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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

Maharashtra Tourism announced 20 mini festivals across the six regions of Maharashtra i.e. Konkan, Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad, Amravati, and Nagpur in February and March to boost tourism in the state. The state tourism department has earmarked an amount of Rs one crore for organizing these 20 festivals.

These marquee festivals will provide exciting opportunities for tourists to celebrate cultural heritage tourism of Maharashtra. Some of the landmark festivals that will be held in Nashik district include Grape Harvesting Festival, Nandur Madhyameshwar Festival, Bhandardara Festival in Ahmednagar district and Laling Fort Festival in Dhule district.

Pune district will witness the iconic Junnar Grape Festival, Wai Festival in Satara district, and Panhala Festival in Kolhapur district.

In the Konkan region, one can visit the popular festivals such as Vengurla (Sagareshwar) Festival in Sindhudurg district, Shrivardhan Festival in Raigad district, Katal shilpa Festival and Anjarle Festival in Ratnagiri district.

The famed festivals planned in the Aurangabad division are Ter Festival in Osmanabad district, Kapildhara Festival in Beed district and Hottal Festival in Nanded district. Similarly, Sindkhed Raja Festival in Nagpur district, Narnala Fort Festival in Akola district and Tipeshwar Forest Festival in Yavatmal district are planned under the Amravati region.

Lastly, the Nagpur division will organise the illustrious festivals including Ramtek Festival in Nagpur district, Bor Dam and Wildlife Festival in Vardha district and Bodalkasa Bird Festival in Gondia district.

These festivals will be organized through regional offices of the Directorate of Tourism with the help of the local district administration. These mini festivals will help feature the less explored destinations prominently on the Maharashtra tourism map.

For the first time, a small group of air travelers flying from Germany and Estonia to the United Arab Emirates has tested the health data platform and app SimplyGo in a live environment. As part of the trial project, SimplyGo is partnering with technology provider SITA. SITA’s advanced technology platforms and experience in border management, airport, and airline operations were crucial in distributing the SimplyGo platform across continents.

Ahead of the trial, some travelers obtained negative Covid-19 results via their SimplyGo app before boarding. Another group had a positive result or did not have a test done at all. They were ultimately denied check-in and boarding. The data was then securely stored on the SimplyGo platform to be accessed by airlines and border officials authorizing boarding of the plane and eventual arrival at the destination country, the United Arab Emirates. Integration to the UAE government systems was made possible through the Advance Passenger Processing (APP) platform delivered by SITA. Integrating SimplyGo with APP forms part of SITA’s Health Protect ecosystem, simplifying and automating the inclusion of health data into existing airline, airport, and government processes.

Peter Bauer, the founder of SimplyGo, said: “The trial demonstrated that SimplyGo technology supports travelers and airlines in adhering to health requirements and secure systems. The app is extremely simple for travelers to use. Just a few clicks and users securely store their COVID-19 test or vaccination information, making it accessible for airlines and border officials. There’s no paperwork or bar code at the check-in needed; all data is managed securely and highly protected from fraud. This trial is the first step in rolling out SimplyGo, to help restore confidence in air travel and to ensure safer and more efficient air travel for all.”

Jeremy Springall, Vice-President SITA AT BORDERS, said: “As the technology provider for the air transport industry, we are working closely with governments, industry bodies, and border organizations globally to mitigate health risks of travel during the pandemic. 

“SITA’s Health Protect ecosystem enables interoperability and acts as a bridge between health passport schemes, airlines, airports, and governments. It comprises a suite of solutions, including SITA Health ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization), SITA APP, and SITA Flex for in-airport passenger flow monitoring. Selecting the right combination of products and integrating with a health pass system like SimplyGo, ensures governments are aware of who is intending to travel and their health status. Governments can then make informed decisions on who to allow to travel. We’re excited for the potential of SITA‘s Health Protect ecosystem to support the industry recovery in 2021 and enable safer, simpler travel experiences for passengers.”

