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  • Tollywood Actors Neel and Aparajita Celebrate Jamjamat Jamai Shoshti at Smart Bazaar

    Kolkata, 11th June, 2024 :  Tollywood actors Neel Bhattacharya and Aparajita Adhya celebrated Jamai Shoshti in style at Smart Bazaar (Lake Mall), Kolkata , where they met the lucky winners of the #SheraJamaiSheraSasuri contest. The energetic duo even created a fun rap video, showcasing their shopping spree at Smart Bazaar and highlighting the store's convenience. Smart Bazaar stands out as a one-stop destination with a vast selection for all Jamai Shoshti shopping and gifting needs. The #SheraJamaiSheraSasuri contest, organized by Smart Bazaar, saw massive participation, making Jamai Shoshti an even more special occasion for many. Speaking to the media, Neel Bhattacharya and Aparajita Adhya said, "We had a fantastic time celebrating Jamai Shoshti at Smart Bazaar. They have everything you could possibly need, and the #SheraJamaiSheraSasuri contest added so much to the festivities. We're delighted for the winners and impressed by Smart Bazaar's generosity!"

  • Rs. 1000 Crore business transaction with 2500+ visitors registered from all around for 56th Garment Buyers & Sellers Meet and B2B Expo by West Bengal Garment Manufacturers & Dealers Association

    Kolkata, 4th July, 2024 :  The  West Bengal Garment Manufacturers and Dealers Association’s  56th Garment Buyers & Sellers Meet, organized over three days (1st, 2nd, & 3rd July 2024) held at Biswa Bangla (Milan Mela), Kolkata. At this landmark event, over 950   National and International brands participated. This Exhibition is the oldest one in this region and has been very successful once again like always. The Meet here registered  2500+ visitors  from all around the country and abroad and had an approximated  Rs. 1000 Crore  business transaction at the wholesale deals. The visitors have shown appreciation for decor and ambience and the hospitality offered by the Association. On this occasion,  Sri. Hari Kishan Rathi,  President of West Bengal Garment Manufacturers & Dealers Association  stated, “This industry currently employs over 55 lac people in direct or indirect capacities, making it one of the largest in the world. An estimated Rs. 1000 Crore commercial deal in which 950 domestic and international brands took part. This Meet has consistently demonstrated its ability to support Bengal's ready-made garment industry. We are really grateful for the government's efforts to support the ready-made clothes and textile industries in order to advance the apparel sector and marketing." Mr. Rathi also expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the team of Executive Committee, The Sponsors and the participants who have made this event a grand success.” The other Key Committee members who were present at West Bengal Garment Manufacturers & Dealers Association were: Sri. Vijay Kariwala, Senior Vice President of WBGMDA; Sri. Pradeep Murarka, Vice President of WBGMDA; Sri. Devendra Baid, Hony. Secretary of WBGMDA; Sri. Kanhiyalal Lakhotia, Treasurer, Sri. Prem Kumar Sinhal, Jt. Treasurer, Sri. Amarchand Jain, Sri. Tarun Kumar Jhajharia, Sri. Ashish Jhawar, Sri. Manish Rathi, Sri. Kamlesh Kedia, Sri. Manish Agarwal, Sri. Kishore Kumar Gulgulia, Sri. Vikram Singh Baid, Sri. Sourav Chandak, Sri. Saket Khandelwal, Sri. Ajay Sultania, Sri. Rajiv Kedia, Sri. Sandip Raja, Sri. Brij Mohan Mundhra, Sri. Bhuwan Arora, Sri. Mohit Dugar, Sri. Sajjan Sharma and Sri. Anil Somani - Executive Committee Members and Former Presidents Sri. Hari Prasad Sharma and Sri. Chand Mal Ladha.

  • Lux Shyam Kolkata Tigers Triumph in the Inaugural Edition of Bengal Women's Pro T20 League 2024

    Kolkata, 28th June, 2024 :  The Lux Shyam Kolkata Tigers have emerged victorious in the thrilling Bengal Women's Pro T20 League 2024 ! Their dominant performance throughout the tournament culminated in a well-deserved championship win. Led by Mita Paul , the  Lux Shyam Kolkata Tigers delivered standout performances both with the bat and in the field, solidifying their position as formidable contenders in women's cricket. In a thrilling Final at the Eden Gardens, Lux Shyam Kolkata Tigers prevailed over the Murshidabad Kueens by 5 runs to lift the inaugural women's title of the Bengal Pro T20 League. Captain Mita Paul scored 24 runs but the main batting knock came from Ipsita Mondal who scored 37 runs off 32 deliveries. With 13 runs required in the last over, Mamata Kisku got the wicket of Adrija in the first ball. With five runs coming in the next two balls, Priyanka had the onus to take Murshidabad over the line. But Kisku kept her cool and got the prized wicket of Priyanka in the penultimate delivery as Kolkata won the match by 5 runs. Mr. Saket Todi, an eminent industrialist of the State besides being an enthusiastic Cricket-lover, and Founder of Lux Cozi said, “We are absolutely thrilled with the Lux Shyam Kolkata Tigers victory in the inaugural edition of Women's Bengal Pro T20 League 2024! This win is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our entire team, from the players and coaches to the support staff. We are incredibly proud of their accomplishment and what they have achieved. This is a momentous occasion for women's cricket in Bengal, and we are honored to be a part of it.” Mr. Lalit Beriwala, a renowned industrialist in the Steel industry and noted philanthropist, Director of Shyam Steel, also spoke in the same vein. He said, “The Lux Shyam Kolkata Tigers' triumph in the Women's Bengal Pro T20 League 2024 exemplifies the power of teamwork. Every player on the team contributed significantly throughout the tournament. We are incredibly grateful for their commitment, resilience, and unwavering support for each other. This victory belongs to the entire team, and we look forward to celebrating their success.” The Lux Shyam Kolkata Tigers Men's cricket team, led by captain  Abishek Porel , secured a well-deserved semi-final berth in the inaugural Bengal Pro T20 League 2024. This strong performance lays a solid foundation for the team's success in upcoming seasons.

  • ITE Hong Kong 2024 Sets New RecordsThe 38th ITE (Leisure) and the 19th MICE Travel Expo

