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T3 News Network

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Union Minister of Civil Aviation, Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, MoS, Civil Aviation, General Dr. V K Singh (Retd.) along with Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Pradeep Kharola virtually flagged off two flights strengthening the international and domestic aerial connectivity of Madhya Pradesh.

The event marked the commencement of Indigo’s new direct flights on the Gwalior – Indore (Madhya Pradesh) - Delhi route & resumption of Air India’s Indore – Dubai direct flight.

Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Chief Minister, Madhya Pradesh graced the event virtually from Bhopal.

“The establishment of direct flight connectivity on the Indore – Gwalior – Delhi route aligns with the objectives of the Sab Uden Sab Juden initiative of the Government of India.With the aerial connectivity of the 2 cities of Madhya Pradeshwith immense potential, new opportunities will get a boost in sectors of trade and tourism,” Scindia said.

He further informed that in last 53 days, Madhya Pradesh got 58 new flights and with 314 new aircraft movements the number of aircraft movements in the state has increased from 424 to 738. Indore which was earlier connected to 8 cities, has now been connected to 13 cities. In a similar way, aerial connectivity of Gwalior has expanded from 4 to 6 cities.

BLS International has signed a contract with The Republic of Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs to provide ePassport Renewal services initially starting with Italy, Qatar and Malaysia.

BLS will provide ePassport renewal services on behalf of The Republic of Philippines in Italy, Qatar and Malaysia. With this, The Department of Foreign Affairs intends to ease the renewal process for Philippine nationals living overseas. The opening of ePassport Renewal Centers (PaRCs) in these countries will provide facility to Filipinos to apply for ePassport renewals at a time and place of their convenience.

Commenting on this, Shikhar Aggarwal, Joint Managing Director, BLS International, said, "We are honoured and excited to serve The Republic of Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs. We are confident that our tech-enabled ePassport renewal services will be faster and convenient for the Filipino diaspora in the three countries-Italy, Qatar and Malaysia. We will simplify the application procedure and shorten the overall application processing time, which will, in turn, contribute to overall improved customer service. I am confident of a seamless rollout and hope to strengthen this relationship with more such opportunities."

The Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife is targeting to raise KSH 100 Million during the upcoming inaugural Magical Kenya Tembo Naming Festival.

This was said by Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala when he received contributions towards the initiative from four organizations: East Africa Safari Rally, Chandaria Foundation, Oltukai Lodges and African Wildlife Foundation at the KWS Headquarters Nairobi National Park

The inaugural Magical Kenya Tembo Naming Festival is set to be held on October 9, 2021 at the Amboseli National Park where President Uhuru Kenya is expected to grace the event. During the event, individuals will be allowed to give names to selected elephants after donating funds towards the program which is aimed at boosting conservation efforts of the endangered species.

Speaking during reception of the contributions, CS Balala expressed his delight towards the donors for embracing the initiative, noting that it will go a long way in boosting conservation efforts while sending out a strong message on the role conservation plays in tourism and by extension many livelihoods.

“I wish thank the sponsors for embracing and being part of this noble course. Conservation of our wildlife resources remains key for us to ensure that future generations enjoy our country’s heritage, natural resources and the incredible species that live within it. Therefore, it is ideal that we are here as we commence the first step towards the event which aims to ensure we have funds to support conservation of our Elephants,” said Balala.

The CS further noted that the initiative is meant to bring all stakeholders on board in embracing conservation, noting that everyone has a role to play in ensuring the preservation of Kenya’s heritage.

“Our aim is to ensure that we encourage more people and organizations to engage in conservation efforts in the country. The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us many things and one of them is that we must ensure that conservation efforts are sustainable and that wildlife protection should never be vulnerable to the shocks that affect tourism activities in the country,” added Balala.

