Tourism Breaking News

Spain crosses 100,000 arrival mark from India

The Tourism Office of Spain in Mumbai has revealed that it has crossed the 100,000-mark as far as Indian arrivals were concerned in 2016. Ignacio Ducasse, Director and Tourism Counsellor, Tourism Office of Spain, Mumbai, says, “Spain registered 105,646 Indian arrivals in 2016, an increment of 17.08 per cent over the previous year. In this way, for the first time it has surpassed the number of 100,000 tourists coming from India. Our latest data indicates that their average stay was seven to eight nights which makes it a total of approximately 780,000 nights. The main destinations that Indian tourists visited continue to be Barcelona, Madrid, Andalusia, Valencia and Ibiza. However, there is some interest in new destinations such as Bilbao, Mallorca and Canary Islands.” In addition, data collected during the first half of 2017 suggests that the growth in the number of arrivals from India will be even greater during this year.

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The Lodhi, now a ‘Leading Hotel of the World’

The Lodhi in New Delhi has now come under the The Leading Hotels of the World portfolio. The city property reflects a dynamic, new interpretation of simple and easy luxury. Spanning across seven acres on the green edge of Lutyens Delhi, the hotel is just across the road from the Delhi Golf Course. Guests can relish exotic delicacies at the restaurants, and enjoy the cool ambiance of the courtyards and public areas. It also preserves a sense of seclusion, peace and club-like atmosphere in its eight floors of guest accommodation. The property was extensively renovated in 2013, with all rooms and suites featuring private balconies. The hotel is in close proximity to the Lodhi Gardens, as well as many stylish shopping precincts.

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Sandeep Dwivedi takes on the role of COO at ITQ

Sandeep Dwivedi has been elevated to the post of Chief Operating Officer (COO) at InterGlobe Technology Quotient (ITQ) to lead the overall responsibility of ITQ’s growing operations including strategic business development and implementing growth strategies. Having previously led the position as Chief Commercial Officer at ITQ and served in InterGlobe Group of companies in different capacities, he has demonstrated spectacular leadership competency with company’s growth in the market. With over 25 years in executive management and business supervisory roles, he spearheads commercial strategy and business growth in the organisation.

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Indonesia to promote 10 destinations with its new ‘Beyond Bali’ campaign

The Ministry of Tourism in Indonesia is planning to improve the tourism potential of 10 new destinations through its initiative- ‘Beyond Bali’. Under this initiative, top 10 priority destinations have been earmarked for accelerated development as ‘New Bali’ destinations. These destination include Lake Toba, Tanjung Kelayang, Tanjung Lesung, Seribu Islands, the Borobudur, Bromo-Tengger-Semeru cluster, Mandalika, Labuan Bajo, Wakatobi and Morotai, informed Saut Siringoringo, Consul General of Republic of Indonesia, Mumbai. According to official figures, during January-May 2017, as many as 183,558 Indians visited Indonesia, recording an increase of 20.72 per cent against the same period in 2016. India ranked sixth in terms of international tourist arrival in Indonesia with a growth of 28.42 per cent in 2016 over 2015. In terms of visitors to the island of Bali, India stood at fifth position in the same period with an increase in tourist inflow by 57.61 per cent. Of the 376,802 Indian tourists who visited Indonesia in 2016, Bali alone attracted 186,638 tourists. “Bali is an iconic destination in Indonesia occupying 60 per cent of tourist inflow to the country. Ministry of Tourism is determined to develop other destinations too under ‘Beyond Bali’ initiative. The results have already started to show as 12 million people visited the country in 2016. Our aim is to make it to 20 million visitors by 2019,” said Siringoringo. He informed that currently tourism stands in the fourth position in terms of contribution to the GDP of Indonesia which the destination is hoping to make the highest contributor by 2025-2030. “Countries like Malaysia are attracting one million Indians per year. We have realised the market potential of Indian tourists and improving air connectivity is our top concern,” …

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Kerala’s new tourism policy to focus on adventure

Sensing the immense and innumerable possibilities of promoting Kerala as a destination for ‘Adventure and Activity based Tourism’, the State Tourism Department is focusing on developing new projects to utilise the same, said Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran. Inaugurating a one day workshop organised by the department to give shape to its tourism policy, the Minister said that the need and time has come for the tourism department to evolve itself to cater to the needs of activity and adventure based tourism from now on. While the primary focus at the workshop had been to find new possibilities to take adventure tourism forward in the state, the minister stressed on the need to work closely and in coordination with the Forest Department to realise the goals in the adventure tourism sector. Kerala Tourism is currently planning to re-brand itself and find new avenues to take the sector forward in order to double the tourist arrivals by 2021. Keeping this in mind the department will now start a new ‘Tourist Circuit’ based out of North Kerala and will shift focus from areas it had been concentrating all this while to specifically give thrust to Adventure Tourism with the sole aim of attracting more youngsters to the state. Reiterating the commitment to responsible tourism the minister said that the state government has a definite stand in this regard which will be part of the Tourism Policy that the government will table at upcoming session of the state assembly. Environmental protection and raising the standard of living among the local population are the two primary objectives that the government will focus on as part of responsible tourism. The government will encourage and support new …

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Qatar offers visa-free entry to Indians

