Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

Philippines Tourism & Singapore Airlines ink deal to boost India arrivals

Anticipating a significant increase in Indian arrivals into the Philippines, the Department of Tourism (DOT), Philippines signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Singapore International Airlines (SIA) on December 12. Through the one-year collaboration, DOT and SIA will undertake joint marketing initiatives that will implement activities to promote the Philippines to the Indian market through social media, familiarisation tours, roadshows, among others. The agreement was signed by Benito Bengzon Jr., Undersecretary, DOT  and Campbell Wilson, Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing, SIA at the Makati Diamond Residences, Philippines. “The India market is growing at a very fast rate. In fact, we are expecting to reach 100,000 arrivals by end of 2017. This joint agreement is envisioned to sustain and further strengthen this growth in the coming years,” said Bengzon. He also disclosed that the department is not only looking at the headcount but also with the revenue it would generate. According to Wilson, this mutually beneficial agreement will pave way for a positive impact on the country’s tourism industry. “We are confident we can increase visitor arrivals; it is an honour to bring our passengers anywhere in the Philippines,” he said.  

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St. Petersburg Tourism opens office in Mumbai

Visit St Petersburg India announced the opening of its office in Mumbai. Located at the Russian Centre of Science & Culture at Peddar Road, the office was inaugurated by Elena Fedorova, Deputy Chair of the committee for Industrial policy & Innovation, Government of Saint Petersburg. The event was attended by delegates from St. Petersburg, MTDC, MCGM, TAAI, TAFI and leading travel agents. Evgeny Pankevich, General Director, Saint Petersburg City Tourist Information Bureau, said, “There has been an increase of interest in tourism from India to St. Petersburg and by the end of this year, we expect to record 1,00,000 Indian tourists to Russia which is an increase of 30 per cent. We see this as a good opportunity and therefore, we opened the tourism office in Delhi earlier this year and now we are here in Mumbai. This is a great moment to open the office as we are celebrating Days of St. Petersburg in Mumbai, marking the 50th anniversary of St. Petersburg and Mumbai’s sister –city status that was established in 1967.” The new office in Mumbai will give Visit St. Petersburg a strategic access to some of the most important source market regions in western and southern India.

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Switzerland Tourism conducts five-city trade show in India

Switzerland Tourism, in an effort to catalyse tourism development across India, has introduced several new attractions, experiences and activities for both popular and lesser known destinations in Switzerland. The recently conducted annual roadshow in India across cities of Mumbai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Delhi witnessed over 900 participants from the travel and tourism trade industry. A special B2B session was held in each city allowing the Indian travel agents to meet and discusses business prospects with the Swiss delegations. Claudio Zemp, Director – India, Switzerland Tourism, said, “This year has been a remarkable year for Switzerland Tourism with Ranveer Singh coming on board and promoting the destination with his charm, unmatched energy and fun personality which thoroughly matches the image Switzerland Tourism wanted to portray. In terms of growth from India, we had a fantastic year with a year to date growth of 25.1 per cent more overnights. We are thankful to our partners for their continued support and we hope that we welcome more tourists for the upcoming season.” Ritu Sharma, Deputy Director, Switzerland Tourism, India, says, “In the past few years, Switzerland tourism has upped the ante to attract more tourists from India. Apart from the key metros, we are also penetrating into Tier I & II cities by conducting training sessions in these markets to ensure that the travel trade is well equipped to answer queries relating to our offerings.” ­­­­­­

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MTDC aims to place Sarangkheda festival on global map

Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has organised the Sarangkheda Chetak Festival 2017 from December 3, 2017 – January 2, 2018 to attract domestic and foreign tourists to the Nandurbar district. Witnessing the arrival of more than 2,500 horses, the month long festival will exhibit horse dance shows and pawara, a tribal dance by the locals of Nandurbar. Inaugurating the festival, Jaykumar Rawal, Minister of Tourism & (EGS), Government of Maharashtra, said, “We want to promote the rich legacy of horses and take this festival on a global platform. Sarangkheda has been organising this festival for more than 300 years. The festival displayed horses from states like Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Afghanistan and Gujarat.” An amount of Rs 4.98 crore has been allocated for the horse museum which will educate visitors about the numerous qualities of breed, marking, lifespan, colour, etc. of horses. The dome-shaped museum will be constructed on 6.5 acres land along the Tapi River. MTDC and Department of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra is dedicated to take this festival to a global podium through the development of infrastructure, advertising and promotion.  

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Scotland records 8% growth in Indian arrivals in 2017

In line with the rapid growth in interest for Scotland among Indian travellers, the destination has recorded an average growth of 37 per cent over three years in trips taken by Indian travellers to Scotland, informed Kirsten Spence, Senior Market Manager—Emerging Markets, VisitScotland during the tourism board’s Delhi roadshow in partnership with Etihad Airways. In 2017 alone, the destination witnessed 8 per cent YOY growth with approximately over 40,000 Indian tourists. “These figures are conservative as they are calculated based on arrivals via airports and we know the actual number is much higher as the travellers also come to Scotland through rail or drive themselves,” says Spence. She adds that VisitScotland will conduct its B2B roadshow in Bengaluru on December 11 and in Mumbai on December 13 following the one in Delhi to meet the travel trade from these cities.

