Tourism Breaking News

Wide-bodied aircraft operations to restart at Calicut Airport

Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Civil Aviation, alongside KJ Alphons, Minister of State (I/C),  Tourism and Jayant Sinha, Minister of State, Civil Aviation, has announced that operations of wide-bodied aircraft will be restarting from Calicut Airport in Kerala. Accordingly, DGCA has accepted the safety assessment and advised AAI for commencing operations of A330 and B-777 aircraft of Saudi Arabian Airlines with strict compliance with the mitigation measures to ensure safety operations. In future, any other airline may also start operations at the airport. With this move, a long standing demand of the people in Kerala as well as of the airline has been met. The minister also announced that in future, Calicut Airport could be used as an embarkation point for Haj operations too.

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Breakthrough technological developments for railways this September

India’s much-awaited high-speed train sets will roll-out on September 30, 2018. By next year, these train sets will replace most of the Shatabdi trains. Ashwani Lohani, Chairman, Railway Board, highlights that these trains will be a technological breakthrough for the railways at the Iconic forum in New Delhi. The train has some striking features to enhance passenger comfort. The most prominent feature is that all coaches are interconnected by fully sealed gangways to enable passenger movement from one coach to another.  

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GPS kick-starts in Kochi with over 700 registrations

The Global Panaroma Showcase (GPS) in Kochi opened with over 700 registrations on the inaugural day at Le Meridien, Kochi. The guest for honour for the event was Ashwin Guna Sekeran, Chief Executive Officer, Penang Convention & Exhibitons Bureau. The show was inaugrated by Anish Kumar PK, President, Association of Tourism Trade Organisations India (ATTOI); Ross Masood, Chaiman, TAAI Kerala Chapter; Balu Abraham Varughese, Manager, Central & South Kerala, Oman Air, among others. The day concluded with insightful knowledge sessions by various exhibitors.

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Vienna witnesses 4.1% rise in Indian visitors during Jan-June 2018

Vienna has witnessed a 4.3 per cent rise in Indian tourists this year with 66,828 bed nights in the first six months. India is one of the high growth tourist markets for Vienna along with China and Russia. Last year in the same period, 64,075 Indians winged their way to Vienna. Tourist arrivals rose to 30,445 in January-Jun 2018 recording a growth of 5% (compared to 29,022 the same period last year). June 2018 saw a growth of near 8 per cent with Indian travellers recording 23,499 bed nights. Tourist arrivals grew 11.7 per cent to 10,659 in the Jan-June 2018 period from 9543 in the year ago period. The rising number of Indian travellers to the city of castles and palaces has been aided by growing direct air connectivity. Air India had been operating a direct Delhi-Vienna flight three days a week. This year, the Maharaja added one more flight to the Austrian capital in its summer schedule enhancing seating capacity by 33 per cent.

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Revamped Incredible India website witnesses 1.6 mn visitors in less than two months

Since the launch of a revamped version of Incredible India website, 1.6 million visitors have visited the website as on August 2, 2018, engaging in the immersive experience of India’s heritage, festivity, spirituality, museums and adventure. The composition of website traffic from the top five countries are Russia (19%), India (12%), UK (10%), US (9%) and Italy (6%). The website showcases India as a holistic destination, revolving around major experiences such as spirituality, heritage, adventure, culture, yoga, wellness and more. It follows the trends and technologies of international standards, that aims to project India as a “must-visit” destination, among its overseas travellers. It has many useful features to make it more interactive and to provide a deeper engagement to the travellers visiting the website. The new site now allows the Ministry of Tourism to engage effectively with visitors across web and social channels and measure engagement, to deliver real time personalised experiences for each visitor, based on their interest and travel persona. The website also brings online a series of compelling visuals, which will give the user an immersive experience of India’s spectacular heritage, festivity, spirituality, museums and adventure.