Vision-Box, a global industry leader in biometric recognition, digital identity, and seamless travel management solutions, announces a strategic partnership with U.S.-based digital identity innovator, Airside Mobile, best known for the Mobile Passport App.

The partnership offers an enhanced safe, secure, and touchless platform for all stakeholders along the travel experience involved in managing verified identity credentials, including trusted health data.

Integrating Airside’s Digital Identity & Health Passport App with Vision-Box’s Identity Management Platform, Orchestra, allows travelers to safely and securely move along their entire journey using their mobile device. This end-to-end integration personalizes the traveler experience and empowers them by keeping them in control of their sensitive information with transparent consent protocols. Data protection is at the heart of the partnership, further supported by Vision-Box’s unique certification in Privacy-By-Design and Airside’s distributed architecture that meets data protection laws, regulations and international standards.

Speaking about the partnership, Jeff Lennon, VP – Strategic Sales and Global Partnerships at Vision-Box, said, “We are absolutely delighted to start the new year by announcing our strategic partnership with Airside, a very important ally for the company in expanding personalized experiences on the Orchestra platform. Airside also shares our commitment to enhancing safe passenger travel journeys, and with this partnership we will be able to deliver world class privacy-by-design solutions to our clients across the world, starting with the USA.”

Jessica Patel, Chief Revenue Officer at Airside, said, “What I especially appreciate about our partnership with Vision-Box is that the traveler is at the center of the journey, where they ought to be, breezing through online and in-person check points without any long lines or crowding. Our private and secure technologies fit together naturally, providing peace-of-mind for travelers and the industry at an especially critical time when the health and safety of everyone is paramount.”

Firdaus by Citrus County in Punjab has now become a member of the RARE India Community. Set in 20 acres and curated as an outdoor and active farm stay, it is a working farm with poplar, kinnow, orange and grapefruit trees.

Popular among children, Firdaus encourage children to ‘be a farmer for a weekend’ where children are given duties and towards the end of the session discuss challenges, insights and ideas about farming.

“Having begun in 2008, I found that farming was becoming limiting and farmers needed to supplement their incomes. Citrus County was born to provide an experience to itinerant travellers from around the world while creating opportunities for the local community through skill development, hospitality training and other opportunities to sell farm produce. Firdaus evolved to show guests what life on a farm can be while staying with a farmers family,” Harkirat Singh, Owner, Firdaus by Citrus County, said.

“One of our initiatives is to show children and young adults’ life on a farm and the richness of this culture, the joy of farm fresh food and being outdoors. Firdaus is a perfect example of a getaway that is fun, learning and time together for families while connecting them with local culture and community,” Shoba Mohan, Founder, RARE India, added.

Purvanchal Prayatan Sangathan recently organized their first meeting at Hotel Lord Grand, New Delhi to celebrate the National Tourism Day. The meeting was organsied with a total care following the COVID guidelines of the government.  

The Sangathan was formed with an objective to bring together all tourism professionals from the Purvanchal region at one platform to promote the tourism of the region. The region offers a plenty of tourism products but have not been promoted in national and global tourism market.

The event witnessed a good gathering of hoteliers, tour operators and travel agents, transport service providers and other stakeholders of the industry. The participants brainstormed on the issues hindering the tourism growth of the region and came out with few relevant solutions of the problems.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19, the travel and tourism industry is trying all options for the survival and revival of tourism. The meeting discussed the way forward for the tourism industry in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand.  

Kerala should ramp up its commitment to Responsible Tourism and move towards declaring the whole state as an RT destination in the light of changing consumer preferences towards zero carbon destinations and zero food miles besides factoring environmental costs beyond economic costs, Suman Billa, Director, Technical Cooperation and Silk Road, UNWTO, said.

