Tourism Breaking News

New Zealand to levy tourist tax on visitors from mid-2019

New Zealand has announced plans to introduce a tourist tax and increase other fees for international visitors to fund infrastructure development in the face of a tourist boom. Tourism numbers in the country of 4.5 million have surged by nearly a third in the past three years to 3.8 million in April this year. “This rapid growth has impacted the costs and availability of publicly-provided infrastructure,” said Kelvin Davis Tourism minister. “Many regions are struggling to cope and urgently need improved infrastructure, from toilet facilities to car parks,”Davis said. A tax of NZ$25-35 (US$17-24) would be imposed on international visitors from the middle of next year while price hikes for immigration fees and visas will take effect this November. Australians and most Pacific Island forum countries will be exempt from the new charges. Tourism is a key pillar of the New Zealand economy and the new tax is expected to raise up to NZ$80 million in its first year, which will be split between tourism infrastructure and conservation initiatives. The main opposition National Party claimed the new tax system would make New Zealand a “less attractive” destination. But Davis believed the impact on tourist numbers would be minimal. “When you’re talking about the additional cost to, say, someone coming from the United States who are already paying about NZ$1,200, an extra NZ$25-NZ$30 isn’t going to make that much of a difference,” he said. Source: AFP

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India will be third leading source market for Singapore MiCE tourism by 2021

India will be the third leading source market for Singapore MiCE tourism by 2021, according to a research report. The Singapore MiCE tourism market shall surge nearly US$ 2.5 billion across the 20 countries by the year end of 2021, the report said. Singapore is one of the world’s top MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions & Exhibitions) destination. The research report titled ” Singapore Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibitions (MICE) Tourism Market Insights, Opportunity, Analysis, Market Shares & Forecast 2016 – 2021” provides detailed information on the Singapore MiCE Tourism Market. The report analyses market data and provides a better understanding of MiCE travellers flows and revenue to Singapore. Singapore enables a conducive environment for MiCE for world-wide travellers with its stable business environment, convenient transportation, pleasant environment and well-appointed facilities. Sightseeing, catering, entertainment, business events and exhibitions together create an integrated tourism chain for the country. Facilities for both business and leisure such as World Resort Sentosa, Universal Studios Singapore, Merlion’s Park, Suntec Singapore and Singapore EXPO ensure Singapore’s position as a prime MiCE destination. China and Indonesia will be the major source market for Singapore MiCE tourism by the year end of 2021.  Singapore and Thailand holds the fifth and sixth highest share of the Singapore MiCE tourist arrivals, being followed by United States by the year end of 2021, states the report.  

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Tourism Enterprises collaborates with Hello Asia Travel for Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos & Myanmar

Tourism Enterprises has recently collaborated with a destination management company-Hello Asia Travel to cater to destinations like Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. The DMC specialises in offering tailor-made itineraries to FITs, GITs, incentive travellers and soft adventure seekers at these destinations. Tourism Enterprises has been promoting outbound destinations like Greece , Morocco , Bulgaria , Romania ,Serbia , Macedonia  Dubai and Sri Lanka for more than five years. Indian Outbound market is increasing day by day and people want to explore more and more Tourism Enterprises have also opted this pattern and now they  have joined hands with Hello Asia Travel headed by Kelly Bui (President and Chief executive Officer ) & Tony Nguyen  (Vice President of product Development)  who will take care the Indian market.

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670 exhibitors attend International Travel Expo held in Hong Kong

The 32nd International Travel Expo (ITE) held recently at Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre witnessed around 670 exhibitors of which 85 percent from abroad and about 180 exhibitors targeting MiCE; some 55 participating countries and regions with around half from outside Asia. The city’s only travel fair lays focus on segments like leisure, MiCE and theme travels, and visitors of trade, professional and affluent FIT. The two day expo had over 12000 trade and MiCE visitors, of which, over 70 percent from Hong Kong and some 30 percent from mainland China and abroad. Some 90000 visitors with 87 percent preferring FIT and private tours had visited the fair. Organised by TKS Exhibition Services, ITE Hong Kong, is supported by Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong Tourism Board, Macao Government Tourism Office, Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong, MiCE and trade associations, etc.

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K J Alphons to attend ‘Incredible India roadshows’ in the US from June 18-22

With an aim to project India as a ‘must visit’ tourist destination, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism, K J Alphons will attend a series of ‘Incredible India roadshows’ in the US, from June 18-22,  2018. The roadshows will be held in several major cities of US including New York, Chicago & Houston. The Incredible India roadshows will hold B2B interactions, presentations and press briefings by the Indian delegation. The key note addresses will be delivered by the Tourism Minister and Incredible India presentation will be made by Joint Secretary Ministry of Tourism Suman Billa. The roadshows will include cultural performances also. USA is one among the top three source countries in the percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India. During April 2018, the US was the second highest source country with 11.21 per cent share of total FTAs.

