Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

30 per cent increase in Indian tourists to Indonesia

In 2017, 4,85,314 Indian tourists visited Indonesia. The numbers saw a 30 per cent increase from the previous year in 2016, when 376,802 tourists visited Indonesia, said Arief Yahya, Indonesia’s Tourism Minister. He is visiting India from May 6- 9,  2018 along with a delegation from Jakarta. Upon arrival in Delhi the Minister met with top tourism operators and members of the media. In honour of Yahya’s visit, HE Sidharto Suryodipuro, Indonesia Ambassador organised a cocktail reception at the Indonesia embassy. The event was well attended by travel agents, tour operators, wedding planners and media persons. While addressing the guests,  Yahya commended the Indian tourists. He also said, the Indian market has the potential for still more significant growth.    

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Thailand hosts Indian agents for Wedding Symposium in Bangkok

TAT’s Mumbai and New Delhi offices, recently organised the sixth edition of the Indian Wedding Symposium and B2B session 2018 exclusively for the Indian market. Top eight wedding planners from South and West of India and 10 wedding planners from North and East of India were hosted in Thailand from April 23-27, 2018. The itinerary included the scenic route of Phuket-Khao Lak-Krabi-Bangkok. During the trip, the group visited numerous beautiful hotels in these destinations to evaluate their potential as ideal venues for grand Indian weddings. The trip concluded in Bangkok with a Wedding Planners’ Symposium and B2B session at Centara Grand AT Central World, which included a panel discussion between representatives of the planners, hotels, and Tourism Authority of Thailand to strengthen the existing relationship and to attract more and more Indian weddings in Thailand. The discussion was followed by a B2B session in which the planners and various suppliers met and discussed future business prospects. Santi Chudintra, Deputy Governor, Asia Market extended his warm welcome to the Indian wedding planners and the 26 Thai private sectors. “The Indian wedding planners are the most important influencers to help promote Thailand as the most preferred wedding destination after they have first-handed experience and learned what Thailand has to offer from this familiarization trip. India is one of the key markets for us, last year we witnessed more than  300 Indian weddings in Thailand and we aim at doubling the number by the end of 2018″.

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Morocco to open tourism office in Delhi

Mohamed Maliki,  Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco has said that Morocco will soon be opening a tourism office in New Delhi. “The new office was supposed to open in January this year but due to some technical hurdles, it had to be delayed. We will announce the office and the CEO who will head it soon,” he said. He also revealed that the two countries had recently signed a bilateral agreement for aviation. “We are in talks with some Indian airlines for better connections between India and Morocco and may even look at a direct connectivity if it makes sense to the airline. We are currently connected to India through a few Middle Eastern and European airlines,” Maliki added. He was in Mumbai to inaugurate the ninth visa application centre which is in Mumbai. All its visa services are contracted to Cox & Kings Global Services. These developments indicate a growing number of Indian tourists to Morocco. In 2017, the North African country welcomed about 21,850 Indian visitors. “We hope to double this by 2019. We will plan a strategy for the India market once we open our Moroccan National Tourist Office in Delhi,” Maliki added.

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Switzerland dedicates train on Golden Pass Line to actor Ranveer Singh

Switzerland Tourism and the Swiss Travel System have together launched a special ‘Ranveer on Tour’ train dedicated to Ranveer Singh to honour the actor’s contribution towards the increasing popularity of the country as the preferred destination of Indian tourists. The train’s maiden journey was inaugurated by the official brand ambassador of Switzerland Tourism. Also present at the inauguration were Martin Nydegger, CEO Switzerland Tourism and Maurus Lauber CEO Swiss Travel System. Post the inauguration, Singh took a commemorative ride on the train while interacting with the passengers and signed a few postcards. Nydegger said at the inauguration, “The Indian market is fundamentally important for Switzerland Tourism. In 2017, activities to promote Switzerland in India have resulted in a strong increase of 23.4 per cent in overnights. Our campaign with Ranveer Singh as our Brand Ambassador has powerfully contributed to this recent success: Switzerland has become increasingly famous as an adventurous and fun destination for younger Indian visitors.” Lauber added, “ Indians are extremely important for the Swiss Travel system and the number of Indian travellers using the Swiss Travel Pass has doubled since 2013. We are very proud that the Golden Pass Panoramic train is named after Ranveer Singh and we hope this inspires more Indians to travel on this premium route on the Grand train tour of Switzerland.”

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New Zealand launches new visa process for Indian visitors

Tourism New Zealand and Immigration New Zealand have launched an extension of the Tourism Industry Partnership (TIP) Programme to facilitate faster processing of visitor visa applications for Indian leisure travellers. Riding on the success of the previous partnership between Immigration New Zealand (INZ), Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) and key travel agents, the Tourism Industry Partnership (TIP) Programme has now been extended to leisure agents. The previous programme was launched in November 2014 and focussed on the business and incentive travel sector. With this new arrangement, Indian leisure travellers will benefit from a more streamlined visa service, with a faster processing time of three days, compared to the previous online application processing time of 15 days. Steven Dixon, Regional Manager, South and South-East Asia, Tourism New Zealand said, “This new visa process will make it even easier for Indian travellers to experience New Zealand.  India is an important market for Tourism New Zealand and it is pleasing to see the increase in the number of Indians choosing New Zealand as their favoured destination. This agreement will ensure that New Zealand welcomes even more high calibre visitors.” Commenting on this, Marcelle Foley, Head, Operations Immigration New Zealand said, “We have enjoyed the opportunity to partner with Tourism New Zealand and key players in the Indian travel trade to make it even easier for Indian business event travellers to visit New Zealand. ”

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Oman Tourism hosts networking events in Mumbai & Delhi for MiCE

