News and updates

first_imgDestination  Dubai’s new campaignIndian actress and TV presenter Koel Purie features in the latest edition of the promotional campaign ‘In Dubai Everyday is an Opportunity’ launched end of March. The advertisement showcases the Dubai International Film Festival. Koel Purie plays herself as a presenter on the red carpet and manages to interview the latest Indian movie star who returns from filming in the desert just in time for the festival. The advertisement will be online until the end of June.New services at Tourist Info ViennaLast-minute tickets for 11 venues in the city are now available from the tourist information office on Albertinaplatz in the first district. The Last Minute Ticket Corner, open from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. offers 25-50 percent discounts on tickets for performances later that day. A new tactile map of the first district and map of the city is also available at the Tourist Info Vienna. Printed materials are now available in a choice of 13 languages.Hot deal: Get 60 percent off on 3 nights/4 day holiday in thailand (1 night at four points by sheraton bangkok & 2 nights in siam bayview pattaya). Pay Rs. 16,070 per couple instead of Rs. 40,176). www.vamoose.inIndia’s first in-cab entertainment serviceThe EasyCabs in-cab entertainment service in Mumbai has four categories: Entertainment, Around the World, Fashion and Lifestyle, and Sports and Tech. Content partners include Fox History and Entertainment, NewsX, Times Internet, India Today, TechCrunch TV, Who What Wear and Bollywood Masala. The service, currently available in 40 cars, will soon be expanded to all 500 in Mumbai before being taken to New Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad.New bike-sharing scheme for Miami Beach The DecoBike scheme allows you to insert your credit card and choose a bike, returning it to one of the 100 solar-powered stations dotted around the city. You don’t need to pay another dollar above the membership fee if you return the bike within 30 minutes. A monthly pass costs US$ 15, a one-day access costs US$ 14 and three days will set you back by US$ 30. More details on www.decobike.comWatergate exhibition at Nixon MuseumThe Watergate Gallery, the new permanent exhibition at the Nixon Museum in Yorba Linda, California, chronicles the events of one of the country’s biggest scandals. Admission free. Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; www.nixonlibrary.govKorea’s first visa application centre in IndiaVFS Global will manage Korea’s visa application centre at the International Trade Tower in Nehru Place, New Delhi. Timings: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. from Monday to Friday. Tel: (011) 4109 2834; e-mail: info.korea.in@vfshelpline.comSiyahi’s second literary festival in BhutanThe second edition of Mountain Echoes, a literary festival organised by Siyahi, will be held in Thimphu from May 20-23. The various workshops and talks will cover a range of topics such as oral traditions, fiction, poetry and popular fiction. The list of speakers at this year’s festival includes Gulzar, Imtiaz Ali, David Davidar, Namita Gokhale, Chandrahas Choudhary, Aman Nath, Valmik Thapar, Namita Bhandare and Pushpesh Pant. For special offers on travel, visit www.mountainechoes.orgGoa witnesses spurt in tourist arrivals from Eastern EuropeFor the last several years Goa has seen the highest number of tourist arrivals from UK. This year tells a different story. Goa has recorded a marked rise in tourist from Eastern Europe including countries like Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Official charter statistics recorded by the tourism department shows a total of 781 charter flights carrying 1,56,541 travellers from 11 international destinations have landed into Goa since the start of the tourist season in October. Of these, 392 flights came from Russia itself as compared to 216 from the UK.Hot deal: Yatra.com’s 7 nights/8 days discover ladakh package starts at Rs. 24,999 per person (twin share). Includes airport transfers, daily breakfast & dinner, and sightseeing. www.yatra.comTV show on France’s wine regionsBBC Entertainment’s new show–Oz & James Big Wine Adventure–features wine expert Oz Clarke Top Gear’s James May. The series captures their travel together for over six weeks, in James’s specially chosen Jaguar XJS, through Bordeaux before heading south through the Languedoc-Roussillon and on to Provence. Premieres May 8; Fridays 8 p.m.Stolen King Tut statue returns to Cairo MuseumA gilded statue of Tutankhamun that was stolen from the Egyptian Museum in January has been returned, along with three other objects. A government news release said that the figure had been slightly