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This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.
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Villa Hotels & Resorts has appointed 2Hub as representative for the India market.
Villa Hotels offers holiday choices for every mood ranging from the family-friendly ‘Fun Island Resort & Spa’ to the romantic five-star ‘Paradise Island Resort & Spa’.
According to a release, 2Hub Reps will play the role of a strategic partner for Villa Hotels & Resorts in implementing the hotel’s Sales, marketing and PR strategy in the India Market.
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) has appointed Suzanne Neufang as its next Executive Director, leading the combined GBTA and the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE).
Neufang will take over on February 24 from Dave Hilfman, who since July 2020 has served as the Association’s interim executive director. Hilfman will remain with GBTA in a temporary consulting role to smooth the transition.
Neufang, whose diverse executive career has included senior leadership roles with several high-profile travel and technology companies, most recently served as Senior Vice President Americas for HRS Global Hotel Solutions. Before HRS, Neufang worked for 10 years as an executive leader with Sabre Travel Network, GetThere and Travelocity and later as a divisional Chief Marketing Officer for Fortune 500 software giant Intuit.
Kadakampally Surendran, Tourism Minister of Kerala, inaugurated the second phase development projects at Akkulam Tourist Village, completed at a cost of Rs 9.34 crore.
Surendran also laid the foundation for the Rs 185.23-crore Akkulam Lake conservation project, to be funded by Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB), on the occasion. The project is aimed at scientifically preserving the lake with the active participation of the local community.
Surendran said with the completion of all the projects Akkulam Tourist Village would become a major sought-after destination in the city.
“For Akkulam, the development project is a long-cherished dream. The children’s park and other facilities have been designed and executed attractively. The next stage is the completion of Akkulam Lake preservation works,” he added.
“We were able to complete the development and renovation projects in tourism centres across the state within the time-frame set for them,” Rani George, Principal Secretary, Tourism, Govt. of Kerala, added.
Presenting the report on the project, Kerala Tourism Director P Bala Kiran said Akkulam has immense possibility for tourism development and the department is aiming at implementing an overall development plan for the area in various phases.
Kumari Arya Rajendran, Mayor, Thiruvananthapuram, presided over the function.
The projects dedicated included musical fountain, artificial waterfall, bicycle track, cafeteria, office room and renovated swimming pool--- all at a cost of Rs 4.84 crore, and the children’s park at a cost of Rs 4.5 crore.
Being the major attraction at the Village, the musical fountain, which offers a spectacular experience to the viewers, is one of the best in India considering the technology and aesthetic design. Executed by the Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society (ULCCS) Ltd., the musical fountain provides a breathtaking visual experience about the rich and diverse culture of Kerala focusing on the theme ‘Unity in Diversity’. Its stunning effect is created by the application of DMX Technology. It gives the right feel of spatial dimensions and harmony of the elements—water, earth and air.
In addition to the Rs 9.34 projects, work on a flight simulator museum at a cost of Rs two crore is nearing completion at the locality.
The bicycle track is laid out at the hilltop adjacent to the park and seating facilities are also arranged at the track.
Krishna Teja, MD, KTDC; Kumari Athira L.S, Chairperson, Town Planning Standing Committee; and Suresh Kumar. S, Councillor, Akkulam Ward, among others were present. K. Rajkumar, Joint Director, Tourism, proposed a vote of thanks.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) celebrates the 7th anniversary of its majestic integrated Terminal 2 on February 12, 2021. Considered the quintessence of ‘Indianness’, the state-of-the-art Terminal 2 offers truly advanced technologies and exceptional facilities, meeting passenger requirements and providing efficient transit.
As India's first vertical passenger terminal, CSMIA’s T2 set the global benchmark of world-class and robust airport infrastructure for passengers. Since its inception, the terminal has been a landmark for the deployment of pioneering technologies and initiatives for passengers travelling from the airport. Below are seven unique 'Firsts' adopted by CSMIA, making each journey a memorable experience for the passengers.
Jaya HE Museum: Travellers can experience India’s largest public art initiative, Jaya He Museum, located at Terminal 2 offering a glimpse into India's rich legacy. The 3.2 km multi-storey art wall is an extraordinary platform that brought together 100 artists, 1000 artisans, designers, architects, art historians, and conservators to distil and interpret India culturally, aesthetically, historically and socially. Terminal 2 is the first of its kind to introduce an art initiative of this scale, which provides travellers a glimpse into the rich legacy of Indian heritage as they transit through the airport. In the wake of the pandemic, the airport recently launched the Jaya He app, available on all play stores, that regales passengers with a guided audio-visual tour of the artwork at T2 from the comfort of their homes.
