Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

G.B. Srithar returns to India as Regional Director for Singapore Tourism

Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has announced the appointment of GB Srithar as Regional Director for South Asia, Middle East & Africa (SAMEA) to be based in Mumbai. Srithar is well acquainted with the Indian markets having worked in India between April 2010 and December 2013 as Area Director, South Asia. Prior to his appointment as Regional Director, he headed the Brand Campaigns team at STB’s HQ’s Marketing Group. One of his key responsibilities will be to oversee the STB’s leisure and BT MICE travel promotions, marketing and developmental efforts in the SAMEA region; and his office will work closely with travel trade and non-trade partners to promote Singapore as the destination of choice among Indian travellers. Talking about his appointment and vision for the Indian market, Srithar said, “I am happy to assume a wider role and be back in Mumbai, a place that I have enjoyed working and living in. India is a key market for Singapore. In 2015, India registered a growth of over seven per cent in Visitor Arrivals at 1,013,777 arrivals, having crossed the 1-million mark for the first time. We have also observed a consistent growth in visitor arrivals in India over the last five years. I seek to extend STB’s hands in partnership to our friends in the travel fraternity across, not only in the key metros but also in the Tier II and III cities, which will contribute increasingly to the rise of the international visitorship for Singapore.”

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Rhätische Bahn fam trip for Indian agents

Rhätische Bahn (RHB) in partnership with Turkish Airlines recently hosted a familiarisation trip to Davos Klosters and Engadin St. Moritz in Switzerland for leading travel agents based in Delhi. The objective of the Fam was to increase visibility for luxury destinations like Davos Klosters and Engadin St. Moritz, along with the scenic Bernina Express train journey. Make My Trip, Yatra, TUI, Flight Shop, Ottila International, Experiential Travel, Thomas Cook and Ambe World Travels participated in the Fam. The group spent 6 nights in the Graubünden region; 3 nights each in Davos & St. Moritz. They visited Europe’s highest brewery – Monstein, Clavadeler Alp where they experienced the art of cheese making, a scooter ride along the Sertig Valley and attended a music show led by the regional band from Davos “orgalifründä Rinerhorn”.  In St. Moritz the group was taken on a food safari night at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, one of the highlights of during their stay. The itinerary also included hotel inspections such as that of Da Primo Hotel, Intercontinental Davos, Arabella Hotel  Walduus Davos , Turmhotel Victoria, Swiss Mountain Hotel Ameron in Davos,  Badrutt’s Palace and other 3-4 star properties in St. Moritz, to famirialise the trade with budgeted options in the luxury destination.

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Tourism Ireland hosts fam for Indian tour operators

The island of Ireland hosted the second annual Ireland Specialists Mega Fam trip from 21 August 21 to August 26, for 12 top-performing agents from six markets that included Australia, China, India, GCC, South Africa and New Zealand. From India Thomas Cook and Vacations Exotica participated in this fam. They travelled to Ireland and battle it out in daily challenges to be crowned the 2016 Emerald Ireland Specialist 2015. The challenges included photo challenges, food challenges and sporting challenges as well as a competitive, high-tech treasure hunt around Dublin City. As well as competing for the title, the agents experienced many of the key visitor attractions. Over 11,000 agents across the world have signed up for the programme since launching in 2013.

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Blue Square Consultants to represent Iceland Travel

Blue Square Consultants has been appointed as the sales and marketing representative for Iceland Travel, a leading DMC (Destination Management Company) in Iceland. With this new addition, Blue Square Consultants has once again achieved its objective of representing clients from ‘unique’ destinations in India. Having started its operations in 1937, Iceland Travel has been a premier travel company, tour operator and DMC in Iceland offering top-quality services. The DMC offers diverse product categories that will suit Indian agents, such as escorted tours, day tours and self-drive tours in Iceland. Iceland as a destination is gaining popularity in India because of its vast and varied landscape filled with volcanoes, glaciers, black sand beaches, lava fields, and remote fjords. Jakobina Gudmundsdottir, Director of Sales & Marketing, Iceland Travel, says, “Recently, we have witnessed an increase in Indian enquiries to travel to Iceland. To foster this growth, we needed to have a strong representation in India. We felt that Blue Square Consultants is the apt partner to have in India because of their excellent track record; highly professional team and undisputed knowledge of Indian travel trade and travelers. We are confident that through this association we will witness a positive growth in the number of Indian visitors to Iceland.” Lubaina Sheerazi, COO, Blue Square Consultants, says, “We had conducted Iceland’s maiden roadshow in India earlier this year in association with Promote Iceland which was valuable for the delegation including Iceland Travel. We are confident that our association with Iceland Travel will not only be beneficial for them but also for Iceland as a destination as it has something new to offer to Indian travellers.”  

