Tourism Breaking News

Kenya’s Sarova Hotels & Resorts begins four-city workshop in India

Sarova Hotels & Resorts recently kick-started its four-city workshop in India, starting off with Delhi. Stakeholders, travel agents and policy makers attended the product presentation in the capital. Representatives of the hotel gave a detailed product presentation on the group’s properties across Kenya. After Delhi, the workshop will be held in Mumbai, Bangalore and Ahmedabad. The delegation also interacted with agents and shared insights on how to promote Sarova Hotels & Game Lodges to Indian leisure travellers and MiCE groups. According to figures released by the Ministry of Tourism on the state of Kenyan tourism in 2017, international arrivals hit 1.47 million in 2017, up from 1.34 million the previous year. The Indian market contributed to 6.2 per cent of these arrivals, as the fourth largest source market; behind the United States of America, United Kingdom and Uganda. “Sarova has been a well-known brand in terms of luxury, cuisine and the quality of services it has to offer for all travel segments be it leisure, MiCE or wedding groups. International arrivals have been on a steady growth since 2015, and the Indian market has been one of the fastest growing source markets. Our four-city roadshow in India gives us a better standing in the industry in tapping into this source market”, says Selina Dima, Travel Trade Manager—Global Sales, Sarova Hotels and Resorts, Kenya. Sarova Hotels has a keen understanding of social and cultural nuances of India that helps them to curate services tailored for guests from the Indian subcontinent.  

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Manipur Sangai Festival 2018 to be held from November 21-30

Manipur Tourism recently organised a curtain-raiser of the upcoming Manipur Sangai Festival at Select Citywalk in Delhi. Officials from Manipur Tourism along with its stakeholders shared updates on the ongoing preparations for the largest tourism festival of the state scheduled to be held from November 21-30. Famous personalities from the state including Mary Kom, MP, Rajya Sabha and Padma Bhushan Awardee; Sarita Laishram, former World Boxing Champion; and P Kenedy Singh, former Indian Football Captain promoted the event in the city. Dr Sapam Ranjan Singh, Chairman, Tourism Corporation of Manipur stated that the festival will be inaugurated in Imphal on November 21, while two other districts Bishnupur and Senapati will also play host to the festival and have a line-up of events ranging from half-marathon, water sports and trekking to other adventure activities. The festival takes its name from the state’s unique, shy and gentle brow-antlered Sangai Deer. The Sangai Deer is found only in Manipur’s floating Keibul Lamjao National Park at Loktak lake.

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Slovakia to operate 38 new VACs in 10 countries including India

VFS Global has signed a contract with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic for providing visa services in 10 countries including India. The other countries to get visa application centres for Slovakia via VFS Global are China, Kazakhstan, Palestine, Belarus, Russia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Egypt. The rollout of 38 visa application centres is expected to be completed by December 2018. Under the new contract, VFS Global will accept both short and long-term visa applications on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. Chris Dix, Head – Business Development, VFS Global, said, “We are excited about our new partnership with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. The countries where we will be operating are markets where VFS Global has worked for several years and whose travellers are familiar with our services and expertise. We are also pleased to have the opportunity to serve our new clients in new locations, and bring applicants in these locations the same benefits and high-quality service that we have been offering our customers worldwide for the last 17 years.”

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Doha offers visa-free arrival for Indians

Citizens of India can now be granted a visa waiver for a period of 30 days on their arrival in Qatar, upon certain conditions. The passenger’s passport must be valid for at least six months and must have a confirmed return ticket. He/she must have a valid credit card. (For a family travelling together, the card must be in the name of the passenger or one per family). Passengers should also provide a confirmed hotel reservation.

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FITUR 2019 introduces a MiCE & Business B2B event

FITUR 2019 broadens business opportunities in its new B2B event, FITUR MITM – MiCE & Business. This new B2B space is focused on MiCE tourism. FITUR MITM – MiCE & Business, co-organised with MITM Events – GSAR Marketing, will offer the opportunity to form business ties among a selection of professionals and exhibitors attending the upcoming edition of FITUR organised by IFEMA to be held from January 23-27, in the fairgrounds of IFEMA. The format of FITUR MITM – MiCE & Business will consist of an agenda of up to 30 pre-established appointments among exhibiting companies interested in participating in the programme – consisting of a maximum of 100 companies with priority given to main stand holders and 100 highly qualified international executives (corporate, incentive houses, event and congress organisers and international associations). In the last few years, meetings tourism has been experiencing a notable growth, becoming a key sector for the industry, proof of that are the 12,558 international association congresses held worldwide in 2017, according to data from the International Congress and Convention Association, ICCA. Likewise, the ranking positioned Spain in the fourth place worldwide (564 congresses), only behind United Kingdom (592), Germany (682) and United States (941).    

