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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has unveiled a three-year roadmap for the country’s conventions industry. Covering 2021–2023, the roadmap outlines an array of action plans to attract more conventions to Thailand and elevate the country’s international profile.

It comprises three key strategies: To upgrade the Thailand’s conventions ecosystem through active lead generation and industry consultation; to upskill the industry with targeted developmental programmes; and to upstage Thailand in world conventions arena via international partnerships and global agenda conventions.

Nichapa Yoswee, Senior Vice President – Business, TCEB, said: “This roadmap reflects the shift in TCEB’s role from an industry supporter to a growth driver. It has been implemented with the partnership of Thailand Incentive and Convention Association (TICA), Thailand’s leading professional association for conventions.”

“Under the upgrade strategy, TCEB will engage the entire conventions ecosystem to address demand-side and supply-side capability and capacity. This means raising awareness and know-how among local associations for hosting conventions in Thailand and building up a network of highly skilled and highly connected conventions professionals, who are capable of managing the entire life-cycle of an event.”

On the demand side, TCEB has begun reaching out to local associations through a variety of initiatives such as ‘Local Association Development and Ambassador Programme’. On the supply side, TCEB has set up a conventions task force to explore innovative ways to reengineer Thailand’s conventions industry. The task force, structured as a think tank that meets every quarter, comprises representatives from academia as well as TICA’s convention experts, such as venues, Destination Management Companies (DMCs), and Professional Congress Organisers (PCO).

To complement the conceptual work undertaken by the task force, TCEB and TICA have also established teams of “Convention Connecters” to respond to market trends with greater agility.

The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts has announced the appointment of Megha Ajgaonkar as General Manager – Sales. In her role, Megha will spearhead and drive sales performance thus fortifying The Leela’s Sales and Distribution network and strategies. Prior to joining The Leela, her most recent role was with Marriott International as Area Director of Sales & Distribution West India for Marriott South Asia.

Megha brings with her about two decades of diverse experience in hospitality and business development. Over the course of her career, she has worked with brands such as Taj, Starwood, and Marriott.

The Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India in collaboration with Department of Tourism, Administration of Union Territory of Ladakh and Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) is organising this event titled Ladakh: New Start, New Goals from 25th -28th August 2021. The objective of the event is to promote tourism to Ladakh as a tourist destination with focus on aspects of adventure, culture and responsible tourism. The event aims to provide indigenous product knowledge to the industry stakeholders and also a platform to local stakeholders for interaction with the Tour Operators / buyers from the rest of the country.

Lieutenant Governor of Union Territory of Ladakh Radha Krishna Mathur spoke about the new tourism products that Ladakh can offer to the visitors such as Winter Tourism, Science based tourism etc. Shri Mathur added that the cultural and heritage tourism has enormous potential in Ladakh to offer to its visitors. Shri Mathur also mentioned about the carbon neutral path for Ladakh that is being followed. He was happy to mention that Buddhist Chanting has been identified by the UNESCO as intangible cultural heritage of Ladakh. He appreciated Ministry of Tourism for organising this event.

Union Minister of Tourism, Culture and Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) G. Kishan Reddy in his virtual address said that Tourism in Ladakh has seen immense growth in the last 40 years. Ladakh is the 'Land of High Passes’, that has something to offer to every tourist from bliss of natural beauty to adventure opportunities for trekkers, bikers, cyclist, climbers etc. At the same, the monasteries of Hemis, Alchi, Thiksay make Ladakh a cultural and heritage hub.

Reddy mentioned that to leverage the huge tourism potential of Ladakh, the Tourism Ministry has launched 'Ladakh: New Start New Goals’ program and this is a platform that provides tour operators from other parts of the country and customers to interact with local stakeholders from Ladakh. Shri Reddy further added that Tourism Ministry has also prepared ‘Ladakh Vision Document’ where all matters related to the development of Tourism in Ladakh are discussed in detail. The Central government has also contributed Rs.23.21 Crore for Tourist Water Screen Projection Multimedia show and other tourist attractions and also developing Chaukihang Vihara Project under the PRASHAD scheme.  He expressed his belief that in places like Ladakh for tourism to develop the community partnership is very important. Shri Reddy stressed on need to develop overall tourism development along with focussing on creating a professional skilled workforce. The Minister stated that Tourism is one of the largest job creators in India. The Prime Minister has named Tourism as one of the 12 Champion sectors in the services Industry.

