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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

Liverpool FC has announced a new global partnership with the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA) and Economic Development Board Mauritius as the club’s official tourism and economic development partner.

The deal forms part of the country’s drive to become a leading global tourist destination and business hub of Africa. The three-year partnership will see Mauritius benefit from a range of LFC digital, social media and marketing assets.

As well as being one of the top premier luxury holiday destinations in the world with one of the highest rates of return visitors, Mauritius is also one of the most business and investment-friendly locations in the world. The island has been an established centre for international banking and finance for at least 20 years and plans to grow this reputation for business around the world.

Billy Hogan, Managing Director and Chief Commercial Officer, Liverpool FC, said, “This is an exciting partnership and we’re delighted to build on our existing relationship with Mauritius following the opening of the LFC International Academy on the island in July 2019. We have a large, passionate fan base in Mauritius, and we’re pleased to be able to bring our supporters closer to the club through this partnership. We look forward to working with Mauritius Tourism and its Economic Development Board to support their ambition to further establish the country as a leading tourist destination and economic forum.”

Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Prime Minister, Mauritius, added, “Mauritius is proud to be an official partner of Liverpool Football Club, a global football elite and Premier League champions. We both share common values of dedication, determination and unity. This collaboration aims at strengthening and propelling Mauritius as a thriving economic powerhouse and a world-class tourism destination.”

Plaza Premium Lounge has commenced re-opening select locations globally. The company, which specialises in departure and arrival airport lounges, is serving passengers from over 100 airlines including American Airlines, Air China, Air France, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Etihad Airways, Eva Air, Garuda Indonesia, Japan Airlines, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, WestJet and Xiamen Air in Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Hyderabad, Jakarta, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Langkawi, Macau, New Delhi, Penang, Phnom Penh, Taipei and Vancouver.

Song Hoisee, CEO and Founder, Plaza Premium Group said, “As a pioneer and innovator of airport hospitality this is a crucial time for us to work with our airline and airport partners to rebuild trust and assurance in travel by providing a safe environment for travellers at the airport.”

To further strengthen safety and hygiene protocols, Plaza Premium Lounge (Gate 1) at Hong Kong International Airport, where the Plaza Premium Group headquarters is located, has reopened after a renovation to reconfigure zoning and introduce smart self-ordering system for travellers to choose made-to-order dishes.

Hoisee said, “We are committed to continuously enhancing our lounges, which have become an integrated component of a journey especially during and post pandemic as travellers seek a safe and worry-free environment to relax and enjoy prior to boarding. Our guests’ and our staff’s health and wellbeing is of utmost importance to us.”

Plaza Premium has introduced a series of health and safety measures including body temperature checks, frequent sanitisation of all surfaces, provision of hand sanitisers at different areas, encouraging social distancing and having a tailored minimalistic approach to food options to minimise human contact.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has compiled more than 200 of its amazing destination brochures, leaflets, books, maps, and media covering all aspects of Thai tourism into one easily searchable eBook platform to make it easy for visitors to find their place and activity of interest.

The Amazing Thailand eBook allows both domestic and foreign tourists an easy one-stop opportunity to explore all 77 provinces as well as Emerging Provinces, Top Destinations, Special Interest activities and Thai culinary locations including 12 Tourist Maps and guidebooks.

Designed both as an app and website, the Thai-English guidebook can be accessed via smartphone and tablets with clear categorisation for searching and downloading the information.

“These are all part of the preparations we are making for a projected return to normal travel and tourism flows in the next few months. Due to our high rate of success in curbing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and the positive publicity it is attracting, we expect Thailand will be in big demand as a priority destination. Our tourism products, facilities and services are reopening at a rapid pace, and this eBook will act as a one-stop-shop to help visitors easily and efficiently find their destination and activity of choice. In line with our commitment to sustainability, the eBook offers the environmental benefit of eliminating all paper,” Vinid Rangpueng, Director of the Marketing Service Department, TAT said.

