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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

Travelport has launched a global accelerator program in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS). Dedicated to addressing the travel industry’s biggest retailing challenges, the Travelport Accelerator will see tech startups and innovators looking to enter the travel space take aim at a series of different travel retailing issues, such as data protection, hyper-personalization, and customer acquisition.

Once the challenge has been set, companies with existing technology and products that are relevant to the challenge and use cases outlined on the accelerator webpage will be invited to apply.

Tom Kershaw, Chief Product & Technology Officer, Travelport, said, “No single person or business has the solution to all of travel’s retailing challenges. The most effective way to drive innovation, especially at pace, is to unite bright minds from diverse backgrounds and geographic locations and focus their energy on solving a specific problem. That’s precisely what Travelport Accelerator will do. We look forward to working with companies across the world, both large and small, to drive the modernization of travel retailing for the benefit of the entire travel ecosystem.”

A cohort of up to 10 companies will be selected to proceed to the next stage, which involves pitching solutions to an esteemed panel of judges from some of the world’s most renowned travel companies, including American Express Global Business Travel, Priceline, Internova Travel Group, Direct Travel and Christopherson Business Travel.

A group of up to three participants will ultimately be selected to move to the final round, solving the challenge in collaboration with Travelport and AWS. Each will be given access to Travelport+, Travelport’s next-generation travel marketplace.

Selected start-ups may receive up to US$100,000 in AWS Activate credit and each participant will receive mentoring from travel domain and technical subject matter experts with extensive experience working on AWS.

The program also offers collaboration opportunities with AWS travel customers and members of the AWS Partner Network (APN) looking for technology solutions to their most challenging problems.

David Peller, Managing Director, AWS Travel and Hospitality, said, “With millions of active customers, AWS enables organizations of every size, around the world, to innovate. Travelport Accelerator supports that effort by giving travel innovators the potential to pitch their technology to some of the most influential leaders in the global travel industry and to influence the future of travel retailing. We’re proud to collaborate with Travelport on this as we work together to optimize Travelport+ and create a simpler, smarter, and better future for travel retailing.”

The first challenge set by Travelport and AWS is to introduce cutting-edge digital marketing technology for travel companies, which uses behavioral and demographic traveler data to deliver highly targeted and personalized, real-time offers to customers.

The solution must complement the advanced capabilities of Travelport+, which in a normal year will process hundreds of millions of travel transactions, and reduce the cost of customer acquisition and retention for Travelport’s customers. Applications are open today and entry forms are available on Travelport’s website. The deadline for submission is midnight Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) on Wednesday 22 September 2021.

Applications will be judged on several factors including the innovative and unique nature of the solution, the overall value it will bring to the industry, the creative application of technology to solve problems, and the team’s ability to deliver on the opportunity with Travelport and its customers.

Jen Catto, Chief Marketing Officer, Travelport, said, “The sheer volume of channels that communicate messages to people today is breathtaking, as is the amount of content each pushes out. Our brains are therefore forced to prioritize the information they receive. If you’re not compelling enough, you’ll be at the back of the queue – forgotten, literally. To be heard, it’s now table stakes for digital marketing to be highly targeted and hyper-personalized. Historically, this has been a challenge for travel companies because selling travel is complex, access to travel data has been limited, pricing is real time, demand trends evolve rapidly, and offers contain multiple products. Due to this, according to a recent study by Sojern, 84% of marketing professionals in the travel industry now see AI and machine learning for personalization of digital marketing as a high or very high priority. Challenges, however, are there to be overcome, and we believe this challenge can be solved by bringing together the right people and the right technology. We can’t wait to get started!”

Travelport Accelerator is now part of Travelport Focus, an innovation hub supported by AWS that contains three pillars: Technology, Intelligence, and Customer Voice. Travelport Accelerator sits in the Technology pillar, alongside product telemetry, and is focused on creating experiences that redefine travel retailing.

The Intelligence pillar sees Travelport, AWS, and global analysts conduct and publish research, data, and insights that inform decision making and inspire industry change. Customer Voice lets Travelport’s customers and developers have their say on product design and roadmap.

Sarovar Hotels announce the signing of a new hotel in Goa. This will be Sarovar’s 4th hotel in Goa. Marking the group’s strengthening presence in the leisure hotel segment.

The hotel is nestled amidst the picturesque and peaceful green hills of Arpora in proximity to Baga and Calangute beaches.

