Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

Georgia to start air service from 6 Indian cities

H.E. Archil Dzuliashvili, Ambassador of Georgia to India, has informed that the Government of Georgia has signed an air service agreement with the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation to connect six Indian cities with the country. “Soon, we will meet Indian airline companies to launch flight services between both the countries,” he said. The Ambassador also informed that India-Georgia economic relationship will expand manifold in the near future as both the countries are conducting feasibility study to sign free trade agreement (FTA). “Within six months, the report of the study would be ready and we would launch formal negotiation for the agreement. Georgia already has an FTA with the European Union and it has initiated discussion on FTAs with USA and Canada,” the Ambassador added. Indian companies can invest in Georgia and make it a gateway for their entry into European Union. Georgia is located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe. It is establishing rail and road connectivity with Bulgaria, Romania and other neighbouring countries in the Black Sea.

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VisitBritain launches ‘legendary’ tourism campaign

In the run-up to the release of the action adventure film King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, VisitBritain has launched an international film tourism campaign to showcase why Britain is a legendary tourist destination. The ‘Where Stories Become Legends’ campaign inspires people to book a King Arthur-themed holiday to Britain using #OMGBLegends. “Our collaboration with Warner Bros. Pictures on King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is a fantastic opportunity to showcase to a global audience of millions the legendary experiences only available in Britain, inspiring people to book a trip right now to discover their own epic stories,” says Clare Mullin, Director of Marketing, VisitBritain. The campaign drives online ‘traffic’ to a VisitBritain King Arthur: Legend of the Sword site on visitbritain.com filled with information on British locations from the film and King Arthur-inspired holiday experiences available in 13 languages.

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New Zealand ties up with two airlines to boost tourism

New Zealand has witnessed a steady increase in arrivals from India with 53,424 travellers visiting there as of March 2017, a 14.9 per cent growth from same period last year. To further boost the Indian tourist numbers, Tourism New Zealand is tying up with two airlines to promote the island country in the India sub-continent. The partnership between Tourism New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand is valid from May 2017 to April 2018 and will seek to position Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines as the preferred carriers for travelling to the country and promotional fares will be offered to passengers. The strategic partnership aims to encourage more travellers from key cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Coimbatore, Thiruvananthapuram and Vishakhapatnam. “New Zealand is the ultimate destination for many Indian travellers and special promotional fares provide a great opportunity to turn their dream holiday into reality,” said Tourism New Zealand regional manager, South and South East Asia, Steven Dixon. Elaborating on the initiative, David Lim, General Manager, India, said, “We offer 98 weekly connections from 11 cities in India to Singapore and together with our partner – Air New Zealand, we provide over 25 weekly, onward connections to three cities (Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington) in New Zealand.” Scott Carr, Regional General Manager-Asia, Air New Zealand, said, “India is one of our fastest-growing emerging markets and we’re excited about the potential of this campaign to reach more Indian travellers. Through our alliance and code share services with Singapore Airlines, we connect passengers from 11 Indian cities to Singapore, where they can access three non-stop flights a day to New Zealand.”

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South Africa invites trade to INDABA 2017

South African Tourism is putting the final touches on an event that will foster closer collaboration and targeted business interactions in an effort to have a more productive trade show for buyers and exhibitors. INDABA, Africa’s leading travel show, returns to the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban from May 16 to 18, 2017, sporting a more streamlined programme and improved floor layout. INDABA 2017 will see more than 7,000 delegates from around the world meeting in Durban to grow the African tourism economy through conversations, partnerships and a focus on doing business, South African Tourism Chief Executive Sisa Ntshona said. Through the online diary and matchmaking system, delegates can use technology to set up pre-scheduled meetings with buyers or exhibitors that may match their needs. A new INDABA app will also function as a digital resource for updates. The Hidden Gems pavilion will introduce the world’s travel buyers and visitors to small tourism enterprises from each of South Africa’s nine provinces that may otherwise have remained undiscovered. Delegates at the trade show will be exposed to the full breadth of Africa’s tourism offerings, including high-end products at the Tourism Grading Council’s new luxury pavilion. This feature will cater to global buyers who are on the lookout for the premier five-star offerings many destinations on the continent are famed for. Apart from the pre-scheduled meetings, buyers will have the chance to meet with exhibitors during the morning speed marketing sessions on each of the three show days. Here, participating exhibitors will be grouped according to themes such as lap of luxury, scenic outdoors and award winners before making short presentations on their offerings. These sessions are an excellent …

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Cyprus keen to promote film, medical tourism

“There is great opportunity for promoting creative industries in various sectors from tourism, medical, healthcare, Bollywood and technology sectors besides financial services and innovation and technology in Cyprus,” said Nicos Anastasiades, President of the Republic of Cyprus while addressing an event hosted by the All India Association of Industries (AIAI) in Mumbai. Anastasiades said Cyprus will offer various incentive and conducive atmosphere to promote these sectors to the investors who are looking forward to establish bilateral trade relations with Cyprus. He met with the President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and signed various MoUs to promote business and cultural relations. Cyprus is also working on establishing air connectivity between India. “Cyprus is all set to extend assistance to India in improving the business environment between the two countries. We want to unlock the potential relationship by rebooting an age-old relationship in the wake of strengthening economic relations. Joint efforts of government together with trade and industry will facilitate bilateral trade and increase co-operation in fields of interest including tourism,” he adds. The Cypriot government is also keen to invite Bollywood producers to shoot their movies in the country.