Pranaam Services: Anticipating an increased passenger traffic with the inauguration of T2, CSMIA introduced a unique end-to-end guest relations service called the 'Pranaam' services. Specially designed to elevate the passenger experience, the meet-and-greet service is available for all domestic and international passengers at the airport. Passengers opting for this service can avail an escorted journey right from the minute they reach the airport. The curated guest services also includes packages that provide trolleys, baby strollers, porter services and buggy transfers to name a few. Pranaam Services creates a seamless and hassle-free journey for the passengers thereby creating a memorable experience of their time at the airport.
Niranta: CSMIA is the first airport in the country to launch a luxury hotel located within the terminal building for its passengers. The Niranta Airport Transit Hotel & Lounge truly embodies serenity and hospitality and helps passengers rejuvenate between flights. Offering 24-hour check-in/check-out facility, the hotel has world-class facilities, especially construed for the discerning traveller transiting via CSMIA.
GVK Lounge: In a visionary move, CSMIA was the first airport to introduce a common lounge facility available for passengers across all airlines. The aesthetically designed GVK Lounge can be availed by all First Class and Business class passengers of any domestic or international airline. Offering premium services, including a gourmet dining and free wifi amongst other services, the GVK lounge offers a relaxing atmosphere for passengers to unwind before their travel.
CUSS Kiosks: CSMIA was the first airport to introduce a fully automated check-in process generating boarding pass and baggage tag through 'Common Use Self Service (CUSS)' kiosk. The technology allows passengers to complete their check in and generate their boarding pass and baggage tag without direct human interaction. Taking one step ahead, CSMIA added the self-baggage drop counters, after generating the baggage tag, passengers could drop their bags at the self-baggage-drop counter before proceeding to security check. Moreover, the airport also partnered with luxury hotel chains to extend the check-in facility for guests even before they leave the hotel. Recently, CSMIA launched a QR-code based technology that enables passengers to scan a QR code in order to gain remote access from their phones to complete their check-in process via the CUSS kiosk.
Aviserv Lounge: CSMIA’s T2 is the first terminal to offer a transit lounge at the arrival area. Located near the exit of the airport, the Aviserv lounge is equipped with sleeping pods, shower and food and beverage facilities and services in specially curated packages per the preference of the passengers. Furthermore, the Aviserv lounge is the first lounge within an airport that is also available to non-passengers waiting to receive their loved ones from the airport.
Express COVID-19 test facility: In the wake of the pandemic, CSMIA is the first airport to launch a unique COVID-19 test facility at the airport that produces results in just 13 minutes. The express test method by Abbott ‘ID Now’ is available round the clock for all international arriving passengers at INR 4500. Reducing the wait time for the results and providing an early detection of the virus in time for the passengers to take the necessary measures to prevent disease transmission, this new rapid technology enables the airport to provide a safer environment for passengers and airport staff.
The unique and exceptional offerings introduced at CSMIA's Terminal 2 mirror its vision to provide the highest standard of services and ensure a unique and memorable experience to passengers at the airport.
The Accor group has collaborated with Microsoft to launch the All Connect offer, a new concept of hybrid meetings based on Microsoft Teams. This concept will allow customers around the world to adapt to new working methods, born of the Covid-19 pandemic and destined to be perpetuated.
55 per cent of Accor hotels currently have meeting rooms offering hybrid solutions. Following its launch next April, the All Connect concept will be the guarantee for Accor establishments to offer an enriched experience, constituting the benchmark in terms of hybrid meetings. The group's ambition, by 2022, is to ensure compliance with these new standards for 100% of its addresses, belonging to all of the group's brands, ranging from economy to ultra-luxury.
By associating the brands of the Accor group, and their culture of service, with the power of meeting and collaboration technology embodied by Microsoft Teams, this new offer will allow companies and organizers to plan physical meetings at the hotel, while ensuring remote and simultaneous interaction with multiple entry panels. These meetings will be held on the Microsoft Teams platform, to which participants can connect to discuss remotely. In the Accor meeting spaces, equipped with Microsoft Teams Rooms and Surface Hub 2S technologies, face-to-face people will be connected to those who will join them remotely using these cutting-edge audio and video tools. The presentation of content will be very simple and remote speakers will interact as if they were in the same room. Thanks to this solution, Accor customers and participants will be able to meet in a professional and inclusive manner, anywhere in the world.
