Oman Tourism conducts Mega FAM

oman-tourismAs part of the program, Oman Tourism conducted their largest familiarization yet and hosted 60 Indian travel agents and tour operators from 14th September – 20th September. The agents selected for this program travelled on Oman Air from different Indian cities namely Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Hyderabad.

The hosted group travelled to Muscat, Nizwa, Sharqiyah Sands, Sur and Ras Al Jinz to discover the culture, landscape, monuments and cuisine of Oman. The carefully planned 5 nights / 6 days itinerary was intended to arm travel agents with all the information and experiences required to be a true Oman specialist and promote the destination effectively to leisure and MICE groups.



The group was handled by 6 leading DMC’s from Oman i.e Oman World Tourism, Zahara Tours, Tour Oman, Elite Travel & Tours, Gulf Ventures and Bahwan Travels. The travel agents did site inspections at various properties including Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, Hormuz Grand Hotel, Al Falaj Hotel, Al Bustan Palace – A Ritz Carlton Hotel, Al Nahda Resort, Ramee Guestline, Wadi Shab Resort, Sur Plaza Hotel, Sahab Hotel, The Jungle Restaurant, On the Rocks lounge and also went dolphin watching with Sidab Tours.

The agents also attended B2B session and got an opportunity to network with a wide selection of travel & tourism representatives in Oman– hotels, attractions and DMCs. On the occasion of the B2B session, Her Excellency Maitha Al Mahrouqi, Under Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Oman who met the travel agents said, “Meeting the needs and wants of Indian travelers is important to us as the Indian market represents a great potential for Oman. Passenger numbers have been on a steady increase since the start of our Oman Tourism representative office in 2010. Visitors from India enjoy our beach resorts, travel to our mountains and deserts, as well scuba dive along our coastline.”

Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative, Ministry of Tourism, Oman said, “A thorough knowledge of Oman and all it has to offer are of fundamental importance in promoting the destination to the appropriate tourists/clients; hence we decided to organize this mega FAM for the travel agents. Of course a week is not enough to expose them to the bountiful beauty and opulence of Oman, but through this initiative we wanted to give them a brief understanding about the diversity of the destination.”

Launched in 2011, the Discover Oman specialist training program has offered agents online and offline trainings in the past and continues to be active through product trainings and webinars. The success and feedback received over the years encouraged the Ministry of Tourism to extend the training program to Oman.
Source:-Oman Tourism

Chinese Junk Boat Makes Port Stephens Her New Home for Pleasure Cruises

unnamed23-300x295Visitors to popular holiday destination, Port Stephens, can now sail through the region’s dolphin-filled waters aboard an authentic three-masted Chinese junk boat – the only one operating in Australia.

The newly opened Shaolin Charters aims to offer a relaxed and uncrowded sailing experience on the blue waters of Port Stephens for both holidaymakers and groups, with opportunities to take photos and spot marine life.


Carrying only 23 passengers, the 15m-long junk, Shaolin, strikes a unique image on Port Stephens, particularly when her dragon-filled, red sails are unfurled.


Shaolin was originally built for a retired US naval officer in 1966 in Hong Kong. With an impressive history, the vessel has circumnavigated the world twice, been through two cyclones, served as a listening post for the CIA off the coast of China and even been boarded by pirates. She then sailed the Pacific for a time before chartering passengers between Port Douglas and Lowe Island on the Great Barrier Reef. Recently Port Stephens locals, Sandy and Russell Byrnes, have had Shaolin refitted and relocated to her new home in Nelson Bay in Port Stephens.


Guests onboard the vessel get the chance to stand at the helm of the traditional Chinese junk and even experience an underwater viewing of marine species and sponge gardens, using the junk’s glass-bottom tender. During summer months, snorkelling activities are also available. Dolphins, seals and penguins can be spotted from the junk.


Shaolin Charters now offers daily cruises on Port Stephens as well as special event charters for 10-23 passengers, including corporate groups, weddings, honeymoons, anniversaries, cocktail parties, theme cruises, formals, school groups, birthdays and hens/bucks nights.
Two hour bay cruises are available three times a day: 9am, noon and 3pm, with different hours during public and school holiday periods. Free coffee and tea are served on board, with soft drinks available for purchase and BYO beer and wine welcome. Saturday and Sunday lunch cruises can include yum cha for $15 per person extra.



Visit of Hon’ble Minister of Civil Aviation and Minister of State for Civil Aviation to Chennai Airport

AAI_LOGOHon’ble Minister for Civil Aviation and Minister of State for Civil Aviation, New Delhi inspected the key infrastructural facilities of the Chennai Airport on 27th September, 2014. During the inspection, Chairman, AAI, New Delhi along with local officials and Stakeholders were also present.

