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Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (I/C) for Civil Aviation, Housing & Urban Affairs, chaired a meeting via Video Conference on Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS-UDAN) with Chief Ministers, State Chief Secretaries/Advisors of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Daman & Diu here yesterday.
The North Eastern States & UTs were the first in the series of the VC planned for Periodic review of RCS-UDAN scheme. The focus of the VC was to discuss and resolve issues concerning effective roll out of Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS-UDAN) and take stock of progress being made. Neiphiu Rio, Chief Minister of Nagaland and Zoramthanga, Chief Minister of Mizoram were present in the meeting. P.K.Kharola, Secretary and senior officials from the Ministry of Civil Aviation and its various Organizations also attended the meeting.
Addressing the meeting, Puri said that effective implementation of UDAN is not only crucial to the growth of North Eastern states but also provide affordable aviation to the citizens. Issues of modernisation, expansion, development of airports and increasing connectivity in the participating States//UTs were among the various issues that were discussed.
Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State for Tourism & Culture (I/C) today inaugurated the State Tourism Ministers’ Conference in New Delhi. The daylong Conference has been organized by the Union Ministry of Tourism and being attended by state Tourism Ministers, Secretaries of Tourism and senior officials from the States and Union Territories (UTs) who are deliberating on various issues related to the development and promotion of Tourism.
The Conference provides a platform for the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India to apprise the States / UTs about new initiatives taken and those in the pipeline, to get valuable feedback from the States / UTs on the same, to highlight areas where active cooperation of the States / UTs is required and at the same time to learn about the initiatives being taken by the States / UTs for the development of Tourism.
Discussions are being held with the States / UTs to get their inputs and feedback on the following subjects:-
· Developing an all-encompassing One Stop Solution including information on tourism related services through a web based application and a Grievance Redressal Mechanism through Twitter and Tourist-Helpline
· Adoption of Adventure Tourism and Bed & Breakfast / Homestay Scheme Guidelines by States/UTs
· Status of projects sanctioned under the Swadesh Darshan & PRASHAD Schemes and implementation of Public Financial Management System (PFMS).
These will be followed by Presentations to be made by the State Governments of Kerala and Sikkim showcasing best practices in the tourism sector and the social media campaigns run by them.
Giving a boost to its global image of being most frequented tourist destination, UNWTO recently announced that Turkey was the 6th most visited destination in the world in the year 2018 with 46 million visitors.
The UNWTO’s travel arm has released its latest figures detailing the movement of tourists around the world in 2018. Last year, 1.4bn holidaymakers left home for an overseas break, 5.6 per cent more than in 2017, according to the World Tourism Organisation, which says that global travel is performing strongly fuelled by a positive economy, increased air capacity and visa facilitation.
Tourism is a national industry for Turkey. As a tourism country, Turkey is focusing on both inbound & outbound travel with world-class facilities and great pricing that are very suitable. In last few years, Turkey has given a huge boost to its tourism sector by adopting unique propositions of popularising the destination and going all out in key markets across the world.
H. Deniz ERSÖZ, Culture & Tourism Counsellor, Turkish Culture and Tourism Office in India said, “This is a great achievement for Turkey and coming from UNWTO, this speaks about the credibility of data and numbers. By the end on 2019 we are expecting 55 mn tourist arrivals. From India, the number of tourist arrivals to Turkey is expected to reach 2.5 lakh tourists. Apart from FITs we have also seen a surge in Weddings & Mice travel from India to Turkey, which is our big focus.”
Cinnamon’s Bring A Friend Home (BAFH) introduces an exclusive initiative to spearhead tourism in Sri Lanka and also to overcome challenges faced by the tourism industry. BAFH encourages fellow Sri Lankans living here and overseas as well as expats living in Sri Lanka to nominate foreign friends to visit the island through an array of attractive packages. The key objectives of this campaign are to communicate a sense of urgency to visit Sri Lanka and create user-generated content to spread the message that Sri Lanka is safe to visit. The campaign is developed to generate much needed positive publicity to Sri Lanka.
BAFH follows a simple four step process; Register - Invite – Accept – Travel. Sri Lankans living here or overseas and even expats living in Sri Lanka with a resident visa are eligible to nominate foreign friends to this campaign. Visit bringafriendhome.com and register by entering the name, email and contact number. This gives applicants the opportunity to invite one or more friends living overseas via email, WhatsApp, Facebook or Twitter and also be eligible for a raffle draw. Invitations can be sent from July 30 –December 15, 2019 for stays within the same period.
