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  • Diplomatic Conference on Tokyo Convention Opens in Montreal

    Geneva:  The International Air Transport Association (IATA) urged governments to close legal loopholes that allow unruly passengers to escape law enforcement for serious offences committed on board aircraft.

    On 26 March 2014, governments will gather for a diplomatic conference at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal to discuss revisions to the Tokyo Convention. The revisions would enhance the ability of law enforcement and other authorities to prosecute the small minority of passengers who are violent, disruptive, abusive, or acting in a manner which might endanger safety.

    The Tokyo Convention was negotiated in 1963 and it gives jurisdiction over offenses committed onboard aircraft to the state of registration of the aircraft. With modern leasing arrangements, the state of aircraft registry is often neither the state in which the aircraft lands nor the state of the operator. This limits the practicality of enforcement and consequently the options available to mitigate disruptive behaviors.  For this reason, the airline industry supports proposals for jurisdiction to be extended to both the state in which the aircraft lands and the state in which the operator is located.

    “Airlines are doing all they can to prevent and manage unruly passenger incidents, but this needs to be backed up with effective law enforcement. Reports of unruly behavior are on the rise. The Tokyo Convention was not originally designed to address unruly behavior and there is a great deal of uncertainty amongst carriers as to what actions crew can take to manage incidents in the air. And if the aircraft lands in a state other than where the aircraft was registered, local authorities are not always able to prosecute,” said Mr. Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

    “Passengers expect to enjoy their journey incident-free. And air crews have the right to perform their duties without harassment. In addition, the inconvenience to other travelers of a forced diversion is significant. At the moment there are too many examples of people getting away with serious breaches of social norms that jeopardize the safety of flights because local law enforcement authorities do not have the power to take action. IATA applauds the work of ICAO and supports the proposed revisions to the Tokyo Convention. Closing these legal loopholes will better deter such behavior and make passengers think twice before acting in ways that may put the safety of many at risk,” said Mr. Tyler.    

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  • The International Air Transport Association (IATA) emphasized the importance of industry-government partnership as the industry embarks on the second century of commercial aviation.

    “The most salient lesson of commercial aviation’s first century is the value of partnerships. Through partnership, industry and government made flying the safest way to travel. This is a good guide as we look ahead to aviation’s next century. No matter what the challenge, solutions built in partnership between industry and government are the most durable and yield the best results,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO, in his keynote address at the Singapore Airshow Aviation Leadership Summit.

    In a keynote address, Tyler highlighted opportunities for partnerships in designing regulation, growing connectivity and planning for sustainability.

    Regulation

    Aviation needs a regulatory framework that supports its global activities.

    “I am concerned about the negative impact of growing regulatory divergence and the proliferation of “unique approaches” to regulating the industry. While they were created with the best of intentions, they often come with the unintended consequences of complexity and bureaucracy,” said Tyler.

    Tyler suggested five guiding principles for governments when developing regulations: (1) to consult broadly, including industry and consumers; (2) ensure a rigorous process for analyzing the costs and benefits of any new regulation; (3) ensure regulations do not conflict with global standards where they exist; (4) harmonize so that regulations are not at cross-purposes with a global industry; and (5) to think what is really going to deliver value to the passenger.

    Passenger Rights:  The impact of the multitude of passenger rights legislation is a growing concern.  “It is fully understandable that governments wish to set some minimum guarantees to protect passengers.  But the absence of a global framework on passenger rights has seen some 50 countries implement passenger rights regimes. The result is becoming an unmanageable mess of conflicting and over-lapping rules. In some cases, regulations are becoming so prescriptive that airlines cannot go the extra mile for their passengers,” said Tyler.

    At the 2013 IATA Annual General Meeting, airlines endorsed a set of principles for passenger rights. And at its last Assembly, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) was tasked to develop global standards for passenger rights regulations.

    Connectivity

    Industry, individuals and governments are united in the desire for global connectivity. Today the air transport industry operates a network of some 40,000 routes over which 3.3 billion people and 50 million tonnes of cargo will be carried in 2014.

    “Our world is more connected than ever, but we are also nowhere near our potential. If the propensity to travel in Asia matches the level seen in developed markets, we would expect a market four-times the current size,” said Tyler.

