Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

‘Focus Philippines’ kick-starts in Goa

More than 120 travel fraternity members from across India will mark their presence at ‘Focus Philippines’ organised by Department of Tourism (DOT), Philippines, at the LaLiT Golf & Spa Resort, Goa. Over 20 exhibitors from the Philippines are showcasing their products, which include various Department of Tourism regional offices, attractions, hotels, integrated resorts, destination management companies as well as national and global air carriers. Through Focus Philippines, travel operators will witness exclusive, one-on-one meetings and gain a better insight on the destination. This will enable them to further customise their product offerings, based on exhibitor inputs, thereby taking Indian arrivals to the Philippines to the next level. MA Teresita C Daza, Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines, said, “Focus Philippines is a good opportunity for different stakeholders in the tourism industry in the Philippines to interact with travel operators in India. It will be a good opportunity from both the sides to actually see what packages, can be presented and promoted highlighting different attractions in the Philippines.” Dakila F Gonzales, Head, Office of Product and Market Development – India, Department of Tourism Philippines, said, “The inspiration behind the creation of the event is the huge increase in tourist arrivals of Indian nationals to the Philippines. In 2017, we had reached almost 107,000 arrivals, with a growth of 22 per cent and this growth is being sustained. We have realised that there is a further potential to increase this growth. Therefore, we want to stay committed to our current partners, giving them more knowledge on new segments of Philippines tourism.”  

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Egypt Tourism conducts 4-city roadshow

Egypt Tourism, led by Ismail Amer, Egyptian Tourism Counsellor, Egyptian Tourism Office in Mumbai, is conducting a four-city roadshow which includes the cities of Mumbai (July 23), Ahmedabad (July 24), Bengaluru (July 26) and Cochin (July 27). The Mumbai leg witnessed a huge response from the travel trade who attended to meet their counterparts from Egypt to explore the opportunities of cooperation and extend their knowledge about the uniqueness and variety Egypt offers to visitors. The Mumbai roadshow included two separate segments on the sidelines of the main show – an Experts Meet, which was the corporate MiCE workshop followed by an Experts Meet on film workshop which invited key individuals from the film and entertainment industry. Speaking at the event, Amer said, “In 2017, we received 1,03,000 visitors from India and this was a 30 per cent increase in numbers as compared to the previous year. In 2016, we received about 79,000 tourists from India. It’s a very good growth and I believe it is the largest growth we have achieved since 2014, when we had received only about 60,000 tourists from India.” He added that according to the latest figures, Indians are the second-highest spenders in terms of the international market, preceded only by Japanese tourists.

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Singapore recorded 6.1 lakh visitors from India from Jan-May 2018

Singapore has received over six lakh visitors from India between January to May 2018, reporting a 17 per cent year-on-year increase from 2017. The year 2017 was a record year for STB as visitor arrivals from India had crossed the one million mark for the third time in a row, showcasing the highest growth rate at 16 per cent in comparison with all markets. India also continues to be the top source market for visitor arrivals in the cruise segment for Singapore. Last year, 127,000 cruise passengers from India sailed out of Singapore’s shores, showing a year-on-year increase of 25 per cent from 2016. While speaking about STB’s efforts to showcase Singapore as a destination of choice among Indian travellers, GB Srithar,  Regional Director – South Asia Middle East & Africa (SAMEA), STB, said, “STB has been steadfastly engaging travellers through partnerships and various marketing initiatives. Last year, India moved up a spot to become the third largest source market for Singapore in terms of Visitor Arrivals. We are looking forward to working closely with both Indian and Singaporean travel trade partners to continue the momentum and entice more Indian travellers.” This year, the STB has lined up a series of collaborative initiatives to welcome more Indian travellers to Singapore in 2018. They embarked on an 8-city roadshow from July 16-26 with close to 40 stakeholders to grow their partnership with in-market travel agents. This is part of STB’s ongoing efforts to take the ‘Passion Made Possible’ brand messaging forward and showcase Singapore’s diverse offerings to the target audience.    