Golden Tulip, Arpora upon completion in 2023 will have 50 well-appointed rooms and suites.

Commenting on the development, Anil Madhok, Executive Chairman, Sarovar Hotels and Resorts said “We are delighted to expand and strengthen our Golden Tulip’s  leisure portfolio in this market which is a very popular destination among Indian and international tourists. We believe the hotel’s location with Sarovar’s signature hospitality will deliver a notable experience to business and leisure guests alike.”

Turkey has announced that fully vaccinated travellers from India will no longer be subjected to mandatory 14-day quarantine rule with effect from today.

The announcement will ease the travel restrictions for fully vaccinated passengers of 12 years of age and older travelling from India or stayed in India in last 14 days.

The vaccines that have been approved by WHO or Turkish Government are covered under this exemption. In addition to WHO approved vaccines, the vaccines approved by Turkish Government are Pzifer Biontech, Sputnik V and Sinovac. For the same, a traveller must be taken the second dose (if Johnson&Johnson one dose is sufficient) at least 14 days prior to the date of travel.

For Indian travellers who are vaccinated with Covishield will also be allowed to travel to Turkey. Once, Covaxin get a nod from WHO, travellers vaccinated with the same will also be able to visit Turkey.

The fully vaccinated travellers are also required to submit their negative PCR test report taken 72 hours before departure in order to exempt the quarantine. Non-vaccinated travelers are required to undergo mandatory quarantine for 10 days in a hotel or a location mentioned in the declaration.

Despite the fluctuating global scenario of COVID-19 strain, Turkey has kept a strong grip on the COVID-19 situation with guidelines and protocols in place for tourists and businesses associated with tourism.

The tourist inflow numbers in Turkey between January-July 2021, despite the pandemic, was recorded at 11.9 million. Just in July 2021 4.3 million international visitors visited Turkey.

Situated on the fringe of the Sasan Gir National Park, Aramness Gir, a new style safari lodge, is set to open in October 2021.

Owner Jimmy Patel’s passion for the wilderness, dedication to conservation and love for Gujarat has come together to create an experience entrenched in local culture, designed with authenticity and luxury in equal measure providing a wildlife experience that rewrites the script.

Aramness is the culmination of collaborative design between internationally renowned Fox Browne Creative and Nicholas Plewman Architects to create a truly unique and immersive experience in the Indian wilderness. The lodge design takes its inspiration from the characteristic local village, Haripur, with its central cobbled streets fringed with courtyard homes (kothis). Natural forest and meadow gardens have been revived on the property wherever possible and are experienced in and around the kothis and guest areas, merging the natural habitat of the area with the built environment and paying homage to the original use of the land as farmland.

Each of the 18 sensitively appointed private village-style kothis take their cue from the charmingly informal arrangement of the local Gujarati village homes, whose buildings develop spontaneously with time. True to the name (Aramness – peaceful village), the understated yet utterly luxurious interiors have been designed to instill deep comfort and tranquility and have been constructed using the many natural materials and craft techniques native to Gujarat and India.

The lodge houses 15 standalone single bedroom kothis and 3 standalone double bedroom kothis with a shared dining space. Each kothi is a spacious double storey building that draws on the honesty of materials, and the sophistication of simplicity.

“There is a unique relationship between man and wildlife in Gujarat that does not exist anywhere else in India, nor in the rest of the world. At Aramness Gir, we will not only be supporting the Asiatic lions but also delivering an exceptionally crafted, luxury experience,” Patel added.

Strengthening its reach, the Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) has appointed Oken Tayeng, Managing Director, Aborcountry Travels & Expeditions, Arunachal Pradesh as the ATOAI’s Chapter Chairman for the North Eastern States (excluding Sikkim and West Bengal).

The Association is confident that under Tayeng's able leadership, ATOAI will be able to have a strong presence with the tourism fraternity in the North- East.

One of the main tasks of the association is to increase our footprint in this potent area for adventure travel while at the same time being cognizant of the fact that a safe and sustainable model is adopted by the practitioners.

Implementing responsible practices of minimizing waster across hospitality industry, Crowne Plaza Greater Noida has initiated substantial efforts towards sustainability by commissioning a Zero Mile Artisanal Water Plant that is IoT enabled and is programmed on Artificial-Intelligence technology.

