Tourism Breaking News

Delhi, Mumbai among world’s top 10 cities in job creation through tourism: WTTC

The world’s top ten cities in terms of job creation through tourism are Jakarta, Beijing, Mexico City, Shanghai, Bangkok, Chongqing, Delhi, Mumbai, Ho Chi Minh City, Shenzhen, according to World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Annual Cities Report released recently at the WTTC Asia Leaders Forum in Macau. The world’s top ten cities in terms of tourism market size are: Shanghai (US$35bn), Beijing ($32.5bn), Paris ($28bn), Orlando ($24.8bn), New York ($24.8bn), Tokyo ($21.7bn), Bangkok ($21.3bn), Mexico City ($19.7bn), Las Vegas ($19.5bn) and Shenzhen ($19bn). The report covers 72 of the world’s most important tourism cities, which together generated over $625bn contribution to GDP last year (24.3% of global travel and tourism GDP). Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, WTTC commented, “With 54 per cent of the world’s population living in urban areas, cities have become global economic hubs, driving growth and innovation. They attract huge quantities of people who travel to experience their culture, do business and live. This growth has also resulted in a rise in city tourism – a trend which is forecast to maintain momentum. Our report highlights the crucial importance of cities to travel and tourism worldwide, and likewise how vital this sector is to the economy. Over half a billion trips are made to cities annually representing 45 per cent of global international travel.” Of particular note, Chinese cities have matured rapidly over the past decade, and are forecast to continue dominating the growth charts between 2017 and 2027. Shanghai, for example, went from being the eighth largest city in terms of travel and tourism GDP in 2007 to become the largest in 2017 – a position it is expected to maintain until 2027.

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Turkey hosts Fam for Indian wedding planners and agencies

In an initiative to promote Turkey as a preferred wedding destination for Indian weddings, Turkey Cultural & Tourism board, India, recently organised a familiarisation trip for top Indian wedding planning agencies. Agencies were selected on the quality of their work as well as their experience in planning weddings abroad. The visit offered the Indian contingent with the opportunity to view and experience Turkey as a unique destination for holding Indian weddings. The week-long trip had wedding planners travelling to cities of Antalya, Bodrum, Istanbul where they had the opportunity to visit more than 25 hotels and resorts and interact with the representatives of these luxury hospitality chains. In addition, a city tour was also organised in each city where the Indian delegation had the chance to visit some of regions most popular tourist attractions. Special cultural events, culinary galas and B2B sessions also kept the delegation busy. The trip helped wedding planners understand the current offerings in Turkey and how it could be explored as a destination for lavish Indian weddings. Talking about reasons to promote Turkey as a wedding destination, Deniz Ersöz, Culture and Tourism Counsellor, Turkish Culture and Tourism Office in India, said, “Weddings in India are becoming larger than life and destination weddings are getting more and more popular among Indians. Turkey has great potential to become a wedding destination and the feedback we got from the wedding planners after the Fam trip was very encouraging. It is a destination with the most amazing and diverse topography, which is perfect for an Indian wedding as you could have every event set against a unique backdrop.”

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OYO announces new category — OYO Living meant for millennials

OYO has announced its entry into the long-term fully managed housing rentals – OYO Living, geared to provide upgraded living experiences at an affordable price for India’s growing population. Perfectly suited for the changing housing needs of India, OYO Living will offer a first-of-its-kind, end to end managed and high-quality living experience that eliminates the hassles of finding, accessing and managing everyday housing. These accommodations are easy to find and easier to live in, where all OYO Living residents can experience the benefits of shared spaces while enjoying financial independence. With this, OYO aims to become the leading brand in the long-term housing rental and accommodations business and the biggest provider of housing in India. At the time of launch, OYO Living will have 35+ live properties, with over 2000 beds in Noida, Gurgaon, Bangalore and Pune, targeted at millennials and young professionals. With most assets currently operating already resulting at full occupancy, OYO Living will aim to expand to the top 10 metros by the end of 2019 and will offer over 50,000 beds. Commenting on the launch, Ritesh Agarwal, CEO & Founder, OYO Hotels & Homes, said, “OYO Living represents our ongoing commitment to continue innovating and creating world-class stay experiences from India. With the launch of OYO Living, we are all set to offer something new while remaining true to our core mission of creating beautiful living spaces. This launch marks a key milestone as we embark on our journey towards becoming India’s biggest provider of housing, consolidating our position as a category innovator and leader.” Piloted in mid-2018, OYO Living offers residents fully managed independent residential units, inclusive of contracting, furnishing, cleaning, maintenance, and in-stay services.

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Drukair launches non-stop flight between Guwahati and Singapore

Singapore Changi Airport has announced the launch of its 16th city link to India with the introduction of a new non-stop service between Guwahati and Singapore, operated by Drukair Royal Bhutan Airlines. This new route marks the first direct connection between Northeast India and Singapore. The introduction of this new service is expected to reduce travel time for almost 10 hours, including transfers to 4 hours 30 minutes. Drukair commenced twice weekly flights from Guwahati to Singapore from September 29. The new link is expected to strengthen not only cultural and socio-political ties between the countries but also facilitate opportunities to enhance travel and trade practices. Lim Ching Kiat, Managing Director—Air Hub Development, Changi Airport Group said, “We are pleased to launch the first non-stop service between Northeast India and Singapore with our valued partner Drukair. India is the third largest tourism source market for Singapore and one of Changi Airport’s key growth markets. This new route further enhances connectivity between Singapore and India, bringing the city links to a total of 16. We look forward to welcoming more travellers from Guwahati, who can tap Changi’s extensive network to destinations in Asia such as Australia, China, Indonesia and Japan.” India is Changi’s sixth largest market, registering more than 4.5 million passenger movements in the past 12 months, growing at 14 per cent year-on-year. Last month, IndiGo launched daily services from Kolkata and Tiruchirapalli, operating the airline’s first services from the two cities to Singapore.