Citizens of 80 countries including India can now enter Qatar visa-free. Besides Indians, travellers from the UK, the US, Canada, South Africa, Seychelles, Australia and New Zealand will be able to enter Qatar visa-free. “Citizens of these 80 countries wishing to visit Qatar will not need to apply or pay for a visa,” Qatari officials announced in a release said. “A multi-entry waiver will be issued free-of-charge at the port of entry, upon presentation of a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months and a confirmed onward or return ticket,” the release added. “Depending on the nationality of the visitor, the waiver will either be valid for 180 days, and allow the visitor to spend a total of 90 days in Qatar (multiple-entry); or it will be valid for 30 days and entitle the visitor to spend up to 30 days in Qatar (multiple-entry) with the possibility of applying for an extension of the waiver for an additional 30 days,” it said. Hassan Al Ibrahim, Acting Chairman of Qatar Tourism Authority said: “With 80 nationalities eligible for a free visa waiver upon arrival, Qatar is now the most open country in the region and we are delighted to invite visitors to discover our renowned hospitality, cultural heritage and natural treasures.” In November 2016, Qatar introduced a free transit visa, which allows passengers of all nationalities transiting in Qatar for a minimum of five hours to stay in Qatar for up to 96 hours (four days). In May 2017, QTA and Qatar Airways launched +Qatar, a package which includes a free night’s stay in a 5- or 4- star hotel in Doha, alongside a complimentary transit visa. (Source: Economic …

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MTDC, MPT, MoS announce collective focus on cruise tourism

Mumbai witnessed the gathering of a high-level delegation from different ministries and government authorities who announced their collective plan and focus to develop cruise tourism. Sharing their perspectives were: Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Shipping, Government of India; JaykumarRawal, Minister of Tourism Government of Maharashtra; Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman, Mumbai Port Trust; Vijay Waghmare, MD, MTDC; and David Dingle, Chairman, Carnival UK. Titled ‘Dawn of Cruise in India’ the seminar was aimed at encouraging cruise tourism in India, more specifically Mumbai, by improving infrastructure, facilitating quick and easy movement of cruise passengers, and easing taxation for cruise companies. Gadkari identified the reasons why cruise tourism had not taken off in India. As one of the initial steps, all relevant government agencies such as port authorities, security agencies, immigration authorities, customs, and port health authorities were identified and formed a task force to first assess the current condition and then look at the global best practices. Speaking at the conference, Rawal said, “Maharashtra is pleased to be the homeport of choice for cruises in India. The association with the shipping Ministry mutually assist to formulate policies to support Maharashtra’s position as a cruise hub. Therefore, there is huge potential for cruise tourism among domestic as well as international travelers. Cruise tourism will assist to earn huge foreign exchange and generate job opportunities.”

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Skål India to now focus on Young Skal for growth

Skål India has a new focus area. It will look to Young Skål club for its next wave of growth. Informing this is Partha Chatterjee, President, Skål Mumbai who said, “Skål India has now crossed 1,000 member mark with Nikita Dossa – who is a Young Skål member – as its 1001st member from Bombay Skål Club. Most of the Skål clubs in India are now promoting Young Skål, with events structured specifically for them. This is because we expect the next area of membership growth will be from Young Skål.”

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Hyderabad Airport introduces India’s first Express Security Check facility

GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL), which operates Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), Hyderabad has announced that under the umbrella of GHIAL’s signature programme ‘Passenger is Prime’, and in collaboration with CISF, it has become the first airport in India to provide pre-embarkation security check right at the terminal’s entry gate. This will serve as ‘Express Security Check’ facility for domestic passengers travelling without any check-in baggage. Hyderabad Airport has earmarked a dedicated space at terminal entry point of departure level for the new ‘Express Security Check’ facility. The domestic passengers, after printing their boarding pass from the newly installed ‘self-service kiosks’ located conveniently at the departures forecourt area outside the terminal building, can now enter the Express Security Check lane without getting into the check-in area and head straight towards the boarding area. Currently, Hyderabad Airport handles more than 18,000 domestic departure passengers on daily basis, of which close to 40 per cent travel without any checked-in baggage, and carry at most only hand baggage. Recently the security check area at Hyderabad Airport was enhanced to offer over 40% more security lanes for domestic passengers. Additionally, a dedicated lane has also been earmarked for passengers with reduced mobility and airline crew members, helping them clear security check with minimum of hassles and waiting.

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HeliTaxi service from city to Bengaluru airport soon

Bengaluru will become the first city in the country to have a helicopter shuttle service by November 2017. The Heli Taxi services will become operational between the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) and Electronics City. Ministry of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha, who announced the launch, said that the service will ensure quick seamless transfers to and from the airport at a cost similar to luxury taxi fare. The fare of luxury taxis, which ply on this route (KIA and Electronics City), is between Rs 2,500 and Rs 3,000. Thumby Aviation Private Ltd has been roped in to offer the shuttle services. To begin with, the services will be from KIA to Electronics City and subsequently will be extended to Whitefield and HAL airport. The services are expected to begin in about three months as Thumby Aviation is in the process of seeking regulatory approvals. Thumby Aviation has two Bell 412 helicopters that can ferry 13 passengers and Bell 407 choppers that can carry five passengers. Source: IANS

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