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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

Accor is pleased to announce its “Unveil the World” campaign – a celebration of the return to travel, the approach of summer, and the joy of great hotel stays. With travel restrictions easing across many destinations worldwide, along with significant pent-up demand among travelers, the campaign is a signal of Accor’s confidence in the resurgence of travel, while reinforcing the company’s growing focus on the leisure segment.

“Our hotels and resorts are ready to welcome back guests and have successfully implemented our ALLSAFE hygiene and cleanliness protocols, which go beyond local and national requirements. This should help reassure travelers as our hotels are amongst the safest hubs for anyone resuming their leisure or business activities. Moreover, we are offering flexible rates and last-minute cancellation on All.com so that our guests can plan their holiday with a carefree spirit. Our Accor teams are working very hard to make sure we can deliver everyone’s vacation dreams this summer,” said Patrick Mendes, Chief Commercial Officer at Accor responsible for Sales, Marketing, Distribution and Loyalty.

“Unveil the World”, which is being debuted via a short film inspiring travelers to rediscover the amazing places and experiences that add beauty, depth and meaning to their lives, will be launched through ALL - Accor Live Limitless, a lifestyle loyalty program that integrates rewards, services and experiences throughout the Accor portfolio of brands.

Steven Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer, Accor said: “Over the past year, we’ve seen across social media how much everyone has missed traveling and getting to experience the things they love. People the world over have been through incredibly tough times, and it is our duty to inspire them with a renewed sense of energy, positivity, magic and reassurance. The world needs symbols of optimism to boost their morale and it is our sincere hope that people will soon get the chance to enjoy their much-deserved and delayed vacations.”

Accor’s research indicates that 65% of respondents worldwide are likely to plan a leisure trip in the coming months. Road trips, al fresco dining, cultural experiences, and city escapes are high on the priority lists of planned excursions – areas which Accor’s “Unveil the World” campaign will encourage with special offers, new loyalty benefits and booking flexibility.

Consumers are also looking for flexible pricing options, ease of booking online, and trusted health and safety protocols, which Accor hotels offer through the Group’s ALLSAFE hygiene and cleanliness label.

“Accor has worked hard to establish industry-leading practices in these areas, which our guests and loyalty members have expressed are a top priority as they make plans to get out and begin experiencing the world again,” added Taylor.

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) introduces Norwegian Prima, which has become the Brand’s most in-demand ship ever, with record bookings on the first day and week of sales.

With voyages beginning August 2022, Norwegian Prima, the first of six ships within NCL’s all new Prima Class, will offer guests exciting itineraries, the highest staffing levels and space ratio of any new cruise ship in the contemporary and premium cruise categories, and Brand-first experiences with Ocean Boulevard, Indulge Food Hall, The Concourse, Infinity Beach and Oceanwalk.

Harry Sommer, President and CEO, NCL, said, “Every aspect of Norwegian Prima, from bow to stern, was conceptualized with the guest in mind. With this world-class ship, we are providing our guests with more wide-open spaces, elevated service, thoughtful design and a variety of experiences that go beyond expectation. Our record-breaking sales are a clear indicator of our guests’ excitement to return to the ocean and of the significant demand for a premium vacation experience.”

Norwegian Prima will not only offer the largest variety of suite categories available at sea but will also boast a redefined The Haven by Norwegian, NCL’s ultra-premium keycard only access ship-within-a-ship concept. The Haven will feature an expansive sundeck, a stunning infinity pool overlooking the ship's wake and an outdoor spa with a glass-walled sauna and cold room.

Sommer, added, “Norwegian Prima is already proving to be a gamechanger for NCL. Norwegian Bliss, which debuted in 2018 and boasted our biggest booking day ever during her unveiling, has been outpaced by Norwegian Prima, which has doubled the prior record.  In addition, nearly 20 percent of bookings are for our Haven suites, indicating the desire for top-of-the-line experiences.”

The Governing Board of the oneworld global airline alliance has appointed Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker to serve as its Chairman. Al Baker will succeed current oneworld Governing Board Chairman Alan Joyce, Group CEO of Qantas Group.

As Chairman of the oneworld Governing Board, Al Baker will oversee the alliance’s governance, chair oneworld’s Governing Board meetings and work closely with oneworld CEO Rob Gurney and the alliance’s management team.

Baker said: “As we emerge from some of the most challenging times ever facing the global airline industry, I am honoured to be chosen by my fellow board members to lead the Governing Board for oneworld, an alliance that has continued to expand since COVID-19 emerged, with the addition of two new members in Alaska Airlines and Royal Air Maroc.

