Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

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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Garuda hosts Open House for the travel trade

Garuda Indonesia recently hosted an Open House for the travel trade in Mumbai in association with Visit Indonesia Tourism Office. The airline has appointed Bird Travels as its GSA that has eight offices across India. The purpose of the event was to create awareness about the airline’s new office in Mumbai and informing the trade about the various opportunities available to promote Indonesia as a destination. Garuda Indonesia recently inaugurated its office in Mumbai. Product presentation was given to the travel fraternity to update them more on Garuda Indonesia Services and to promote Indonesian destinations beyond Bali. To enable passengers to take advantage of the summer holiday season, Garuda Indonesia is running a special return promotional fare valid for travel until April 26, 2017. Mumbai to Jakarta and Denpasar (Bali) all-inclusive Economy class return fares starts from Rs. 22,000 and Business class from Rs. 58,000. (T&C apply) The fares are available for purchase from the Garuda Indonesia, Mumbai sales office and the appointed travel agents. Garuda Indonesia’s Jakarta-bound service operates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and is operated by Garuda’s state-of-the-art 162-seater, Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

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SW Germany shows almost 30% increase in Jan-Feb 2017

Tourist arrival figures from India into South West Germany has shown an increase of 29.9 per cent increase for the period January-February 2017 versus the same period last year. Revealing this is Hector Dsouza, Director-India, South West German Tourism, says, “As compared to 2,784 Indian visitors for the period of January-February 2016, the state of Baden Wuerttemberg received 3,645 visitors from India in January-February 2017, representing a 29.9 per cent increase for the year 2017. This percentage increase is the highest as compared to tourists from other countries visiting South West Germany. India is now the fastest growing country in percentage terms, symbolising the tremendous potential India, as an outbound market holds for South West Germany.” Indian visitors continue to hold the record of the highest number of overnights per visit which is 5.2 days, as compared to the average of 2.3 days per visit in Europe. India now ranks 15th in terms of total overnight visits. The most favored destination for Indian visitors is the Stuttgart region, Black Forest and Heidelberg.

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TCEB launches campaign to incentivise Indian MICE travellers

The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), in collaboration with Visa International (Thailand) Company Limited, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Thai Airways, Thai Smile Airways Company Limited, and Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce, has launched the Spice Up Thailand 2017 campaign for the fourth consecutive year. The campaign offers special privileges for MICE travelers, such as 10 per cent hotel discounts, 50 per cent discounts for car rentals and airport transfers, Bt500 cash coupons for shopping, 25 per cent restaurant discounts, and 50 per cent off golf course green fees. In addition, other hotel, shopping, dining, wellness, activity and transportation promotions have been made available.  In 2017, the Spice Up Thailand Campaign is working in alliance with registered organizations with more than 60 exhibitions in total. Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, President,  TCEB, said,  “Promoting MICE-related business through adopting an online marketing strategy has been a significant tool applied by TCEB, aimed to boost the domestic and international market of MICE travelers. Consistent with the government’s Digital Economy policy, this will drive the growth of Thailand’s MICE industry, while also supporting the overall economic growth of the country.” TCEB has developed the Spice Up Thailand campaign together with five partners in order to promote and create awareness of the MICE industry overseas, as well as delivering a first-class experience to MICE travelers; in turn,  help to increase spending and encourage MICE travelers to extend their stay in Thailand. The campaign has been carried out for the previous three years and is continuously developing in terms of adding new privileges for domestic MICE travelers, and targeting the MICE industry in Asia, specifically CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) countries. In the previous year, …

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Ras Al Khaimah records 35% growth from India in Q1

Haitham Mattar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTD), said there has been a 35 per cent growth in Indian arrivals in Ras Al Khaimah in the first quarter of this year. “Indian travellers have grown a lot more for the destination. We have seen close to 25 per cent growth Year-on-Year in 2016 and the first quarter of this year has been even more promising with 35 per cent growth from the Indian market.” Ras Al Khaimah organised its roadshow at The Imperial, New Delhi, which saw the representatives from the travel trade in attendance.

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Israel invests Rs 13 crore on promotion campaign in India

The Israel Ministry of Tourism has launched its first advertising campaign for 2017 highlighting some of Israel’s sites and attractions – the modern city of Tel Aviv, the Dead Sea, the Baha’i Gardens in the port city of Haifa, the holy city of Jerusalem and more. Having made an investment of approximately Rs 13 crore in the advertising campaign in India, Hassan Madah – Director Israel Ministry of Tourism India said, “We have identified India is an important emerging market. Hence, in the last two years we have increased our marketing spends in India to attract more visitors. Our campaign this year aims to showcase that Israel has something to offer for everyone; be it honeymooners, families, adventure enthusiasts, food and wine connoisseurs, nightlife and contemporary travellers and history and culture lovers. We achieved a 13 per cent increase in Indians travelling to Israel in 2016 and we have a 16 per cent growth in the first two months of 2017.  We are confident that this campaign will further boost tourism to Israel.” The messaging of the campaign ‘Begin your journey to Israel now’ has been developed and conceptualized by Israel Ministry of Tourism with an aim to target the summer holiday planners in India. The campaign is visible on various platforms such as television, print, digital and hoardings. The month-long campaign involves a 30 and 60-second television commercial that is being broadcast across select channels in India.

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Spends by Indian visitors in South Australia at all-time high

South Australia witnessed a positive leap in expenditure by Indians with an 87 per cent increase for the year ending December 2016, reaching AUD 28 million. According to the latest International Visitor Survey results released by Tourism Research Australia, Indians spent an additional AUD 13 million in the state compared to the previous year. Maintaining a healthy growth, the total expenditure has been on an upward trend with an average increase of 15.8 per cent over the last three years. Speaking about the results, Dana Urmonas, Regional Director (India & Southeast Asia), South Australian Tourism Commission, says, “Over the last year we have seen many more Indians signing up for experiences and breaking away from touristy activities. South Australia offers a cool blend of abundant wildlife, picturesque beaches and landscapes and brilliant food and wine, so travellers can really enjoy the best of Australia in one state. India is among our top 10 source markets and we hope to continue attracting more visitors and sustain the momentum built.” A recent Consumer Demand Report released by Tourism Australia shows that Indians travelling to Australia are looking to enjoy world class beauty and nature, family friendly activities and beaches and marine wildlife. South Australia, which ranks high on these factors, has been steadily moving up the consideration set with Kangaroo Island ranking number 3 among the most considered Australian destinations, after Sydney and Melbourne. Activities such as the RoofClimb over the iconic Adelaide Oval, swimming with dolphins at Glenelg, walking among sea lions at Seal Bay, food and wine experiences at Jacobs Creek or Seppeltsfield and premium stay at the 7-star rated Southern Ocean Lodge are unique to the state.

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