    Advancing on all fronts, ITE this year set new records on scale, number of exhibitors and visitors, resumed more B2B services, and add new trade events and special display on theme travel etc., thus continue “ Forwarding to Full Recovery ”. What’s more, exhibitors happy with results despite repeated rainstorm warning signals!   < The Opening Ceremony >   Again, Mr. John KC Lee, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR sent message [ Read CE’s Message ] welcoming participants of ITE Hong Kong 2024!   Officiated the opening ceremony at 11 am on June 13 was Ms. Joanne Chu, Acting Commissioner for Tourism, Tourism Commission · Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau of Hong Kong SAR Government, who gave a key note speech, cut the ribbon and conducted the VIP tour.   During the opening ceremony, 17 Consul Generals were invited to go onto the stage taking the ITE 2024 VIP Group Photo with our other honorable guests. Another VIP tour was held at noon time the same day for Mr. Raistlin LAU, JP, Under Secretary for Culture, Sport and Tourism · Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau of Hong Kong SAR Government.   In all, the Opening Ceremony was attended by some 400 guests who included tourism officials, diplomatic corps, industry leaders, media, exhibitors, buyers, hosted delegates and trade visitors etc.    < New Records>   Canceled in 2020 due to Covid-19, live editions of ITE were held each year since 2021 with continuous growth in various fronts, and ITE 2024 sets new records with 18% more buyers and trade visitors , totally and regional only; 12% more public visitors ; more exhibitors which totaled over 500; and used one more hall than last year etc!   ITE 2019 vs 2023 & 2024 Key Statistic Exhibitors Trade Visitors Premium FIT No. of Hall(s) ITE 2019 675 (88%) 11613 (37%) 73665 5 ITE 2023 499 (90%) 5932 (25%) 55925 4 ITE 2024 515 (87%) 7023 (46%) 63027 5 Notes: % in ( ) from abroad   This year surpassing the pre-pandemic records were 20 more newly exhibiting countries and regions (ECR) ; a total of 18 popular KOL spoke in seminars, which more than tripled last year and among KOLs this year some with tenths and even hundreds of thousand fans; and over 80 travel seminars held in two public days etc.   < Resumed hosting non-Hong Kong buyers>   Resumed this year were the Business Matching which facilitate buyers make quick dating with sellers; Hosted Buyers in limited scale as ITE still follow the free-flow format; and hosting trade delegations from Guangdong cities in the Greater Bay Area (the Bay) with around 400 delegates, who additional to those coming individually.     < Regional Buyers & Trade Visitors >   In fact, the regionals this year account for a whopping 46.4% of all trade visitors, with 28.2% from mainland China particularly Guangdong cities in the Greater Bay Area and 18.2% from other parts of Asia. There were over 170 hosted and registered buyers. Among the hosted, 18 came from mainland China and 13 from other parts of Asia.   < Extensive Media Coverage >   ITE this year well attended media, and the result more extensive media coverage too, before and during the show period! For example, our pre-opening Press Conference held one week before opening was attended by a record of some 30 media around 40 reporters and journalists from TV and Radio stations, Dailies and Tabloids, and Social Media etc., resulting in extensive coverage.   < Highly International Exhibitors >   Exhibitors totaled 515, up 3.2%, overall 87% from outside and overseas. Of all the ECRs, 15 are from Europe, the Americas and the Oceania, and 9 from the Middle East and Africa; while among the twenty new ECRs over half from outside Asia. Thus, visitors can, as a prelude in ITE, “rediscovering the world”.   This year, (mainland) China had again the largest presence with some of her 17 exhibiting provinces and cities staging their own pavilion, while other popular East Asian destinations like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau were present with large scale pavilion.   < ITE highlights Theme Travel >   ITE been promoting in-depth and various theme travel. This year, themes of Sustainable Tourism, Ice & Snow Tourism, New Destinations and Night Markets etc. will be highlighted through, say, specific Info/Photo Corner.   In addition, there are the Winners Display of Travel Photography and Interschool Study Tour Itinerary Design Competition, seminars / booths by NGOs like VOLTRA and CHI HENG FOUNDATION etc.   < New Trade Events >   They include for examples the “Industry Forum on Technology Propelling Sustainability” with speakers from both corporations and academics; the seminar of “ Major Changes for Travelers crossing EU borders by FRONTEX - the European Border and Coast Guard Agency” ; and “ Networking with KOL ” etc.   < Great Shopping & Fun in Public Days >   An absolute majority of ITE public visitors are premium FIT who with nearly half had university and another 20% plus post-secondary education, many speak English and can handle online shopping.   Great shopping of products and ideas, with hundreds of suppliers from various parts of the world, ranging say from alpine to island paradise and from aurora in arctic north to night markets, to choose from.   Great Fun in ITE! On stage and in booths are cultural performances including the very popular Lion Dance, mascot, games or lucky draws, souvenir, free travel maps and handy guidebook, and of course face to face interactions.   In addition, there are the plenty attractively designed pavilions, special displays and photo booth for great photo! Round the clock travel seminars many by popular KOLs.   In fact, the above well suited our premium FIT who survey found taking multiple outbound holidays and will be spending more on travel in coming year.   < Media reported Exhibitors Happy with Results >   The repeating hoisting of heavy rainstorm warning signals throughout show period particularly on Saturday which issued 3 signals in one day did slow down visitor growths! Has business been affected?   From a local Chinese business daily on June 17 reported on ITE that “majority of exhibitors found heavy rain did have some impacts but not serious”, and “some exhibitors pointed out strong pent up demand brought big business growth last year, some cooling off this year but results remaining ideal”.  Further, it quoted a hotel chain from Japan which target in ITE both B2B and B2C that “the results at present deemed exceeding our expectation”.   < ITE Hong Kong 2025 >   ITE2024 again is strongly supported by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People's Republic of China with Hong Kong Tourism Board, Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong and Macao Government Tourism Office etc. as supporters.   The next ITE Hong Kong will be held June 12 to 15, 2025 at Halls 1A to 1E of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. For speeding up full recovery, standard booth rental of ITE2025 will again be kept at US$500 per SQM up, which same as rental in 2019 and no change for six years in a row.

  • FHRAI in support with Ministry of Ayush and Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY) Celebrates International Day of Yoga Celebration in Delhi

    New Delhi, June 24th, 2024 - The Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), the third-largest association in the world, collaborated with the Ministry of Ayush and the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY) to celebrate the International Day of Yoga. The event took place at Andaz - The Concept of Hyatt in Delhi. The focus was on showcasing yoga’s positive impact on the mind, body, and soul through practical sessions. Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi envisions yoga as a holistic approach to well-being, promoting it under the motto “Yoga for Self and Society.” Shri Inderjeet Sehrawat, Counsellor of Mahipalpur was the chief guest of the event. The event featured guests like Ms. Avantika Tokas Midha, Dr. Rajarshi Bhattacharjee, and Mr. Ruchin Midhr. The program commenced with a felicitation ceremony and speeches emphasising yoga’s manifold benefits. Inderjeet Sehrawat, Chief Guest Counsellor of Mahipalpur said, “Yoga plays a crucial role in maintaining good health and reducing mental stress. Disease is so bad in today's culture that we have to go to the hospital to get rid of it. You know that you don't pay attention to anything and then you don't need any medicine to find time for one hour in the day. Daily practice enhances energy levels and overall well-being, preventing illness and promoting wellness. Dr. Rajarshi Bhattacharjee, Chief Medical Officer of Times News Network and Hindustan Power said, “I have practised medicine for the last 25 years and have consistently recommended yoga to my patients facing critical illnesses. Yoga, beyond mere exercise, encompasses a holistic journey involving the mind, body, and soul. It's not just about fancy poses; it's a way of life. Originating from India and reintroduced by Shri Modi ji, yoga promotes overall well-being when practised under proper guidance. I am truly grateful for its transformative power and encourage everyone to incorporate yoga into their daily lives for lasting health benefits.” Ms. Avantika Tokas Midha, Vice Chairperson of Council of Royal Roots said, “It's such an auspicious day and to be surrounded by such positive people who have good vibes and positivity. Yoga has originated from Rig Vedic times and is also known as Ancient Art as it teaches us a way of life. It is important to incorporate it into our everyday life as it gives us power, clarity, and mental peace in this hustle-bustle of life." Participants engaged in diverse yoga asanas led by Mr. Rahul Badora, focusing on poses, breathing exercises, and meditation techniques to improve physical fitness and mental clarity. FHRAI extends heartfelt gratitude to partners Aroma Magic, Council of Royal Roots, and Hotel Andaz, along with Rajesh Kumar for their invaluable support in organising this event. They would also like to express their gratitude to all participants for making the event a success. The celebration aimed to inspire individuals to adopt yoga for improved health and holistic wellness. FHRAI and MDNIY reaffirmed their commitment to promoting yoga's transformative benefits across communities.

  • Spree Hospitality Elevates Mr. Sagar Khurana as the Chief Operating Officer

    Spree Hospitality, a subsidiary of EaseMyTrip and a distinguished name in the hospitality industry announces the elevation of Mr. Sagar Khurana from the esteemed position of Executive Vice President to the pivotal role of Chief Operating Officer. With an illustrious career spanning over more than a decade and a wealth of experience in the hospitality sector, Mr. Khurana's promotion underscores his invaluable contribution to the company's success and growth trajectory. Throughout his tenure as Executive Vice President, Mr. Khurana has demonstrated exceptional leadership, overseeing business activities, sales, and operations with a strategic and results-driven approach. His comprehensive understanding of the industry, honed through impactful roles in renowned organizations such as Citrus Hotels, Sinclair’s Group of Hotels, Godrej Tyson, and KFC, has positioned him as a valuable leader in the hospitality and food industry. Mr. Khurana's leadership is characterized by a commitment to delivering exceptional customer experiences and driving operational efficiency. His vision for success, rooted in quality education and extensive hands-on experience, aligns perfectly with Spree Hospitality's mission to redefine excellence in service and innovation. Expressing his excitement about the new role, Mr Khurana stated; "As the travel industry evolves with groundbreaking innovations, I'm delighted to step into the role of Chief Operating Officer at Spree Hospitality. Having embarked on this journey with Spree Hospitality 11 years ago, the opportunity to now lead the company into a new era of growth fills me with immense pride and anticipation. Over the years with the company, I've seen its dedication to becoming the modern traveler's top choice—a brand synonymous with fun, great service, and efficiency. Leading this exceptional team, I'm excited to propel us to new heights, fulfilling our vision and exceeding expectations. Together, we'll continue to innovate and redefine hospitality, ensuring Spree Hospitality remains the ultimate destination for travelers worldwide." As Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Khurana will continue to steer the group towards new heights of success, leveraging his industry insights, innovative mindset, and relentless pursuit of excellence to drive business growth and operational excellence.

