Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

South Africa readies for annual 4-city roadshow

South African Tourism sets the pace for continued double digit growth in the coming year with its annual roadshow slated for this month. The roadshow will be held in Chennai, Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai where suppliers from South Africa will network with Indian travel agents. Now in its 14th edition, the roadshow will start with Chennai on 30 January, and then go on to Bengaluru on 31 January, Delhi on 1 February and conclude in Mumbai on 3 February, 2017. About 10 per cent of the delegation will be first-timers and will include hotel chains, airlines, products, attractions, DMCs and local tourism offices. Indian agents will be able to meet representatives from boutique hotel chain Lion Roars Hotels & Lodges, adventure-focused attraction Tenikwa Wildlife, care-rental Multilayer Trade Corporation and DMC Africa Incoming. Domestic airline Safair has also signed up. Additionally, Air Seychelles (which many Indians use to fly to South Africa via Mahe) that is said to be starting a flight to Durban starting March will also be present. Hanneli Slabber, Country Manager, South African Tourism India, said, “Up until the third quarter of 2016, we noted that arrivals had grown by 26.6 per cent in comparison to 2015 and we hope to have closed the year at 27 per cent growth. By September 2016, our arrivals had hit 73,902. This makes India South Africa’s eighth-largest long-haul tourism source market.” The tourism board is expecting between 600-1,000 travel agents to attend the roadshow.

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Japan to open 13 new visa application centers in India

Japan will open 13 new visa application centers in India. The centers will be opened at Gurgaon, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Goa, Bengaluru, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai, Puducherry and Hyderabad. This was informed by Ryoichi Matsuyama, President, Japan National Tourist Office at the opening ceremony of the 2017 the year of Japan-India Friendly Exchanges and the Announcement of Japan-India Collaboration Film Project. “Last year Japan saw 120,000 Indian arrivals whereas 230,000 Japanese visited India. Though the number of Indians visiting Japan is steadily increasing, the current figure is yet modest despite the vast size and scale of India and more so given the long-standing relationship between the two countries,” said Matsuyama. The Japan-India Collaboration Film Project was also announced. The event was attended by Kenko Sone, Minister, Economic and Development, Embassy of Japan; Suresh Prabhu, Railway Minister, Government of India, Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Ayog, Government of India, Kenchi Takano, Executive Director- Preparation Office for New Delhi, JNTO amongst others. His Excellency Kenji Hiramatsu, Ambassador of Japan to India added that there will be a number of cultural and tourism related events are planned to be held all around India in 2017.

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VisitBritain hosts destination showcase in Pune for agents

VisitBritain is organising a three-day destination showcase in Pune for travel agents. The showcase started with a panel discussion on the travel trends which included panellists from the industry. Followed by two days of B2B appointments with the sellers. There were 76 buyers from across 9 cities and 28 suppliers from 25 organisations present at the showcase. Previously, VisitBritain had hosted the destination showcase in Delhi and Mumbai and this year in Pune. On the occasion, Sumathi Ramanathan, Director-Asia Pacific, Mid East & Africa, VisitBritain, commented, “We want to explore the opportunities that the Pune market has to offer and we see good potential is this market as well when compared to the other cities in India.”

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TAT announces 37th edition of ‘Thailand Tourism Festival 2017’

