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Renaissance Hotels, part of Marriott International, has announced the opening of the Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel. It is the brand's first hotel in South India and the fourth in line to join the Renaissance Hotels India portfolio, following the launch of Renaissance Ahmedabad earlier this year.
Neeraj Govil, Area Vice President, South Asia, Marriott International said, “The hospitality sector is moving forward at a very fast pace and India is a strategic growth market for us right now. The rise of the middle class, increasing disposable incomes and double-digit growth in domestic tourism are very positive trends. Bengaluru as a market is witnessing phenomenal growth, its booming tech scene makes it one of the country’s most dynamic cities with exceptional economic growth and strong business activity. With the debut of the Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel, guests can experience a global, lifestyle hospitality brand that seeks to inspire, and encourages spontaneous discovery when travelling, be it for business or pleasure.”
With 276 rooms, the Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel offers an unsurpassed view of the Bangalore Turf Club. Establishing its proximity to this iconic Turf Club, the design elements at the hotel revolves around many horse-related aspects, in line with the brand’s design philosophy of “look and look again”. Life-sized horse heads, symbolic of locally incorporated features, greets guests at the entrance of the hotel.
The hotel houses four incredible culinary outlets - Lush, the casual all-day dining restaurant serving delectable cuisines from across the world. Cinnamon, the one-stop destination located at the lobby level for gourmet delicatessen items and sweet treats. R Bar is a stylish pub with a contemporary twist featuring live bands as a part of the brands signature program RLife Live. The PoolBar offers a delightful break from city life, with a healthy mix of Chef’s special detox salads served along with poolside favourites such as frozen margaritas & cold infused fruits.
The hotel offers extensive facilities for social events and meetings. Spread over 12680 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor space, the property features the brand’s signature R.E.N. Meetings Program with state-of-the-art audiovisual technology and high-speed Wi-Fi. A team of dedicated event and wedding specialists are available to assist and help organize events both large and small.
Firoz Jangaria, General Manager, Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel said, “It is our pleasure to introduce the city of Bengaluru to its first Renaissance Hotel. We are proud to be a part of this incredible growth story and see the hotel serve as a platform for guests to explore and share all that is vibrant and exciting about the city. With a distinct and conscious effort to present local experiences in an unusual manner, the Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel will always have that unexpected surprise waiting for its guests.”
During the recently held 42nd session, the 21 States composing the World Heritage Committee decided to inscribe the Chaîne des Puys - Limagne fault Tectonic Arena on the UNESCO World Heritage List. This unique landscape now joins sites such as the Grand Canyon, the Okavango Delta, Kilimanjaro and the Great Barrier Reef on this prestigious list. It is the first French natural site to be inscribed in Mainland France, and is one of the rare tectonic World Heritage sites.
Emblematic image of the Auvergne and the Puy-de-Dôme department, the Chaîne des Puys - Limagne fault Tectonic Arena has been recognised by UNESCO as an exceptional geological site. The alignment of the Chaîne des Puys volcanoes and the Limagne fault provides evidence for a large-scale process which has fashioned the Earth’s surface: continental break-up.
A natural showcase, the site demonstrates how the Earth’s crust was faulted and underwent collapse, allowing magma to rise up and the surface to be significantly uplifted. This geological history is superbly reflected in the landscape and stimulates the visitors’ imagination as they gaze across the lush green volcanoes at what could have been a new ocean.
Backed by the government, this inscription is the culmination of a long process initiated 11 years ago by the president of the Puy-de-Dôme department, Jean-Yves GOUTTEBEL. The nomination is deeply rooted in the local territory, drawing on local authorities, businesses, associations and inhabitants to further the recognition and preservation of this exceptional natural heritage. The dossier was compiled by the Departmental council of the Puy-de-Dôme, in close collaboration with local universities for the scientific component, and the Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Park for that of the management.
This international recognition follows more than 40 years work of protection and management of the site. It is our duty now to preserve, promote and keep alive this universal heritage. It must be used as a basis for sustainable development, able to blend protection of the geological and landscape features with support for traditional activities and responsible tourism.
Children of tourists, under the age of 18 visiting UAE will be exempted from visa fee, during the summer season from July 15th to September 15th of each year UAE cabinet announced on Sunday
The new law came in support of family tourism and to reduce the cost on visitors in the holiday season.
The Cabinet's decision reflects the UAE's position in the global tourism sector as a prime destination attracting visitors and families from all over the world.