    Tyler noted that the expanding middle class in developing markets is the biggest growth opportunity for aviation. However, he warned that the opportunity would only be realized if governments understand aviation’s role as an economic catalyst and actively build a policy environment in which it can be successful. He highlighted taxation and infrastructure as two specific areas of concern:

    Taxation: “Aviation should pay its fair share of tax.  But taxing aviation at levels equal to the ‘sin’ taxes applied to alcohol and tobacco makes no sense. Connectivity stimulates business that provides tax revenues, but a draconian tax like the UK Air Passenger Duty (APD) hurts the UK economy. Every family that forfeits a long-haul vacation because of the APD also impacts jobs in the destination countries. It may be a UK tax, but the impact is global,” said Tyler, who also highlighted the high fuel taxes in India, and proliferation of facility fees for substandard facilities and occasional over-built facilities across Africa.

    Infrastructure: Efficient infrastructure in sufficient supply is a critical building block for connectivity. This is largely understood in Asia which noted for its many world-leading airports.  The region is also moving forward with a Seamless Asian Sky initiative aimed at ensuring sufficient airspace capacity to accommodate growth efficiently. “But there are challenges.  The potential markets of Manila, Jakarta, Mumbai lack the infrastructure to support the economic benefits that aviation can deliver.  In Europe, airports in general cannot be expanded fast enough, with the onerous approvals process often leading to projects being abandoned. And the advancement in the much needed Single European Sky is being prevented by state governments mired in a web of vested interests,” said Tyler.

    Environment

    Lastly, Tyler reiterated the industry call for a global approach to managing aviation’s climate change impact.

    The aviation industry has established clear targets on the environment: to achieve a 1.5% improvement in fuel efficiency annually to 2020; to cap net emissions with carbon neutral growth from 2020, and to cut net emission in half by 2050 compared to 2005 levels. This will be achieved through a four pillar strategy involving better technology, infrastructure and operations and a global mechanism for market based measures. At the recent ICAO Assembly, governments agreed to develop a framework for a global market-based measure by the 2016 Assembly.

    “Delivering a global framework for market based measures by the 2016 Assembly is no small task.  Governments will need to work together and focus their efforts to move this forward.  The resurrection of Europe’s plans to impose its regional Emissions Trading Scheme on aviation could distract governments and de-rail the process.  Governments outside Europe made it crystal clear at the last assembly that a European regional scheme was unacceptable. The big prize of a global scheme is within grasp. Europe should focus on making that a success. It is what will drive the greatest benefit for the global efforts on climate change,” said Tyler.

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Goa Tourism witnesses successful GITM 2014

Goa Tourism witnesses most successful edition of Goa International Travel Mart (GITM)

~The event recorded over 1,200 footfalls across two days. 100 international buyers from 28 countries and 250 hosted buyers from India were present at the event

~Around 8,000 appointments were successfully conducted for the travel-trade

~ Awards were conferred by Goa Tourism for the Best Designed Stalls. Winners included Maharashtra Tourism and Karnataka Tourism among others

The Goa International Travel Mart (GITM), which was held from April 2 to 4, 2014 at Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukerjee Stadium at Taleigao, has turned out to be the most successful edition of the event. This is the third time that Goa Tourism organized this prestigious B2B event.  The event was inaugurated on April 2 in the evening by the Governor of Goa, His Excellency Shri. Bharat Vir Wanchoo and the exhibition took place on April 3 and 4. GITM recorded over 1,200 footfalls over two days. Around 8,000 appointments were successfully conducted for the travel trade; this is above the 5,800 appointments which were scheduled before the start of the event, which makes GITM one of the busiest events in the travel industry.

The main aim behind GITM was to bring together travel companies, hoteliers, State Tourism Boards and other leisure enterprises under one roof to showcase the tourism investment potential in Goa. GITM will also reaches out to State Tourism Board, District Tourism Centres, Trade Associations/ National Travel Organizations, Airlines, Travel Agents & Tour Operators, Hotels & Resorts, Adventure Tour Operators, Spice Plantations, Casinos etc. Over 100 international buyers from around 28 countries- USA, UK, France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Turkey, Italy, Czech Republic, Russia, Poland, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Malaysia, Argentina, Philippines, UAE, Mexico, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand etc. -were present at the event. On the domestic front, GITM witnessed 250 hosted buyers from all over India and around 2,500 non-hosted traders.  Also participating in the event were 25 International travel trade media from over 20 countries, and 35 domestic travel trade media from all over India.

