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.
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.
The Magazine On The Business Of Travel. Like It?
Satpal Maharaj, Minister of Tourism, Religion and Culture of Uttarakhand held a meeting with Prahlad Patel, Union Minister of Tourism & Culture, Govt of India and urged him to release funds for the ongoing tourism projects of Uttarakhand. Maharaj also presented a model of Chardham to Patel and thanked him for his continued support and gudiance for re-starting the Chardham Yatra in the state.
Expressing his gratitude, Maharaj said, "With the support of the center, Char Dham has been re-opened in Uttarakhand and the passengers from the Green Zone of the state are going there."
He also requested to sanction funds for Swadesh Darshan and Prasad schemes. He informed Patel that 98 percent construction work of Eco and Adventure Destination in Tehri has already been completed under Swadesh Darshan Scheme and the remaining work of construction of Tehri parking will be completed by September 2020. Similarly, the work of Kumaon Heritage Circuit has been completed.
Maharaj also informed that the development of infrastructure facilities on Kedarnath road under the “Prasad Yojana” is going on at expected pace and it will be completed by October 2020. He also requested Patel to provide in principle approval on the 'Mahabharata Circuit' concept note. He said “Due to excessive rainfall and snowfall in the approved plan for Badrinath Dham, earlier progress could not be made, but currently the construction work on the project is being done at a rapid pace. Efforts are being made to complete it within the stipulated time.” Under the Prasad scheme, in-principle consent has been provided for the development of tourism facilities in Gangotri and Yamunotri.
Maharaj requested for early approval of the Government of India's proposal for centralization of State Institute of Hotel Management (SIHM) in Uttarakhand and requested to release the remaining amount of Rs 1 crore out of the approved amount of Rs 4.75 crore for Food Craft Institute (FCI) based at Almora. So far, Rs 3.75 crore central assistance has been released under this head.
“While the Government of Uttarakhand remains committed on completing the development work in the state it is also ensuring that the guidelines of social distancing is maintained. The tourists have started coming to Uttarakhand and we want their jourbey to be smooth and easy. The construction work of Chardham 4 lane Road is going on at the rapid page and I am looking forward to its completion by the end of this rainy season,” Maharaj said.
As airlines prepare to take off in a post-pandemic world, carriers need to figure out how to rebuild in a rapidly evolving global environment where historical data no longer applies. As the travel ecosystem charts a new chapter, airlines have begun to prioritize digital transformation, sustainability, customer well-being, and innovation as pillars towards a recovery.
Korean Air will be leading the change and will be using Amadeus Digital Experience Suite (DES), a key component of the Amadeus Airline Platform in the redesign of its website and mobile platform.
The expanded partnership with Amadeus supports the acceleration of digital transformation for Korean Air, along with the renewal of Altea Passenger Service System agreement. Korean Air will be one of the largest airlines globally to implement the Amadeus Digital Experience Suite later this year.
“In these unprecedented times, it is encouraging to be able to collaborate with partners like Amadeus. Korean Air is focused on accelerating our goal of digital transformation, with the full commitment of our leadership team. By leveraging our partnership with Amadeus, we can streamline our operations and reach that goal faster. This will take Korean Air to a next level of international growth, enhancing forward thinking to deliver the ultimate customer experience,” says Kenneth Chang, Executive Vice President and MO, Korean Air.
As airlines emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, digital transformation is one of the focus points of the aviation industry. Investments in innovation and technology such as touchless biometrics, self-service and apps are expected to help propel and lead the industry’s recovery. (source: FTE/APEX report)
Amadeus Digital Experience Suite will allow for Korean Air to highly customize its website, providing customers with a simple and interactive interface, hiding the weave of complex business solutions needed to provide a seamless customer experience.
Cyril Tetaz, Executive Vice President, Airlines, Asia Pacific, Amadeus says: “We are very pleased to reaffirm our partnership with Korean Air and play a key role in its growth strategy. Amadeus’ Airline Platform is simple, open and agile, and will support Korean Air in innovating, collaborating and experimenting to create new products which will add value and create personalized retail experiences for its passengers.”
Sabre has released the results of its APAC-wide travel sentiment survey, revealing 6 key findings that the travel industry can leverage for Covid-19 recovery.
