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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

Jamaica Tourist Board has launched the ‘Rediscover Jamaica’ program to encourage Jamaicans to taste, see, feel and enjoy the country’s tourism product.

Renewing and upgrading the tourism process for Jamaicans, so they may safely enjoy the island with their friends and family is a priority at this time. The rush of adventure, the beauty of nature, pristine horizons, or simply the relaxation of the beach are experiences Jamaicans will enjoy on their staycation.

“Travellers from around the world come to our island for a complete vacation experience and we are lucky to call it home,” said Donovan White, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “We are excited to welcome our residents with the assurance that their vacation in Jamaica will be full of unforgettable moments. This is an excellent time for Jamaicans to experience and rediscover the beauty and rhythm of home.”

Jamaica has announced revised measures for International travelers visiting the island as of July 15, as it extends phase I of reopening. All visitors will still be required to complete an online Travel Authorization. Travellers can apply for the Travel Authorizations up to five (5) days prior to arrival on the island. All visitors will still be screened upon arrival in Jamaica via thermal temperature checks, symptom observation and a brief interview with a Health Officer.

“Health and safety are paramount as we reopen our tourist industry on a phased basis,” said Director White, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “Risk assessment is an important part of preventing further spread of COVID-19 and ensuring that our visitors and residents stay safe. We have developed and are implementing procedures throughout the visitor journey that ensure a seamless process so they are able to enjoy what our island and its people have to offer.”

The Rediscover Jamaica campaign aims to generate interest among Jamaicans to use the tourism facilities available on the island, including accommodations, attractions, transportation and shopping.

Sabre Corporation has announced two milestones on the road to enabling NDC capabilities and creating the leading global marketplace for personalized travel.

Achieved in collaboration with travel agency Flight Centre Travel Group and an airline partner, Sabre is now Level 4 certified as an aggregator under the International Air Transport Association (IATA) NDC Certification Program.

 “Flight Centre Travel Group is delighted to have supported Sabre in achieving this milestone. As one of the largest leisure and business travel agencies in the world, our priority has always been to drive the NDC roadmap in order to ensure our customers benefit from the opportunities that NDC presents,” said John Beauvais, Global Head of Supply, Flight Centre Travel Group.

“We have worked closely with Sabre as a lead partner in their “Beyond NDC” initiative to help achieve this over the last two years. However, in the post-Covid era, NDC will play an even greater role in travel distribution. The fact that Sabre is IATA Level 4 certified will enable our travel consultants to access an even wider choice of content and provide their customers with an even greater degree of personalization.”

The certification confirms Sabre’s technical ability to support a set of criteria related to full offer and order management capabilities. It also demonstrates additional progress for Sabre in going beyond the NDC standards – to facilitate omnichannel retailing and distribution of intelligent airline offers and develop scalable capabilities for travel intermediaries.

Moreover, Belarusian Airlines Belavia became the first carrier globally to achieve IATA’s Level 3 certification using Sabre’s airline IT NDC capabilities, representing a meaningful step forward in the airline’s retailing evolution.

 “As we ramp up our operations in response to the easing of global lockdowns, our customers are increasingly demanding personalized experiences and flexibility,” said Uladzimir Barkun, Deputy Director General, IT (CIO) of Belavia.  “NDC plays a key role in enabling us to fulfil those expectations, helping us to market our content more effectively. Making our content available through all channels – including NDC – will ultimately help us in our recovery efforts, and we are grateful to Sabre for partnering with us to make this happen during such a difficult time for the travel industry.”

The Ministry of Culture has announced 7 new circles of Archaeological Survey of India.  Prahlad Singh Patel, Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (IC), said that the Ministry of Culture has taken this step in accordance with the Prime Minister’s call to facilitate and strengthen the process of preservation and registration of archaeological monuments along with registration of artefacts with self-declaration.

The Minister informed that new circles have been created in Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal and Gujarat. He said that Trichy, Raiganj, Rajkot, Jabalpur, Jhansi & Meerut have been announced as new circles. In Archaeology, the Hampi city in Karnataka is a place of international repute hence Hampi Mini Circle has been converted into a full-fledged circle, Patel added. Earlier there were 29 ASI circles across the country.

He said that in a large state like Tamil Nadu which has thousands of temples and glorious memories of the Chola kings, Trichy has been made a new circle along with the circle of Chennai. Hampi city in Karnataka is a place of international importance from the point of view of archaeological heritage therefore the Hampi Sub-Circle now has been made a new circle. In West Bengal, Raiganj has been made a new circle along with Kolkata, this will eliminate geographical inconvenience in a big state like Bengal. In Gujarat, Rajkot has been announced a new circle along with Vadodara.

