Tourism Breaking News

Kumbh 2019 to generate revenue worth Rs 1.2 lakh crore: CII

Underway from January 15 in Prayagraj, Kumbh Mela is expected to generate a revenue of Rs 1.2 lakh crore for Uttar Pradesh, says a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) report. Although the Kumbh Mela is spiritual and religious in nature, the economic activities associated with it generate employment for over six lakh workers across various sectors, CII said. The Uttar Pradesh government has allocated Rs 4,200 crore for the 50-day Kumbh Mela this time, thrice the budget of the Maha Kumbh in 2013. The hospitality sector aims at employing 2,50,000 people, airlines and airports around 1,50,000 and tour operators around 45,000. The employment numbers in eco-tourism and medical tourism are being estimated at 85,000, says a CII study. Apart from this, there will be around 55,000 new jobs in the unorganised sector comprising tour guides, taxi drivers, interpreters, volunteers, etc. This will lead to increase in income levels for government agencies and individual traders. Kumbh attracts foreign tourists from countries like Australia, the UK, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, New Zealand, Mauritius, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka. The ‘mela’ is expected to generate a revenue of Rs 1.2 lakh crore for Uttar Pradesh, while neighbouring states like Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh will also benefit from the enhanced revenue generation with many national and foreign tourists expected to explore other destinations. Rajesh Agarwal, state Finance Minister, said, “The UP government has allocated Rs 4,200 crore for 2019 Kumbh Mela. The previous state government had spent around Rs 1,300 crore for the Maha Kumbh, which was held in 2013.” Source: PTI

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Destinos India bags SITE Crystal Award

The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) recently recognised Destinos India with a ‘Crystal Award for Best Destination-based Incentive Travel Program’ at the Crystal Awards Recognition Ceremony held during SITE Global Conference 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand. Considered the highest honour in the Incentive Travel industry, SITE Crystal Awards recognise creative, practical, and truly memorable incentive programmes that not only keep employees engaged, but also drive business results. Annamaria Ruffini, CIS, CMP, SITE President 2018, commented, “As the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence, it’s only fitting that we have our own reward and recognition programme to highlight excellence in incentive travel. The Crystal Awards programme is a long-standing SITE tradition, part of our association since 1980 and a hotly-contested, much-anticipated annual event. It confers the highest honour in our industry to incentive travel professionals who have clearly demonstrated how incentive travel leads to business results.” Destinos India selected the crown of “Incredible India” – Delhi, Agra and Jaipur – as the triple-city destination to provide the experience of a lifetime for 140 qualifiers from all over the world. Sanjay Malhotra, Director, Destinos India, commented, “Right after our inception as a DMC, this was the first dream project to put our heart and soul in to deliver an incredible incentive voyage. With detailed research, offbeat vision, sagacity, prevision, dedication and micromanagement, backed by hard work by our experienced, professional and enthusiastic team, we transformed all possible challenges to opportunities and presented an incentive journey to cherish for a lifetime. This award becomes even more special and important for us as we have got it in the very first year of our existence.” Randir Brar, Director, Destinos India, added, “It is a special …

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Globus family of brands introduces Cosmos Lite for ‘á la carte tours’

Globus family of brands introduces Cosmos Lite — world’s first á la carte tour style. Combining the essential features of award-winning Cosmos tours with a personalised approach to daily itineraries, Cosmos Lite offers hassle-free travel with the freedom to tailor an itinerary to interests, budgets and pace. New for the current year, Cosmos Lite is unveiling 10 innovative itineraries that combine major cities with undiscovered, lesser-known destinations across Europe. Cosmos Lite vacation packages include city-to-city transportation, comfortable hotels, daily breakfasts, professional tour director, MyCosmos optional excursions and CosmosGo mobile app. Scott Nisbet, President and CEO, Globus family of brands, said, “With the introduction of Cosmos Lite, we’re giving travellers an independent touring option: a new way to see, explore and experience the world around them. We get them to each destination and coordinate comfortable accommodations but their days – and the activities they plan – are up to them.” In 2019, Cosmos Lite is introducing 10 new vacation packages in Europe: Spanish City Explorer (9 days, priced from $899) Spanish Heritage Explorer (8 days, priced from $699) Portugal Explorer (7 days, priced from $749) Italian Explorer (8 days, priced from $899) Northern Italy Explorer (8 days priced from $899) Veneto Explorer (7 days, priced from $899) Danube Explorer (8 days, priced from $899) England Explorer (7 days, priced from $899) Ireland Explorer (7 days, priced from $849) Scotland Explorer (7 days, priced from $899) Varesh Chopra, Regional Director –India, South Asia & Middle East, said, “Free of commitments and full of possibilities, Cosmos Lite’s á la carte touring invites travellers to design each day with free time, me time or see time. A Cosmos Lite vacation frees up days so travellers can …

