Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

27.3% growth in Indian visitors to South Korea

South Korea recorded an increase of 27.3 per cent in Indian arrivals in 2016 as compared to 2015. A total of 195,579 Indians travelled to South Korea last year. According to Byungsun Lee, Director, Korea Tourism Organization, “South Korea will be more accessible to the Indian traveller now. With the positive growth trend, our focus this year will be to promote affordable packages from Delhi and Mumbai with our partners. We shall also seek association with neighbouring tourism boards to jointly promote both destinations and create a win-win situation.” The constant efforts made by the Korea Tourism Organization, New Delhi office on educating the travel trade partners to promote the destination and proactive business approach from the Destination Management Companies (DMC) have been the key factors in the result. Connecting with the end traveller through tactical media platforms and increase in the airline connectivity from Delhi will play as game changer this year.

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123,000 Indians visited Japan in 2016

Japan crossed the 100,000 mark in Indian arrivals in 2016 and witnessed a total of 123,000 Indian visitors, informed Masahiko Sakamoto, Senior Director, Tourism Division, Bureau of Industrial and Labour Affairs at Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s first promotional activity on January 30 in New Delhi called Tokyo Wonderland. He said, “We are focusing on improving the arrival numbers from India through such promotional activities to showcase the culture and tourism products of Tokyo. 2020 is the year we host the Paralympic Games and are expecting a large inflow of tourists too.” He informed that places like Ginza and Shibuya are undergoing an infrastructure transformation and are some of the things to look forward to, apart from the cuisine, shopping, numerous nature parks and theme parks. The event showcased the city and its different attractions under five themes ‘Unique Culture’, ‘Excellent Dining’, ‘Exciting Shopping’, ‘Delightful Stay’ and ‘Comfortable Nature’ and also organised a Japanese tea ceremony for the attendees to experience.

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Philippines Tourism to organise training sessions in Delhi and Ahmedabad

The Department of Tourism (DOT), Philippines will be conducting training sessions in Ahmedabad and Delhi this February, in conjunction with the DOT’s participation in OTM 2017 in Mumbai. The training sessions will be conducted by top suppliers from the Philippines in Ahmedabad on February 24 at Hyatt Ahmedabad and on February 27 in Delhi at The Lalit New Delhi. The objective of the workshop is to educate, interact and establish commercial ties with Indian trade in these cities. Representatives from DOT Philippines along with a 14 -member delegation will interact with over 400 key travel agents and tour operators, MICE and up-market leisure operators. SanJeet, Tourism Attaché, Philippines Tourism, said, “India being an important source market for Philippines tourism, such training sessions ( our first of 2017) will provide an excellent platform to showcase the destination’s products and services. The Indian travellers’ palate has become experimental and therefore, through our numerous trade initiatives, we envisage the influencers of the Indian travel market to sell the destination more effectively to the end consumers.” The programme for the workshop will include presentations by officials of DOT Philippines, DMCs and hotels from the Philippines in addition to Q&A, detailed networking sessions, entertainment by Filipino artists and a special lucky draw for the participants.

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Maharashtra emerges as the largest source market for Tourism Australia

Tourism Australia has yet again witnessed noteworthy growth statistics from Maharashtra, retaining the State’s position as a key tourism source market in India. As of year ended (YE) September 2016, Maharashtra has recorded an increase of 25 per cent in tourist arrivals, and a remarkable increase of 18 per cent in spend. The state witnessed 53,800 visitors to Australia, contributing A$232 mn (Rs. 1,160 crores) to the Australian economy, with an average spend of Rs 2.15 lacs per person. Total arrivals from India for the year ended November 2016 were recorded at 256,400, an increase of 11.5 per cent relative to the same period the previous year, making India the 9th largest inbound market for Australia. Nishant Kashikar, Country Manager, India & Gulf, Tourism Australia, said, “We are extremely delighted that all our focused consumer and distribution initiatives in Maharashtra have paid off, resulting in a stupendous increase in arrivals and spend from the state. Going forward, we are positive that our extensive analysis of the market, in tandem with our key distribution partners and airlines, will provide us with the requisite insights to modify and transform our approach to cater to the requirements of travellers from Maharashtra. We will continue to reach out to our audience through a mix of traditional and evolving communication platforms. Maharashtra has undoubtedly been our fastest growing market and we will put in our best efforts to keep up the momentum and further drive visitation to Australia.” Tourism Australia has undertaken several focused activities in Maharashtra. One such successful association was that with Veena World. As part of the collaboration, eminent Marathi television and film stars who travelled to Australia for MAAI (Marathi Achievers …

