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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Facebook have partnered to help global destinations make use of the power of digital marketing as they look to welcome tourists back safely. Over the past year, the United Nations specialised agency for tourism has been supporting its Member States on a series of initiatives relating to market intelligence and marketing.

Now, as tourism begins to restart in some parts of the world, a series of special sessions were held jointly with Facebook to deliver a range of key insights into how the effective use of digital marketing can help destinations gain a competitive advantage in the challenging months ahead.

Sandra Carvao, Chief, Market Intelligence and Competitiveness, UNWTO, said, “We are very happy to have Facebook on board with us to bring the fundamentals and best cases of digital marketing to our Members. Our partnership will help destinations be better prepared for a new market framework and allow them to use data and digital marketing to reach new audiences and restart their tourism sectors.”

Three sessions, one each in English, Spanish and French, welcomed participants from 30 countries. The sessions focused on Facebook and Instagram Communication Insights and Best Practices, with participants also given an overview of digital tools and tips for communicating with their target audiences, including through Messenger and WhatsApp.

The sessions also highlighted the importance of metrics and other key tools in measuring the success of digital marketing campaigns, and role of advertising and creativity in reaching new audiences.

Nicolai Gerard, Government Politics & NonProfit Marketing Solution Director, Facebook EMEA, said, “We are very pleased to work with UNWTO to help global destinations take advantage of all the benefits that digital solutions and tools can offered. In the times we are living, it is key for the travel industry to implement digital marketing strategies to accelerate the road to recovery. With this partnership, we believe that travel destinations will gain the necessary tools and skills that will allow them to use all the services available through our family of apps.”

Sustainability has had an extensive impact on the world we live in and it is going to have a greater significance in a post-Covid world. Embarking on a journey to greener skies, Etihad Airways is committed to its sustainability goals and is shaping the future of airline sustainability. The national airline of the UAE remains at the forefront to pioneer new and effective ways of mitigating aviation’s environmental impact to reduce carbon emissions and create cleaner and more sustainable transportation for future generations.

Etihad leads the industry in creating, testing and implementing technologies that make travel safer, more sustainable, more enjoyable and with passenger wellness as the priority.

 

While aviation sustainability is ever-evolving, Etihad Airways took on key initiatives, showcasing how the airline is committed to being ‘Greener Together’. Through these initiatives, Etihad unites industry-wide sustainability action to responsible aviation as a sustainable corporate leader.

 

Carbon Offsets

Etihad has committed to purchasing carbon offsets, to completely neutralise the CO2 emissions of its flagship “Greenliner” 787-10 aircraft for a full year of operations in 2021. The initiative is the start of the airline’s journey to reduce CO2 emissions to 50 percent of 2019 levels by 2035, and to achieve full net zero emissions by 2050 – a first for any airline in the Gulf and one of the first to set a target of this scale in the industry. Separately the airline will implement an additional voluntary offset programme for passengers via its website (etihad.com) in 2021. Etihad’s plan is centred on a Tanzanian forestry project and will initially purchase 80,000 tonnes of CO2 offsets.

Supporting the ecoDemonstrator programme

In August 2020, Etihad and Boeing worked together on the seventh iteration of the ecoDemonstrator programme to test innovative technologies in the air, building on the core innovation and sustainability tenets. Now, in December 2020, Etihad Airways inaugurated the pioneering 2020 ecoDemonstrator aircraft into commercial service.

The usage of Sustainable Aviation Fuel

For the last decade, exploring the usage of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) has been at the core of Etihad’s business. One of the airline’s first stints with SAF was in 2012 when it fueled its first flight using plant-based fuel. The highest permittable blend of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) was used throughout the programme, as well as on the delivery flight from Charleston to Abu Dhabi. As a result, over 60 tonnes of emissions were avoided on the delivery flight alone. These initiatives are progressive and exciting as Etihad continues to learn about sustainable fuels with the aim of making them less expensive and more widely available.

