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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

In tune with the flourishing Korean wave in India, Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) has collaborated with multiple brands for a series of virtual Korean experiences, along with the social media contest and special offers on Korean products for the Indian travellers and Hallyu fans. With the current prevailing travel restrictions due to the pandemic, KTO decided to step forward and get Korea to its Indian audience. Started on September 17, 2021, the event aims to create an experience that can be enjoyed by the travel seekers and Korea lovers until November 15.

The event is designed as a perfect Korean escapade comprising of K-Food, K-Pop, K-Beauty, K-Drama and Korean product discount offers.

The K-Pop experience is a collaboration between KTO and AleXa, the rising K-Pop star from Korea and Shraey Khanna, a renowned dancer, choreographer, and singer from India. The Korean artist will be seen showcasing signature Korean dance moves where in return Shraey will be seen mirroring the Korean vibes with a dash of Bollywood nuance to it.

The K-Food experience will feature a well-known Bollywood female actor taking up the challenge of cooking delicious Korean meal in the popular OTT web series Star vs Food on Discovery+.

The K-Beauty experience in collaboration with Innisfree, an eco-friendly makeup brand from the beautiful Jeju Island in South Korea will showcase some Korean skincare tips in the masterclass.

The K-Drama, as it says it all, will show the unescapable Korean drama obsession taking over India especially in the lives of popular influencers who come from different walks of life like fashion, beauty, food, and entertainment.

The four KXperience elements: K-Pop, K-Food, K-Beauty and K-Drama will boil down to a pan-India social media contest- The K Challenge, which will be hosted on www.kxperience.bookmyshow.com powered by BookMyShow, India's leading entertainment destination. BookMyShow has conceptualized, designed and executed the entire microsite for the challenge. The consumers would need to recreate their own versions inspired by the KXperience elements and upload the content on their social media channels with the event hashtags. Exciting gifts like Samsung phones, tablets and KTO special KXperience box awaits the winners.

In addition to these series of virtual experiences, to meet the Indian masses’ demands for a Korean lifestyle taste, KTO has also collaborated with Korikart.com and CulturaGo offering special discounts on Korean products and online culture courses. Furthermore, a much-anticipated virtual tour is in the pipeline for KTO.

Young-Geul Choi, Director, Korea Tourism Organization, New Delhi office, said, “We have noticed the increasing trend for Hallyu wave in India, especially during the pandemic, when K-Drama, K-Food and K-Pop engaged many Indians. So, we thought of coming up with a series of events which could keep Indian travelers and Hallyu lovers connected with Korea, till the time travel restrictions are lifted and they are able to travel to the destination. With the KXperience project and our collaboration with multiple brands, we wish to bring Korea to comfort of Indian homes.”

A new report from Amadeus provides visibility on the standard’s readiness across the industry. Insights from airlines, travel agencies and corporations, as well as Amadeus’ own experts demonstrate that NDC momentum has accelerated over the past 18 months, concluding that 2021 is the year that NDC is being adopted at scale. 

Airlines have begun to make tailored offers available, as well as to experiment with innovations like ‘continuous pricing’ and new types of bundled offers. Travel sellers of all shapes and sizes are now going live across the world, with over 2,500 travel agencies across 50 markets now able to book and service airline content via NDC using Amadeus solutions. These solutions include Amadeus Selling Platform Connect, Amadeus Travel API, and Amadeus cytric Travel & Expense.

The technology underpinning NDC has advanced significantly.  Travel sellers are now able to consume NDC and EDIFACT content, alongside LCC content delivered via APIs, all in one place with the Amadeus Travel Platform. Importantly, the report cites recent improvements in servicing and preparation of travel agency mid- and back- office systems as key to scaling over the coming months and years.

Ángel Gallego, Executive Vice President, Travel Distribution, Amadeus, had this to say on the findings in the report: “If we compare where we were 18 months ago to today, it’s clear that despite the strain caused by COVID-19, the industry has not sacrificed its commitment to NDC. On the airline side, we are now seeing new differentiated product bundles and price points. On the travel seller side, every Amadeus connected travel seller will be able to book NDC content, alongside content sourced in other ways, by the end of this year. On the technology side, we have continued to deliver on our promise to offer scalable, innovative solutions that incorporate vital features such as post-booking servicing.”

Gallego continued: “It is encouraging to see that the industry increasingly views NDC as a key pillar of recovery. With modern digital retailing, travel will be based around dynamic offers and this will deliver a competitive edge to airlines and travel sellers that embrace this change. Now is the time to engage with NDC to power great journeys for travelers and rebuild travel.”

The report also sheds light on some of the remaining barriers to widespread NDC adoption, which include the need to upgrade airline systems, embrace a common NDC standard, and the transformation of mid- and back- office systems for travel sellers.