damaged, with a part of its crown and pieces of the legs missing, and also that the whole statue would be restored. It was among several dozen objects looted from the museum on January 28, in the midst of the protests in Tahrir Square.New Roman museumLovers of Baroque art and architecture can add one more stop to their Rome travel itinerary: the recently inaugurated Museo Missionario di Propaganda Fide. The new museum has opened in part of the 17th-century Palazzo di Propaganda Fide, a masterpiece of Baroque architecture. Visitors to the museum will have access to halls and chapels in the Palazzo.Titanic memorial cruiseDriven by high demand, organisers of the Titanic Memorial Cruise confirmed that a second historic cruise will set sail to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the disaster. The 8-night charter voyage–now open for booking–will depart on April 10, 2012. Prices start at 2,911 per person. Visit www.titanicmemorial cruise.com for details.  Aviation  Lufthansa to fly A380 to MiamiThe German carrier will operate its daily Frankfurt-Miami route with an A380 aircraft from June 10, replacing the B747 currently serving the US city. Miami will be the sixth Lufthansa destination to be served by the superjumbo, and the third US city after New York and San Francisco. From April 10, Lufthansa will also increase the number of A380 flights between Frankfurt and Beijing from three-times weekly to daily.Hot deal: Kenilworth beach resort & spa goa offers 3 nights/ 4 days from Rs. 24,000. with meals, beverages & sightseeing. valid till may 31. Tel: (0832) 669 8888Air France’s premium economy service now in DelhiThe Premium Voyageur, located between business and economy cabins, is now available on all Air France flights departing from Delhi. The cabin offers 40 percent additional space compared with Economy Class, with an average of 21 Premium Voyageur seats available over a surface area which used to occupy 40 Economy seats. The cabin has reclining shell seats. The baggage allowance is more than in Economy and there are priority check-in desks and baggage delivery at the airport for Premium Voyageur flyers.Delhi-Manila flights from Philippines AirlinesPhilippine Airlines is now operating six flights a week from New Delhi to Manila. Flight PR759 departs Delhi on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 3 a.m. and reaches Manila at 12 noon (local time), while one-stop flight PR753 via Bangkok leaves New Delhi on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 2.45 a.m and reaches Bangkok at 8.25 a.m. and Manila at 1.50 p.m. the same day.Singapore Airlines flies to Brazil The Southeast Asian carrier’s new service connects Singapore to Sao Paulo via Barcelona. The Brazilian city is Singapore Airlines’ first destination in South America, which has become the sixth continent in its route network. It will operate three flights a week on this route.Qantas starts paid seat selectionInternational economy passengers flying with Qantas can now choose their seats in advance online, for a fee of A$ 20 (Rs. 920 approx) per flight. The Australian carrier is not levying the fee for business or premium economy passengers. It will not charge the fee for domestic flights, nor for higher tier members of its own loyalty scheme.Mobile check-in on United’s int’l routesThose flying outside the US with United can now check-in online through web-enabled mobile device 24-hours prior to departure. Mobile boarding passes will initially be available for flights departing from London, Munich, Amsterdam, Brussels, Geneva, Zurich, Moscow and Osaka, with plans to extend the service in the coming months to Frankfurt, Tokyo and Hong Kong.  Trade  Europe’s first Hyatt Place hotel to open in 2013 The first Hyatt Place property in Europe will be a 330-room hotel located close to Amsterdam Schiphol airport. The brand is currently only available in the US, where there over 160 properties, although there are 30 Hyatt Place hotels currently under development in the US, India, Panama and Costa Rica. Hyatt Place Amsterdam Airport will be located close to the A4/A5 motorway, which connects The Hague, Rotterdam and Amsterdam, and around 12 km from Amsterdam’s RAI exhibition and congress centre.Yatra.com starts cash-on-delivery serviceYatra’s new Cash on Delivery (COD) service enables you to pay cash against travel bookings. The COD payment option is available for international air, domestic and international holiday bookings. A Yatra.com representative will visit you to collect the cash, following which e-tickets/package vouchers will be sent. This service is currently available in Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Pune and Chennai.Hot deal: Get 6 nights/ 7 days in turkey