The KWS Director General, Brig (Rtd.) John Waweru echoed the remarks by the Cabinet Secretary citing that African Savannah Elephants present tremendous challenges for their successful conservation. It is also an “umbrella” species, whose protection provides collateral security for overall biodiversity & tourism industry. “It is a “conflict” and “engineer” species, capable of modifying habitats to the benefit or detriment of different plant and animal species on a local or wider scale. In collaboration with its stakeholders Kenya Wildlife Service has put in place various strategies to conserve this key species including conservation education and community engagement, securing connectivity in critical habitats, employing new technology such as collaring to provide data and information on habitat use and infrastructure development, Innovative and Light-based deterrents for early detection and warning”, he added 

Dr. Betty Radier, CEO, Kenya Tourism Board urged more organisations and individuals to join this years and subsequent programmes. “The Magical Kenya Tembo Naming Festival offers a platform for the public to adopt, name and nurture the elephant because supporting their conservation is a collective responsibility for the endless benefits they present to our livelihoods. This is strategic in terms of supporting tourism which is largely anchored by wildlife. Conservation is something that should be a concern for each and every one of us, and as such it is important that everyone plays a part. I would like to request like-minded individuals and organizations to join us in this noble course for this year’s inaugural event and for the years to come,” said Radier.

On his part, Philip Muruthi, AWF Vice President for Species Conservation and Science noted that the initiative will be key in ensuring healthy coexistence between humans and the animals.

‘African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) believes that sustainable development of Africa, including Kenya, is directly linked to how well humankind respects nature, allowing wildlife such as these magnificent elephants to continue to thrive in their natural environments. Natural environments provide us with the ecological goods and services that ensure our economic growth and human wellbeing. AWF continues to provide support to elephant conservation across west, central, east, and southern Africa. We commend CS Balala and his team for this innovative way of raising funds to promote conservation especially under Covid19 circumstances,” said Muruthi.

Currently, Kenya boasts of over 34,000 Elephants with the number gradually increasing at an annual rate of 2.8 per cent over the last three decades. Remarkably, there has been a 96 per cent decline in poaching with 386 elephants being lost in 2013 compared to 11 elephants poached in 2020.

KTB and KWS are calling on as many partners to give the elephants a name, give them their rightful to move and #SaveTheTembo.

Karma Group has announced another new addition to its hotel portfolio, Karma Golden Camp in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. Spread across 3.5 acres of North Western India’s Thar desert, find 22 luxury safari tents, 10 tent cottages featuring a private pool, along with facilities including a restaurant, spa, children’s club and an outdoor Amphitheatre.

A number of exciting activities on offer at Karma Golden Camp include dune-safaris, para-sailing, para-motor-gliding and quad biking in an incomparable desert setting. Or for less adrenaline and more relaxation, enjoy a laid-back camel safari, cocktails at sunset or star gazing in the magnificent desert night sky - sure to impress with zero light pollution.  An unforgettable romantic experience, the hotel also offers private dinners among the dunes entertained by Rajasthani folk dancers and singers.

Close to the vibrant colours of Jaisalmer, with its famous fort and palaces, the airport is easily accessible from Karma Golden Camp, approximately 45 minutes drive away, or for road trip fans, fly to Jodhpur and enjoy a 4.5 hour adventurous drive. 

hotelemployeerate.com, a Global hotel employee travel programme, will now actively promote the programme in India by appointing IndiJo consulting as its representative in India. IndiJo activities will include market outreach through Sales, Marketing, and PR initiatives on behalf of hotelemployeerate.com.

Hotelemployeerate.com is a programme which offers exclusive hotel employee rates for hoteliers, their friends, and families. With an ever-expanding collection of hotel companies, branded properties and independent hotels around the world joining the Hotel Employee Rate Travel Programme, hotels in India signing up the program can now offer their teams the unique benefit of Hotel Employee Rate Travel.  Hoteliers in the programme can add up to 10 friends and family to the Hotel Employee Rate Travel Programme.

Additionally, Hotels in the programme benefit with commission-free incremental bookings over low demand periods from our global base of leisure travellers booking exclusively through the hotelemployeerate.com travel programme.

Joseph Fernandes, CEO, IndiJo Consulting, said, “We are extremely excited to represent Hotel Employee Rate which we believe has the potential to do exceedingly well in India, by offering hotels dual benefit of providing their employee with an additional perk, and at the same time opening up a new platform of attracting leisure guest.”

Lara Sidhu, Director Business Development -APAC, Hotel Employee Rate said, “We are very pleased to announce that IndiJo Consulting will be representing Hotel Employee Rate.com. While India is a new market for us, we see immense potential and we’re eager to showcase India’s beautiful hotels and locations on our global platform. As we see travel resume, hotelemployeerate.com will help mitigate the current issues in hotel employee satisfaction and retention rates.”

