Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

Switzerland Tourism launches two new campaigns

Switzerland Tourism announced the launch of its winter campaign for 2016 and ‘Nature wants you back’ campaign for summer 2017. The campaign was launched in presence of the tourism partners of Switzerland – Davos Klosters, Bernina Express, St Moritz and Glacier Express, hopes to further increase and sustain the double digit growth of 16% seen in 2015-2016. With an initial focus on the winter tourist, Switzerland Tourism will showcase the multiple options like skiing, sledging and snowboarding for the active traveller and Christmas markets, open air hot springs and igloo stays for the more relaxed visitor looking for pure white relaxation in winter. The summer focus for the campaign too will be packed with an array of activities such as sky-diving, wakeboarding, canyoning, etc. combined with Switzerland’s best touristic and nature highlights. Claudio Zemp, Director – India, Switzerland Tourism, said, “In India we see people getting more adventurous these days. They do not only want to take a cable car up a mountain and take pictures but also want that thrill and rush which one gets while doing adventure sports. With a versatile and energetic personality like Ranveer Singh on board, we would like to showcase that Switzerland is not only about scenic beauty but also has many activities and adventures to offer to the more experiential Indian traveller. Winter is coming up and is an absolutely beautiful time to visit Switzerland. One can enjoy various winter activities and explore their hidden passion for adventure with sports such as skiing, snow-shoe trekking, tobogganing. Ranveer’s next trip is going to be in winter.” Ritu Sharma, Deputy Director, Switzerland Tourism India, said, “Our new campaign is all about telling people that holidays …

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Rhätische Bahn hosts travel trade in Mumbai

Leading travel trade agents from Mumbai gathered at the Magazine Street Kitchen to an event hosted by Rhaetian Railways. It was a close-knit dinner, which was attended by 35 travel trade partners, including the Consul General of Switzerland, Martin J. Bienz. Sonal Salian, Market Manager India, Rhätische Bahn, said, “We are extremely grateful to our travel trade partners who have supported us all through the year; this event was a token of appreciation and also to give everyone an experience of Swiss opulence and precision which is synonymous with the brand.” The guests were greeted with fine European wine, a wide range of home-made cheese and freshly baked bread. Special care was taken that every element at the evening had a Swiss connect, as Rhaetian Railway is a Swiss mountain railway network, operating the well known Glacier express and Bernina express in the Graubünden regions.

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Thailand hosts 4-city luxury roadshow in India

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) offices in Mumbai and Delhi took its the fourth edition of its B2B event ‘Luxurious Pleasure’ to four cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Kolkata. First held in 2013, Thailand’s ‘Luxurious Pleasure’ roadshow series is an addition to its staple annual roadshow and focuses on high-end holidays such as holidays on private islands and helicopter rides. Explaining Thailand’s focus on luxury, Soraya Homchuen, Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand – Mumbai, said, “Our two-city initiative is now a four-city show with Bengaluru, Kolkata and Ahmedabad now in the fray. We have noticed visible changes in buying behavior. This includes a growth in the number if travellers opting for five-star hotels and villas and a good response to market promotions with prices in the range of Rs 80,000 to Rs 150,000 for a week-long holiday. Today about 25 per cent of the Indian market is checking into luxury hotels and above (villas, private islands and yachts) and this is up from barely 10 per cent when TAT first launched its campaign to target the luxury segment. It is about strategy, sustainability and streamlining the industry with quality as a focus.” Thailand welcomed 1.06 million Indian travellers in 2015 and expects to cross 1.1 million in 2016, having hit over 700,000 Indian arrivals by August already. Homchuen added that TAT wants to grow high-end’s share of the pie by another five per cent. A change in the ratio of men: women travellers is also part of the goal. “Women comprise 23 per cent of the market currently and for this year we would like to bring this up to 30-35 per cent,” she said.

