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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

With an aim to provide passengers with an anxiety-free and seamless journey, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) has associated with the Airports Council International (ACI) to inform & help passengers remain updated on the latest health and safety procedures followed at various airports. With this initiative, passengers travelling through Mumbai can access end-to-end information on health measures adopted by CSMIA as well other airports thereby getting a better understanding on the procedures to follow at each airport.

CSMIA is among 200 international airports who have joined hands with ACI to provide passengers with a singular source of information regarding the different safety measures and quarantine regulations across different countries. In the wake of the pandemic, the new online portal on airport health measures aims to guide the passengers with the latest information during these challenging times as there are continuous changes in travel norms and regulations by various countries. An initiative aimed at providing data on facilities and services available at the airport terminal, the portal equips passengers with pre-trip information so they can have an enjoyable and hassle-free journey forward.

With the changing travel norms & regulations, passengers travelling via Mumbai can access the portal to get a better understanding on airport safety measures, passenger requirements as well as services available at CSMIA. The airport ensures regular updates to the portal to ensure that passengers have access to the latest information pertinent to the various regulations passed by the regulatory bodies. Additionally, the airport has also provided contact information of the COVID-19 team for passenger's assistance. Further to the portal has also designed a mobile app 'Airport Check' for airport operators that provides statistical information based on the standards implemented globally. These statistics can help airport operators to plan processes and measures using industry intelligence.

Since the advent of the global pandemic, CSMIA has extended every effort to provide a safe haven for passengers at the airport. CSMIA has adhered to international standards of safety and was the first Indian airport to be accredited under the ACI's Health Accreditation programme. Moreover, this year CSMIA was awarded the Best Airport by Size and Region in over 40 million passenger category, for the fifth consecutive time. CSMIA is consistently working to provide the highest standard of customer service that includes ensuring international standards of safety, providing efficient and high-quality facilities, even during these challenging times.

Keeping the momentum going, CSMIA continues to enhance health & safety measures for the betterment of the passengers. The initiatives undertaken, exemplifies CSMIA's commitment to prevent the health and safety of its passengers and employees. Furthermore, CSMIA diligently abides by the precautionary protocols indicated by the Government of India and implements the SOPs to safeguard the overall wellbeing of its passengers.

The United Nations, of which UNWTO is proud to be a part, was established to promote peace among nations and allow us to work together to build a better future for all.

75 years on, this mission is more relevant than ever.

The ideals that lie at the heart of the United Nations system: solidarity, cooperation and the drive for equality are the same ideals needed to ensure our recovery from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is true for every part of our societies, not least for tourism. Around the world, many millions of people are eagerly waiting for tourism to restart. For many, their livelihoods depend on it.

For this reason, UNWTO has pledged to not stand still. Even where others urge caution, we have a responsibility to move forwards – and to bring the rest of the sector, as well as political leaders, with us.

The sixth meeting of our Global Tourism Crisis Committee emphasized just how determined every part of global tourism is to get moving again. Once again, through the Committee we succeeded in bringing together a wide range of voices, reflecting the diversity of tourism itself. These included both political and business leaders – those in a position to transform ideas into action.

Only together are we stronger. We will draw on both the power of the private sector and the determination of governments to introduce a new set of Common Safety Protocols for tourism.

These will provide a clear and harmonized set of safety and hygiene protocols, vital if we are to raise confidence in international travel.

At the same time, we realize that people don’t just want to feel safe when they travel. They also want to be reassured that they will be supported in times of uncertainty.

For this reason, UNWTO will also establish an International Code for the Protection of Tourists, and we are working to ensure all our Member States, not just those in the EU zone, are included in plans to for the safe relaunch of free movement of people across Europe.

All of our actions are guided by clear, objective analysis of this rapidly-evolving situation.

Just as misinformation about the health risks of COVID-19 puts lives at risk, so too does misinformation about the safety of international travel place livelihoods in jeopardy.

From the very start of this crisis, UNWTO has been the trusted, verified source of information for every part of our sector, as well as for governments and international organizations. Our data and insights have guided tourism’s response and now inform its recovery.

As the UN celebrates 75 years of cooperation and progress, we stand behind the “Verified” campaign, launched by Secretary-General António Guterres to prevent the spread of false information while at the same time respecting freedom of opinion.

International travel can return safely – we have seen this first-hand through the return of in-person events. And we are working closely with airlines, airports and tourism accommodation providers to make clear that tourism is proactively leading the way in adapting to our new reality.

The benefits of restarting tourism will be felt far beyond our sector. It will help kickstart the recovery of our economies and societies.

And it will help us begin the next 75 years of the United Nations’ mission to bring peace and prosperity for all, with the determination to leave nobody behind.