The number of passengers traveling through the country's airports reached 32.8 million passengers during the first quarter of this year. Visitors come to the UAE to enjoy hotels and tourism services, with a number of festivals and activities happening throughout the year.
The decision of the Cabinet goes in line with the growth of the tourism sector in the country following the exemption of transit tourists from visa fees for the first 48 hours.
International aircraft leasing company Avolon recently issued a white paper titled ‘India, a 21st Century Powerhouse’, which provides an in-depth analysis of India’s air travel market. The company forecast that India’s current passenger fleet will double to almost 1,100 aircraft by 2027 – with the total value of aircraft to be delivered over the coming ten years, at current list prices, projected to be $60 billion. “After taking account of existing orders, there is a shortfall of 300 aircraft, with a current value of $20 billion, for India’s airline fleet development over the next ten years. This includes requirements for 125 narrowbody jets, 125 widebody jets and 50 large regional aircraft,” Avolon said.
“While economic and structural barriers remain, India offers an attractive long-term growth market with opportunities in the region significantly outweighing the challenges. Access to domestic and international air travel has never been greater for Indian travellers and an expanding middle class is increasingly taking advantage of the extensive network of domestic routes. However, the international aviation sector in India has been under-developed and, in order to achieve its full potential to support long-term economic growth, trade and tourism, it is imperative that it receives renewed focus and investment,” Dick Forsberg, Avolon’s Head of Strategy and author of the study, said.
According to the company, Indian airlines currently operate almost 600 passenger aircraft – 75 per cent narrowbody, 11 per cent widebody and 14 per cent regional aircraft. Notably, over 60 per cent of the in-service and committed fleet comprise future technology types.
India’s airports handled 295 million passengers in 2017, with the five busiest airports all approaching - or already exceeding - their terminal capacities. Despite significant state and private investment being committed, airport capacity will likely remain a constraint on growth. Low cost airlines carry 65 per cent of domestic passengers and their dominance is set to be maintained into the future, with load factors amongst the highest in the world.
Some of the statistics:
• 22.8 million international passengers were carried by Indian airlines in 2017, an increase of 14% on the previous year;
• Almost 117 million domestic passengers were carried in 2017, a 17.4% increase on 2016. Annual domestic passenger growth has averaged 15% since 2012;
• Domestic passenger demand is forecast to grow at an average annual rate of 9.6% over the coming decade, while an 8.3% growth rate is forecast for international passengers;
• India’s share of the international aviation market has steadily declined to below 40%, reflecting years of under-investment at Air India. Onerous requirements for potential buyers to assume $5bn of debt and guarantee all full-time jobs contributed to no offers being received for Air India in its recent flotation bid;
• Airline profitability has been improving, but the sector remains vulnerable to fuel prices, interest rates and exchange rate movement. Urgent changes to aviation fuel pricing and taxation are needed.
Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation recently chaired an interactive session of various stakeholders of the travel and tourism trade in Mumbai, to formulate an action plan for realising the full potential of Cruise Tourism in the country. Union Minister of State for Tourism KJ Alphons was also present at the session. Officials of Mumbai Port Trust, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation and Tourism Department of Maharashtra Government held detailed deliberations with representatives from the tourism and travel industry. The Action Plan that has emerged from these deliberations focuses on developing identified sites as attractive tourist destinations and generating awareness about them both within the country and abroad; ensuring cleanliness and operational efficiency.
As Mumbai would be the hub of Cruise Tourism in the country, it was decided in the meeting that areas like Sassoon Dock and Sewree Fort in the city, and nearby areas like Kanhoji Angre Island, Mandwa, Alibaug and Vijaydurg, would be developed as attractive tourist destinations.
In order to attract tourists, water sports activities are being planned around the Marine Drive area. Events like Ferrari Formula 1and Grand Prix are also on the anvil. Mandwa is to be developed as a Wellness Destinations with facilities for activities like Yoga and Meditation to be developed in land belonging to Mumbai Port. Restaurants and other tourist attractions will be developed in the Mumbai Port area in and around the DCT. The State Tourism Department will arrange reception activities like cultural shows for cruise arrivals.
