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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

Vaccination drive against COVID-19 in India is currently in full swing. With citizens flocking to the government portals to find and book relevant slots, it sometimes becomes a challenge to get your preferred slot with such high demand. To increase the chances of getting a vaccination appointment, ixigo has launched ‘Vaccine Slot Finder’ tool on its flights & trains app displaying real-time slot availability from the CoWIN website.

This tool can be easily accessed in the ‘What’s New’ section on the app by tapping on the ‘Find vaccine slots’ option. One can select their area pin code or the district along with the age group and specify the dose they qualify for. A user can further filter the search results by selecting the vaccine type (Covishield or Covaxin), and whether they are opting for a ‘free’ or ‘paid’ vaccine centre. If a slot is available, they will be redirected to the coWIN website to book the appointment. In case of unavailability of a slot, users get an option to select ‘notify me when slots are available’ which will enable push notifications for whenever the slots are available in their area.

Rajnish Kumar, CTO & Director, ixigo said, “With this initiative we want to support the government's efforts in accelerating mass vaccinations by providing our users seamless access to vaccine slots. Timely vaccinations will help ease anxiety and encourage safe and free movement of people going forward.”

IHG Hotels & Resorts has signed a management agreement with Samplast Resorts to develop Holiday Inn Express & Suites Jalandhar GT Road. The new-build hotel featuring 110 keys is expected to be operational by the first quarter of 2024. With an existing portfolio of hotels from the Holiday Inn brand family across key cities in Punjab, the new development will further strengthen the brand’s presence in the country and the state, in line with market demand.

Located on the Grand Trunk Road, also known as NH1 which connects the country’s capital city of Delhi to Amritsar, the hotel will benefit from the excellent visibility and convenient access. Holiday Inn Express & Suites Jalandhar GT Road will be a short drive from the city’s central business district as well as shopping destinations. Additionally, the hotel will have an adjoining strip mall that will offer multiple dining options for hotel guests.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Jalandhar GT Road will feature modern guest rooms and state-of-the-art facilities. For recreation, the hotel will offer ‘Great Room’, a bar and a lounge. Other facilities will include a fitness room, meeting rooms, 15,000 sq. ft. of banqueting space, as well as signature amenities in line with brand’s promise of offering a comfortable stay to guests.

Sudeep Jain, Managing Director, South West Asia, IHG, said, “We are delighted to announce the signing of a new Holiday Inn & Suites hotel and solidifying our presence in the state of Punjab. Punjab is a popular destination with both domestic and international travelers, and Jalandhar, specifically is known to be a hub for the manufacturing industry and is also an important destination for medical tourism. Therefore, in the long-term, there is growing demand for quality branded accommodation in the city and Holiday Inn Express & Suites from our essentials collection fits perfectly well with market needs.”

In a joint statement, Rajinder Kumar and Rajan Kumar, Directors at Samplast Resorts added, “It is our first venture in the hospitality sector and partnering with a global, well-respected brand like IHG gives us trust and confidence in the hotel’s success. With IHG’s credibility, global and local experience, and powerful delivery systems, we are certain that the hotel will emerge as a popular choice amongst the travellers visiting Jalandhar.”

GO FIRST (formerly known as GoAir) has partnered with DreamFolks, the tech-driven global airport service provider, to offer Departure Lounge service across select airports in India. With this, GO FIRST aims at making flygofirst.com a one-stop shop for value-added services for its customers.

Lounge services are available across 30 domestic terminals and 12 international terminals. The amenities available in Departure Lounge services include food & beverages, entertainment, free Wi-Fi, business centre facilities etc. Customers can book lounge access during flight booking or post-booking through GO FIRST’s website and mobile app.

This initiative is part of the airline’s ambition of creating a robust ancillary products portfolio that will offer customers an array of add-on services to choose from. An exclusive Lounge service for customers is a unique offering wherein customers can comfortably spend the pre-boarding time in a relaxed environment.