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Vistara receives 21st aircraft, now eligible for international operations

Vistara has received its 21st aircraft, an Airbus A320neo powered by CFM engines and the airline is also eligible to start international operations now. The new aircraft will be deployed to further strengthen the airline’s domestic network. Leslie Thng, CEO, Vistara, said, “There’s great excitement amongst all of us at Vistara, as we prepare ourselves for taking the next leap in our journey to fly international. The arrival of our 21st aircraft makes this phase even more special. It enables us to strengthen our network further, which gives us the opportunity to offer more choices in terms of frequencies to our ever-growing base of loyal customers.” Vistara’s A320neo aircraft comes in its unique cabin configuration of 158 seats (8 Business Class, 24 Premium Economy and 126 Economy Class) as well as other industry-first features, for which the airline calls it #NotJustAnotherNeo. Vistara has consistently raised the bar in the Indian aviation industry and has flown over 9 million customers, and today serves 22 destinations with over 800 flights a week.

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Bahrain aims at 46% growth from Indian tourists in 2018

Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) recently organised a consolidator’s familiarisation trip to Bahrain to showcase Bahrain’s famous tourist attractions to help grow the country’s tourism industry. This year, Bahrain is looking at the growth of about 46 per cent tourists from India in 2018. Sunil Mathapati, Country Manager said, “As part of the plan to highlight Bahrain’s overall tourism offering and to tap on the high potential consumer market that India has be it Luxury travellers, adventure enthusiasts, Wedding & MICE segments; we will be proactively doing marketing activities and trips to attract tourism and make a traveller aware about the destination which is rich in history and culture and has various adventure activities, which is just four hours from India.” Some places where delegation visited were Bahrain International Circuit, historical forts, cultural sites in the old capital Muharraq, beaches, The Al Fateh Grand Mosque, and The National Museum. They also visited five-star hotels to review and understand their offerings. They further went to check out the island flavor, exploring varieties of food options. The trip also showcased new tourist attraction like Jarada Islands and the group was taken to new hotel Jumeirah Royal Saray Bahrain as well for inspection.

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Rooms revenue contributed 53.6% to total hotel industry earnings in 2016-17

According to a latest research study by Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), in 2016-17, rooms revenue contributed a notable 53.6 per cent to the total hotel industry revenue, an increase over its percentage share in 2015-16, and an improvement from the declining trend exhibited in the years 2012-13 to 2014-15. On the other hand, contribution from Food & Beverage and Banquets declined to 39.5 per cent from 41.5 per cent recorded in 2015-16. The contribution of the other operating departments has remained range-bound,with a marginal increase recorded in 2016-17 over the previous fiscal.

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Tourism Minister launches new Incredible India website for deeper engagement with travellers

K J Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism has launched the new Incredible India website which showcases India as a holistic destination, revolving around major experiences, such as, spirituality, heritage, adventure, culture, yoga, wellness and more. The website follows the trends and technologies of international standards with an aim to project India as a “must-visit” destination, among its overseas travellers. Launching the new dynamic and interactive website with latest platform and technology, the minister hoped that the website will evolve as one of the best in the world. He also said that the new website is more interactive and it will have all the required content and further, the content shall be updated in a timely manner. Alphons thanked the stakeholders like Tech Mahindra, Google, Adobe and NIC team who were involved in the development of the website. Speaking at the event, Secretary Tourism, Rashmi Verma said that new website will suggest a visitor the options and there is no need of any queries. She also added that the website will provide information all over the world even about exotic destinations of the country. The Secretary also conveyed that the website has already started getting visits from US, Russia and China. The website has many useful features to make it more interactive and to provide a deeper engagement to the travelers visiting the website. With the help of Adobe solution suite, the Ministry of Tourism will now be able to engage effectively with visitors across Web & Social channels and measure engagement.

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Pandaw Expeditions to debut in India with Kolkata-Farraka river cruise from Dec 23

Pandaw Expeditions has announced the launch of an India river expedition that will take guests on a journey along The Lower Ganges, aboard the stately, Orient Pandaw. The seven-night, Lower Ganges sailing from Kolkata to Farraka, will debut on December 23, 2018, and will offer weekly departures until the end of April 2019. It will re-commence in July 2019 through to April 2020. Marco Rosa, Vice President Sales & Marketing, recently in India to oversee the project announced the appointment of www.travel-reps.com, a market representation & consulting firm, based in New Delhi, as the exclusive, in-market representative for www.pandaw.com to create, develop and implement a sales & marketing mandate and deliver on the objectives for www.pandaw.com from India as a source market. Also speaking on the occasion, Ashish Saran, CEO of www.travel-reps.com, welcomed the decision and said “ We are proud and delighted with this decision and hope to be a worthy in-market partner for www.pandaw.com. We will be responsible to promote and deliver sales from the India marketplace for not only the forthcoming project in West Bengal, India but also the complete fleet of ships operating in South East Asia. There is a high level of interest amongst the travel trade in India and we hope to work collectively to develop the market and deliver on the targets from India.”

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