India has a robust domestic market, and Kerala, famous for its products like wellness, houseboats, and home stays, would emerge strongly, he said, addressing a session at the three-day “Kerala Looks Ahead” (KLA) global conference and consultation that began on Monday.

“Kerala also needs to add ‘instagrammable’ activities to attract the younger clientele,” he stressed.

Billa said UNWTO had described 2020 as the worst year ever for tourism with international tourist arrivals plummeting by 74 per cent, which translated into one billion less international tourists, 1.3 trillion dollars less in export revenues and a loss of 100-120 million direct jobs in the sector.

He, however, exuded hope that the pre-pandemic levels of international travel may be achieved in 2023-24.

Billa said the Spice Route project is the ideal vehicle to take Kerala’s tourism to the next level to build a compelling story and expand the footprint in its key markets.

Kadakampally Surendran, Tourism Minister, Govt of Kerala, said the state has taken several steps to preserve and revive tourism so that it will remain on a firm footing to meet the demand during the post-COVID times.  “For that, we must first promote domestic tourism. Health tourism can also provide enough opportunities. We have now tailored our tourism policy to suit to the COVID times.”

While emphasizing the need to leverage the existing projects, he also listed the new areas like adventure tourism, promotion of the Malabar region in a big way, boosting the Kochi-Muziris Biennale and supporting the Muziris Heritage projects. “The adventure tourism academy in Thiruvananthapuram is in the final stages and in Malabar we are linking eight rivers of Kannur and Kasaragod to promote cruise tourism,” he informed.

Venu V, Member-Secretary, Planning Board, said the state needs to look into the changing trends in national and international tourism as the present crisis from COVID is the worst in nearly a century.

Christina Beckmann, Vice President, Global Strategy for Adventure Travel Trade Association & Co-Founder of Tomorrow's Air, spoke about the 'future of active holidays, particularly destinations like Kerala'.

Drawing from research conducted in the US, she said 72 per cent of adventure travelers are looking for nature and outdoor activities while 12 per cent are interested in ecotourism and sustainable travel options. “This bodes well for coastal destinations of Kerala and there really is an audience that is interested in specifically what your Kerala has to offer,” she added.

Harold Goodwin, Founder Director, International Centre for Responsible Tourism, UK, spoke about the need for promoting Responsible Tourism. “Kerala is currently the world leader in Responsible Tourism. I have no doubt about that in terms of a destination, which has played remarkable progress. It has some of the world's leading businesses, but it's really at the destination that it stands out as being so different," he said.

"In a very much changed world, I am not one of those who think that they will be returned to business as usual, I think the post-COVID world is going to be a different world. And we're going to have to learn to live with COVID," he added.

Sabre Corporation announced the enhancement of its long-term SabreSonic passenger solutions suite (PSS) agreement with Rex (Regional Express), providing enhanced IT capabilities to support the carrier’s ambitious domestic and regional expansion plans.

Rex already serves 60 destinations across all Australian states and has now bolstered its agreement with Sabre in order to quickly seize opportunities brought about by industry recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic. Having recently taken delivery of the first of six Boeing 737s as it gears up to begin flying Melbourne to Sydney in March 2021 and to Brisbane from Easter, Rex needed to bulk up its technology solutions to be able to execute its new business model while working to a tight time-to-market schedule.  

“There’s no question that airlines around the world are facing unprecedented challenges but there are also opportunities to be seized, and Rex remains focused on expanding into new markets to move forward in a position of strength through the current pandemic,” said Rakesh Narayanan, Vice President, Regional General Manager, Asia Pacific, Travel Solutions Airline Sales. “In today’s market, and projecting into future growth and recovery, carriers will increasingly require flexibility for their systems solutions and this latest agreement with Rex is testament to their confidence in Sabre to support their future model changes as well as operational and geographic growth.”