Shri Patel said that Jabalpur has been announced a new circle along with Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh. This will include the monuments from Jabalpur, Rewa, Shahdol and Sagar divisions. The Minister also informed that Jhansi in Bundelkhand and Meerut in western Uttar Pradesh have been announced two new circles along with Lucknow and Agra in Uttar Pradesh.

To foster the spirit of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat, IHM Srinagar and IHM Chennai of Ministry of Tourism organized an online programme ‘Fascinating Folk Dances of Tamil Nadu, Jammu& Kashmir &Ladakh’ this week. Students from IHM Chennai and 3 students from IHM Srinagar performed the folk dances for these paired states under EBSB.

The students performed in remote and recorded the performance and shared the video online. The performances were broadcasted using online platform and a speech was given by the Nodal Officer appreciating the importance of folk dances of both the States. The event was watched and highly appreciated by all the students and the staff of both the Institutes.

An introduction was given to the famous folk dances from these locations, for eg dances which are performed at weddings and main events in Kashmir like Kud, Dumhal, Rouf, Hafiza, BhandJashan among others.   Similarly, the tribal dances of Tamil Nadu include dances from the simplest form of a puppet show to the PoikkalKuthiraiAttam in which performers dress like a peacock for MayilAttam , as a horse while performing PoikkalKuthirai, as a bull in KaalaiAttam, snake like dress for PaampuAttam and as a bear in KaradiAttam.

The event ended on a high note appreciating the cultural diversity and richness by the participants. E-Certificates were given to all the performers and participants, a total of 192 students participated in the event.

Hotelogix, a Cloud PMS company, AxisRooms, a distribution company and RepUp, a guest experience management company have announced their merger into Hotelogix, headquartered in Singapore. This three-way merger marks the radical beginning of a new era of hospitality solutions that will now be re-imagined and delivered by this integrated platform which will cover operations, distribution, reputation, marketing automation, and guest-facing technologies.

The merger has given Hotelogix an aggregate customer base spanning 100+ countries, powering 10000+ hospitality businesses ranging from hotels, resorts, boutique hotels, hostels to aparthotels, campsites, villas, vacation rentals, independents, and chains. With 200+ employees, the new entity has emerged as one of the largest SaaS providers for the hospitality sector in the APAC market and aims at aggregating 20K+ customers in the next three years.

Hotels today use multiple systems through a guest's lifecycle, from pre-booking to post-checkout stages, which then require integration of various systems leading to high costs, broken experience, delayed implementation, and fragmented support. Worst still, it leaves guests with sub-optimal stay experience. The core objective of the merger is to harness the power of data across operations, distribution and customer experience systems to deliver exceptional value and seamless experience to its clients' customers.

Aditya Sanghi who will continue to be the CEO at Hotelogix, said, “With this merger, we will have a wide range of solutions to offer which will give superior value to our customers and increase our share of wallet. This definitely gives us a huge competitive edge against our competitors at a global level. I am very excited to work with the combined leadership, people, customers, partners and technologies in our journey ahead.”

Anil Kumar Prasanna, CEO, AxisRooms said, “The future of hotel technology needs to be open and accessible to every hotel partner or technology provider. If hotels want the full range of services or just a part of the stack, we want the technology to integrate as seamlessly as possible and be available to all partners with this merger. We have worked closely with Hotelogix and RepUp for a few years; customer-centricity has been our common focus, together we will enhance this joint vision to greater heights and create legendary customer experiences.”

Pranjal Prashar, current CEO, RepUp said, “We are very excited to partner with two of the finest companies in the hospitality technology ecosystem with whom we have always had significant working synergies. With our customer-centric and in-depth machine learning approach, coupled with other individual technological prowesses of the merging entities, we will continue to deliver solutions of high relevance for our customers. Our existing and potential customers across the hospitality industry can now avail a newer and advanced level of agile solutions across the full spectrum of the guest lifecycle.”

Accel Partners, Vertex Ventures, Saama Capital and Seedfund amongst others are existing investors of the companies and are backing this merger. Jagadeesan Kumar (JK), Managing Partner at JV Advisors LLP acted as the exclusive financial advisor for the three companies.

IATA is appealing to all travellers to wear a face covering during their journey for the safety of passengers and crew during the ongoing COVID19 pandemic.

