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‘Etihad Airways to operate to Kolkata from February 15, 2015’ - Neerja Bhatia, General Manager - India, Etihad Airways
Eithad Airways aims to capitalise on the growing trade and commercial ties between the US and India. Elaborating on the same, Neerja Bhatia, General Manager - India, Etihad Airways, speaks to TravelBiz Monitor on the newly-launched New Delhi-San Francisco route, the carrier’s future plans to operate to Kolkata, and to launch triple-daily flights to Mumbai and New Delhi more>>

Mumbai & Delhi airports have more than 40% one time travellers: JAPAC Traveller Report 2014
Mumbai airport saw highest number of travellers while Delhi airport had highest number of travellers on Saturdays during April to June this year, noted the JAPAC Traveller Report 2014, which analysed traveller and mobile engagement behaviour across 12 airports in 9 countries. TravelBiz Monitor presents highlights of the Report more>>
Religion & Spirituality: Major Drivers of India's Tourism Industry - Sameer Kumar Das
Religion & Spirituality are the biggest offerings (or in business terms, ‘biggest tourism products’) by India to the world. Being the birthplace of four of the major religions practised across the world and the cradle for the evolution of Vedanta and Buddha philosophies, India has become the greatest attraction for Religious & Spiritual Tourism within the country as well as across the globe for several thousands of years. Religion in India is the major binding attribute, which, irrespective of the barriers of language, race and culture, has kept alive the concept of India i.e. Unity in Diversity. Religious Tourism is a phenomenon existing in India for several thousand years, from the era of Shravan Kumar taking his blind old parents to Tirath Yatra to Inbound Tourism during the period of Gupta Dynasty and Harshavardhan where Buddhist monks in thousands flock to India in search of Nirvana along with prominent Chinese scholars like Fah-yan and Huien-Tsang despite the unavailability of an organised tourism industry with designated tour operators, proper visa regime, state-of-the-art infrastructure like roads, hotels, and communication systems. more>>
This Week's Top Headlines
Dr Jyotsna Suri takes over as President of FICCI
  Dr Jyotsna Suri, Chairman & Managing Director, Bharat Hotels (Lalit Suri Hospitality), has been appointed as President of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). more>>
Vistara to take-off on January 9, 2015; bookings now open
  As per a press relese from the airline, with its distribution channel and booking website going live yesterday, Vistara, the aviation joint venture between Tata Sons Ltd and Singapore Airlines is ready to take to the skies. more>>
Air India plans code-sharing with most Star Alliance members by March 2015
  Air India Ltd. aims to sign code-share agreements with most Star Alliance members by March 2015, according to the airline’s Chairman and Managing Director, Rohit Nandan. more>>
TAT to launch 2015 Discover Thainess campaign in Bangkok next month
  Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will launch a global marketing campaign, with the slogan ‘2015 Discover Thainess’, on January 14, 2015 in Bangkok. The soft launch of the campaign was done at the World Travel Market (WTM) in London last month. more>>
Eurotours International plans to launch ‘Gateway to Europe’ B2B platform in India in 2015
  Eurotours International, a Destination Management Company (DMC) that handles more than 1.2 million customers with seven million room nights annually, aims to announce ‘Gateway to Europe’ - a B2B platform in 2015 in the Indian market. more>>
Vistara to induct three more A320-200s by March 2015
  Vistara, which commences operations from January 9, 2015 on the Delhi-Mumbai-Ahmedabad sector with two Airbus 320-200 planes with a three-class configuration, will induct three more aircraft to its fleet by the end of March 2015. more>>
Ethiopian and Air India to expand code-share across Africa, India
  Being members of the Star Alliance network, Ethiopian Airlines and Air India will explore expanding their code-share agreement to more destinations in Africa and India. more>>
ATOAI extends term of current office-bearers by 2 years; celebrates 20th anniversary
  At the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) held last week, the members unanimously decided to continue with the current office-bearers and the Executive Committee for two years. more>>
Air India aims to become profitable by 2018: CMD
  Air India Ltd. will turn into a profit-making entity by 2018. “I am satisfied with the growth momentum of Air India. We are going in the right direction and we hope to incur profits by 2018 and generate profits following the payment of taxes by 2020,” Rohit Nandan, Chairman and Managing Director (CMD), Air India, exclaimed at a press conference in New Delhi. more>>
MTDC to co-host Adventure Tourism Conclave 2015 with Fitrangi on Jan 7
  Fitrangi (India’s Complete Adventure Portal) along with Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) will host a first-of-its-kind ‘Adventure Tourism Conclave 2015’, on January 7, at CIDCO Auditorium and Hall, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra. more>>
Dubai organises maiden Cruise Tourism roadshow in India
  Dubai Cruise Tourism, part of Dubai Tourism, yesterday conducted a roadshow in Mumbai to highlight the emirate’s strengths as a growing international hub for Cruise Tourism. more>>
Thailand top Adventure Tourism destination for Indians: Active Holiday Company
  Thailand is the most preferred country for Adventure Tourism out of India, according to a recent study released by Active Holiday Company, along with The Outdoor Journal, on the size, travelling habits, and preferences of India’s Adventure Travel Market. more>>
Philippines appoints Benito C. Bengzon, Jr. as Undersecretary for Tourism Development
  The Department of Tourism (DOT), Philippines, has appointed Benito C. Bengzon, Jr. as the Undersecretary for Tourism Development, stated a release. A career executive who also served as Assistant Secretary for International Tourism Promotions and Official Spokesperson of more>>
Kerala's Responsible Tourism campaign launched
  As per an IANS report, Kerala's statewide campaign focused on Responsible Tourism, 'God's Own Country, People's Own Tourism' - which aims to link tourism with rural areas - was launched in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday. more>>
Haryana Tourism to launch mobile app for Surajkund Mela 2015
  The 29th edition of the Surajkund International Crafts Mela will held from February 1 to 15, 2015 at Surajkund, Faridabad. Craftsmen, weavers and artistes from across India and abroad will showcase their talent and one can savour delicacies from different states at the Mela. more>>
The Leela Hotel Group signs management contract with Summit Group of Nepal for first hotel outside India
  Indian luxury hotel group, The Leela Palaces, Hotels & Resorts signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Summit Group of Nepal to manage Summit Group’s upcoming luxury hotel in the Nepalese capital city, Kathmandu. more>>
Railway Minister directs formulation of Integrated Policy on Cleanliness
  Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Minister for Railways, Government of India, has issued directions for formulation of Integrated Policy on Cleanliness at the station, platforms and coaches. more>>
Ocean Park Hong Kong appoints Nijhawan Group as India Sales and Marketing Representative
  Ocean Park Hong Kong has apppointed Nijhawan Group as its Sales and Marketing Representative in India. The Group will focus on designing sales and marketing strategies to position Ocean Park Hong Kong as the leading edutainment destination, as per a release. more>>
Goa & Dubai continue to top destinations for Indians for year-end travel
  According to Cleartrip Insight on year-end travel bookings for the last few weeks of December 2014, Goa continued to rule the roost among domestic destinations and Dubai topped the chart among international destinations. more>>