Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

Namaste Thailand Online Quiz 2019 concludes with award ceremony in Delhi

Aiming to foster closer ties between Thailand and India, ‘Namaste Thailand Online Quiz’ asked questions about Thailand covering various aspects from cuisine, culture, way of life, history, geography, to modern politics. The quiz is the longest running and most successful social media campaign by an embassy in India. After its success, seven other embassies in New Delhi have followed suit and organized similar projects. This year’s quiz was held under the theme ‘Thailand and the World’ which highlighted Thailand’s role at the international stage, today and in the past. The Award Ceremony was attended by esteemed dignitaries including H.E Chutintorn Gongsakdi, Ambassador of Thailand to India, Thirapath Mongkolnavin, Minister, Royal Thai Embassy, Thamanoon Kuprasert, General Manager, Thai Airways International, India, Aso Lori, Marketing Officer, Tourism Authority of Thailand, New Delhi Office, Embassy Diplomats, Quizcraft team and the contest’s Grand Prize Winner and amazing participants along with their families. The award ceremony commenced with a presentation of report of the Namaste Thailand Online Quiz 2019, then H.E. Chutintorn Gongsakdi, Ambassador of Thailand to India, congratulated the winners and conveyed his appreciation for the interest Indians have in knowing Thailand and ASEAN. He talked about how social media, being a powerful medium, helps promote closer ties between the peoples. He hoped that from the Quiz, the participants have learned more about Thailand and realize the similarities and linkages between Thailand and India, and hoped that the students will continue to be active supporters of Thai-Indian friendship, as the people-to-people relation is an important foundation of the bilateral relations. The winners and participants were felicitated with certificates along with gifts from the Royal Thai Embassy, Tourism Authority of Thailand, and Thai Airways. Sai …

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New Zealand approves new tourist tax of US$23 effective July 1

The New Zealand parliament has approved a new tourist tax, which will be effective from July 1. Most international visitors entering New Zealand for 12 months or less will be charged an additional fee of $35 NZD or about $23 USD. The new tax will be collected through the immigration system, the government said. Travellers will pay the IVL alongside visa or ETA fees. The new legislation enables the collection of the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) as well as digital processing of the New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA). The NZeTA—which is designed to “improve the way travellers are assessed before they arrive in New Zealand” to strengthen border security, according to the country’s immigration website—will be mandatory starting October 1. Australian citizens, permanent residents and people from many Pacific Island countries will be exempted from the IVL. In a statement, Kevin Davis, Tourism Minister, New Zealand said, “The IVL is an investment in New Zealand. It is expected to raise over $450 million over five years, funding projects to ensure our country and our people get the best from tourism growth. Our international visitors will be contributing directly to the infrastructure they use and helping to protect the natural places they enjoy.” New Zealand experienced a nearly 4 per cent jump in international arrivals last year, according to data from Tourism New Zealand.

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10% increase in Indian tourist arrivals to the Philippines for Q1

The Philippines welcomed 2,204,564 foreign visitors in the first three months of 2019, reflecting a 7.59 percent rise from last year’s 2,049,094 over the same period. The Indian arrivals in the country were 36,275, registering a growth of 9.93%. For March numbers alone, the DOT reports a visitor arrival of 714,309 or an 11.13 percent growth versus the same month last year. Indian arrivals in The Philippines were 10,086, up with a 1.52 percent increase vis-a-vis 9,935 of last year. “Record-high international tourist arrivals posted in the first quarter of the year present an encouraging sign that tourism in the Philippines is on the right track,” states the Department of Tourism (DOT).

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Seychelles Tourism Board conducts workshops in Pune, Bengaluru and Chandigarh

Seychelles Tourism Board recently conducted workshops in Pune, Bengaluru and Chandigarh to train potential travel trade partners and equip them with information about various offerings in Seychelles. This enabled Seychelles Tourism Board to meet many potential travel agents in the three cities and lay the groundwork for future sales visits. These workshops included a destination presentation, question and answer round followed by networking session that was attended by around 45-50 tour operators in each of the three cities. Seychelles offers visa on arrival facility and has direct flight connectivity with India. It ranks India as the top sixth source market for Seychelles.  

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45th German Travel Mart kicks off with 500 key hosted participants from 51 countries

The German Travel Mart (GTM) inaugurated its 45th edition in Wiesbaden, Germany. Addressing the inaugural session, Brigitte Goertz-Meissner, President, Board of Directors, German National Tourist Board, says, “More than 500 key accounts from 51 countries are participating in this year’s GTM.” Petra Hedorfer, CEO, GNTB, declaring the 45th GTM open says, “Tourism is more important than ever and it serves as the perfect basement for working together, learning from each other and to make this world a better place.” According to Thomas Bareiß, Parliamentary State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy and Federal Government Commissioner for Tourism, “Hesse and Wiesbaden reflect some of the typical strength of German tourism.”