Kaushik Khona, CEO, GO FIRST, said, “Customer delight has always been of paramount importance to us. With the introduction of Departure Lounge, we intend to create a service that provides optimum comfort while facilitating productivity for business travellers. We are confident that our well-differentiated product and exceptional focus on service, together with greater comfort, convenience and seamless connectivity will find strong resonance with passengers.”

Liberatha Kallat, Founder and MD, DreamFolks, said, “DreamFolks is delighted to partner with Go First, one of the largest airlines in India with customer centric approach akin to its own. We have been a pioneer of airport services in India and endeavor to provide a seamless travel experience prioritizing Excellence Above All to all traveller’s through our alliances across industries. Our customized solutions integrated with GoFirst will provide an exemplary end to end airport experience to GO FIRST flyers.”

The services are not just restricted to Tier I cities but also covers many Tier II and III cities.

Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi, Minister of Tourism, Odia Language, Literature and Culture, Government of Odisha said that while in the government scheme of things tourism may rank a little lower than other priority sectors like health, education, it is an important sector that must be supported.

Addressing the virtual roundtable on ‘COVID-19: Impact on the State Tourism Sector’, organized by FICCI, Panigrahi said that the budget allotted for the tourism sector this year has seen an unprecedented increase. The Chief Minister wants to take Odisha tourism to global standards. We all must understand that the sector needs help to bounce back.

“The Chief Minister is expected to soon announce financial packages for the tourism sector. The need is to work towards sustainable tourism, and we cannot have a situation where risk management is not taken care of,” he added.

“Let us collectively reaffirm our commitment to preserve power and promote all aspects of tourism and hospitality to make it socially and economically sustainable,” he said.

Vishal Kumar Dev, Principal Secretary, Sports and Youth Services and Tourism, Government of Odisha said that the government is aware of the concerns faced by the tourism and hospitality sector. “We are working on a detailed support package to be offered to the industry, which would include hotels, restaurants, tour operators, and self-employed people including photographers, guides, etc., among others,” he added.

Highlighting the measures to promote Odisha tourism, he said that we are looking at roadshows, road trips from the neighbouring states, and scaling up of eco-retreats to cover more destinations. We have selected a partner that will help us in curating various itineraries and immersive experience packages to promote these packages, Mr Dev noted.

 “For the long term, there has been a change in our approach to infrastructure development. We are developing infrastructure in a very planned and integrated manner. We are also looking at destinations in a holistic manner and a preparing master plan for each destination. A priority destination list has been identified consisting of 70 circuits and the government will invest in a big way. Our infrastructure development budget for this year has been doubled,” he added.

 

Dass Group of Hotels has recently launched Dass Regency. The property is located at abbout 4kms from Thrissur town is Kanimangalam, blessed with the serenity and imperturbable tranquillity of a typical Kerala village. Stretches of green paddy, silhouetted by the majestic Western Ghats and dotted with quaint temples, Kanimangalam is sure to steal your heart. It is well connected to all the major cities by road.

Dass Regency is bringing the global standards of business class hotels to rhyme with the traditions and history of this legendary destination. With business and leisure in mind, Dass Regency will be a perfect choice of stay here.  Dass Group of Hotels with its rich legacy of success in the hospitality industry, makes this property and its services stand out from any other business hotel in Thrissur. Extremely elegant and spacious conference halls, special dine-in restaurants and high-class rooms are just perfect for any guest.

All the rooms are designed and organized with all facilities to make ones stay comfortable and hassle-free. Perfectly lit rooms that have ample cabinet space, clean and cosy beds with crisp linen. The bathrooms are smartly placed and fashioned with 100% ensured hygiene.

Thrissur, the gloriously proud cultural hot spot of Kerala is well known for the colourful Poorams, historical iconic temples, authentic Kerala food, traditionally rooted Ayurvedic centres, the list goes on. With changing times, Thrissur has also grown to be Kerala’s most dynamic and thriving commercial hub.

 

With all the action going on, business travels to Thrissur has rocketed. The city welcomes business and leisure travellers from all over with heartful hospitality. Air, road and rail travellers can easily reach the city from all parts of Kerala.