Maldivian, the national carrier of Republic of Maldives, owned and operated by Island Aviation Services Limited (IAS) will commence direct flights from New Delhi to Maafaru and Male’ on 21stOctober 2021. The airline will operate on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Currently the flag carrier of Maldives operates to Trivandrum, Cochin and to Dhaka, Bangladesh.

With the addition of new destination, which is closest to luxury Island resorts of Northern Maldives, travellers could save on time earlier spent on taking domestic airline or a seaplane plane journeys.

Bird Travels, the airline management arm of Bird Group is the General Sales Agent (GSA) for Maldivian and will be managing their sales and marketing activities in New Delhi.  

Flights on the new route, New Delhi to Maafaru, Maafaru International Airport located in Noonu atoll was opened in 2019 and is also managed by Island Aviation Services Limited (IAS). With three direct weekly flights to Maafaru, another international hub of the largest source market, will connect North Maldives from India.  

Speaking on the new route, Vijay Bhatia, President, Bird Group said “We are delighted to launch this new service connecting New Delhi with Maafaru and Male’ effective 21st Oct 2021. This direct flight will offer the fastest connection for Indian travelers looking to holiday in North Maldives luxury resorts".

Bird Travels will help Maldivian to further strengthen the airline's sales team and provide support to the Indian travel trade.

Concept Hospitality has opened its seventh hotel in Karnataka with The Fern Residency, Hubballi. With this new opening, the company’s overall count has extended to 83 operational hotels across the country and in Nepal and Seychelles. The Fern Residency, Hubballi offers rooms.

Suhail Kannampilly, CEO, Concept Hospitality-The Fern Hotels & Resorts said “We are delighted to bring our eco-friendly Fern brand to this historical city, to complement our other six Fern hotels in the State, in Belagavi, Bengaluru, Shivamogga, Udupi and Vijayapura. With the environmentally sensitive facilities, services and operations that the Fern hotels are so well known for, guests can now enjoy the beauty of the destination while enjoying a level of accommodations, F&;B and banqueting services as well.”

On the rebranding of the hotel, Ashok Koti & Mr Vinay Koti, Managing Partners, Vinayak Hotels mentioned “Our hotel has been catering to all travelers coming to Hubballi. We have now relaunched the hotel with The Fern Hotels & Resorts coming on board to manage the hotel, offering their personalized services and operational standards to our guests. Our hotel rooms and F&B offerings are already well appreciated locally and with this rebranding we now aim to provide memorable stay experiences to more guests.”

 

Chalet Hotels Limited (CHL) has become the first Hospitality Company, globally, to join Climate Group's RE100, EP100 and EV100 initiatives linked to renewable electricity, energy efficiency and electric mobility respectively. The announcement comes during the Climate Week NYC 2021, one of the biggest climate summits in the world, showcasing climate action undertaken by leading businesses and governments. Over 500 companies globally have joined Climate Group's RE100, EP100 and EV100 initiatives. These include over 25 commitments coming from India-headquartered companies.

Under the three initiatives by Climate Group, Chalet Hotels' commitments include:

(Renewable Electricity) RE100:

- All properties under the Company's portfolio will move to 100% renewable electricity by year 2031

- Non-fuel-based energy sources like solar wind and hydro power, already contribute 51% or 13270 MWh of the power usage across the hotel portfolio

- This will enable the Company to reduce its scope 2 emissions which amounts to 10000+ tCO2; while also reducing dependency on grid electricity which stands at 26000+ MWh. This saving in grid power is adequate to provide electricity to around 171 Indian rural villages for a year

(Energy Productivity) EP100:

- Chalet Hotels commits to double its revenue per unit of electricity consumed by the year 2029, considering a baseline year of 2016

(Electric Vehicles) EV100:

- 100% of the vehicle fleet deployed across the properties in the portfolio, that is used for guest transport, will transition to Electric Vehicles by 2025

- All Chalet properties will be equipped with EV Charging points accessible to both employees and visitors. With an average footfall of approximately 7,50,000 per month (during normal times), across hotels and commercial office spaces, Chalet sees this as an opportunity to influence and encourage a larger populace to transition to EV's

Speaking on the announcement, Sanjay Sethi, MD and CEO, Chalet Hotels Ltd. said, "We have a firm resolve to run our business in a responsible way and I am delighted that we are now committed to the initiatives of the Climate Group. This is in line with our overarching vision to create extraordinary shareholder value through enduring experiences for our guests, partners, colleagues and communities. As we move ahead to deliver impactful outcomes on our key focus areas, we stand committed to building a more sustainable eco-system."

