• 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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    Tags: MICE, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd.

  • FAITH India Tourism Mart (ITM 2021) begins with a ‘Physical Inauguration’trendybloggers.com

    Published on : Saturday, February 20, 2021

    Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH), the policy federation of all the national associations representing the complete tourism, travel and hospitality industry of India and cause partner AIRDA in association with ministry of tourism and KPMG as its knowledge partner, kick-started its annual India Tourism Mart (ITM) with a physical inauguration on Thursday, February 18. India Tourism Mart – ITM, which is a buyer seller meet, is taking place in a virtual format from February 18-20, 2021.

    In his inaugural address, Mr. Subhash Goyal, Chairman, ITM 2021 and Honorary Secretary, FAITH emphasised how the past year was the darkest in the history of mankind and tourism was the worst hit where the travel fraternity was literally left hanging from a thread. He urged the industry to come together and consolidate their efforts for the revival of tourism in India. He mentioned that to revive the tourism industry and save millions of jobs, three key actions are being undertaken by policy makers – re-starting of e-tourist visas; reinstatement of scheduled international flights, at least to those countries with which India has air-bubble arrangements, with the necessary precautions on safety to allow willing travellers the opportunity to travel again and modification of policies to help subsidise or reduce the financial burden on the sector.

    Reiterating Mr. Goyal’s viewpoint, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Government of India said, authorities have already started issuing medical visas are planning to soon restart E-Tourist Visas and schedule International flights in a phased manner. He shared that the restart will be on a reciprocal basis, first with those countries with whom India have an air bubble agreement. He stated the Ministry of Health is fully supporting the Ministry of Tourism’s efforts in reviving international tourism to India.

    Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Ayog, said that the revival of tourism is integral for India to regain the GDP growth of 9 to 10 per cent sooner than later. He also reiterated that there remains no doubt regarding the recovery of the tourism sector and he is confident of its bouncing back. Shri Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of Tourism, Government of India, who could not be present physically, addressed the gathering and delegates virtually, assuring Government’s complete cooperation to the tourism sector and stating the numerous Government policies & initiatives and how they are providing relief and benefit to the tourism sector.

    Mr. Nakul Anand, Chairman, FAITH in his address shared all that FAITH has successfully achieved in the past few years. He reiterated how the federation has worked closely with the Central as well as the State Government for the growth of Indian tourism industry. He shared that authorities have closely worked with Governments on tourism components and various strategic national and international policies, such as E-Visa, GST, Strategy on monuments, PPP policy, Tourism Vision Document, Foreign Trade, Udan policy, Union Budget discussion, economic surveys, cruise tourism policy, I Respect Women badges and more. He also mentioned that they are excited to bring ITM 2021 – Virtual, which is a great marketplace for Indian tourism to showcase its products and services to the global audience. He also emphasized that as a new feature this year, domestic buyers were invited as well.

     Mr. Amaresh Tiwari, Co-Chairman, ITM 2021– Virtual and Vice Chairman, ICPB was applauded by all for not just burning the midnight oil in putting together a great event but also for putting together extremely insightful and knowledgeable panellists together for the Leadership Conclave. He shared that during these 3 days, there will be 12 Knowledge Sessions with 73 Speakers. He stated tha ITM 2021 – Virtual,  has 73 countries participating along with 316 International Buyers, 240 Domestic Buyer and over 1200 delegates joining in virtually.

     Mr. Arvind Singh, Secretary Tourism, Government of India; Mr. Rakesh Verma, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and Mrs. Meenakshi Sharma, DG Tourism, Government of India in their respective addresses applauded the efforts of FAITH in organising the event virtually and assured complete cooperation of the government in reviving the tourism sector in India starting with revival of e-visa and international flights soon. Mrs. Rupinder Brar, ADG, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India gave the vote of thanks. The road ahead vision document prepared by FAITH & KPMG was also released on the occasion.