RARE India, a community of some of the finest conscious luxury boutique hotels, palace stays, wildlife lodges, homestays and retreats in India and the subcontinent, has added 18 new hotels. Seven of the latest entrants to the RARE India Community are based in North & West India, five in South & Western Ghats while six hotels are situated in the North Hills, Terai, East India and the Himalayas. With these additions, RARE India now has 86 hospitality and destination brands across 18 states in the Indian subcontinent, all of which offer experiential stays and immersions that place a great emphasis on community engagement and strive to preserve and protect the planet.

The new hotels and experiences in the RARE India Community include:

North & West: Khem Villas in Ranthambhore (Rajasthan); Premkunj in Udaipur (Rajasthan); Dera Amer near Jaipur (Rajasthan); Killa Bhawan in Jaisalmer (Rajasthan); Mihir Garh near Jodhpur (Rajasthan); Rohet Garh near Jodhpur (Rajasthan); The Rohet House in Jodhpur (Rajasthan)

South & Western Ghats: Gratitude Heritage, Kariappa House and Grand Hotel D'Europe in Puducherry; Dhole's Den in Bandipur (Karnataka); Cabo Serai in Cabo de Rama (Goa)

North Hills, Terai, East & Himalayas: Karan Mahal in Srinagar (Jammu & Kashmir); The Apricot Tree Hotel in Nurla (Ladakh); Atali Ganga in Rishikesh (Uttarakhand); The Mandala House in Devprayag (Uttarakhand); Neeralaya in Manali (Himachal Pradesh); Ging Tea House in Darjeeling (West Bengal)

Shoba Mohan, Founder, RARE India, said, “We worked away through the pandemic lockdowns, creating value and awareness for the RARE India Community hoping that when the world opens up for travel, our community of hotels, carefully chosen for their experiences and attitude towards sustainable luxury and community engagement, will be known globally and will be on the travel-list of Indian travellers discovering their own country and the subcontinent. This not only meant stepping up our marketing strategy to improve sales but also create better distribution of our hotels and experiences so that more and more travellers discovered the Community in many different ways.”

The RARE India Community consists of small, private, concept hotels that offer compelling stories in unique locations, have a sharp focus on ‘conscious travel’ and offer transformational experiences that create value for the community and preserve the pristine quality of the destination. These hotels are at destinations tucked away and off busy highways, with impactful visual stories of people and the place, impart knowledge and urge participation through expert-led immersions. RARE India hand-picks hotels after personally discovering them and vetting them for quality of service, concept and authenticity as well as their commitment towards preservation and conservation of the environment, destination, heritage, local traditions, culture and community engagement.

Every single hotel in the RARE India Community believes that conscious luxury travel is about putting people and planet first. All our hotels are curated destination experiences for travellers to experience, participate and create combined value. The new hotels in the Community will offer travellers interesting hotel choices with the RARE ethos embedded in their design and operations in many more locations.

Under its partnership with these hotels, RARE India will audit, endorse, advocate, create awareness and brand merit for the Community by taking the story of the destination, hotel and the owners to a diverse market segment and promoters.

RARE India will help build the hotel and experience brands by spotlighting their attitude and attributes to travellers as well as travel designers to help them ‘explore destinations and hotel differently’.

The Fern Hotels & Resorts has opened Grand Victoria The Fern Resort & Spa, in Panchgani, Maharashtra. This is the 19th hotel that the company is managing in the state and takes the company’s tally to 82 operational properties in India, Nepal and Seychelles.

Suhail Kannampilly, CEO, The Fern Hotels & Resorts, said, “It is a moment of great pride for the entire Fern family. We have opened two hotels in two consecutive months in Maharashtra. After our huge presence in Gujarat, we have become the largest hospitality player in Maharashtra as well.”

The 81-room upscale resort’s room inventory comprises five different categories of rooms viz. Winter Green, Winter Green Valley View, Fern Club, Fern Club Valley View and Hazel Suite. The rooms are fitted with all the latest conveniences. Some of the facilities which the guests can enjoy include High-speed Wi-Fi internet, Complimentary in-room tea & coffee facility, Digital in-room safe, Eco-friendly room lighting and bathroom amenities, Rain shower etc.

The hotel offers a finely designed restaurant & banqueting facilities. The resort is situated in the heart of Panchgani, with easy access to the major sightseeing attractions. Guests can look forward to having an amazing time at the swimming pool overlooking the valley.  Others looking for some indulgences can visit the spa. The resort boasts of open-air banqueting suitable for grand marriages. The resort also provides conducive ambience for indoor conferences as well.