The Action Plan lays a lot of emphasis on publicising the tourist destinations within the country and abroad through regular interactive sessions with all stakeholders. In case of Mumbai, this would involve Mumbai Port Trust’s participation in Overseas Travel Mart to showcase its tourism projects. Bollywood will be allowed to shoot in the ICT/DCT/ Water Front of Mumbai Port. Travel agencies will publicise Mumbai-Goa cruise and the Floating Restaurant at Gateway of India and Girgaum Chowpatty as tourist attractions for people of Mumbai and outside. Mumbai will also be highlighted among foreigners as an attractive wedding destination. Tourist Information Stands will be set up to provide information to tourists about the various attractions and amenities at the destination. The staff providing information should be professional, have good knowledge about the destination, and be proficient in English and other languages. Training will be organized for interpreters to handle foreign tourists.
Drawing attention to the need for cleanliness and operational efficiency, the Action Plan says that cleanliness of tourist areas, roadways, sidewalks, venues and beaches has to be ensured. SOPs need to be developed allowing operational efficiency, revenue options and diminished bureaucracy.
Government of India has taken several steps to promote Cruise Tourism in the country. These include:
Certainty of berth to cruise ships; Ousting charges have been removed – this has reduced overall cost; Discount of 42-66 per cent allowed in Port Charges; Simplified SOPs issued for processes to be observed by multiple agencies like port authorities, Customs, Immigration, Security, State Govt, Ship Agents, Tour Operators etc; E-Landing card system is ready for ease of travelling among Indian ports; E- visa introduced for online and on arrival visa facilities; Cabotage waived for foreign cruise vessels on Indian shores enabling passengers to board the vessel at Indian Ports for voyage along Indian shores; Cruise terminals upgraded with more passenger amenities; New cruise terminals to be constructed
Reputed consultant appointed by Shipping Ministry to draw up a road map for Cruise Tourism in India. They have projected that the number of tourists is likely to go up to 4.5 million by 2042-43.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has signed a management agreement with Pearl Grand Tower Hotel to bring back the InterContinental brand to the Sri Lankan capital. Due to open in 2019, InterContinental Colombo will feature 307 rooms including 47 suites. This iconic development will be spread across 480,000 sq. ft. and the luxury hotel is expected to be the tallest hotel tower comprising 42 floors, in Colombo 3, an important and established commercial area of the city.
Situated in close proximity to international and domestic Airports and 3 km from the city centre, the hotel will cater to the growing demand for business and leisure accommodation in the city.
The upcoming InterContinental Colombo will house impressive meeting and banqueting facilities spread over of 12,000 sq. ft. with the largest room having a capacity to accommodate 400 guests and a modern business centre to cater to the growing number of business travellers visiting the city.
On the occasion, Sudeep Jain, Vice President, Development, South West Asia, IHG commented, “We are excited to introduce our global luxury brand InterContinental® Hotels and Resorts to the beautiful island country, Sri Lanka, in partnership with the esteemed Pearl Grand Tower Hotel (Private) Limited. This move is in line with our strategy to grow IHG’s footprint across South West Asia, and expand the presence of the InterContinental brand in key cities and resort destinations in the region.
With a great location coupled with best in class amenities and highest level of service that the brand is associated with, we are confident of offering the finest luxury experiences to our guests, when we open our doors in 2019.”
A.L.M. Faris, Chairman, Pearl Grand Tower Hotel, a hotel owner/ operator and an entrepreneur said: “We are delighted to be partnering with a leading global hospitality company such as IHG for our upcoming project. The InterContinental brand is known worldwide for offering bespoke and unique luxury experiences to the guests, and we are thrilled to be bringing the brand to the country, to cater to the discerning local, domestic, and international travellers visiting Colombo, for leisure or for business.”
The Archaeological Survey of India, an organisation under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, in an order issued today, decided to allow photography within the premises of all centrally protected monuments/sites (except 3). However, the 3 monuments/sites in which the photography would not be permitted are Ajanta Caves and Leh Palace having paintings, and Mausoleum of Taj Mahal, Agra.
The above comes in the wake of the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi observing in his Speech at the Inaugural Event of ‘Dharohar Bhawan’ in New Delhi recently that Space Technology in the modern era has developed to such an extent that one can photograph even minute objects from far off distances, and in this background , it is indeed ironical to restrict the tourists/visitors from taking photographs of their experiences at heritage monuments and sites.
Airbus subsidiaries NAVBLUE and Aerial have signed contracts with three Indian startups, accelerated at Airbus Bizlab India, to power cutting-edge technologies that will help usher in new industry benchmarks in aeronautical data services, flight operations and imagery services.