Speaking on the announcement, Rajneesh Malhotra, COO, Chalet Hotels Ltd. said "We are delighted to share that Chalet Hotels has committed to the three initiatives from Climate Group, and it doubled our joy to know that we are the first hospitality company globally to do this. As a signatory to these initiatives, we are committed to being an energy-smart company, endeavoring to do 'more-with-less' by improving our energy productivity, sourcing 100% of our power from renewable sources by 2031, along with accelerating the transition to electric vehicles (EVs). Today's consumers and shareholders prioritize sustainability and choose to partner with brands they believe are doing social or environmental good, and we at Chalet Hotels fit their criteria."

Divya Sharma, India Executive Director at Climate Group said, "We welcome Chalet Hotels to our RE100, EV100 and EP100 initiatives, as it joins a global network of over 500 companies taking action in the Climate Decade. As an early adopter, Chalet Hotels has set an example for other businesses in the country by committing to scale up efforts on renewable energy, electric transport and energy efficiency."

2HUB announces the launch of 2HUB.Education, a free online training platform for travel agents, tourism professionals and destination marketers. The platform aims to change the industry paradigm using technology as an enabler to educate the travel trade network.

An interactive user interface, simple design, use of creative imagery and videos will equip participants with the right skillset to become destination specialists. All online courses are designed to allow agents to enhance their product offerings, professional portfolio, improve conversions, create brand awareness and sell better. 

It features illustrative videos and informative modules designed by renowned travel professionals and experts. The courses offered will span across Destinations, Hotels, Attractions, Business and Soft Skills. 

To keep the learning experience interactive, 2HUB.Education will also be conducting series of webinars and live sessions. 

flydubai has announced the new dates for the launch of flights to Cluj-Napoca in Romania. The airline will operate twice-weekly flights between Dubai International (DXB) and Avram Iancu International Airport Cluj (CLJ) starting from 03 November 2021.  

flydubai operates a daily service between Dubai International (DXB) and Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport (OTP), the service will increase to a double daily operation from November. With the start of flights to Cluj-Napoca in November, the carrier will serve the Romanian market with a total of 16 weekly flights.   

Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer at flydubai, said: “we first started operating to Bucharest with four flights a week in 2012. Since then, flydubai has more than tripled its operations to the market as demand has grown for commercial and cargo traffic between Romania and the UAE. We are excited to offer more options for convenient direct airlinks to the market with the start of our flights to Cluj-Napoca and we look forward to further stimulating travel and trade flows in both directions.”  

Cluj-Napoca is the second largest city in Romania with one of the most dynamic economies in the country and is the largest centre for innovation and business opportunities in Transylvania.  

Jeyhun Efendi, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations and E-commerce at flydubai, added: “flydubai’s new service will offer more than 3.5 million people, living within few hours drive from the airport, the convenience of direct airlinks to Dubai. There is also the opportunity for passengers to connect travel beyond on our network to popular destinations like Malé and Zanzibar. The twice-weekly service will also benefit the Romanian expatriate population in the UAE to travel home more easily and offers passengers from the market a more convenient option to visit Dubai during the anticipated Expo 2020 Dubai.”  

Emirates will codeshare on this route offering travellers more seamless connections through Dubai’s international aviation hub to 100 destinations between both the Emirates and flydubai networks including Australia, China, Indian Ocean, Japan, South Asia and the United States.

Tourism Australia has relaunched the Aussie Specialist Program and made it easier for travel sellers around the world to gain the skills they need to better promote and sell Australia.

The Aussie Specialist Program, which is run in conjunction with Australia’s State and Territory Tourism Organisations, has been given a new look and feel in its 32nd year and the new program has greater personalisation, faster qualifying times and shorter more interactive training modules.

Tourism Australia Managing Director Phillipa Harrison said the investment comes after many frontline travel sellers turned to the Aussie Specialist Program over the past 18 months to learn and position themselves as champions for Australian travel once borders re-open.

“Australia remains one of the most desirable travel destinations in the world and the Aussie Specialist Program helps to ensure we will be in the best possible position to convert travel demand into bookings as soon as borders re-open,” Harrison said.

“We now have more than 26,000 qualified Aussie Specialists worldwide and hope the new program will allow more agents to complete their learning so they too can best sell Australian tourism experiences.”

The improvements to the Aussie Specialist Program were made in conjunction with more than 400 stakeholders and 1,000 existing Aussie Specialist agents.

Tourism Australia South & South East Asia Regional General Manager, Brent Anderson said the Aussie Specialist Program is a critical program supporting travel sellers to enhance their customer engagement and profitability.

“The Aussie Specialist Program is one of the world’s leading destination training programs.  This refresh ensures it will continue to be a vital tool for travel sellers in South & South East Asia.  During the pandemic, the program has also allowed us to continually engage with agents and the Australian industry, with the community created demonstrating enhanced skills and knowledge to lead the recovery for inbound tourism to Australia.” [Mr Anderson].

