Tourism Breaking News

Ethiopia launches e-visa service for all international visitors

The Ethiopian Immigration and Nationality Affairs Main Department in collaboration with Ethiopian Airlines has recently launched an e-visa service for all international visitors to Ethiopia. The e-visa is processed and issued online on a single webpage where applicants apply, pay and secure their entry visa online. Once the application is approved, applicants will receive an email authorising them to travel to Ethiopia and they will get their passport stamped with the visa upon arrival in Addis Ababa. Regarding the newly revamped service, Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO, Ethiopian Airlines remarked, “Ethiopia, the oldest independent civilisation in Africa and one of the oldest in the world, is endowed with historical places, natural beauty, colourful and diverse cultural activities and various endemic wild animals which are of great interest to international tourists. However, we have not made best use of these natural resources to attract large number of tourists. To this effect, this project is part of a new national initiative to transform the tourism sector in the country.” Gebreyohannes Teklu, Director – Main Department for Immigration & Nationality Affairs commented, “We are glad that we have been working together with Ethiopian Airlines for the effective implementation of e-visa facilities at Bole International Airport. Now international visitors to Ethiopia, from any country in the world will make use of this service.”

Read More »

MTDC launches e-brochure of Lonar Lake

Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has launched an e-brochure of Lonar Crater, reported as a national geo-heritage monument, located at Lonar in Buldhana district of Maharashtra. It was launched by Jaykumar Rawal, Minister of Tourism & (EGS), Government of Maharashtra, in the presence of Vijay Kumar Gautam (IAS), Principal Secretary, Department of Tourism and Culture, Government of Maharashtra and MD, MTDC. Lonar Crater is a saline lake created by a meteor impact during Pleistocene Epoch and is one of the largest, most exclusive basalt impact craters on the globe. This brochure includes all the information about the Lonar crater and the famous tourist destinations near the lake. In addition to this, MTDC is in process of developing a new Planetarium, Museum and a Research Centre near the crater which will help highlight the history behind the formation of this crater. This initiative will offer economic benefits to the local communities, increase tourist footfall and generate employment opportunities in Buldhana.

Read More »

Private Safaris Southern Africa appoints representation agency in India

Private Safaris Southern Africa, a leading destination management company based in South Africa and Namibia, has recently appointed The Strategy Store as its representative in India. Talking about the appointment, Monika Iuel, CEO, Private Safaris Southern Africa says, “The Private Safaris brand has always enjoyed a healthy support from the Indian market. By partnering with The Strategy Store, and through their excellent relationships and reputation, we will no doubt improve our footprint even further. We look forward to the presence our new partnership with The Strategy Store will bring us.” Commenting on the development, Sherry Varma, Founder, The Strategy Store said, “We have a very emotional connection to South Africa, and we are extremely happy to be assigned the task of handling marketing and sales for Private Safaris Southern Africa in India. Private Safaris’ competitive packages and quality of services will help us to develop and multiply their market share in India. We are very thankful to Private Safaris for this opportunity and are very excited to be part of the team.” Private Safaris arranges all aspects of destination management services in Southern Africa for FITs, groups, business and leisure.

Read More »

OYO, Motherland partner to co-develop a series of new hotel formats

OYO has formed a strategic partnership with Motherland Joint Ventures, the group that has helped build India’s global brands, including Incredible India, Royal Enfield, Make in India and IndiGo. This partnership will enable OYO and Motherland to co-develop a series of exciting new hotel formats and enhance various aspects of customer experience – including key touch points such as Interiors and ergonomics – all of which will offer guests an unprecedented combination of style, efficiency and affordability. This category transformation process began in 2017 with the launch of OYO Townhouse, the ‘friendly neighbourhood  hotel’ that is receiving rave reviews as it rapidly expands across the country. This alliance will facilitate and strengthen OYO’s mission of creating beautiful living spaces via its innovative approach to brand strategy, product definition and customer experience design. As part of this strategic partnership, OYO and Motherland will be launching a massive new retail collaboration that will feature a mix of original products specially designed for new age brands such as OYO Townhouse. Initially available exclusively at OYO Townhouses, Motherland products will soon be available at other OYO spaces, including online channels. Commenting on the partnership, Ritesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, OYO said, “In our pursuit of creating beautiful living spaces, the partnership with Motherland will enable us to co-develop new, exciting hotel formats and enhance guest experiences – including Interiors and ergonomics – offering guests an unprecedented mix of style, efficiency and affordability. We are confident the Motherland alliance will augment OYO’s overall value propositions through their skills in brand strategy, marketing and designing.”  

Read More »

Sterling Holiday Resorts launches first comprehensive holiday insurance

Sterling Holiday Resorts has launched India’s first comprehensive holiday insurance for all Sterling guests. The insurance provides cover for trip cancellation, personal accident, emergency accident related treatment, legal liability, misplaced luggage, delayed and missed flights and more. This comprehensive holiday insurance is powered by Digit Insurance, a Fairfax company. According to Ramesh Ramanathan, Managing Director, Sterling Holiday Resorts, “The comprehensive holiday insurance ensures a worry-free holiday experience. We want our guests to enjoy the unique experiences at our resorts and destinations without any travel-related stress. This is the first time when a holiday company is offering a door to door cover. The insurance offers a total of nine unique benefits, including coverage for flight delays, missed flights and misplaced luggage.” Kamesh Goyal, Chairman, Digit Insurance, said, “Our comprehensive insurance solutions have been developed by identifying the gaps in the market and keeping in mind the requirements of customers. The insurance is backed by a seamless & easy claim settlement process. We look forward to serve Sterling Holidays’ customers and help them have a worry-free holiday experience.” The insurance covers guests from 24 hours before check-in date to 24 hours after check-out date and would be complimentary for Sterling guests in the initial period.  The insurance is issued once the guests confirm to avail the free insurance, after booking with Sterling.  