Apart from the main exhibition the international buyers and media were taken on FAM trips to acquaint themselves with the beautiful landscape of Goa. These trips also gave them a chance to explore the lesser-known facets of Goa and get a glimpse of its rich heritage and culture. Other value additions like networking dinners, panel discussion on ‘Positioning Goa as India’s premier leisure destination towards 2020’ and knowledge sessions added colour to the event.

Mr. Dilip Parulekar, Minister of Tourism, Government of Goa, said, “I am extremely pleased to tell you that this has been one of the most successful editions of the GITM. Goa is a state with immense potential for tourism and we are eager to showcase this to the world. Through GITM, we want people from all over to learn and experience Goa in multiple ways. We plan to make this an annual event and are confident that it will continue to be a success in the years to come.”

A special Goa Pavilion was put up at GITM to showcase festivals and nightlife, beaches, heritage trails, UNESCO Heritage sites, Wild life, Medical tourism, Monsoon tourism, MICE, Wedding Destination, Spice Farms and Adventure.  Elements like promotion and conservation of heritage, arts, crafts, endorsement of hinterland tourism, exhibiting the state’s rich culture and heritage were also incorporated.

Goa Tourism also gave away awards for the Best Decorated Stalls at GITM. The winners included: Alcon Victor Group, Maharashtra Tourism, Karnataka Tourism, LPK Waterfront, Deltin, Caper Travels, Novotel and Bambolin Beach Resort.

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Air Transport and Tourism to Grow Together

The 2013 UNWTO and WTM Ministers´ Summit at the World Travel Market (WTM) will put a spotlight on the essential connection between air transport and tourism, debating the challenges and opportunities of promoting higher policy coordination between aviation and tourism.

Air transport, being an important factor in outbound or inbound tourism, plays a vital role in foreign tourist arrival in India. Therefore, the discussions on the matter must be considered as important for the tourism industry in the country. New alliances with tourism boards and airlines all around the world is needed  to boost the business. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on all partners and stakeholders involved in passenger travel to work together to deliver greater value to passengers. This is a remarkable decision that will encourage travellers all around the world to visit foreign countries.

Air travel is one of the major part, travellers worried about in their journey. Addressing their issues is the most important thing for the sector to grow their business. According to IATA Director General and CEO, Mr. Tony Tyler, Aviation makes possible $2.2 trillion worth of economic activity and supports about 57 million jobs around the globe. Every day more than 8 million passengers take advantage of the safety, speed and convenience of air travel. Therefore, any new strategy implemented will work as a catalyst that makes big changes.

The alliances by airlines also play a major part in air transport. The recent joining of Qatar Airways in “Oneworld” shows a positive approach by major airlines that hold major part of the market share. These alliances give the consumer better offers, which encourage them to travel frequently. The initiatives by WTM and IATA are expected to give new possibilities for air transport and tourism to grow together. Let's hope for a better connected world that encourages people to travel and make the tourism industry to grow to a new level.

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DUTY FREE

QATAR DUTY FREE WINS TRAVEL RETAILER OF THE YEAR AWARD

QATAR DUTY FREE NAMED TRAVEL RETAILER OF THE YEAR AT DFNI GLOBAL AWARDS Qatar Duty Free Receives the Prestigious Award for the Third Time Qatar Duty Free (QDF), the second largest Duty Free operator in the Middle East, has won the title of Travel Retailer of The Year, at the 2014 DFNI (Duty Free News International) Global Awards for Travel Retail Excellence. This is the third time that QDF has won the Travel Retailer of The Year award ...
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DESTINATION EXPERIENCE

Royal welcome in Wellington

After much excitement and anticipation, New Zealand welcomed Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George on their first ever official tour as a family today ( April 07, 2014). The clouds lifted just long enough in Wellington for Prime Minister, John Key, to greet the royal family at Wellington Airport. They were then whisked to Government House to be met by the Governor General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry M ...
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HOTELS PROMOTIONS