Member of Parliament of Ladakh Jamyang Tsering Namgyal said that I believe that this program will not only boost the tourism sector of Ladakh but also boost the economy of UT. This program will give us a vision how we can create sustainable and responsible tourism in UT.  Namgyal further shared his vision of projecting Ladakh as a year-round destination for tourism and emphasised the potentiality of winter tourism and winter sports in Ladakh. He stressed on conducting Zanskar winter tourism festival and winter sports festival for a duration of one month and urged to boost tourism in Kargil.

Secretary of Ministry of Tourism, GoI Arvind Singh said that Ladakh is a heaven of adventure sports. Its rugged terrain and gushing rivers provide ripe opportunities for activities like trekking, river rafting, camping, mountain climbing and biking. Tourism plays a vital role in the economy of the Ladakh region. Shri Arvind added that COVID 19 pandemic has impacted the world. However, the signs of recovery have been witnessed and Ladakh is one of the prime movers of this recovery phase and is also one of the most preferred destination. Shri Arvind further said that as we restart tourism, the Ministry has put in place a System for Assessment, Awareness and Training in Hospitality Industry (SAATHI) to ensure compliance with COVID 19 Safety and Hygiene guidelines. As on date, more than 10,000 accommodation units have registered under SAATHI. Ministry of Tourism promotes Ladakh in domestic and in international markets through various campaigns and initiatives such as Dekho Apna Desh wherein a dedicated webinar on Ladakh was conducted.

Secretary of Tourism & Culture, UT Ladakh K Mehboob Ali Khan thanked Ministry of Tourism GoI for drafting “A Tourism Vision for Ladakh” document and said that this document will help in finalising tourism policy for UT. Shri Mehboob Ali Khan said that as per data 50 percent GDP of Ladakh depends on tourism sector, this place has its own unique character. We will be hiring expert consultants for tourism policy  and very soon Ladakh have a  tourism policy.

Advisor to Lt. Governor, UT Ladakh Umang Narula congratulated Ministry of Tourism for preparing vision document. This Vision document can provide a good base for finalising tourism policy for UT. It is very important for Ladakh to have a tourism policy. Narula also thanked Ministry of Tourism, GoI for their Support through various central schemes. He further said that we have come up Homestay insensitive policy and organized winter conclave to promote winter tourism. He added that self-regulation needs to be promoted more for responsible tourism.

The event is attended by approx. 150 participants which includes Opinion Makers, Tour Operators, Hoteliers, Diplomats, Homestay Owners, Senior Officials from Government of India, UT Administration of Ladakh and Media. The three days’ event includes activities like exhibition, panel discussions, B2B meetings, technical tours, Cultural evening to showcase tourism facilities and tourism products of Ladakh.

Jumpin Heights, India’s first Extreme Adventure zone, has restarted operations. Post-submitting the required documents while following all the preventive measures according to the set guidelines, Jumpin Heights has finally received official permission to resume the operations from September 2021. Goa Bungy, over Mayem Lake, in North Goa will be opening on the September 1, and Rishikesh, which is home to India’s highest Bungy platform, from the September 15.

In accordance with safety requirements, all the members of staff have been fully vaccinated. They are all set to resume their adventure sports services, including Bungy Jumping, Flying Fox, and Giant Swing in Rishikesh. Interestingly, the Bungy tower in Goa has got an all-new look and is being touted to become a sight to behold, as a tourist landmark in the state. 