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OYO enjoys robust business growth in China while continuing dominance in India

Expanding its presence in China in November 2017, OYO has grown its presence in the country by 50,000 exclusive rooms with a strong presence in cities including Hangzhou, Xian, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Xiamen and Kunming among others. It recently launched its exclusive hotels in Hulunbeier City, Sanya City and Hainan Province. Commenting on the business performance, Ritesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, OYO said, “We are thrilled with the response OYO Hotels has received in China. It is well-established that there is a great demand for good-quality accommodation among the 400 MM middle income people in the country. July was a milestone month where we added 25,000 rooms to our chain and look forward to achieving a similar feat in the coming months. It’s been a truly exciting journey for us and we believe that the innovation and R&D being offered in China will assist us and the mission globally.” With its unique business model, OYO works in close proximity with its hotel partners while ensuring a quality living experience to guests, promising benefits to both. In India, OYO has a 100,000-exclusive-rooms strong chain with a presence in over 160 cities with Malaysia and Nepal as the other two international destinations where the chain is present.

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South African Tourism appoints Neliswa Nkani as Hub Head—Middle East, India & SE Asia

South Africa Tourism has recently announced the appointment of Neliswa Nkani as Hub Head—Middle East, India and South East Asia at a networking dinner hosted in Mumbai for the travel trade. Hanneli Slabber now takes charge as the General Manager— Asia, Australasia and Middle East for South Africa Tourism. The event of Nkani’s appointment was attended by Sthembiso Dlamini, Chief Operating Officer (COO), South African Tourism along with ML Ramokgopa, Consul General—South African Consulate, Mumbai.

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MOT announces visa on arrival for tourists from South Korea

The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, has announced to roll out the facility of Visa-on-Arrival (VoA) to the nationals of South Korea with effect from October 1, 2018. The facility will be available with double entry for a period of 60 days for business, tourism, conference and medical purposes at the country’s six major international airports which are Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.  

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TAT Mumbai appoints Cholada Siddhivarn as new Director

Cholada Siddhivarn has been appointed as Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand in Mumbai. She and her team in Mumbai will cover western and southern India as well as Sri Lanka and the Maldives. The announcement was made at a recently held Open to the New Shades networking dinner in Mumbai. Siddhivarn was previously the director of Europe, Africa, Middle East and the Americas Marketing Group at TAT head office. She has been working with Tourism Authority of Thailand over 20 years now. With such a vast experience, Siddhivarn will continue to enhance travel trade and media relations in order to promote newer destinations in Thailand and boosting arrivals from India to Thailand in the coming years. Talking on the occasion, Siddhivarn quoted, “I am very excited to take up this new opportunity and starting a fresh in the city of dreams – Mumbai. India is a very important country for Thailand in terms of tourism as well as trade. I look forward to encouraging women travellers, showcasing local experiences at the destination and boosting arrivals from India”. She considers India to be one of the important markets for Thailand and hopes to showcase different aspects of Thailand to the Indian traveller.

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200 exhibitors expected at India International Hospitality Expo 2018

Scheduled to be held from August 8-11, the India International Hospitality Expo 2018 will take place at India Expo Centre & Mart, Greater Noida Expressway. This mega show aims at making hospitality industry a catalyst for economic growth. With over 200 exhibitors and over 8,000 visitors, this show is the first chapter of country’s largest and most comprehensive sourcing hub for the hospitality, retail, baking, housekeeping and F&B industry. Hari Dadoo, President, IHE 2018, says, “I was trying for the last few years to create an international platform for hospitality professionals where the manufacturers can showcase whatever they have to offer to this sector. Also, people from across the world are coming to sell their products in India while the manufacturers based in India are not able to do the same in their own country. So, it was a dream for me to give an opportunity to them.” Rakesh Kumar, Chairman, IEML & Executive Director, EPCH, says, “This mega congregation caters to the powerful trio of food products, F&B equipment and décor solutions along with the key decision makers including producers, distributors, marketers, service providers, restaurant and hospitality companies, and the entire gamut, who are shaping the hospitality industry.” The event will also see the inauguration by Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Cabinet Minister of Food Processing Industry, interaction of Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation with the industry and a fashion show curated by Sunil Sethi Design Alliance and food menu by Chef Manjit Gill in the Banaras Evening.  

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