Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

Russia signs five-party agreement to tap India market

Russia Tourism has signed a five-party agreement to promote the destination for tourism more aggressively in India. The document was signed on 30 September 2016 in St. Petersburg between: Northwest Regional Office of the Russian Union of the Tourist Industry (RUTI); co-founders of Russian Information Center (RIC) in India – Ekaterina Beliakova and Paresh Navani; Adviser on development projects coordinator ‘Visit Russia’ (Federal State Unitary Enterprise National Centre for Marketing Tourism Rostourism); Director-General of the Union of national and international tourist information organizations (SONATO); and St. Petersburg State University of Economics. The agreement focuses on increasing outbound tourist traffic from India to Russia and creation of comfortable conditions of stay in the country of Indian tourists. Navani, Co-Principle, RIC, explains, “RUTI will help RIC in organising the ground services when we roll out the India-friendly policy later this year. The university on the other hand will offer the training and certification to all service providers in Russia once RIC draws up the framework of the India-friendly policies, which is in the process.” The India-friendly policy will involve the tourism and hospitality industry in Russia.

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Philippines brands 135 taxis in Delhi

Optimistic by the increasing number of tourists from India, the Department of Tourism (DOT) Philippines along with Her Excellency, Ma. Teresita C.Daza, Ambassador, Republic of Philippines to India launched 135 branded taxis in New Delhi as part of a promotional campaign. Through it, the country attempts to raise awareness of the lesser known places, as well as the popular cities. Speaking at the launch, the ambassador said, “This is one way of raising awareness about the Philippines as each taxi displays various destinations from the country. We hope to encourage more and more Indian travellers to visit the country. The Philipppines has a lot to offer and its slogan, ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’ has been very helpful in attracting more tourists.” Additionally, 100 radio cabs were branded in Ahmedabad and Pune earlier this year in an attempt to promote the destination. 2015 recorded a growth of 22.36 per cent over the previous year with 74,824 Indians visiting the country.

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Charters between Indonesia & India in pipeline

H.E. Rizali Wilmar Indrakesuma, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to India said that while Indonesia is still working on starting direct flights to India, charters between the two countries are more likely to be launched first. The ambassador was addressing the media at the inauguration of Indonesia Exposé Day 2016 in New Delhi and said, “We have been welcoming around 250,000 Indian tourists annually, but the numbers have not grown at a significant rate compared to the numbers to Singapore and Thailand receives. Connectivity is the main issue here and we have been trying to implement direct flights but that is going to take a while. Direct charters will in all probability be launched first.” The Indonesia Exposé Day 2016 is being held from October 7-9 in Le Meridien New Delhi, and aims to enhance strategic economic partnership and bilateral cooperation among all stakeholders by means of concerted consolidation in trade, industry, tourism, investment and services.

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Explora to promote Jordanian DMC in India

Mumbai-based travel representation company, Explora has been appointed to represent a Jordan-based DMC called Zawaya Travel & Tourism. Speaking about the appointment, Karishma Bijlani Kazi, CEO, Explora, says, “We have been appointed as the representatives of Zawaya Travel & Tourism to do their PR, marketing and sales in India. In today’s aggressive market place, we want our travel partners to stand out from the competition. To do this, we provide a robust custom-made service designed to meet individual needs, with the aim of creating strong brand awareness and more importantly, increase financial return. We want our travel partners to regard us as an extension of their own sales and marketing team and for us to work closely together to further develop and maintain successful relationships.” Explora was launched two months and is Kazi’s brainchild. Ghaleb Saloum, General Manager, Zawaya Travel & Tourism, says, “We have produced many successful meetings and incentives programs over the years for different markets. Zawaya Travel &Tourism handles all aspects of organising event from researching our clients’ requirements to the design of meetings and incentives programs, procurement of the massive sound and light systems to meeting and assistance of participants from all around the world. Incentive travel is one of the fastest growing segments within India’s outbound MICE movement thus; we have seen a great opportunity in providing a selection of customised, value-added experiences that cater to the tastes of this important market through its INSPIRE incentive programme. We have partnered with Explora to help us generate ideas, develop content and design our engagement activity. Explora can also help us develop relationships with different travel trade partners.”

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Hungary records 70% growth in Indian arrivals in 2016

Hungary witnessed a growth of 70 per cent in Indian arrivals in 2016 till date, while 40,000 Indian tourists visited the country in 2015, informed Mark Kinces, International Marketing Manager, South-East Europe, Hungarian Tourism Agency. This was revealed at the roadshow conducted by Central Europe comprising of Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary in Mumbai and New Delhi in order to promote the region in the Indian market. “We are not only receiving leisure tourists but also mid-sized groups and MICE travellers to Hungary,” says Kinces. According to Emilia Kubik, Asian Markets Project Leader, Polish Tourist Organisation, 26,000 Indian tourists visited Poland in 2015 and the country expects a 10 per cent increase in Indian arrivals by the end of 2016. Kubik also informed that Poland is also planning to introduce a destination specialist programme for the travel trade in 2017. Czech Republic is expecting to receive 50,000 Indian tourists from India by the end of 2016 revealed Karina Vitkova, International Marketing Manager, Long-haul Markets, Czech Tourism while Slovakia has seen a few thousand Indian arrivals and is hoping to increase awareness about the country amongst the travel trade in order to attract more arrivals explains Robert Vincze, Head-Slovak Convention Bureau, Slovak Tourism Board.