It may be recalled that HMCA wanted to personally visit the Chennai Airport based on the various complaints received by the Minister through media and Stakeholders, regarding deficiencies in development of infrastructure as well as deficiency in maintenance standards of Chennai Airport. As part of the reviewing process, HMCA went around all the locations of the Airport such as Domestic Departure and Arrival Halls, walked through the city side entire terminal corridor, inspected the new international departure, existing terminal, Immigration and Customs areas, air side corridor etc. Also covered almost all the facilities including Air Cargo Complex and Fire Station.

On extensive survey of the area and detailed inspection of the facilities, HMCA expressed that Airports Authority of India has fairly attended to the deficiencies notified during the surprise visit carried out by the Ministry officials wherein there is ample scope for further improvement in cleanliness of Terminals, maintenance of wash rooms and over all interior ambience, which should be done on sustained basis to improve the customers perception. HMCA also remarked that though the improvement is visible, he has directed AAI officials to look into the infrastructural issues where AAI can immediately take required action to ease the congestion in the Security Hold Area of Domestic and Security Check points. HMCA also gave valuable suggestions for improvement of passenger sitting areas by realigning certain concessionaire’s kiosks so that the passenger flow area in the passages can be wider for comfort of movement and spacious feel.

HMCA advised AAI that infrastructural improvements of any sort which can benefit travelling passengers should be taken up immediately as Chennai Airport is one of the flagship Airports of AAI and main gateway Airport to South India. Also advised that since Chennai Airport lacks the green posture, AAI should engage a professional Horticultural Consultant to give a facelift for development of greenery on air side of Terminal Buildings and in the vertical garden area.

During the inspection, HMCA interacted personally with passengers at random and obtained one-to-one feedback regarding their experience of Chennai Airport. The passenger feedback was found to be fairly positive and however few passengers requesting for more food and beverage outlets. Certain passengers also expressed that there was scope for Authorities to improve the facilities related to hygiene in washrooms. Chairman, AAI briefed HMCA that the facilities related to washrooms shall improve further as AAI has already placed modified Upkeep and Janitorial services. The new agency is in the process of mobilizing men and machinery. The Chairman, AAI also briefed HMCA that the Master Concessionaire who is providing Food & Beverage outlets at Chennai Airport shall provide additional F&B outlets, as per the contract agreement, in forthcoming months and considerable improvement in options and varieties of F&B outlets for travelling passengers will be visible in couple of months.


While concluding the inspection, HMCA reiterated and emphasized that though AAI cannot do much into the deficiencies in the design of the Terminal Building, an effort can always be put into minor modifications to bring more spacious relief to travelling public. Chairman, AAI agreed to look into all the HMCA’s suggestions and assured that the necessary actions shall be taken on priority and reiterated AAI endeavor to continuously strive to achieve higher Airport Service Quality (ASQ) ratings.


Source:- Airport Authority of India

Loews Don Cesar Is Going to The Dogs This Halloween

LoewsThe iconic Loews Don CeSar Hotel will continue its tradition of being “pet friendly” as it celebrates Halloween with a Loews Loves Pets party full of tricks and treats on Thursday, October 30 from 5-6:30 pm at the hotel’s beachfront Sunset’s Pavilion.


The Howl-O-Ween pet event will feature a doggie costume contest designed for the pet-lover in everyone. Costume pet prizes will be awarded for the Scariest Scoundrel, Funniest and Top Dog!

The true winner will be Humane Society of Pinellas, which has been dedicated to caring for homeless pets in Pinellas County since 1949.

Cost for the event is $25 per person, $40 per couple and dogs are FREE! Price includes an adult reception, one free drink, complimentary self-parking, costume contest and plenty of treats for the pets — with food right off the hotels Loews Loves Pets Room Service Menu!

Source:- Loews

End of Strike Action: Air France Traffic Forecast for Tuesday 30 September

airfranceFollowing the end of strike action by the majority pilot union on September 28, 2014, Air France is gradually resuming its flight schedule.

Air France is planning to operate almost 60% of its scheduled flights.

For the day of Tuesday 30 September Air France plans to operate:

- Almost all its medium-haul flights
- Over 90% of its long-haul flights

The situation will gradually return to normal over 48 hours due to operational and regulatory constraints. As aircraft have not flown for several days, mandatory checks are required before operations resume. In addition, aircraft and crews must be repositioned at all Air France stations throughout the world and flight crews must be given their legal rest periods before carrying out return flights.

Last-minute changes and disruptions may still occur.

Source:- Air France

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