Tourism Breaking News

Tourism Breaking News ranks 2nd among Best Tourism Blogs on the Planet

Tourism Breaking News has been ranked second and  honoured with the Best Tourism Blogs on the Planet badge by Feedspot.com. With this achievement, Tourism Breaking News surpassed Google News Tourism as well, as the Google website ranked fourth while Tourism-Review.com bagged the top rank among thousands of tourism blogs. This is said to be the most comprehensive list of best tourism blogs on the internet and features mostly international websites from all over the world. Tourism Breaking News is also among the handful of news websites that features in the list as most of it are sites run by tourism boards which anyway attract a lot of traffic to the websites. The ranking has been made based on the following criteria: Google reputation and Google search ranking Influence and popularity on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites Quality and consistency of posts. Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review

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Now visa free travel for Indian tourists to Far East Russia

Tourists and businessmen from India and 17 other countries can now travel to Russia’s Far East without a visa, informed Dmitry Medvedev, the Prime Minister of Russia. In order to boost tourism and investment in the region, the nationals of these 18 countries will have simplified entry procedures into Russia through the free port of Vladivostok. According to Pavel Volkov, Deputy Minister, Development of the Far East, tourists and entrepreneurs will only be required to fill a form on the website of Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Applications will be approved within four days. Electronic single entry visas will be issued directly at the Russian border and will be valid for 30 days. The 17 countries apart from India include Algeria, Bahrain, Brunei, Iran, Qatar, China, North Korea, Kuwait, Morocco, Mexico, UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Tunisia, Turkey, and Japan. “I have recently approved the list of countries, whose nationals can take advantage of the preferential regime. We are proactively forming the modern infrastructure and creating special regimes in the far East; the law on visits to the Vladivostok free port was approved in March. This is not because these states are situated at a closer or longer distance – we are appropriately introducing bilateral agreements on visa-free travel for those ready to use such an approach for us,” said Medvedev. Volkov further said, “We’d like to see an increase in tourism to the region by at least 30 percent. Given the fact that every wealthy tourist spends at least $1,000 in the territory, we assume this will significantly increase the opportunities for the development of the region, trade turnover, and currency flows.” Source: Live Mint  

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Marriott to open 15-17 hotels in India’s tertiary markets in 2017

Marriott International has plans to open around 17 properties in India in 2017 and it is believed that most of the growth will be driven from the tertiary markets for the chain, revealed Neeraj Govil, Area Vice President-South Asia, Marriott International. The hotel chain has marked its entry into two new countries – Nepal and Sri Lanka – with major expansion plans for India as well. Govil said, “We have opened our first Fairfield in Kathmandu and will be opening a hotel in Sri Lanka which will mark our entry into these two countries. In India, we will be opening about 15-17 hotels in India in 2017 and most of the growth we would have is in the tertiary markets. We are looking to grow across the spectrum of segments. We now have 30 different brands globally so we plan to bring in new brands as well grow with the existing brands. India is second in terms of growth after China in the Asia Pacific region for us.” Speaking about life after the merger with Starwood, Govil adds, “We merged on the 23 September and it has been great so far. We have managed to synergise on a lot of programs we were looking to and we are very much on track. Cultural integration will take much more time. We have now set up the corporate structure in South Asia. We have also got the right talent from both sides of the legacy organisations on board. We are now looking to leverage the economies of scale that we have as a result of this integration. For us, it is about maximising top and bottom line opportunities and look to have the best in …

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Goa puts tourist safety as number one priority

Goa’s new tourism minister, Manohar Azgaonkar, has outlined his priorities for tourism this year with safety and security of tourists topping the list. He has said, “We have set the agenda for tourism in Goa, with safety and security of tourist being our number one priority for the tourism department. The Goa government through the Home department is augmenting  budgets  for improving  safety and security measures in the state keeping in mind  the tourism  industry and the importance of providing  a safe  holiday for tourists visiting Goa.” From 27.88 lakhs tourist arrivals in 2012, the number went up to 63.30 lakhs arrivals in 2016 reflecting an increase of 44 per cent in both domestic and foreign arrivals to the state. Of this, almost 6.80 lakhs are international tourists. The e-tourist visa alone contributed to one lakh tourists arrivals a year, with other arrivals by luxury cruise vessels, charters. While security measures  have been  augmented over the years at the  Goa airport,  security measures at the State borders have  also been tightened giving tourists a sense of  surety  on the safety cover  available  in the State  right from point  of arrival. Safety measures at hotels, tourist spots and across the state is visible and increasing substantially. A  safety  and security cover on the beach through a 100 odd IRB force,  more than  600 lifeguards, special women taxi services  and  CCTV cameras at  several tourist locations  have  added  more impetus on safety measures in the state. The State government through the Department of Tourism have availed of  funds  under the Swadesh Darshan scheme for installing CCTV cameras  on the beach belt. The first phase  which covers  Sinquerim to Keri  is already in progress  …

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Jet, Virgin enhance India-USA connectivity via Heathrow