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Oman to boost tourism through short stay visa

In an effort to bring momentum to tourism growth and encourage more travellers to visit the country, the Royal Oman Police has recently announced a new short-term tourist visa at 5 Omani Riyal (OMR) to visit the Sultanate for a period of 10 days. Indians who hold a valid visa to any one of these countries – United States of America, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Japan and Schengen States can avail the Oman visa through an e-visa process by logging on to https://evisa.rop.gov.om/ and make the 5 OMR payment on checkout, while other Indian travellers can get a sponsored visa by paying 5 OMR plus processing fee through their tour operators. This is in addition to the existing e-visa for Oman which is available at 20 OMR with a validity of one month. The amendments include dividing tourist visas into three sections: 10 days, one month and one year. Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative, Ministry of Tourism, Oman said, “Along with FIT, we have seen an increase in MiCE tourism with the recent launch of the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre in Muscat that supports international and local organisations in hosting large events. Also, many new international hotel chains that have recently opened in Oman have increased the number of rooms and venues in the country. Oman being a short-haul destination from India, with excellent air connectivity from major Indian cities, world-class hotels and easy availability of Indian food, is also becoming a preferred wedding destination. The reduced visa fees, new e-visa system, along with the newly opened Muscat International Airport will definitely be a boon for Oman’s tourism.” With a total of 3 million and 300 thousand tourists visiting last …

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Delhi to connect with Ho Chi Minh City via direct flights

The first direct air service between Vietnam’s most populous Ho Chi Minh City and New Delhi is likely to commence by the last quarter of this financial year. This was announced by Nguyen Le Thanh, Deputy Chief of Mission at Vietnam Embassy. Stating that out of 20 million Indians travelling overseas every year, only 90,000 visit Vietnam. “India has a very important place in our foreign policy and we have a comprehensive strategic partnership. The bonding will strengthen further with more people to people contact and this can been be boosted through tourism,” Thanh said. She said Vietnam has seen a rapid rise in tourist inflow from the other parts of the world with an average 25 to 30 per cent increase in numbers every year compared to the previous year. “From just 2.5 lakh overseas tourists in 1990, Vietnam has registered 13 million tourist arrivals in 2017,” she said. Thanh said that the country has a great heritage with a 4000-year-old history. With a very long coastline, the S-shaped country has 125 beaches including the popular Nha Trang, Da Nang and Phu Quoc island, she said. She said the country is peaceful and safe with friendly people and boasts of an exquisite cuisine. Source: PTI

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Israel Ministry of Tourism to conduct four-city roadshow in India

The Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT) has announced a four-city roadshow in July and August in India in alignment with its plan to increase Indian arrivals to the country. The Ministry will begin with its maiden roadshow in Nashik on July 19, followed by Ahmedabad on August 27, Kolkata on August 29 and concluding in New Delhi on August 30. The events will start off with a destination presentation leading to an interactive workshop followed by a press conference with the IMOT team. The Israeli delegation will be led by Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism, India & Philippines along with Judah Samuel, Director – Marketing, Israel Ministry of Tourism, India and will include representative partners from the tourism industry of Israel. Hassan Madah said, “Israel is an emerging destination for the Indian traveller and tourist arrivals have been growing progressively over the last couple of years. 2017 was a record breaking year for us with close to 60,000 Indian tourists visiting Israel, and we are constantly striving to increase destination awareness among consumers, Indian travel trade and MICE agents. Besides the source markets, we are looking to focus on cities like Nashik that has immense potential and recently conducted maiden roadshows in Guwahati and Lucknow as well. The plan is to organize 11 roadshows in different cities of India by end of 2018 and successfully introduce and reinforce the varied tourism offerings of Israel.”

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High Commission of Malaysia celebrates Eid Ul Fitr with trade

The High Commission of Malaysia in association with Tourism Malaysia recently celebrated Eid Ul Fitr Open House. Diplomats from various embassies along with the travel trade attended the event. Authentic Malaysian cuisine was served to the invitees. Eid Ul Fitr Open House is a casual affair, where visitors mingle with other people and relish sumptuous Malaysian food together. In Malaysia, Eid is more commonly known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Hari Raya means Celebration Day. In Many part of Malaysia, pelita (oil lamps) are lit up and placed outside around homes as decoration. Special dishes like Ketupat (packed rice in leaf pouch), Rendang (slow cooked meat with spice and coconut milk), Lemang (glutinous rice cake cooked in bamboo), etc are served on this day.

