• Thomas Cook India holds first physical MICE event since lockdownTravel And Tour World

    Published on : Thursday, February 25, 2021

    Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., India’s leading integrated travel services company, launched a strategic corporate outreach – India’s first such physical MICE event since lockdown, in partnership with Marriott International with a sharp focus on the restart of MICE travel. The event, aimed at bringing back confidence in MICE travel, saw active participation from over 80 of India’s leading corporates. Thomas Cook India’s ‘Assured-Insured Secured’ program, together with Marriott International’s ‘Commitment to Clean’, served to build confidence and add reassurance towards MICE travel in the new normal.

    The event was themed as Discover the World in Incredible India.’ The keynote address was delivered by Mr. Madhavan Menon, Chairman and Managing Director, Thomas Cook India and Ms. Ranju Alex, Market Vice President, West India – Marriott International. This was followed by an insightful panel discussion that deliberated on the future of MICE travel – moderated by Mr. Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – MICE, Holidays, Visa & Passport Services, Thomas Cook India. The vibrant interaction included dialogue around the potential of India as a MICE destination, digital, physical and hybrid MICE programs and the new travel normal for MICE.

    An interactive MICE Travel Mart was also inaugurated, offering the corporates an opportunity to interact with over 20 participating Marriott hotels that represented top MICE locales across India; also Dubai & Thailand. Each Marriott representative presented a range of offerings/USPs of their respective hotel with personalised options to support the corporates in booking their next incentive/conference in India. The New Zealand Tourism Board was present to highlight their MICE programs and welcome India’s travellers back once borders are reopened for the destination.

    The Corporates present were given a preview of Thomas Cook India’s innovative NextinMICE portfolio’- Dream Voucher, an exclusive selection of travel vouchers to delight top performers and partners. Digital Events & Engagements, strategically designed with cutting edge technology to inspire and deliver precise objectives. Staycations/Meetings Around the Corner, experiential venues within driving distance from all major metros. Gourmet Genie, personalised dining experiences at one’s doorstep and Strategic Communication and Collateral Design, innovative solutions and designs. Cuisine forms an intrinsic element of every MICE tour and hence the corporates were also presented with eclectic dining experiences that represented the best of India’s famed cuisines; and cosmopolitan flavours crafted by Marriott’s expert team of chefs.

    Mr. Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. Said in a statement that he is delighted with the overwhelming corporate attendance and participation for the first of its kind physical, MICE-focused event. He mentioned that the valuable partnership with Marriott is aimed at inspiring corporate decision makers and building confidence in travel while simultaneously putting the spotlight on incredible India. He shared that the in-person format created a vibrant platform for discussion and innovation and has been valuable in addressing queries for MICE travel in the new normal. He said that given the success, authorities are hoping to spearhead many more initiatives in the near future.

    Mr. Neeraj Govil, Senior Vice President of Operations, APEC, Marriott International added that with the MICE industry gradually opening up across markets, the partnership with Thomas Cook India has turned out to be extremely beneficial in restoring guest’s confidence for business travel. He mentioned that given the impact and the transient phase of travel, the reinvention of MICE will be a definitive focus in the new normal. He also said domestic tourism is currently at its peak and customers are constantly looking for services that work best with socially distanced norms so the MICE Travel Mart addressed accurate measures keeping in mind the recalibrated approach for travellers who now feel confident about stepping out for business.

    Mr. Navin Tewari, CEO, Capital Foods, shared that MICE Travel Mart by Thomas Cook India and Marriott International was very well organised and left everyone with a fantastic feeling about the future of physical MICE events. He informed that the teams took great care to ensure that all the necessary health and sanitation precautions were in place. He also mentioned that as an organization, face to face interaction that helps create stronger bonds with team members is valued and with limited international borders being reopened, fantastic experiential destinations in Incredible India as showcased by Thomas Cook India can be explored. He stated that the event has certainly helped with great insights into the new normal for MICE making people more confident of future bookings and reassured that people have the best travel partner in Thomas Cook India.


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  • Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) holds ‘Journeys in Arabia’ – a special online event

    Published on : Saturday, February 20, 2021

    The Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) recently held ‘Journeys in Arabia’, a special online event curated particularly for Travel Trade Partners around the globe. The travel offerings provided by Saudi were highlighted with the help of this event.

    The global travel industry is going through its most profound change. With the evolving of landscape, it is important than ever to inspire, engage and educate travel trade when the world safely re-opens and travel restarts.

    Saudi Arabia is a relatively new destination on the global stage. As the authentic home of Arabia, Saudi offers unique, diverse and incomparable experiences, a land rich in natural assets, culture, heritage and adventure.

    The virtual engagement series, taking place across six markets around the world, is a unique initiative for STA, providing inspiration and excitement, designed to inform partners about the diverse products and experiences that Arabia offers.

    Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO, Saudi Tourism Authority initiated the event with his welcome address.

