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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

RoomsTonite, one of India’s largest mobile marketplaces for last-minute hotel bookings has recently released a trend report on 11th hour hotel bookings in India. Based on the usage patterns of over 150,000 users, it was discovered that Bengaluru tops the list of destinations for which last-minute bookings are made followed by New Delhi and Mumbai. The report also established that out of the total last-minute hotel bookings made on the app, over 60 per cent were made by business travellers and the rest by leisure travellers.

Speaking on the report, Suresh John, CEO and Founder, RoomsTonite said, “Through this trend report, we map the interesting booking propensities of our users. As a last-minute hotel booking channel, our value proposition is unique and users turn to our app to address a very specific need.”

Interestingly, comfort hotels emerged as the most preferred category of travellers whose plans got firmed up at the last minute. RoomsTonite also studied booking preferences by segregating Android and iOS users. The booking value of iOS users surpassed those of Android loyalists by 1.3 times while the time spent on the app by Android users was almost 3.5 minutes more.

Brand USA has announced that it is introducing VisitTheUSA.com as its new global consumer website address to reach international travellers. Brand USA’s current consumer website address, DiscoverAmerica.com, will continue to be live in the market place.

The new URL is being introduced over the course of Brand USA’s 2016 fiscal year in all markets where the organization currently promotes travel to the United States, with the exception of China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, and Taiwan. In those markets, Brand USA’s online consumer presence is promoted to travellers as GoUSA.com (and the related in-country extensions), because consumer testing indicated the GoUSA address resonated more clearly with travellers in those markets.

Brand USA’s business-to-business and corporate URL address will continue to be found at TheBrandUSA.com.

“We expect to complete the introduction to VisitTheUSA over the course of several months through a purposeful, soft launch that enables us to fully test and optimize the site as we also begin work to enhance the content and functionality of our consumer website and evolve our consumer marketing campaigns,” said Christopher L. Thompson, Brand USA’s president and CEO.

Thompson cited several reasons for introducing a new website URL as its core online presence, including its strong alignment with its mission to welcome and increase the number of travellers who visit the United States, as well as the fact that “America” is more than just the USA.

“In many parts of the world, we found that international travellers felt our use of ‘America’ in our current consumer website address was overreaching, because America is comprised of more than just the United States. While ‘America” resonates strongly in many parts of the world, in others the Americas refers to one continent comprised of North, Central, and South America,” Thompson said. “And those three subcontinents include 35 different countries.”

The Indian Hotels Company Ltd. (Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces) has decided to discontinue its management contract for The Gateway Hotel, Jodhpur and The Gateway Hotel, Ummed Ahmedabad. Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces will continue managing the hotels as per previously agreed contractual terms until 9th May, 2016.

“The Taj remains fully committed to honouring all its contractual obligations to our stakeholders during this period," said Rakhee Lalvani, Associate Vice President – Public Relations - Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces.

The Punjab Heritage and Tourism Promotion Board is supporting DRONAH Foundation in association with UNESCO - New Delhi, INTACH -Punjab Chapter, ASI Chandigarh Circle, Department of Architecture – Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar and Chitkara University - Punjab Campus in celebrating Heritage Week in Punjab – Amritsar, Patiala and Chandigarh - between 19th to 24th of November with a number of activities lined up for each day.

The first leg of the Heritage Week was successfully kicked off in Amritsar on the 19th of November. The activities included a Heritage Walk, painting competition for  school children  and a panel discussion on ‘The state of Tourism and Heritage in Amritsar’ hosted by Department of Architecture, Guru Nanak Dev University. Shree Bakshi Ram Arora, Honourable Mayor, Amritsar was the chief guest on the occasion. He addressed the audience in the panel discussion, which raised some important issues related to heritage and tourism in the Amritsar.

The heritage walk led by Punjab Tourism guides took students from colleges around the built structures of the city while school children participated in a painting competition on the theme culture and Heritage and Punjab

The talk on ‘The State of Heritage and Tourism’ in Amritsar was opened with a welcome address by Architect Meenakshi Singhal, Head of Architecture Department, Guru Nanak Dev University. For the panel discussion, Shikha Jain, Chairperson DRONAH Foundation opened the discussion with an overview of heritage conservation work going on in Punjab and the importance of continuous partnerships required to position Punjab in the heritage tourism scene.  Balwinder Singh of Guru Ramdas School of Planning, GNDU made presentation on the potential tourism circuits in Punjab and the need to develop them. Honourable Mayor, Shree Bakshi Singh Arora talked about the on-going projects in the city and the practical measures that are aimed at bringing Amritsar as a great tourism destination. Another panelist, Sukhdev Singh, INTACH Convenor, Punjab Chapter asserted the need to make the people aware of our heritage. Professor Sarabjot Behl, Senior Faculty, Department of Architecture, summarized the entire discussion by pointing out how the economic sustainability of heritage can be sustained by tourism and the importance of public-private partnership to preserve and protect our heritage. He also very poignantly highlighted on the need to bring together the intangible and tangible parts of heritage and the importance of going beyond the built form while talking of heritage.

The discussion was quite fruitful in raising the debate that exists between heritage and tourism and how the two should be brought together for sustainable economic development of Amritsar.

HolidayIQ has launched a new marketing campaign with the tagline – “Holiday Better.”  HolidayIQ, which is one of the first holiday planning websites in India, has a massive following with more than 11 million members from across the country. Travel aficionados dedicatedly write reviews, upload pictures and videos, and provide time saving advice to those within the community.