Tablet and smartphone users can either scan the QR code or visit the App Store for Apple iPhone users and Google Play for Android users. Then, type the word amazingthailandebook (no space between the letters). The application can be downloaded for immediate use or accessed via the website www.amazingthailandebook.com.

Special kiosks with the QR code have also been placed at the TAT offices at the Head Office building, Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang International Airports.

Singapore Airlines has launched Miles of Good, a corporate social responsibility campaign under its #SIAcares initiative. This campaign aims to raise 100 million KrisFlyer miles that will be donated to selected frontline and essential workers, who have been tirelessly serving the public during the Covid-19 pandemic.

KrisFlyer members will be able to nominate deserving individuals with a minimum donation of 1,000 miles. The members and their nominees must reside in the same country or territory. Eligible nominees include healthcare workers, public transport workers, supermarket employees, cleaners, as well as food delivery, courier and postal services personnel. Members can also donate their miles without making any nomination.

KrisFlyer members may submit their nominations and donate their miles via the Miles of Good campaign landing page on SingaporeAir.com.

Singapore Airlines hopes to raise 70 million KrisFlyer miles through these donations and will contribute another 30 million miles towards Miles of Good. Nominations end on 10 August 2020, although members have up to 20 November 2020 to donate their miles.

Eligible nominees will be contacted by SIA. They will need to submit their details, provide their KrisFlyer membership number and share their personal story via an online form on the landing page.

Singapore Airlines will then get in touch with the successful nominees, who will receive up to 60,000 KrisFlyer miles credited into their accounts. These miles can be used to book flights on Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Scoot or on other KrisFlyer partner airlines. They can also be used to redeem gift items, hotel stays, car rentals, or shopping, dining, wellness and grooming services via KrisShop, KrisFlyer vRooms, and KrisPay*.

JoAnn Tan, Acting Senior Vice President, Marketing Planning, Singapore Airlines, said,  “The Miles Of Good campaign is an opportunity for us to join hands with our KrisFlyer members, and show our appreciation to the individuals who have been working on the frontlines during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is one way in which we can recognise the efforts of those who have been helping all of us through this challenging time.”

Leisure Hotels Group (LH) has announced the re-opening of all its Hotels, Resorts post lockdown. The Group has announced Special Worry-Free Staycation for 5,7,15 and 30 consecutive days.

“Our boutique resorts, bespoke villas & luxury camps are nestled amidst pristine natural surroundings of either hills, forests or beside rivers and are not affected. We would like to reassure all our guests that we remain committed to offer Smarter and Safer Stay Experiences to all our Guests by following industry leading COVID Guidelines & best practices,” Vibhas Prasad, Director, Leisure Hotels Group, said.

These special stays also offer flexi modification & with free cancellation policies allowing a one-time change with no charges if a cancellation is made upto 48 hours (2 Days) before the date of arrival. These special Staycation packages are in line with Uttarakhand Government Guidelines for guests who hold a mandatory COVID-19 negative test result or seven days’ hotel confinement or COVID e-pass.

“Although, remote-working culture of employees will continue to hurt business travel for now, it has opened newer options of travel for them, for instance, planning a Workcation with their families amidst nature at scenic destinations. We are confident that our locations are ideally suited for such options. Furthermore, the scenic beauty, large open spaces, immunity boosting nourishing menu, socially distant and drivable distances to our properties etc. will all add up to be the preferred choice for travellers planning a trip in North India” further added Prasad.

Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) has hosted a virtual press conference recently to commence the reopening of borders for all nationalities in Maldives as well as to launch the “Rediscover Maldives…the sunny side of life” campaign.

The campaign aims to strengthen the market presence to welcome back tourists once again. All marketing activities will be carried out under one campaign tagline; “Rediscover Maldives…the sunny side of life” for the rest of 2020.