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Indian visitor arrivals double from 33k-66k in four years for New Zealand

The total visitor arrivals from India to New Zealand have doubled from 33,000 to 66,000 in the past four years, with more Indians visiting the country than ever before. In recognition of this incredible growth, Tourism New Zealand is expanding its annual travel trade event, Kiwi Link India, this year. The new format will see the organisation and partners hosting key buyers from around India in Mumbai from July 9-10, followed by frontline training in Bangalore and New Delhi from July 12-13 respectively. Kiwi Link serves as a platform for Indian travel agents, product managers and planners to interact with New Zealand operators and understand the new developments and market insights in the tourism sector. Kiwi Link 2018 will see participation from record 40 New Zealand operators, along with three airlines – Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways, Immigration New Zealand and 72 Indian delegates from 49 travel companies. More than 50 Indian participants are expected to attend the frontline training programme which will be conducted in the Bengaluru and New Delhi markets. Steven Dixon, Regional Manager-South and South-East Asia, Tourism New Zealand said, “The record number of New Zealand operators visiting India to participate in Kiwi Link this year is a real reflection on the value we place on the market. This event provides an opportunity for both new and experienced tourism operators to develop an alliance with vital travel decision makers, thus enabling them to drive sales out of India.”

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Tourism Ireland, Cricket Ireland partner for India-Ireland T20 International series

Tourism Ireland has partnered with Cricket Ireland and the Embassy of Ireland to promote the T20 International series between India and Ireland to be held in Malahide, Dublin. With the first T20 international match underway, the second will be held on June 29. The Indian team will show its wonders on Irish soil for the first time in over a decade, since they played an ODI in Belfast back in 2007. The match will be streamed on Sony Six at 8.30 pm IST. An interesting turning point to this tournament is the presence of the iconic cricket star Ajay Jadeja as the commentator for the matches. During his stay in Dublin, Jadeja will have the opportunity to tour around the elegant city and experience the best of the Irish hospitality. He will visit the famous iconic attractions like Malahide Castle, Ha Penny Bridge, Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens, Guinness Store House and Kilkenny Castle. Speaking on the occasion, HE Brian McElduff, Ambassador of Ireland to India, said, “This is the first-ever initiative where Tourism Ireland and Cricket Ireland have joined hands to celebrate the beautiful game of cricket and promote Ireland. We are proud to be a part of this significant event and hope this occasion will further strengthen the relationship between the two countries.” Tickets for the matches are available on TicketMaster. Further details are also available on the official Cricket Ireland.

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New Zealand to levy tourist tax on visitors from mid-2019

New Zealand has announced plans to introduce a tourist tax and increase other fees for international visitors to fund infrastructure development in the face of a tourist boom. Tourism numbers in the country of 4.5 million have surged by nearly a third in the past three years to 3.8 million in April this year. “This rapid growth has impacted the costs and availability of publicly-provided infrastructure,” said Kelvin Davis Tourism minister. “Many regions are struggling to cope and urgently need improved infrastructure, from toilet facilities to car parks,”Davis said. A tax of NZ$25-35 (US$17-24) would be imposed on international visitors from the middle of next year while price hikes for immigration fees and visas will take effect this November. Australians and most Pacific Island forum countries will be exempt from the new charges. Tourism is a key pillar of the New Zealand economy and the new tax is expected to raise up to NZ$80 million in its first year, which will be split between tourism infrastructure and conservation initiatives. The main opposition National Party claimed the new tax system would make New Zealand a “less attractive” destination. But Davis believed the impact on tourist numbers would be minimal. “When you’re talking about the additional cost to, say, someone coming from the United States who are already paying about NZ$1,200, an extra NZ$25-NZ$30 isn’t going to make that much of a difference,” he said. Source: AFP

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