  • Cvent Announces Top Meeting Destinations and Top Meeting Hotels in Asia-Pacific for 2024

    Cvent, an industry-leading meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider, today released its lists of the Top Meeting Destinations and Top Meeting Hotels for Asia-Pacific (APAC). These lists – which also include regional rankings for North America, Europe, and the Middle East & Africa – were compiled based on sourcing activity through the Cvent Supplier Network, one of the world’s largest venue-sourcing platforms. More than $16B in MICE business was sourced through Cvent’s online platforms in 2023. The annual Cvent Top Lists have become go-to resources for event organisers worldwide looking for incredible hotels and destinations to host their events. The Company hosted a live press conference at IMEX Frankfurt to share more in-depth details and recognise top hotels and destinations in person. Cvent Top Meeting Destinations | Asia-Pacific The Top 10 cities remained mostly consistent year-over-year with Singapore retaining its #1 ranking from 2023. The sole newcomer to the Top 10 is Shanghai (#10). Bangkok (#2), Tokyo (#4), Kuala Lumpur (#7) and Phuket (#9) each improved their Top 10 rankings from 2023. Top 10 Meeting Destinations Dr Edward Koh, Executive Director, Conventions, Meetings & Incentive Travel, Singapore Tourism Board, said: “We are honoured to be named Cvent’s Top Meeting Destination in Asia for the sixth time since 2016. Singapore's strong business environment, safety, high accessibility, and focus on innovation and sustainability have helped the city-state build a reputation as a vibrant and compelling business events destination. With the support of dedicated industry stakeholders and partners, we aim to continue facilitating fruitful and memorable engagements for meeting planners in Singapore, enabling them to drive meaningful and lasting impact through the business of meetings.” “What a wonderful endorsement of Sydney’s attractiveness as a Top 3 business event host city in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Lyn Lewis-Smith, CEO, Business Events Sydney (BESydney). “Cvent plays an important role in bringing incredible destinations like Sydney directly to a planner’s fingertips. This recognition is a testament to our incredible network of hotels, venues, and suppliers who collaborate with event planners to bring their events to life. Sydney is a naturally beautiful and welcoming city offering a unique blend of ancient First Nations heritage, contemporary culture and thriving research and industry sectors – all the right ingredients to spark inspiration and connection for local and global delegates alike.” Cvent Top Meeting Hotels | Asia-Pacific JW Marriot Hotel Singapore South Beach rose in the rankings to secure this year’s #1 spot. The hotel’s proximity to the Central Business District, cutting-edge audio-visual offerings and flexible meeting space make it an ideal host venue for event planners. Newcomers to the Top 10 include Hilton Tokyo (#4), Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park (#5), voco Orchard Singapore (#7), Hilton Kuala Lumpur (#8), and Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park (#9). Top 10 Meeting Hotels To view all Cvent Top Meeting Destinations and Cvent Top Meeting Hotels worldwide, click here. Methodology For Cvent Top Meeting Destinations, Cvent evaluated 12,500+ cities worldwide listed on the Cvent Supplier Network (CSN). Activity was tracked between January 2023 and December 2023. Rankings were determined by a set of qualifying criteria, including: the number of total room nights booked; the number of unique electronic request-for-proposals (RFPs) sent through the marketplace to venues within the city; the total value of the RFPs submitted; and the actual awarded value for meetings booked. For Cvent Top Meeting Hotels, Cvent evaluated hotel properties that generated business through the CSN between January 2023 and December 2023. The properties were ranked according to various criteria, including total requests for proposals (RFPs), awarded RFPs, total room nights, awarded room nights, major metropolitan area market share, conversion rate, and response rate. The criteria are designed to provide the most accurate reflection of the top meeting hotels in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia-Pacific regions. About the Cvent Supplier Network The Cvent Supplier Network features more than 300,000 hotels, resorts and special event venues, serving as one of the world’s largest and most accurate databases of detailed venue information. More than $16 billion of MICE business was sourced through Cvent’s sourcing networks in 2023. The CSN contains listings of hotels and other venues in 18 languages that can be searched and filtered based on over 200 characteristics and criteria. The CSN is part of the comprehensive Cvent platform, which delivers solutions that hotels and venues leverage to conduct their MICE and corporate travel business and engage a global network of 125,000+ planners who rely on Cvent to source hotels & destinations and manage their events.

  • YES BANK Introduces YES Grandeur : A Premier Banking Experience for the Elite and Emerging Affluent Segments

    YES BANK, known for its innovative banking solutions, announces the launch of YES Grandeur, an exclusive banking programme designed to address the unique financial and lifestyle needs of India's fast-growing Emerging Affluent segment. With an expected growth rate of 2.3 times over the next decade, as per BCG CCI Proprietary Income Model, this demographic is set to redefine the landscape of consumer banking in India, marked by its increasing disposable income and sophisticated consumer habits. With Indian middle class nearly doubling to 61% by 2046-47 as per PRICE Report, rising incomes and the expansion of middle-class and high-income segments will reshape future consumption. YES Grandeur is aimed at catering to the evolving market dynamics where the affluent are increasingly seeking personalised services that complement their lifestyle. With an eligibility threshold of Average Monthly Balance (AMB) of ₹5 Lakh or a Net Relationship Value (NRV) of ₹20 Lakh, with additional consideration given to loan relationships, YES Grandeur is positioned to enhance the banking experience for this discerning customer base. The highlights of YES Grandeur are : ·         Banking Benefits: Customers will enjoy premium service offerings including dedicated relationship managers, preferential rates on banking services, exemption across a host of charges, significant discounts on locker facilities, and a special 3-in-1 account that offers Demat Account & Trading Account with Savings Account. ·         Travel Benefits: Zero cross currency markup charges on YES Grandeur Debit Card combines convenience with savings on international spends for the travel enthusiast. Other exclusive benefits that come with YES Grandeur Debit Card are complimentary access to airport lounges, among others. ·         Lifestyle Privileges: The programme extends a world of indulgent milestone-led lifestyle benefits across Taj, ITC Hotels, Disney+ Hotstar, SonyLIV, Amazon, among others. YES Grandeur also offers 5x YES Rewardz on weekend spends along with exclusive offers across movies, dining, shopping, bill payments, and much more. These meticulously crafted benefits reflect the programme’s name, Grandeur, aiming not just to meet but exceed the expectations of its members, offering a banking experience that is rewarding and comprehensive at the same time. Commenting on the launch, Mr. Rajan Pental, Executive Director at YES BANK, said, “YES Grandeur underscores our unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional banking experiences and exclusive privileges to our discerning clients. With a relentless focus on industry-first features and a profound understanding of the evolving needs of elite and emerging affluent households, YES Grandeur sets a new benchmark in personalised banking. At YES BANK, we are dedicated to surpassing expectations and redefining the landscape of banking in India.” Furthermore, YES BANK offers dynamic digital solutions to elevate the banking experience of customers. The next-gen mobile banking app - iris by YES BANK, offers over 100 features and services for seamless banking. YES Pay Next serves as a comprehensive payments app for UPI, bill payments, recharges, gift cards, and more. Customers are also encouraged to enjoy convenient and secure banking across AI enabled personal banking chat assistance and Net Banking facility.

  • ITE 2024 Survey found Hong Kong Travelers to spend big on ICE & SNOW Travel

    A recent Hong Kong survey which collected 812 replies in three days found 60% respondents plan to take ice and snow (here below called “I&S”) holiday in the next two years, despite only 21.9% have taken I&S holiday in the past. Thus, I&S travel which includes elements like skiing, aurora and snow festival etc. gaining popularity! Further, respondents set high budget for I&S holiday! For example, 40% of respondents will spend HK$5,000 or more inclusively per person per day in an I&S holiday! Indeed, the I&S Travel Survey findings echo well with those of a recent a 2023 Asia Pacific Survey on skiing holiday found Hong Kong rank top among Asia Pacific travelers by average daily spending of EUR 558 per person. The I&S travel survey conducted online between 5 and 7 Feb 2024 by TKS, the organizer of ITE Hong Kong which Asia premium outbound travel fair, with invitations been sent largely to its public visitors. Hopefully, its findings can for example facilitate related exhibitors to plan more I&S related activities / displays in the next ITE to be held from 13 to 16 June 2024 in Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre. Future Ice & Snow Travel Interests among various forms of I&S rather evenly distributed! While hot spring at 65.1% the most popular, 52.7% picked skiing which the fourth most popular, and in between are aurora and ice sculpture each at 59.7%. On daily (all inclusive) spending in an I&S holiday, 24.8% respondents will spend HK$7,000 or more; 15.3% between HK$5001 to $7,000; 17.1% between HK$2,001 to $5,000; and 32% between HK$1,001 to $3,000. How long will they stay for an I&S holiday? Majority or 57.4% for 6 to 10 days! While 7.6% will stay the longest of 15 days or more, to be followed by 18.3% staying 11 to 14 days, and 16.6% the shortest for 5 days or less. Where will they go for I&S holiday? The top five destinations are respectively Japan and South Korea at 76.2%; Europe at 26.1%; mainland China at 26%; North America at 18%; and other Asia at 7.3%. Significantly, 5.9% chose polar destination. How early will they start taking I&S holiday? 10.0% will do so within coming 6 months; 34.9% within next 12 months; 15.1% within next 24 months; 31.8% still thinking and 8.3% has no such plan. I&S Veterans Among those who taken I&S holiday in the past, 14% did so in 2023; 8.4% between 2020 and 2022; and 77.5% in pre-pandemic time. Their top popular destinations are respectively Japan & South Korea at 68%; mainland China at 11.2%; North America at 9.6% and Europe at 8.4%. Comparing pre- and post-pandemic, nearly all I&S destinations becoming more popular with Mainland China, Europe and North America enjoy the largest growth in popularity respectively by 14.8%, 17.7% and 8.4%. Respondents’ Profile Broadly, I&S respondents are mature and well educated. The three largest age groups are respectively those between 40 to 59 years old at 45.6%; between 25 to 39 at 43.7%; and those at least 60 years old at 6.5%. By education, 51.2% with university or above qualification, and another 24.8% post-secondary.  Broadly, profile of I&S respondents very similar to that of ITE public visitors, who are found to be premium FIT and 68% of them will spend more on travel in coming 12 months.