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Crimea assures safety to Indian tourists

In the wake of recent disturbances, Crimean authorities have assured Indian tourists that the country is a “safe travel destination.” Prime Minister of the Republic of Crimea, Sergey Valeryevich Aksyonov, said, “I want to assure tourists from India that Crimea is a safe travel destination. We welcome guests. Especially as Russia and India have long-term friendly relations. The inflow of tourists to Crimea has increased. Crimea remains one of the most popular holiday destinations for those from Russia and outside.” Crimea has been under Russian control since 2014. According to the Russian Federal Security Service, armed clashes took place in northern Crimea last month involving a group that had allegedly came from Ukrainian territory to commit acts of terrorism in public places and thus disrupt the tourist season on the peninsula.   (issued by Russia Info Centre and PTI)

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India is 3rd biggest source market for Singapore

A total of 573,010 Indians visited Singapore in the first six months of 2016 recording a 10.1 per cent growth compared to the same period last year. India has now become the third largest source of international visitors to Singapore, having overtaken Malaysia. In total, international arrivals to Singapore jumped 12.5 per cent to 8.17 million in the first half of 2016. China is the country’s number one source market with 1.47m Chinese visitors while Indonesia ranks second largest market with 1.41 million visitors (growth of 7.3 per cent) Overall visitation from South Asia to Singapore climbed 9.0 per cent to 701,830 in the first half, including increased traffic from Sri Lanka (+3.3% to 45,801) and Bangladesh (+2.2% to 60,367).

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Munich Travel Guru training program for agents

Munich Tourist Office, India, has launched a specialist-training program called Munich Travel Guru for the travel trade. The programme builds on the theme ‘Simply Munich’ and engages the travel trade through 10 online informative modules. The participants will have to score a minimum of 90 per cent in each module to proceed to the next level. Once the participant clears all modules and becomes a Munich Travel Guru, certificate will be issued online and the early birds will be rewarded. SanJeet, India Representative, Munich Tourist Office, said, “We have been actively working with our travel partners with an objective to create the buzz and help build business for Munich City. The program has also been designed specially to enhance knowledge of the frontline staff through extensive education and sell packages to Munich more effectively.” As per the latest statistics, Munich has recorded a year-on-year growth of 21 per cent during January–June 2016 in Indian visitor arrivals and 14 per cent growth in Indian overnights.

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Bali records 55.47% increase in Indian arrivals during H1 2016

Bali has witnessed around 55.47% growth in Indian visitor arrivals to the country during the first six months of 2016 as compared to the same period last year, according to the Bali Tourism Promotion Board (BPPD). India ranked sixth for inbound visitor arrivals in 2015 for Bali. During January-June this year, 92,519 Indian tourists have travelled to the Bali as compared to 59,509 tourists for the same period last year, according to data released by BPPD. “Our focus is on the MICE se­gment. Factors such as marketin­g support for BPPD Ba­li, support from the Emba­ssy and Consulate, efforts o­f the Ministry of Tou­rism of the Republic ­of Indonesia and most­ importantly Visa on ­Arrival for Indians re­ally helped to achieve­ this sustainable gro­wth of over 50 per cent in fi­rst six months of 201­6,” said Vineet Gopal, D­irector India, Bali T­ourism Promotion Boar­d.

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Korean Air to launch Delhi ops five times a week in December

The flight frequency between Delhi and South Korea is set to increase to 12 flights per week by this December owning to an increase of 47.9 per cent in Indian visitor arrivals to the country. While Korean Air will be launching its Delhi operations in the month of December with five times a week frequency, Asiana Airline has increased its operations from three to five times a week from Delhi and plans to operate daily in the near future. As per Korea Tourism Organisation, New Delhi office, South Korea welcomed 88,917 visitors from India by the end of July 2016, which is an increase of 47.9 per cent as compared to the same period  of the previous year. According to Byungsun Lee, Director Korea Tourism Organization, “The tourism board’s effort on educating the travel trade partners to promote the destination in the best possible manner, the proactive business approach from the DMCs have been the key factors in the result. Over 1,50,000 Indians visited South Korea last year and we have almost 90,000 within seven months. So we are confident of surpassing the last year’s numbers by the end of 2016. As we approach the festival season and the winter holiday season, we plan to widen our efforts and establish South Korea as a preferred leisure destination amongst various traveller segments including families, honeymooners and adventure lovers.”

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More direct flights from India-Australia?

Looking at the increased number of Indian tourists to Australia, Tourism Australia is planning to increase direct flights to the country from major Indian cities as part of their marketing campaign in metro cities. Indian arrivals to Australia continued to reflect the positive trend with 21 per cent growth in year ending June 2016 as compared to June 2015, making India the ninth largest inbound market for Australia in terms of tourist arrivals. Australia witnessed the maximum number of tourists from Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. John O’Sullivan, Managing Director, Tourism Australia, said, “Australia will lobby for more flights connecting India. The promotion with regard to India will be focused on three points – lobbying for more flights, designing tourism products that will give more value for the tourists and to integrate content of promotion by adding local flavor.” Scoot Airlines, which offers competitive fares and quick connection from Singapore, has eased the travel woes a bit. This has also increased the volume of tourists in recent months. However, there is very little scope to increase flights via Singapore, because Singapore Airlines has almost exhausted their quota of flights into India. Source: Times of India

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