Tourism Breaking News

TAAI reveals nominee list for national elections

The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) has revealed its final nominee list for its upcoming national elections. Running for presidency are three members – Harmandeep Singh Anand, Marzban Antia, present Vice President of TAAI, and current national president Sunil Kumar. Two nominees for the Vice President position are Jay Bhatia who is currently serving as TAAI’s Honorary Treasurer and Tourism Council Chairman and Sanjay Narula. Running for the position of Honorary Secretary General are two members: Lokesh Bettaiah, current Secretary General, and Jyoti Mayal, Member of the Managing Committee. Two members have signed up as nominees for the position of Honorary Treasurer. One of them is Shreeram Patel, current Co-Chairman, Airline Council, TAAI, and Imtiaz Qureshi, who is a MC member. The national elections will be held on November 28, 2017 at The Lalit Mumbai.

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Royal Orchid Hotels opens 47-room property in Kanpur

Royal Orchid Hotels has announced the opening of a hotel in Kanpur – Regenta Central The Crystal – taking the number of properties under Royal Orchid group  to 45. Located at the heart of the city, the hotel offers 44 rooms and three suites and is a 45-minute drive from Kanpur airport. Chander K. Baljee, Managing Director, Royal Orchid Hotels, said, “We have added four properties – Mysore, Ahmedabad, Dehradun and Kanpur – in the current financial year. We are on target to take the number of properties to 50 under the Royal Orchid Group before the end of this financial year. We will continue to pursue our model of management contracts to build our hospitality business.” The  ‘Regenta Hotels’ brand is an upscale arm of the Royal Orchid Hotel group. It is designed for the corporate traveller whose watchword is value and convenience. It is categorized into Regenta, Regenta Central, Regenta Resorts and Regenta Inn.

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BLS signs contract with Algeria for 5 VACs in India

BLS International Services has signed a contract with Embassy of the People’s Republic of Algeria in India to offer visa outsourcing and consular services through five visa application and attestation centers in New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Trivandrum. BLS international is accredited to facilitate Algerian visa processing in India from submission of applications to collection of visas along with attestation services. This contract has been signed to provide efficient visa and attestation services to people traveling to Algeria for business, work or leisure. Shikhar Aggarwal, Joint Managing Director, BLS International Services, says, “We cherish the progressive relations with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of Algeria and are delighted to have been chosen to provide consular services to them in India. It has been our endeavor to always provide state-of the-art services to our clients by creating value for our stakeholders.” While signing the contract, Algerian Ambassador in India, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Nepal, H.E Hamza Yahia-Cherif said, “We are pleased to have partnered with BLS International for facilitating Algeria visa processing in India. We hope this association to be fruitful and that it will further strengthen the Algerian-Indian relationship in future.” BLS International shall also aim to provide advance value added services like door-stop delivery / courier facility of passports, SMS, assistance in filling visa application forms, printing and photocopying for the benefit of visa applicants at the premises. All BLS centres are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and trained staff to provide complete hassle free services to visa application.

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Jumeirah Hotels concludes 2-city roadshow in Mumbai and Delhi

Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts organised a two city roadshow in Mumbai and Delhi to strengthen the brand’s ties with the Indian travel trade fraternity. The roadshow was part of Jumeirah’s newly enhanced focus on India as a source market for its hotels in the UAE, Europe and the Maldives. Speaking at the Mumbai roadshow, Linda Lewis, the Vice President for Global Sales Middle East and Asia Pacific, Jumeirah Group, said, “The India market has witnessed a considerable rise in outbound luxury travel in recent years. Given that this demographic seek superior travel and stay experiences; our current portfolio includes hotels and resorts within a number of favoured locations; and we are one of the world’s most awarded luxury hotel brands, Jumeirah is well placed to fulfill the requirements of the Indian luxury traveller, including families, couples, the MICE industry and those seeking destination weddings and honeymoons.” Jumeirah recently signed a direct connectivity partnership with Make My Trip India, providing a easy booking channel for Indian consumers who wish to book Jumeirah hotels around the world. Lewis added, “India is a key source market into the UAE and into a number of our other destinations including the UK and Maldives. We are focusing on expanding and consolidating our ties with the FITs and the luxury travel segment to reach out to a larger audience and gain a higher market share. MMT’s reach and presence in India goes above and beyond Tier-1 states. With this in mind, our visibility on this platform will help to increase brand awareness and gain new consumers.” Jumeirah Group has 11 hotels in the UAE and a presence across Europe, Middle East and Asia. While the Burj Al …

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Japan to offer multiple-entry visa for Indians from Jan 1

Simplifying its visa regime for Indians, Japan will issue multiple-entry visa for short-term stay starting January 1, 2018. Under the new rules, there will be relaxation in terms of visa application documents as well as expansion scope of eligible applicants, as revealed in an official release. Applicants will now have to submit only three documents to get multiple-entry visas to Japan. The applicant’s employment certificate and explanation letter stating the reason will be exempted in cases of applying for multiple-entry visa. The required documents would include passport visa application form (with photo) and papers to prove the financial capability (for tourism purpose)/documents to prove the applicant’s affiliation to certain enterprises (for business purpose). Multiple-entry visas with a maximum validity of five years and a stay of 90 days will be issued to applicants who have travel records to Japan twice or more in the last one year. In this case, the eligible applicants may submit only their passports and visa application form, as per the release.