Wearing face coverings is a key recommendation of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) guidance for safe operations during the pandemic, as developed jointly with the World Health Organisation and governments.

IATA is emphasising the need for passengers to comply with the recommendation following recent reports of travelers refusing to wear a face covering during a flight. While this is confined to a very small number of individuals, some on-board incidents have become violent, resulting in costly and extremely inconvenient diversions to offload those passengers.

Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO, IATA said, “This is a call for common sense and taking responsibility. The vast majority of travelers understand the importance of face covering both for themselves as well as for their fellow passengers, and airlines appreciate this collective effort. But a small minority create problems. Safety is at the core of aviation, and compliance with crew safety instructions is the law. Failure to comply can jeopardize a flight’s safety, disrupt the travel experience of other passengers and impact the work environment for crew.”

Obligations Under Conditions of Carriage

A plane ticket is a contract under which the passenger agrees to the airline’s terms and Conditions of Carriage. Those conditions can include the airline’s right to refuse carriage to a person whose behavior interferes with a flight, violates government regulations or causes other passengers to feel unsafe. Airlines also highlight the need to wear a face covering during the booking process, at check-in, at the gate and in onboard announcements.

Failure to comply means that a passenger faces the risk of being offloaded from their flight, restrictions on future carriage or penalties under national laws.

Protect Yourself, Protect Others

According to tests at the University of Edinburgh, a face covering, when properly worn, can cut the forward spread of potential COVID19 droplets from the mouth by 90 per cent.

Other measures to protect the safety of passengers during the pandemic include contactless check-in and immigration formalities at both the departure and arrival airports, social distancing where possible, increased cleaning and sanitization at airports and on aircraft, and contact tracing.

Dr David Powell, Medical Advisor, IATA said, “The research we have seen to date, and our own investigations with the world’s airlines, tell us that the risk of catching COVID19 on a flight remains very low. There appears to be a number of factors supporting that. The high flow rate of cabin air from top to bottom, constant filtering of air through state-of-the-art HEPA filters, the fact that all seats face the same direction and of course wearing a face covering and sanitization of the aircraft all play a part. This is not just about protecting yourself. It’s about protecting everyone else on the flight.”

Saudi Arabia first opened its doors to international tourists in September 2019. By March 2020, more than 500,000 tourism visas had been issued, making Saudi Arabia the fastest growing destination in the world, according to the WTTC Economic Impact Report.

International visitors could explore the country’s five UNESCO heritage sites, as well as pristine beaches, mountain views and bustling cities, until international borders closed following the Covid-19 outbreak.

However, as internal travel reopened this summer, The Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) launched the Kingdom’s largest domestic tourism campaign, Saudi Summer, targeting 11 different locations.

In the seven weeks since the campaign’s launch on 25 June, overall tourism spending has amounted to around SAR 6 billion (USD 1.6 billion) – an increase of 26 percent over the same period last year. The STA has partnered with 90 tourism businesses, including hotels, tour operators and destination management companies, to develop 100 tourism offers and packages across multiple price points, for families, groups and single travelers as well as ensuring the safest offering for tourists in the wake of COVID-19.

The success of the Saudi Summer campaign is helping the Kingdom prepare to receive international visitors once again, as soon as it is viable for them to travel.

Saudi Arabia is home to unique natural offerings, such as Al-Ahsa oasis, the largest oasis in the world. The oasis comprises canals, springs and wells and is an example of human settlement dating back to Neolithic times.

Another highlight this year is the opportunity to visit one of Saudi Arabia’s unique natural offerings. The Al-Hijr Archaeological Site, or ‘Hegra’, in AlUla, is the largest preserved Nabatean site south of Jordan, and is due to the public in October 2020.

The country also boasts stunning landscapes, such as The Edge of the World (Jebel Fihrayn) – dramatic towering cliffs in the heart of the desert, northwest of Riyadh. Majestic views can be seen from Abha on the edge of the Sarawat Mountains in the Asir region and from Taif, also known as the City of Roses, in reference to the flowers that grow in its surrounding wadis and mountains.

The Red Sea Project, based around an archipelago of more than 90 islands, is undergoing sustainable development into a luxury destination, providing opportunities for nature lovers and outdoor adventurers to explore the area’s culture and nature.

Adventure-seekers can find a range of outdoor activities, including hiking the Al Wahbah volcanic crater outside of Taif, quad biking through Riyadh’s red sand dunes, scuba diving in the crystal blue waters of the Red Sea and swimming amongst an ancient shipwreck.