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Indonesia conducts 2-day expo in Mumbai

The Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Mumbai organised a two-day expo in the city that brought a huge delegation of Indonesian sellers from various industries together under one roof.  ‘Expo Indonesia 2016’ saw 35 companies participate from industries like travel and tourism, furniture, handicrafts and food. Also participating in the expo was Garuda Indonesia which has announced a direct flight between Mumbai and Indonesia sometime in December 2016, making it the first direct flight to Indonesia. It is considering Bali and Jakarta for this connection. The airline is still working on the schedule and will be loaded in the GDS for sale soon. The Consul General added that they are pushing for more cities between the two countries: Bali – Mumbai, Jakarta – New Delhi  and Chennai – Medan.  On the sidelines of the expo was a seminar dedicated to tourism. Saut Siringoringo, Consul General, Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia, said, “We want to do everything to push relations between the two countries. Indonesia has huge potential in the India market. The achievement of 16 billion USD in trade value between India and Indonesia is no small achievement. We can see this growth even in tourist arrivals from India which grew 68 per cent last year with 2,70,000 Indian tourists visiting Indonesia. This year we expect 3,50,000 – 4,00,000 Indian arrivals into Indonesia.”

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Thailand ends 30-day restriction on public entertainment and festivities

The Thai Government has lifted the 30-day restriction on public entertainment and festivities, informs the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB). Now entertainment venues, musical, theatrical and festive celebrations will resume operations as normal. This allows all business events and festival events to proceed as usual. However, business travellers are invited to respect the traditions of mourning and to act and dress appropriately during this time. Accordingly TCEB has advised all business travellers to Thailand to continue with their travel plans as normal, and to recheck programmes in case of changes.

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Swiss Tourism appoints actor Ranveer Singh as brand ambassador

Switzerland Tourism has named actor Ranveer Singh as the first Indian ambassador for Switzerland Tourism. Claudio Zemp, Director – India, Switzerland Tourism said, “Being a versatile energetic and adventurous personality, Ranveer explored and enjoyed all that Switzerland has to offer. His passion and excitement for the country is what compelled us to request him if he would take on the mantle of Brand Ambassador to which he enthusiastically agreed. Switzerland has always made for a picturesque and mesmerising holiday experience with its terrific natural beauty. With Ranveer on board we would like to showcase the multifaceted holiday experience that is Switzerland.” The actor indulged in a variety of experiences on his recent trip to Switzerland and will now be in charge of promoting Switzerland Tourism’s campaign for 2017 – Nature wants you back! Ritu Sharma, Deputy Director, Switzerland Tourism India, said, “Switzerland is a perfect place for a complete holiday experience that will leave you spellbound for days. Tourists look for a blend of sightseeing, relaxation and adventure together with easily available accommodation and good food and welcoming hosts.  And that is exactly what Switzerland offers with its, snow covered mountains, crystal clear lakes, various nature excursions, it’s superb public transport system, it’s boutique cities and culinary indulgences. This is already well known to the Indian tourist but what Ranveer discovered is the other more active side of Switzerland with its many heart thumping experiences like sky diving, heli-skiing, kitesurfing, river rafting, canyoning etc.”

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Thailand targets 11 lakh Indians by 2016-end

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Mumbai has set its targets at 11 lakh tourists (1.1 million) for Indian arrivals by this year end. Soraya Homchuen, Director, TAT Mumbai, said, “Arrivals from India had already crossed 8,00,000 by the end of August 2016 and we are positive that India will achieve its arrivals target of 1.1 million by the end of the year. Indians have become tremendously savvy with checking on the on-ground situation in Thailand rather than falling for the odd sensationalist report that might crop up.” The Ministry of Culture is also giving free access to national museums and historical parks until 31 January, 2017 despite the mourning period. Moreover, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, in collaboration with the public and private tourism sectors and TAT, is offering tourists as well as locals free bus service covering four routes from the National Stadium, Victory Monument, Wongwian Yai BTS Station, and the Bangkok Bus Terminal in Talingchan, to Sanam Luang. There were over 500 buses taking part in the initiative which will be open until 13 November, 2016.