  • Qatar Airways and gategroup Launch New Partnership to Elevate Inflight Dining

    Qatar Airways and gategroup Launch New Partnership to Elevate Inflight Dining With gategroup on board, the award-winning airline will set a new benchmark in inflight dining experience, quality, sustainability and healthy eating DOHA, Qatar – Qatar Airways and gategroup today announced a new catering partnership to elevate inflight dining, structured through a Business Management Agreement that will see collaboration on passenger dining experiences, sourcing and procurement, healthy eating, as well as sustainability. Qatar Airways' commitment to global aviation excellence will be reinforced by gategroup’s expertise in menu design, culinary concepts and operational excellence. This partnership with gategroup will amplify the Qatar Airways brand by delivering refined culinary experiences for our guests, inflight and on the ground in our world class lounges at Hamad International Airport. Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Officer, Engr. Badr Mohammed Al-Meer, said: “This partnership with gategroup will amplify the Qatar Airways brand by delivering refined culinary experiences for our guests, inflight and on the ground in our world class lounges at Hamad International Airport.” Chief Executive Officer of gategroup Mr. Christoph Schmitz said: “We are genuinely honoured to walk this path alongside Qatar Airways. It is a journey of discovery, growth, and immense potential, and we firmly believe in the transformative power of collaboration, where two companies come together with shared visions and values to craft something truly outstanding.” gategroup’s culinary team will be based in Doha and will contribute to the development of a dedicated culinary studio for Qatar Airways, which will facilitate innovation, co-creation and efficient menu design. The new culinary creations will focus on high quality ingredients, health and nutrition, incorporating local produce with a view to sustainable sourcing, authenticity and supporting local businesses. The elevation of culinary quality will be underpinned by robust processes around menu development, efficiency in production and systematic monitoring of food quality, taste and appearance. Through this collaboration, the airline will explore additional revenue streams and optimise operational and commercial efficiencies. This partnership conveys an exciting blend of culinary creativity and best in-class operations that will mark the next era of Qatar Airways’ inflight offerings.

  • Idukki & Peermade Soon to Open Eco Lodges

    The gorgeous hills of Idukki will soon offer you the perfect accommodation facilities. Peermade (also known as Peerumedu) and Idukki will soon open their first eco-lodge accommodations. Eco-lodges are constructed under the Swadesh Darshan Project by the Government of India as part of developing Pathanamthitta- Gavi-Vagamon-Thekkady as an Ecotourism Circuit. Now your trip to Idukki is hustle-free. You can opt for an excellent stay at eco-lodges here. Peermade Eco-lodge is situated 5 km away from Peermade town, near the Government guest house of tourism. Set amidst the lush forest, Eco-lodges bestows you a serene stay on the lap of nature, watching the deep woods and the wild animals.

  • Cotigao Village in Goa wins Bronze Award for Best Tourism Villages of India 2023

    Panjim, 29th September 2023 - It is indeed a proud moment for the state of Goa as Cotigao Village has won the award for the Best Tourism Villages of India 2023. This recognition was achieved under the Bronze category at the Best Rural Tourism Competition 2023 presented by the Central Nodal Agency for Rural Tourism and Rural Homestay, under the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. Out of a total of 795 applications received from 31 States/Union Territories, Cotigao Village stood out as a shining example of excellence and best demonstration of the values and practice of rural tourism. It has been recognized for its outstanding contribution to promoting rural tourism in India and upholding the principles of the Best Tourism Village Competition. Central Nodal Agency for Rural Tourism and Rural Homestay, under the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India organized the Best Rural Tourism Competition 2023. The event is part of the global launch of “Travel for Life'' organized by the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, The United Nations World Tourism Organization, and the United Nations Environment program. The purpose of this event is to acknowledge the outstanding contributions of villages and also mark the initiation of the Best Rural Tourism Village Competition 2024 and the Best Rural Homestays Competitions 2024. The Best Tourism Village Competition focuses on the nine pillars that drive sustainable rural tourism development. Cotigao Village has excelled in these areas, showcasing its commitment to preserving its cultural heritage, promoting local community involvement, and providing economic opportunities through sustainable rural tourism. This achievement reflects the dedication and hard work of the community and the local authorities in Cotigao Village. The award recognizes Cotigao Village as a model rural tourism destination, demonstrating the potential for tourism development in rural areas that showcase the rich cultural heritage and natural beauty. It serves as an inspiration for other rural communities across the country to follow suit and embrace sustainable tourism practices. The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, congratulates Cotigao Village on this remarkable achievement. The Best Rural Tourism Competition 2023 is a testament to the Ministry's efforts in promoting rural tourism and empowering local communities to become active stakeholders in the tourism sector. This recognition will surely boost the tourism industry in Cotigao Village and attract more visitors who are seeking authentic rural experiences. It will not only contribute to the local economy but also encourage the preservation of the region's unique cultural heritage and natural resources. About the Central Nodal Agency for Rural Tourism and Rural Homestay: The Central Nodal Agency for Rural Tourism and Rural Homestay, under the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, is responsible for promoting and developing rural tourism in the country. Its aim is to empower rural communities, preserve cultural heritage, and promote sustainable tourism practices in rural areas.

  • BLS International and PSB Alliance to Revolutionize Banking Experience with Doorstep Banking Service

    New Delhi, 19 September 2023: BLS International, a trusted global tech-enabled services partner, today announced its strategic partnership with PSB Alliance, a prominent company formed by Public Sector Banks (PSBs) in India. The partnership aims to reshape the banking experience by introducing advanced Doorstep Banking Services (DSB) through a widespread network across the nation. The initial rollout will encompass 58 cities, with plans for a seamless expansion to all regions, guaranteeing nationwide access to convenient Doorstep Banking Services (DSB) for all customers. This transformative step comes at a crucial juncture when the banking sector is evolving rapidly, driven by technological advancements and changing customer preferences. Under the terms of a 3-year contract, BLS International will offer all basic banking services along with the assistance of service providers in the selected 100 centers. The initiative will leverage BLS International’s expertise and cutting-edge technology to facilitate Doorstep Banking Services for PSBs. The partnership is further projected to cater to an estimated customer transaction count of 11.7 million, encompassing regions in the North, West, East & North East, in rural & semi-urban areas, as well as metro & urban centers. Shikhar Aggarwal, Joint Managing Director of BLS International, said ‘’This collaboration is expected to bring about a paradigm shift in the way banking services are availed in the country. The partnership between BLS International and PSB Alliance reflects a commitment to stay at the forefront of this transformation and offer cutting-edge services that meet the needs of today's tech-savvy and diverse customer base. The Doorstep Banking Services will not only enhance customer convenience but also align with the nation's vision of promoting financial inclusion. With this partnership, we are committed to driving a positive change in the industry and contributing to the nation's progress by leveraging our combined expertise and resources.’’ The strategic partnership is committed to elevating customer experience and accessibility to all the 12 Public Sector Banks under the PSB Alliance. The introduction of Doorstep Banking Services is poised to empower customers, especially those in remote areas, by providing them with convenient and personalized banking solutions at their doorstep. BLS International is dedicated to providing government-to-customer and Business–to customer services through Common Service Centres (CSC). Embracing digitalization, BLS International ensures prompt service delivery, saving citizens time and effort. The CSC Centres act as channels for diverse public services from different government departments. Through BLS International, citizens experience an era of efficient, transparent, and effective governance.

  • Wonderful Indonesia Hosts Multi-City Roadshow in India

    Mumbai, 16 September 2023: Wonderful Indonesia, in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of the Republic of Indonesia is set to engage the Indian traveller market through its recently concluded dynamic multi-city roadshow in India. The Wonderful Indonesia Roadshow was hosted at Hyderabad on September 11, 2023; in Mumbai on September 13, 2023; and in Ahmedabad on September 15, 2023. The event sought to promote Indonesia as the ultimate destination for Indian tourists seeking immersive experiences. With 37 stalls of participants promoting the destination and about 120-140 participants from the Indian travel and tourism fraternity, this roadshow was a remarkable display of Indonesia's cultural richness and natural wonders. One of the prominent participants at the Wonderful Indonesia Roadshow was Tria Uma Wisata Tours & Travel. With a dedicated focus on Bali and Indonesia as a leading Destination Management Company (DMC), Tria Uma Wisata Tours & Travel is all set to enthral the Indian traveller market with a host of exclusive offers and features. Tria Uma is honoured to have been selected as one of the organizers for this prestigious event. Indonesia, an archipelago blessed with unparalleled beauty and diversity, is eager to share its rich cultural heritage and breathtaking landscapes with Indian travellers. Wonderful Indonesia is committed to showcasing various destinations across the country, divided into five distinct categories: Nature, Culinary and wellness, Arts and heritage, Recreation and leisure, and Adventure. Speaking about the success of the roadshow, Ms Niluh Werdiani, Managing Director of Tria Uma Wisata Tours & Travel, expressed," We are proud to represent Bali and Indonesia as the premier DMC at the Wonderful Indonesia Roadshow. We aim to provide Indian travellers with an unforgettable experience, showcasing the unparalleled beauty of Indonesia and Bali in particular. With our specialized expertise and personalized services, we are committed to creating lasting memories for every traveller." The Wonderful Indonesia Roadshow promises to be a remarkable event, bringing the enchanting culture and natural beauty of Indonesia closer to the hearts of Indian travellers.