The new survey has provided insight into traveller state of mind across Asia Pacific as the industry looks to survival, recovery and, ultimately, growth in the “new normal” brought about by the current pandemic.
“As travel restrictions start to lift and pockets of the industry begin to recover, we are seeing traveller behavior adapt to the new normal,” said Todd Arthur, Vice President, Asia Pacific, Agency Sales Travel Solutions, Sabre. “Our findings show that, while consumer confidence in the safety of travelling is mixed, there is also a clear pent-up demand for travel among many people across APAC, as well as strong opportunities to be seized by all sectors of the travel ecosystem as we move forward.”
Below are the 6 major findings of the Sabre survey into APAC traveller sentiment:
Finding 1: 45% of respondents expect to travel within the next 6 months – with Millennials set to travel first
While more than a third of travellers (35%) said they wouldn’t be travelling anytime soon, or until a Covid-19 vaccine is available, there were also positive indications for the travel industry with 45% of respondents saying they planned to travel within 6 months (following the lifting of relevant travel restrictions).
Of all the age groups, the survey indicated that Millennials (i.e., those in the 20 to 39 age category) are the keenest to travel as soon as restrictions are lifted, with 49% saying they would travel within 6 months.
Of respondents in all age groups, 11% indicated they would travel immediately after travel restrictions were lifted while 20% said they planned to travel within 1 to 3 months, and 14% said they would travel within a 4 to 6-month timeframe.
Out of the regions in APAC, South Asia has the highest percentage of travellers who indicated that they are keen to travel within a year (73%)
The country with the most positive travel sentiment was Pakistan, with only 10% of travellers saying they aren’t keen to travel soon. Those in Singapore also demonstrated a strong pent-up demand for travel, with just 14% saying they had no plans to travel. 18% of respondents in Singapore said they would travel immediately, with a further 18% saying they would travel within 1 to 3 months.
Finding 2: Travellers will be swayed by relaxed safety protocols rather than price – but they do want temperature checks at major tourist attractions
Of the respondents who said they had no plans to travel anytime soon, or until a Covid-19 vaccine is available, the majority said that they would not be swayed by price once they do think about booking their next trip.
Only 10% said the main factor they would consider would be competitively priced deals such as airfares or package holiday deals, while the majority (41%) said their main consideration was a relaxation of safety measures and protocols at a destination, such as a lack of 14-day quarantine or contact-tracing measures.
Meanwhile, more than a third (35%) said they would consider the destination country government’s management of the Covid-19 pandemic and 14% said they would look at the access to and quality of medical and healthcare systems at their potential destination country.
Of those respondents who stated they would travel within six months, 28% said they would be extremely likely to travel to a destination which implemented temperature screening before entering places or interest, tourism spots and all venues including hotels and restaurants.
Meanwhile, a quarter (25%) of respondents who will travel within 6 months said they would be more likely to travel to a destination where mask-wearing is enforced, 26% said they would be more likely to travel where safe distancing measures were strictly enforced and 21% said they would be more likely to travel to a destination with contact tracing measures in place.
Finding 3: Travellers perceive air travel to be the riskiest mode of transport
More than a third (37%) of respondents said they believed air travel posed the highest risk of infection when travelling during the current Covid-19 pandemic, with cruise ships deemed to be the next riskiest mode of transport for travellers in APAC (34%). More women than men deemed air travel to be risky. Out of those saying air travel was the riskiest mode of transport, 62% were female.
However, even though respondents said they thought air travel posed the highest risk, more than half (52%) said they would still travel via air, provided that certain safety measures were put in place.
- 35% of all respondents said “safe social distancing with empty seats between passengers” was the most important measure to help them to feel safe to travel via air.
- Other important measures for potential air passengers were a requirement for all crew members and passengers to wear a face mask, as well as enhanced cleaning for meal trays, seats and lavatories before boarding.
- However, even with safety measures in place, 70% of respondents who said they would travel via air would prefer to cancel or reschedule their flight if they were informed that the flight was completely full.
In contrast with the overall APAC results, the majority of travellers in Japan ranked cruise as the riskiest mode of transport in a finding. 50% of respondents in Japan stated cruise posed the highest risk of infection, with 73% indicating they would avoid travelling via this mode of transport completely.