The ALL CONNECT concept will mainly focus on small meetings (from 8 to 50 physical participants). Customers will benefit from the expertise of dedicated teams, the experience of the Accor group in terms of meetings and events, and an integrated digital reservation platform. Specific and tailor-made meeting offers will be offered to participants, who will also benefit from the most rigorous health and safety measures in the sector, defined as part of the ALLSAFE protocol, co-developed with Bureau Veritas and validated by external experts.
Studies carried out by Accor show that 50 per cent of the physical meetings initially planned for 2021 by the clients of its Meetings & Events division will evolve into virtual formats, and that 70 per cent of those questioned consider hybrid meetings to be an essential offer in the future. .
In addition, sector analysis shows that the trend for remote events and meetings is expected to continue beyond the pandemic, even if corporate budgets return to pre-crisis levels. This hybrid meeting offer will be a new source of revenue for the group, as corporate clients will prioritize more sustainable business travel, continuing to prioritize health and safety, while striving to maintain their business relations.
Patrick Mendes, Group Chief Commercial Officer, in charge of sales, marketing, distribution and loyalty activities, Accor, said, “The Covid-19 pandemic has caused business travelers and meeting planners to review their working methods. Virtual and hybrid formats have imposed themselves in the daily life of companies. The new All Connect concept , created in collaboration with Microsoft Teams, will be a major tool for our customers that will offer them the possibility of organizing secure and qualitative hybrid meetings, while allowing them to continue to prioritize health, safety and sustainable development. All Connect is a new example of the Accor group's responsiveness to the current crisis, and follows the launch of the AllSafe protocoland the deployment of office and co-working concepts in hotels. We are delighted to initiate this collaboration with Microsoft, at a time when the Teams solution has already been adopted by 115 million daily users, who come together in the course of their work to exchange, call, discuss and collaborate.”
Jean-Philippe Courtois, Executive Vice President and President of Microsoft International Sales, Marketing and Operations, said, “The future of work will be hybrid: the services and experiences that companies offer their customers will reflect this. We want each person, each company, to benefit from this new working environment in order to guarantee the continuity of their activities. This is why we are proud to collaborate with Accor to offer All Connect, an offer that will allow the group's customers to stay connected, everywhere in the world.”
Sayaji Hotel Pune celebrated the commencement of The Pearl, an all-new premium banquet place for wedding and corporate events. The Pearl brings a rare combination of high-quality, elite and deluxe all under one roof and promises to provide grandeur for all offered customized services that will redefine the standards of celebration.
This can house up to 150-200 guests at a time and almost 320 guests in theatre-style seating arrangement. It is spread over 2,000 square feet of carpet area and has an outside pre-function area of 800 sq. ft.
Accor today announced Singapore’s first Mondrian hotel will be built in the heart of the city’s prominent Duxton Hill neighborhood and is set to open in early 2023.
The property is being developed by Craig Road Property Holdings. This news comes on the heels of Accor’s recent announcement regarding its planned venture with Ennismore, which will see the creation of one of the world’s largest and fastest growing lifestyle and entertainment operators set to include Mondrian hotels.
Mondrian Singapore, a luxury lifestyle hotel comprised of 300 guestrooms and suites, a restaurant, a lounge and a rooftop bar will combine historic architecture from Singapore’s centuries-old shophouses with a new build of modern, contemporary influences.
Chadi Farhat, Chief Operating Officer of sbe said: “We are thrilled to bring the iconic Mondrian brand to Singapore’s Duxton Hill neighborhood. Mondrian is a natural fit for a global destination like Singapore. The property will provide a cultural hub of food and beverage experiences for locals and travelers alike. Mondrian Singapore will be more than a hotel; it will be a destination.”
Sun You Ning, Director, Craig Road Property Holdings said: “We are excited to debut the Mondrian brand in South East Asia and Singapore with our partner Accor. Mondrian Singapore will provide guests an opportunity to stay in the heart of Duxton Hill, a vibrant heritage conservation area surrounded by Michelin-starred eateries, award winning bars, and iconic retail stores – all within walking distance to the Central Business District.”
A collaboration between DP Architects and Studio Carter, Mondrian Singapore will feature a lower three-story building in a contemporary take on the famous Singapore ‘shophouse’ building typology. This portion of the hotel features a terracotta roof and colonial-style window shutters and will include the hotel’s premier guest accommodations in loft suites.
