Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

India remains Malaysia’s 6th largest source market for tourism

Indian arrivals to Malaysia in 2016 was about 64,000 (0.64 million) and it is the sixth largest source market for the Southeast Asian country. In an effort to boost these numbers, the country has recently launched a 15-day e-visa for travellers on a short visit. Malaysia’s tourism industry is indicating signs of recovery in 2016 with latest figures showing more tourists visiting the country after the slowdown in 2015. Tourist arrivals to Malaysia for 2016 registered a hike of 4.0 per cent compared to the same period in 2015. The country received 26.8 million tourists compared to 25.7 million tourists in 2015. Correspondingly, tourist receipts rose by 18.8 per cent, contributing RM82.1 billion to the country’s revenue against RM69.1 billion in 2015, which translates to an average per capita expenditure of RM3.068.2. Total receipts in shopping also recorded positive growth, with RM26 billion in 2016 compared to RM21.6 billion in 2015, an increase of 20.3 per cent. The average length of stay of a tourist increased 0.4 per cent in 2016 to 5.9 nights. The top 10 tourist generating markets to Malaysia in 2016 were Singapore (13.3 million), Indonesia (3.1 million), China (2.1), Thailand (1.8 million), Brunei (1.4 million), India (0.64 million), South Korea (0.44 million), the Philippines (0.42 million), Japan (0.41 million) and the United Kingdom (0.40 million).

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Thailand to celebrate Thai culture in Mumbai on March 11-12

To mark the celebration of the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Thailand and India, the Royal Thai Consulate General in Mumbai will organise a cultural commemorative titled ‘Namaste Thailand in Mumbai’ on March 11-12, 2017 at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sanghralaya (Prince of Wales Museum) from 4.30pm onwards with no entry fees. The spectators can witness classical Thai dance and music along with a variety of shows and unique dance forms from different parts of Thailand. Muay Thai and different forms of martial arts too will be performed by the professionals. There will also be a photo exhibition area where the pictures from the #FocusThailand contest will be displayed.

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Celebrating 70 years of India-Thailand relations

The Royal Thai Embassy presented Namaste Thailand Festival 2017 in New Delhi at the Bridge, DLF Promenade Mall and Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj. Visitors were treated to Thai food, Thai products, Thai cultural performances and fun activities, at the festival, which celebrated the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Thailand and India. Along with the Royal Thai Embassy, New Delhi, the festival was organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture of Thailand, Thai Trade Center New Delhi, Tourism Authority of Thailand New Delhi, Thai Airways New Delhi, and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI)

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Czech Republic visa application centre now in Kochi

The Embassy of the Czech Republic and VFS Global have launched the 11th Czech Republic Visa Application Centre in Kochi, bringing access to visa application facilities for residents of Kochi. The centre was inaugurated by Martin Smolek, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and H.E. Milan Hovorka, Ambassador of the Czech Republic in India and, Mayor of Municipal Corporation of Kochi, Hon. Soumini Jain on March 3, 2017. This new centre in Kochi is centrally located at 1st Floor, Coastal Chambers, M G Road, Ravipuram. In the last one year, Kochi is the eleventh city in India where VFS Global has launched a Visa Application Centre for the Czech Republic, to provide for the growing demands for visas to the country among Indian tourists. This comes immediately after a new Czech Republic Visa Application Centre was opened in Jaipur.

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Israel tourism conducts multi-city roadshow in India

Looking to boost tourist traffic from Tier 2 Indian cities, Israel Ministry of Tourism conducted their first roadshow of 2017 in Chandigarh, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad on 18th, 20th and 22nd February, respectively. The roadshow was conducted in a networking workshop format with two DMCs from Israel and was attended by over 100 travel agents in each city. Commenting on the occasion, Hassan Madah, Director – Israel Ministry of Tourism India said, “Israel is an emerging destination for the Indian traveller and tourist arrivals has been growing from India to Israel over the last couple of years. We wanted to tap new markets, so we decided to conduct roadshows in Chandigarh, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad this year. The response we received in all three cities has been encouraging and promising. We are working towards increasing our leisure and MICE travellers while continuing our focus on existing segments using different mediums, including investing in advertising campaigns, and continuing to build and strengthen our travel trade relationships in the Indian market.” Israel achieved a growth of 13% in 2016 over the previous year creating a new record with 44,672 Indian tourists visiting the destination. The Ministry is hoping to maintain its double digit growth figures in 2017 as well. The country attracts worldwide tourists and is an explorer’s paradise. With archaeological sites, a rich culture, museums, culinary delights, modern attractions and friendly people it has something to offer every kind of traveller. El Al provides direct connectivity between India and Israel with 4 weekly flights from Mumbai to Tel Aviv. Air India is expected to begin direct connections to Israel this year. Dead Sea, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Eilat, Nazareth, Haifa, Akko, Masada, Negev Desert are …

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Portugal to open office in India

Soon, Portugal tourism ministry will be making a direct presence in India, in Mumbai, by opening a tourism office. Luis Araujo, President, Turismo De Portugal, reveals, “We will open a new tourism office in Mumbai this year which will interact with the travel trade and to work with them. We will have someone from Portugal stationed here. We will also appoint a local representative as it is important to have someone who already understands the market and will know what works here.” Portugal has Europe’s first Prime Minister who is of Indian descent – Antonia Costa whose father was of Goan, Portuguese, and French descent. This is among the many cultural connections that Portugal has with India.