Finding 4: More than a third of travellers (74%) are expected to opt for short-haul or domestic travel
While travellers across APAC remain cautious about travelling, of the 44% who indicated they will travel within the next six months, 41% said they would opt for short-haul travel (below 8 hours travel time), while 33% said they would choose domestic travel, with the remaining 26% saying they would be travelling long haul or had no preference.
- More than a third (38%) of respondents from Pakistan who do want to travel said they would go for short-haul trips (below 8 hours).
- In Japan, of the 49% of respondents who indicated they will travel in the next year, 61% of those said they will choose domestic travel.
- Meanwhile, of the 37% in Taiwan who indicated they will travel, 46% said they will opt for short-haul travel (below 8 hours).
Finding 5: More travellers are expected to book their trips through a travel agent
Travellers who previously booked their trips independently say they are more likely to book via travel agents in future.
Of those surveyed, 68% said they foresee booking their next holiday through travel agencies to save the hassle of pre-travel research. The results varied across markets in APAC.
In South Asia, 96% of respondents indicated they will book through travel agents, while the figure was even higher in Pakistan, with 100% of respondents surveyed saying they will opt to book through travel agents. In North Asia, 67% of respondents indicated they will book their next trip through travel agents.
Finding 6: There is strong confidence in international branded chain hotels
The survey revealed good news for international branded chain hotels, with 57% of respondents saying they had previously preferred to stay in international branded chain hotels, and 86% of those indicating that this will remain their top choice post Covid-19.
This sentiment is particularly strong in North Asia, where 72% of respondents indicated that international branded chain hotels will remain their choice post Covid-19.
Meanwhile, 64% of respondents whose choice before Covid-19 were home stays, boutique hotels, motels or other forms of accommodation and who said they would now change their preferred type of stay indicated their new choice would be international branded chain hotels.
The biggest reasons for sticking to, or making a switch to, branded chain hotels were assurances of enhanced sanitation and cleaning as well as the use of new cleaning technologies.
Etihad Airways and Boeing will work together starting in August on the seventh iteration of the ecoDemonstrator programme to test innovative technologies in the air, building on the core innovation and sustainability tenets of their strategic partnership signed in November 2019. Test flights will be flown on a blend of sustainable fuel, which significantly lowers aviation’s environmental footprint. The testing programme is expected to last approximately four weeks before Etihad’s Boeing 787-10 is entered into service in Abu Dhabi.
The ecoDemonstrator programme utilises commercial aircraft as flying testbeds to accelerate technology development that will make commercial aviation safer and more sustainable now and into the future. The 2020 program will be the first to use a Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner. It will leverage the Etihad Greenliner programme as part of the broader Etihad-Boeing Strategic Partnership to test cutting-edge technologies and explore “blue sky” opportunities to improve airspace efficiency, reduce fuel use, and cut CO2 emissions.
Tony Douglas, Etihad Aviation Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “This is the latest programme under Etihad’s industry-leading strategic partnership with Boeing, focusing on innovating real-world solutions to the key sustainability challenges facing the aviation industry.
“When we launched the partnership with the announcement of the Etihad Greenliner programme at the Dubai Airshow last year, we promised it was just the beginning of a deep, structural partnership between our two organisations that would go on to lead the industry towards a sustainable future. The ecoDemonstrator programme is founded on innovation and sustainability. These are core values for Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi, and the United Arab Emirates, and Etihad and Boeing see a great opportunity to collaborate and share knowledge to minimise the impact of aviation on the environment.”
Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Stan Deal said: “Industry collaboration is a key aspect of Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator programme that enables us to accelerate innovation. We’re proud to broaden our sustainability partnership with Etihad Airways by testing promising technologies that can reduce emissions, help commercial aviation meet our climate goals, and allow the industry to grow in a responsible manner that respects our planet and its natural resources.”
Boeing and Etihad will work with industry leading partners, including NASA and Safran Landing Systems, to conduct aircraft noise measurements from sensors on the airplane and the ground. The data will be used to validate aircraft noise prediction processes and the sound reduction potential of aircraft designs, including landing gear, that are modified for quieter operations. In addition, a flight will be conducted during which pilots, air traffic controllers and an airline’s operations center will simultaneously share digital information to optimize routing efficiency and enhance safety by reducing workload and radio frequency congestion.