This FSSAI approved sustainable plant was launched in partnership with Swajal WaterCube, with aim to replace single use plastic water bottles with sustainable glass water bottles for the guests. 

It is estimated that this move will save about 86,695 Kg single-use plastic bottles and 2, 60,087 kg carbon emission over the next five years. This is the same amount of energy required to run a 60-watt light bulb for 4,868 years. This plant is an initiative by IHG Hotels & Resorts and supported by the hotel as a pilot project in the region, contributing towards IHGs Journey to Tomorrow commitments.

 “The team at Crowne Plaza Greater Noida had pledged to substantially reduce our carbon footprint, as well as reducing single use items across our hotel. Whilst the unfortunate circumstances due to the Covid-19 pandemic may have created unprecedented challenges, but our commitment has never wavered, and we continued to work towards our vision of Green Engagement. I am happy that a milestone has been achieved and not only will we be announcing some more initiative about work that we’ve continued doing for these past few years, but we also hope to inspire other hotels to continue their own efforts towards sustainability”, said Ashwani Nayar, General Manager, Crowne Plaza Greater Noida.

ClassPass and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) have launched a one-year partnership to jointly promote Singapore’s wellness offerings and enhance the city’s attractiveness as an urban wellness destination. This is the first such partnership in Singapore for ClassPass. It is also STB’s first since outlining Singapore’s goal to be a leading urban wellness haven at the Tourism Industry Conference in April 2021. As Singapore boasts a wide variety of health and fitness experiences alongside complementary health and alternative therapies, the partnership aims to build on this strong foundation by providing businesses a global platform to share their offerings with local and international audiences, while raising awareness for wellness in Singapore. As a fitness and wellness platform popular amongst many Singaporeans as well as action seekers around the world, the partnership will drive demand for wellness experiences available on ClassPass as well as expand the variety of such products and services on the platform.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given prominence to the importance of physical and mental health. In 2020, the global market for wellness tourism was estimated at US$735.8 billion, and is projected to reach US$1.2 trillion by 20271 – reflecting a growing demand for holistic wellbeing experiences that encompasses physical, mental and emotional wellness. As such, ClassPass and STB will jointly launch a domestic campaign in the first quarter of 2022, to encourage locals to participate in wellness and fitness activities through the ClassPass platform. As part of the campaign, ClassPass will launch challenges that reward participants when they book a variety of wellness experiences on the ClassPass platform.

To further raise awareness and advocacy for local wellness experiences, ClassPass and STB will collaborate to develop video content. The first series will highlight interesting wellness offerings to be discovered within different Singapore neighbourhoods, while a second series will spotlight innovative wellness businesses on the ClassPass platform, the stories behind these businesses, and how these entrepreneurs turned their passions into possibilities. The videos will be featured across ClassPass and STB social media channels. As Singapore prepares to reopen its borders progressively, the partnership will also showcase Singapore’s wellness and fitness offerings through engaging content to drive consideration amongst international visitors. To start, ClassPass will work with its partners to organise a series of wellness activations against the backdrop of popular landmarks in Singapore. The live-streamed activations will be complemented by a tour of the location where the activity takes place, showcasing Singapore to ClassPass’s global audience, allowing them to experience Singapore from afar.

To cater to the rising demand for wellness offerings, ClassPass and STB will work together to expand the inventory on ClassPass to include a broader range of wellness experiences. ClassPass users can expect new wellness listings on the platform, ranging from complementary health therapies such as Traditional Chinese Medicine, to wellness-related attraction tickets and mental wellness services such as personal coaching and sound healing therapy. Interested businesses can sign up at https://classpass.com/partners/singapore-tourism-board or reach out to ClassPass at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information on the campaign. To encourage more Singapore businesses to come onboard, an additional sign-on bonus of S$200 will be awarded to those that join ClassPass within the month of September, subject to terms and conditions.

Ong Ling Lee, Director, Sports, Singapore Tourism Board, said, “With rising interest and demand for wellness products and services both locally and internationally, Singapore is well-positioned to provide accessible and innovative wellness experiences that can rejuvenate and invigorate locals and visitors alike. This partnership with ClassPass supports our goal of establishing Singapore as a leading urban wellness haven. As travel gradually resumes, we hope it will boost our destination attractiveness and drive visitorship to Singapore, with visitors leaving feeling physically and mentally better than when they arrived.”