Currently, when the pandemic seems to have had a far-reaching and uncontrollable spread, safety remains a concern. To ensure this, they will follow all the government SOPs such as — installation of anti-COVID preventive equipment in the premises, masks for all staff and visitors alike, mandatory sanitisation for everyone entering the premises; medical waste disposal mechanisms; mandatory temperature and oximeter checks of the crew, staff, and jumpers upon entry; sticker markings for social distancing; only two chairs per table with a transparent acrylic sheet between the two occupants; ensuring that the preventive measures are observed by staff members; and a strict set of daily operations and maintenance, including regular sanitization of all equipment, work stations and additional points of contact. All consignments coming into the premises will be sanitized before stocking. They are leaving no stones unturned to put a special emphasis on hygiene and sanitation.

Rahul Nigam, Managing Director & Founder, Jumpin Heights, said, “With states practicing phased reopenings, travel is only going to mirror the process. However, in the wake of Covid-19, travelers are, undoubtedly, need to be careful and cautious about the way they travel while choosing services that practise hygiene and take extreme measures for their safety, while, simultaneously, maintaining the authenticity of their experience. We feel that we now have the chance to establish change.”

Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, Union Minister of Civil Aviation, has written to the Chief Ministers of Goa, Himachal, Karnataka and Gujarat  requesting their personal intervention in expediting the matters for strengthening of aviation infrastructure in their states. AAI has embarked upon development and expansion of airports in the country at a cost of Rs. 20,000 crore in the next 4-5 years in order to meet the growing passenger demand in the country.

Scindia has drawn attention of Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on various issues that are impacting the implementation of various projects pertaining to aviation sector in Goa. He mentioned that long back AAI had requested for 20.48 acres of land for construction of city side car parking and other infrastructural work at Goa Airport. Cost of acquisition was also paid by AAI to the State Government of Goa. However, notification for acquisition was issued by the State Government in respect of 15.50 acres only, out of which 9.23 acres is yet to be handed over to AAI.

Scindia has also drawn attention of Himachal Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on following issues that are impacting the implementation of various projects pertaining to aviation sector in Himachal Pradesh:

·      AAI has projected a land requirement of 13 acres at Shimla airport for strengthening of runway and construction of AAI Residential Colony. Further, the State Government has been requested to extend support for removal of obstacles and provide requisite land for making Shimla airport compatible for operation of ATR-72 type of aircraft.

·     The State Govt. has been requested to complete the infrastructure works at Shimla, Mandi, Manali and Baddi for operationalization of these heliports at the earliest.

·     An amount of Rs. 1.44 crores is outstanding on the part of State Government as VGF share for Regional Air Connectivity Fund Trust (RACFT).

Scindia also drew attention of Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Somappa Bommai on following issues that are impacting the implementation of various projects pertaining to aviation sector in Karnataka:

·         AAI has projected land requirement of 370 acres at Belagavi airport, out of which only 348.6 acres have been handed over.

·         Similarly, AAI has requisitioned for allocation of 240 acres at Mysore Airport. However, the said land is yet to be handed over by the State Government.

·         The Govt. of Karnataka may take necessary steps to operationalize Shivamoga and Vijayapura airports so that the bids received under RCS-UDAN 4.1 can be considered for award. Further, the State Govt. needs to communicate its consent for 100% VGF support for the routes to be awarded from these two airports as these are part of State Regional Connectivity Scheme (SCRS).

·         An amount of Rs. 7.55 Crores is outstanding on part of the State Government as VGF share for Regional Air Connectivity Fund Trust (RACFT).

To Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Scindia highlighted following issues that are impacting the implementation of various projects pertaining to aviation sector in Gujarat: 

·         490.36 acres of land is required at Bhavnagar airport for making it suitable for operation of AB-320 type of aircraft.

·         17.38 acres of land is required at Jamnagar airport for development of city side infrastructure.

·         322.85 acres of land is required at Kandla airport for making it suitable for operation of AB-320 type of aircraft.

