Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

Azerbaijan launches çampaign to double inbound tourism by 2023

Azerbaijan Tourism Board (ATB) has launched ‘Take another look’ campaign as part of its strategy to present a new portrait of the country, enhance its destination value and double the current in-bound tourism by 2023. The brand positioning and identity is an invitation to attract travellers to consider Azerbaijan from a unique point of view and discover its untold stories and secrets. With a new brand and the ‘Take another look’ promotional campaign, Azerbaijan will focus on increasing the number of tourists from a broader pool of countries throughout Europe, the Middle East, China, as well as Central and Southeast Asia. Azerbaijan Airlines, the flag carrier of Azerbaijan, has announced direct charter flights from India to Azerbaijan in 2019. Florian Sengstschmid, CEO, Azerbaijan Tourism Board, said, “As we encourage visitors to ‘Take another look’, we are inviting them to take a more in-depth look at Azerbaijan and immerse themselves in truly genuine cultural experiences. Guests will want to dig deeper into the country’s history and rich cultural heritage as they discover pleasant surprises and hidden gems throughout the year.” Indian passport holders are eligible for e-Visa to Azerbaijan, which is processed online within 3 hours through the new simplified electronic visa procedure. The new initiatives are expected to improve Azerbaijan’s ranking among countries with a high tourism contribution towards national GDP, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council 2018 Impact Report. It is forecasted to be at 6 per cent per annum over the course of the next 10 years ranking it amongst the world’s top 20 high-potential countries.

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Singapore organises MiCE seminar in Mumbai

With a track record of hosting Asia’s most prominent events, Singapore continues to deliver innovative solutions for the transfer of knowledge, ideas and connections to drive new possibilities for the MiCE sector in Singapore. Kicking off its first MiCE-focused event for 2019 in India, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) organised a MiCE thought leadership seminar in Mumbai with the theme ‘Meetings & Incentive Travel to Singapore – Forging New Possibilities’. The programme included a presentation by Gokul Bajaj, Head — Sales and Partnerships, Cvent, a cloud-based enterprise event management platform. This was followed by a panel discussion on how the MiCE industry can leverage technology to better engage audience. The panelists included Bajaj, Aikta Tyagi, Vice President & Head — Special Events, Amway India; SD Nandakumar, President & Country Head — B2B, SOTC Travel. The discussion was moderated by GB Srithar, Regional Director (South Asia, Middle East and Africa), Singapore Tourism Board. A team-building activity focusing on Lego Serious Play, conducted by Ludovic Odier, CEO, Outdoor in Asia, highlighted innovative, high-impact and experiential team engagement activities possible in Singapore for M&I travellers. The attendees were updated on new MiCE venues, incentive schemes provided by the STB and diverse and exciting array of experiences available in Singapore for M&I groups. The programme was well-attended with 150 Indian travel agents and 40 Singapore stakeholders representing hotels, airlines, attractions, Destination Management Companies (DMC) and cruise operators. Speaking on STB’s efforts to showcase Singapore as a destination of choice among the MiCE travellers, Srithar said, “India continues to be a key source market for MiCE travellers to Singapore. Thanks to the support of trade intermediaries and corporates, we have witnessed a healthy growth in …

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Indian arrivals in Thailand up by 12% to 1.42 million from January-November 2018

As one of the top 10 source markets of visitor arrivals for Thailand, India generates more than one million tourists in a year, revealed Tanes Petsuwan, Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications, Tourism Authority of Thailand. Talking at a product briefing networking lunch in Delhi, he said, “From January to November 2018, arrivals from India were up by 12.03 per cent to 1.42 million, generating an estimated 63 billion baht in tourism income.”

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Philippines records 18% growth in Indian arrivals

The Philippines recorded a growth of 18 per cent in visitor arrivals from India in 2017, according to a report by Centre for Aviation and Department of Tourism (DOT), Philippines. India is the 12th largest source market for the Philippines, based on 2017 visitor data. The other top 12 source markets all have nonstop services – South Korea, China, the US, Japan, Australia, Taiwan, Canada, the UK, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. There were 107,000 Indian visitors to the Philippines in 2017 and only 52,000 in 2013 (the year PAL suspended service to Delhi.). Growth has been consistently in the high double digits, including 18 per cent in 2017, 21 per cent in 2016 and 22 per cent in 2015.

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Nepal Sales Mission 2019 kicks off in eight Indian cities

Nepal Sales Mission 2019, an eight-city event, is underway and will run up till February 1, 2019, in Lucknow, Agra, Jaipur, Bhopal, Indore, Kochi, Coimbatore and Madurai. The Mission aims to bring all travel trade partners together to update them about Destination Nepal, educate them on what the country has to offer that will be of great interest to their Indian clientele and allow them to explore opportunities that lie within. Nepal recorded a growth of 25.1 per cent in visitor arrivals from India in 2017, attaining a remarkable surge over the previous year. In Lucknow, the Mission will be held at Hyatt Regency on January 10. It will then proceed to Agra on January 12 to be held at the Clarks Shiraz hotel, followed by Jaipur on January 14 at Hotel Crowne Plaza. Marriott Hotels in Bhopal, Indore and Kochi will host the Sales Mission on January 21, 22 and 28, respectively. It will proceed to Coimbatore on January 30 to be held at Le Méridien Hotel and conclude in Madurai on February 1 at the Poppys Hotel. The Nepalese delegation is looking forward to interacting with over 80 agents from each of the eight cities, where participants include destination specialists, fence sitters, and other key trade partners. Nepal Sales Mission 2019 will witness participation from several private players from Nepal, including Apoorva Tours & Travels, Kathmandu Holiday Tours & Travels, Fishtail Tours & Travels, Heritage Tours & Travels and Outdoor Expeditions.  

