Anil Mohan

India top source market for Bhutan

India continues to be the number one source market for Bhutan. With the latest regional arrivals touching 1,09,052 demonstrating a growth of 57 per cent over last year, India remains as the biggest market for both regional and overall arrivals. As part of its India agenda, Tourism Council of Bhutan has focused on Gujarat as one of the key source markets to enhance its Indian footprint in the year 2016, through a road show targeted at key travel agents in Ahmedabad. This would be the first of many initiatives to tap the Gujarat market. Damcho Rinzin, Head, Marketing and Promotion Division, Tourism Council of Bhutan, says, “As a leading international tourism destination, Bhutan is seeking to diversify its source markets and attract new visitors. Countries like India are emerging more and more in the world outbound tourism sector, and Bhutan believes it could offer a special proposition to visitors from India. Further, international travelers to Bhutan are lured by the myriad of offerings that include heritage, culture, natural beauty and a range of quality world class hospitality and tourism industry which make a strong proposition for Bhutan as a destination.”

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20+ Indian buyers attend ExploreGB

VisitBritain opened doors to its annual flagship event ExploreGB. Being held in Liverpool this year, the event providing 300 British & Irish tourism suppliers and destinations with an invaluable opportunity to meet and do business with up to 320 hosted international travel buyers from 40 countries. This two day event will be followed by 15 different familiarisation trips making the most exploring great Britain. A delegation of over 20 Indian buyers is also part of the event this year.

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17% increase in Indian arrivals in South Australia

India is now among the top 10 markets for South Australia in terms of international tourist arrivals for the year ending December 2015. The number of Indian visitors jumped 17 per cent compared to the last year, owing to the continuous efforts by the South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) to promote the state among Indian tourists. Dana Urmonas, Regional Director, Southeast Asia & India, SATC said, “The South Australian Tourism Commission recognises that India is a key growth market for us. What makes the Indian market special is the diversity and quality of tourists, who are now changing the way they travel and spend on their holidays. South Australia offers something exclusive to every Indian traveller and we will continue to build efforts to increase Indian visitor numbers

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Civil Aviation Minister reviews Budget 2016-17

The Minister of Civil Aviation Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju welcomed the budget provisions aimed at reviving the unserved and under-served airports in the country for increasing regional connectivity. The Union Budget 2016 provides that the Central Government will partner with the State Governments to develop some of these airports and airstrips in the country. The Minister shared the action plan for revival of such airports. In the financial year 2015-16, Airport Authority of India (AAI) proposes to revive 10 non-operational airports. These airports are initially unviable and would require budgetary support from the Government. He said that Service Tax exemption under Deen Dayal Upadhyay Grameen Kaushalya Yojana will enable, firstly, training providers to set up training institutes across the country. Secondly, it will attract youth for cargo and ground handling from rural areas of the country. Exemptions for assessing bodies empanelled centrally by Directorate General of Training will also promote setting up of training institutes and attracting youth towards civil aviation sectors. About the increase of Excise Duty on Air Turbine Fuel from 8% to 14% the Minister said that the decrease in ATF base price over the last 13 months is around 25.04%. The increase in ATF prices due to increase in excise duty from 8% to 14% comes to around 6.56%. He said that the Budget 2016-17 has paved the way for developing India as a Maintenance, Repair and Overhauling (MRO) hub of Asia.

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Oberoi to manage luxury resort in Maldives

The Oberoi Group and Subramanya Construction & Development Company Limited (SCDCL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Maldives to build a luxury resort on the island. The MoU was signed in the presence of Moosa Zameer, the Honourable Minister of Tourism, Government of Maldives. The investment for acquisition and development of the resort will be undertaken by SCDCL, a Bangalore based Real Estate Development Company. P.R.S. Oberoi, Executive Chairman, The Oberoi Group, said, “We are extremely pleased to partner and assist SCDCL in the design and management of the proposed luxury resort. We look forward to bringing the Oberoi hospitality to Maldives. The resort will reflect the legendary Oberoi service delivered by an attentive and caring team, making it the preferred choice for luxury travellers.” K.N. Balasubramanyam, Chairman and MD, SCDCL said, “A luxury resort in Maldives requires expertise in design and operations of world class standards. The Oberoi Group, which is rated as the best luxury hotel brand in the world, is well suited for this development. We look forward to working with The Oberoi Group to create more of such luxurious offerings globally and would like to say that this extraordinary project will make a major contribution to our long term partnership”.

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Jet moves domestic ops in Mumbai to T2

Following in the footsteps of Air India, Jet Airways will also relocate its domestic operations to the Terminal 2 at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) from March 15, 2016. This will lead to the integration of domestic and international flight operations at one terminal. Flight 9W 484 from Mumbai to Kolkata departing at 02:25 hrs will be the first Jet Airways domestic flight to operate from T2 on March 15, 2016. The first arriving flight will be 9W 628 at 00:10 hrs from Kolkata. Gaurang Shetty, Sr. Vice President – Commercial, Jet Airways, said, “The integration of domestic and international operations at Mumbai’s Terminal 2 will enable Jet Airways to transform Mumbai into a critical international transit hub.”

