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Trail Blazer Tours India Private Limited March - April 2018
TBi at ITB Berlin 7th -11th March 2018

TBi participated at ITB Berlin from 7 – 11 March 2018. The team comprising of Mr. Jehangir Katgara - CMD, Mr. Vikram Kodendera - COO Inbound, Mr. Aloo Gomes Pereira - COO Goa & Charters, Ms. Varsha Deshpande – Sr. VP Inbound and Mr. Shantanoo Mohan – Sr. VP Germany & Austria interacted with our existing partners and also met prospective new ones.

Our representatives, Ms. Ruth Meerkamp from Germany and Mr. Jonathan Wilkins from the UK also attended ITB and held joint meetings with prospective agents from their markets.

There was a visible increase in prospective buyers & visitors to the India area, which is a sign of renewed interest in the destination.

JW Marriott Jaipur Resort & Spa debuts in Rajasthan

Marriott International has opened its 200-key JW Marriott Jaipur Resort & Spa, marking the debut of the global luxury brand in Rajasthan. The resort features 200 guest rooms, villas and suites, including Royal Terrace Rooms, Royal Courtyard Rooms and Royal Pool Villas with private plunge pools, as well as two-bedroom Palace and Presidential Suites. It has a Kids' Club and a full schedule of family-friendly programs.

The resort has indoor and outdoor banqueting venues of over 52,000 square feet, featuring multi-functional event spaces equipped with state-of-the-art audio-visual systems, including a 11,000-square-feet pillar-less Ballroom.

Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort opens in South Goa

AccorHotels has launched its latest Novotel, its fourth property in Goa called Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort (earlier Dona Sylvia Resort). Situated in South Goa, the resort features 181 rooms, villas and suites on the Arabian Sea coastline. With 17 Novotels in the country, this brand is particularly well targeted for the modern Indian traveler and international guests.

The Resort features two conference rooms with a capacity to serve about 200 guests and also offers two seaside lawns by Cavelossim Beach.

Tamil Nadu gets its first Mercure at Sriperumbudur

Sriperumbudur-Oragadam, Chennai's upcoming industrial and automobile belt, saw the opening of its first international hotel – Mercure Chennai Sriperumbudur. This marks AccorHotels' 6th property in Chennai and 7th in Tamil Nadu. The hotel features 100 guest rooms, including 6 suites. The hotel is a 45-minute drive from Chennai International Airport and an hour's drive from the historic monuments and beaches of Mahabalipuram.

The launch of this hotel has made AccorHotels the largest hotel operator in Chennai with a combined inventory of more than 950 rooms with brands like Novotel, Mercure and ibis.

Park Plaza Kolkata Ballygunge is now Radisson Kolkata Ballygunge

Park Plaza Kolkata Ballygunge has been re-branded as Radisson Kolkata Ballygunge. This is the first Radisson hotel in the heart of Kolkata and near the international airport and the railway station. Several areas of the hotel have a new look and amenities have been upgraded. It features 92 well-appointed, spacious and modern rooms across Superior, Business Class, Junior and Executive Suites categories. Equipped with modern amenities, new upholstery, superior bath amenities and colorful art work, the hotel assures a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

Niraamaya Retreats expands to Kohima, Nagaland

Niraamaya Retreats has expanded to Kohima, Nagaland with its management lease of Classic Inn, a charming boutique property which is now rechristened Niraamaya Retreats Aradura. The property has a total of 12 rooms with expansive views. The suites are equipped with modern amenities and are a fusion of tribal and contemporary design.

Fly Delhi-Tel Aviv direct on AI from Mar 22

Air India will begin non-stop flight operations from New Delhi to Tel Aviv in Israel starting March 22, 2018. The carrier will fly thrice a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday on Air India's Boeing 787 Dreamliner that has 18 business class and 238 economy seats.

The aircraft will depart from New Delhi at 4.50 pm and arrive in Tel Aviv at 8.25 pm. On its return leg, the plane will depart from Tel Aviv at 10.15 pm and land in Delhi the next day at 9 am. With one way duration of 7 hours and 10 minutes, Air India will be the fastest nonstop flight between India and Israel taking a straight route between the two countries.

In addition to Air India, Israel's national carrier El Al currently has four weekly nonstop flights from Mumbai to Tel Aviv and will soon increase its frequency.

SriLankan to increase Mumbai and Delhi frequencies

With a focus on the Indian market, SriLankan Airlines intends to increase its frequencies to 13 flights per week to Delhi and 14 flights a week to Mumbai, as the demand is constantly on the rise. India has been a vital partner in SriLankan Airlines' route network from the early days since it is Sri Lanka's number one source of inbound tourist traffic. Today, the airline directly operates to 14 Indian destinations with a total of 135 flights a week.