In the opening statement, Thoyyib Mohamed, the Managing Director of MMPRC spoke about how the government and private sector have been working hard to ensure safety and hygiene standards for travelers in the new normal. He also mentioned that the Maldives is fully prepared to welcome back tourists and that safety of tourists and staff are top priority.

The remarks were followed by further statements from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdulla Shahid. According to Shahid, responding to COVID-19 has been tough but we have come back stronger as Maldives is a safe destination for all tourists and staff. Minister of Health, Honorable Abdulla Ameen mentioned a sense of relief and excitement as we welcome back tourists. He also gave the reassurance that proper health and safety measures have been put in place around the country to ensure an enjoyable vacation for visitors.

The event and the campaign are amongst the first initiatives to promote the destination once borders are reopened. With the onset of tourism adapting to the “new normal” and under proper safety precautions, MMPRC has a variety of activities planned for the year. President Solih has announced a target of 850, 000 visitors by the end of 2020.

RARE India will host its annual ‘Discover RARE’ event on 23rd July. The event aims to introduce the participants to the latest additions to the RARE India Community as well as share updates on COVID-19 readiness of the RARE India hotels.

Talking about Discover RARE 2020, Shoba Mohan, Founder of RARE India, said, “‘Discover RARE’ over Chai and Samosa is an annual event in the Capital that we eagerly await.  It is an occasion for us to meet friends and colleagues in the travel and hospitality trade, share news and updates as well as showcase the additions to the RARE India portfolio. In the current scenario, we have turned entirely to virtual platforms to engage with the industry. The all-important Chai & Samosa will be DIY in the WFH scenario and we hope this small initiative can help our colleagues in the industry engage with us and the community."

Discover RARE 2020 has been planned as an educative, interactive and fun afternoon. The first session will begin with information on COVID-19 readiness of the RARE Community. This will be followed by presentations on the new hotels in the RARE India Community. These hotels and travel experiences include a luxury desert camp perched on a high dune, tea bungalows in Tamil Nadu, an atmospheric heritage home, stunning mountain getaways, cruising expeditions and a floating hotel. At the end of the event, a fun quiz will be held with the winners receiving prizes sponsored by the RARE India hotels.

Tourism is hit the hardest due to COVID-19. Almost 95% of the Indian tourism industry constitutes of MSMEs. The industry welcomes the bailout package for MSMEs. However, the only thing that helps the industry is the postponement of the installments of loan. We did not get anything else despite tourism being one of the main forex earners. In 2018-19, Indian earned about US$28 bn as forex from tourism. Most importantly, tourism sector also employs more than 30 million people in India. These workers are frontline warriors of the tourism economy of India.

Going by the current scenario, I think that 30% of the travel agencies/tour operating companies will not start working again resulting into a massive joblessness for the country. These are uncertain times. Enterprises and tourism sector are going for pay cut, handing over pink slips or sending people on sabbatical under compulsions due to COVID 19 as there is zero business. We have to come forward with a proper solution to retain the skilled manpower of the industry. We all know that tourism keeps the economic activity going. We have seen that tourism is the economic lifeline in many far-flung areas of the country. Hence, the Govt of India should not ignore this sector.

The Government should look at tourism very seriously. Whatever we have done so far for tourism has not kept pace with the global trends. We welcomed 0.5 million foreign tourists in 1976 and the figure was same for the China. China today welcomes around 75-80 million inbound whereas India is at 10 million. Despite all our efforts, why are we not getting the desired results? Are our strategies not in tune with the changing market dynamics.? Shouldn’t be our inbound arrivals at 40-50 million?

As we all know that every challenge needs a unique solution to convert challenge into the opportunity.  I suggest that Govt of India should look into few things quite seriously to bring the tourism industry back on track.

