Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

85% growth in Indian tourists to Seychelles in 2016

In an attempt to increase the visibility of Seychelles in the Indian market and increase the number of Indian tourist arrivals to the island, Seychelles Tourism Board conducted tourism promotional roadshows in Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru. This was a follow up of similar roadshows conducted in Delhi and Mumbai in 2014. In 2015, Seychelles saw 183 per cent growth in tourist arrivals compared to 2014 and 85 per cent growth from January-April 2016 as compared to the same period last year. Addressing the travel trade, Sherin Naiken, CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board, said, “We are in India to invite you all to be our partners on the ground here and to work with us to offer your clients and the Indian holiday makers a new holiday destination.” Many travel and tourism industry representatives were present at the roadshows namely, Air Seychelles, Ethiopian Airlines, SriLankan Airlines, Kempinski Seychelles Resort, Eden Island Development Company, Constance Ephelia Resort, Sainte Anne Resort & Spa, Banyan Tree Seychelles, AVANI Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa, Le Relax Hotels – Seychelles, Enchanted Island Resort and Savoy Resort & Spa Seychelles, Holidays Box and Akquasun Group. Alain St.Ange, Tourism Minister of Seychelles was also present at the event. Anges explained that India and Seychelles are connected by direct non-stop flight from Mumbai on Air Seychelles with seamless connections from Bangalore with Jet Airways, a partner airline of Air Seychelles and is also well connected with Ethiopian Airlines, SriLanka Airlines, Kenya Airways, Etihad and Emirates. He also added, Indian nationals do not need visas to travel to Seychelles and a range of accommodation establishments are available to suit every budget.

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Australia grants 150,000th visitor visa

The Australian High Commission in New Delhi has granted a record 150,000 visitor visas during the 2015-16 program year. There were a record 233,000 arrivals from India during 2015, a growth of 19 per cent, which represents the highest growth in the past seven years. India’s ranking improved from eleventh to eighth largest inbound tourists destination for Australia. The High Commission celebrated the big achievement with a function where the visa recipient was felicitated. Nishant Kashikar, Country Manager, India & Gulf, Tourism Australia, said, “I think it’s a remarkable achievement and a significant milestone as far as Tourism Australia is concerned because in 2015 we crossed the 100,000 visa application mark and in just a year we have 150,000 visa application. In fact, the year 2015 has been quite a significant year for Tourism Australia. Arrivals went up by almost 19 per cent and this was the highest growth we have seen in the past 7 years.” Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Harinder Sidhu, said, “It is a landmark achievement. This is the first time ever that we have reached the 150,000-mark in visitor visa approvals in India for a year. One hundred fifty thousand visitor visas is a sign of the growth of the relations between our two countries. I welcome it as a positive milestone. The achievement underlines the fast expanding links between Australia and India. More and more Indians are travelling to Australia for business, tourism and to study in our universities, as well as visit family.”  

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VisitBritain names Vishal Bhatia interim Country Manager

As part of VisitBritain’s new strategy in India, VisitBritain is moving its headquarters from New Delhi to Mumbai and has named Vishal Bhatia, B2B and Deputy Country Manager as the Interim Country Manager from July 1 till September 30, 2016. He will replace outgoing Country Manager Shivali Suri who was based in the Delhi office. Bhatia is based at the British High Commission in Mumbai.

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Now, SA visa within 5 days

The South African Department of Home Affairs has finally submitted to the demands of the travel agents and tour operators regarding visa issues for Indians. Hanneli Slabber, Country Manager – India, South Africa Tourism, who will be in India till December 2016, has revealed that Indians do not have to carry birth certificates while travelling with children anymore. “We are very happy that the visa process for Indians has been simplified. The processing days have been brought down under five days as well as the need for carrying birth certificates for children has been eliminated. The Department of Home Affairs has mapped out the seasons and they send us extra support, in terms of manpower, during those times. So the processing is quickened at both the High Commission as well as the Consulate specifically for the Indian market. The big part of our travel is during the Indian monsoon from May through August, which led to a huge bottleneck,” she said.

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Philippines’ 4-city roadshow for trade in August

Buoyed by the success of its roadshow this February, The Department of Tourism (DOT), Philippines is back with yet another four-city roadshow for the travel trade in India during August 2016. The roadshow will commence from Taj Bengal, Kolkata on August 8, The Raintree Hotel Anna Salai, Chennai on August 9, Vivanta By Taj, Bengaluru on August 10 and conclude at The St. Regis Mumbai on August 11. The objective of such B2B sessions is to interact and establish commercial ties with Indian trade in these cities. Representatives from DOT Philippines along with a 20-member delegation will interact with over 400 key travel agents and tour operators, MICE and up-market leisure operators. SanJeet, Tourism Attaché, Philippines Tourism said, “The year 2016 is witnessing a strong start for Philippines Tourism, especially from the India market. We believe in putting our best efforts to make every roadshow more promising than the last one. The Indian travellers’ palate has become experimental and therefore, through our numerous trade initiatives, we envisage the influencers of the Indian travel market to sell the destination more effectively to the end consumers.” The program for the roadshow will include presentations by officials of DOT Philippines, DMCs and hotels from the Philippines in addition to Q&A, detailed networking sessions and a special lucky draw for the participants.