Not only is the Kingdom home to ancient civilizations, but it also has a burgeoning contemporary art and food scene. The second largest city, Jeddah, takes pride in fostering up-and-coming experimental artists. Jeddah is also becoming known for its vibrant dining scene, which includes fresh seafood alongside numerous trendy food trucks.

Saudi Arabia is a country of endless variety, with each region offering a different experience. There is something for all travellers around the world to enjoy, and as soon as people are ready to travel again, Saudi Arabia will be ready to welcome them.

MakeMyTrip announced the launch of a dedicated platform, myPartner for travel agents to empower and assist them in offering seamless and enhanced travel booking experience to travellers. The intuitive and user-friendly platform has been designed to provide offline, local travel agents access to one of widest selection of online travel inventory. The myPartner platform will enable them to offer a variety of travel choices, bundled with customization, personalization and travel booking convenience for their customers.

The rapid digital adoption in metros and non-metros, accelerated further due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has led to drastic changes in buying behaviors of travellers, as they shift online to explore and make informed travel purchase decisions.

The fast-evolving environment requires local, offline travel agents to embrace digitization to provide for travellers’ needs while enhancing overall customer service levels to cater to their demands in the new normal. While digitizing day-to-day booking processes of all offline travel agents alike, myPartner has been conceptualized and built to immensely benefit the highly fragmented local travel market beyond metro cities.

With real-time access to an inventory spanning across all travel segments, local agents in tier II, III markets and beyond will be able to simplify and provide transparency throughout the booking process to travellers, while providing more travel options than ever before.

Speaking about the myPartner platform, Rajesh Magow, Group CEO, MakeMytTrip said, “The travel ecosystem demands deeper and wider collaboration amongst all stakeholders in the value chain in order to make a sustained recovery as the sector has been hit hard by the pandemic. Through our new MyPartner offering we are very proud to give access of our rich content and inventory of domestic and international hotels at best prices to travel agents in the country. This will help them in making a faster recovery as travel restrictions are lifted gradually.”

As Indians return to travelling in the new normal, travel agents leveraging this platform will be able to offer options that adhere to MakeMyTrip’s ‘mySafety’ standards which is designed in accordance with the guidelines issued by the health authorities. The mySafety standard focuses on prioritizing safety across all travel touch points offering a safer environment throughout the travel journey.

THE Park Hotels has introduced a specially curated ‘Chef and Bartender at Home’ service under its Food Reimagined brand pillar, that allows guests to enjoy the authentic flavours of THE Park within the walls of their home.

This service offers customised menu for food and drinks at various price points. The teams are well-trained and equipped to treat you to a great culinary experience and prepare those choicest delicacies in the comforts of your kitchen.

Under the brand’s gold certified hygiene and safety program, S.H.I.E.L.D., every team member has undergone mandatory hygiene, safety, sanitization and social distancing training. These stringent hygiene and sanitization measures will ensure a premium and hassle-free experience.

Speaking about the initiative, Chef Sharad Dewan, Regional Director - Food Production, THE Park Hotels said “We have missed the bustling restaurants across our hotels and the chance to serve our guests their favourite cuisine. If you cannot come to THE Park Hotels, we bring THE Park Hotels to you. We are excited to bring the best of THE Park flavours, cuisines and dishes straight to our guests’ homes. This is the perfect retort to both taste and hygiene concerns. We hope to create safe, memorable and Anything But OrdinaryTM experiences for our customers.”

This initiative has been launched across all hotels of THE Park in Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, New Delhi, Visakhapatnam and Goa.

Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, and Brussels Airlines are generally changing their ticket fare structure until the end of December. With immediate effect, all fares can be rebooked several times free of charge.

In response to the pandemic, Lufthansa Group Airlines had already made a one-off free of charge rebooking possible in spring. The new regulation applies worldwide to all new bookings on short, medium and long-haul routes.

The Lufthansa Group airlines are thus meeting their customers' needs for flexible travel arrangements to an even greater extent. However, customers may incur additional costs if, for example, the original booking class is no longer available when rebooking to a different date or destination. Any difference will be compensated for by means of additional payment.

The Lufthansa Group network airlines are also responding to the special needs of customers during the corona crisis and continue to offer a return flight promise on all European routes and, together with AXA Partners, a travel insurance policy for the protection in the country of travel.

On-site cover applies in the event of a travel warning or a significant spread of the pandemic. Travelers will be flown back to Germany, Austria or Switzerland with Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian Airlines.

 

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