The most important is Govt. should consider Financial Grant to the tourism industry through its collective body FAITH, that is like CII or FICCI for tourism in India. Like CII and FICCI, Govt should equip FAITH to take the leadership role in terms of marketing and promotion of India tourism in overseas and domestic markets. Government has to follow various processes and regulations that at times delays crucial decisions that impacts outcome.  I believe FAITH is the appropriate body to execute marketing and promotional activities timely and professionally. FAITH can plan all events and activities with proper planning and much in advance. The way we have been organizing our roadshows is not bringing the desired results.

There is a need to have a year- long calendar of roadshows and it should be organized in 50-60 countries. If it is planned well, atleast 2000 tour operators, hoteliers and other stakeholders in the private sector will synchronise their visits accordingly to maximise the impact of such efforts. 

India had 14 Overseas Tourist Offices earlier, but Ministry closed down half of them 4-5 years ago without any alternate arrangement. Govt. should consider mandating all Indian embassies/high commissions to promote tourism also, along with exports, that is being done With Ministry of Commerce. To fast track this synergy between MEA and Ministry of Tourism, Govt. may consider appointing an IFS officer as DG Tourism.  This will make our marketing and promotional efforts directed and also bring the expected results. If implemented well, I am sure that foreign tourist arrivals will witness the accelerated growth.

By Sarab Jit Singh, MD, Travelite (India). He was also the  Founder and Former Vice Chairman, FAITH; Former Sr. Vice President, IATO and Founder and Former President, ITTA.

Dubai has launched a compliance programme to certify and recognise hotels and retail establishments, F&B outlets and attractions that have implemented all public health protocols for the prevention and management of COVID-19.

The specially designed ‘DUBAI ASSURED’ stamp will be issued free of charge and will be valid for 15 days. It will be renewed every two weeks upon further verification by inspectors from the relevant authorities.

“The successful strategy adopted in combatting the pandemic, based on the vision and wise leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the follow up of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai has helped create an environment that is conducive to reopening our city to tourists from 7 July. Nonetheless, the health and safety of our residents and visitors remains our utmost priority.  The compliance programme that we have now rolled out across the hospitality sector with the wholehearted support of Dubai Economy and Dubai Municipality is not only testament to the continued efforts being made to further enhance health and safety standards but is also a confidence-boosting measure to reassure travellers that Dubai is one of the world’s safest destinations,” Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism, said.

“With the type and quality of health and safety measures bound to be foremost on the minds of travellers when selecting their destination of choice, the ‘DUBAI ASSURED’ seal is one such simple yet critical mechanism developed in collaboration with our stakeholders to assure tourists of a smooth and safe experience at every stage of their travel journey, right from arrival at our airports to the point of departure from Dubai. “The ‘DUBAI ASSURED’ stamp will also reinforce the global recognition of Dubai as a safe destination, as reflected in the Safe Travels stamps that we received from the World Travel & Tourism Council, which validates the stringent hygiene and safety protocols that are in place and endorses the efforts taken by the city to align itself with international standards and best practices in health and safety,” Almarri added.

According to a survey by global consulting firm HVS on future destination selection, 85 per cent of travellers will prioritise their travel plans based on the destination’s reputation and the type of action taken by its government in managing the pandemic including safety and security measures that have been implemented and the quality of the healthcare system and services that are available.

Sarovar Hotels and Resorts has announced the expansion of its leisure portfolio with the signing of a new hotel in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand.

Madhuban Sarovar Portico, currently undergoing complete renovation would be ready to welcome guests in mid-2021. The upscale hotel with contemporary interiors will have well-appointed rooms and suites offering scenic views of the valley. Guest facilities include a multi-cuisine restaurant, Bar, Gymnasium and Banquet halls to host different occasions.

Anil Madhok, Executive Chairman, Sarovar Hotels & Resorts, said, “We are delighted to mark our presence in one of the most popular hill stations in North India. Mussoorie is an important leisure destination for the domestic market attracting a large universe of nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. We hope to bring in a new level of comfort and facilities to travellers to this region with our superior accommodation and excellent services.”

 

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