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SA targets over 104,000 Indian visitors in 2017

South Africa received 6,300 Indian tourists to the destination during January 2017. The country aims to welcome more than 104,000 tourists from India in 2017. “We have been witnessing consistent growth in tourist inflow from India. Looking at the growth trend we are expecting to host 104,000 Indian tourists in 2017. We are focused in increasing our engagement with travel agents and customer outreach through outdoor media, television, digital and print,” said Hanneli Slabber, Country Manager, South African Tourism-India. She further says that the destination is looking forward to very high numbers during the summer holiday season running from now until mid-June. Slabber informed that the tourism board is planning to engage potential travellers in Tier-II markets through the agent-specific ‘Learn South Africa’ programme, which will train travel agents in 17 Indian cities during July 2017. She also added that with over 3,129 product offerings, and more being added, South Africa has something for everyone. “We are planning to train and customise specialised product offerings for travellers in these places with city-specific joint promotions with travel agents in all 17 cities. We have also published tourism related information and product offerings in six Indian vernacular languages,” she added. The destination is also focusing on the MICE segment and young solo travellers from India. (Source: PTI)S

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12-15% growth in Indian visitor arrival numbers to Ireland

Tourism Ireland in association with Etihad Airways hosted top 10 travel agents from across India to Ireland’s largest tourism trade fair, Meet the Buyer and Mietheal 2017, which was organized by Tourism Ireland. Huzan Fraser Motivala, India Representative, Tourism Ireland who accompanied the group for this key trade fair said “India is an important developing market for Tourism Ireland and one that we are committed to growing. We have been seeing a steady growth of 12-15 % in Indian visitor arrival numbers to the island of Ireland. “The Irish Visa Applications YTD 16 have also seen a 33% increase in visa applications compared to the same period last year. Factors in our favour include increased air access to Ireland, particularly by Etihad Airways and Emirates via the Middle East. Qatar Airways will be launching an additional flight starting June 2017, which we believe will further aid connectivity.  We hope that this FAM trip will help the travel trade to create customized itineraries to promote Ireland to their clients. Going forward, we will look to organize more such activities through 2017 and are confident of witnessing a growth in the number of Indian visitors to Ireland.” The workshop brought together over 310 overseas buyers and 455 Irish tourism businesses for three days of negotiating business deals. There were approximately 12,000 face to face meetings organised over the duration of this event – allowing international and Irish operators to meet and agree business for the 2017-2018 seasons. India is one key emerging market for Ireland and we see great potential from this region. In the last few years there has been greater interest and numbers being generated from the India as more …

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Israel sees 49% increase in Indian arrivals in two years

Israel has witnessed a positive growth of 49 per cent in Indian arrivals from January to March 2017 vis-à-vis the same period in 2015. More than 8,300 Indians have already visited Israel in the first three months of 2017 as per statistics released by Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT). Speaking about this growth, Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism India office, said, “India is one of the world’s fastest-growing outbound tourism markets and an important emerging market for us. Keeping this in mind, we have increased our investments heavily in India. We are certain that our continued efforts in targeting the Indian holiday planners through our specially designed advertising campaign for India, ‘Begin your journey to Israel now’ will yield even better results by the year end.” The statistics also revealed almost 93 per cent growth in Indian arrivals to Israel merely in the month of March 2017 as compared to the same time in 2015. Madah adds, “We have seen a steady growth in tourist arrivals from India over the years and are confident that this trend will continue. Currently, El Al flies nonstop between India and Israel while Air India has also announced that they will begin operations on the New Delhi-Tel Aviv route in 2017. Increased air connectivity will surely act as an added impetus for more Indians to visit Israel for a holiday.”

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Now visa free travel for Indian tourists to Far East Russia

Tourists and businessmen from India and 17 other countries can now travel to Russia’s Far East without a visa, informed Dmitry Medvedev, the Prime Minister of Russia. In order to boost tourism and investment in the region, the nationals of these 18 countries will have simplified entry procedures into Russia through the free port of Vladivostok. According to Pavel Volkov, Deputy Minister, Development of the Far East, tourists and entrepreneurs will only be required to fill a form on the website of Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Applications will be approved within four days. Electronic single entry visas will be issued directly at the Russian border and will be valid for 30 days. The 17 countries apart from India include Algeria, Bahrain, Brunei, Iran, Qatar, China, North Korea, Kuwait, Morocco, Mexico, UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Tunisia, Turkey, and Japan. “I have recently approved the list of countries, whose nationals can take advantage of the preferential regime. We are proactively forming the modern infrastructure and creating special regimes in the far East; the law on visits to the Vladivostok free port was approved in March. This is not because these states are situated at a closer or longer distance – we are appropriately introducing bilateral agreements on visa-free travel for those ready to use such an approach for us,” said Medvedev. Volkov further said, “We’d like to see an increase in tourism to the region by at least 30 percent. Given the fact that every wealthy tourist spends at least $1,000 in the territory, we assume this will significantly increase the opportunities for the development of the region, trade turnover, and currency flows.” Source: Live Mint  

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Israel offers 5-year multiple entry business visa for Indians

Israel is going to offer five-year multiple entry visa for Indian businessmen. The move is to improve the bilateral trade between the two countries, especially with the scheduled visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Israel, tentatively in July this year. Visa has been a major point of discussion between the two countries for many years. The easing of business visa might be followed by easing of visa process for Indian tour groups as well. According to Amir Halevi, Director General of Israel Tourism, the country is planning to ease visa norms for Indians thinking of visiting Israel. An embassy statement quoting Ambassador Daniel Carmon said the initiative was part of the growing partnership between India and Israel.

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