Marriott International announces the opening of its 800th property in Asia Pacific, the JW Marriott Nara in Japan. The opening marks the entry of the JW Marriott brand into Japan. The company also expects the EDITION and Aloft brands to debut in Japan before the end of the year. Across the Asia Pacific region throughout 2020, the Moxy brand anticipates its first hotel opening in China.
“We remain confident in the resilience of travel, our owners and franchisees, guests and associates as well as the future prospects of lodging in Asia Pacific, our second largest market, ” said Craig S. Smith, Group President, Asia Pacific for Marriott International.“We are encouraged by recent trends, especially in China, where demand has been driven primarily by domestic tourism, and we will continue to focus on strengthening our footprint in this important, growing market.”
Marriott International in Asia Pacific has, on average, added close to 80 hotels per year in the last three years, with its pipeline growing by nearly 10 percent annually over the same time period. In the first half of 2020 alone, the company recorded 73 new signings, including 43 in the Greater China region.
“These highly anticipated brand debuts are a testament to the confidence that the owner and franchisee community has in Asia Pacific, as well as Marriott International’s long-term vision, especially in today’s challenging business climate,” said Paul Foskey, Chief Development Officer, Marriott International, Asia Pacific. “Our owners and franchisees trust and choose Marriott International because of our overall reputation for product quality, our powerful and differentiated portfolio of brands, our Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program with more than 142 million global members, and our proven track record of operational excellence.”
Louvre Abu Dhabi has announced a new partnership with VPS Healthcare to offer a comprehensive plan to provide COVID-19 precautionary measures and further ensure the safety of the museum's staff and visitors.
Manuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, said: "We are so pleased to engage in this innovative partnership with VPS Healthcare. For our reopening, Louvre Abu Dhabi is furthering its commitment to be a mindful museum. Offering the safest experience possible is a key element of this mission. As our healthcare partner, VPS will provide key resources and expertise that will allow us to maintain a safe and healthy environment for our staff and visitors. I am thrilled to see the art and medical communities come together through this unique collaboration. We look forward to working closely with VPS now and into the future as Abu Dhabi marks its steps towards recovery."
Commenting on the partnership, Shamsheer Vayalil, Chairman and Managing Director of VPS Healthcare, said: "We are proud to partner with Louvre Abu Dhabi, which is one of the most prominent cultural sites and landmarks in Abu Dhabi. VPS Healthcare and Burjeel Hospital will be supporting in providing the safest environment for visitors and staff at the museum. The reopening of the museum signifies how effectively the UAE Government has tackled the spread of COVID-19 in the country. VPS Healthcare has been working in close association with government and health regulatory bodies from the beginning of the outbreak. We will be utilising the expertise and experience gained from working on the ground in providing the best experience for visitors at the museum."
Booking.com is taking measures to support travellers and its property partners, as and when it's safe to travel.Looking to help secure demand and deliver customers to property partners to help them with long-term recovery, Booking.com continues to evolve the support it provides in an effort to begin rebuilding domestic travel together.
It is focusing its efforts on bringing partners the tools and tailored insights they need to effectively respond to the evolving travel environment, capture new bookings and rebuild their business. With an updated search experience, Booking.com has made it simple for customers looking for the types of accommodations they are seeking. It is also promoting flexible rates to customers who may need to change their plans and is making it easy for its partners to adjust their policies to ensure their property benefits.
Booking.com is also introducing initiatives to bring additional exposure to partners, such as its Partner Performance Investment Initiative, which gives financial benefits to eligible partners who participate in its visibility boosting Preferred program as well as the great value of the Booking.com Genius program. In India, partners who activate both Genius and Preferred programs within the month of July receive the Preferred Program for free for a period of 3 months. In this way Booking.com helps partners capture and convert as much demand as possible into stayed reservations
“A significant portion of our business in India is domestic bookings and as we foresee domestic travel demand gradually picking up, we want to ensure we do everything we can to support our local partners and bring them what they need most to effectively respond to the evolving travel environment. We will continue to work around the clock to support them as recovery begins. We believe that with a strong partnership together, we can ensure that everyone can experience the world again, in time and when it is safe to do so,” Ritu Mehrotra, Country Manager, India, Sri Lanka & Maldives, Booking.com, said.