“I am also proud to lead an alliance that has set the benchmark for innovation, safety and customer service throughout the pandemic with many members, including Qatar Airways, taking the lead in trialing digital health passports. Qatar Airways has also enhanced bilateral relations with fellow oneworld members in the past 18 months, further demonstrating the strength of the partnerships between member airlines.

“The pivotal role airlines and aviation play in the global economy has never been more evident than this past year, with both passenger and cargo operations in the spotlight, supporting international efforts to protect lives and livelihoods. We have collectively enabled mobilisation of aid, medical supplies and key workers and I would like to pay tribute to all the teams who have worked tirelessly across the oneworld member airlines to support these efforts.

"I look forward to serving as Chairman of the Governing Board and working with our alliance partners, oneworld CEO Rob Gurney and the oneworld team to provide more global connectivity, a seamless travel experience and more valuable loyalty offerings for our passengers."

IndiGo announced that it has selected CFM International LEAP-1A engines to power its fleet of 310 new Airbus A320neo, A321neo, and A321XLR aircraft. This agreement includes 620 new installed engines and associated spare engines, as well as a long-term, multi-year service agreement.

In 2019, IndiGo selected LEAP-1A engines and signed a long-term service agreement for engines to power 280 A320neo family aircraft.  This new agreement, therefore, secures the LEAP-1A engine and its long-term service agreements for a total of 590 IndiGo A320neo family aircraft.

The airline is currently operating seven A320neo and 15 A321neo with LEAP-1A engines. This agreement will secure LEAP-1A engines and service agreements for itsA320neo family aircraft to be delivered from 2023 onwards.

“This is a pivotal milestone that reflects our long-standing commitment to rapidly strengthen our network both domestically and internationally. This expansion will serve as a catalyst to boost India’s economic growth and the mobility of its people. India’s aviation sector is poised to grow from strength to strength, and we will continue on our mission of building a world class transportation network. We are here to deliver on our promise of providing low fares and a courteous, hassle free experience to all our customers." said Ronojoy Dutta, Chief Executive Officer of IndiGo.

"We are pleased to extend our partnership with CFM for our next batch of Airbus A320neo, A321neo and A321 XLR aircraft,” said Riyaz Peermohamed, Chief Aircraft Acquisition and Financing Officer of IndiGo. “The introduction of the CFM LEAP engines in our fleet will allow us to maintain our strong focus on lowering operating costs and delivering fuel efficiency with high standards of reliability."

“We are incredibly honored by IndiGo’s renewed trust in CFM,” said Gaël Méheust, president and CEO of CFM International. “We are fully committed to helping IndiGo optimize its operations by providing them with the industry-leading asset utilization, fuel efficiency, and overall cost of ownership.”

“We are proud to expand our relationship with IndiGo and play a key role in their continuous growth,” said Philippe Couteaux, vice president Sales & Marketing of CFM parent company, Safran Aircraft Engines. “We take IndiGo’s trust as a great responsibility to keep supporting their fleet with the high-level CFM standards”.

The LEAP engine, which has logged more than 10 million engine flight hours in less than five years of commercial service, continues to set new industry standards for asset utilization, while reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 15 percent while maintaining the highest reliability rates in this thrust class.  

SriLankan Airlines and Boeing, the leading aerospace company in the USA signed a collaboration MOU in Colombo, Sri Lanka recently. The new agreement would enable both parties to explore airframe maintenance, component maintenance, training, and other commercial opportunities. 

The signing took place as a hybrid event in the presence of SriLankan Airlines CEO Vipula Gunathilake, Head of Engineering Shevantha Weerasekera, and Sales Director for Boeing Kaanthi Bhuvanagiri, while other dignitaries joined virtually.

 

Trivandrum Airport and its frontline corona warriors have been playing an active role to combat Covid-19 by facilitating the seamless delivery of medical essentials.

A total 313 boxes (9.76 MT) of COVID-19 vaccines have been transported through various airlines till 19th May 2021 through the Trivandrum Airport. To overcome the oxygen crisis, a total of 300 oxygen concentrators, 180 oxygen cylinders were transported by Indian Air Force aircraft like C17, AN 32 till 19th May 2021 in Kerala via Trivandrum.

Apart from this, Trivandrum Airport is also following all the COVID19 related guidelines and protocols as per the instructions of Central and State Governments to ensure a safe journey for passengers. The airport staff makes continuous requests to all the passengers, stakeholders, visitors, employees etc. to always follow COVID appropriate behaviour and maintain staggered timing to minimise crowding. To create awareness regarding COVID appropriate behaviour, ensuring safety of passengers, the airport is also displaying instructions through several electronic and permanent displays at the terminal.