 

Theresa Kwok, ClassPass Country Manager, Singapore, said, “Singapore is a unique destination that offers a plethora of soul-nurturing fitness and wellness experiences. We are thrilled to work with the Singapore Tourism Board to showcase the great experiences this city has to offer, as well as draw more wellness travellers to Singapore through our platform. In other cities where ClassPass operates, we see members are prioritising their health and booking at 10% above their pre-pandemic usage, and we imagine that fitness and wellness will be top of mind for many people in Singapore as they are able to return to local in-person experiences.”

ClassPass is the largest fitness and wellness aggregator in the world, operating in 30 countries. Singapore is one of ClassPass’s flagship Asian markets, where there are almost 1,000 fitness and wellness businesses partners in the city - from gyms, cycling, strength training, boxing and yoga studios, to massage, spas, meditation, hotels, and plenty more. All registered businesses in Singapore’s fitness and wellness industry are eligible to partner with ClassPass free of charge.

Tourism Entrepreneurs Network (TEN) has been launched to bring the entire travel fraternity under one roof for the betterment of the industry and with the only objective of helping them generating business. The Network has been introduced by Vishal Mehta and Piyush Bagga (Co-Founder).

Vishal Mehta is an experienced Director with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and advertising industry. Strong professional skilled in Negotiation, Customer Service, Sales, Strategic Planning, and Business Development.

He is committed and motivated independent business owner with over seven years of experience in the tourism industry and with four years in Virtual events space. His past history accolades of experience in event management, finance and marketing segment. Innovation is his strong belief. He possesses a thorough understanding of fundamental principles, specialty sales, leadership, project management, and customer service.

He has a vision to empower all the small business owners to be able to access the world of the powerful ones. Walking on the vision path, he has introduced, conceptualized, designed and developed Virtual Platforms in India. The benefit of the same was gained by many exhibition and event organisers in the tough time of pandemic because of the scalability and the cost-effective platform that he offered.

They have already started the operation in India and many people from the travel industry came forward, opened their heart and accepted the leadership position to help contribute towards the vision and mission of TEN.

Suhas Bansode is the Executive Director of TEN. With his expertise in project management, he is leading the operations and execution’s part for the growth of TEN. His passion and determination towards the goal shows the positive sign for the industry will benefit in future.

Leadership panel includes; Vishwanath Upadhyay (Nomads Holidays Pvt Ltd) – Zone President for Maharashtra; Anuj Bansal (Amigos Alliance) – Zone President for Delhi NCR; Jaydeep Maniar (Yatri Resorts) – Zone President for Gujarat; Jayant Soni (Trip Titan) – Zone President for Madhya Pradesh; Alok Krishan (The Punarnava Resort) – Zone President for Uttarakhand; Nitin Bhimnani (Maruti Holidays & Currency Exchange Private Limited) – Zone President for Chhatisgarh

The Aims and Objects of the Tourism Entrepreneurs Network are: To promote the tourism industry in and outside India with virtual or physical means.

To develop the fellowship among entrepreneurs, business organization, and associations etc., engaged in tourism industry including destination marketing association (DMA), travel agents registered or unregistered.

To develop and protect the interest of the stake holders of tourism industry by making representations, discussion, invitation to officials of the central or state government and government bodies.

To conduct exhibition, or to participate in exhibition, or to procure and sell slot, place, and or area in exhibitions.

They have launched an online platform www.ten-connects.com for the travel fraternity to come together and building trust, confidence, co-operation and exchanging business among them.

Ethiopian Airlines Group has unveiled new digital option dubbed My Sheba Space that enables economy class travellers to purchase one or more empty seats on board to get extra space and relax.

Ethiopian has responded to COVID 19 pandemic by introducing passenger safety guidelines implementing social distancing and sanitisation measures in its ultra-modern Addis Ababa Bole International Airport and within the aircraft. Reducing aircraft capacity and introduction of end-to-end passenger journey are among the initiatives Ethiopian has taken in its continued pursuit for elevated customer experience.

Remarking on MyShebaSpace, Tewolde GebreMariam, CEO, Ethiopian Group said, “With our agility in customer centric service offering and market responsiveness comes the need to provide convenience to those who need it. MyShebaSpace is introduced to allow esteemed clients who prefer to secure extra space and enjoy comfort while in economy class cabin. Whatever we do to make people comfortable flying again is a manifestation of our desire to stay up, to offer better and be at the fore. We believe that our customers will enjoy the feeling of being in control of their journey.”