    • India has been identified as one of the key source markets, with STA’s tourism strategy focusing on promoting experiences related to culture, heritage, nature and adventure in Saudi.
    • Indians, especially the online consumers and millennials, are late planners; they are seeking new destinations frequently, within close proximity to India for last-minute holiday planning. Shorter-duration packages, direct flights and easy visa (preferably e-visas) procurement will be game-changers for a new destination like Saudi.
    • Saudi offers extraordinary experiences for diving, adventure sports, and sustainable tourism. The country will also host the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in 2021.
    • The high-end Umrah market from India is a major captive audience, combining pilgrimage with leisure through post-Umrah leisure packages.
    • Promoting exclusive destinations like AlUla for wedding tourism will be a huge benefit for Saudi.


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  • Michael Eavis says Glastonbury could still hold a “smaller” event in September

    Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis has said he is considering holding a smaller event in September after it was confirmed that the coronavirus pandemic has forced the festival’s cancellation for the second year running.

    Speaking to LBC, Eavis said he hoped to hold a smaller event later in the year to belatedly mark the 50th anniversary of Glastonbury – which was originally set to take place last year.

    “I would like to do something in September. I would like to do something smaller somewhere around the anniversary date of when we started, which was the 18th of September 1970,” he said.

    “I would like to consider possibly doing something around that time.”

    When asked if it could involve big-name acts who have previously performed at Glastonbury, Eavis said: “Yes, but I do need to get reassurance from the ethics people.”

    A smaller event could potentially take the form of Glastonbury’s annual Pilton Party – a one-off concert held at Worthy Farm every September to thank workers and local people for their help in organising the festival.

    Announcing yesterday’s cancellation, Michael and Emily Eavis said: “In spite of our efforts to move Heaven & Earth, it has become clear that we simply will not be able to make the Festival happen this year. We are so sorry to let you all down.

    “As with last year, we would like to offer all those who secured a ticket in October 2019 the opportunity to roll their £50 deposit over to next year, and guarantee the chance to buy a ticket for Glastonbury 2022.

    “We are very appreciative of the faith and trust placed in us by those of you with deposits, and we are very confident we can deliver something really special for us all in 2022!”

    The cancellation announcement came after Michael Eavis said recently that he hoped that Glastonbury would be able to return this summer providing that the “majority” of the UK’s population is vaccinated against coronavirus by June.

    MPs have since spoken out in the wake of the festival’s cancellation to warn that the future of festivals could be threatened.

    “The news that the UK has lost the Glastonbury Festival for a second year running is devastating,” said DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight MP. “We have repeatedly called for Ministers to act to protect our world-renowned festivals like this one with a Government-backed insurance scheme. Our plea fell on deaf ears and now the chickens have come home to roost.

    “The jewel in the crown will be absent but surely the Government cannot ignore the message any longer – it must act now to save this vibrant and vital festivals sector.”

    UK Music shared a report, Let the Music Play: Save Our Summer 2021, earlier this month outlining their recommendations for how to restart the UK’s live music industry once it is safe to do so with government support.

  • Spain declares FITUR as event of exceptional interest for tourism industry bounce back

    Published on : Wednesday, January 20, 2021

    With the strong backing by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, IFEMA has received the declaration of “Event of Exceptional Public Interest” for FITUR. This award is a strong gesture of support from the national government for the work and International Tourism Fair’s impact on the recovery of this industry that is critical for Spain’s economy. The next edition of the Fair will be a Tourism Recovery Special Edition, held this year from 19th to 23rd May. These are special dates because of the current situation.

    The award of Event of Exceptional Public Interest has been included in this year’s National Budget. The award became effective on 1st January 2021 and lasts for three years, until 31st December 2023. The budget was published in Law 11/2020, of 30th December, on the General State Budget for 2021. Along with the support that accompanies this government recognition, the AEIP award to FITUR will further strengthen FITUR’s efforts to encourage and promote market recovery, and boost and revitalise Spain’s tourism image. This legal status will enable FITUR to promote private sector participation in a critical edition for the national tourism industry. It will also help strengthen public-private cooperation links, bringing companies together to support this goal that has already produced such brilliant results in other areas of the economy.

    IFEMA is working on the contents of FITUR Especial Recuperación Turismo (FITUR Tourism Recovery Special Edition). This edition will focus the need to revitalise Spain’s leading industry to enhance its leadership position, management capacity, strength as one of the foundations of the economy, and its intelligence for innovation and sustainability. In this context, it is important to emphasise how, over its forty-year history, FITUR has grown and consolidated its position as one of the most effective tools for promoting, developing, innovating and boosting the tourism industry in Spain.                                                   

    Last year was an extremely complex one for the tourism industry, and FITUR Tourism Recovery Special Edition will therefore be an opportunity to join forces and behind the shared goal of reviving tourism in Spain. This edition will be unprecedented and vitally important, and even though it’s still five months away, it already has strong institutional and business backing.


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    Tags: spain, spain tourism