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Seychelles marks annual growth of 42% on Indian arrivals

Seychelles continued to impress Indian tourists, recording a 42 per cent annual increase in tourist arrivals from India in 2016 compared to 2015. Around 11,000 tourists from India visited Seychelles in 2016 compared to around 8,000 in 2015 and as a result India broke into the list of top 10 source markets for the tourism board. This increase can be attributed to the India tourist office’s committed focus on promotion of the destination, interest and efforts from the hotels and DMCs to capture the Indian market, increased customer awareness due to Bollywood associations and innovative digital presence along with an increase in Air Seychelles daily flights from four to five times a week. Sherin Francis, CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board said, “We are thrilled with the interest created in the market about Seychelles that made it possible for the momentum of success to continue. We have seen a phenomenal increase in arrivals since we opened office three years ago. The increase in arrivals from India was 42 per cent making Seychelles one of the top choices for a holiday. This would not have been possible without the constant support of Air Seychelles, the DMCs and the hotels who walk with us hand in hand in going the extra mile to ensure year on year success. It is this passion due to which we have been able to position Seychelles as a destination which is meant for all- families, couples, small groups, celebrations and MICE.”

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South Africa readies for annual 4-city roadshow

South African Tourism sets the pace for continued double digit growth in the coming year with its annual roadshow slated for this month. The roadshow will be held in Chennai, Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai where suppliers from South Africa will network with Indian travel agents. Now in its 14th edition, the roadshow will start with Chennai on 30 January, and then go on to Bengaluru on 31 January, Delhi on 1 February and conclude in Mumbai on 3 February, 2017. About 10 per cent of the delegation will be first-timers and will include hotel chains, airlines, products, attractions, DMCs and local tourism offices. Indian agents will be able to meet representatives from boutique hotel chain Lion Roars Hotels & Lodges, adventure-focused attraction Tenikwa Wildlife, care-rental Multilayer Trade Corporation and DMC Africa Incoming. Domestic airline Safair has also signed up. Additionally, Air Seychelles (which many Indians use to fly to South Africa via Mahe) that is said to be starting a flight to Durban starting March will also be present. Hanneli Slabber, Country Manager, South African Tourism India, said, “Up until the third quarter of 2016, we noted that arrivals had grown by 26.6 per cent in comparison to 2015 and we hope to have closed the year at 27 per cent growth. By September 2016, our arrivals had hit 73,902. This makes India South Africa’s eighth-largest long-haul tourism source market.” The tourism board is expecting between 600-1,000 travel agents to attend the roadshow.

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Japan to open 13 new visa application centers in India

Japan will open 13 new visa application centers in India. The centers will be opened at Gurgaon, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Goa, Bengaluru, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai, Puducherry and Hyderabad. This was informed by Ryoichi Matsuyama, President, Japan National Tourist Office at the opening ceremony of the 2017 the year of Japan-India Friendly Exchanges and the Announcement of Japan-India Collaboration Film Project. “Last year Japan saw 120,000 Indian arrivals whereas 230,000 Japanese visited India. Though the number of Indians visiting Japan is steadily increasing, the current figure is yet modest despite the vast size and scale of India and more so given the long-standing relationship between the two countries,” said Matsuyama. The Japan-India Collaboration Film Project was also announced. The event was attended by Kenko Sone, Minister, Economic and Development, Embassy of Japan; Suresh Prabhu, Railway Minister, Government of India, Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Ayog, Government of India, Kenchi Takano, Executive Director- Preparation Office for New Delhi, JNTO amongst others. His Excellency Kenji Hiramatsu, Ambassador of Japan to India added that there will be a number of cultural and tourism related events are planned to be held all around India in 2017.