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) announces the 37th edition of Thailand’s largest domestic tourism fair- the Thailand Tourism Festival (TTF), which will be held at Bangkok’s Lumpini Park. TTF will highlight some of the fun and fascinating attractions that can be enjoyed by local and international tourists travelling in the kingdom with free admission. The festival, which coincides with Chinese New Year 2017, will be held during 25-29 January, 2017, and is expected to attract over 650,000 visitors with 90 per cent of these visitors predicted to travel in Thailand in 2017. These trips could generate up to 400 million Baht in revenue. Soraya Homchuen, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand in Mumbai, said, “Thailand Tourism Festival will give all our tourists and travellers something to look forward to in the New Year. The festival will see Lumpini Park transformed into a mini representation of the kingdom with replicas of landmarks and instances of cultural events from all the regions along with musical performances and Thai cuisine.” At the TTF 2017, activities will be organised with 10 zones that highlight ‘Thainess’ from the five main regions of Thailand – the North, Northeast, East, South and Central regions. Each of the zones will have demonstrations of the local culture and cuisine. The ten zones at the Thailand Tourism Festival include Botanical Gardens, Discover Thainess in Five Regions, Unique Culinary delights, TAT Zone, TAT Recommended routes, Outdoor Fest to introduce new style of travelling, Main stage with performances, China Town, Geology Zone and Selfie zone. Also at the TTF 2017, eco-friendly activities; such as, recycling will be promoted via fun games. This is aimed at moving Thailand’s tourism industry towards …

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Ras Al Khaimah announces strategic alliance with TUI

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has announced a strategic partnership with TUI India Pvt. Ltd. to promote and enhance its presence in the Indian market. With this alliance, Ras Al Khaimah TDA aims to further strengthen the key aspects of the destination amongst the Indian audience. The partnership will come into effect from January 1, 2017. The agreement includes promotion of the emirate by TUI India Pvt. Ltd through specially created itineraries, special promotions on its consumer website as well as a series of co-op activities and campaigns. Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA, said, “India is one of the top source markets for us, we are aiming to enhance strategic efforts to drive awareness across India through our dynamic marketing campaigns and relationships with key partners in the public and private sectors. We are glad to begin the New Year with an association with such a renowned travel company and are looking forward to welcome more Indian tourists in future.” Vishal Sinha, CEO, TUI India Pvt. Ltd, added, “Ras Al Khaimah is quickly becoming a leading choice for Indian travellers of all ages. We will focus on creating attractive packages and aggressive promotion of the destination through right mix of media channels.” With India ranked as the emirate’s fourth largest international source market, RAKTDA has seen extensive trade and promotional activities to ensure continued growth from the Subcontinent. As per the latest official data, the northern UAE emirate recorded a 19 per cent rise in Indian hotel guests between January and November in 2016 when compared to the same period in 2015.

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NYC launches new programs for 2017

To continue welcoming record visitation and boost winter travel in 2017, NYC & Company has unveiled a new ‘Nonstop NYC’ program comprising its popular NYC Restaurant Week (Jan. 23-Feb.10), NYC Broadway Week (Jan. 17-Feb. 5) and NYC Off-Broadway Week (Feb. 27-Mar. 12). On the heels of the success of these programs, NYC & Company is proud to announce the first-ever NYC Attractions Week. The organisation is also expanding its ‘See Your City’, ‘See it for Yourself’ and Official NYC Family Ambassador campaigns to further encourage travel in 2017. The City welcomed an all-time record 60.3 million visitors by 2016 end, surpassing the 60 million visitor milestone for the first time ever. Fred Dixon, NYC & Company’s President and CEO, said, “We are proud to exceed our forecast this year and welcome an all-time record 60.3 million visitors, achieving a new tourism milestone for New York City. The appeal of the ‘New’ New York alongside our classic attractions continue to draw travelers from every corner of the globe. We invite visitors and locals to take advantage of all the nonstop and affordable NYC experiences on offer this winter as well as the opportunities to discover our City’s multicultural neighborhoods in all five boroughs.” This year, travelers from international markets will comprise an estimated 12.65 million international visitors, which is an all-time high. Among all visitors, meetings delegates will comprise 6.15 million people. In 2017, NYC & Company is forecasting the City will welcome approximately 61.8 million visitors with 13.1 million international visitors. To capitalise on the growing family travel segment, NYC & Company will continue into 2017 its Official NYC Family Ambassador program featuring Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

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Mauritius targets 100,000 Indian tourists in 2017

Mauritius recorded a growth of about 16 per cent in Indian arrivals this year and expects this to increase to 20 per cent in 2017. Vivek Anand, Country Head, Mauritius Tourism, India, says, “We have seen a growth of nearly 16 per cent and a lot of high end tourists are visiting Mauritius and there are a lot of MICE movements and a lot of big Indian weddings happening there.” In 2017, Mauritius targets 100,000 Indian tourists which is a growth of 20 per cent. According to Anand, the growth will primarily come from the high end FITs, MICE and weddings.