Vistara launches Kolkata-Chennai double daily from March 25

Vistara has announced double daily flights between Kolkata and Chennai, as well as a direct same aircraft service to Kochi via Chennai, starting March 25, 2018. The airline has increased its frequencies between Kolkata and Delhi with the launch of a third daily flight to the national capital. With these additions, Vistara will connect Kolkata directly with Delhi, Chennai, Port Blair (Andamans) and Kochi. Customers from Kolkata can also connect via Delhi to many other domestic and international destinations.

Oman Air deploys Boeing 737 MAX on Delhi-Muscat route

Oman Air has deployed the new Boeing 737 MAX on its recently launched Delhi-Muscat route. The new B737 MAX is equipped with 12 new Business Class seats with large 17-inch touch screen monitors and all the amenities such as individual power and USB points. The 150 seat Economy Class cabin will also undergo a significant refresh with new interiors, 10.2-inch Thales Gen V touch-screen monitors, high power USB outlets for each triple seat and individual USB outlets for every guest.

Mumbai and Delhi airports world's best in APAC region

The international airports of Mumbai and New Delhi have been rated as the number one airports in the Asia Pacific region serving over 40 million passengers a year category by the Airports Council International (ACI) – a trade association of 1,953 member airports across 176 countries for its Airport Service Quality (ASQ) ratings it conducts every year.

Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) operated and managed by GVK MIAL shared the spot with Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) for the World's Best Airport for customer experience. They were selected by millions of passengers in a survey carried out by ACI. The Hyderabad airport became the number one in the 5-15 million passengers per annum category for the year 2017.

Passengers were surveyed across international airports for their feedback on 34 key performance indicators including airport access, check-in, security screening, restrooms, stores and restaurants.

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India wins 'Best Exhibitor Award' at ITB Berlin

India has won the 'Best Exhibitor Award' at ITB Berlin on the concluding day. The event was convened at Berlin, Germany from March 7-10, 2018. India was represented by KJ Alphons, Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism along with other officials from the Tourism Ministry. India's 'Incredible India' (Ministry of Tourism) presented a short film named 'Yogi of the Racetrack' during the meet. The film received 3.2 million hits in 60 hours. More than 100 countries participated at ITB Berlin with their respective Tourism Ministers.

Maharashtra, Virgin Hyperloop One to build India's first hyperloop

Virgin Hyperloop One has announced Maharashtra's intent to build a hyperloop between Pune and Mumbai beginning with an operational demonstration track. Richard Branson, Chairman, Virgin Hyperloop One announced the framework agreement in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to begin the development of the route.

The hyperloop route will link central Pune, Navi Mumbai International Airport and Mumbai in 25 minutes, connecting 26 million people and creating a thriving, competitive mega region. The route will support 150 million passenger trips annually, saving more than 90 million hours of travel time, providing citizens with social and economic mobility.

Ex-Maharaja's adopted Polish children to attend event in Gujarat

All too few of the 1,000 Polish children of Gujarat's Camp Balachadi are still alive. But for the survivors, the memory of their original journey from Poland to this town in Jamnagar district in the 1940s is vivid. That memory brings them to India again and again, to commemorate a generous Indian benefactor, the former Maharajah or "Jamsaheb of Nawanagar" 80 years ago. Anu Radha, producer of a documentary film, along with the Polish Institute in Delhi, and the Embassy, hopes to bring them back for celebrations at the Balachadi school which is now a Sainik School, in October 2018.

India helped thousands of Poles during the Second World War. The children had been separated from their parents or orphaned during the invasion of Poland in 1939, first by Hitler's forces and then Stalin's Red Army, who divided the country into two halves. Most of their families were sent to Siberia's labour camps. When they were freed, the children were sent on a difficult long journey to India. While many Polish families went to refugee camps in Nagpur, Kolhapur and Bombay (Mumbai), the 1,000 or so children, all under the age of 15, had a special problem, as they needed a school, boarding facilities and caretakers.

The Jamsaheb Digvijaysinghji Ranjitsinhji Jadeja of Nawanagar stepped in, offering to build the school for them, and provide them food and shelter near his palace, in Balachadi. In recognition of the kindness they were shown, Warsaw authorities named a school and a crossroad "Skwer Dobrego Maharadzy" (The Good Maharaja Square) after him.

58.5% growth in FTAs on eTV in Jan 2018 over Jan 2017

The number of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in January 2018 was 1.066 million as compared to FTAs of 98.3 million in January 2017 and 84.5 million in January 2016. The growth rate in FTAs in January 2018 over January 2017 was 8.4 %, compared to 16.4 % in January 2017 over January 2016. During January 2018, a total of 24 million foreign tourists arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 15.2 million during the month of January 2017 registering a growth of 58.5 per cent.

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