Zurab Pololikashvili

Secretary-General, UNWTO 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Girnar ropeway project in Junagadh via video conferencing on Saturday. The ropeway is expected to become the catalyst of growth in tourism and related sectors in Saurashtra. The 2.3 km Girnar ropeway, the longest to a temple in the world, has been developed by Usha Breco Limited at an investment of Rs. 130 crore.

While the Prime Minister inaugurated the ropeway from New Delhi, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, senior ministers, and Usha Breco Chairman Prashant Jhawar were present in Girnar to mark the occasion.

In his address on the occasion, Modi said, “The world-class ropeway will make it convenient for more people to visit Girnar. Earlier, it used to take 5-7 hours to climb Girnar, but now it will take only 7-8 minutes. More devotees and tourists will visit Girnar. It will give a boost to adventure activities. I am also happy that the project will create more employment opportunities for local youths.”

Speaking on the occasion, Rupani said, “It is our good fortune that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the ropeway on the auspicious occasion of Navami. Senior citizens, children, women, and others who were not able to visit Girnar earlier will be able to do so in the world-class ropeway. I also take this opportunity to thank the doliwalas who have carried lakhs of people to the temples on Girnar in all these years.”

Commenting on the development, Jhawar said, “The inauguration of Girnar ropeway is a moment of pride for all of us. The ropeway will reduce the time to reach the temples on Girnar. It will make visiting Girnar convenient for lakhs of devotees, and also give a huge impetus to tourism in Saurashtra.”

Girnar ropeway is one of the most modern and sophisticated passenger ropeways in the country. The ropeway comprises 25 cabins, including one glass-floored cabin, each having the capacity to carry eight passengers at a time. The ropeway will ferry 800 people in an hour, and 8,000 in a day.

Booking.com has introduced a new Work-Friendly badge on their website and mobile app, highlighting and increasing visibility of work-friendly alternative accommodations like homes and apartments for both business travellers and leisure travellers looking to work remotely. This will help provide travellers the required information to pick the right accommodation for their needs, wherever their travels take them.

To receive the work friendly badge, properties must meet high quality service requirements, including great reviews and a cleanliness score of 8 or higher, as well as key amenities such as free wi-fi, dedicated workspace and TV. Considering the ability to provide an invoice and duty of care elements, such as smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and more, are key to corporate travel, therefore properties with a Work-Friendly badge must also offer these services and amenities to customers.

Commenting on the work-friendly program, Ritu Mehrotra, Country Manager, India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, Booking.com, said, “As business travel continues to evolve , Booking.com is working to bring business and leisure travellers looking to work from the road the information they need to easily find the right home or apartment for their trip, wherever their travels take them. By introducing the Work-Friendly Program we want to help travellers identify what home properties meet their business requirements as well as help our accommodation partners maximise their occupancy by attracting new types of travellers. Looking ahead, we will continue to look for new ways to surface relevant and key information to travellers on our platform and in turn support our partners.”

The first batch of cadet pilots departed for training as part of the IndiGo Cadet programme to South Africa on October 22, 2020. The batch of 19 IndiGo cadets was the first to travel outside India following the COVID-19-induced lockdown. This group from Insight Aviation, IndiGo’s training partner, will join previous cadets currently under training at Insight Aviation’s FTO partner, 43 Air School, in Port Alfred, South Africa. The IndiGo Cadet programme is an initiative to bring the change in the airline industry in India and providing aspiring pilots with a life-changing opportunity.

Capt. Ashim Mittra, Sr. Vice President – Flight Operations, IndiGo said, “We are pleased to announce the departure of the first batch of cadet pilots for flight training post the lockdown. This is a milestone moment in the path to recovery and demonstrates the unwavering commitment of IndiGo to create opportunities for local talent to operate our lean clean flying machines. We are hopeful that these small and positive steps, will contribute towards the turnaround in the aviation sector. We are committed to create more such opportunities to ensure a steady flow of highly skilled and trained pilots to fuel the recovery of aviation sector in India”.

Capt. Jati Dhillon, CEO of Insight Aviation said, “In these times, when the sentiment in the aviation community is at an all-time low, this provides hope and confidence to the thousands of young aspiring pilots in India.  IndiGo’s commitment to growing the local talent pool for pilots in India will play a huge role in the eventual recovery of the aviation sector”.

Fortune Hotels has announced exciting new offers for leisure travellers to usher in the festive season. These value centric offers expected to prompt guests to restart travel as they prepare to ring in the festivities with family and friends.

The packages have been designed to suit individual guest needs; while the Fortune Big Breaks offer is an all-inclusive offer bundling everything that guests desires on their special vacay; on the other hand the Fortune Getaway offer surprises the guests with its pocket-easy features, giving them the flexibility to pick and choose only those services they deem essential during their stay. For guests, who don’t want to travel out of their city, ‘in-city stays’ comes as a refreshing option, to be close to home and yet away in the blissful confines of a hotel.

