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Friday, July 28, 2017

Chat with New TripAdvisor Facebook Messenger Bot to Get Great Travel Recommendations for Your Next Trip or Stay-cation



TripAdvisor brings to you a fun, new feature we have been testing and is now available on Facebook Messenger. We’re happy to introduce you to TripAdvisor chatbot, a real time interactive platform, where ask for travel advice and recommendations regarding popular restaurants, attractions, hotels and flights.

In case you are unfamiliar with chatbots, they are simple artificial intelligence computer systems that you can chat with via text. Many people use them to help get things done, or even to be entertained.

With this new feature now you can send TripAdvisor a message via Facebook Messenger asking where to stay, eat, or what to do anytime, anywhere. TripAdvisor will scour our millions of reviews to instantly provide with the best recommendation – all within the Facebook Messenger platform experience. TripAdvisor’s bot will eventually learn what you like in the perfect trip. In fact, the more questions you ask, the better, as it gets smarter with each new inquiry

Let’s say you’re in New York City and craving sushi. No problem – just log on to Facebook Messenger and simply send the TripAdvisor bot a message asking for sushi restaurants nearby your current location. If you are in the West Village for example, the bot might recommend Morimoto, Blue Ribbon Sushi or Sushi Samba – you will be enjoying a delicious spicy tuna roll in no time

The bot is also a great way to help you make decisions about what flight to take or where to stay, eat or go with friendsor family. Anyone you invite to the chat can review options you suggest and “like” their favorites, allowing for quick consensus on plans

Key features

  • Instantly discover new places to eat and things to do all around the world
  • Quickly shop and compare prices for hotels and flights
  • Easily collaborate on travel planning with friends and family
  • Share flight, accommodation, activity and dining recommendations with just a touch of a button

How to begin chatting with us

1. Visit http://m.me/tripadvisorboton your mobile or desktop device. Alternately, logon to Facebook Messenger through the mobile app, or on desktop at Facebook.com or Messenger.com, open a new message and type @TripAdvisorBot into the “to” field.

2. Ask us a question about where to stay, what to do or where to eat. For example, you could ask us to find sushi restaurants nearby your current location, or museums in New York City for an upcoming trip. You can also ask to find the best hotel and flight deals for a future vacation.

3. The TripAdvisor bot will instantly respond with a list of recommendations, or may ask a follow-up question to gain clarity on your request.

4. Mobile app users can click the “share” button to send recommendations to friends or family.

‘Enable Travel’ Powered by Cox & Kings to Make Travel Barrier-Free for People with Disabilities


New Delhi, India

In a move to make tourism more inclusive and accessible, Enable Travel – India’s first Accessible Holiday initiative was launched to cater to the travel aspirations of people with disabilities. A ground-breaking initiative in the area of accessible tourism, Enable Travel aims to provide tours and carefully crafted leisure outings for people with disabilities across mobility (wheelchairs), hearing, speech and vision impairment.

Left to right – Ms. Shama Noorani, Mr. Rustom Irani, Group Captain (Retd) Prabal Malaker, Mr. Divyanshu Ganatra, Dr. Alim Chandani, Mr Karan Anand and Mr Debolin Sen launch Enable Travel – India’s First Holiday Specialist

The revolutionary initiative was unveiled by Mr. Debolin Sen, Head, Enable Travel, Mr. Karan Anand, Head, Relationships, Cox & Kings, along with Enable Travel’s panel of experts Mr. Rustom Irani (wheelchair), Mr. Divyanshu Ganatra (vision), Ms. Shama Noorani (wheelchair), Group Captain (Retd) Prabal Malaker (wheelchair) and Dr. Alim Chandani (hearing), thus making Enable Travel a product “made by the disabled for the disabled”. Enable Travel is powered by Cox and Kings Ltd.

Speaking at the launch, Debolin Sen, Head, Enable Travel said, “Enable Travel is a long-term commitment to make travel easy and hassle free in India and to empower each and every individual to celebrate their love for travel. Through this initiative we are trying to address various barriers like inaccessible travel information, lack of transportation and disable friendly hotel rooms that prevent people from travelling. Each of the itineraries catering to inbound and domestic tourists has been thoughtfully curated, ensuring the long-held dream of a seamless travel experience isn’t hampered. As part of its service offering, Enable Travel will introduce quality transportation in the form of wheelchair accessible vehicles, aids and accessories like ramps and an assortment of specialised wheelchairs for those who are wheelchair bound. Support services also include investments in specially trained manpower such as caregivers, sign language interpreters, expert guides and escorts making all areas of travel accessible.”

Karan Anand, Head, Relationships, Cox & Kings, that is powering this initiative said, “We believe that people with disabilities have absolute right to live a life of equal opportunities, choice and freedom. They have the same desire to travel but the lack of an accessible environment reduces their ability or desire to travel outside. Many tourists with disabilities within and outside India are keen on exploring different travel experiences the country has to offer. It is important to tap this largely underserved segment of travellers by providing quality assistance and services that focus on individual needs. Enabling barrier-free travel for people with disabilities will contribute to a significant increase in inbound and domestic tourism.”

He added, “In a country where everyday commute is still a struggle, making tourism accessible to people with disabilities has been challenging. Enable Travel endeavours to make tourism accessible to all and encourages people to turn their travel dreams into 

About Cox & Kings Ltd.: (BSE: 533144 | NSE: COX&KINGS)

Cox & Kings Ltd. (‘C&K’) is a leading leisure and education travel group with operations in 22 countries across 4 continents. It is one of the most experienced travel companies in the world, having been in operation since 1758. Headquartered in India, over the last three decades, C&K has transformed itself into a diversified, multinational travel conglomerate with a focus on the new-age global consumer.