“We’re thrilled to announce the enhancement of our agreement with Sabre at such a pivotal moment in our airline’s history,” said Rex Deputy Chairman, the Hon John Sharp AM.  “We have strong ambitions to be a sizeable domestic airline operator with a significantly expanded fleet within the next four years. We aim to grow as the market recovers and, as a result of our existing and long-standing relationship, we know that Sabre is the right technology partner with intuitive and scalable solutions to support us as we move forward with our expansion plans. Together with Sabre, as travel restrictions ease, we look forward to playing an increasingly important part in the recovery of Australia’s domestic and regional tourism market.”

Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is all set to organize a MICE virtual show on March 3-4, 2021. The show will create awareness about the preparedness of Singapore for organizing MICE events. As many as 40 suppliers including convention centres, hotels, unique meeting venues, destination management companies and tour operators of Singapore is expected to participate in the virtual show.

The two-day virtual show will highlight Singapore's progress towards the safe resumption of business events, site visit of unique MICE spaces and culinary masterclasses, showcase of new and reimagined MICE experiences with live streaming virtual tours amongst others.

Also, to attract maximum buyers, top 5 voted buyers stand to win a 3D2N trip to Singapore on Singapore Airlines, complete with a hosted stay and exclusive experiences.

In its bid to create awareness, IndiGo, issued advisory to be cognizance around fake job offers. IndiGo, through its creatives across social media and website is raising awareness of how certain people claiming to represent IndiGo are misusing the brand name & the names of IndiGo employees, demanding money in exchange for interviews or jobs. 

The airline does not charge any money for conducting interviews, providing jobs, or imparting trainings on joining. IndiGo strictly advises to report the matter to the police if someone asks for money and promise of a job at IndiGo. IndiGo is also taking appropriate actions for cases that get reported and hence is focused on spreading awareness.

 

Radisson Collection, Radisson Hotel Group’s anthology of premium lifestyle hotels, has reached another major milestone with the official debut of Radisson Collection Hotel, Xing Guo Shanghai, this exceptional brand’s inaugural property in China and its first hotel in an Asia Pacific gateway city.

Radisson Collection gives guests immediate access to the authentic essence of their destination, in terms of art, design, culture and cuisine. No two hotels are the same and each reflects the rich character of its locale. With original design and insider encounters, Radisson Collection goes above and beyond to deliver extraordinary experiences.

Radisson Collection Hotel, Xing Guo Shanghai is the perfect addition to this curated collection. Nestled within 17 acres of manicured gardens, surrounded by historical villas, 1930s Art Deco buildings and picturesque tree-lined avenues, this is an enchanting urban oasis amid the bustle of Xujiahui, Shanghai’s dynamic downtown business district.

A sense of serenity and sophistication pervades the entire 16-story hotel. The 185 rooms and suites (ranging from 30 to 54 m2) are designed to be spacious sanctuaries of comfort and wellness.

“It gives us great pleasure to launch our inaugural Radisson Collection hotel Shanghai, China, a prime destination for business and leisure. This marks another milestone as we expand and project the brand’s robust growth in the region, further showcasing the Group’s strong commitment to China. Radisson Collection Hotel, Xing Guo Shanghai will be an outstanding addition to this expanding collection of iconic lifestyle hotels,” said Katerina Giannouka, President, Asia Pacific, Radisson Hotel Group.

“Radisson Collection is the home of distinctive hotels and resorts that are united by their uniqueness, and their ability to bring out the exceptional of their community. This rapidly growing brand is suited to the world’s most storied cities, such as Shanghai, where a sense of history and romance enlivens every stay. We look forwarding to immersing guests in the sounds, sights, flavors and experiences of the hotel’s unique location. Radisson Hotel Group has worked with the hotel’s owners, Dong Hu Group, for more than 20 years and we are delighted to continue our journey together,” added Gary Ye, Vice President, Operations, China.

Radisson Collection Hotel, Xing Guo Shanghai becomes the collection’s first member in China, and will be joined by a second in Q2, 2021 when the newly built Radisson Collection Resort, Nanjing opens its doors.

 

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