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IIPT Destination Awards to be presented at 1st Asian Resilience Summit in Kathmandu

The Global Travel & Tourism Resilience Council is organising the 1st Asian Resilience Summit in Kathmandu on May 31. Hosted by Nepal Tourism Board, the event is supported by UNWTO, PATA, IIPT, TripAdvisor, CNN, BBC, Qatar Airways, PEAK DMC and ETOA. The event has been planned in the region to celebrate the successful resilience efforts demonstrated over the last several years by the Nepal Tourism Board in overcoming the devastating effects of the 2015 earthquake and will review successful policies in Nepal which led to stabilization, regeneration and growth of the travel sector. The Summit will be an opportunity to share the strategies that have enabled the country to recover despite the different economic, political, natural and anthropogenic changes in the last few years. Further, the event is seen as a platform to foster opportunities for partnerships, trade and foreign direct investment. A highlight of the Summit will be the IIPT Peace Through Tourism Destination Awards which will be presented at a gala dinner as the culmination of the Summit. Ajay Prakash, President IIPT India and Kiran Yadav, Vice President will travel to Nepal to present the Awards in four categories: • Resilient Tourism Community Award • Resilient Tourism Business Award • Resilience Efforts Through Cultural Diversity • Change Maker in Tourism Award Government and travel industry leaders will come together sharing experiences and insights at the Summit. Well-known names such as Taleb Rifai, Xu Jing, Mario Hardy, Sudarshan Raj Tiwari, Deepak Joshi and H.E. Edmund Bartlett will join with Ministers of Tourism and other dignitaries to highlight opportunities in Nepal, strategies for resilience and explore further opportunities for Nepal’s continued growth, international perception management and also highlight the activities …

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Thailand waives fee for visa on arrival till October

In an official statement dated, May 2, 2019, The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced that the Royal Thai Government has approved the extension of the visa-on-arrival fee waiver for citizens of 20 countries for another six months, until 31 October. The decision was announced in the Royal Thai Government Gazette on 30 April, reasoning it as a measure to stimulate and promote tourism as well as to enhance the kingdom’s attractiveness among foreign visitors. Citizens of Andora, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China including Taiwan, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan will be exempted from the 2,000 Baht visa-on-arrival fee for the purpose of touring in Thailand for not more than 15 days. The government first approved the visa-on-arrival fee waiver from 15 November, 2018, to 14 January, 2019, and further extended the measure to 30 April.

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Akbar Holidays to conduct 5-city seminar with Tourism Malaysia Mumbai

Tourism Malaysia Mumbai in association with Akbar Holidays has announced a five-city product briefing seminar. It is scheduled to be held in Bhubaneshwar on May 14, Raipur on May 16, Bhopal on October 15, Nagpur on October 17 and Kochi on November 6, 2019. The seminars aim to highlight Malaysia as a value-for-money destination and showcase its product offerings and attractive packages. Its tourism offerings range from million-year-old rainforests, islands and beaches to shopping and luxury holidays. Product partners of Tourism Malaysia i.e Resorts World Genting, Legoland and Lexis Resort, Swiss Hotels, Air Asia and Penang Convention and Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) will be present to showcase their products. Mohd Hafiz Hashim, Director Tourism Malaysia Mumbai said, “We are happy to announce our five-city seminar in Bhubaneshwar, Raipur, Bhopal, Nagpur and Kochi. We look forward to a fruitful association with Akbar Holidays to boost Indian tourist to visit Malaysia and this will help us to promote our Visit Malaysia 2020 vision. Malaysia is a bio-diverse country with rich traditions and culture. Our natural environment surrounded with rich flora and fauna, pristine beaches, theme parks, adventure activities, nightlife are very appealing to Indian tourists. They can enjoy luxury at an affordable price in Malaysia.” India tourist arrivals recorded an increase of 8.6 per cent with 600,311 in 2018 as compared to 552,739 in 2017.

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Germany registers 8% growth in visitor overnights from India

Continuing to remain as one of the most popular destination among Indians travelling abroad, Destination Germany witnessed 921,123 visitors overnights in 2018 making for a 8.1 per cent growth in comparison to 2017. Owing to the steady growth, the German National Tourist Office (GNTO), India forecasts a 6-8 per cent growth in visitor overnights in 2019. With experiential travel becoming the most sought after genere in leisure travel, GNTO will promote the destination with the core theme and worldwide campaign on ‘100 years of Bauhaus’, as part of the centenary celebration of foundation of legendary Bauhaus movement in Weimar,” said Romit Theophilus, Director, German National Tourist Office, India. The famous Bauhaus art school opened in Weimar in 1919, and during its short lifespan, it moved to Dessau and then to Germany. “With more and more travellers visiting Germany, we want to promote the country as a stand-alone travel destination. We are looking to focus more leisure segment than business. Northern Germany is still unexplored by the Indian travellers, so we want more and more Indian travellers to go and experience Germany in a new way,” further said Theophilus.

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