  • Department of Tourism, Goa Unveils Revolutionary 'Goa Taxi App' to Elevate Travel Experience

    15th September, 2023, Panjim: The Department of Tourism, Goa, launched the "Goa Taxi App" at the distinguished hands of the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Goa, Dr. Pramod Sawant, and the Hon’ble Minister of Tourism, ITE&C, Printing & Stationery, Goa, Shri. Rohan A Khaunte, in the august presence of Shri. Ganesh Gaonkar, Chairman GTDC, Shri. Sanjay Goel, IAS, Secretary of Tourism, Goa and Shri. Suneel Anchipaka, IAS, Director of Tourism, Goa. This app has been introduced to ensure hassle-free commuting and an enhanced traveling experience for residents and visitors across the state. Additionally, it will provide the Goan Taxi Drivers an opportunity to increase their revenue within the state and offer a price advantage. For the residents and tourists, this app will also bring the convenience of hailing a cab from the comfort of their home or hotel. Key Features of The Goa Taxi App: ● Mobile app for driver registration and booking. ● Cab hailing service for residents of the state and tourists arriving in the state. ● Real-time updates to the driver, passenger, and command center. ● Dynamic fare – based on time of day, location, and routes. ● Integration with Google Maps for location services. ● Payment – integration with Payment Gateways for – Wallet, Cards, and UPI payment. ● Cash payment. ● SOS for the passenger (in case of an emergency). ● SOS for the driver (in case of an accident/breakdown). The Goa Taxi App makes it simple to book a taxi at any time of day or night. For a visitor in particular, a driver-driven cab at an inexpensive rate will be preferable to a self-driven car or bike. When a tourist is unfamiliar with a region's topography and relies on Google Maps, it results in a stressful experience. With the use of a unified taxi app system, passengers can rate the driver, report any instances of inappropriate behavior, and request assistance through the call center. In addition, the app has an SOS in case of any catastrophe, malfunction, emergency, or security feature pertaining to the protection of female travelers. Speaking on the occasion of the app launch, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Goa, Dr. Pramod Sawant, said, "Over the last four years, it has been our goal to develop innovative technology in various sectors in order to increase the ease of living and happiness index of both tourists and residents in Goa." We've had a positive response for the last six months, and today we're launching the Goa Taxi App. Our goal is to attract quality visitors rather than numbers. It would also assist in decreasing accidents and keeping women safe while traveling. I encourage everyone to use the Goa Taxi App, and I commend those who have already done it reflects their trust in the Government.” Hon’ble Minister of Tourism, ITE&C, Printing & Stationery, Goa, Shri. Rohan A Khaunte, said, “Today, marks the launch of the Goa Taxi App, which has been made free of cost. Tourism is a significant component of our state and hence hassle-free transportation is crucial. This app will be handed over to those in charge of taxi services. Both tourists and the local Goan population will benefit from it. In terms of price, we'll use prices approved by the Director of Transportation. This service has been running at the MOPA airport over a counter for the previous six months. The results have been favorable since more than 500 rides were availed and over 1,000 vehicles are registered on the Goa Taxi App. So far, we have served approximately 30,000 tourists. We will ensure that it's offered not only in coastal belts but also near industrial estates to encourage carpooling and other initiatives. It is a hassle-free, 24/7 booking service. Another feature is that instant feedback can be given by passengers and they can even rate the drivers. Plus, a call center is available in the event of misbehavior. There is also an SOS emergency center for women.”

  • Sustainable Tourism Top Agenda as Kenya Gears up to Host Inaugural Climate Summit

    Nairobi, Monday 28th August 2023: Kenya's commitment to sustainable tourism and green growth initiatives will come to focus as the country prepares to host the inaugural Africa Climate Summit (ACS) and Africa Climate Week (ACW) from 4th to 6th September 2023 and 4th to 8th September 2023. Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage CS Peninah Malonza while welcoming the forum says the event will allow Kenya to showcase its sustainable tourism and travel action as well as highlight the positive role that the sector can play in addressing climate change. “As a country that is committed to sustainable tourism, Kenya is honored to host the Africa Climate Summit and Africa Climate Week. This is a great opportunity for us to showcase our beautiful country as a sustainable destination, demonstrate our commitment to protecting the environment, share knowledge on sustainable tourism practices being undertaken, and forge partnerships for future action,” Malonza said. She further stated that Kenya’s tourism policy has prioritized sustainability by focusing on policies that emphasize environmental conservation, community participation in tourism development, social inclusion, capacity building and cultural preservation. She added that the move by Kenya to host the summit will propel the global climate discourse forward. "The correlation between climate change and tourism is undeniable. Our efforts to safeguard our environment are inextricably linked with ensuring the long-term viability of our tourism sector. By aligning these agendas, we are not only safeguarding our natural treasures but also enhancing the quality of tourism experiences for generations to come." Kenya made pronouncements at the 2021 Cop26 that confirmed climate change and green projects as anchors to conservation, key pillars of Kenya’s tourism. Some of the declarations include retractation on the use of vehicular transportation within all National Parks and Reserves to those that use non-fossil renewable energy by 2030 and a requirement for all hospitality and tourism facilities in Kenya to adopt renewable energy and circular economy in their operations by 2030 among others. The forum, which is hosted by the Kenyan government in conjunction with the African Union will bring together Heads of States, thought leaders, policymakers, industry experts, and stakeholders from around the world. More than 20 African heads of state and governments and 13,000 delegates from across the world, including U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres are expected to take part. On his part, Kenya Tourism Board Ag. CEO John Chirchir noted that the event being the biggest to be held in Kenya post the pandemic presents an opportunity to profile the country as-the go-to destination for MICE. “MICE has been one of the most disrupted segments in tourism, the Africa Climate Summit gives us a great platform to kickstart this segment as we work towards hosting more big events in the destination. The government is currently working on expanding and developing our facilities to ensure that we are a top meetings destination”. The CEO said. He added that the event will be a big boost to the sector with over 60 hotels and establishments within Nairobi and the outskirts expected to gain from the attending guests “Every year, tourists from all over the world are drawn to Kenya's natural beauty and unique ecosystems, with a growing awareness on sustainability at the core of their travel choices. The forthcoming summit will boost tourism businesses as well as serve as a powerful platform, showcasing Kenya's strides in sustainable tourism practices and highlighting our efforts in nurturing a destination that embraces both environmental preservation and unforgettable travel experiences.” The inaugural Nairobi Africa Climate Summit aims to give Africa’s voice and position during the upcoming global COP28. This is in recognition of the increasing impacts of climate change on development with sustainable tourism identified as a high impact sector with global relevance. Kenya has made significant strides towards sustainability by implementing various initiatives that have seen it become a global leader in sustainable tourism practices. A key milestone in this journey was the plastic ban implemented in 2017 to reduce plastic pollution and protect the environment.

  • Federal Bank Celebrates Onam with a Flavorful Feast and Artistic Splendor

    Embrace the Essence of Onam with Federal Bank's Delectable Onam Sadhya and Artistic Road Show As the joyous festival of Onam approaches, Federal Bank is thrilled to announce its vibrant and engaging Onam campaign, celebrating the rich cultural heritage of Kerala. With a delectable spread of the traditional Onam Sadhya and an artistic road show showcasing Kerala's diverse art forms, Federal Bank is all set to make this Onam season truly unforgettable. MVS Murthy, Chief Marketing Officer, Federal Bank said “Onam is a unique festival as it is heartiness multiplied X times over. It’s a festival that brings home NRIs, Familes in India, Colleagues at work and even the youth across educational stages. It celebrates people, community and the society as a whole in the same breath. A time to dress new, be joyous and converge on a happy meal that runs on to 30+ items , at the exit of which is a must have siesta. Those coming to Kerala from any part of the world can’t miss the fest and the feast coming together. Our campaign showcases different people contributing to the various kind of foods a la pot-luck. It is this spirit that has something which everyone feels a sense of ownership and contribution. One waits to hear from the guest how the food was. Much like our bank where each one of us strives to strengthen the “ rishta “ with sincere efforts towards better customer service. The Sadhya or the feast is almost a mirror or a metaphor of Federal Bank’s understating of culture and it’s deep relations in a world which can be digitally efficient, but can’t be sans the personal touch. Like the consistency of food , we savour, the brand is consistently building on its commitment of Rishta Aap Se Hai, Sirf App Se Nahi ™️ A Feast for the Senses: Onam Sadhya Watch the latest ad of Federal Bank launched yesterday for Kerala to celebrate the season! Click on the link - https://youtu.be/bei7UkNI6mU