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Luxury yacht rides in Telangana

Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation (TSTDC) have launched two new catamaran yachts for the Hussain Sagar Lake at Lumbini Park in Hyderabad. TSTDC has introduced the luxury ride package with these two new boats, which will be priced at Rs 100 per person. The boats can accommodate 12-15 members per trip. Additionally, TSTDC has also launched party packages priced at Rs 2,000 per hour at these luxury boats. The party packages will begin post 8:30 PM and can be availed up to 12:00 AM. The boats will not only provide a luxurious ambience to tourists but also have a lower seating which is closer to the water during the ride. The inauguration was done by Sania Mirza, brand ambassador for Telangana State. The new catamaran boats have been procured from the USA and will be available to ferry the public at the Hussain Sagar Lake. TSTDC owns the largest water fleet in India amongst the state tourism departments, about 95 which comprises small and big boats. The corporation operates leisure based cruises and water sports at different lakes and rivers of the State, Parasailing activity at Hussain Sagar etc., which are very popular amongst the local crowd as well. Currently the state tourism development corporation already operates one mechanical large boat as a ferry to the Buddha statue. TSTDC also runs 3 cruises 2 AC and 1 Non AC for parties and rides on the lake. TSTDC has also introduced a jolly ride with these cruises – with a carnival style folk and cultural song and dance presentation during the ride. It operates a Jetski and speedboat as well to cater to the tastes of adventure enthusiasts.

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Jet Airways’ CFO is now Acting CEO

Jet Airways’ Chief Financial Officer, Amit Agarwal has been given additional responsibility of Acting Chief Executive Officer with effect from March 1, 2016. Agarwal joined Jet Airways in December 2015 and has more than 24 years of experience having held leadership positions in India, Europe and North America. Naresh Goyal, Chairman, Jet Airways, said, “Amit will spearhead the Executive Management Committee of Jet Airways in delivering our strategic objectives. Jet Airways has made demonstrable progress towards achieving long-term sustainable profitability, having recorded three consecutive profitable quarters. Our business performance clearly demonstrates that our efforts are showing positive results.”

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Rajasthan signs 20 MoUs for Tourism

Rajasthan Government has signed 20 Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) for projects worth over Rs 963.65 crores to develop tourism and hospitality industry in the state. Apart from these 31 MoUs were also signed and these projects are expected to generate 26,678 jobs in the sectors of Industry, Agriculture, Urban Development & Housing (UDH), Mining and Tourism. The proposal received for the projects are spread all over the state like Jaipur, Bikaner, Alwar, Neemrana, Kota, Baran, Sawai Madhopur,  Udaipur, Kishangarn, Jodhpur, Pushkar, Masuda (Ajmer district), Chittorgarh, Mordi (Banswara district), among others. The MoU signing ceremony was presided over by Vasundhara Raje, Chief Minister, Government of Rajasthan. Raje said that during the Resurgent Rajasthan Partnership Summit, they signed 295 MoUs amounting to Rs 3.21 lakh crores cutting across sectors. She added that the aim of the state is to keep the momentum going and continue to facilitate investment in the state. The state government has already cleared investment proposals worth Rs. 12,493 crores in the past two years. It has also cleared investment proposals worth Rs. 4,452.81 crores since the Resurgent Rajasthan Partnership Summit in November 2015.

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Thai Airways adds another flight on Delhi-Bangkok route

Starting April 1, Thai Airways will operate additional daylight flight TG324-TG323, on the Delhi-Bangkok route, increasing frequency to 19 flights a week from 18 flights previously. The price for this flight starts from Rs 12,437++. The new day flight will offer greater options to passengers travelling to Australia and Auckland. The late night flight, TG316 will operate with aircraft type 773 offering capacity of 34 seats in Business and 330 seats in economy, early morning flight TG332 will operate with aircraft type 787 offering capacity of 24 seats in business and 240 seats in Economy and day light flight TG 324 will operate with 777-200 offering capacity of 30 seats in business and 279 seats in Economy.  Total capacity per week will be 5941 seats from Delhi. THAI is currently operating from 6 cities in India i.e. Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai and Banglaore offering 52 flights a week. The airline also operates seasonal flights from Gaya and Varanasi between October-March. “It is our endeavour to ensure that our passengers enjoy a comfortable and happy journey on Thai, we are constantly working to improve our service as per changing demands and customer’s expectations, from upgrading aircrafts to world class ground services at Suvarnbhumi airport, changing F&B options as per service route requirements, entertainment and shopping on board; convenience of web purchase and online services, THAI is dedicated to customer satisfaction,” said Viset Sontichai, Director Thai Airways for India Subcontinent.

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