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PATA Travel Mart 2019 to be held in Astana, Kazakhstan

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is set to organise PATA Travel Mart 2019 in Astana, Kazakhstan in September. The event will be hosted by the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Kazakh Tourism National Company JSC. “As the destination stands at the crossroads between Asia and Europe, it is the perfect venue to organise the association’s signature travel trade exhibition in a uniquely transformational city that blends various cultures and heritages of both the East and West,” said Dr Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA. Yerlan Kozhagapanov, Vice Minister of Culture And Sport, Republic of Kazakhstan, said, “We are honoured to be the bid winner and are grateful for the opportunity to host PATA Travel Mart 2019. We are positioning Astana as a MiCE hub for Central Asia and looking forward to welcoming PATA members, hosted buyers and visitors at PATA Travel Mart 2019.” According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Kazakhstan received a total of over 7.7 million total visitors in 2017. Special discounts are available for sellers located within Central Asia, while early bird discounts are available for those registering before December 31, 2018.  

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TAAI and TAFI urge Air India to review its decision on single GDS

After Air India announced offering its inventory solely through its select GDS,  Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) along with Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) has urged the airline to review its decision. In a joint statement, the two associations said, “For these agencies including those which do not have access or frequently sell the airline seats on the GDS preferred by Air India, it is quite evident that selling Air India would not be an easy proposition and thus thay may opt for other airlines for their customers. For several established agencies, usage of GDS is governed by global agreements they have entered into and thus switching over or training their staff to get used to this limited GDS access will be a difficult option to cope with.’ On November 5, both the associations had a detailed discussion with the Air India Senior Management and conveyed that this decision of going exclusive on a GDS would be detrimental to the airline and this must be urgently reviewed. The associations are keen that Air India must not suffer any losses that would further damage the health of the airline. The senior management promised to revert in a day and on November 6, the associations received a phone call from them to inform that there will be no change in Air India’s stand. The joint statement goes on to add, “Air India has been reeling under tremendous financial challenges and instead of finding ways to increase its seat sales via an easy access through GDS channels, this move by the national carrier is shocking. The response given by Air India is that this would save its distribution costs. It is a …

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Hi-Life Tours receives TravTalk WTM World Travel Leaders Award

Bharat Bhushan Atree, CMD, CTC Holding, received the TravTalk-WTM World Travel Leaders Award for Hi-Life Tours at the recently held World Travel Market in London. The World Travel Leaders Awards honours companies and individuals for their outstanding contribution to the industry over the last 24 months voted for by the WTM Media Partners. Speaking on the occasion, Atree said, “Awards like these keep us motivated and eggs us to work harder and harder. It puts us on the global recognition platform because this company is catering to online tourism and it makes a lot of difference when such organisations recognise us for our good work. We hope to get a lot of positive response from our partners, who have been wanting to work with us but have been thinking about it, a recognition from a platform like this will instill more confidence among them.”

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India generates Rs 1,777 billion via international tourist arrivals

Visitor exports are a key component of the direct contribution of travel and tourism. In 2017, India generated Rs 1,777.1 billion in visitor exports. In 2018, this is expected to grow by 8.8 per cent, and the country is expected to attract 18,655,000 international tourist arrivals. By 2028, international tourist arrivals are forecast to total 30,469,000, generating expenditure of Rs 3,316.4 billion, an increase of 5.5 per cent per annum.

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Tourism to contribute $12,450 billion to global GDP by 2028: WTTC

A recent report by World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) suggests that total contribution of tourism to global GDP will grow to USD 12,450.1 billion (11.7% of GDP) by 2028. Further, according to the report, total employment contribution of tourism sector accounts for 9.9 per cent of global employment in 2017, supporting twice as many jobs as financial sector. Travel & Tourism investmentA recent report by World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) suggests that total contribution of tourism to global GDP will grow to USD 12,450.1 billion (11.7% of GDP) by 2028. Further, according to the report, total employment contribution of tourism sector accounts for 9.9 per cent of global employment in 2017, supporting twice as many jobs as financial sector. Travel & Tourism investment in 2017 was $882.4 billion, or 4.5 per cent of total investment. It is projected to rise by 4.3 per cent per annum over the next ten years to $1,408.3 billion in 2028 (5.1% of total). Tourism contribution to global GDP (10.4 per cent in 2017) is higher than many other sectors.

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