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VisitBritain, ACP Rail conduct joint educational trip for travel trade

VisitBritain recently conducted an educational trip for 10 Indian travel agents in partnership with ACP Rail to promote the BritRail pass to travel around Britain by train. The trip was part of a B2B campaign which the national tourism organisation of Great Britain has launched with ACP Rail in India. Agents started their trip in Edinburgh, before travelling north for a two-day tour of the Scottish Highlands. They further headed across the border into Northern England, finishing their trip in the medieval town of York. Rail travel within UK is one of the most important part of the strategy to promote destinations beyond London amongst Indians. All hosted agents are considering sign-ups with ACP Rail and will soon begin installing their software to enable sale of UK rail passes along with sector tickets to promote rail itineraries and thus, give a fresh approach towards the UK holiday experience. With over 2,500 train stations in Britain, visitors have the chance to discover both cities and countryside throughout England, Scotland and Wales.

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Atout France conducts first-ever B2B show in Goa

Atout France, France Tourism Development Agency, recently organised its first-ever offsite B2B showcase titled ‘Experience France’ in Goa from October 29 to November 2, 2017. This year, the agency also heralded another milestone – a decade of its independent office in India. The 2017 edition had a strong presence of 24 representatives of French entities buoyed to showcase the limitless possibilities that France has to offer. The delegation included key representatives of regional tourism boards, local tourist offices, hospitality partners, versatile attractions and DMCs from across France. The delegation also included eight representatives from the Auvergne Rhone Alpes region keenly positioning France as a winter destination. The workshop format consisted of pre-scheduled appointments over three days allowing for qualitative exchanges between French professionals and travel companies from key metro cities across India who were present for the event. The Consul General of France to Bombay, M Yves Perrin graced the 10-year celebration at the W Goa. Several networking soirees were organised to facilitate interaction and exchange between the suppliers and hosted buyers. Sheetal Munshaw, Director, Atout France in India, says, “In keeping with the market trends of France being a favoured destination with travel professionals pan India, we thought it opportune to create a common platform to facilitate synergies with travel agents from all over the country opening up and further expanding opportunities to promote France to a more versatile audience. Our delegation also comprised of an eclectic mix of tourism offerings from all over France enabling us to showcase France for all its diversity.”

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Scandinavia to record over 15% increase in Indian bednights in 2017

Scandinavia expects to record over 15 per cent growth in Indian bednights in 2017 over 2016 with 350,000 Indian bednigts recorded year-to-date. This information was given by Mohit Batra, India Representative, Scandinavia Tourist Board, during the the Delhi leg of the three-city roadshow being conducted by the tourism board. The roadshow will head to Chennai on November 15, followed by Mumbai on November 16. “We have seen a tremendous growth in interest towards Scandinavia and some markets in the region may have witnessed an upward of 20 per cent growth too. All segments have shown growth, be it leisure, honeymooners or the incentive market from India. Our focus has been Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru but we have also seen interest coming in from other cities as well.”

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South African Tourism appoints Hanneli Slabber as Regional GM-Asia, Australasia and ME

South African Tourism has appointed Hanneli Slabber as Regional General Manager Asia, Australasia and Middle East. She has held the reins at South African Tourism’s India office for the past seven years. Slabber hands over to Alpa Jani whom she has worked with for six years and who will function in the capacity of Acting Hub Head, MEISEA, South Africa Tourism. During her tenure at the India office, Slabber has grown to love and understand India. She has developed effective and long-lasting ties with media houses, travel trade, airlines and other authority figures in the travel industry. She has enabled, motivated and led the India office team as it has conquered the various taking the destination to the top of holiday-maker’s popularity charts: from establishing South Africa as a standalone destination, to building aspiration and universal appeal with celebrity, Bollywood and cricket personality associations and making classroom trainings identifiable and interesting. She has been instrumental in helping the South African travel industry understand India better, encouraging them constantly that it will be worth it to tailor not just for India but for the tastes and demands of people various regions/ states of India. Her experience in taking a destination from one-among-many to a must-see safari and adventure hotspot with multi-segment appeal is expected to help South Africa make waves in the Middle East and South East Asia, where South African Tourism has recently set the ball rolling on destination promotion. Prior to her posting in India, she served as Global Product Head for the tourism board, based in South Africa where she learned the intricacies of various markets planning hosted trips for media and travel agents from various source markets. …

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Thailand launches new campaign for 2018

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has launched its new campaign ‘Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018’. Speaking about this is Soraya Homchuen, Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Mumbai, who says, “For 2018, TAT has launched a new campaign ‘Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018’ to support the government’s national tourism development plan featuring an action-packed schedule of unique Thai local experiences and international events. In the coming year, the emphasis will be on inclusive tourism, that maintains a balance between the economy, environment and benefits for Thai society. This campaign will see the Thai travel and tourism industry move into a new era of development and further underscore its new status as a nationwide movement that yields significant benefits for national security, the economy, society, well-being and foreign relations. The campaign’s overarching objective is to ensure that Thailand remains a Preferred Destination and delivers a Quality Product, thus boosting the average length of stay, expenditure and repeat visit. In 2018, the marketing strategy will continue to position Thailand as a ‘Preferred Destination’.” Homchuen observed that Thailand is naturally blessed with a busy schedule of annual cultural events that appeal to both domestic and international audiences and said that they were delighted to see increasing number of tourist arriving in Thailand. The video campaign will highlight activities based on 13 core niche products that include sports, gastronomy, maritime tourism, wedding and honeymoon, medical and wellness, community-based tourism, leisure, green tourism, night tourism, MICE, trade fairs, B2B marketing activity and logistics. Some of the local Thai events that will take place in 2018 are Thailand Tourism Festival (January 2018); Thailand International Kite Festival/Thailand Marathon (Songkhla/Bangkok, February 2018); International Balloon Festival (Korat, May 2018); …

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