The beautiful village of Kanimangalam is also famous for its “Kole Lands”, known to be the hotspot of migratory and native Birds. These areas lie below sea level and are traditionally used for paddy cultivation. Several bird species like the “Bush-lark”, “Red Wattled Lapwing”, “Spotted Munia”, etc find this beautiful land to be perfect nesting areas and making it an ideal spot for bird-watchers and nature enthusiasts from all corners of the world.

The food variety and quality at the property are exceptionally good with a special team of chefs with years of experience and expertise in the culinary field. Both, Tulips, the multicuisine and Orchid, Vegetarian restaurant here are maintained in a vibe that repletes with the global business standards. 

The peak of luxury can be enjoyed at the Royal Symphony suite room. This is truly more than just a business class stay experience. A harmony of comfort, luxury, royalty and authenticity. The windows open to the green stretches of paddy, so picturesque to make buds of poetic warmth bloom in your mind. Aptly designed for honeymooners and for those who would like to relive their honeymoon once again, this is an opulence you will not find anywhere else.

Apart from this, the property also has a 75 pax capacity Banquet hall and a Conference Hall that can accommodate upto 200 pax. With a dedicated team who are always ready to ensure maximum comfort during a guests stay, makes Dass Regency the apt choice for all during their next business and leisure trip to Thrissur.

Justa Hotels & Resorts has announced the opening of juSTa Birding Resort, Dharamshala. The opening marks the 12th juSTa Hotels branded hotel in India. The property offers 22 rooms including 5 suites.

Located in the scenic Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, the resort is inspired by the region's unique heritage and culture, which is designed to offer a comprehensive range of premium experiences.

“We are thrilled to announce the opening of the second juSTa Hotels and Resorts branded hotel in the majestic state of Himachal Pradesh, said Ashish Vohra, Founder & CEO, juSTa Hotels and Resorts.

“Destination Dharamshala has been attracting an increasing number of domestic and international travellers and we are confident the juSTa brand is the perfect fit to cater to these discerning travellers with our well recognized personalised care and hospitality," he added.

The Heritage Village Resort & Spa has announced the re-opening of both its resort properties, Heritage Village Resort & Spa, Manesar and Heritage Village Resort & Spa, Goa.

Kapil Agarwal, CEO Select Family Office & Hotels said “The safety of Guests and Team Members is our priority and we have put in place enhanced safety protocols to ensure this. All our team members are vaccinated, and we require that all our guests are either vaccinated or carry a Covid negative test report, otherwise a Rapid Antigen Test will be administered on site. We have individual AC units in all our rooms to ensure clean and safe air. Last but not in the least, oxygen concentrators are also available in case of any emergency”.

The pet friendly 157 room, Heritage Village Resort & Spa, Manesar, a Rajasthani Haveli themed resort is spread over 12 acres and provides ample space for natural distancing among guests and is an ideal getaway. Located just off the Delhi-Jaipur Highway (NH 8) the property also doubles up as a wellness retreat. 

The Beachside Portuguese-style property Heritage Village Resort & Spa, Goa, offers 97 rooms, located in a picturesque section of South Goa and a two-minute walk away from Goa’s pristine Arossim Beach, is perfect for family getaways and pet cations.

Mauritius is all set to welcome international travellers from 15 July 2021. The island will be opening in phases during 2021 and the first phase, from 15 July to 30 September 2021, will enable vaccinated travellers to enjoy a resort holiday on the island.

Holidaymakers will be able to enjoy facilities within their chosen resort premises, including the swimming pool and beach. If guests stay over 14 days and have negative PCR tests during their stay in the resort, they will be able to explore the island’s attractions.

However, for shorter stays, they may leave the resort earlier and travel back home.

Travellers to Mauritius aged 18 years or over must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. They must undergo a PCR test between 5 and 7 days before departure and a negative result is required to travel to the island. Travellers will also have a PCR test on arrival at the airport in Mauritius and on day 7 and 14 of their resort holiday, as applicable.

For Phase 2, from the 1st of October 2021, vaccinated travellers will be allowed entry without restrictions upon presentation of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure.

Unvaccinated travellers will be subject to 14 days in-room quarantine for both Phases 1 and 2 until further notice.