Presented by Ashima Gupta, Commissioner of Income Tax, Indore and Sarita Alurkar, Singapore based marketing professional, the webinar showcased the richness of the destinations covered under the mystical triangle and acquainted the viewers with the serene, captivating getaways in State of Madhya Pradesh namely Maheshwar, Mandu & Omkareshwar.
The first stop of the mystical triangle was Maheshwar or Mahishmati. The city got its name after Lord Shiva/ Maheshwara, it also finds a mention in the epics Ramayana and Mahabharatha. The Town lies on the north bank of the Narmada River. Ghats in Maheshwar are the best places to see the beauty of sunrise and sunset and the fort complex can also be seen at its best from Ahilya ghat. One can also go on a boat ride, evenings after sunset boat men light small diyas as an offering to Narmada River. Baneshwar temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva is one of the must-see temples of Maheshwar especially during sunsets. Narmada aarti is performed after sunset at Narmada ghat.
Omkareshwar has 33 deities and 108 impressive shivlingas in divine form and this is the only Jyotirlinga which is situated on the north bank of Narmada. Omkareshwar is a spiritual town in Madhya Pradesh, 78kms away from Indore.
Mandu is about 98km. away from Indore and at an elevation of 633 meters. TheFort in Mandu is spread over an area of 47 sq km and the fort wall is 64 kms. Mandu is mainly known for the love story of Sultan Baz Bahadur and Rani Roopmati.
Prahlad Singh Patel, Union Minister of State (IC) for Tourism & Culture recently inaugurated the webinar on “Cross Border Tourism” organised by the Association of Buddhist Tour Operators on 15th July 2020
Inaugurating the webinar, Patel listed the important sites in India related to the life of Lord Buddha. He mentioned that Buddhism has a large following across the world and India being the ‘Land of Buddha’ and endowed with rich Buddhist heritage attracts very small percentage of Buddhist Pilgrims. Shri Patel stressed the point that it was important for all to ascertain the reasons for India receiving a fraction of global Buddhists as tourist/Pilgrims and take corrective measures accordingly.
The Minister also shared the initiative of having signage in international languages at important Buddhist sites in the country including signages in Chinese language that have been put up at 5 Buddhist sites / monuments in Uttar Pradesh including Sarnath, Kushinagar and Sravasti. Similarly, since Sanchi receives many tourists from Sri Lanka, signages in Sinhalese language have been put up at the Sanchi monuments.
He also highlighted the decision of Government of India to declare the Kushinagar Airport in Uttar Pradesh as an International Airport which will offer better connectivity to the air-travellers resulting in boosting of domestic/international tourism and economic development of the region. He further informed that the Ministry of Tourism, under its various schemes has taken several initiatives for the development and promotion of Buddhist sites in the country.
SpiceJet has announced that it has aqui-hired the team and technology of Travenues, a Bengaluru based airline technology company that built several innovative products for airline e-commerce.
Launched in 2019, Travenues is a wholly owned subsidiary of ixigo. With this acqui-hire, the technology team of Travenues has joined SpiceJet and SpiceJet will inherit the airline technology and commerce platform built by Travenues that specialises with its deep tech advancements in mobile apps, UX, engagement, cross-selling, payments, ancillaries, personalisation and more.
Commenting on the development, Ashish Vikram, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, SpiceJet, said - “We are glad to welcome Team Travenues to SpiceJet. This acqui-hire will help SpiceJet strengthen its e-commerce platforms as we continue to innovate across multiple technology areas and achieve our vision of being the worldwide leader in aviation technology.”
Chandramouli Gopalakrishnan, Chief Digital Officer, Travenues added - “We are proud of the team and the full stack airline commerce suite we have built and we wish the SpiceJet team all the best in taking it to the next level with a talented and motivated team”
Rajnish Kumar, Co-founder & CTO, ixigo said - “We are happy that we were able to incubate a startup and build a next generation platform with a motivated tightly-knit team that can truly disrupt airline direct sales and airline commerce. The possibilities this unfolds for SpiceJet are endless!”
Sign up for the T3 Newsletter