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96-hour complimentary transit visa by Qatar

A new free entry transit visa effective from November 1, 2016, was announced by Qatar Airways and Qatar Tourism Authority for travellers to explore the destination within 96 hours. This scheme allows passengers with layovers of five hours or more in Hamad International Airport to request a complimentary transit visa. The new system will allow transiting passengers of all nationalities to enter Qatar for up to 96 hours in between flights. All visas are granted at the sole discretion of the Qatari Ministry of Interior. Passengers can apply for their free transit visa through any of Qatar Airways’ offices, or online. To be eligible for the transit visa, passengers must have a confirmed ticket for a journey into Qatar, with a confirmed onward journey out of Qatar on a Qatar Airways-operated flight. Terms and conditions apply, which can be found at qatarairways.com/transitvisa

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STB & Singapore Airlines launch ‘3 Celebrations, 1 City’ campaign

In a bid to share the festive spirit with Indian travellers, Singapore Tourism Board and Singapore Airlines have launched its campaign, ‘3 Celebrations, 1 City – Singapore’. This campaign will run from till March 2017, spanning across three key festivals starting with Deepavali (October 29, 2016), Christmas (December 25, 2016), and then Chinese New Year (January 28-29, 2017). The campaign aims at inviting Indian tourists to celebrate the festivities in Singapore during the holiday seasons. Tourists who book flights to the Lion City on Singapore Airlines and SilkAir from October to December 2016, either on their website or mobile app, will gain exclusive access to the ‘Singapore 241 Passport’ smartphone app. This app is packed with value-for-money 2-for-1 deals and offers worth up to S$1,000 (Rs. 48,000 ) across 24 participating outlets in Singapore, including popular restaurants and spas. The ‘Singapore 241 Passport’ application is compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones. STB Regional Director, SAMEA, GB Srithar said, “Singapore is a great place for celebrating holidays, with three back-to-back festivals taking place this time of the year. Indian travellers will find reasons aplenty to enjoy and bond together with their family and loved ones. Eligible visitors from India transiting on flights through Singapore, may utilise the Visa Free Transit Facility to explore and experience Singapore’s many festive and tourism offerings for 96 hours without a visa.” Singapore Airlines’ General Manager India, David Lim said, “Singapore Airlines and SilkAir are delighted to partner with Singapore Tourism Board to bring together a complete, travel experience. Our endeavour is to provide our customers a holistic package, allowing them to make the most of their festive holidays. Travellers not only experience inflight comforts …

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Bangkok’s Grand Palace reopens for tourists

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has announced that Bangkok’s Grand Palace is reopening its doors to tourists and visitors from November 1, 2016. Thailand is officially on a mourning period from October 14, 2016 to November 14, 2016, in remembrance of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. However, it has announced that it will be business as usual and the mourning period will have no impact on travel plans of visitors. Nevertheless, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has recommended travel agents and visitors to Thailand to check their bookings as well as monitor the local media and government announcements for updates before travelling. Soraya Homchuen, Director, TAT Mumbai said, “There will be some restrictions to tourist movements near the Grand Palace which is the official residence of the King as the Thai people will be gathering there to offer condolences to the king. The Ministry of Tourism & Sports (MoTS) along with the TAT has assured that most cultural, traditional and MICE events will still go on as per schedule with some minor adjustments. MoTS has ensured that all events and festivals, including sports tournaments and cultural traditions will go ahead as scheduled though tourists will have to maintain a sense of respect and appropriateness. Indians have become tremendously savvy with checking on the on-ground situation in Thailand rather than falling for the odd sensationalist report that might crop up. We look forward to celebrating 1.1 million arrivals by the end of the year.” For tourists, the Grand Palace is open every day from 08.30 to 15.30 hrs. Tourists and visitors are advised to enter and exit at the Wiset Chaisri Gate only.

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