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37% surge in Indian arrivals to Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah has recorded a growth of 37 per cent in visitor arrivals from India during the period of January to April 2016, a remarkable surge over the same period last year, according to Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (TDA). The positive figures indicate that 2016 is witnessing a strong start from India, the fourth largest international inbound market for Ras Al Khaimah. In line with the current tourism development strategy, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Authority recently conducted roadshows and one-on-one interactions with Indian travel trade partners to educate them about the tourist offerings of the emirate. Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah TDA, said, “As part of our tourism strategy to attract 1 million visitors to Ras Al Khaimah by the end of 2018, we place great importance on diversifying our source markets and creating sustainable tourism growth. Our recent trade missions and industry partnerships in India are a key part of our strategy, and have resulted in a positive increase in visitor arrivals from India. We recently launched our new brand positioning which emphasizes Ras Al Khaimah’s natural assets, luxurious indulgence, range of activities for different types of travellers, and authentic Arabian heritage and culture. We are very hopeful that visitors from India will continue to grow as more leisure and business travellers discover the emirate’s unique offerings.” Furthermore, in the first quarter of 2016, Ras Al Khaimah’s hotels reported an occupancy rate of 71%, up by 18% over Q1 2015. Coupled with a 9.2 per cent year-on-year increase in RevPAR, this demonstrates the highest growth across the GCC region.

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India & Qatar strengthen cooperation in Tourism

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Qatar for strengthening cooperation in the field of Tourism. The main objectives of the MoU are to create favourable conditions for long-term co-operation in tourism, exchange expertise, publications, information/data and statistics related to tourism, encourage cooperation through the exchange of programmes, propaganda and marketing of their tourism products via media etc. The MoU also entails exchange visits of tour operators and media for promotion of two way tourism. It will also encourage co-operation between tourism sectors, tour operators, travel agents and other tourism private sector’s firms and bureaus in the two countries. Qatar is an emerging tourism source markets for India (India received approximately 6313 tourists from Qatar in 2015). Qatar is a potential market for India in terms of Medical tourism and provides vast opportunity for India in this field. The signing of MoU with Qatar will be instrumental in increasing arrival from this emerging source market.

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24% rise in Indian arrivals to Philippines in Q1 2016

The Philippines recorded 22,121 Indian tourist arrivals during January-March, 2016, indicating an increase of 23.7 per cent, over the same period last year. As per reports, the Department of Tourism (DOT) Philippines has confirmed that there were 6,943 Indian visitor arrivals in March 2016, registering a growth of 8.23 per cent over March 2015. SanJeet, Tourism Attaché, Philippines Tourism Marketing Office India, has attributed the growth to DOT’s continuous efforts to promote the various attractions of the Philippines under the ongoing Visit the Philippines Again (VPA) 2016 campaign. He said that the Philippines expects to maintain a healthy growth through the rest of the year and hopes to close the year with 25 per cent growth.

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26000 business appointments at rendez-vous Canada 2016

The 40th annual Rendez-vous Canada (RVC), Canada’s premier tourism marketplace, took place from April 24-27, 2016, in Montreal, Québec. During the conference, international tourism buyers met with Canadian sellers at a record-breaking 26,000 face-to-face business appointments. Hosted by Tourism Québec and Tourism Montreal, and taking place in the iconic Palais des congrès de Montreal, this year’s sold-out event features 536 buyers from 28 countries and 582 Canadian sellers from coast to coast — boasting the best seller-to-buyer ratio ever with one seller for every one buyer. “With a record attendance of 1,680 delegates at this year’s RVC, buyers and sellers are working to captivate and drive more people to visit Canada,” says David Goldstein, President and CEO of Destination Canada. “With the incredible range of diverse, fun and authentic Canadian experiences showcased at RVC, we are demonstrating to the world that we’re not cold, we’re cool.”

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India top BRIC market for visitor volumes in UK

2015 was a record year for Indian visits into Britain according to the International Passenger Survey from the Office of National Statistics UK. The latest figures show visits from India in 2015 are up 8 per cent, from 390,000 to 422,000, setting a new record. Indian visitors spent £433 million in Britain last year along with 9.2 million nights. These 2015 figures mean that India retains its position as Britain’s No. 1 BRIC market in terms of visitor volume and among the 20 top source markets for Britain globally. Growing outbound travel trends fuelled by increased flight connectivity into regional Britain has helped India cement its’ position with growing visitor numbers over 2014. VisitBritain Director Asia Pacific, Mid East & Africa, Sumathi Ramanathan said, “India is the top BRIC market for Britain in terms of volume and the year-on-year robust visit figures ensure our way to achieve our 2020 target of 500,000 visits. Our focussed strategy for the India market featuring the Bollywood Britain campaign, combined with our trade engagement, targeted consumer engagements and tactical offers with tourism partners will be crucial for us to deliver our tourism targets in 2016-2017.”

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