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MOT gets in-principle approval to merge HRIDAY and PRASAD Scheme

  Speaking at the 6th Update & Outlook Meeting organised by PATA India and Ministry of Tourism in New Delhi, Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India announced the merger of the HRIDYA and PRASAD Scheme with effect from the start of 2018. She said, “The Ministry of Tourism has been in talks with the Urban Development Ministry and they have been given an in-principle approval to merge the Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) with the Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) Scheme. The merger will help augment a greater synergy between the rural and urban spiritual sites like temple, church, mosque, etc thereby, providing a holistic development of these sites and an increase in the funding for the scheme.” Verma highlighted the great acceleration that tourism sector has witnessed in India. The platform was also used to reveal various initiatives by the Ministry of Tourism to propel and sustain the growth hence achieved. She also highlighted the shift in strategy of the ministry with regards to marketing campaigns from print and electronic mediums onto social platforms.

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Delhi is the most tourist-friendly destination: WTTCII-Hotelivate

Delhi was declared the consolidated winner in the area of travel and tourism, according to a state survey conducted by World Travel and Tourism Council India Initiative (WTTCII) and Hotelivate. The Capital bagged the Destination Leader Award after an evaluation of 11 key parameters including state expenditure on tourism, tourist visits, presence of branded hotel rooms, GSDP per capita, effectiveness of marketing campaign, urbanisation, road and railway infrastructure, aircraft movement, ease of doing business, and intangible aspects. While it did lag behind in some areas, Delhi aced in most of the categories. Since the Northeastern states did not fare well as compared to other states owing to limited road and air connectivity, Sikkim was declared the winner in terms of overall performance.

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Air Astana plans to start Mumbai flights from 2019

Having completed 13 years of service between India to Kazakhstan and Eurasia, Air Astana plans to start a new connection to Mumbai in 2019. Currently, the airline operates 10 flights a week between Kazakhstan and India. This includes a daily service between Almaty and New Delhi and three flights between Astana and New Delhi, which started in July this year. Peter Foster, President and Chief Executive Officer, Air Astana, said, “India is an important destination for Air Astana and has connected both business and leisure passengers well between both the countries. The number of passengers carried between India and Kazakhstan in 2017 is 43,459, an increase of 43 per cent as compared to that in 2016. In fact, the number of transit passengers travelling from New Delhi via Almaty to other international destinations grew by 33 per cent in 2016.”

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Israel witnesses 34% growth from Jan-Oct 2017

Israel, for the second consecutive year has broken its tourism record in India along with three million tourists arrival mark this year. More than 49,000 Indians have already visited Israel until October, 2017 marking a growth of 34 per cent from January to October vis-à-vis the same period last year as per statistics released by Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT). Speaking about the growth, Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism India, said, “This has been the best year of incoming tourist arrivals for Israel and India continues to be an important contributor for us. Our effort towards promoting Israel as a dynamic holiday destination as opposed to its otherwise restricted perception as a religious destination is yielding positive results and we are witnessing successful outcomes of our increased investments in the Indian market.” He also added, “Tourism is an important contributor to the Israeli economy and since the beginning of the year, tourism has brought in $4.1 billion into the economy. In 2016, 45,000 Indians visited Israel and we have surpassed that number by October itself this year. We hope to have 60,000 Indian arrivals to Israel by end of 2017.” As Israel reaches its all-time record, and 2017 is expected to close as Israel’s record year for incoming tourism, Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said, “This is a special day and an historic milestone as we break the 3-million-tourist barrier and we are set to end the year with an amazing achievement, the likes of which have never been reached since the establishment of the State. The huge investment that we are making in marketing Israel around the world and our collaborations with airlines and tour operators is bearing …

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218-room Indore Marriott Hotel opens doors

Marriott International has added another property to its portfolio in Indore with the opening of the 218-room Indore Marriott Hotel. Neeraj Govil, Area Vice President, South Asia, Marriott International, said, “The Indore Marriott Hotel is an exciting addition to the Marriott Hotels portfolio, our eighth in the country so far. With tremendous growth as a business hub during the past few years, Indore is set to become one of the most sought-after destinations for both leisure and business travellers in India. We are delighted to be a part of this incredible growth story and to bring our inventive service and products to this city” On this occasion, Devesh Rawat, General Manager, Indore Marriott Hotel said, “The hotel is the perfect complement to the destination with multiple experiential spaces. We are excited to foray into the city of Indore and are extremely pleased to welcome our guests at the newest Marriott Hotel in the country,” He further added, “From spacious rooms to delightful dining options and expansive convention facilities, the hotel is thoughtfully designed to create an excellent stay experience.” Other facilities at the hotel include recreational facilities such as the renowned Quan Spa with 5600 sqft of space offering a blend of modern and traditional therapies. The hotel also boasts of an outdoor swimming pool and a fully equipped, state-of-the-art fitness centre. Indore Marriott Hotel is the largest in the state in terms of rooms and meeting space – which covers 55,000 sqft of meeting and banqueting space. The property is located a few minutes away from the airport.

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