Read More »

Representation World to represent Reunion Island Tourism Board again

Representation World has been appointed as the official India representative for Reunion Island Tourism for the fourth time in a row. Speaking on re-appointing the company as their face in India, William Techer, Head of Promotion & Marketing India, Reunion Island Tourism Board, said, “We are extremely happy to announce Representation World as our official India representative. Under their focused aegis, we have delivered various successful campaigns in the past and tourist arrivals from India to the destination has increased to multiple folds. We are very happy to associate with them and look forward for another encouraging inning with them. India is a promising market and there is a huge opportunity for Reunion Island to tap this burgeoning market. We will also be introducing new marketing strategies and few innovative campaigns, exclusively for India market that will further strengthen India and Reunion Island travel, relationships.” Vineet Gopal, Director – India, Reunion Island Tourism Board shared, “We are extremely happy and feel proud to be appointed as India representative for the Reunion Island Tourism Board. This country has a lot to offer to Indian travellers and there is lot to be explored and experience there. We will ensure that we keep up doing good work and will deliver as per the expectation of the tourism board”. Representation World has already started the activities from June 2018 and will take over all the India market activities from immediate effect.

Read More »

India to become 2nd fastest growing nation for passenger traffic: ACI

India has been projected to be the second fastest growing country in the world for passenger traffic by the Airports Council International (ACI) in its traffic forecasts between 2017-40. ACI has put Vietnam at the top position with a 8.4 per cent growth rate, followed by India at 7.5 per cent and Iran at 7.3 per cent. China has been placed at the 8th position with 5.9 per cent growth rate. In its forecasts, the ACI said by 2022, passenger traffic in emerging economies like India would surpass advanced economies. By 2040, international passenger traffic would attain parity with domestic traffic, meaning more and more number of people would travel off shore with heightened economic activities, it said. By 2022, passenger traffic in emerging economies would touch 5.4 billion, slightly ahead of advanced economies at 5.3 billion. Source: PTI

Read More »

MakeMyTrip-OYO deal: Independent hoteliers raise concern

A group of independent hotel owners who have their properties listed on MakeMyTrip met with executives of the Nasdaq-listed company last month, raising concerns about its commercial agreement with hospitality company OYO. Tens of hoteliers, who are also members of Delhi Hotels and Restaurants Owners Association, met MakeMyTrip (MMT) officials individually and sought assurances that its arrangement with SoftBank-backed OYO would not affect bookings and revenues independent hotels earned from the MMT and Goibibo platforms. They have given us verbal assurances that there will be no disruptions and OYO will not favoured over independent hotels,” said Sandeep Khandelwal, president of the association that claims to represent about 400-500 small and mid-sized budget hotel establishments. “MakeMyTrip has over 40,000 hotels listed on its platform, a significant portion of which are small independent establishments. The arrangement with OYO should not affect us,” said Khandelwal who owns Hotel Shri Nanak Continental in Delhi. A second independent hotel owner who has met with MMT executives said that since the announcement of the MakeMyTrip and OYO agreement, ratings and reviews of the latter’s properties had improved substantially on the online travel platform. A MakeMyTrip spokesperson, however, said the company had not negotiated with any association, but has been in touch with its partner hotels as part of its regular business outreach.  “As part of our regular business, we have frequent direct meetings with our hotel partners. We have had no meeting with any such association, nor have we been approached by one,” the spokesperson said. Source: ET Online

Read More »

Airport services highest revenue earner for AAI

According to Airports Authority of India’s Annual Report 2016-17, aeronautical revenues for AAI are dominated by ANS charges (Route Navigation Facilities charges and Terminal Navigational Landing charges) whereas its non-aeronautical revenues come from commercial operations at airports like retail, F&B, car parking, other concessions and rentals in terminals and city side premises. Lease revenues from major airports like Mumbai, Delhi, etc accounts for significant contribution in AAI’s revenues. Contribution of cargo revenues to AAI’s total revenues remain marginal. AAI registered growth of more than 15 per cent and 22 per cent in its revenues and profits after tax respectively in the financial year 2016-17 as compared to the financial year 2015-16. Main factors for increase in revenue are increase in route navigational charges and terminal landing charges; increase in landing, housing and parking charges; increase in passenger service fee; increase in other revenue like trading concession, rent and services, cargo, UDF and other miscellaneous revenue.

Read More »

Free WiFi at 400 railway stations

After launching its first free WiFi service from Mumbai Central station in January 2016, Google has announced the completion of the free service at 400 railway stations across India in collaboration with RailTel, the telecom arm of Indian Railways. Dibrugarh in Assam has become the 400th railway station to get the free WiFi service from Google, the company said. Indian Railways had signed an MoU with Google in December, 2015 to launch the service, which offers thirty minutes of free internet access. The average data consumption per user per session has been recorded around 350MB. The project has succeeded in its mission of bringing connectivity to millions of unconnected Indians, leveraging on the nationwide optic fiber network backbone created by RailTel. Within the first year of the project’s launch, 100 of the busiest railway stations across India were brought online, enabling 15,000 people to experience the internet for the first time every day, it said. “With over 8 million monthly unique users connecting to the network, this is a lighthouse project for India and every growing economy that is looking to bring the benefit of connectivity to everyone in their country,” Google India Director Partnership Next Billion Users K Suri said. K Manohar Raja, Executive Director (Enterprise Business) at RailTel said the endeavour has been to bridge the experience divide by providing one of the fastest public WiFi networks in the world. Source: ET Online

Read More »