SPANISH DELIGHTS @ MANDARIN ORIENTAL, HONG KONG

THE LANDMARK MANDARIN ORIENTAL, HONG KONG PRESENTS SPANISH THREE STAR MICHELIN CHEF ENEKO ATXA AT ITS 2ND POP-UP RESTAURANT EVENT Guests can experience Basque-rooted international haute cuisine combined with charity and art The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong is pleased to announce the second pop-up restaurant event of 2014. Chef Eneko Atxa, from Aziamendi Restaurant in southern Thailand and Azurmendi Restaurant in Bilbao, Spain ...
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AWARDS

Stark Communications among top three at MADDYs

The second edition of Maddys 2014, organised by the Advertising Club of Madras on March 28, saw Stark Communications emerge as one of the key winners. Stark Communications bagged eight metals, which included two Golds, five Silvers and one Bronze for their prestigious clients.  Stark’s two golds came from a B2B campaign for Asianet News and a public service campaign for Flavours. The five silver awards were for Kerala Tourism, Mala ...
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HOTELS

GCS Recognises InterContinental Concierge Excellence

Prestigious Global Concierge Society Recognises InterContinental Concierge Excellence InterContinental Hotels & Resorts awarded two accolades at 61st Les Clefs d'Or Congress InterContinental Hotels & Resorts recently celebrated as two of the brand's Chef Concierges were recognised at the 61st Les Clefs d'Or Congress for their commitment to the network's global service standards of excellence. InterContinent ...
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HOSPITALITY

Thailand Tourism and Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai celebrate Thai New Year

Tourism Authority of Thailand and Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai celebrate Thai New Year in Mumbai Songkran’s joyous sights, sounds and aromas found their way to Mumbai as the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai joined hands to celebrate the Kingdom’s biggest festival at the hotel’s pan-Asian restaurant San-Qi. The celebration included a simulation of the country-encompassing, carnival-esque festival of Songkra ...
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Appointment

SHRUTI SHIBULAL NAMED DIRECTOR -TAMARA TRIVANDRUM

Will develop an exclusive business hotel in Trivandrum with world-class amenities

The Tamara, a hospitality venture promoted by Ms Shruti Shibulal, announced Ms Shruti Shibulal as Director- Trivandrum Project. In this new additional role, Ms. Shruti will take ownership and overall responsibility of developing this exclusive project right from inception to launch. Ms. Shruti will work closely with Mr. Mahesh, Architect & Director and report to Mr. Senthil Kumar N, CEO and Director to realize this project.

The new business hotel will be located in the Trivandrum-Kollam bypass, and will have a convention centre among other world-class amenities.

Mr. Senthil Kumar N, Director & CEO, The Tamara said, “We are delighted to make this announcement. We believe that Shruti’s vision, focus, extensive travel experience coupled with our strong expertise in creating unique experiences will help this project, thereby making it truly world-class. We wish Shruti great success in this new responsibility.”

Ms. Shruti Shibulal, daughter of Mr. S.D. Shibulal, Co-Founder and Director of Infosys Tech,nologies  has an MBA from Columbia Business School, and has been actively involved in evolving strategic direction of her hospitality business since 2005.

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Airline News

CATHAY PACIFIC AND QATAR AIRWAYS CELEBRATES NEW CODE-SHARE AGREEMENT

Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways jointly operate double daily services between Doha and Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific Airways and Qatar Airways have announced the launch of a new code-share agreement between the two oneworld alliance airlines, as Cathay Pacific on April 15, 2014 formally celebrated its new service between Hong Kong and Doha at a gala event held in Doha. Under a strategic agreement with its oneworld partner - Qatar Airways - Cathay Pacific first started servicing Doha directly on 30 March 2014.

Following the launch of the new twice-daily service between Hong Kong and Doha, Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways have now announced an extensive code-share agreement between the two airlines. The agreement will offer both Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways passengers greater flexibility and a wider choice when travelling from Hong Kong to Europe, Africa and the Gulf or from Doha to Australia, New Zealand, Korea and Japan.