Announcing the initiative, Dhananjay Saliankar, Head of Sales & Marketing, Fortune Hotels, said: “The post Covid scenario has reintroduced us to finding happiness in the simple joys of life. Fortune Hotels too wants to spread the cheer this festive season by extending attractive savings to its guests so that more people may avail the benefit and travel to discover the joys of togetherness.”

These special offers are valid all through October –December 2020 across all Fortune Hotels pan India.

Alliance Air, a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India Limited has turned a new leaf by reporting an operating profit of Rs. 65.09 crore for the first time since its inception on April 15, 1996. The airline has reported an EBITDA of Rs. 482 crore, in a total revenue of Rs. 1181.15 crores. These figures are for the fiscal year 2019-2020. The net profit of Alliance Air would have touched Rs. 37 crore but for the adoption of the new accounting standard IND AS 116, which resulted in a net loss of Rs. 201 crore.

Rajiv Bansal, CMD, Air India, said, “Alliance Air has recorded an improved performance in FY2019-20.  The number of destinations has gone up to 61 from 55 in last FY. With the increased number of daily departures to 126 against 109 last year, the total number of passengers flown were 1.64 million, an increase of 2.5 per cent with a seat factor of 73 per cent. The expanded reach of Alliance Air to smaller towns of our country truly embodies the spirit of Government’s Regional Connectivity Scheme known as UDAN i.e. Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik.”

CS Subbiah, CEO, Alliance Air, said, “Alliance Air has grown leaps and bounds and has made big strides in its operations and this day is a ‘golden day’ for us for achieving this milestone of Rs.65.09 crore operating profit’. We have operated 30,649 flights to 61 destinations & 735 weekly flights in 2019-20, with higher utilization of aircraft and with one of the lowest aircraft to manpower ratio of 1:45 in the world.  I dedicate this significant achievement to my enthusiastic team, our beloved customers and excellent support from Air India and the Ministry of Civil Aviation.”

The airline has a young fleet of 18 ATR-72-600 aircraft with an average age of less than four years. The airline strives to offer the best service & safety standards in the industry and takes pride in being cost efficient at the same time. Post lockdown Alliance Air has already started air services to 43 destinations with 77 flight departures per day. It is the airline’s endeavor to resume full-fledged flight operations across its entire network at the earliest with more flights commencing in the coming festive season.

The airline has already operationalised 65 routes under the regional connectivity scheme (UDAN) of Government of India. Alliance Air’s USP of ‘Connecting India’ with unique routes and destinations and overcoming major challenges has made it the regional flyers’ top choice. Remote destinations such as Kullu and Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh, Agatti in the Lakshadweep islands, Tezpur, Dimapur, Imphal, Passighat and Lilabari in the North-East are being served by the airline. Further Alliance Air also connects uncharted destinations such as Pantnagar, Ludhiana, Bikaner, Kolhapur, Kalaburagi, Pasighat, Kandla, Jagdalpur and Jharsuguda demonstrating its constant endeavour to bolster swift connectivity. The airline’s vision is to be one of the leading International Regional Airlines in the world, connecting Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities of India and linking SAARC cities with Alliance Air network.

Alliance Air’s maiden international flight from Chennai to Jaffna bridged the connectivity gap between the two cities after 41 years.

The airline is adhering to all travel related government guidelines and is following all the standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Required precautionary measures are being taken within the aircraft as well as at the time of contactless check-in, boarding and arrival at the destination. The aircrafts are being sanitized after each flight to eliminate any risk of contagion.

Zostel, a community-led experience-driven ecosystem, has resumed operations across more than half of its properties while following stringent safety guidelines. The brand has launched a new ZostelX Home in Shangarh to offer new options to travellers embarking on their post-lockdown plans.

Falling under the eco zone of the Great Himalayan National Park in the quaint Sainj Valley in Kullu, Shangarh is a small, picturesque town. The ZostelX Home in Shangarh is situated amid a wide expanse of forested mountains and is doused in scenic beauty. The ZostelX Home also offers cozy dorm rooms and private rooms that offer stunning views of the misty mountains along with scrumptious in-house meals that are served hot and prepared in hygienic conditions.

Apart from launching its exceptional new property, Zostel has also resumed operations in 40 of its hostels and homes in various locations across the country including Alleppey, Aurangabad, Bangalore, Bir, Coorg, Delhi, Gokarna, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Leh, Manali, Kodaikanal, Mussoorie, Mysore, Ooty, and Theog, amongst others. This is a time when safety is paramount, and the fast-growing brand is taking all necessary measures to ensure it adheres to the best practices of hygiene. Right from disposable face masks offered to guests, hand sanitizers placed in all common areas, and strict, regular housekeeping schedules to sanitize the rooms and common areas, Zostel is leaving no stone unturned to provide guests with a safe and comfortable experience.