NAVBLUE signed up Bengaluru-based Stelae Technologies to enhance aeronautical data services quality and consistency while enabling faster introduction to the market of the next generation fully data-driven and connected EFB (Electronic Flight Bag) solution. NAVBLUE also extended its agreement with EFLIGHT with the aim of providing a comprehensive service solution to the Indian business aviation market.
The third agreement was signed between Airbus Aerial and Navi Mumbai-based Airpix for a joint go-to market in India to provide geo-analytic solutions and imagery services in the country.
The agreements mark the successful culmination of Season 3 of Airbus BizLab’s start-up acceleration programme TAKE OFF 2018, which seeks to bolster the Indian government’s ‘Make in India’ and ‘Startup India’ initiatives. The latest partnerships are in addition to those that Airbus signed with Bengaluru based start-ups – Neewee and EFLIGHT in February 2018.
“For the last couple of years I have been convinced with the potential and the quality of entrepreneurs in India. I am pleased to see that all these partnerships between Airbus and Indian startups are proving me right,” said Bruno Gutierres, Global Head, Airbus BizLab.
Bizlab is a part of Airbus’ innovative strategy to bring together start-ups and Airbus “intrapreneurs” to work and speed up the transformation of their innovative ideas into valuable businesses. It has a community of over 2000 B2B start-ups from India, South East Asia and Israel. Through its six-month “acceleration programme” for start-ups and internal projects, Airbus Bizlab gives access to a large number of coaches, experts and mentors in various domains that help start-ups and internal projects speed-up the transformation of their ideas into valuable businesses.
As part of the TAKE OFF programme, Airbus BizLab will sponsor two travels to Europe for Indian start-ups in a period of six months as well as fund up to 50,000 euros to them for the demonstration of proof of concept.
“NAVBLUE believes in India’s potential for multiple reasons. One is India’s proven capacity for innovation within the IT sector, which is demonstrated perfectly by the start-ups present at the Airbus’ BizLab, with whom we work very closely. Another is the potential of the aerospace industry; India has the world’s fastest-growing domestic airline market,” said Fabrice Villaumé, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at NAVBLUE.
“We are very excited to work with startups and SMEs in India to help power this growth, and bring value to the Indian aviation industry with our integrated solutions.”
The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) has championed the cause of skilling less privileged youth in India to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Since 2007, IHCL's Building Livelihoods Programme has trained and certified over 20,000 youth who have dropped out from schools from identified remote areas, urban slums and tribal belts in association with Industrial Training Institutes, Non-Governmental Organisations, TISS School of Vocational Education and Tata Strive amongst others.
In line with its ethos of community building and development, IHCL along with Tata Strive currently runs fourteen skill centers across India. A large number of these skill training efforts have been in Housekeeping, Food & Beverage Services, Spa, Kitchen and Bakery trades and are structured as practical short courses with in-built on-the-job exposure, training in soft skills and basic spoken English.
Through the Programme, the company continues to build a quality talent pipeline for the hospitality industry with an aim to develop and support deserving youth and their families in the country. Over 85 per cent of these trained youth secure immediate job placements in the hotel and service industry.
The trained youth are awarded professional certification on completion of the courses in association with the programme partners and Tourism Sector Skills Council.
The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, a luxury portfolio of nine award-winning properties across India, has been voted #7 among Top 20 Hotel Brands in the World in a global readers survey conducted by Travel + Leisure USA. Three years in a row, The Leela has received top rankings on quality, location, service, restaurants, and value offered by its properties.
The Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards survey, one of the most prestigious in the travel and hospitality industry, is a worldwide survey where discerning travellers hand-pick and rate, among other things, their experiences with hotel brands.
Rajiv Kaul, President, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts said, “We are proud to be recognised among the Top 10 World’s Best Hotel brands, for the 3rd consecutive year, and we thank our discerning guests and readers of Travel + Leisure for conveying their appreciation. These achievements further reaffirm our commitment to providing our guests with personalised service from the heart and making every guest stay a memorable Leela experience.”
Since its inception, The Leela has from a single hotel at the edge of Mumbai to a collection of unique properties which have redefined luxury hospitality across India. Today, The Leela has expanded its hotel portfolio to nine world-class luxury hotels spread across key destinations in India, with plans to increase its footprint within the country and overseas through management contracts. Upcoming projects include a resort in Jaipur, a palace hotel in Agra where every room will face the Taj Mahal, and business hotels in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
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