The code-share agreement enables passengers to freely book on either airline to an expanded network of destinations, while benefiting from accruing frequent flyer points or miles, together with other oneworld member privileges. Top-tier members from Cathay Pacific’s The Marco Polo Club and Qatar Airways’ The Privilege Club can now enjoy reciprocal benefits when travelling on flights between Hong Kong and Qatar, including lounge access, extra baggage allowances, priority boarding and many other services.

Effective from April 2014, Cathay Pacific flights between Hong Kong and Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Cairns, Adelaide, Auckland, Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Seoul will carry the “QR” code, while Qatar Airways flights between Doha and Jeddah, Nairobi, Athens, Geneva, Madrid, Barcelona and Venice will carry Cathay Pacific’s “CX” code.

Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Ivan Chu said: “Cathay Pacific has been serving the Middle East for more than 30 years and we are committed to developing our presence in this ever-growing market. Doha is our fourth destination in the region and the launch of the new service will enable travellers here to enjoy the great connectivity Cathay Pacific offers via the Hong Kong hub to our extensive network in Asia, Australia and China. At the same time, the launch of the code-share agreement with Qatar Airways will provide even more travel options for our customers.”

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Alliances and code shares alike are playing an increasingly important role in the airline industry today \" and that will continue long into the future. Becoming a member of oneworld last October was one of the most significant landmarks in Qatar Airways’ history. It has strengthened our competitive offering and the advent of these new code-share routes with our partner Cathay Pacific will expand travel options for Qatar Airways passengers across routes in Australasia and North Asia.”

Guests, including dignitaries, government officials and business partners, joined the new service launch gala celebration which was hosted by Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Ivan Chu. Officiating at the event were guests of honour Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer H.E. Mr Akbar Al Baker and Qatar Civil Aviation Authority Chairman H.E. Mr Abdul Aziz Al-Noaimi .

Photo: (from left to right) are; Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer, Marwan Koleilat, Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management, James Tong, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Cathay Pacific Chief Executive, Ivan Chu, Cathay Pacific General Manager South Asia, Middle East and Africa, Charlie Stewart-Cox, Cathay Pacific Country Manager UAE and Qatar, Brian Yuen, Qatar Airways Chief Planning Officer, Richard Roberts.

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Destination Review

Business event organisers looking for the five-star wow factor will find everything they need in the new Luxury Collection at MEETINGS 2014, which will be held at ASB Show grounds, Auckland, New Zealand on June 18 & 19, 2014.

A new feature of the exhibition, the Luxury Collection will showcase the finest end of the New Zealand business events market with everything from boutique lodges to luxury yachts.

Confirmed exhibitors include Eagles Nest in the Bay of Islands, Huka Lodge, near Taupo, Peppers Carrington Resort in Northland, The Museum Art Hotel in Wellington, The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, Matakauri Lodge, Touch of Spice, Simon Gault’s The Nourish Group of restaurants, and Pacific Jemm, a luxury  Queenstown cruiser.

Director of Queenstown-based Touch of Spice, Jacqui Spice says they are very excited for Touch of Spice, curators of New Zealand's finest experiences to be included in the new luxury section at MEETINGS.

“The trends are showing that more and more people want to truly experience what New Zealand has to offer over and above the beds being slept in - they want to taste it, touch it, feel it and experience it. Which is exactly what we will show them,” says Ms Spice.

Huka Lodge, long recognised as one of New Zealand’s most aspirational retreats and one of the world’s top hotels is also joining the first Luxury Collection.

Maureen Bayley, Business Development Manager of Huka Retreats, says they are delighted to be part of the Luxury Collection from its inception.

"Huka Lodge is ideally suited to the Luxury Collection, with our discreet location and legendary service for corporate events, management retreats and private meetings to bespoke product launches," she says.

MEETINGS is being held this year at the Auckland ASB Showgrounds on June 18 and 19.  Hosted buyer applications are now open at http://www.meetings.co.nz

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Facilitating a complete recovery from the recent political unrest will be the primary focus of Thailand’s annual travel mart to be held between 4-6 June, 2014, at the Exhibition Centre Hall, IMPACT Mueang Thong Thani.

