Tourism Breaking News

IATO brainstorms on key issues on the first day

With a day stacked with business sessions focusing on imperative issues and state presentations, the audience was treated with intense discussions on day one of the two-day convention in Vishakhapatnam. The day started with the conventional IATO Run for Responsible Tourism in the morning. The first session of the day aimed to highlighted the challenges of touching the ambitious milestone of 20 million foreign tourist arrivals within the next few years. The panelists also touched upon the ways in which this can be achieved. The second session brought together members of key hotel companies face to face with tour operators to discuss what both industries can do to help the other since it is getting harder and harder to do business, whether it is the hotels or the travel trade.  The following session had an all-women panel who spoke about their personal experiences that are evidence that India is a safe country. However, they did present ways in which the safety of women travellers could improve. The final panel discussion, moderated by Rajesh Mudgill, MD, Planet India Travels, deliberated on how to change one’s business to adapt to the changing mindset of today’s travellers. In between the state presentations and panel discussions, the audience also took advantage of individual presentations made by Nakul Anand, Chairman, FAITH; an informative session on how travel agents can use digital marketing by Avijit Arya, Founder, Internet Mogul.  

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Domestic air traffic rise to 21.79% from January-July YOY: DGCA

Domestic air traffic has grown by 21.79 per cent from January-July YOY, according to a latest report by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Passengers carried by domestic airlines during January-July 2018 were 800.40 lakhs as against 657.21 lakhs during the corresponding period of previous year. The passenger load factor in the month of July has shown a declining trend compared to previous month primarily due to the end of tourist season, the report said.

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15 per cent increase in travellers to, from and within India: IATA

In 2017, more than 158 million passengers flew on routes to, from and within India, according to a report by IATA, titled ‘The Future is Bright… But Not Without Its Challenges’. This represents an increase of almost 15 per cent over 2016 and is the third consecutive year of growth in the order of 15-20 per cent per year. The reports for 2018 year-to-date suggest that India is on track to record a fourth straight year of double-digit passenger growth. The strong performance of air passenger demand growth in India has not been confined to just the past few years, however; the total number of air passengers has more than doubled over the past seven years, from a level of 79 million journeys undertaken in 2010, the report said.

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39% of Indians plan travel during weekends: Amadeus

About 39 per cent of Indians do most of their travel planning during weekends, which is higher than the regional average of 32 per cent, according to Amadeus’ Journey of Me Insights report. This is followed by other options like 24 per cent during holidays, 17 per cent after work on weekdays and 13 per cent while at work . Only 7 per cent of respondents plan their travel while commuting from one place to another, the report said.

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Mauritius plans to attract 1.2 lakh Indian tourists in 2020

Mauritius is aiming to attract 1.2 lakh Indian tourists in 2020, up from 88,000 people expected to visit the island nation this year, a senior official from that country said. At a recent four-city India roadshow organised by Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA), Arvind Bundhun, Director, MTPA, said that 80,000 tourists from India had visited his country last year. “In the last four years, Mauritius tourism has seen double digit growth, with Indian tourists contributing significantly to this. We are looking to attract 1.2 lakh Indian tourists to our country in 2020,” Bundhun said. He said that Mauritius has positioned itself as an affordable luxury destination which offers tourists different activities like golf, spa, sky diving, zip lining among others. “In order to create more visibility, we are inviting celebrities and top CEOs from India to Mauritius. Special packages are being offered to promote incentive trips,” Bundhun informed. He added that the wedding segment remains an attractive niche, with a lot of newly-wed Indians choosing Mauritius as a honeymoon destination. Bundhun said that Bollywood was also finding Mauritius attractive with its film promotion policy, adding that some Indian movies had been shot there recently. “Between October 17-19, the Mauritius Film Development Corporation is organising cinema week and a number of Bollywood stars have been invited there. The government has put in place special incentives to shoot movies in our country,” he said.

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Sarovar Hotels & Resorts signs Yeha Hotel in Ethiopia

Expanding its overseas portfolio, Sarovar Hotels has announced the signing of its latest project in Africa with Yeha Hotel – A Sarovar Premiere Hotel, a luxury property in Axum, Ethiopia. This development signifies Sarovar’s focus on Africa and the latest addition to its existing portfolio of properties in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. Yeha Hotel- A Sarovar Premiere Hotel will be a modern, luxurious development with a revolving restaurant and bar. It will also have the latest amenities in conferencing and meeting, a swimming pool, water amusement park and a kid’s playground. In the first phase, it will launch with 78 keys in October 2019, with plan to expand to 222 keys by 2021. Ajay K Bakaya, Managing Director, Sarovar Hotels, says, “The hotel is an important addition to our rapidly growing footprint in Africa and reflects the strong traction the brand is gaining in the region.  We see great growth potential in this market with high demand and this development makes a momentous step in our growth and expansion strategy in the overseas market.” Some of the openings of Sarovar Hotels this year include hotels in Jaisalmer, Gorakhpur, Dehradun, Katra, Lusaka and Dar Es Salaam.  