Zero net carbon emissions by 2050

In January 2020, Etihad announced its commitment to zero net carbon emissions by 2050 and a halving of 2019 emissions by 2035. These ambitious environmental targets will be achieved through a mix of optimised fuel management, internal initiatives, collaboration with industry partners and adoption of a comprehensive program of relevant carbon offsets, to be developed with specific focus on the requirements of the UAE and markets served by the airline.

Partnership with Boeing

In November last year, Etihad signed a groundbreaking global strategic partnership with Boeing, centered on the Boeing 787 ‘Greenliner’ to test cutting-edge technologies and explore ‘blue sky’ opportunities to improve airspace efficiency, reduce fuel burn, and cut CO2 emissions and noise pollution. Etihad’s Greenliner programmer, is an Industry-leading strategic partnership focused on innovation, collaboration and corporate/consumer engagement to minimise the impact of climate change. 

GoAir has extended its full support to various state governments including the Government of Maharashtra’s efforts to impose stricter protocols in order to #BreakTheChain. Air travel has been classified as essential services wherein passengers are allowed to travel to-and-from the airport upon showing valid tickets and boarding passes.

Kaushik Khona, CEO, GoAir, said, “Let me assure everyone that Air travel is the fastest and safest mode and we at GoAir will continue to adhere to the regulatory and state directives while operating with the highest health safety protocols. Nothing is more important to us at GoAir than the safety and well-being of our staff, crew and passengers. In the view of the second wave, it is all the more prudent to strictly follow the COVID norms laid down by the Ministries of Home Affairs, Health, Civil Aviation and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).”

GoAir has been carrying out the enhanced cleaning procedures to ensure the health and safety of its customers and employees. GoAir uses the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved, hospital-grade disinfectant for deep cleaning the aircraft, i.e. in the cabin, on elements in the flight deck, and in the lavatory. Each GoAir aircraft is equipped with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter, which filters out recirculated air on-board each plane to remove airborne particles. HEPA filters are also used in hospitals to provide patients with clean air wherein they extract more than 99.999 per cent of even the tiniest viruses, including COVID-19. At the airports, GoAir disinfects the check-in kiosks, gate areas, check-in counters and ticketing counters at regular intervals.

The airline’s slew of measures include; Strict social distancing at the airport during check-in and boarding, and on the aerobridges and buses, including row-wise boarding and de-boarding; Ground time for aircraft between flights increased to allow for cleaning and disinfection of all surfaces that come into contact with crew or passengers in the cabin, galley, and lavatories; Availability of hand sanitizers at all key touch points on the ground and in the aircraft; Clearance of seat pockets of all items except for safety card, which is replaced or sanitized after each flight; Crew wears face masks and gloves at all times when interacting with passengers and when in the aisles; Announcements made to minimize use of lavatories, and to avoid any non-essential movement in the aisles; Deep cleaning of aircraft, disinfection, and fogging is undertaken each night for the entire fleet.

All this is over and above the supply of free passenger protective equipment (PPE) kit provided to the passengers when he boards on to Go Air aircraft.

GoAir is also proud to be pioneer to transport the Covid vaccines and was amongst the first in India to carry vaccine consignments on its Aircraft. GoAir, thus continuous to provide the safest and most convenient travel mode – to its passengers.

Flipkart has the proposed acquisition of Cleartrip. Flipkart will acquire 100 per cent of Cleartrip’s shareholding, as the company further enhances its investments to strengthen its digital commerce offerings for customers.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cleartrip operations will be acquired by Flipkart. Cleartrip will continue to operate as a separate brand, retaining all employees while working closely with Flipkart to further develop technology solutions to make travel simple for customers.  

Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group, said, “The Flipkart Group is committed to transforming customer experiences through digital commerce. Cleartrip is synonymous with travel for many customers, and as we diversify and look at new areas of growth, this investment will help strengthen our wide range of offerings for customers. We welcome the Cleartrip team with their deep industry knowledge and technology capabilities to the Flipkart Group and look forward to providing deeper value and travel experiences for customers together.”                    

Stuart Crighton, CEO and co-founder of Cleartrip, said, “Cleartrip has been a pioneer in capitalising on technology to simplify the travel experience for our customers. This product-driven focus has enabled us to become the preferred travel partner of choice for consumers in a wide range of markets in the region. We are delighted to be part of the Flipkart family and are excited about the positive impact this collaboration can have for our customers and the travel industry in general."

The deal closing will be subject to applicable regulatory approvals.

Visit Maldives initiates a marketing campaign with Amazon India. Lasting from April 14, 2021 to May 13, 2021, the natural beauty and the naturally distanced islands of Maldives will be advertised on the Amazon app reaching a customer base of 35 million daily and 310 million monthly unique visitors. The campaign is part of Visit Maldives’ greater strategy to increase outbound arrivals to achieve pre-pandemic arrival figures and sustain India as the fastest growing source market for Maldives.

As part of the campaign, Amazon India will feature Maldives on its three application most engaged pages: Mobile Below the Fold (MBTF), Amazon Pay page and the Thank You page. The campaign aims to target a variety of groups such as affluent shoppers, travel enthusiasts and professional tech enthusiasts. The advertisements are estimated to achieve over nine million impressions. Furthermore, Dhigu Faru Island Resort will collaborate with Visit Maldives during the campaign.

Amazon India reaches 77 per cent of the digital population in India with 65 per cent of travel and hospitality viewers present on the platform. As a result of the immense reach, popularity and engagement with the platform, the campaign with Amazon India will increase awareness of Maldives as a safe and preferred tourist destination among o spenders across all categories.

There are several activities ongoing and planned for the Indian market to promote Maldives as a safe haven. Visit Maldives has concluded a campaign Wedding Sutra targeting honeymoon segments, further, joint marketing campaigns with Thomas Cook and MakeMyTrip are currently ongoing. In addition, Visit Maldives has conducted media, travel agents and celebrity familiarization trips from Indian market in order to sustain the destination presence and increase the arrival numbers.

Statistics published by the Ministry of Tourism reveals that India is currently the top source market for tourism in the Maldives. The latest statistics published by the Ministry of Tourism indicates that as of 31st March 2021 Maldives welcomed a total of 298,570 travelers with an arrival figure of 69,730 travelers from India. Visit Maldives plans to continue this momentum of growth by conducting several marketing activities in India.

Maldives reopened its borders for tourists of all nationalities on 15th July 2020, with rigorous procedures in place to ensure the safety of tourists and tourism workers. Tourists are required to fill an online health declaration form within 24 hours prior to their departure, as well as have a negative PCR test result, conducted 96 hours prior to their departure.

On 1st February 2021, Maldives initiated the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the government aims to provide free COVID-19 vaccine to all citizens and residents of Maldives in the upcoming months. As of March 31st, 237,716 people have received the vaccine including 17,516 frontline workers in the tourism industry. The initiation of the vaccination drive is bound to offer hope to the local population, as well as ensure the safety of tourists. This conveys the message that Maldives is a low-risk destination for travelers and will hopefully generate a surge in tourist arrivals.

Israel will be reopening its borders to international travellers on May 23rd after more than a year. However, visitors will have to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and will be expected to travel in groups. The news follows a deal between minister of tourism, Orit Farkash-Hacohen, and minister of health, Yuli Edelstein, on a framework for the reopening.

In the first stage, groups will be allowed in under guidelines to be published by the ministries. Following an initial reopening, numbers will be increased based on the health situation.

Individual travellers will be allowed into Israel in the second stage, with health considerations determining the timeline.