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8.1% rise in Indian arrivals in Germany

Germany recorded 748,737 Indian visitor overnights in 2016 corresponding to a growth of 8.1 per cent over 2015. Buoyed by this steady growth, the destination is expecting to see a 3-5 per cent growth in Indian visitor overnights in 2017, informed Romit Theophilus, Director-India, German National Tourist Office (GNTO), India. Sharing some details, Theophilus said, “The average spending per trip abroad by Indian travellers in Europe is approximately €1,852 while in Germany alone travellers spend approximately €2.375. Also, 53 per cent of Indian visitors preferred to stay in first class hotels. A whopping 48 per cent of Indian travellers are newcomers, 46 per cent are repeat visitors while 5 per cent are regulars to Germany.” The destination’s vision for 20130 is to attract 2 million visitor overnights from India. On the trade front, Theophilus informs that the destination is all set to roll out its online training module in 2017 aimed to educate and update the travel trade on the latest offerings in Germany. This will be coupled with regular online webinars for operators in Tier-II and Tier-III cities. Continuing its destination promotions through theme based marketing, Germany is promoting ‘Palaces, Parks and Gardens’ in India while it will focus on ‘Luther 2017-500 years since the Reformation’, as its global marketing theme. In addition to this core theme GNTO will also be promoting its theme parks, smart luxury, barrier free travel and active holidays in Germany.

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Philippines aims for 100,000 Indian tourists in 2017

Department of Tourism (DOT), Philippines recently held training sessions for travel trade partners in New Delhi with an aim of achieving 100,000 mark in 2017. A 25-member delegation, comprising hoteliers, airlines, and representatives of tour attractions, interacted with over 100 key travel and tour operators, MICE providers and up-market leisure operators, and provided first-hand information on tourism products. Along with interactive B2B sessions, education programmes, workshops and destination awareness was the key area of focus to aid trade members in planning itineraries. Leading the delegation, Raymund Glen A. Agustin, Chief Tourism Operation Officer, Market Development Group- Russia, India & the Middle East, DOT Philippines, said, “The numbers have been very encouraging the past few years. We registered a growth of 21.37 per cent and are aiming for better numbers this year. The fact that Indians have to pay a fee for the visa and that there is no direct connectivity yet, the growth has been extremely positive.” Highlighting the importance of the Indian market, he affirmed that India has jumped into the list of top 12 source markets for the Philippines and such roadshows would be highly effective in boosting the rank even further.

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Singapore rests hope on Bollywood

After associating with the movie ‘Dear Zindagi’ recently, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has yet again rubbed shoulders with glamour. Together with SilkAir, the regional wing of Singapore Airlines, STB has now announced its collaboration with Dharma Productions for Bollywood movie ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’. The movie features key scenes and songs filmed in Singapore. Talking about Singapore’s association with the movie, G.B Srithar, Regional Director for South Asia, Middle East & Africa, STB said, “This movie will appeal to all segments of Indian society with its over-arching theme of love and the joy of life. Over the past few decades, Bollywood movies have helped build an emotive connect among the Indian audiences with Singapore. We believe through Badri and Vaidehi, they will re-discover Singapore’s variety of experiences and evolving cityscape. Keeping in line with the movie’s theme, we are pleased to welcome Indian travelers to begin their endless love affair with Singapore, by visiting and re-visiting Singapore for memorable holidays.” The film, directed by Shashank Khaitan and starring Bollywood stars Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan, will hit the screens on Friday, March 10, 2017 across India. Currently, SilkAir and Singapore Airlines have combined operations from 11 Indian cities, namely Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram and Visakhapatnam connecting to over 100 destinations via its hub, Singapore.

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Greece makes aggressive entry into India

The Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) has made a foray into the Indian market starting 2017 to tap the increasing Indian outbound travel segment. The tourism board recently participated in a travel show in Mumbai to jumpstart its three-year-strategic plan. GNTO’s target is to create increased destination awareness about lesser-known cities of great geophysical, historical and cultural importance and to position Greece in the top five list of European destinations, for Indian tourists. Elena Kountoura, Honourable Minister of Tourism of Greece, says, “With the entry of Greek Tourism in the Indian market we aim to associate with the travel trade industry and offer our audience a customized product. Our strategy aims to promote 365 days tourism in Greece and we are confident that we will see a positive boost in the number of Indian arrivals to Greece with our initiatives. India is a promising market for us and this year we plan to reach out to affluent Indians through a well planned marketing and advertising campaign. GNTO is looking at promoting Greece as an ideal destination for film tourism, destination weddings and celebrations, apart from the existing popular segments like honeymoons, MICE and FITS.” Dimitrios Tryfonopoulos, Secretary General, Greek National Tourism Organization, adds, “Establishing a GNTO Office in India is the ultimate aim. Until then we will associate with our Indian counterpart to bring out the dynamic perspectives of Greek Tourism in the market of India. We are in talks with representatives of large air carriers such as Emirates, Qatar, Etihad and Jet Airways to improve the connectivity to Athens from India.” Greek Tourism recorded a double digit growth in 2016 from India. It is currently represented in India by …

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