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Thailand expects 13,200 Indian visitors for the New Year holiday period

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) expects around 13,200 travellers for the New Year holiday period for which a series of celebrations are in store. To memorably celebrate the nation’s Thainess and to incorporate tributes to the Thai monarchy as well as the happiness of the Thai people into the New Year celebrations this year, a traditional candle lighting and prayer ceremony, called Sang Thien Haeng Siam or Candlelight of Siam, will take place at Bangkok’s Sanam Luang and various locations nationwide and overseas on 31 December. Soraya Homchuen, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand in Mumbai commented, “Thailand will usher in 2017 with ‘the Candlelight of Siam’, which is a traditional ceremony that aims to encourage Thai people to preserve important features of Thai society, especially the nation, religion, and the monarchy. We would like to extend an invitation to our guests from India to join us for this ceremony and get an experience of a lifetime.” Globally, TAT expects to welcome around 375,000 international arrivals, up by five percent during the New Year holiday period (31 December, 2016 – 3 January, 2017), generating tourism revenue of around 55.5 billion Thai Baht or up by 12 percent from last year.

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250,000 Indians visited Australia in 2016

Travellers from India continue to be enticed by the diverse attractions and stunning tourism experiences on offer in Australia. In 2015, the destination achieved a milestone when it welcomed over 200,000 Indian travellers during the year. Adding another feather to it’s cap, Australia has now notched an impressive 253,100 arrivals from India as of year ended (YE) October 2016. This number reflected a growth of 11.3 per cent vis-a-vis the same period last year, making India the ninth largest inbound market for arrivals to Australia. The month of October 2016 alone saw 20,400 Indian arrivals to the destination, an impressive growth of 24 per cent over the same period in 2015. Most importantly, the holiday purpose of visit have driven the overall market growth with an impressive 20 per cent and 19 per cent increase in arrivals and spend respectively. Nishant Kashikar, Country Manager, India & Gulf, Tourism Australia, said, “Marketing activities, in collaboration with key distribution and airline partners, an increased thrust on digital initiatives, integration on leading television shows, and improved air connectivity between the two countries, have been key factors in boosting travel to Australia.” The Tourism Forecasting Committee (TFC) has predicted 265,000 visitors from India for the Jul 2016 – Jun 17 period, a 9.6 per cent increase over 2015-16. Arrivals from India are expected to perform well with an average annual financial year growth rate of 6.4 per cent through to the financial year 2021-22.

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Hokkaido calls on Indian trade

Hokkaido Tourism Organisation Office held a destination seminar to educate the travel trade about Hokkaido in Delhi. The FTAs have increased in Japan steadily every year and now Japan wants to target the growing outbound market of Indian travellers. A presentation was given by Masaki Kakeda, Manager–Inbound Promotion Section, Hokkaido Tourism Organisation which included introduction of Hokkaido apart from the varied seasons, modes of transportation, various itinerary suggestions and recommendations. The presentation was followed by a Q&A and Hiroyasu Miyake, General Manager, Hokkaido Tourism Organisation, was present along with Kakeda to address all the questions. Apart from a full house of travel agents, the seminar also had Kenko Sone, Minister (Economic & Development), Embassy of Japan, Yasuo Taki, General Manager India-Delhi-All Nippon Airways Co. Ltd. and Kenichi Takano-Executive Director (JNTO) – Preparation Office for Delhi Office in  attendance.

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