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GoAir to launch direct flights on Kannur-Muscat route from February 28

GoAir is set to expand its international footmark with the launch of direct flights on Kannur – Muscat – Kannur route effective February 28, 2019. The airline will operate three direct flight services per week and bookings are now open at an attractive all-inclusive one way fare starting from INR 4999. Speaking on the occasion, Jeh Wadia, Managing Director, GoAir said, “It gives us immense delight to add Muscat as our third international destination. Muscat is a key market for us and is in line with our growth strategy and more so for the Middle East. We are hopeful that this service would also prove equally popular with our flyers. We will continue to deliver convenient and hassle-free connections and we stand committed to provide our customers with superior experience at best affordable prices.” Recently, GoAir added Kannur as its 24th domestic destination and was the first and only domestic airline to launch services when the airport commenced its maiden operations. On the domestic front, the airline currently connects Kannur to Bengaluru with 13 weekly flights, Chennai with 4 weekly flights and Hyderabad with 3 weekly flights. On the international front, the airline has recently introduced direct daily connectivity to Phuket from Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. It also operates 4 direct weekly flights on the Mumbai-Male route, 3 weekly flights on Delhi-Male and 2 weekly flights on Bengaluru-Male route.

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Azerbaijan launches çampaign to double inbound tourism by 2023

Azerbaijan Tourism Board (ATB) has launched ‘Take another look’ campaign as part of its strategy to present a new portrait of the country, enhance its destination value and double the current in-bound tourism by 2023. The brand positioning and identity is an invitation to attract travellers to consider Azerbaijan from a unique point of view and discover its untold stories and secrets. With a new brand and the ‘Take another look’ promotional campaign, Azerbaijan will focus on increasing the number of tourists from a broader pool of countries throughout Europe, the Middle East, China, as well as Central and Southeast Asia. Azerbaijan Airlines, the flag carrier of Azerbaijan, has announced direct charter flights from India to Azerbaijan in 2019. Florian Sengstschmid, CEO, Azerbaijan Tourism Board, said, “As we encourage visitors to ‘Take another look’, we are inviting them to take a more in-depth look at Azerbaijan and immerse themselves in truly genuine cultural experiences. Guests will want to dig deeper into the country’s history and rich cultural heritage as they discover pleasant surprises and hidden gems throughout the year.” Indian passport holders are eligible for e-Visa to Azerbaijan, which is processed online within 3 hours through the new simplified electronic visa procedure. The new initiatives are expected to improve Azerbaijan’s ranking among countries with a high tourism contribution towards national GDP, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council 2018 Impact Report. It is forecasted to be at 6 per cent per annum over the course of the next 10 years ranking it amongst the world’s top 20 high-potential countries.

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Abu Dhabi expects India to be top source market for overseas arrivals in 2019

Abu Dhabi expects India to continue to be the largest source market for overseas arrivals in 2019 with a growth of around 10 per cent year-on year, a senior official has said. Anthony Rippingale, Acting Director, Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism, Travel Trade and Market Development Department, told PTI, “We expect India to continue to be the largest overseas market for arrivals in 2019. We are expecting around 10 per cent growth in the number of Indian arrivals in 2019.” In 2018, the capital city of United Arab Emirates had around 3.35 lakh arrivals from India up to October. As of October 2018, India is the largest source market for overseas arrivals to Abu Dhabi, he added. “The growth we are expecting is despite this being an election year in India. This is on account of long historical ties between the two countries with strong person-to-person contact,” Rippingale said. When asked about the focus areas that the department is targeting here, he said, “We are focusing on all the segments such as MiCE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) segment, leisure segment, specially the families and on weddings and honeymoon segment.” The average stay per person in Abu Dhabi is 3 to 4 nights, he added. On the initiatives being taken to promote Abu Dhabi as a preferred destination, Rippingale said, “We are expanding sales team in India. We are also creating regional sales teams to cater to the specific needs of various regions in India.” Efforts are also being made to promote culture tourism. Focus is also to promote cruise tourism. The efforts are being made to support the trade partners, he added. Source : PTI