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Azerbaijan Tourism Board appoints Blue Square Consultants as India representative

Blue Square Consultants has been appointed as the representative for Azerbaijan Tourism Board (ATB) in India. It will be responsible to build and develop strong relations with key tourism and hospitality entities and trade partners to grow and strengthen the tourism potential of the destination in the Indian market. Confirming the appointment, Sevinj Zeynalli, International Market Management Director, Azerbaijan Tourism Board, said, “India being an important outbound market, we’re pleased to partner with a highly reputed organisation like Blue Square Consultants that has a strong foothold across different cities in India. Owing to their successful track record, we are confident that their expertise will help us gain greater visibility and we look forward to welcoming more Indians on their holiday to Azerbaijan”. Lubaina Sheerazi, COO, Blue Square Consultants, stated, “We are delighted to represent the magnificent country of Azerbaijan and drive it as a preferred leisure destination for Indian travellers. The strategy is to tap into the growing outbound market and change perceptions to showcase the tourism prospects of Azerbaijan. We have the requisite knowledge and an excellent track record in managing various tourism boards and the recent appointment is a reaffirmation of our proficiency in the travel sector”.

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Vietnam welcomes Indian travellers to explore its cultural treasures through Delhi roadshow

In a bid to lure Indian tourists, the Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in association with Om Tourism organised a roadshow in Delhi on the theme ‘Vietnam- A charming destination for Indian tourists’. HE Pham Sanh Chau, Ambassador of Vietnam to India, Nepal & Bhutan, revealed that around 110,000 Indian tourists travelled to Vietnam in 2017. He affirmed that the number is estimated to increase in the coming years. “Vietnam is home to eight UNESCO world heritages, well preserved historic relics and beautiful beaches. Indian travellers can find the affulence of Indian culture in Vietnam through Hindu temples in Ho Chi Minh or at the My Son sanctuary with an abundance of Indian restaurants,” he added. The event proceeded with a product presentation by the five Vietnamese partners namely, Victoria Tour, Hello Asia Travel, Go Indo China Tours, Melia Hotels International and Orchid Global. The event witnessed an active participation from several trade partners and tour operators around the city.  

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Cox & Kings India promotes Qatar as its new preferred destination

Cox & Kings India is now promoting Qatar as the group’s new preferred destination. The marketing and promotion campaign comes as part of a strategic partnership with Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) aimed at boosting the destination’s profile to attract luxury, business and independent travellers to visit Qatar. Rashed AlQurese, Chief Marketing and Promotion Officer, QNTC, commented, “We are pleased to be partnering with Cox & Kings group for the destination’s first-ever integrated campaign in India. Qatar is an easily accessible destination within a few hours from most Indian cities making it an attractive destination for travellers looking for short city getaways or a convenient stopover when heading further West.” In Qatar, Cox & Kings group is offering visits to tourism hotspots and activities that explore both the traditional and contemporary sides of the destination. Karan Anand, Head-Relationships, Cox & Kings said, “Qatar is an easily accessible destination within a few hours from most Indian cities. Every week, there are 176 flights connecting Indian cities to Doha offered by Qatar Airways as well as IndiGo, Jet Airways and Air India Express. Since January this year, Qatar has welcomed more than 335,922 Indian visitors till October, representing a 25 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.” Every week, there are 176 flights connecting Indian cities to Doha offered by Qatar Airways as well as Indigo, Jet Airways and Air India Express. Since January this year, Qatar has welcomed more than 335,922 Indian visitors till October, representing a 25 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.

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Singapore observes robust tourist traffic from South India

Chennai and Bengaluru have been among the top source cities from South India for visitor arrivals from India to Singapore in 2017. Cities like Coimbatore, Trichy, Hyderabad and Kochi registered growth in traveller numbers to the city. The factors contributing to the strong visitorship numbers are the short three-plus hours’ travel time, increased direct flight connectivity of nine cities to the city and quick weekend holidays. In January 2018, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) organised a consumer-centric mall activity in Bengaluru, featuring the various travel offerings one can indulge in while in Singapore. In the middle of the year, it conducted, together with key trade partners from Singapore, an extensive travel trade roadshow series across Trichy, Coimbatore, Kochi and Visakhapatnam.

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Indian tourist arrivals to Greece increases by 119% in September 2018

As per the statistics released by Greece National Tourist Office (GNTO) and Athens International Airport, 38,046 Indian tourists visited Greece in the nine months vis-à-vis 17,376 Indian tourists during the same period in 2017, which is a whopping increase of 119 per cent. Speaking about the positive growth, Konstantinos Tsegas, Secretary General, Greek National Tourism Organization said, “Greece as a destination has gained momentum over the years and we are glad to witness the rising interest of Indians for Greece as a popular holiday destination across the country. Our approach is to target the captive audience across various age groups simply by appealing to every kind of travel need. We have effectively leveraged diverse platforms, based on specific characteristics of the Indian market. The strategy is to also promote 365-day tourism in Greece and create awareness about lesser known cities of Greece like Thessaloniki, Xanthi or Kavala which have great geophysical, historical and cultural importance along with Athens. We are closely working with our partners in India for growth across segments like families, FITS (first time travelers segment), MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events), destination weddings, honeymoon and films.” The beauty of Greece is a Unique Sales Proposition (USP), by any means. But what truly makes a difference is its people, the authenticity and simplicity of Greek touristic products in combination with an extremely rich historical background. In 2016, Greece National Tourist Office noticed 14.6 million arrivals in total and in 2017, 15.5 million, whereas, the growth percentage of arrivals from India has been around 9.7 per cent each year.

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