  • Karnataka Tourism Roadshow in Surat to Unveil its Diverse Tourism Offerings

    Karnataka Tourism is pleased to announce a roadshow in Surat, scheduled to take place on the 21st August 2023 at Surat Marriott Hotel. This event is geared towards showcasing Karnataka as a leading travel destination, boasting a delightful array of attractions tailored to cater to the preferences of every discerning traveller. With a focus on promoting the state's heritage, wildlife, adventure, and modern urban experiences, the roadshow aims to entice travellers to explore the wonders that Karnataka has to offer. The main objective of this event is to introduce the people of Surat to the myriad offerings of Karnataka, a state known for its rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and warm hospitality. The roadshow will feature engaging presentations, audio-visuals, interactive sessions, and captivating cultural performances, all of which are designed to transport attendees into the heart of Karnataka's beauty and charm. Tourism Service providers from Karnataka will be participating in the roadshow, presenting a unique opportunity to connect with industry experts, travellers, and potential business associates. The event aims to cultivate partnerships that will significantly enhance Karnataka's thriving tourism industry and establish Karnataka as a comprehensive and top-notch tourism destination. Kapil Mohan IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Karnataka Tourism Department, expressed his enthusiasm for the roadshow, stating, "The Karnataka Tourism Roadshow in Surat signifies the state's commitment to fostering tourism ties with Gujarat. Our collaboration aims to strengthen cultural exchange and mutual understanding between our regions. Karnataka's diverse offerings, including its historical sites, scenic beauty, and modern urban experiences, are poised to captivate the discerning travelers of Surat. We look forward to a fruitful engagement that will not only boost tourism but also enhance the socio-cultural bonds between our states." Dr. Ramprasath Manohar Varatharajan, Director, Department of Tourism, Government of Karnataka, expressed his enthusiasm for the roadshow, stating, “The Karnataka Tourism Roadshow is a significant endeavor aimed at showcasing the splendor of our state to the discerning audience of Surat. This roadshow symbolizes our dedication to fostering stronger connections with communities, and showcase the many facets of our beloved state making Karnataka a premier destination for travelers." Karnataka has a glorious past intertwined with renowned dynasties such as Kadamba, Chalukya, Rashtrakuta, Hoysala, Vijayanagara, and Wodeyar, contributing to its cultural diversity. The intricately carved temples and palaces are a testament to their influence. The state is home to 747 unique protected monuments, encompassing ancient temples, palaces, historical landmarks, hill stations, pristine beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, and national parks. Among these treasures are UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Hampi and Pattadakal, the grandeur of the Mysore Palace, and the intricate marvels of the Hoysala temples in Belur and Halebidu. The breathtaking Western Ghats is a home to 35 wildlife sanctuaries and 5 national parks, fostering diverse flora and fauna. Stretching across a 320-kilometre coastline, Karnataka's beaches are renowned for their scenic allure and offer an array of exhilarating water sports. Additionally, the state boasts enchanting hill stations like Coorg, Chikmagalur, Sakaleshpura, and Kodachadri, providing an opportunity to relish homestays, savor local coffee, and cuisine, and engage in unique traditions. For unparalleled jungle experiences and the chance to spot elephants and tigers, destinations like Kabini, Bandipur, Dandeli, and Nagarhole stand as prime locations. Karnataka's culture is a beautiful blend of traditions and modernity. The state celebrates its art forms like Yakshagana, a traditional dance-drama, and Carnatic classical music. The state's vibrant & joyous festivals such as Dasara, Karaga, and Ugadi, exemplify the state's colourful traditions, captivating both locals and visitors alike. Moreover, Karnataka's cuisine is a reflection of its diverse regions and communities. From the iconic Masala Dosa and Bisi Bele Bath to coastal delights like Mangalorean seafood and Udupi vegetarian fare, the state's culinary offerings are a treat for food enthusiasts. Karnataka's appeal is further enriched by the bustling city of Bengaluru, known as India's IT hub, has attracted global attention for its technological advancements. The city is home to numerous tech parks, research institutions, and startups. It has earned the nickname "Silicon Valley of India" for its IT prowess. Karnataka offers authentic Ayurvedic experiences for holistic wellness. From wellness retreats to Ayurvedic treatments, the state provides a serene environment for rejuvenation. Traditional Ayurvedic practices are deeply rooted in Karnataka's culture. Karnataka's allure lies in its rich heritage of silks, spices, and sandalwood, coupled with beautiful hill stations, mesmerizing waterfalls, revered pilgrimage centers, and pristine coastal beaches. With diverse landscapes encompassing archaeology, religious sites, ecotourism, wildlife, and more, Karnataka promises a wealth of experiences for discerning travellers to embrace. Karnataka Tourism is keen to host the Roadshow in Surat, offering an exceptional platform to unveil the states diverse and captivating tourism offerings. From the exploration of ancient archaeological wonders and sacred religious destinations to immersive ecotourism experiences and thrilling wildlife adventures, Karnataka stands as a premier tourist destination in India. It promises something truly special for every discerning traveler, all year round.

  • Karnataka Tourism to play host to the First G20 Energy Transition Working Group Meet in Bengaluru

    Bengaluru, 4thFebruary 2023 Karnataka Tourism as part of its initiative has laid out the red carpet to international delegates from over 35 countries attending the Bengaluru leg of the G20 Summit Meet. The visit of international delegates to Karnataka reinforces 'Brand Karnataka' and helps to reinforce the 'One State, Many World' tagline of the tourism department. All the arrangements are made under the direction of Hon’ble Chief Minister. Sri BasavarajBommai, Chief minister of Karnataka, and guidance of Smt. Vandita Sharma, IAS, Chief Secretary to Government & Sri Kapil Mohan, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism. The first G20 Energy Transition Working Group (ETWG) meeting under India's presidency will be held in Bengaluru from 5 – 7 February 2023. The meeting will have over 150 participants including G20 member countries, nine special invitee guest countries - Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Spain. In addition, leading international organisations including The World Bank, Asian Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and International Energy Agency (IEA) will be part of the meeting, the statement read. Senior government officials from the ministries concerned will also participate in the ETWG meeting for which Karnataka is extending all its support and coordination. The first ETWG meeting will focus on areas like energy transition through addressing technology gaps, low-cost financing for energy transition, energy security and diversified supply chains, energy efficiency, industrial low carbon transitions and responsible consumption, fuels for future and universal access to clean and affordable energy. There will also be a high-level international seminar on 'Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS)'. Karnataka is hosting 14 G20 meetings (11 in Bengaluru, 2 in Hampi, and 1 in Mysuru). This is the highest after Delhi-NCR and the State is honoured to be given this opportunity. During the meetings and the stay of the delegates, we will be showcasing the State’s many offerings such as spikes, coffee, silk, handicrafts, handlooms etc. Excursion trips are planned within Bengaluru city as well as for Nandi Hills, BhogaNandishwara Temple, Mysuru, and Hampi. We would like to encourage, the G20 Secretariat to also showcase the Golden Chariot, South India’s only luxury train. Being the nodal department managing this prestigious event, Karnataka Tourism sees this as a prestigious and landmark occasion to showcase the best of what the state has to offer to a global and well-travelled audience. Karnataka is taking every step necessary to ensure the successful conduct of the G20 meetings, including venue management, accommodation arrangements, security, transportation, cultural programs, and more. The state will also be providing gifts and souvenirs such as silk scarves, silk ties, spices & coffee of Karnataka to the delegates during their stay in Karnataka. To facilitate the smooth operations of the event, Nodal officers have been appointed for each vertical under the Chief Secretary with all concerned authorities such as Tourism, Kannada & Culture, Police, State Intelligence, Traffic, DPAR, BBMP, BIAL, and respective DCs. The department has ensured all arrangements have been put in place, with our representatives having regular interactions with the various concerned departments such as Dept. of Economic Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs, Indian Council for Cultural Research (ICCR) and all concerned G20 coordinators to ensure G20 meetings in Karnataka are world-class and memorable. Speaking on occasion of the announcement, Mr. Kapil Mohan, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism Department said "It is an honour to the state of Karnataka to host the delegates of the first G20 Energy Transition Working Group (ETWG) meeting under India's presidency. Karnataka Tourism will be showcasing the state's rich heritage and culture to the visiting delegates." We have planned Live Performances of 30-45 minutes for each evening of G20 meetings through an eclectic mix of dances, music, and a cultural exhibition showcasing the state. An excursion to the Pavagada Solar Park is also planned during the delegate's visit to Bengaluru. Apart from this a visit to Infosys Crescent Green Campus has also been scheduled. Dr. V Ram Prasath Manohar, IAS, Director, Tourism Department added “It is an opportunity for Karnataka Tourism and its stakeholders to showcase the best of Karnataka to this prestigious delegation and will help reinforce ‘Brand Karnataka’ as a destination of World-class monuments and heritage, its rich culture and warm hospitality!” A Karnataka pavilion showcasing Karnataka’s products – silk, coffee, handicrafts, and tourism is also planned at the venue. The event will also display the ‘One District, One Product’ offerings of Karnataka.