Preparations are under way for the largest B2B event, Thailand Travel Mart Plus Amazing Gateway to the Greater Mekong Subregion’ (TTM+). First organised in 2001, the TTM+ is designed primarily to help small and medium sized travel companies, products and services in Thailand and the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries gain international exposure, especially those who cannot afford to attend the expensive travel trade shows abroad.

Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik, TAT Governor said, “There is no doubt that small and medium sized companies were affected by the recent political crises, and it is important to help them protect jobs and revenue. We are now forging full-speed ahead with recovery plans. The TTM+ will be an ideal opportunity to bring business back for the rest of the year and help us meet our targets.”

During January and February 2014, Thailand received 4,494,168 international visitors. Now that the political situation has improved, TAT has opted to maintain the original 2014 target of 28.6 million international tourist arrivals, generating estimated foreign exchange revenue of 1.32 trillion Baht.

Designed to promote Thailand as a regional tourism hub, TTM+ 2014 expects to attract about 400 sellers and 400 buyers. In 2013, a total of 791 delegates attended the event (397 buyers and 394 sellers).

Mr. Arunyik added, “The full impact of the political unrest on the various source markets is being analysed in detail, along with ongoing consultations with all our industry partners and stakeholders in both the public and private sectors on how best to design a productive and practical programme for TTM+.”

This year, four major products will be highlighted in a special pavilion; Ecotourism, Health and Wellness, Wedding and Honeymoon, and Experience Thainess. The nine business categories arranged for the event are Hotel/Resort, Tour Operator/Travel Agent, Entertainment, Transportation, Golf Course, Association, NTO, the Greater Mekong Subregion, and Other Travel Services.

Mr. Sethaphan Buddhani, TAT Mumbai Director  explained, “Indian travel agents will also derive great value from the products in the special pavilion as the Indian market matures and demands novel experiences \"Our new tagline It Begins With The People is all about immersive experiences that focus on Thainess. Tourism experiences such as Muay Thai, culture and festivals that are reflective of Thainess can be explored by travel agents at the special pavilion.”

Hosted buyers are carefully selected by TAT in cooperation with overseas offices and the private sector. The registration fee is USD300, or THB9,600 for each hosted buyer, which includes complimentary return economy flight from international port to port, accommodation (from 3-7 June, 2014), transfers, tours, admission to official functions, and pre-scheduled appointments with exhibitors.

Non-hosted international buyers can also attend the TTM+2014 upon payment of a registration fee of USD 200 or THB 6,400. They can avail of the same TTM+2014 services as the Hosted Buyers, except flights and accommodation.

The official programme will begin on 4 June, 2014, with a welcome reception at the IMPACT Exhibition Centre Hall 2. The business functions will be held on 5-6 June followed by a Thank You Party on the evening of 6 June.

On 3 June, 2014, complimentary pre-mart tours are being organised to take buyers and the media to the surrounding areas of Bangkok. Departures for the post-mart tours will begin on 7 June, 2014.

For more details: Visit: bhttp://www.thailandtravelmartplus.com

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Holiday Inn New Delhi International Airport now opens

IHG Strengthens Presence in India’s Capital with Opening of Holiday Inn New Delhi International Airport

One of the world’s best known hotel brands continues to grow in key market

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced its entry into the newly-built development of Aerocity with the opening of Holiday Inn New Delhi International Airport. It is the second Holiday Inn hotel in the capital and ninth in the country.

The 265-room hotel is located in close proximity to Delhi’s domestic and international airports. With Gurgaon and South Delhi located a few kilometres away, it is an ideal destination for business, leisure and transit travellers and the hotel is well connected via a national highway and the Airport Metro, providing convenient and quick access to Connaught Place and other important commercial, business and residential areas of New Delhi. Popular tourist attractions, such as the Kingdom of Dreams, Jantar Mantar, Qutub Minar, Red Fort and India Gate, amongst others, are all easily accessible from the hotel.

 The hotel offers guests large, comfortable rooms with 37-inch LED TVs, iPod docking stations, media hubs and complimentary or all guests staying at the hotel.  There is 8000 square feet of function space available, including four meeting rooms and the Grand Ballroom, which also can be divided into three smaller function rooms. For health enthusiasts, the hotel has a fitness center, with steam and sauna facilities, and an outdoor swimming pool. The hotel’s Sohum Spa offers guests four therapy rooms and a unisex salon.