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IATO’s 34th annual convention inaugurated in Visakhapatnam

The 34th annual convention of one of India’s biggest inbound travel trade associations, the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), started with a grand opening here in Visakhapatnam. Arriving on time for the inauguration, K J Alphons, Minister of State (IC) for Tourism, Govt of India, graced the event that saw an overwhelming attendance from IATO members pan India. The three-day event whose theme aims at 20 million foreign tourists by 2020, will debate on pertinent issues that India currently faces in reaching this milestone. At present, India welcomes approximately 11 million FTAs per year. The evening started with cultural performances local to Andhra Pradesh followed by welcome speeches from the IATO team and keynote addresses from various state dignitaries present. Kerala Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran, whop was present at the event has invited IATO to organise their next convention in the state.

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IATA appoints Bird Academy as regional training partner

With an aim to develop skilled human capital for the aviation industry, The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has appointed Bird Academy as their regional training partner in India. The partnership was made official during a signing ceremony between Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO, IATA and Radha Bhatia, Chairperson, Bird Group. Speaking on the partnership, Conrad Clifford, Regional Vice President- Asia Pacific, IATA said, “India is expected to treble to 520 million passengers travelling to, from or within by 2037. The demand for trained aviation professionals will continue to grow. We look forward to a successful partnership with the Bird Academy to fulfill India’s training requirements.”On the occasion, Bhatia also announced that India will be hosting the next IATA Global Training Partner Conference in April 2019.

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Vistara becomes British Airways’ only codeshare partner in India

Vistara and British Airways have signed a codeshare agreement, further deepening their already existing interline partnership. Under the agreement, British Airways will add its ‘BA’ designator code to approximately 60 Vistara-operated flights each day covering 13 Indian cities, including eight new virtual British Airways destinations, namely Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Goa, Kolkata, Kochi, and Pune. Additionally, the BA code will also be put on Vistara flights between Mumbai and Amritsar, and Chennai and Kolkata. Sales under the codeshare agreement are open on all channels and major GDS systems for flights starting September 27, 2018. Commenting on this milestone partnership, Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara said, “We are delighted to extend our existing interline and through check-in partnership with British Airways to a codeshare agreement. This partnership reaffirms our commitment to taking India’s finest airline brand beyond Indian borders, and it gives us the opportunity of welcoming travellers from around the world to experience the ‘new feeling of flying’ in India with Vistara. We share a lot in common with British Airways, key among which is our focus on delighting customers. We are confident that our respective customers will truly enjoy the reciprocal benefits of this collaboration.” Rishi Kapoor, Head of Alliances, British Airways said, “We have been flying to India for more than 90 years, so it is incredibly exciting for us to be able announce this partnership with such a well-respected carrier.”  

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Immense scope for medical tourism between India and Netherlands: Ayush minister

There is an immense scope for cooperation in medical tourism between India and the Netherlands, Union minister of state for Ayush Shripad Yesso Naik said. The healthcare system in the Netherlands is one of the best in Europe, and there is a lot of potential to integrate traditional knowledge from India, he said at a seminar titled ‘India-Netherlands collaboration in Healthcare, including Ayurveda’ at Leiden. Ayush refers to traditional and non-allopathic medical systems in India. It includes ayurveda, yoga, unani, siddha, and homoeopathy. “India is the world’s largest producer of generic medicine and there is wide scope for medical value travel to India, both in conventional and alternative medical treatments such as Ayurveda,” Naik said at the seminar organised by the Indian Embassy in Hague. Emphasising that the scope for cooperation in the health sector between the two countries is immense, he said, “India and the Netherlands can work together closely to promote healthy living.” Asserting that both the countries have top class medical practitioners, Naik said the Netherlands with its 2.25 lakh Indian origin population can lead the way in promoting Indian traditional medicine across Europe. Addressing the seminar, Dutch minister for Medical Care and Sport Bruno Bruins said Ayurveda’s approach for healthcare differs for individuals and being healthy does not only mean being free from illness but also being independent, functional and participating in society. The Indian Ambassador to the Netherlands, Venu Rajamony, pointed out that the biggest health challenge the Netherlands faces is high costs and the need for care for an ageing population. Source PTI      

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