Oman Tourism along with Cox & Kings hosted a networking evening in Delhi and Mumbai recently. Around 40-45 attendees representing the top management and decision makers of various corporate entities were present for this session to discuss Oman emerging as the next big hub for corporate events and MiCE groups. Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative, Ministry of Tourism, Oman said, “Conducting networking session for corporate organisations gave us an opportunity to showcase to them various MiCE offerings. For this, we feel privileged to be associated with Cox & Kings who bring along their expertise. Being a short-haul destination from India, with excellent air connectivity from major Indian cities, world-class hotels and easy availability of Indian food, Oman makes an ideal MiCE destination.” Khalid Al Zadjali, Director, Oman Convention Bureau said, “With new international hotel chains that have recently opened in Oman and many more to launch soon, we are seeing a considerable increase in the number of rooms and venues in the country. The recent revision in visa regulations (granting of Visa on Arrival for non-sponsored tourist visa for certain categories), increasing number of flights from India to Oman, diversification of tourism products and the upcoming phase II of the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC) will bring momentum to MiCE tourism.”

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Holland records 30% growth from India in 2017

The Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC) has recorded 30 per cent growth from India in 2017 over 2016. Alphonsus Stoelinga, Ambassador, Kingdom of the Netherlands, spoke about this growth in New Delhi recently and said that the numbers of Indians visiting Holland is on a rise and vice versa. He revealed that they are expecting 2018 to record double digit growth as well. Attributing this growth to the increased air connectivity, he said, “With Jet Airways offering direct connections from Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam; as well as KLM Royal Dutch Airlines starting flying from Mumbai to Amsterdam, the number of travellers between the two countries is increasing. Amsterdam is acting as a hub for Indians to not only land in Holland and explore the destination, but also go to other European countries from there, especially with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines offering connections to all of Europe and America. This added with Jet Airways offering connections all across India, is only going to boost the traffic between both the countries.” He also added that this year’s theme for marketing for NBTC would be luxury, and the country has many offerings and experiences for travellers in this segment.

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Cyprus offers incentives for MiCE

In order to attract the growing conferences and incentives segment from India, the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) is offering attractive financial incentive schemes so that MICE agents and corporates choose Cyprus as their preferred destination. There are broadly four schemes. Speaking about this Michalis Metaxas, Director, Cyprus Tourism Organisation and Cyprus Convention Bureau (CCB) says, “Cyprus is an attractive and competitive destination for the organisation of conferences, meetings and incentive trips. We have four different types of schemes for corporates depending on who they are and what their aim is.” One scheme is for MiCE directed at non-profit organisations, associations and academic institutions for conferences and meetings and licensed tourism and travel offices and companies for corporate conferences and incentive trips. The second incentive scheme is to support conference bidding and sales calls to attract conference and incentive tourism to Cyprus. The bidding for hosting of conferences should be done by non-profit organisations/associations, and educational/academic institutions that will travel abroad in order to bid for the hosting of conferences/meetings of non-profit regional, European or international organisations/associations, or educational/academic institutions on the island. Cyprus also offers incentives for inspection visits of the destination in general, and meeting Cypriot professionals within this field as well as for conducting familiarisation trips to Cyprus for MiCE.  

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Israel Tourism collaborates with Ola to attract travellers from India

Israel Ministry of Tourism has joined hands with Ola cabs in India to collaborate on a two-week contest that will run on the Ola app which is valid for its Mumbai and Pune users only. The Ola users who undertake the maximum number of rides during the two weeks period and use code ISRAEL stand a chance to win a free trip to Israel for three nights or four days. Utilising Push notifications, in-App promotion, e-mailers , Ola Website and their Social Media pages, the ride-sharing company will promote the contest. Talking more about the association Hassan Madah, Director – Israel Ministry of Tourism, India & Philippines said, “Ola is one of the largest taxi services in India and have a large user base, especially in metro cities. Today, many urban dwellers use the services of taxi hiring in big cities as it is convenient. We are always thinking of distinct ways to promote Israel and felt this association with Ola cabs will help us reach Ola’s over 80 lakh users in Mumbai and Pune. We look forward to creating more awareness of the beautiful destination among Ola users so that they can plan a trip soon to Israel.” Israel has welcomed close to 10,000 Indian travellers between January and March, resulting in a 15% increase in Indian tourists arrivals compared to the same period in 2016. With the recent addition of Air India’s direct connection from Delhi to Tel Aviv, Israel hopes to witness one lakh Indian tourist arrivals in 2018.

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GNTO focuses on culinary experiences in 2018

The German National Tourist Office (GNTO) introduced the ‘Culinary Germany’ theme in India, to use it as their focus for marketing campaigns this year. The country witnessed 8,52,224 visitor overnights in 2017 making for a 13.8 per cent growth over 2016. Owing to this steady growth, GNTO, India forecasts a 5-8 per cent growth in visitor overnights for the year 2018. Romit Theophilus, Director, GNTO, India said, “Food forms an integral part of any traveller’s itinerary. Experiencing the local flavours helps enhance the flavour of any holiday and makes for everlasting impressions. With over 5,000 beers from 1,300 breweries, 300 types of bread, 1,500 types of sausage, 13 wine regions, 292 Michelin-starred restaurants and 3,000 to 5,000 Christmas markets, Germany is sure to satiate any traveller’s appetite.” According to the Quality Monitor survey of the German tourism industry, 4% of international holidaymakers come to Germany specifically for the variety and quality of its food and drink. The sector, therefore, contributes at least 3.2 million overnight stays to Germany’s inbound tourism. ‘Travelling food-lovers’ are generally quite young, well-educated family people with children; they are often city dwellers and are very active on social media. GNTO, India now boasts over 1 million followers on its Facebook platform.

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