  • Sachin Tendulkar visits Al Habtoor City in Dubai

    October 21, 2022: Indian cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar is the latest international celebrity to visit the Hilton Dubai, Al Habtoor City. The sport star and Apollo Tyres brand ambassador was attending a state-of-the-art event by the brand, which witnessed a soulful performance by renowned singing sensation Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. The event took place at Al Joud Ballroom, Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City. A major real estate and hospitality stakeholder in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Al Habtoor City is a multi-use development in Dubai incorporating five-star hotels, three-rise luxury residential towers and a water-themed Dragone theatre, with a major focus on the Indian tourism and hospitality market as well as Indian diaspora, visitors and cultural enthusiasts. "Al Habtoor City Hotels Dubai aims to become the preferred destination for the most discerning Indian travelers. 44 floors tall, the Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City is located in the heart of Dubai, and is ideal for events and vacations across the spectrum. It was our pleasure to host Sachin Tendulkar and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan," said Farah Bootwala – PR and Sponsorships Manager, Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection. In India, Red Dot Representations has been appointed to represent the Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection by Hilton. Recently, as part of its outreach efforts for the Indian market, Ab Habtoor City hosted an Indian Bazaar and food night showcasing the diverse spread of Indian cuisine and gorgeous Indian décor that are reminiscent of Rajasthan’s melas.

  • SIHRA announces its Annual Convention in Bangalore, 18 – 20 November 2022

    As the hospitality world comes in terms with the growth opportunities amid challenges of people and infrastructure, the ‘South India Hotels & Restaurants Association’ (SIHRA) announces its forthcoming annual convention at Bengaluru from the 18 – 20 November 2022. Speaking on occasion of the announcement, Mr. K Syama Raju, President SIHRA said, "With the Indian hospitality world opening up post the pandemic, it has brought in challenges specially in the area of optimizing human resources and sustaining the growth story at the same time! SIHRA is delighted to announce its forthcoming annual convention in Bengaluru from the 18 – 20 November 2022. The three￾day annual convention will bring in over 600 delegates from the southern states serving as a platform to meet and discuss new trends, optimising human resource potentials and opportunities in the hospitality sector". The Convention Chairman, Mr. K Ravi added "The Convention will focus on emerging hospitality technologies, human resource management, Food & Beverage trends and will be a vital networking platform for hoteliers and restauranteurs in the Southern Region".

  • PCEB announces the latest Business Events & Tourism developments in India!

    27th September Mumbai: The Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) has embarked on a preliminary promotional trip to India with the aim to reconnect and revive the tourism and business events industry in Penang and India through press conferences and networking night. The Preliminary Promotional Trip to India is essential for demonstrating the market readiness in India. Some of the Indian local airlines, have expressed interest in expanding into Penang after attending PCEB’s annual roadshow last year. Following the interest, the PCEB team together with YB Yeoh Soon Hin, the State Executive Councillor for Tourism & Creative Economy had a meeting with a few airlines to discuss direct flights opportunities to Penang from key cities in India. It is essential to maintain marketing momentum in order to keep airlines enthusiastic about the Penang-India link. “The efforts to ensure tourism is sustainable was taken well into consideration by incorporating the idea of Responsible Tourism into the travel and tourism sector post pandemic. Penang is the first state in Malaysia to launch a well-designed SOS safety APP, making Penang once again the trendsetter in Malaysia's tourism environment. With your support, we can restore travellers' confidence to visit Penang and ensure that it remains a top destination for people from all over the world”, said Yeoh Soon Hin, the State Executive Councillor for Tourism & Creative Economy “PCEB's dedication has not wavered, and our team is dedicated to fostering mutually beneficial relationships and working closely with the Indian community. The establishment of a direct flight between India and Penang is one of the primary topics of conversation at the moment. We are already in discussion with airlines both in India and in Malaysia about the possibility of establishing additional direct flight routes between Penang and key cities in India,” said Ashwin Gunasekaran, the Chief Executive Officer of Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau. “Penang has historically seen a healthy inflow of travelers from India: for leisure and business travellers as well as corporate events. As Malaysia’s national airline, we are constantly working towards making Malaysia a preferred destination and are committed to help enhance Malaysia’s market share for the MICE industry. With the collective goal to strengthen connections and reinvigorate the Penang economy, Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB). We are confident that this alliance will prove to be positive for both PCEB and MAG in many ways. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial business relationship with PCEB.” Amit Mehta Country Manager- South Asia, Malaysia Airlines. India, the largest country in South Asia has been one of the top 5 visitors to Malaysia for a decade and shows no sign of hitting the brakes. India's outbound tourism market is only second to China's. With the Indian market being a key focus area for PCEB, the bureau is gearing up for its annual roadshow to the country in the early months of 2023.

  • AZAL to operate direct flights from Mumbai to Baku from November

    National, October 3rd, 2022– Azerbaijan Airlines, the flag carrier of Azerbaijan intends to commence its direct flights between Baku and Mumbai – the commercial hub of India from November onwards. The airline will operate twice-a-week flights between Mumbai and Baku. Azerbaijan Airlines has started ticket sales for flights. Zeal Global Group- the exclusive partner of the airline in India, has confirmed this expansion of Azerbaijan Airlines. The airline has already been operating flights from Delhi to Baku twice-a-week since August and is now delighted to start direct flights from Mumbai too. Mumbai travellers can now reach Baku in just four hours to witness the picturesque beauty of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is a beautiful country, which is also known as the land of fire and Baku, the capital, is a city of winds, being one of the best stops on a trip to Europe. With a beautiful 20 km (65,616 ft) long coastline, this unique city has so much to offer to travelers; from beaches and volcanoes to a cityscape where the ancient meets the new. Flight tickets for these flights can be booked on the official website of the Airline (www.azal.az), as well as at the air carrier's accredited agencies. The ticket price includes free baggage allowance (up to 23 kg in economy class and up to 32 kg in business class), as well as a full range of cold and hot meals. Passengers who meet the indicated conditions of carriage and who are allowed to fly under the current epidemiological restrictions will be accepted for transportation on these flights. Information on the rules of entry to Azerbaijan can be found in detail at the link: https://www.azal.az/en/information/covid-azerbaijan.

  • ITE Hong Kong 2022 concluded successfully

    ITE Hong Kong 2022, which the second edition held physically since the pandemic, was held successfully from August 18 to 21 at Halls 3 of the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre. The Chief Executive (CE) of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Mr. John KC LEE sent his Message to welcome ITE participants! The Guest of Honor, Mr YEUNG Yun-hung, Kevin, GBS, JP, Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau of the HKSAR Government officiated the opening ceremony. ITE helps boost Tourism Recovery The main theme this year is Reconnect & Recover! By providing a platform to facilitate various stakeholders of the travel industry to reconnect, hopefully, ITE will speed up recovery. Please to report there are good reasons to believe it been successful! Likely benefit from recent announcement by the Hong Kong government to cut mandatory hotel quarantine from 7 to 3 days, ITE 2022 was extensively covered and well attended by media, ranging from TV, radio to newspapers! Reporters came not only in all 4 days when ITE opened but also in our pre-show press conference held week before and the press preview the day before ITE opening! These certainly help rekindle or boost travel interest in the society. Media reported highly positive comments by exhibitors on ITE’s last day! For examples, receiving nearly 10 times more enquiries than last year; meet many serious visitors asking in details, and believing many in Hong Kong can (afford) and have strong travel interest! ITE bigger & remaining highly international Comparing to last year ITE 2022 is not only bigger but also more international! It occupied around 5600 SQM (+7%) with exhibitors totaling 107 (+4%) of whom 71% from outside and overseas! There were 32 participating countries and regions which an increase of 78%! Its first 1.5 days opened only to registered trade visitors, while in remaining days and sessions visitors could pay admission fee at entrance to enter. In fact, ITE2022 drew more visitors, 2752 (+8.2%) from trade and corporations and 31098 (+14.7%) from the public. Quality upheld in ITE The organizer been working closely with exhibitors and business associates to ensure effectiveness of ITE as platform not only for facilitating business exchange and info sharing, but also for tasting travel fun! Over 20 national, regional and municipal tourism boards from various destinations staged official pavilion or stand, some of which attractively designed and installed with, say, photo booth and screen for zoom meeting or video broadcast. Special displays in corporation with trade association or media include, say, for MICE the Domestic MICE Corner; for Green and Outdoor Tourism the Winners Display of school Photo Competition and Glamping; and the Cultural Tourism Pavilion featuring interesting museums and innovation zones locally and in the mainland. Also, a teahouse in the Central District of Hong Kong re-construct architecturally in its pavilion the elegant culinary and life style of elite back in the early years of the last century. At the stage were Cultural Performances, photo sessions with mascots and prize presentation. Over 70 trade and public seminars held in purpose built rooms inside the exhibition halls while there were demos and quiz at stands. Hong Kong Outbound Market Pre-pandemic, Hong Kong often ranked world’s 11th or 12th largest outbound market by spending. Specifically in 2019, the city spent US$26.9 billion on international travel, and made say 2.29 million visits to Japan, 1.045 million trips to Thailand, 315,150 trips to Australia, and 409,030 trips to UK. The next ITE in 2023 The next edition, ITE Hong Kong 2023 which comprises of the 37th ITE (Leisure) & the 18th ITE MICE, will be held from June 15 to 18, 2023 at Halls 1 of the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre. Organized by TKS Exhibition Services Ltd., the annual ITE is strongly supported by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China, with Hong Kong Tourism Board, Macau Government Tourism Office, travel and MICE trade associations as Supporters.

