2020.

flydubai has announced the start of flights to Budapest and Ljubljana. The carrier will operate three weekly flights to Ljubljana from 24 September and four weekly flights to Budapest from 30 September. 

Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer at flydubai, said: “As demand for travel continues to increase, Budapest and Ljubljana are welcome additions to our growing network. With more countries lifting restrictions on international travel, we look forward to providing passengers with more options for travel this year following the launch of our wide range of summer destinations.”

Jeyhun Efendi, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations and E-commerce at flydubai said: “We are pleased to see our network in Europe grow further with the start of operations to Budapest and Ljubljana. These destinations have much to offer and give travellers the chance to explore new places that will help stimulate flows of travel and tourism, particularly after a time when our customers haven’t been able to travel as much as they would have liked. Passengers travelling from these destinations will also have the opportunity to explore Dubai and beyond on our network.”

With international travel restrictions gradually easing, flydubai has grown its network to over 80 destinations including several seasonal summer routes such as Bodrum and Trabzon in Turkey, Batumi in Georgia, Mykonos and Santorini in Greece, Tivat in Montenegro and Naples in Italy.

Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) has appointed Deveekaa Nijhawan to head the International PR and Communications team to assist in marketing the destination in key markets such as India, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and United Arab Emirates with a focus on engaging and penetrating travel trade and consumer media.

Deveekaa is a senior PR professional with over 10 years’ experience in PR & Communications in the hospitality sector.

As part of the national strategy, Qatar National Vision 2030, QNTC is on a journey to welcome six million visitors a year by 2030, by improving and expanding the country’s tourism proposition with visitor experience at its core. Deveekaa will support the international marketing strategy, while Qatar continues to grow and improve tourism assets, enhance the end-to-end customer experience and invest in service excellence across every touchpoint. Deveekaa will execute QNTC’s tailored global communications campaigns, with a focus in key markets.

Tamara Leisure Experiences has announced the appointment of Debopriyo Sen as their National Head of Sales for the group. Debopriyo has over 15+ years of expertise in sales, strategic planning, marketing and team management with leading hospitality brands like Taj, Starwood, Marriott and ITC Hotels.

Debopriyo’s core responsibilities at Tamara Leisure Experiences will primarily include planning and implementing the group’s sales strategy across its three brands ie. “Tamara Luxury Resorts”, “O by Tamara” (the group’s city centric business hotel brand) and “Lilac” (the mid segment hotel brand of the group).

Prior to joining the Tamara family, Debopriyo was associated with ITC Hotels as their Head of Sales & Marketing for ITC Gardenia, Bangalore for two and half years. He also worked with Taj Hotels and Marriott.



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