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Edwin UK concludes in Manchester on a high note

Edwin UK concludes with the B2B networking event which included the northern England suppliers and the Indian Travel Trade from tier II and III cities. The event was successful with over 900 meetings. As they all were the owners/decision makers of the company, it was an eye opener session for the suppliers who met the Indian trade and understood more about the Indian market travel needs and food habits. Throughout the event, all the partners made sure the itinerary was designed as per the needs of the Indian clientele. Commenting on the occasion, Harmandeep Singh Anand, Managing Director, Global Panorama Showcase and Edwin, said, “We are happy with the outcome. Our target was met and it was achieved in a very short span of time. It was an elite programme and the partners VisitBritain, Marketing Manchester, Oman Air – Airline Partner and Trawelltag were all in full support of the event. We concluded with over 900 meetings today during B2B session.”

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More than 70% of Indian aircraft deliveries will be on lease

According to FICCI’s recent report titled ‘Opportunities and Financing  Outlook for Aviation Sector’, there will be a huge number of aircraft deliveries in India in the next few years. The report quoted a CAPA study, which estimated that out of 400 aircraft deliveries by FY22 to Indian carriers, 70-80 per cent of them will be either on direct lease or sale and leaseback transactions. To fulfil growing demand, the Government has envisaged huge capex of around US$ 15.5 billion towards development of Greenfield airports, expansion of Brownfield airports, fleet addition & maintenance by Indian Carriers and strengthening ancillary services like skill development, MRO, Cargo handling, amongst others in the value chain. This development plan by airports and airlines requires strong support from Banks, Lessors, Private Equity Firms and other Financial Institutions to cater their funding requirement.

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India is 3rd highest in spending from domestic visitors

WTTC’s Power and Performance ranking has placed India at the third spot when it comes to domestic spending, after China and USA respectively. The report revealed that the absolute growth of domestic spending was 2.6 times higher than that of visitor exports over the seven years to 2017. At the global level, domestic spending has grown on average by 4 per cent per year between 2011 and 2017. Over half of the absolute growth in domestic Travel & Tourism spending over the past seven years has come from China alone. In well-established international tourism markets such as Spain, Turkey and UAE, the share of domestic spending has fallen over the years from 2011-17. Iraq and Rwanda took the top two spots in performance rankings for domestic tourism spending across the seven years. Domestic spending is the money spent by residents of a country for both business and leisure trips that take place in that country. Nearly three-quarters of all Travel & Tourism spending (72.3 per cent) is from domestic tourists. While money from domestic tourism is not new money to a country, its use in terms of informing residents of countries’ natural and cultural attributes and engendering a source of pride is essential for social harmony. Domestic tourism is also important in spreading visitor spending to shoulder and off-season months and in dispersing visitors to less internationally-promoted regions and attractions.

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Mumbai and Delhi most preferred for hospitality expansion

With the growth of the hospitality sector in India, hoteliers are making big investments in the sector for future. According to a report titled Hospitality Insights from the Indian CEO-desk, Tier I cities, primarily Mumbai and Delhi, continue to be the most preferred locations for expansion. However, more than one-third of the respondents did indicate a willingness to invest in Tier II towns to capitalise on the growth of domestic travel. Although most players are not looking for international locations actively, some (especially the larger Indian chains) are open to expanding internationally, provided there is opportunity available.

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Jumeirah Group successfully conducts roadshows in three cities

Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts recently conducted roadshows in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi to strengthen the brand’s ties with the Indian travel-trade fraternity. The roadshow was held to further strengthen their relations with the trade and also to introduce the newly-opened properties by the brand – Zabeel House by Jumeirah. Around 18 Jumeirah properties participated in the roadshow, which was attended by over 140 agents in each city. The India market has witnessed a considerable rise in outbound luxury travel in recent years. The group is focusing on expanding and consolidating their ties with the luxury travel segment to reach out to a larger audience and gain a higher market share. The road show serves as a platform to increase brand awareness and gain new consumers. The event was a huge success as the guests were entertained with an hour of stand-up comedy by popular comedian Atul Khatri.

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IndiGo to operate daily non-stop flight between Bengaluru and Hong Kong

IndiGo has announced a daily non-stop flight between Hong Kong and Bengaluru effective December 11, 2018. As part of its international expansion, the airline also operates daily non-stop flights between India and Colombo, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Kuala Lumpur, Male and Phuket. The new flights are designed to cater to business and leisure travellers from these cities, who are constantly on the lookout for new and affordable flying options. Customers who would like to plan their travel can book tickets through www.goindigo.in. William Boulter, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo, said, “We are delighted to announce Hong Kong as the 15th destination in our international portfolio. One of the world’s biggest financial hubs, Hong Kong constitutes a strategic market for us. Hong Kong also caters to all kinds of travellers, be it family or a group of friends, and we see huge tourism potential in future from India.”

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