Airbus India to develop their first full flight simulator near Delhi airport


NEWS DELHI: Delhi International Airport (P) Ltd, a GMR led consortium, today announced that it has signed a land license agreement with Airbus for setting up India’s first full flight simulator at the Aerocity – Terminal District of Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport.

“On the 1.11 acre of land, the France based company will set up India’s first full flight simulator to address the growing demand of trained pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers. Airbus will also establish its India Headquarter within the same development,” the release from the airport operator said.

The land license agreement was signed today between DIAL and Airbus India for a period till March 31, 2036.DIAL has received the initial security deposit.

Commenting on the development, a DIAL spokesperson, said: “The Terminal district of Delhi Aerocity will see development of over two million square feet.. This is the second significant transaction in Delhi Aerocity after recent deal signed with Bharti Realty Holdings Limited. DIAL is putting together a plan for development of infrastructure for public amenities at Aerocity in an effort to increase the velocity of land monetisation.”

Driving Change: Travis Kalanick, the Force Behind Uber


Uber’s rise to the top of the ride-sharing industry is due in large part to its hard-charging founder and chief executive, Travis Kalanick.

But while Kalanick has steered Uber to a valuation in the tens of billions of dollars with operations worldwide, he and the company have been bruised by this aggressiveness, prompting a search for a steadier hand at the wheel.

After a series of missteps and embarrassments for Uber and Kalanick, the San Francisco startup has acknowledged it is searching for a number-two executive to handle some of the day-to-day management tasks.

Kalanick, 40, is known for taking a hard line in battles with regulators and taxi operators in markets opposing the entry of a new kind of competitor.

But he has been humbled by the events of the past month, which included the release of a dash-cam video showing him berating and cursing at one of Uber’s drivers.

“To say that I am ashamed is an extreme understatement,” Kalanick said in a memo to employees after the incident.

The video, he said, was “a stark reminder that I must fundamentally change as a leader and grow up. This is the first time I’ve been willing to admit that I need leadership help and I intend to get it.”

Uber has also been rocked by disclosures about a culture of sexism and its covert use of law enforcement-evading software.

Kalanick also made a hasty exit from a business advisory panel for President Donald Trump after a consumer boycott campaign fueled by concerns that he was aiding a leader with divergent values.

But Kalanick has long been known as someone who drives close to the edge.

The California native dropped out of the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) to start a file-sharing service called Scour, which pre-dated the popular service Napster but ran into similar legal challenges.

Scour faced lawsuits from major music and film industry groups claiming $250 billion in damages, and was forced to declare bankruptcy in 2000.

After that failure, he launched another file-sharing service called Red Swoosh.

Despite legal issues, Kalanick ended his tenure at Red Swoosh a millionaire when the company was bought in 2007 by Akamai Technologies.

Kalanick frequently recounts his story for the idea of Uber – saying he and co-founder Garrett Camp were unable to find a taxi during a 2008 visit to Paris, and dreamed up the idea of pushing a button on a smartphone to summon a ride, and called it UberCab.

The name was shortened to Uber, which launched in 2010 in San Francisco, and now is active in more than 500 cities around the world, with an estimated valuation of $68 billion.

According to Forbes magazine, Uber’s lofty value gives Kalanick a personal net worth of $6.3 billion.

Bumps in the road
The road has not always been smooth.

Last year, Uber had to quit the Chinese market and agree to a partnership with the local market leader, Didi Chuxing.

Uber and Kalanick have faced protests and traffic tie-ups from angry taxi drivers, with demonstrators in Paris setting fire to some vehicles.

Some Uber drivers have sued to be recompensed as employees, rather than independent contractors, and others have complained that the mobile app used by Uber lacks the ability to offer tips.

Uber has also faced criticism for its “Greyball” software that may be used to avoid authorities, and its “God View” which could be used to spy on riders.

After revelations about “Greyball,” Uber announced it would not use the program to evade regulators.

Kalanick is known for being defiant in the face of criticism but his recent mea culpa is not the first time he has tried to soften his image.

“I realize that I can come off as a passionate advocate for Uber,” he was quoted as saying in 2015 by The Wall Street Journal.

AirAsia announces discount on domestic, foreign travel


NEW DELHI: Malaysian no-frills carrier AirAsia today announced discounted fares, starting as low as Rs 899 for travel within India and Rs 4,999 for international flights for a limited period.

The special low fare offer is applicable for all the flights operated by AirAsia, including AirAsia India, AirAsia Berhad, Thai AirAsia and AirAsia X.

The tickets under the offer can be booked from March 13 to March 19, for travel between September 1, 2017 and June 5, 2018, the AirAsia said in a release.

The promotional all-inclusive fares start from Rs 899 on domestic destinations such as Bengaluru, Kochi, Goa, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Pune, New Delhi, Guwahati, Imphal, Vizag, Hyderabad, Srinagar and Bagdogra connected by AirAsia India, it said.

For international travel, customers can choose from destinations such as Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Phuket, Singapore, Bali, Melbourne and many more for an all-in return fare starting at as low as Rs 4,999, the airline said.

The recently launched Bhubaneswar-Kuala Lumpur route, which is being operated by AirAsia Berhad, is also a part of the sale offer, the release said.

AirAsia group’s services network connects over 120 destinations across Asia and Australia, the release said.

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