Hari Nair, Founder and CEO, HolidayIQ said, “We are very excited to launch our TVC and this is a major milestone in our journey. At HolidayIQ, our focus has always been on empowering people with information to help in planning their holiday better and discovering new places though reviews, photos and now even videos. The campaign reiterates the fact that when people connect, travel can be focused on becoming a collection of brilliant memories and experiences, avoiding pain points where possible.”

Driven by traveller insights, the television commercial, created by Happy Creative Services, is already live. The film primarily showcases a series of breathtaking destinations and captures moments of discovery, jubilation and surprise brought by the uniqueness of a place. It drives home the face that HolidayIQ is a community of travellers; that when you want to travel, you can rely on real people who have already been to those places that will give you real advice and feedback.

Diptakirti Chaudhuri, CMO, HolidayIQ.com said, “Travel is increasingly becoming a social and community driven activity. Information and experiences travellers share as reviews serve as holiday inspiration and a resource for tips to a very large audience. At HolidayIQ, we are already India's largest travel community and we are on our way to building india's most engaged travel community.”

Air New Zealand has partnered with Travelport for Rich Content and Branding solution. Travelport Rich Content and Branding enables airlines to market and retail their products more effectively, fully displaying all of their fares, ancillaries and brand proposition to travel agencies. It includes product descriptions and graphics, optional or ancillary products for sale, including fares families, as well as ‘the next product/price point up’ offers to encourage more upselling.

Damian Hickey, Vice President, Asia Pacific and Global Sales Strategy, Air Commerce, Travelport said, “Travelport’s Rich Content and Branding is the perfect tool for Air New Zealand to showcase its brand offerings. Our solution is about empowering airlines to create great choices for their customers and to clearly communicate those choices.”

Concept Hospitality under its brand The Fern Hotels & Resorts announces the launch of The Fern Kadamba, Hotel and SPA, Goa. Located on Panjim - Old Goa bypass road, the hotel is in close proximity to major industrial and business areas. This is the third Concept Hospitality property in the state.

“We are delighted to announce the launch of The Fern Kadamba. It indicates the great response for The Fern brand in Goa.  We have always committed to deliver the best to our guests and will continue to do so in the future”, said CMD Param Kannampilly.

The hotel, offering 48 rooms, reflects the unique and proud heritage of the Goa with strong, bright tones and art across the hotel.

Currently Concept Hospitality manages over 36 hotels in various locations and has more than 25 projects in the pipeline.  The group also manages hotels belonging to CG Hotels and Resorts in India. The group launched eight properties in 2015 and expects to double our inventory by 2017.

Nikolina Angelkova, the Minister of Tourism of the Republic of Bulgaria along with a delegation met Mahesh Sharma, the Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism and Culture here today. They discussed the issues of mutual cooperation for the promotion of Tourism sector in both the countries. Sharma assured the visiting Minister of the cooperation of his Ministry in strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries and said that all possibilities would be explored for promoting tourism.

India Tourism had conducted a seminar for travel agents in Sofia, Bulgaria in November 2014 which was attended by 69 travel agents. Lack of direct air connectivity between India and Bulgaria is one of the major reasons for small number of tourists travelling between the two countries. Tour operators and travel agents of both the countries may interact with each other in order to promote two-way tourism between both countries.

The Chairman, Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) Umang Narula presented two dividend cheques of ITDC and KFHL for 2014-15 for the Government of India amounting to Rs.18.88 crores to the Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism and Culture Mahesh Sharma here today. Secretary (Tourism) Vinod Zutshi and senior officers of Ministry and ITDC were present on the occasion.

Addressing on the occasion, the Minister said that as per the initiatives of the Prime Minister for ‘Good Governance’ taken last year, the good results have started yielding now. The officers of his Ministry and Departments have been assigned target oriented goals with proper transparency. His Ministry had recently held a meeting with the representatives of 8 States on the issue of loss making hotels, he added.

ITDC, a PSU under the administrative control of the Ministry of Tourism has declared a dividend of 20 per cent amounting to Rs.17.15 crore for 2014-15, the highest ever in terms of amount and the highest since 2007-08 in terms of percentage and Kumarakruppa Frontier Hotels Pvt. Ltd. (KFHL), another PSU under the Ministry of Tourism has also declared a dividend amounting to Rs.4.39 crore for 2014-15.

For the financial year 2014-15, ITDC posted a robust performance registering the net profit of Rs.38.95 crores on a turnover of Rs.504.19 crores, the highest since 2007-08.

United Airlines recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of its service to India. The airline, which operates daily nonstop services from both Delhi and Mumbai to its New York hub, Newark Liberty International Airport, has carried over three million customers on more than 12,700 flights between the two countries during the past decade.

Dave Hilfman, United’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales, joined colleagues to host a gala reception for travel industry partners and corporate customers at Delhi’s Imperial Hotel on November 20, 2015.

Hilfman said, “All of us at United are very proud to reach this milestone and to have played such an important role in building links between India and the United States. Ten years ago we were the first airline to offer scheduled nonstop service between the two countries, and today we remain the only US carrier serving India. We thank all the customers who have flown with us over the past decade, our travel industry partners, and of course our sales, marketing and operations teams here in India.  We look forward to continued success in the future.”

The airline’s first flight to India, a Continental Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft from New York/Newark, arrived at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport on November 2, 2005. It was the first scheduled nonstop service by any carrier between India and the USA. The airline inaugurated nonstop service between Mumbai and New York/Newark on October 3, 2007. United and Continental merged in 2010 under the United name.



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