Tourism Australia has also confirmed the inaugural Australia Global Summit will take place on Tuesday, 16 November 2021. All Aussie Specialists and distribution partners are invited to take part of the event, free of charge.

The Summit, to be hosted by Tourism Australia, will be a three-hour online event with inspiring keynote speakers, energising storytelling chapters, informative education sessions and on-demand content.

The Aussie Specialist Program is available in nine languages and is jointly promoted by Tourism Australia and all eight State and Territory tourism partners.

Radisson Hotel Group is proud to achieve a historic milestone of 100 operating hotels in India with the opening of Radisson Bhopal. With more than 20 years in operation, Radisson Hotel Group is one of the leading international hotel groups in the country with seven distinct brands and a presence across over 60 locations encompassing key business, leisure and gateway centers. Boasting one of the most widely connected domestic network in India, the Group has been growing at an exceptional momentum with plans to open 14 new hotels in 2021 and more than 60 hotels in the next five years.  

Radisson Hotel Group has been one of the pioneers to identify tier II, III and mid-segment markets as the growth engine, and was amongst the first international hotel chain to venture into these areas. Today, the Group draws more than 50% of its business from these centers. With the Group’s wide presence, operating scale and distribution in India, it is now seeking to enter tier IV and V markets in an aggressive manner.

“This is indeed a nostalgic point in our journey of over two decades. Since inception in the 1990s, Radisson Hotel Group has charted out a success story and played a significant role in transforming the Indian hospitality industry. I am truly grateful to our guests, owners, employees and the extended hospitality industry for their tremendous support to help us reach this milestone,” said K.B Kachru, Chairman Emeritus and Principal Advisor, Radisson Hotel Group, South Asia.

“One hundred operating hotels is a milestone that both celebrates our legacy and heralds a new era of hospitality at Radisson Hotel Group. We are focused on building a future-ready roadmap for our business which will uplift our brand equity, transform our operations and establish a culture of excellence”, said Zubin Saxena, Managing Director and Vice President Operations South Asia, Radisson Hotel Group

Focused on the needs of today’s travelers, the Group has evolved its portfolio by introducing hotels and resorts that offer contemporary indulgences, elevated guest experiences and superior design quality.

Strengthening its portfolio with a new brand addition, the Group launched  Classic Grande Imphal, a member of Radisson Individuals constituting 171 keys in March 2021. Radisson Individuals is a conversion brand that offers independent hotels and local, regional chains the opportunity to be part of Radisson Hotel Group and benefit from the Group’s international awareness and experience, with the freedom to maintain their own uniqueness and identity. Radisson RED, a much-awaited addition to the Group’s India portfolio, that will usher in a new culture of unconventional, bold and unique hospitality is expected this year as well with the first hotel to be launched as Radisson RED Chandigarh Mohali constituting 154 keys.

The Group plans to add six upper upscale and upscale resorts in high demand leisure destinations in 2021. Radisson Blu Resort, Dharamshala, Radisson Blu Resort, Visakhapatnam, Radisson Resort & Spa Lonavala opened recently while resort additions in Goa, Pondicherry and Pahalgam are to follow. Other distinguished additions to the portfolio include Radisson Bhopal, Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Nashik; Radisson Kufri; Country Inn & Suites by Radisson Sonamarg; The Elite Narasapura, a member of Radisson Individuals and The White Hotel Katra, a member of Radisson Individuals. 

 

“We have adopted a new design approach and developed global guest experience programs to make every stay memorable. Our upcoming portfolio reflects the energy, passion, brand connect, and Yes I Can! hospitality that resonate strongly with modern travelers’, added Zubin.

 

Leslie Thng, Chief Executive Officer, after leading Vistara for more than four years will move on to take up a senior appointment with Singapore Airlines from 1st January 2022. The Board of the company TATA SIA Airlines Limited has named Vinod Kannan to succeed Thng effective 1st January 2022. 

Kannan is currently serving as Vistara’s Chief Commercial Officer. He joined the airline in June 2019 as Chief Strategy Officer and currently heads amongst others Network Planning, Revenue Management, Marketing, Customer Experience and Cabin Service functions.

He started his career with Singapore Airlines in 2001 and has held various senior positions in the airline. Prior to joining Vistara, he served as Chief Commercial Officer for Scoot the budget airline subsidiary of the Singapore Airlines Group. He has handled global network planning and has spent 8 years running operations in Indonesia, Italy and Saudi Arabia. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from the National University of Singapore and University of California, Los Angeles.

Bhaskar Bhat, Chairman, Vistara, said, "Leslie has led the airline through a significant phase, with the start of international operations and the entry into service of various aircraft including the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Vinod will lead Vistara in its next phase of growth, building on the strong foundation laid by Leslie. This Company continues to benefit from the strong commitment of the two partners Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines to Vistara.”

 

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