·         434.5 acres of land is required at Porbandar airport for revision of orientation of runway and making it suitable for operation of AB-320 type of aircraft.

·         18.33 acres of land is required at Vadodara airport for basic strip requirements and parallel taxi track.

·         96.93 acres of land is required at Surat airport for installation of CAT-I approach lighting system and extension of runway. The State Government has also been requested for allocation of 2100 acres of land at Surat airport for development of 2nd runway.

·         The State Government has been requested to clear the dues of Seaplane operation for operations between Sabarmati River Front and Kevadia.

·         An amount of Rs. 0.47 Crores is outstanding on the part of State Government as VGF share for Regional Air Connectivity Fund Trust (RACFT).

Scindia has drawn attention of Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on following issues that are impacting the implementation of various projects pertaining to aviation sector in Jharkhand:

For upgradation and development of Ranchi Airport, AAI has projected a land requirement of 506.4 acres, which is yet to be handed over to AAI.

Similarly, AAI requires 545 acres of land for development of Dhalbhumgarh airport to make it suitable for operations of A-320 type of aircraft.

The State Government has to complete the approach road to Deoghar airport, which is otherwise almost ready to be operationalized.





Union Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, MoS, Civil Aviation along with General Dr. V K Singh (Retd.) virtually flagged off the first direct flight operations between Jamnagar (Gujarat), to Bengaluru (Karnataka) & Hyderabad (Telangana) under the RCS-UDAN (Regional Connectivity Scheme — Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) of the Government of India. Jawaharbhai Chavda – Minister of Tourism Gujarat, Shri Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, Minister of Civil Aviation, Gujarat, Poonamben Hematbhai Maadam, Member of Parliament, Jamnagar, alongside R C Faldu, Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA), Raghavjibhai Hansrajbhai Patel, MLA also graced the flag off event virtually.

Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, along with the senior officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Airport Authority of India (AAI) were also present at the launch of the flight operations. Operationalising of this route expands the aerial connectivity of Jamnagar to three major cities of India that includes Mumbai (Maharashtra), Bengaluru & Hyderabad.

Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, Union Minister of Civil Aviation said, “I am happy to announce the kick-starting of regional connectivity from Jamnagar under UDAN. From today, M/s Star Air will operate first time direct flights between Jamnagar and Bengaluru including flights between Jamnagar and Hyderabad under UDAN. Jamnagar is the perfect blend of trade, cultural, and religious hubs. Moreover, I am delighted to announce that we are planning to commence 10 more additional flights from Gujarat under UDAN. The UDAN scheme envisioned by our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been a game-changer for the civil aviation sector of the country.”

Jamnagar is also called the “Chhoti Kashi” due to the presence of more than 100 temples. Jamnagar is well known for its four marble Jain temples: Vardhman Shah Temple, Raisi Shah Temple, Sheth Temple, and Vasupujya Swami Temple; all built between 1574 and 1622. Furthermore, Jamnagar is also called Gateway city to one of the Chard Dhams – Mokshapuri city – Dwarka.

Due to the non-availability of any direct mode of air or rail connectivity, people were compelled to spend long travel hours to reach these cities. Availability of direct flight between Jamnagar and Bengaluru will drastically cut down the travel time to 135 minutes from earlier 07 hours taken for air travel using connecting flights via Mumbai. Alternate option of road travel between these two cities also takes over 30 hours while train travel takes around 20 hours. 

Likewise, the completion of the entire journey took more than 1 day to reach Hyderabad from Jamnagar by train and road travel or vice-versa.  Due to the non-connectivity of direct flights between these two cities, it took more than 06 hours for air travel using connecting flights. Now, natives can easily fly between the two cities by opting for a flight of just 130 mins.

Star Air was awarded the above routes during the UDAN 3 bidding process. The airlines are being provided Viability Gap Funding (VGF) under the UDAN scheme to keep the fares affordable & accessible for the common people. The airline will be operating thrice-weekly flights on the route and will deploy its 50-seater Embraer ERJ-145 aircraft. The route marks the commencement of the 32nd UDAN route by the airline.