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VisitBritain hosts destination showcase in Pune for agents

VisitBritain is organising a three-day destination showcase in Pune for travel agents. The showcase started with a panel discussion on the travel trends which included panellists from the industry. Followed by two days of B2B appointments with the sellers. There were 76 buyers from across 9 cities and 28 suppliers from 25 organisations present at the showcase. Previously, VisitBritain had hosted the destination showcase in Delhi and Mumbai and this year in Pune. On the occasion, Sumathi Ramanathan, Director-Asia Pacific, Mid East & Africa, VisitBritain, commented, “We want to explore the opportunities that the Pune market has to offer and we see good potential is this market as well when compared to the other cities in India.”

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TAT announces 37th edition of ‘Thailand Tourism Festival 2017’

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) announces the 37th edition of Thailand’s largest domestic tourism fair- the Thailand Tourism Festival (TTF), which will be held at Bangkok’s Lumpini Park. TTF will highlight some of the fun and fascinating attractions that can be enjoyed by local and international tourists travelling in the kingdom with free admission. The festival, which coincides with Chinese New Year 2017, will be held during 25-29 January, 2017, and is expected to attract over 650,000 visitors with 90 per cent of these visitors predicted to travel in Thailand in 2017. These trips could generate up to 400 million Baht in revenue. Soraya Homchuen, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand in Mumbai, said, “Thailand Tourism Festival will give all our tourists and travellers something to look forward to in the New Year. The festival will see Lumpini Park transformed into a mini representation of the kingdom with replicas of landmarks and instances of cultural events from all the regions along with musical performances and Thai cuisine.” At the TTF 2017, activities will be organised with 10 zones that highlight ‘Thainess’ from the five main regions of Thailand – the North, Northeast, East, South and Central regions. Each of the zones will have demonstrations of the local culture and cuisine. The ten zones at the Thailand Tourism Festival include Botanical Gardens, Discover Thainess in Five Regions, Unique Culinary delights, TAT Zone, TAT Recommended routes, Outdoor Fest to introduce new style of travelling, Main stage with performances, China Town, Geology Zone and Selfie zone. Also at the TTF 2017, eco-friendly activities; such as, recycling will be promoted via fun games. This is aimed at moving Thailand’s tourism industry towards …

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Ras Al Khaimah announces strategic alliance with TUI

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has announced a strategic partnership with TUI India Pvt. Ltd. to promote and enhance its presence in the Indian market. With this alliance, Ras Al Khaimah TDA aims to further strengthen the key aspects of the destination amongst the Indian audience. The partnership will come into effect from January 1, 2017. The agreement includes promotion of the emirate by TUI India Pvt. Ltd through specially created itineraries, special promotions on its consumer website as well as a series of co-op activities and campaigns. Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA, said, “India is one of the top source markets for us, we are aiming to enhance strategic efforts to drive awareness across India through our dynamic marketing campaigns and relationships with key partners in the public and private sectors. We are glad to begin the New Year with an association with such a renowned travel company and are looking forward to welcome more Indian tourists in future.” Vishal Sinha, CEO, TUI India Pvt. Ltd, added, “Ras Al Khaimah is quickly becoming a leading choice for Indian travellers of all ages. We will focus on creating attractive packages and aggressive promotion of the destination through right mix of media channels.” With India ranked as the emirate’s fourth largest international source market, RAKTDA has seen extensive trade and promotional activities to ensure continued growth from the Subcontinent. As per the latest official data, the northern UAE emirate recorded a 19 per cent rise in Indian hotel guests between January and November in 2016 when compared to the same period in 2015.

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