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20% growth in Irish visas for Indians

Ireland witnessed a growth of 20 per cent in the number of visas issued to Indians travelling to the destination. This was revealed by Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive, Tourism Ireland, at their sales mission in Mumbai and New Delhi. Gibbons informed that the destination witnessed 27,500 Indian tourist arrivals in 2015, corresponding to 14 per cent increase over 2014. Also, the total number of tourist arrivals from January to August, 2016, was up by 12.3 per cent with 6.55 million people visiting the destination during this period. “With Northern Island also a part of Ireland, we expect to have 10 million visitors by the end of 2016 with a double digit growth. Our traditional markets are Great Britain, North America, Germany and France, comprising 70 per cent of the tourism business but we feel the potential of India as a market is huge for Ireland. The number of visa applications for Indian nationals has seen a growth of over 20 per cent and the BIVS scheme has also facilitated many Indian visits. We have interacted with over 150 companies in New Delhi alone,” said Gibbons. He also added that Tourism Ireland is committed to grow visitor numbers to Ireland from India and the sales mission will play a significant role in helping to achieve this goal. “Our sales mission is a key element of our promotional programme in India. It will give our tourism partners a platform to inform, influence the Indian travel trade about what the island of Ireland has to offer and importantly encourage them to include the destination in their brochures and programmes,” he said.

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Singapore concludes 6-city roadshow in India

Singapore Tourism Board recently organised a 10-day, six-city road show across key markets in India and Colombo in Sri Lanka. Themed “Extending Hands in Partnership”, the delegation was led by GB Srithar, Singapore Tourism Board’s (STB) newly appointed Regional Director for South Asia, Middle East and Africa (SAMEA). The initiative is envisioned as an annual platform for the region’s trade partners to get updated on the latest leisure and MICE offerings in Singapore. The Singapore delegation comprised representatives from top hotels, cruise liners, attractions, airlines and Destination Management Companies (DMCs), which travelled to the cities of Colombo in Sri Lanka and then to the Indian cities of Pune, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Lucknow and Jalandhar. The sessions saw an enthusiastic turnout from travel trade professionals with an average participation of 135 agents per city. Srithar said, “As we move into the next exciting phase of promoting Singapore to wider audiences in tier II cities, we look to fostering closer strategic and tactical partnerships with the travel trade to entrench the positioning of Singapore as one of the must-see destinations for the Indian audiences.”

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Iceland’s film tourism conference in Chennai & Hyderabad

With an aim to increase tourist footfalls from India, Embassy of Iceland organised and hosted a film tourism conference for the Tamil and Telugu film industries. The event was held in Chennai and Hyderabad on September 20th and 22nd and saw a presence of the top producers and cinematographers from the industry. H.E Thorir Ibsen, Ambassador of Iceland to India attended and addressed the gathering of select producers and cinematographers in both cities. He said, “Iceland has many advantages as a filming location. One among them is the spectacular variety of landscapes and locations found within short distances of one another. The local crews available are well experienced and well trained for producing quality films in tough conditions. Besides these, the incentives for filming in Iceland will be increased from the current 20 per cent to 25% in 2017. We are looking forward to work with many more Indian film-makers and are hoping to see Iceland more often on the big screen.” Kumar Sitaraman, Honorary Consul General of Iceland in Chennai added, “Iceland received 1000+ tourists from India last year. We are hoping that the numbers of tourists from India increases after audiences watch the many impressive landscapes and natural beauty the country has through the big screen.”

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Turkey to conduct 8-city roadshow

Turkish Ministry of Culture & Tourism in association with the Association of Turkish Travel Agents & Turkish Hoteliers Federation will conduct an eight-city roadshow titled ‘Destination Turkey Workshop B2B and Trainings’ for the travel trade in India. The roadshow will commence on September 26 in Mumbai; September 27 in Bangalore; September 28 in Kolkata; September 29 in Lucknow; September 30 in Delhi; October 1 in Ahmedabad; October 3 in Hyderabad; and concludes on October 4 in Chennai. The workshop will see an attendance of 35 participants comprising of suppliers, restaurateurs & hoteliers from Turkey and Turkish Airline.

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Indian arrivals to France touch half million mark in 2015

Atout France India has announced that Indian arrival figures to France touched the 5,00,000 mark in 2015. Sheetal Munshaw, Director, Atout France India, said, “India’s largest incentive movement to France comprising of 2,200 passengers also took place in December 2015 enhancing France’s positioning as a preferred incentive destination. The growing influence of Bollywood has had a positive impact on tourism. With the much awaited Yash Raj’s ‘Befikre’ shot in its entirety in France to be released in December this year and last year’s ‘Tamasha’ shot partly on location in Corsica, France is steadily gaining favour with Indian film-makers as well.” Atout France’s recently-concluded annual showcase saw a record-breaking participation of 29 French-Indian delegates that was an interesting mix of established partners and new entrants. A large contingent of the delegation was from the Auvergne-Rhône Alpes region that showcased its alpine destinations and activities. Held between September 12-16, the showcase commenced in Mumbai, travelled to Kolkata for the first time with a finale in Delhi. Munshaw also announced the launch of a first ever MOOC (Massive Online Programme) for the French travel industry enabling them to better understand the Indian market specificities and in turn better serving the Indian traveller. Optimizing on France’s popularity as a wedding destination, a destination wedding guide was released this summer in France to better acquaint the French travel and hospitality industry with the nuances of planning the Indian Wedding.

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