Mondrian Singapore is one of the new Mondrian properties that Accor plans to open globally and will be one of the first to open in early 2023 in its next phase of expansion following Accor’s acquisition of sbe’s hotel brands. It follows the company’s recent announcement of Mondrian Gold Coast opening in 2023 and the upcoming opening of Mondrian Shoreditch London in Q2 2021 and Mondrian Bordeaux and Mondrian Cannes in France in 2022.
The debut of the Mondrian brand to Singapore reflects the strategic expansion of the brand’s international footprint, which will include soon-to-be announced Mondrian properties in the Dominican Republic, Germany, the Maldives, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Muziris Paddle 2021 concluded the fourth edition of its two-day kayaking expedition themed on ‘Paddle to Preserve’. The event saw the participation from 100+ Kayakers, stand-up paddlers, Inflatable rafts and sailors from India and abroad, including 20 women kayakers on February 12th and 13th.
The event was organised by Jellyfish Watersports, in association with the Muziris Heritage Project of Kerala Tourism. The event flagged off from the Kottappuram Corniche Kodungalloor and ended at the KTDC Marina, Bolgatty Palace Island Resort, Cochin. The closing ceremony held at KTDC Marina of Bolgatty was attended by stalwarts like M AnilKumar, Kochi Mayor, T.J Vinod,Ernakulam MLA, IRS Officer T P SalimKumar, CEO of Kerala maritime board, P M Naushad, Managing Director, Muziris projects, Sreejith A K, General Manager Jellyfish Watersports, Ibrahim Zabin, Marketing Manager Muziris Project.
This year the participants followed the paddling route from Muziris to Kochi while covering the overall distance of 40 km. Each day they covered an easy distance of 20 km traversing through rivers, backwaters and important Muziris destinations en route. On the first day, the participants travelled through the Periyar and entered the National Waterway 3 near Munambam. The second day, the tour resumed from Sravanam Greens and subsequently entered the Vembanadu Lake, covering Nedungadu Veeranpuzha and Vypin Manjanakkadu.
“The event aimed to revive the legacy of the ancient Muziris and to promote the usage of our waterways for eco-tourism and increase awareness on the adverse effects of urban pollution in water bodies,” said Sreejith AK, General Manager, Jellyfish Watersports. The event strictly followed the COVID protocol.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has cancelled all sailings until at least the end of May as the cruise sector struggles to battle back from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The decision impacts on trips from all brands controlled by the company, including Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
Norwegian said it continued to work with the Centres for Disease Control & Prevention in the United States to develop protocols for a return to sailing.
The cruise line said it would also continue to work in tandem with global government and public health authorities and its Healthy Sail Panel expert advisors to take all necessary measures to protect its guests, crew and the communities visited.
Guests who are currently booked on cancelled voyages on re asked to contact their travel advisor or the cruise line for more information.
In order to give exposure to craft communities post the pandemic, Craft Village for the third chapter of the India Craft Week (ICW) has invited RARE India, a community of some of the best conscious luxury hotels and experiences in India and the subcontinent, as a valuable partner.
ICW 2021 will be held in partnership with the British Council India from 18th to 21st February at the British Council Building and Bikaner House in New Delhi. RARE India’s aim under this partnership is to bring into limelight the craft and textile heritage and traditions of various states of India through curated tours to the small towns and villages where these crafts and textiles are handmade.
“This year is very special as artisans and crafts person have gone through a massive phase of distress. It is heartening to see that after one year of pandemic these cultural ambassadors of crafts would be joining us from all over India. This is the largest delegation of Craft Week so far and these artisans will be for the first time gathering anywhere to showcase the rich and grandeur of India’s vast tradition and culture. The initiative is to help revive their home & hopes and connect with communities that appreciate and patronize them. I am hopeful that people would not only extend their hands, but hearts too. ICW 2021 brings the core theme as ‘Crafting Tomorrow’ by bringing everyone together who can help the craft sector revive and bounce back” says Iti Tyagi, Founder of India Craft Week, as she shares her vision for India Craft Week 2021.
Speaking about the craft heritage of India and the need for its conservation and preservation, RARE India’s Founder Shoba Mohan said, “When we speak of the cultural heritage that India possesses, more often than not, we find ourselves picturing massive forts that have been an inherent part of our visual understanding of heritage for a long time. But as much as these tangible sources of cultural heritage narrate tales of the land and its people, several layers of culture remain hidden in the intangible aspects of life that eventually complete the picture of culture in totality. Art, craft, textile, food, festivals and folklore speak volumes about the ways of life practiced by people of a particular region and over the years, all the hotels in the RARE India Community have contributed significantly towards the conservation and promotion of these intangible elements of our culture.”
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