The invitee – any foreign passport holder or Sri Lankan expat – can then proceed to accept the invitation by purchasing one or more packages listed on the campaign website at cinnamonboxoffice.com. A range of packages are available to choose from, including beach, nature, adventure and city tours specially curated for showcasing Sri Lanka’s tourism offerings. The invitee must travel to Sri Lanka between August 1 and December 15, 2019 and register on the campaign website to enter the raffle draw, which will take place in January 2020. All travel and registrations should be completed by or before December 15, 2019.
The campaign is set to expedite the tourism arrivals to the country and is part of Cinnamon’s contribution towards the recovery process. Launched with the active participation of all local industries, Cinnamon is engaging both locals and foreign tourists, taking ownership for creating exemplary change across the tourism sector. Jacqueline Fernandez, former Miss Sri Lanka and current Bollywood sensation, was the first visitor under this promotional campaign, and celebrated her birthday in Sri Lanka with 15 of her friends from Bollywood, to kick-start the campaign during the first week of August.
Kishu Gomes, Chairman, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau said, “It is a timely initiative by Cinnamon to help regain Sri Lanka’s formerly attained standard of tourism as an island that was known as one of the must-travel places for year 2019. Projects of this nature will globally amplify the impact of the destination and trigger an international prerequisite to visit Sri Lanka. This campaign will help spread a positive outlook of the country across the world, showing that it is safe to visit and is open to tourism.”
“Cinnamon’s Bring a Friend Home promotion aims to create some much-needed enthusiasm and excitement for Sri Lanka once again as an experiential travel destination,” stated Dileep Mudadeniya, Vice President John Keells Group, Head of Brand Marketing Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts and CEO of Cinnamon Life Mall. “Sri Lanka is ready to welcome visitors to its sun-kissed shores once again, and who better to endorse our country than ourselves? Each one of us now has the opportunity to be brand ambassadors to this paradise we call home, and invite our friends from around the world to witness this unrivalled beauty together with us.”
Scoot, the low-cost arm of Singapore Airlines, has become a member of the IATA Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) under the prefix 668. The BSP Payment is available to partner agents on major Global Distribution Systems (GDSs), including Abacus, Amadeus, Galileo, Sabre, and Worldspan. Today, BSP payment for Scoot flight bookings is available in 15 countries/territories.
BSP is a global remittance system that consolidates payment data across agents as well as airlines, facilitating settlement through a single financial transfer for each participant. BSP is operated across nearly 180 countries and territories, serving over 370 participating airlines.
Johanes Ong, General Manager – India, Scoot said, “Scoot is committed to creating an agent-friendly environment that is convenient and reliable, in order to better serve our partners as well as customers. Travel agents in India now have the option to settle payments via BSP directly with Scoot, by providing a single sales report and remitting payment through one central point, thus simplifying the ticketing process, as well as saving time.”
In India, Scoot operates out of six cities, including Amritsar, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Tiruchirappalli and Trivandrum, connecting Indian travellers to 62 destinations across 16 countries and territories. In addition to the GDS, Scoot is also set up for ticketing through other methods such as SkyAgent and API connections.
Vietjet has unveiled plans to launch direct flights from Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) and Hanoi to New Delhi, India. Vietjet will operate the Saigon – New Delhi flights four times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays starting from December 6, 2019.
The flights are scheduled to depart from Saigon at 19:00 and arrive in New Delhi at 22:50. The return flight is timed to leave New Delhi at 23:50 and land in Saigon at 06:10.
Vietjet will operate the thrice weekly Hanoi – New Delhi flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays starting from 7 December 2019.
The flights are scheduled to leave Hanoi at 19:10 and land in New Delhi at 22:50. The return flight is timed to depart from New Delhi at 23:50 and land in Hanoi at 05:20.
SATTE, South Asia’s largest travel trade expo recently organised a networking evening at Le Meridien, New Delhi. The glitzy evening was organised to offer gratitude to the travel trade of New Delhi for their consistent support to the exhibition. The evening was attended by over 100 captains of the industry.