All airports are trying and joining every battle they can. Trivandrum Airport has also organised COVID-19 vaccination camp for employees of AAI and other stakeholders in collaboration and support from state government, taking all safety measures into consideration.

FAITH the policy federation of all the national associations representing the complete tourism, travel and hospitality industry of India (ADTOI, ATOAI, FHRAI, HAI, IATO, ICPB, IHHA, ITTA, TAAI, TAFI) has made suggestions to Finance Ministry, Tourism Ministry & the CEA for GST rationalization of Indian Tourism Value Chain, to be taken up in the upcoming GST council meeting the next week.

FAITH has suggested to initiate the process of undertaking a review and rationalisation of GST applicable across different aspects of the Indian tourism, travel & hospitality industry.  They said that this rationalisation will enable some rationale support once the tourism industry attempts to begin its long crawl back from the pandemic.

Some of the measures proposed are briefly mentioned below:

• Hotels to be allowed to charge IGST which will enable seamless availability of credit across India to all travel agents and tour operators and will thereby lead to building up a sustainable domestic holidays,meetings and conventions business within the country.

• Tour operators to be enabled a special presumptive GST rate of 1.8% with full GST setoffs. The current rate of 5% without setoffs structurally implies that tour operators have an inbuilt margin of around 27.8% which is an inherently flawed   assumption in the internet economy.

• Travel Agents be also allowed the option of exploring the reseller model for charging as they are distribution arms for airlines. This option will enable travel agents to structure optimal partnerships as per their business requirements between their clients and their airline partners.

• Tourist transporters be allowed the provision for availing GST setoffs on interstate Tourist transport taxes, taxes on parking fees and on taxes on fuel which is their biggest input costs.

• Restaurants should be also allowed the option of charging GST at 12% with full Input tax credits and the rate should be delinked from any room tariffs if they are part of hotels.

• GST refund on purchases by foreign tourists to be implemented as already enacted under GST. - Tax Refund for Tourists (TRT) Scheme of the IGST Act and its applicability should be ensured across all the product and tourism services availed by them in India. This will prevent India from exporting its taxes on tourism and will increase our global competitiveness in world tourism.

•  Tourism, travel & hospitality players must be allowed to get refund of unutilized GST credit lying with state governments which will enable them to get much needed liquidity.

• Hotels to be enabled to charge 12% GST with full setoffs irrespective of their tariff categories which will ensure that Indian hospitality GST becomes more competitive globally as in most tourism focused countries it is below 10 %.

FAITH said that along with being one of the deadliest humanitarian crisis, this pandemic is also the worst ever existential one for tourism travel and hospitality industry. They believe that these rationalisation measures will provide a steppingstone for the Indian tourism travel and hospitality industry once it attempts its multi-year journey back to recovery.

 

Three operated hotels by AM Hotel Kollection have been rated and awarded the TripAdvisor Traveler's Choice Award 2021. These include designer hotel Anamiva, Goa, the 17th century Fort Tiracol Heritage Hotel, Goa and The Summer House, Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh.

Randhir Narayan, CEO, AM Hotel Kollection, said, “We are proud of what we have achieved in little over two years of launch of our wonderful hotels. We are humbled and full gratitude towards our guests and the owners of our hotels, who have appreciated our differentiated products & service ethos across the country.”

“We continuously strive for customer satisfaction and a zero-defect operation, these awards are recognition of the effort we have put in and will motivate us to stay on the right track,” added Sanchit Wahi, Head of Marketing & Communications.

AM Hotel Kollection is a hotel management & services company which manages and services hotels & restaurants in over 12 destinations in India and abroad.

Kanika Soni, Chief Commercial Officer, Tripadvisor, said, “Congratulations to all the winners of the 2021 Travelers’ Choice Awards. I know the past year has been extremely challenging for tourism businesses. What has impressed me is how businesses adapted to these challenges, implementing new cleanliness measures, adding social distancing guidelines, and utilizing technology to prioritize guest safety. The Travelers’ Choice Awards highlight the places that are consistently excellent - delivering quality experiences time and time again even while navigating changing customer expectations and new ways of working. Based on a full year of reviews from customers, this award speaks to the great service and experience you provided guests in the midst of a pandemic.”

TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the Travelers’ Choice honourees. It takes into account the quality, quantity and recency of reviews and opinions submitted by travelers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period, as well as a business’s tenure and ranking on the Popularity Index on the site.