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    Tags: Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH), India Tourism Mart (ITM)

  • Sri Lanka reopens its tourism relation with India

    Published on : Tuesday, February 2, 2021

    In 2021, observing the spirit of resilience and renewed hope for tourism recovery, Sri Lanka has reopened its international borders for foreign tourists world over. To mark this momentous occasion, Resplendent Ceylon greets astute Indian guests back and is working together with Jetpooling to introduce modified, private jet experiential journeys. Now, patrons can witness the benchmark hospitality and unmatched service once again at the three resorts by Resplendent Ceylon. They are part of the family owned Dilmah Tea Company, and the sole member of Relais & Chateaux in Sri Lanka.

    As the trailblazer of Sri Lanka’s luxury experiential travel, the property has been collecting sundry authentic experiences with unique hospitality in all these years, while constant contribution towards local communities and environment. Ceylon Tea Trails, Cape Weligama and Wild Coast Tented Lodge, provides a charming circuit in the destination – starting right from tea fields to clifftop beach and safari lodge. The SafeStay initiative of this brand was implemented all over the three resorts and they make sure the health and safety of all guests, teams, their families, and local communities are maintained properly.

    “We welcome this promising step taken by Sri Lanka Tourism authorities to reopen doors for international travellers in 2021. At Resplendent Ceylon, we recognise the constantly evolving travel expectations and continue on the path to inspire confidence in our guests. We are delighted to exclusively partner with Jetpooling to introduce seamless experiential luxury journeys across our collection for Indian guests,” said Malik Fernando, Managing Director, Resplendent Ceylon.

    The private jet experiential package custom-made for Ceylon Tea Trails encourages guests to explore the magical heart of the Ceylon tea region in the initial stage. Based at an altitude of 1250 meters, this award-winning boutique resort has maintained colonial era tea planters’ bungalows to the T. This one-of-a-kind experience has a 7-night fully inclusive stay and accommodation at one of the three bungalows — Summerville Bungalow, Dunkeld Owner’s Cottage and Castlereagh Bungalow. Each of the offerings provides utmost privacy and safety to its guests. The guests can choose from a range of signature activities during the stay, like indulgent dining experiences like tea infused dinner or tea planter’s picnic lunch, kayaking and hiking for adventure enthusiasts, heritage city excursions and a guided tour of the Dunkeld Tea Factory. Resplendent Ceylon’s partnership with Jetpooling additionally adds to the luxe quotient by offering specially crafted private jet journeys to whisk the guests away for an ultimate vacation.

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    Tags: Sri Lanka

  • Jail tourism in India getting popular

    Published on : Saturday, January 30, 2021

    If there is one place on earth that no tourist would ever like to visit is a jail! However, if there is a chance to walk into a jail as a free soul and leave at their own whim might make people rethink about the same. Hence, there are a few famous jails in India that have opened their doors for jail tourism.
    Tihar is the largest jail complex in South Asia established by Punjab in 1957.

    Being a maximum security prison, famous personalities like Bihar’s ex-CM Lalu Prasad Yadav and the current Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal have been its inmates. What makes Tihar Jail unique is the fact that it works towards rehabilitation of the inmates by training them in different vocations. Once their sentence is over, the prisoners can look for job placements or higher studies. Tihar Jail can be visited from Monday to Friday between 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM.

    Aguada Jail is a part of the Aguada Fort in Sinquerim village close to Mandovi River in north Goa. It is slated to open for tourists in March this year. The jail has had inmates in the form of freedom fighters like Ram Manohar and TB Cunha during their fight against the Portuguese rule in Goa.

    Yerawada Central Jail was built in 1871 by the British. It is another historic jail spread over an area of 512 acres and is one of the largest jails in South Asia which can accommodate 5000 prisoners. The main high security jail is guarded by four steep walls and is divided into different security zones and barracks. The jail has egg-shaped cells for high-security prisoners. Several prominent Indian freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Netaji Subhas Bose and Sarojini Naidu have been the inmates of this jail.

    Cellular Jail is also called Kala Pani holding a special significance in the history of Indian Independence movement. It has witnessed the painful stay of freedom fighters like Batukeshwar Dutt and Veer Savarkar. The jail hosts a light and sound show in the evening to narrate the tale of Indian freedom struggle. The jail is open for tourists from Monday to Friday except the public holidays. The visiting hours are 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

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    Tags: Jail tourism