Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

TAAI accolades for Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) was recognised for its contribution and support extended to the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) Convention. The destination was appreciated by the travel agents attending the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI ) Convention who were taken on a pre-post familiarisation tour to the emirate. Ras Al Khaimah offers a variety of tourism products to its visitors from adventure, landscape, leisure, honeymoon products and now is even targeting the weddings and MIC segment from India. The tours were aimed to inform and educate the travel agents about the various tourism products that the emirate offers and also helped them understand the various segments of clientele that they can do business with at this destination.

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India is Bali’s 5th most important source market

January-August 2016 saw 1,17,897 Indians visit Bali, recording a growth of 61.57 per cent as compared to the same period last year which saw 72,969 visitors, according to the Bali Tourism Promotion Board (BTPD). With this, India scored the highest growth rate followed by China at 35.06 per cent. The increase in Indian visitors has pushed the country’s position as the fifth most important source market, with Australia, Europe, China and Japan occupying the first four ranks. Accordingly, India contributed to 3.69 per cent share of the total tourists in Bali which is 3.19 million during the same period.

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New service allows check-in from any London front door

AirPortr, a London based travel technology start-up, in partnership with British Airways, has launched AirPortr + Bag Check-In, a ‘game-changing’ new service for airline customers, which allows them to check in their luggage from anywhere in London. AirPortr + Bag Check-In allows those travelling with British Airways to travel straight through the airport completely luggage free until they reach baggage reclaim at their destination airport. AirPortr will deliver any size or weight item of luggage to London Heathrow, London Gatwick and London City Airport with bags checked in from a London address. Prices start from £30 for the first bag from Central London and £10 for each additional bag. The new service can help reduce travel costs and travel times by enabling travellers to use public transport bag free.

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Atout France to promote ‘Befikre’ among the trade

Honorable Mayor of Paris and Yash Raj Films launched the Ranveer Singh and Vaani Kapoor starrer ‘Befikre’ at the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris on October 10 evening. Set entirely in France, ‘Befikre’ embodies the French freedom of expression through a contemporary story of two young protagonists. Sheetal Wadhwa Munshaw, Director Atout France India – France Tourism Development Agency, said, “This is the first ever Bollywood movie to have been truly “Made in France” right from romancing at myriad locations in Paris, Picardy and Cannes, to personifying the quintessential French lifestyle. It has been a delightful experience for us to have been a part of this journey right from handpicking and showcasing locations in France with the Yash Raj team to now embarking on this path breaking launch pad of releasing the film’s trailer in Paris as hospitality partners alongside Accor group of Hotels. To showcase the film to a diverse audience, Atout France in association with Accor group of Hotels and Yashraj will organise a special screening for the travel trade fraternity and select media in December. We hope travel companies are motivated to create a Befikre trail which includes destinations shot in the movie such as Picardy, Cannes and Paris which will spur the avid traveller to embark on a new Befikre experience in France.” Full of Parisian spirit, the movie celebrates love – sensual, carefree and focused on living life to the fullest celebrating the renowned French art de vivre or unique way of life. The ‘Befikre’ cast touched down in France in early May and shot the film entirely Made in France for 52 days. The movie is slated to be released in India on December …

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Bahrain delegates meet airlines from India

Senior delegates from Bahrain Airport Company (BAC), Economic Development Board and Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority recently held productive discussions with a number of potential airlines from India, as it looks forward to seeing Bahrain added to their expanding network. The delegation was attending the 22nd World Routes Development Forum held in Chengdu, China from 24–27 September 2016. Last year, The Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (BACA) supported the ‘Little India in Bahrain’ initiative to celebrate and document the contribution of the Indian community to the history and progress of Bahrain and to boost cultural tourism in the kingdom. BAC is building a new passenger terminal at the Bahrain airport scheduled to be completed by 2020. The expansion is expected to increase the airport’s capacity to 14 million passengers a year from the current nine million passengers a year.

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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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