 Holiday Inn New Delhi International Airport offers four different food and beverage experiences: Viva, the all-day dining restaurant; Viva Deli, for quick bites; The Hangar, a lounge bar; and a specialty restaurant.  Retail outlets also will be located in the hotel.

 Commenting on the opening of the hotel, Pascal Gauvin, Chief Operating Officer, India, Middle East and Africa, IHG said: “We have a long heritage in India, with almost 50 years’ experience in the country and, throughout our time, we’ve adapted and evolved to meet the rapidly changing market. In the coming years, our Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express hotels will drive much of our growth in the country and we’re excited about what the future holds for the two brands. We opened five hotels here in 2013 and this is our first opening of 2014, setting a great base for the year.”

 Mr. Ranjan Malarkar, General Manager, Holiday Inn New Delhi International Airport said: “We are thrilled to open this hotel and we look forward to welcoming our guests to experience Holiday Inn’s world-renowned hospitality. Located in the plush new Aerocity and within close proximity to both Delhi and Gurgaon, we are confident that the hotel will soon prove to be an ideal choice for travellers to the city.”

In India, IHG now has 19 hotels open across 10 cities in the country. Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express are IHG’s fastest growing brands in India.

 

Holiday Inn New Delhi International Airport is offering a special opening rate of INR 5500 plus taxes. To book and explore other Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts around the world, visit http://www.holidayinn.com .

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Experience wild premium fare at Treetops Lodge

Treetops Lodge and Estate - a New Zealand luxury resort near Rotorua - is getting a little wild with its guests, showcasing the rich food store found on the vast private 2500-acre wilderness estate.

‘Estate to Plate’ - a new premium 4WD safari experience - is a guided, hands-on gourmet journey hosted by Treetops’ gamekeepers and specialist wild food chefs that culminates in a feast, dining on the wild food finds of the day.

The safari journeys from the kitchen gardens to the estate paddocks and wilderness areas inhabited by roaming wild game - deer, water buffalo, pigs and rabbits, pheasant, partridge, duck, rainbow and brown trout. They also visit manuka honey apiaries producing wild native comb honey.

On safari, guests have the opportunity to taste and learn more about Treetops’ heritage varieties of New Zealand’s indigenous vegetables including native spinach (tetragonia), kumara (sweet potato), fresh turmeric, wasabi, native cress, and an abundance of fruit trees.

Wild food cooking

Treetops guests can also participate in a Wild Food Cooking School. The half-day, on-site course starts with foraging for native ingredients in Treetop’s vast 800-year-old virgin forest.

Back in the lodge’s open-plan kitchen, these ingredients are transformed into a series of signature Treetops’ dishes incorporating many other home-grown elements - game meat, wild fowl, trout and koura (fresh water lobster) from the estate’s seven lakes and streams.

Fresh herbs, vegetables and the swathe of local delicacies help create a menu showcasing unique New Zealand flavours.

21st century twist

The ‘Estate to Plate’ philosophy is showcased in all the meals and snacks served at the lodge, with staff committed to using estate reared and produced fare whenever possible. All produce from the estate is organic and pesticide free.

Their approach evolves from the traditional regional tables of the world’s great, self-sufficient country estates that existed before refrigeration, freezers and pre-packs.

Every morning the chef sources from the estate garden and meets with the resident gamekeeper to select game and fish ingredients for the day. Dishes are then crafted to the preferred tastes of the in-house guests. The menus are European contemporary and season specific, using simple techniques to bring out the clear, fresh flavours.

Eco tourism in a wilderness

When New Zealand luxury lodge owner John Sax began developing his wilderness property in the Rotorua region of the central North Island, he was determined to tread lightly on the land.

The result was Treetops Lodge and Estate - a five-star luxury destination dedicated to preserving its natural environment while allowing travellers to experience the best of New Zealand's natural surroundings.

"When I was growing up on a coastal farm not far away, the wild country was one of the joys of my life, and it still is for myself and many New Zealanders," Sax explains.

"We are very lucky here in that, unlike many other places, people still have relatively free access to wilderness areas. But even when I was young, I was conscious of how much we take from our natural environment and how little, sometimes, we put back."

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