[email protected], a 150-bed oxygenated COVID-19 treatment centre at Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (KIAB/ BLR Airport), has been operationalised. The facility was virtually inaugurated by Chief Minister of Karnataka BS Yediyurappa on May 19, 2021 during his visit to the Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (KIAB/ BLR Airport).

Located near the Cargo Terminals of BLR Airport, [email protected] is open for the public and employees from the BLR Airport ecosystem.

Patients can get admission at the Centre by contacting the Nodal Officers (Sannappaiah -9448116661) and Dr. Sanjay -9538279991) or through recommendation from a Referral Hospital. The patient must carry Aadhar card, prescription provided by the Referral Hospital and relevant medical documents.

The facility is designed to treat patients who are asymptomatic, with mild hypoxia (a condition in which the body or a region of the body is deprived of adequate oxygen supply at the tissue level). It is designed to be a transit oxygen delivery centre, which would provide much-needed relief and treatment for patients requiring oxygen support until they are able to get admission in a hospital. This facility is not equipped to treat pregnant women or moderate cases and those requiring high flow oxygen support / ICU beds.

The Centre would be equipped with a pharmacy, pathology unit, nurses’ station, rest rooms, dining area and drinking water facilities. An ambulance would be on standby 24x7 to cater to emergencies. All necessary arrangements would be made for safe disposal of waste, including bio-waste.

An eminent panel of doctors, including Dr. Naresh Shetty, Dr. Nandakumar Jairam and Dr. Alexander Thomas, would provide technical assistance in the functioning of the Centre.

Treatment at [email protected] would be free of cost, while charges for medicines, tests and self-arranged ambulance would be borne by patients.

Funded by Fairfax Financial Holdings Group, the initiative, launched in partnership with GiveIndia, is part-funded by Kempegowda International Airport Foundation (KIAF) – the foundation of Bangalore International Airport Limited. The initiative will be managed by Fairfax Financial Holdings Group's investee companies – BIAL and Quess Corp Limited.

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s national flag carrier, SAUDIA, announced a new reciprocal loyalty agreement, expanding on the existing codeshare deal between the two airlines.

Members of the Etihad Guest and ALFURSAN programmes can now earn and redeem miles on flights across both carriers’ networks. Loyalty programme members from both airlines will also be able to earn Tier Miles and Tier Segments, helping them progress to the next tier level faster. In addition, members will be able to earn miles on Etihad and SAUDIA codeshare flights.

Terry Daly, Executive Director Guest Experience, Brand & Marketing, Etihad Airways, said, “As the aviation industry begins to restart and guests return to the skies, this partnership strengthens the airlines’ commitment to growing inbound business and tourism in their respective markets. It complements Etihad’s existing codeshare agreement with SAUDIA and opens more destinations for Etihad Guest members to earn and spend their miles through travel.”

Khalid Al-Bassam, Chief Commercial Officer, SAUDIA, said, “We are pleased to strengthen our partnership with Etihad through this latest agreement, which further builds on our shared history of successful collaboration. By offering our guests more opportunities to earn miles we are bringing greater value, flexibility and convenience to their travel experience, which will help fuel growth in demand and contribute to our goal of enhancing the Kingdom’s aviation and tourism sectors.”

The partners are also re-launching their codeshare cooperation beyond each other’s hubs. Under this extensive commercial partnership, which has seen more than 110,000 passenger journeys facilitated over the past two years, SAUDIA has added its ‘SV’ code to 15 destinations on the Etihad network in Saudi Arabia, Asia, the US and Europe. In addition, Etihad has added its ‘EY’ code to SAUDIA destinations in the Kingdom and Pakistan. This facilitates growth and recovery for both airlines, provides greater choice, convenience and flexibility for guests and freight customers, and further strengthens the ties between the two nations.

In other areas of cooperation, Etihad Airways Engineering has been collaborating with SAUDIA since 2016 at its MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Operations) facility in Abu Dhabi.

Etihad has been operating to Saudi Arabia since 2004, and prior to Covid pandemic, were operating up to 77 weekly flights between Abu Dhabi and Riyadh, Dammam, Jeddah and Medina.

The airline is presently operating direct flights to Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah and guests transiting through Abu Dhabi from the Kingdom have access to Etihad’s USA pre-clearance, the only United States Customs and Border Protection facility in the Middle East. This allows passengers bound for the United States to process all immigration, customs and agriculture inspections in Abu Dhabi before they board they board their flight to Chicago, New York or Washington D.C.

 

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