The announcement follows the acceleration of the vaccination campaign and the progress made towards herd immunity by the end of September. Frontliners of the tourism industry were prioritised during the vaccine rollout. This enables a prompt and safe restart of the Mauritius tourism industry.

Global airline alliances renew calls for governments to adopt aligned travel measures to restart international travel and global connectivity.

The three global airline alliances Oneworld, SkyTeam and Star Alliance are calling on G7 governments to agree on a common set of travel and health standards at their upcoming leadership summit on 11-13 June.

In unison, the CEOs of the three global alliances – Kristin Colville at SkyTeam, Rob Gurney for Oneworld, and Jeffrey Goh of Star Alliance – said: “International air travel is the engine of the global economy, with tourism a vital part of the human experience. With considerable data now available to support government decisions in managing risks, decisive action from G7 members to define and support consistent, aligned and data-driven measures would remove uncertainty, particularly around testing and quarantine.”

While vaccination programmes offer hope in some markets, varying – and often fast-changing - rules and procedures across countries and at different airport hubs, continue to create confusion and stress for customers and disrupt travel.

To provide much-needed clarity, the alliances – which collectively represent almost two-thirds of global air capacity prior to COVID-19 – urge G7 governments to lead the world in aligning to the following travel measures to reconnect travellers with the world, safely and securely:

• Fully vaccinated passengers should be exempt from quarantine.

• COVID-19 testing should be easily accessible, affordable and consistent

• Connecting passengers at international hub airports should not be subject to additional testing or quarantine restrictions at the point of transfer if remaining in the transit zone.

Further, the three global airline alliances support IATA’s call for governments to adopt digital processes to manage travel health credentials including vaccine and test certificates, and for G7 member states to agree to common requirements and standardsfor health credentials as set out by the World Health Organization and International Civil Aviation Organization.

"Vaccination will have a key role in the restart of international air travel and tourism. Governments should accept accredited vaccination as a safe and appropriate reason to avoid quarantines. In the meantime, while we wait for the population to be substantially vaccinated, it is important to have robust and consistent testing protocols, along with NEW YORK, AMSTERDAM, FRANKFURT, June 10, 2021 - To facilitate the safe restart of interoperable digital solutions developed to facilitate the customer journey,” said the three alliance CEOs.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions organization, expanded its strategic partnership with Virgin Atlantic, one of the UK's leading airlines, to help the latter embark on a new phase of recovery and growth.

The enhanced partnership builds on a 17-year relationship between the two organisations and will see TCS take exclusive responsibility for end-to-end operational management and digital transformation. This includes technology operations, where TCS will enable Virgin Atlantic to leverage the best of Microsoft Azure through a series of technology and business transformation initiatives. In addition, TCS will build innovative digital solutions with Cloud First guiding principles to help Virgin improve technology resilience, agility, and performance in its purpose-led transformation.

In keeping with TCS' purpose of building better futures using collective knowledge and innovation, the expanded engagement will utilise the contextual knowledge and expertise of an integrated team consisting of TCS and Virgin Atlantic's people to run and transform the airline's end-to-end technology operations. It will see over 70 of Virgin Atlantic's technology team transfer to TCS, bringing together diverse talent within one integrated team.

"From the outset of our working relationship, TCS' deep-rooted expertise in the airline industry and innovative approach to digital solutions has consistently helped us transform the modern-day flight experience. As we emerge from a period of great challenge and transition, our strong foundations and belief in our partnership with TCS remains integral to our strategy for future transformation," said Ash Jokhoo, Chief Information & Data Officer, Virgin Atlantic.

"The travel and hospitality industry is leveraging digital innovations to reimagine the experience for consumers looking forward to a positive return to air travel post the pandemic. We are pleased to partner with Virgin Atlantic to drive their digital transformation and power their next chapter of growth," said Arun Pradeep, Business Head, Travel & Hospitality - Europe & UK, TCS. "We warmly welcome Virgin Atlantic's employees into TCS, where they will see diverse opportunities for learning and career growth."

 

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