Sabre Corporation and Qatar Airways are finalizing a new distribution deal that will provide long-term access to the airline’s content through the Sabre travel marketplace.

Qatar Airways intends to strengthen its partnership with Sabre to take advantage of Sabre’s global reach and leading position in corporate travel for the distribution of Qatar Airways’ products to travelers worldwide. Implementation work is starting to enable unique NDC offers created by Qatar Airways to be distributed through Sabre’s new distribution capability (NDC), which provides a consistent end-to-end workflow that integrates within well-established agency operations.

 “A new approach to retailing is required in order to respond to the personalized service and enhanced flexibility that travelers expect,” said Roshan Mendis, Chief Commercial Officer, Sabre Travel Solutions. “Sabre is committed to supporting Qatar Airways in enhancing its retailing capabilities by enabling the airline to distribute personalized offers through our marketplace to corporations and travel agencies around the world. Collaboration will be crucial in travel’s recovery, so I’m proud that we are now finalizing a long-term, sustainable agreement with Qatar Airways that is beneficial for all parties in the travel ecosystem.”

Sabre’s technology enables Qatar Airways to reach a network of more than 425,000 travel agents.

Thierry Antinori, Chief Commercial Officer, Qatar Airways, said: “Working collaboratively is pivotal to our reputation as a trusted and reliable business partner for both customers flying Qatar Airways, and the travel agencies that serve them. As international travel recovers, the landscape has become extremely complex, and we don’t want to add additional obstacles such as surcharges, restrictions or inefficient technical solutions, as we deploy new NDC-based product offerings.

Effective 30 August 2021, VFS Global has resumed UAE tourist visa services for Indians. UAE announced the reopening of borders for Indian travellers ahead of the Expo 2020 trade fair scheduled to commence on 1 October 2021.

Travellers will be required to present a valid negative Covid-19 Test certificate issued within 48 hours from the time of collecting the sample and from an approved health service, which use the QR code System, as well as Rapid PCR Test report conducted at the departure airport 6 hours prior to departure, provided with a QR code system. No GDRFA or ICA approval is required for tourists travelling to the UAE.

“The reopening of borders to the UAE is a reassuring move for the travel industry, with the United Arab Emirates being among the most popular destinations for Indians, especially with the Expo 2020 Dubai around the corner. We wish all our customers safe travels,” said Noel Swain, Business Head – Schengen, eVisa and Passport Services, VFS Global.

Customers can apply for their visas on www.emirates.com or at one of our Dubai Visa Processing Centres in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi, Hyderabad, New Delhi, and Thiruvananthapuram, which are currently operating on limited days of the week.

VFS Global is an official ticket reseller for Expo 2020 Dubai in GCC, India, China, Russia, UK and Germany. Dubbed the World’s Greatest Show, Expo 2020 will be held from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022.

Taj Mahal, New Delhi unveiled luxury residences featuring one- and two-bedroom Residences with contemporary facilities and personalised services that the hotel is world renowned for. 

Satyajeet Krishnan, Area Director – New Delhi and General Manager, Taj Mahal, New Delhi, said, “The Luxury Residences offer sophisticated and attentively designed living facilities, expansive and stylish spaces to unwind or work and are the perfect choice for an extended stay in the city. Taj Mahal, New Delhi has been on a transformational journey and has introduced distinctly designed and novel offerings, including Luxury Residences. We look forward to welcoming guests to another reimagined experience and a home in the heart of the Capital.”

These 14 Luxury Residences offer fully serviced residences featuring living and dining spaces, interconnected suites, walk-in rain showers, spacious wardrobes, fully equipped kitchens with modern conveniences and appliances.

The Luxury Residences are complimented with the hotel’s notable services that include the highly acclaimed concierge, butler service, personalised and flexible gastronomic offerings and culinary consultants, dedicated housekeeping and access to The Taj Club Lounge. 

Taj Mahal, New Delhi has been undergoing an extensive renovation, reinventing itself while retaining its legendary style and a strong sense of place. In this journey, the hotel has unveiled an all-new avatar of Machan, Emperor Lounge, a gracefully refreshed lobby, distinctly transformed suites and rooms and the reimagined offerings at The Chambers.

 

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