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Goa's focus on sports tourism is aimed at creating a more sustainable model of tourism in the state. It has been upgrading its sports infrastructure to promote itself as a premier destination for sports.

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The Goa tourism department has partnered with the organizers of the Ironman 70.3 India race to promote sports tourism. According to Goa tourism director Suneel Anchipaka, the aim of the agreement is to promote Goa as the premier destination for sports tourism. 

Ironman 70.3 India, Goa is the Indian edition of the 113-km triathlon race held all over the globe. The race has been held in Goa since 2019, and over the past three editions, it has brought triathletes from across India and 50 other nations to the coastal state. Goa’s tourism department is the principal sponsor for the race this year. 

Goa’s focus on sports: Last year, Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant had said that it was time for the state to focus on sports tourism. Apart from the Ironman 70.3 India races, the state has also been hosting International Table Tennis Federation’s WTT Star Contender games in India since 2023, and concluded the 2024 edition in January. The 2023 National Games of India tournament was also held in Goa. 

Goa tourism minister Rohan Khaunte said earlier this year that incorporating sports into the state’s narrative is meant to add to the development of Goa.

India Working to Streamline Air Traffic Management

India is planning to consolidate its four flight information regions set up in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai. Instead, it is looking to have one continuous airspace controlled from Nagpur, Maharashtra. Nagpur has been selected due to its central location in the country.

The unified Air Traffic Management would allow for more robust safety measures, minimized flight separations, reduced carbon emissions, and more fuel-efficient flight routes. According to Indian media reports, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is working on understanding the technology requirements for such a harmonized system. 

E-Commerce Platform Flipkart Expands Travel Offerings

Indian e-commerce platform Flipkart has expanded the travel offerings on its mobile app, launching bus booking services. The company has partnered with multiple private bus operators and state transport corporations to facilitate this service. 

Flipkart already allows customers to book flights, hotels, and holiday packages from its app. The company’s reward points, known as Supercoins, would also be applicable on its bus bookings, it has said in a statement. 

Flipkart first forayed into the travel segment in 2018 in a limited manner. In 2019, it launched Flipkart Flights to offer “the entire spectrum of airlines globally” to its customers, and in 2021, it acquired online travel company Cleartrip. In 2022, it launched Flipkart Hotels to offer domestic and international hotel booking services on the Flipkart Android and iOS apps. 

Air India to Enhance Presence at Bangalore Airport

Air India has signed an agreement with Bangalore International Airport Limited to develop the airport as an aviation hub in southern India. As part of the agreement, the two entities will work together over the next five years to enhance international connectivity, operational efficiency, and passenger experience. 

The airline will increase its presence at the Kempegowda International Airport in Bangalore. A dedicated domestic lounge will also be established for premium and frequent travelers of Tata Group airlines Air India and Vistara.

Hilton Signs 140-Key Hotel in Lucknow

Hilton has signed its flagship hotel brand in Uttar Pradesh’s capital city Lucknow. The 140-key Hilton Lucknow is set to open in the first quarter of 2025, the company has said in a statement. With this, the company’s pipeline in India stands at 19 hotels. 

Under the recently appointed India country head Zubin Saxena, Hilton is looking to take its portfolio from the currently operating 26 properties to 75 trading and pipeline hotels in the coming years. In an interview with Skift, Saxena said that the company will be opening a hotel every two to three months between this year and the next. 

RedRail Launches Two New Features For Train Bookings

RedRail by redBus has announced two new features for customers booking train tickets on the platform. The features are meant to help travelers avoid getting into the waitlist. The first feature is ‘seat guarantee’ that passengers can opt for during checkout on the redRail app. This would entitle passengers to get a three-fold refund from redRail if their ticket is not confirmed. 

The second feature called ‘connecting trains’ will provide alternative train options to passengers when direct trains are fully booked or waitlisted. This feature would suggest connecting train routes with layovers at intermediate stations to increase options of finding confirmed seats for the journey. 


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Tags: air india, Air India Express, air traffic, air traffic control, airlines, aviation industry, aviation news, cleartrip, flipkart, goa tourism, hilton, Hilton development, Hilton Hotels, hotels, india, india outbound, india travel, indian airlines, indian railways, online, online booking, online booking tools, online travel, online travel agencies, online travel companies, passenger rail, rail travel, skift india report, sports tourism, Tata Group, Travel Trends, vistara

Photo credit: Ironman 70.3 India, Goa is the Indian edition of the 113-km triathlon race held all over the globe. The race has been held in Goa since 2019. Incredible India website

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