Welcoming the audience, Yogesh Mudras, Managing Director, Informa Markets in India extended his heartfelt thanks to all the leaders of the trade. Mudras further said that SATTE has been growing in sync with the industry’s growth and now has established as a comprehensive show for inbound, domestic, and outbound tourism in India.
Meenakshi Sharma, Director General (DG), Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, while lauding the contribution of SATTE in tourism growth of India, said that SATTE has been growing over the years and has become one of the must attend exhibitions in the travel & tourism industry. She added that that SATTE will continue to grow in the coming years and SATTE 2020 should be much bigger than the previous editions.
The evening also witnessed SATTE felicitating Sanjay Datta on being elected as the President of Skål Asia.
Pallavi Mehra, Group Director and Publisher –T3, Informa Markets in India, extended vote of thanks and sought the support of the travel trade fraternity.
Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (Los Angeles Tourism) is deepening its foothold in the India Market with the appointment of Seema Kadam as it’s first-ever Regional Director, India. In her role, Seema will develop and support air service for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX); spearhead strategic travel trade engagement including the implementation of a robust training program, using the L.A. Insider Program; and attend key industry trade shows in the region.
Seema, in her earlier stints, has worked with Thomas Cook India, Kuoni Travels India, Finnair Plc, Switzerland Tourism and Tourism Fiji.
Hahn Air has unveiled its new NDC platform. The company is extending its suite of products for partner airlines and travel agencies with a solution powered by IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) standard. To mark the occasion, the German airline and ticketing expert welcomed the first passengers holding NDC-enabled Hahn Air tickets on one of its scheduled flights from Luxembourg to Dusseldorf on 16th August 2019.
“As Hahn Air today supports travel agencies in 190 markets and airlines of any size and business model, we carefully developed a scalable solution that meets the needs of all our current and future partners in a changing airline industry”, says Christopher Allison, Head of NDC at Hahn Air. “We are leveraging on the expertise we have acquired during our 20 years of being the leader in airline distribution solutions, as well as our involvement in the IATA activities driving and developing the NDC standard from the very beginning. We have been actively participating in several IATA committees and are currently holding the chair position of the NDC Orders Group, as well as a seat on the Shop-Order Board and the Architecture and Technology Strategy Board.”
Any airline with an NDC interface, a proprietary Application Programming Interface (API) or traditional reservation and ticketing interfaces – whether it is an existing Hahn Air partner airline or not – will be able to take advantage of Hahn Air’s new NDC solution. This includes access to Hahn Air’s network of connected agencies and aggregators, with the option to make additional connections to the airlines’ preferred agency partners. The new NDC platform is powered by 2e Systems, a software development company specializing in web, mobile and communications solutions for the airline industry.
HCL Technologies (HCL), a leading global technology company, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) for expansion of its MIHAN campus in Nagpur, in-line with HCL’s plan for Tier-II cities in the country. As part of the MoU, HCL will acquire 90 acres of land to add to the existing state-of-the-art 50-acre campus in MIHAN, Nagpur.
The MoU was exchanged in the presence of Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport & Highways of India and Shipping Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Government of India, Apparao VV, Chief Human Resource Officer, HCL Technologies and Sanjay Gupta, Corporate Vice President, HCL Technologies among other dignitaries.
HCL started its business operations in Nagpur in April 2018 and already has more than 800 employees servicing global accounts. The MIHAN centre delivers a spectrum of services, including Infrastructure Management, Application Development, Product Engineering, BPO, IT Services Management and HCL’s internal enabling functions. The campus, when fully operational, will employ over 8,000 personnel.
Gadkari said, “I am pleased to note the impressive growth of HCL Technologies and their contribution to socio-economic development of Nagpur. Our IT sector has contributed immensely to help India make its mark on the world map. This expansion of the HCL campus in Nagpur will provide many opportunities to local talent and promote growth and development in the city. I wish HCL the very best for all their future endeavours.”
Apparao said, “As a global technology company, it is our constant focus to reach out to the young talents who are looking for a career in the IT sector. Our expansion in Nagpur is going to be part of HCL’s strategic vision to expand and bring global opportunities to tier-II cities, beyond the large metropolises in the country. Our endeavour is to bring global IT careers to you without having you to move out of your homes to other cities.”
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