Till date, 369 routes and 60 airports (including 5 heliports and 2 water aerodromes) have been operationalized under the UDAN scheme.

The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), in a virtual meeting with Goa Chief Minister Pramod Pandurang Sawant, deliberated upon the major issues of concern hampering the growth of the tourism sector in the state and the travel agent’s fraternity.

Jyoti Mayal, President, TAAI highlighted that most of the travel fraternity members are registered under the Directorate of Tourism, Government of Goa for which the license is renewed every year. Till last year, the fee, specifically to travel agents, was around Rs.1250/- only. However, this year, the same has been increased to more than Rs. 5000/-. As the tourism sector is going through its worst time, and have been facing losses and NPA’s our request is to withdraw the increased Fee.

Mayal emphasized on the need of giving concessions to the travel trade, be it reduction of ATF, reduction in airport taxes, statutory taxes such as Corporation/Municipal/ Trade Licence which comes under the purview of the state government.

TAAI should be given due representation and included in the various Task Force of the Government of Goa in promoting travel, tourism and hospitality, she added.

Responding to requests made by TAAI, the Chief Minister said that the matter of licences fee has already been taken into consideration and assured of a favourable decision soon. With regards to other concessions, Sawantsaid that the discussions within the government are on and expect an early solution to it. CM most graciously accepted the request to include TAAI in the various task force of the government.

TAAI made suggestions on enhancing Tourism vide promotions and educating the trade by conducting webinars and roadshows with TAAI on Goa and how special MDA schemes and other incentivisation to trade across all states in India should be commenced which shall help tourism growth exponentially.

Also, present during the interaction were Menino D'Souza, Director - Department of Tourism, Goa and Commander Prasad Padhye (Retd.), OSD to Chief Minister of Goa. From TAAI, Jay Bhatia, Vice President; Bettaiah Lokesh, Hon. Secretary General; Shreeram Patel, Hon. National Treasurer; Anoop Kanuga, Chairman - Tourism Services Council; Sainath Dharwatkar, Chairman (Goa Chapter); Valigno Dias, Hon. Secretary (Goa Chapter) and Himanshu Talwar, Executive Director, TAAI.

Saudi Arabia has appointed Think Strawberries as its representative partner in the Indian market. Think Strawberries will be responsible for implementing a cross-channel marketing strategy for Saudi Tourism in India.

Think Strawberries has been awarded the India mandate following a multi agency pitch that focused on creatively showcasing Saudi Arabia’s attractions including its magnificent historical sites, ancient ruins, sandy beaches, delectable cuisines, world-class shopping malls, theme parks and the luxurious Red Sea project among plenty other offerings.

Munnmunn Marwah, COO, Think Strawberries said, “In an ever-evolving tourism landscape, Saudi Arabia is a refreshing addition to our catalogue of clients. The country has recently opened its doors to tourism, and we are delighted to be so intrinsically part of that journey as its India partner. We enjoyed bringing the brief to life and we’re looking forward to working with the tourism promotion department to develop Saudi Arabia as an attractive tourist destination for Indians.”

Saudi Arabia is optimistically targeting 100 million annual visits by 2030, up from about 40 million a year before the pandemic.

Sommet Education, together with Indian School of Hospitality (ISH), have announced that Sommet Education has entered into a strategic alliance with ISH, founded by hospitality veteran Dilip Puri and key partners.

With this, Sommet Education supports the development of its two prestigious institutions to India: École Ducasse, worldwide education reference in Culinary and Pastry Arts, and Les Roches, one of the world’s leading hospitality business schools.

Benoît-Etienne Domenget, CEO, Sommet Education, said, “Sommet Education is shaping and growing the leading worldwide network of hospitality and culinary education. This leads us to be present in countries where growth in hospitality and related sectors form a major part of the economic dynamic. We are happy to partner with ISH by providing Indian students, within the country, with globally renowned standards of hospitality, culinary and management education.”