Edelstein said, “Israel is the first vaccinated country, and the citizens of Israel are the first to enjoy this result. After opening the economy, it is time to allow tourism in a careful and calculated manner. Opening the tourism is important for one of the fields most hurt during the Covid-19 year. We will continue to look at easing regulations in accordance with the health situation.”

All visitors will be required to undergo a PCR test before boarding a flight to Israel, as well as a serological test to prove their vaccination upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport.

In the meantime, discussions will continue with various countries to reach agreements for vaccine-certificate validation, so as to cancel the need for the serological test.

Farkash-Hacohen added, “I am pleased to give this important first step to the tourism industry. Opening the skies for international tourism will truly revive the tourism industry, including restaurants, hotels, sites, tour guides, busses and others looking to work and provide for their families. I will continue to work for the full opening of tourism to Israel, which will greatly assist the Israeli economy and create workplaces for many Israelis.”

Cathay Pacific Cargo has passed the milestone of shipping 15 million COVID-19 vaccines around the world. The landmark figure includes vaccines that have been imported for use in Cathay Pacific’s home hub of Hong Kong, as well as supplies for distribution to countries including Mexico, Malaysia and Indonesia.

John Cheng, Head of Cargo Markets and Products, Cathay Pacific, said, “The 15-million-dose landmark was achieved today upon delivery of a new batch of Fosun Pharma/BioNTech vaccines into Hong Kong. This week, we also have two other shipments from Beijing to Mexico carrying doses of Sinovac and CanSino vaccines. All of these shipments deploy our new Ultra Track multidimensional tracking and data-logging system.” 

To date, Cathay Pacific Cargo has carried five different COVID-19 vaccine brands. Alex Leung, Cargo Products Manager said, “Over the past few months, we have flown shipments of vaccines from AstraZeneca, Fosun Pharma/BioNTech, CanSino, Covaxin and Sinovac, which require different handling temperatures ranging from -70°C to 2-8°C.”

While most of the vaccine delivery flights have been to online ports, shipments to Latin America and the Caribbean in particular have showcased the strength of Cathay Pacific Cargo’s extended network.

Tom Owen, Director Cargo added, “We are also hugely appreciative of the efforts from our operational teams across the world, whose expertise has enabled us to move these delicate vaccine shipments with confidence, ensuring they arrive at their destination in perfect condition. We stand ready to play our part to deliver more of these much-needed vaccines as the world tackles the global pandemic. Our Vaccine Solution has proven itself to be ideally suited to the fast and effective distribution of vaccines across the globe, using our extensive global network of both freighter and passenger fleets.”

On the lines of Baba Amarnath Yatra, pilgrims are now travelling to Timmersain Mahadev in the Niti Valley of Chamoli district in Uttarakhand. Timmerasain Mahadev yatra commenced on April 7th with all the essential rituals. Since then, locals have been visiting Timmersain Mahadev amidst snowfall.

Satpal Maharaaz, Tourism Minister, Uttarakhand, said “A Shivalinga is present inside the caves in Timmersain, which is located about a km before the last village in the Niti Valley of Joshimath block. The Shivalinga is always anointed with the water dripping from the hills. While melting, the ice takes the shape of the Shivalinga every year which is known as Barfani Baba or Timmersain Mahadev. Baba Barfani sits as a self-proclaimed Shivalinga in Timmersain. Every year a shivalinga of more than 10 feet is formed here in winters. It is believed that Lord Shiva stayed at this place during Kailash Yatra. Therefore, this place is famous by the name of Sausa Mahadev. The devotees can now visit the restricted area of Niti Valley without any permission, and they can easily visit Timmersain Mahadev. The yatra will continue from 7th to 30th April. The state government welcomes all the devotees to visit Timmersain Mahadev”

District Tourism Development Officer, Chamoli Brijendra Pandey said that the yatra is being organized keeping in mind the corona guidelines issued by the administration. He said that the pilgrims coming from other districts are getting registered at Suraithota checkpost before the commencement of yatra. Health services are also being provided to the devotees by the administration. All preparations have been made for the pilgrims visiting Timmersain from all over the country.