With bundled on-demand services and predictive intelligence, MyShebaSpace will offer extra space with a reasonable top up starting from $30. MyShebaSpace is not just about letting passengers pay extra to guarantee an empty seat next to them, it is about the airlines unwavering commitment to offer diversified options in line with changing customers’ demand.

MyShebaSpace requires a 72-hour window before flight time to secure extra seat and is accessible on Ethiopian website and mobile app for convenience.

Following the updated international entry guidelines recently announced by the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) announces Abu Dhabi is set to welcome all fully vaccinated tourists and residents travelling from all countries around the world, as well as unvaccinated visitors from ‘Green List’ countries, with no quarantine measures. Vaccines must be approved by the World Health organisation (WHO). This will take effect starting September 5, 2021.

In order to support seamless entry for international travellers and enable visitors to safely enjoy the the UAE capital’s diverse experiences through the Abu Dhabi Green Pass, DCT Abu Dhabi has outlined a simple process to enable tourists to register their international vaccination certificate or vaccination exemption document for verification five days before their travel date, via the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) Smart app or via ica.gov.ae website.

Applicants will receive an SMS confirmation that will include a link to the Alhosn app, which must be downloaded prior to travel. The Alhosn app displays users’ vaccination status and PCR test results, which are required to activate the Abu Dhabi Green Pass.

Upon arrival, travellers will receive a Unified ID number, from airport immigration, or via the ICA Smart app or website; this will complete the registration on the Alhosn app. Following a PCR test at the airport, visitors can activate the Green Pass, allowing them entry to all public spaces in the emirate.

Children under 12 and People of Determination (POD) with moderate and severe disabilities are exempt from COVID-19 PCR testing.

Under the new guidelines, vaccinated travellers from all over the world, arriving from green list will be required to show a negative PCR test taken a maximum of 48 hours before departure and take a PCR test at the airport on arrival. They will not need to quarantine but will be required to take one more PCR test on day six (Counting the day of arrival as day 1). Their hotel will arranged testing on the premises, for their convenience.

Under the new guidelines, vaccinated travellers from all over the world, arriving from countries not on the green list, will be required to show a negative PCR test taken a maximum of 48 hours before departure and take a PCR test at the airport on arrival. They will not need to quarantine but will be required to take one more PCR test on day four and day eight (Counting the day of arrival as day 1). Their hotel will be arranged testing on the premises, for their convenience.

Unvaccinated travellers arriving from ‘Green List’ countries will also be exempt from quarantine measures. They will be required to show a negative PCR test taken a maximum of 48 hours before departure, and take a PCR test on arrival. They will also need to take a PCR test on day 6 (counting the day of arrival as day 1) and another PCR test on day 9.

Unvaccinated travellers arriving from countries not on the Green List will be required to show a negative PCR test taken a maximum of 48 hours before departure and take a PCR test on arrival. They will be required to quarantine for 10 days at home or in a hotel (counting the day of arrival as day 1). They then must take a PCR test on day 9; if negative, visitors can end their quarantine on day 10.

To further protect community members and travellers in the emirate, Abu Dhabi implemented a ‘Green Pass’ protocol on August 20, enabling only those that are fully vaccinated, officially exempted or under 16 years of age to access key public places and attractions.

To maintain ‘green’ status on Alhosn app, fully vaccinated individuals must show a negative PCR test result taken within the last 30 days, officially exempted individuals a negative PCR test result taken within the last 7 days. Children under 16 years of age automatically receive ‘green’ status without the need to test.

The Alhosn app will recognise and automatically synchronise the tourists’ international vaccination or exemption certifications that are uploaded on the ICA App or website, as part of the registration process. In the case of any technical issues with Alhosn app, Abu Dhabi attractions will accept tourists’ vaccination certificate from their home country app or official report, as well as the negative PCR result from the airport test via SMS.

Saood Al Hosani, Undersecretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said, “Abu Dhabi has implemented world-class COVID-19 safety procedures and an accelerated vaccination programme, which has seen a 90 percent vaccination rate in the UAE capital. These precautionary measures have enabled us to protect our citizens, residents and visitors. We look forward to welcoming back international travellers from around the world, to experience the wide and unique offerings our beautiful emirate has to offer.”

 

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