The growth in the hospitality and services sector requires future leaders who will be ready to take on global opportunities in India and abroad. Indian School of Hospitality operates one of the country’s finest campus in Gurugram (Delhi NCR) and is considered the school of reference for hospitality management and culinary arts by industry and affiliating partners. ISH offers degree as well as diploma and certificate programmes at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. ISH will be able to further strengthen its portfolio of programmes with opportunities for students to study semesters abroad, start their studies in India and finish them in another institution of the network, join new programmes including an MBA at Les Roches, Switzerland.

Dilip Puri, Founder & CEO, ISH, said, “Our philosophy has always been to provide students with an exceptional quality of education through an international curriculum and pedagogy, world-class technology and infrastructure as well as renowned academic and research faculty. Partnering with Sommet Education will enable us to strengthen our offerings, expand our presence pan India and in neighbouring countries, and be part of Sommet’s prestigious network of 18 campuses across 8 countries, and 60,000 influential alumni. We will also be able to further support industry demand for hospitality leaders by bringing two of the world’s best brands in hospitality management and culinary education to India.”

Together, Sommet Education and Indian School of Hospitality target strong developments for the two brands:

With this alliance, École Ducasse will offer programmes in culinary and pastry arts aimed at young students and professionals. This marks the debut of École Ducasse in India as the two partners intend to develop a network of culinary schools in the region over the next three years.

Further, the Swiss institution Les Roches, founded in 1954, with campuses in Switzerland, Spain, and China will enrich ISH’s undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. In addition to academic and research exchange and workshops, thanks to mirrored curriculums and synergies, students will be able to study semesters abroad and benefit from various pathways within undergraduate and postgraduate programmes throughout the Les Roches network of institutions. Students will be offered opportunities to study at Les Roches campuses in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, Marbella, Spain and Shanghai, China. ISH’s postgraduate students will also be able to pursue an MBA at the Les Roches campus in Switzerland or a master’s degree in Spain. The alliance includes plans for further expansion in the region, starting with the addition of a second campus in India within the next three years.

Domenget, added, “We are delighted to welcome ISH into the Sommet family of world-class hospitality education institutes. Together, we will be better able to address the industry’s need for specialized talent and expertise. Hospitality management and culinary arts aspirants in India and neighbouring countries will now be able to benefit from our combined expertise and knowledge and explore international career opportunities. This development brings two truly global education brands - Ecole Ducasse and Les Roches closer to home for Indian students.”

The Fern Hotels & Resorts has partnered with SpiceJet's inflight entertainment platform, SpiceScreen, to showcase its selected properties on the platform.

SpiceScreen gives access to an amazing collection of unlimited entertainment, podcasts, magazines, and games along with an exclusive travel section that highlights hotels, vacations, and mid-air cab bookings.

Mohit Sharad, General Manager - Sales & Marketing (North & East India), The Fern Hotels & Resorts, said, “We have tied up with SpiceScreen (SpiceJet IFE), to showcase our hotels on this platform. SpiceJet has selected 55 of our Fern, Zinc by The Fern, Beacon and independently branded hotels depending on their flight routes.  Our hotels will feature on all operative SpiceJet flights.”

Giving details about the programme, Mohit informed that SpiceJet guests would be able to make their hotel bookings on our brand website booking engine. All 55 participating hotels will offer SpiceJet guests booking their hotel rooms through this platform a flat 20 per cent off on the hotel’s BAR rates. Besides the guests will also get a 20 per cent discount on food and beverages and complimentary room upgrades & late check-out till 4 pm, both subject to availability.

Concept Hospitality manages 84 hotels & resorts with 4900+ rooms currently operational under management or opening shortly across 69 locations in India and internationally, under The Fern, The Fern Residency, The Zinc by The Fern and Beacon Hotels brands. The company is a part of CG Hospitality, the hospitality arm of CG Corp Global, a multi-dimensional Nepalese conglomerate.



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