  • BLTM is back

    Delhi, 10th September 2022: BLTM, India’s leading trade show on Business + Leisure Travel and MICE, opened today at the capital city. The 2-day show is staging post-pandemic rebound of the business, leisure and MICE travel segment, with over 100+ exhibitors from 4 countries and 13+ Indian states and UTs. Catering to the huge post-pandemic opportunity that India presents, the show is offering you unprecedented access to the cream of buyers from the North Indian market, and the advantage of hosted buyers, specifically chosen from Business+Leisure and MICE travel segments. 275+ hosted buyers will be present at the show, specifically chosen from Business+Leisure and MICE travel segments from all over India. 1500+ trade buyers are expected to visit the show. The show is ramping up the industry with its exquisite showcase of unique destinations like St. Petersburg, Singapore, Moscow, and of India Tourism and some of the leading Indian States, hotels, resorts, tour operators, DMCs, etc., in a 5-star setting of the show, in the heart of Delhi at the Leela Ambience Convention Hotel, where participants get to engage in fruitful meetings in an intimate setting. As global travel resumes, most destinations are betting on a quicker revival of MICE and Bleisure tourism in the year 2022; and It is noteworthy that according to surveys, India’s Outbound MICE tourism market is expected to reach USD 9 billion by 2025. According to reports, the India Business Travel Market is anticipated to reach a value of US$ 55.2 Billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 8.1% during 2022-2027, owing mostly to globalisation of business operations. Additionally, the increasing trend for Bleisure travel, the development of meetings, incentives, conferences, and events (MICE) segment, rapid digitization, the rising partnership between businesses and airlines, continuous improvements in the airline, hospitality and tourism industries are also positively influencing the market across India. BLTM opens doors to India's 6.5 million outbound business and MICE tourists, as well as the fastest growing business travel market in the world. St. Petersburg, Russia is the Feature Destination of the show; while Singapore is the Feature Country. Goa, Odisha and Gujarat are displaying their best as Partner States, and Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh are participating as Feature States. Private sector participants from all over India, from many states are also present at the show. The show also has private exhibitors from several Indian states like Andaman & Nicobar, Delhi, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, comprising travel agents, tour operators, hospitality chains, DMCs, attractions etc. Most of the states are participating with delegations of tour operators and hoteliers; a clear appreciation of the unabated spirit of business, leisure and MICE travellers of India, who kept visiting these destinations throughout the pandemic, as they remained open with necessary precautions in place. India Tourism too has a key presence at the show, showcasing all their campaigns and programmes such as ‘Azaadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, ‘Dekho Apna Desh’, ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’. The inauguration took place in the august presence of Ms. Kuzenskaya Julia, Deputy Chairman - Committee for Tourism Development of St.Petersburg, Mr. Raymond Lim, Area Director India (New Delhi office) - International Group, Singapore, Mr. Arun Srivastava, Deputy Director General - Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India, Mr. Subhash Goyal, Former Secretary, Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH) & Former President of IATO, Ms. Jyoti Mayal, President, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), consuls and ambassadors of participating and non-participating countries including Sri Lanka, Cuba, Greece, Vietnam, etc., and several senior tourism officials from Indian States and heads of travel trade associations, along with other dignitaries from the industry. The show is reserved for travel trade visitors for both days i.e. 10th & 11th September, from 10 am to 6 pm. The travel trade fraternity was present in large numbers at the inauguration, with new as well as existing travel trade players, and huge footfall from the travel industry is expected on the show dates. BLTM will be followed next week by OTM - the leading travel trade show in Asia-Pacific - being organised on 13th, 14th & 15th September 2022, at the Jio World Convention Centre, Mumbai. OTM promises to be of the highest standard of travel shows ever seen in India. Highlighting the growth of the MICE industry Ms. Jyoti Mayal, President, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) said, "We have rebounded, restructured, resurrected, and moved beyond crisis that hit us 3 years back. Every aspect of tourism is important and India has witnessed the largest surge. It is predicted that the tourism will see a 5.8% growth year on year though the country will grow at the rate of 2.7%. We also will be witnessing 126 million more employment in the next decade. MICE sector in India has been pegged at INR 25,000 crores, with growth of 8%. Commitment with proper and effective collaborations between the government and private stakeholders to have well defined policies, support, funds and skilled manpower will make both business and MICE a success story. We are thankful to the organizers of BLTM for providing us with the platform to define a roadmap to this industry." Emphasizing on strengthening Indo – Soviet relationship Mr. Subhash Goyal, Former Secretary, Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH) & Former President of IATO said, "Outbound tourism from India in 2019 was about 25 million and the domestic tourism within India, people who travel by air was about 300 million. India has immense potential and Indians are one of the largest spenders. Today there is waiting list for UK, USA, and other countries for 6 months or a year which is the opportunity for Russia and India to strengthen Indo-Soviet relationship. I am delighted to use BLTM as a platform to share my views that if Russia does these 3 things, then in next 2 years more than a million tourists from India will travel to Russia Provide e-Visa facility, Rupee – Ruble direct exchange & Build an air bridge – Russian carriers to be listed for India" “BLTM has always proved to be beneficial and crucial for the Bleisure and MICE travel industry and Delhi being the national capital, is but the obvious choice for us to organise this show in, year after year. During this post-pandemic phase, when the Bleisure and MICE market is skyrocketing, a show like BLTM is the absolute need of the hour to keep up the momentum and provide the boost that the industry calls for.”, said Sanjiv Agarwal, Chairman & CEO, Fairfest Media Ltd., the organisers of BLTM. “BLTM, which is India’s leading trade show on Business + Leisure Travel and MICE, has received exceptional support from the travel industry at large and our association partners who have been instrumental in the revival of travel and tourism.'' he added.

  • Cleartrip embarks on a journey to revolutionise travel in India with its all-new avatar

    6th September 2022: Bengaluru; Cleartrip, India’s fastest-growing online travel company, has revealed a new brand identity and logo as a first step toward the brand's next growth phase. Cleartrip’s new avatar reflects the brand’s core values - ‘Transparency, Optimism, Curiosity, Innovation, and Inclusive’, which represents the brand’s vision and strategy in a bold new format as it gears to disrupt the OTA segment in India. The new brand identity captures a journey that began in 2006 and saw a renewed interest post the Flipkart acquisition in 2021. Cleartrip has always been about making travel simple. At its core, the new brand identity represents the company’s refreshed customer-focused approach to enable an easy hassle-free travel journey and encourage customers to travel more. The new logo, while retaining its iconic element, stays true to the brand’s mission of making every travel dream a reality. Showcasing optimism, the tick breaks out of the box opening out unbound opportunities to travel. Talking about Cleartrip’s new avatar, Ayyappan. R, CEO, Cleartrip, said ‘Cleartrip has established a niche for itself in the OTA segment over the last decade and a half. While we will continue to maintain the legacy of the brand with its intuitive product offerings and straightforward UI and UX, we are embarking on a journey to evolve along with travellers and their ever-changing needs. The travel industry has not seen innovation in the last two decades and that is something we are looking forward to changing. Our new brand entity is an extension of our intent to be an enabler to make all travel dreams a reality! We believe that we are on the right path to move the brand forward with bold moves to keep us ahead of the game.’ Commenting on the new brand identity and logo, Kunal Dubey, CMO, Cleartrip said, “We did not just create a new look and feel for Cleartrip, our new identity reflects where we come from and where we are headed. Travel in India has become a lot more democratised since we started 16 years ago. Indians are travelling more than they ever did, and their expectations from travel brands are also evolving. However, the industry hasn’t caught up and there is hardly any innovation in OTAs today. We strongly believe that if we want to be India’s most loved travel brand, we need to be the ones bringing the change. This new brand identity is just our expression of that intent.” The new identity will stay true to the brand’s motto ‘So, Where to’ urging consumers to start their renewed journey with Cleartrip. The real aim of the brand is to evoke inquisitiveness amongst the audience with its industry-first campaigns in the past like Cleartrip Tatkaal, Passports are #MeantForMore, and exciting offerings like EzCancel, Flexifly, and TravelSafe. In addition to this, the company is geared up to soon introduce a plethora of industry-first initiatives and campaigns under its brand ethos to help consumers realise all their travel dreams. The new line-up of campaigns will reinforce and bring alive the new brand proposition in a fresh new avatar.

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