for Rs. 93,899 onwards (twin share). includes return airfare, accommodation, visa, breakfast & some meals, sightseeing & airport taxes. valid till october 31. www.makemytrip.comiPad version of Vienna Hotels magazineYou can now read the magazine of the Vienna International Hotels & Resorts, a group with 34 hotels across Europe, as a free app for the iPad. The current spring issue can be downloaded for free from the iPad App Store. The version has slideshows and videos. An innovative language option allows you to switch between the German and English editions: if you hold the iPad in portrait orientation, the text is in German; turning it to landscape position switches to English. Downloads are available at the iPad App Store and at www.vi-magazin.comLeela chairman felicitated The second edition of The Maharashtra Economic Summit conferred Capt. C.P. Krishnan Nair, chairman of The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, with the Y.B. Chavan Memorial Awards for Excellence in Hospitality, in Mumbai last month. The award is in recognition of Capt. Nair’s business practices, leadership qualities and for raising the bar of the hospitality industry with his achievements.Eurostar unveils new logoThe European rail operator has unveiled a brand new logo as it gears up for the launch of new trains this year. Eurostar will also refurbish its current fleet next year, and has introduced new menus for Business Premier class. It will also launch mobile apps for iPhone and Android users, and you will soon be able to book taxis while on board a Eurostar service.W Hotels to debut in IndiaStarwood’s first W hotel in India will be at the forthcoming Namaste Tower in Mumbai’s Lower Parel. W Mumbai is scheduled to open in 2015. Other Starwood hotels set to open this year in India include Le Mzridien Coimbatore, and the Sheraton Bangalore Hotel at Brigade Gateway, next to the World Trade Centre.  Business  New Lufthansa First ClassThe German carrier will revamp its existing fleet of B747-400s by November. Although there will be no significant changes to business and economy classes, the revamped first class window seats will be converted into full-length, lie-flat beds over two metres in length. The cabin will also have sound-absorbing curtains and sound-deadening insulation beneath the carpet. The revamp means the number of seats on the B747-400’s upper deck will be reduced from 16 to eight. Seating will be configured 1-1 with the bed positioned alongside the window.Rolls-Royce Phantom at Mandarin Oriental Dhara DheviThe Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai, is now offering the use of a brand new Rolls-Royce Phantom. The THB 48 million (roughly US$ 1.6 million) Rolls-Royce Phantom is available for airport pick up at THB 4,500 (Rs. 7,000 approx) one way and THB 8,000 (Rs. 12,000 approx) round trip. It can also be rented chauffeur-driven on an hourly basis for THB 12,000 (Rs. 18,000 approx) per hour or for the whole day (10 hours) for THB 80,000 (Rs. 1.2 lakh); www.mandarinoriental.comHot deal: Get 3 nights/ 4 days in kenya for Rs. 64,500 onwards. includes return airfare, accommodation, meals, park entrance fees, game drives, and services of a guide. valid till june 30. http://india.arzoo.comAccor launches smartphone applicationAccor’s new application for BlackBerry and Samsung Bada smartphones provides access to 3,000-plus hotels through its website (www.accorhotels.com). You can search according to predefined criteria, such as location and date and refine your search. Member of the AClub loyalty programme can enter card number and earn points with every booking made from a smartphone.Airside bedrooms at HeathrowUK’s independent air lounge operator No.1 Traveller is to open its latest airport lounge in Heathrow Terminal 3 this August, complete with bedrooms with ensuite showers. The lounge will be the first paid-for facility to offer airside accommodation at Heathrow. You pay a minimum of 25 for stays of up to three hours lounge access. Stays cannot exceed six hours and Priority Pass, Airport Angel, Diners Club, TTT MoneyCorp and WEXAS loyalty members can enter for free.iPad app from Priority PassThe worldwide airport lounge programme has launched an iPad application and enhanced its iPhone application. Both apps contain a ‘Find Nearest Lounge’ tool with GPS, and those who like to plan ahead can use a fast off-line search for lounges at any airport.Cathay reopens The Wing lounge at HKThe airline’s renovated premium signature lounge has 26 workstations with printers. It also offers a more extensive buffet. The Wing is open to First and Business class passengers as well as to its loyalty programme members.advertisementadvertisementadvertisementlast_img read more