Emirates is launching special fares. With Emirates’ generous booking policies, customers have the option to extend ticket validity for up to two years, enjoying greater flexibility and confidence when planning travel during unprecedented times.

Travellers in India can look forward to flight deals to Dubai, Cairo, Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Lusaka, Accra, Entebbe, and Dar es Salaam. It’s time to grab the opportunity and enjoy the luxurious experience with Emirates in the best price with return fares starting at only INR 16,185 in Economy Class or INR 56,764 in Business Class. Special seasonal fares are available for bookings made from 13 to 26 April 2021, valid for travel between 16 April and 30 September 2021.

Having participated actively in the UAE’s vaccination programme, Emirates is confident that travel will resume in a safe manner as we gradually restart operations across our global network. To date, over 35,000 Emirates employees have received their COVID-19 vaccine shot from one of the Emirates’ vaccination centres, with over 85% of airline pilots and cabin crew already completing two vaccine doses.

Customers can look forward to a safe and stress-free travel experience as Emirates has placed a heavy emphasis on health and safety with new comprehensive measures at every step of the journey. For more information on these measures and the services available on each flight, visit www.emirates.com/yoursafety.

Emirates' booking policies offer customers flexibility and confidence when planning their travel. Customers who purchase an Emirates ticket for travel on or before 30 September 2021 can enjoy generous rebooking terms and options in case of any travel plan changes. Customers have the option to change travel dates or extend ticket validity for up to three years. More information can be found here on Emirates’ website

All Emirates customers can travel with confidence and peace of mind with the airline industry’s first, multi-risk travel insurance and COVID-19 cover. This cover is offered by Emirates on all tickets purchased on or from 1 December 2020, at no cost to customers.

In addition to the COVID-19 medical cover, the airline also provides provisions for personal accidents during travel, winter sports cover, loss of personal belongings, and trip disruptions due to unexpected air space closure, travel recommendations or advisories, similar to other multi-risk travel insurance products. Some limitations and exclusions apply. Policy details and more information can be found here on Emirates’ website.

United Airlines continues to lead the industry towards a more sustainable future with the launch of the first-of-its-kind Eco-Skies Alliance SM program.

Working with the airline, more than a dozen leading global corporations will collectively contribute towards the purchase of approximately 3.4 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) this year.

With its nearly 80% emissions reductions on a lifecycle basis compared to conventional jet fuel, this is enough SAF to eliminate approximately 31,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, or enough to fly passengers over 220 million miles.

As inaugural participants, the following companies are taking a lead within their respective industries, reducing their aviation-related impact on the environment at the source, and creating demand for more SAF production. These are : Autodesk, Boston Consulting Group, CEVA Logistics, Deloitte, DHL, DSV, HP Inc., Nike, Palantir, Siemens and Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

“While we’ve partnered with companies for years to help them offset their flight emissions, we applaud those participating in the Eco-Skies Alliance for recognizing the need to go beyond carbon offsets and support SAF-powered flying, which will lead to more affordable supply and ultimately, lower emissions,” said United CEO Scott Kirby. “This is just the beginning. Our goal is to add more companies to the Eco-Skies Alliance program, purchase more SAF and work across industries to find other innovative paths towards decarbonization.”

United has made the airline industry’s single largest investment in SAF and has purchased more SAF than any other airline in the world. World Energy, a long-term partner of United, will supply the SAF to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which makes it conveniently accessible to United’s operations.

In addition to the Eco-Skies Alliance program, United is giving customers the ability to contribute funds for additional SAF purchase or for use on initiatives United believes will help decarbonize aviation – the first of any U.S. airline to do so. Understanding there is a growing interest among customers for real, lasting solutions, this new capability will be available starting immediately via portal on united.com/ecoskiesalliance.

 

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