Jet Airways and Virgin Atlantic have announced a further expansion of their codeshare agreement between India and the United States, which will make it even easier for guests to tailor their trip by combining flights from Jet Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines in a single booking. From April 19, 2017, Jet Airways guests travelling between India and the United States can connect through London Heathrow on to nine US destinations operated by Virgin Atlantic; Atlanta, Boston, Newark, Washington (IAD), New York, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco and Seattle. This expansion builds on the existing agreement between Jet Airways and Virgin Atlantic in place since 2009 – enabling Virgin Atlantic guests to travel on Jet Airways operated services between Mumbai and London Heathrow in addition to the airline’s own direct Delhi to London service. In 2015, this codeshare was extended on to Jet Airways domestic services allowing Virgin Atlantic guests to travel between London Heathrow and five destinations across India via Delhi or Mumbai. Gaurang Shetty, Whole-time Director, Jet Airways, said, “Offering greater choice and connectivity to our guests has always been a hallmark of our network strategy. The new codeshares build on the success of our ongoing cooperation with Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic over London Heathrow and will provide our guests with more connectivity to and within the United States. Further, our loyalty program partnership will also enable the frequent flyers of both carriers to accrue and redeem their miles across each other’s entire network.”

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Hyatt to open new property in Lucknow, Kochi

After the recent opening of its new property in Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, Hyatt India has plans to expand further in India in Lucknow and Hyderabad. Kurt Straub, Vice President-Operations, Hyatt India Consultancy Private Limited, reveals, “The next two years for us will be positive and interesting as we have a number of developments coming up in a number of cities in India. We have recently opened the Hyatt Place in Rameshwaram, and we have the Hyatt Regency in Lucknow coming up very soon as well as Hyatt Place in Hyderabad which will be our third hotel in Hyderabad. A really big opening will be our Grand Hyatt Kochi.”

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Singapore Airlines & SilkAir sign codeshare with Air France-KLM

Singapore Airlines (SIA) and its regional subsidiary SilkAir have signed a codeshare agreement with Air France-KLM, which would come into effect from April 27, 2017. According to an official statement, under the agreement, Singapore Airlines will add its ‘SQ’ designator code to Air France-operated flights beyond Paris to 10 destinations – Aberdeen, Bordeaux, Edinburgh, Lisbon, Lyon, Madrid, Marseille, Newcastle, Nice and Toulouse. On the other hand, Air France will add its ‘AF’ designator code to Singapore Airlines-operated flights beyond Singapore to Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, as well as on SilkAir-operated flights to Kuala Lumpur and Penang in Malaysia, and Phuket in Thailand. Both the airlines would later discuss opportunities to expand the code-share to other airlines within their respective groups. The agreement is intended to provide customers more options and seamless connectivity when travelling between Australia, Southeast Asia and Europe. The airlines will also explore the possibility for Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer and Air France-KLM’s Flying Blue members to earn and redeem miles when travelling on the code-share flight segments

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Israel offers 5-year multiple entry business visa for Indians

Israel is going to offer five-year multiple entry visa for Indian businessmen. The move is to improve the bilateral trade between the two countries, especially with the scheduled visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Israel, tentatively in July this year. Visa has been a major point of discussion between the two countries for many years. The easing of business visa might be followed by easing of visa process for Indian tour groups as well. According to Amir Halevi, Director General of Israel Tourism, the country is planning to ease visa norms for Indians thinking of visiting Israel. An embassy statement quoting Ambassador Daniel Carmon said the initiative was part of the growing partnership between India and Israel.

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Odisha Tourism plans to strengthen Buddhist Tourism Circuit

Odisha Tourism has set a target to provide quality infrastructure services at all Buddhist sites in the next one year. According to Nitin Jawale, Tourism Director, Government of Odisha, promotional activities in six South Asian countries will be increased this year. Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister, Government of Odisha, also urged the stakeholders in tourism industry to promote Odisha’s Buddhist sites. “The Government aims to promote the rich Buddhist legacy of Odisha. Whether Buddha visited the state or not may be matter of debate, but no one can deny the prominent position Buddhism had in Kalinga, even before the Kalinga War,” Patnaik reportedly said during the 4th Kalinga International Buddhist Conclave in Bhubaneshwar. He further added that Odisha is the only state with a unique distinction of having a continuous living tradition of Buddhism in villages like Maniabandha, Naupatna, Ragadi and Mahammadpur. Jawale informed that the tourism department also has plans to bring Buddhist relics that were excavated from Lalitgiri to the State Museum for public viewing at regular intervals. They will be finally relocated from the strong room of the Archaeological Survey of India’s (ASI) Bhubaneswar circle office to a museum near Lalitgiri by the end of December.

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Garuda hosts Open House for the travel trade

Garuda Indonesia recently hosted an Open House for the travel trade in Mumbai in association with Visit Indonesia Tourism Office. The airline has appointed Bird Travels as its GSA that has eight offices across India. The purpose of the event was to create awareness about the airline’s new office in Mumbai and informing the trade about the various opportunities available to promote Indonesia as a destination. Garuda Indonesia recently inaugurated its office in Mumbai. Product presentation was given to the travel fraternity to update them more on Garuda Indonesia Services and to promote Indonesian destinations beyond Bali. To enable passengers to take advantage of the summer holiday season, Garuda Indonesia is running a special return promotional fare valid for travel until April 26, 2017. Mumbai to Jakarta and Denpasar (Bali) all-inclusive Economy class return fares starts from Rs. 22,000 and Business class from Rs. 58,000. (T&C apply) The fares are available for purchase from the Garuda Indonesia, Mumbai sales office and the appointed travel agents. Garuda Indonesia’s Jakarta-bound service operates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and is operated by Garuda’s state-of-the-art 162-seater, Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

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