Speaking on the launch of the new property and resuming operations, Dharamveer Singh Chouhan said, “At Zostel, we strive to offer new and unparalleled travel experiences and our Shangarh home does just that. It is the perfect place to visit for solo backpackers, family, and friends, anyone looking for a relaxing getaway. There are a plethora of activities for guests to engage in and Zostel is committed to ensuring their experiences are out-of-the-world. We are also delighted to announce that we have resumed operations in 40 of our hostels and homes with strict safety protocols for top-notch hygiene. We have already registered an enthusiastic response from travelers towards our sites and expect more bookings in the coming months.”

The company has launched 51 properties to date and will be opening all its properties in the next few months.

Applauding the Maharashtra government’s move to introduce ‘ease of doing business policy’ for the hospitality sector and bringing down the number of licenses required for hotels, OYO Hotels & Homes reiterated its commitment to boost tourism in Maharashtra. In a recent webinar hosted by OYO Hotels & Homes as part of its ‘OYO Samvaad’ series with the Ministry of Tourism of Maharashtra, the company highlighted its plans to strengthen its footprint in the state. The webinar was graced by Aaditya Thackeray, Cabinet Minister of Tourism & Environment and Valsa Nair Singh, Principal Secretary - Tourism and Culture, Government of Maharashtra.

The webinar focused on the future of hospitality and tourism, including strategies and steps taken by the Maharashtra government to revitalize the industry amid COVID 19. In the discussion hosted by Ritesh Agarwal, Founder & Group CEO, OYO Hotels & Homes and Rohit Kapoor, Chief Executive Officer, OYO India & South Asia, the company shared details of its overall efforts to revive the sector, bringing demand for its hotel partners through alternative use cases and its plans to join hands the Government to facilitate new, improved ways of travel. The webinar witnessed participation from over 170+ OYO’s hotel partners across the state.

“Maharashtra is a land of enormous opportunity for the travel and hospitality sector in terms of generating opportunities for employment and bringing revenue to the state. We are proud to be surrounded with natural beauty and are actively pursuing opportunities in coastal, spiritual, heritage, eco-tourism, agri-tourism. We will continue to introduce multi-pronged tourism policies to bring a world-class experience to the tourists visiting the state. During the lock-down, our focus has been to introduce sector friendly policies to enable entrepreneurs, boost tourism and celebrate our incredible state with the rest of the world. We are excited by the work done by an Indian company such as OYO, and we wholeheartedly support the hospitality chain in its efforts to bring affordable, quality, safe and hygienic stay-in experiences to the travellers visiting the state,” Thackeray said.

Addressing the OYO hotel partners during the webinar, Singh said, “We have taken some major decisions recently to boost tourism in the state and have plans to announce some new-proposals in the near future. While introducing health, safety and hygiene protocols in the state’s hospitality sector, we took in the suggestions and recommendations by the hospitality chain, OYO Hotels & Homes. We would like to collaborate and close work with OYO to motivate entrepreneurs to open more hotels, attracting tourists and travellers looking for affordable stays.”

Commenting on its plans for the state, Agarwal said, “We along with our 170+ hotel partners had an insightful experience listening to the state government’s vision and their efforts to revive the hospitality sector in the state to make it an important tourism hub in the country. Maharashtra is an important market for us. We have generated over 5000+ employment opportunities in the state and are excited to tap into the potential of the tourism sector in the state. We, along with hundreds of our hotel partners, look forward to delivering a safe, secure and comfortable experience to the travellers.”

Kapoor held an interactive session Valsa Nair Singh where the OYO hotel partners from the state shared their questions in advance to understand in detail the new policies, state government’s plans to boost tourism in the state and how to tap into the upcoming leisure and festive season demand. OYO reiterated how it has enabled significant economic opportunities in Maharashtra and remains committed to generating more employment and entrepreneurship through the growing network of its hotels and homes in the state.

Air Seychelles has announced the appointment of Bird Travels as its General Sales Agent (GSA).

“We are delighted to appoint India’s leading airline and travel representation company, Bird Travels as our representative in India,” Charles Johnson, Chief Commercial Officer, Air Seychelles, said.

“Even though commercial flights between Seychelles and India are currently suspended, we will work closely with the company’s experienced sales and marketing professionals, well-positioned in most Indian cities, to further develop and strengthen our presence in addition to reinforcing our sales distribution network within the Indian market,” Johnson added.

Vijay Bhatia, Managing Director of Bird Travels said: “We are delighted to be associated with Air Seychelles and look forward to building a strong partnership. Armed with our extensive local knowledge and experienced team, Bird Travels is well-equipped and committed to further increase the airline’s footprints, market share and revenues in the country going forward."



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