Tourism Breaking News

24% increase in e- Tourist Visa arrivals in Oct 2019 as compared to Oct 2018

During the month of October, 2019 total of 2,77,062 tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 2,22,134 during the month of October, 2018 registering a growth of 24.7%, reveals Ministry of Tourism. During January- October 2019, a total of 21,75,727 tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 17,99,552 during January- October 2018, registering a growth of 20.9 per cent.

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37% of Indian sports fans ready to pay more for sports travel than family vacation

37% of Indian sports fans happily admit that they would be willing to pay more for sports travel than their family vacation, revealed a report by Booking.com. The report also revealed that 42% of Indian sports fans (highest globally) say that they would cancel their honeymoon if it clashed with their team/athlete playing a big game, vs. the global average of 19%.

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Cairo, Egypt: Continuous protests in Egypt increases travel concerns

Egypt photo

Some countries have updated their travel advisories for Egypt after advising tourists against travelling to the country of pyramids for longer durations. More than 2,300 people were arrested following a series of anti-government protests in September and now the government of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is cracking down on those who would defend them. These protests are impacting Egypt’s tourism, since the Cairo International Airport is the 2nd busiest airport in Africa, servicing about 15 million tourists annually. UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) updated its Travel Advisory for Egypt saying they no longer advise against all but essential travel by air to/from Sharm el-Sheikh, which is an Egyptian resort town between the desert of the Sinai Peninsula and the Red Sea. In the updated Travel Advisory, the UK’s FCO continues to advise against ‘all’ travel to the Governorate of North Sinai. The US Department of State updated its Level 2 Travel Advisory as well.

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Venice, Italy: High tides followed by heavy rainfall expected in flood-affected area

Venice Floods

With 28 per cent of Venice still flooded, Italy’s popular tourist destination, Venice is expected to receive high tides followed by heavy rainfall. Tourists have been forced to wear high boots to wade through the water to explore canals, architecture and art of the Italian city. 15 days back, over 80 per cent of the city was flooded. Now, the floods are expected to be reinforced. The Mayor of Venice has declared a state of emergency and has dispatched extra boats to serve as water ambulances to help people. The Italian government has pledged 20 Million Euro in funds to help with the clean-up operation.

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California, USA: Airlines caution travel to West Coast ahead of massive snowstorm

US Snowstrom

A number of airlines have issued travel advisories for cities and areas in the Western Coast of the United States, as a massive snowstorm is expected to hit the on one of the busiest travel days of the year, Thanksgiving. The winter storm is expected to impact travel throughout South Dakota, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, while a cyclone is expected to dump snow on California and Oregon. Storm alerts have been issued from the West Coast to New York, covering 26 states in total. Over 100 Million Americans are currently under alert for these two storms and airlines including American, Delta, Southwest and United have started issuing advisories and waiving change fees. Travelers are advised to check their flight statues frequently. Scattered rain showers will soak the East, while windy conditions in the Great Lakes and Northeast could cause delays at local airports. Snow is also expected to cover roadways from the Sierra Nevada to the interior West.

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New York, USA: Indian Consulate issues travel advisory for OCI cardholders

Owing to the Christmas and New Year holidays, a number of Indian origin travellers with the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card are facing difficulties to board flights to India from the US. The problem is happening with a few airlines such as Air India and Qatar Airways. It has been reported that travellers, who haven’t yet updated their OCI documents after getting their passports renewed, were not granted permission to board their flights to India. Now, the Indian immigration authorities are accepting an OCI card with old passport number only for those who are over 20 years. The solution to the problem as advised by the authorities is to carry both new and old passports along until the OCI card is not renewed.

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Jyoti Mayal is the new TAAI President (2019-2021)

Jyoti Mayal has been announced as the new TAAI President for the term 2019- 2021. Jay Bhatia, Tulsidas Khimji Holidays has been appointed as Vice President (Unopposed); Bettaiah Lokesh, Triway Travels has been elected as Hon. Secretary General and Shreeram Patel, Unicorn Travels has been elected as the Hon. Treasurer. Jyoti Mayal has been elected as the President of Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) for the term 2019-21. This was announced on November 28, 2019 at Hotel Sahara Star in Mumbai after TAAI’s 68th Annual General Meeting followed by the elections of the Office Bearers and members of the Managing Committee for the term 2019 – 2021. While Jay Bhatia was elected as the Vice President unopposed, Bettaiah Lokesh from Triway Travels is the Honorary Secretary General. Shreeram Patel of Unicorn Travels has been elected for the post of National Treasurer.    Jyoti Mayal, incoming President, TAAI, says, “My most important agenda is that we should have a very strong say with the government and the airlines. That can only happen when we are recognised as an industry. We need a unified procedure set by the government as to how we should operate as an industry. We will be able to achieve this only when we have the government on our side. Taxes are another thing which is very relevant like GST and TCS and we are suffering because of that. We are already in negotiations with the ministries and we are very hopeful that we will achieve our targets. There is also another thing that is very close to my heart and that is empowering women. Women are multi-taskers and we would like more women in the industry to …

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19 branded hotels with 1256 rooms open in Tier II & III cities in Q3: JLL

In a recent report released by JLL India, Hotel Momentum India (HMI) Q3 2019, 19 branded hotels with 1256 rooms open in Tier II & III cities in the third quarter of this year. However, Tier I cities opened 3 branded hotels with 218 rooms and signed 2 branded hotels with 74 rooms. The reports also shows that 4 luxury hotels were signed during the same quarter consisting 282 keys.

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Best Western to open 10 hotels in India by 2020

In a recent interview, Atul Jain, COO, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, India, Bangladesh & Sri Lanka, said, “Best Western is already one of the most popular international hotel brands in India, and apart from reinforcing its presence, we’re also focussed on opening hotels with other brands in the portfolio to show that we have much more to offer. We have been experiencing a remarkable growth and penetration into diverse markets in India in the past three years, and we hope to gather more pace with the opening of ten more hotels in the next six months that will take our tally to 2,000 operating keys. This would be followed by the opening of over 1,000 keys in the pipeline. The new hotels shall operate under Best Western, Best Western Plus, SureStay Plus and SureStay Hotel by Best Western brands in locations across India.”

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SriLankan Airlines commences code-shared flights with Air India from Delhi

SriLankan Airlines has commenced a code-shared, non-stop service between Toronto and Delhi with Air India, providing seamless connection to Colombo. Flights will operate on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays both to and from Toronto. The Delhi-Toronto flight AI187 will have the UL code UL3640; while the Toronto-Delhi flight AI188 will have the code UL3641. Travellers can now book their entire journey from Sri Lanka to Canada in one go , which they were unable to do earlier. The non-stop flight from Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport to New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport is supported by rapid connectivity to Colombo with connection times of just 4 hours for Colombo-Delhi-Toronto and 6 hours for Toronto-Delhi-Colombo. SriLankan and Air India currently codeshare on each other’s flights to a large number of destinations in South Asia, the Far East and the Indian Ocean region.

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