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Singapore’s Scoot Airlines to begin operations in Coimbatore, Trivandrum and Visakhapatnam

Low-cost arm of Singapore Airlines Group, Scoot, plans to strengthen its presence in India with the addition of Coimbatore, Trivandrum and Visakhapatnam. The new routes are due to be transferred over from SilkAir, and Scoot will be the only airline operating direct non-stop flights from Trivandrum and Visakhapatnam to Singapore. Flights from Trivandrum to Singapore will commence as soon as May 7, 2019, and flights from Coimbatore and Visakhapatnam will start from October 27, 2019, subject to regulatory approval. In India, Scoot already operates seven existing routes from Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Lucknow, and Tiruchirappalli. To commemorate the new routes, Scoot has introduced a major limited-time sale on flights from all its India points, including Trivandrum, Coimbatore and Visakhapatnam – starting from January 14 to 28, 2019 on www.FlyScoot.com. One-way promotional fares (inclusive of tax) begin from as low as INR 4,500 for Economy FLY, for trips to 27 exciting cities in Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam via Singapore. Vinod Kannan, Chief Commercial Officer, Scoot, said, “With three new cities, India is a big part of our growth in Asia this year. As we ramp up our operations in the region and establish a local team to help support our long-term objectives, customers can look forward to more affordable fares and innovative offerings from us.”

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India’s domestic passenger load factor exceeded 90% for the first time ever in February 2018

The India domestic passenger load factor exceeded 90 per cent for the first time ever in February 2018, hitting an all-time high for the other global domestic markets, namely China, the US, Brazil, Russia, Japan and Australia. According to International Air Transport Association (IATA), the bigger picture is that the current load factor performance represents a significant turnaround from the early-2000s when India regularly posted the lowest domestic passenger load factor amongst its group of countries, even dipping below 50 per cent on occasion. The evolution and maturity of India’s domestic air transport market can be illustrated by comparing the experiences around the time of 9/11 with that of late 2014. In the former, domestic capacity continued to increase even as demand slumped, while in late-2014 Indian airlines slowed capacity growth to support the load factor even as demand was growing strongly. In part, this appears to reflect the increasing influence of competitive (market) pressures over time via a mix of policy, regulatory and industry developments. Such forces have instilled a greater focus on airlines to achieve the load factor levels needed to generate adequate returns for their investors.

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India now connects to more international cities through non-stop service

India has steadily increased the number of overseas city pairs served by a non-stop service from the country over time, according to a recent study by International Air Transport Association (IATA). There are 304 such international pairs in 2018, up from around 230 ten years ago. In relative terms, the India market appears to have considerably less international city pairs served than either China or Russia. However, Indian travellers have ready access (via the geographic proximity) to the Middle East superconnector hubs – Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha – that China and Russia do not. This increases the size of the network significantly for Indian travellers, as well as making India more accessible for international visitors. As such, it may go some way to explaining the relatively lower number of international city pairs for India relative to China and Russia.

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Total passenger traffic in India to rise six-fold to 1124 million in FY2040

The total passenger traffic (to, from and within India) in India is expected to rise nearly six-fold from 187 million in FY2018 to around 1124 million in FY2040, according to a latest report by FICCI-KPMG titled ‘Vision 2040 for the Civil Aviation Industry in India’. This includes around 821 million domestic passengers and around 303 million international passengers (to and from India). The overall CAGR across the five clusters works out to around 9% in domestic and 7% in international traffic during FY 2018-2040. “The FICCI-KPMG projection is higher than the projections made by leading organisations. Given the untapped potential of the Indian aviation market and the signi􀃶cant reforms being driven by the federal and state governments, we feel that the above projections are eminently achievable. These are of course predicated on the assumption that volatility in oil prices and exchange rate will be within a reasonable range and the constraints in terms of policies, taxation, infrastructure and ease of doing business shall be addressed on priority,” the report states.

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