Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

Tourism New Zealand teams up with RTOs to upskill agents

More than 50 travel agents from India and South East Asia visited New Zealand recently to wrap up almost a year of upskilling themselves on New Zealand. The agents landed in Auckland where a one-day workshop was held with 25 regional tourism organisations (RTOs) before they headed out around the country. Steven Dixon, Regional Manager – South and South East Asia, Tourism New Zealand, says it was fantastic to be able to bring these agents to New Zealand to show them first-hand what they’ve been learning about. “The agents ticked off the final requirement to become Gold 100% Pure New Zealand Specialists through their visit to New Zealand. We are confident that the knowledge agents acquired by experiencing New Zealand will help them to better sell the country as a holiday destination to their clients,” Dixon said. Consumer insights and product updates were shared between the agents and RTOs through one-on-one meetings. Tourism New Zealand also provided a market update before the workshop concluded with an award ceremony to recognise the agents becoming Gold specialists. Tourism New Zealand worked with the RTOs to develop three different itineraries for agents. The itineraries were designed in a way that agents could experience as many regions as possible withing their time in New Zealand. They got to experience tourist attractions, accommodation and restaurants that would appeal to their clients.  

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NSW to witness boom in Indian tourists

Sydney and regional New South Wales (NSW) are set for an influx of Indian visitors, thanks to the NSW Government’s 2018 ‘Focus on India’ workshop which aims to encourage Indian travellers to book a trip to Australia’s premier tourism and events state. Adam Marshall, Minister for Tourism and Major Events said while Chinese visitor numbers continue to dominate headlines, the NSW Government is working hard behind the scenes to grow visitation from other overseas markets, which have enormous untapped potential, like India. “India has been our state’s fastest growing inbound tourism market for the past five years and it shows no sign of slowing. With the size of India’s middle class rapidly expanding and Indian millennials seeking to travel more than previous generations, the market presents a lucrative opportunity for our tourism industry,” Marshall said. Marshall continues to share, “The 2018 Focus on India workshop, is all about tapping into this market and putting NSW in the global spotlight by inviting 30 key India-based travel agents to NSW to meet one-on-one with some of our best export-ready tourism businesses. We will continue to focus on the dispersal of international tourists beyond the fringes of Sydney and into rural and regional NSW so that local communities reap the benefits of tourist dollars being spent all over town.”    

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Tourism Fiji appoints Country Manager for India

Tourism Fiji has announced the appointment of Seema Kadam as its Country Manager for India. She will be based in Mumbai and will be responsible for Tourism Fiji’s activities across India. Kadam brings with her an abundance of knowledge of the travel industry and products as well as great interpersonal and business development skills. Having worked and excelled at other international tourism companies such as Switzerland Tourism, where she was the Area Manager, she is well qualified to lead the team in India for Tourism Fiji. Matthew Stoeckel, CEO, Tourism Fiji, said, “India is a strategically important market for us and one that has significant potential for sustainable long-term growth. This new appointment is the first of many steps we have taken to increase visitor arrivals from India and further promote Fiji within the India market. Visitor arrivals from India have grown by 24 per cent over the last three years and we hope to drive these numbers up further.”

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Cox & Kings and Morocco host travel agents meet in Delhi

Cox & Kings Global Services (CKGS) and The Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco hosted a joint event in Delhi. The occasion was graced by His Excellency Mohamed Maliki, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco, along with the senior management of Cox & Kings Ltd. The event showcased Moroccan culture and various tourist attraction in Morocco from the imperial cities to stunning beaches. “I’m honoured to co-host the travel agents event together with CKGS, which gives us opportunity to promote the Kingdom of Morocco as an Authentic and Exotic destination and showcases the numerous Tourism potential it has. Foreseeing growth and significance of the Indian tourism market to Morocco, we are also planning to open of a full-fledged Moroccan National Tourism Office in Delhi very soon.” said His Excellency, Mohamed Maliki. CKGS has recently opened Morroco Visa application centres in different cities of India including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Goa and Indore. Centres in more cities will be opened shortly. “We provide visa application services to Indians travelling to Morocco through our various offices in India. we have taken one more step further to promote Indian outbound travel to Morocco by partnering with The Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco for this event.” said Venku Murthi, Chief Operating Officer, CKGS.

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Consul General of France in Mumbai, Yves Perrin and Madame Perrin host dinner for travel trade

The fourth edition of the global culinary event, ‘Goût de France’, an initiative of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs in collaboration with French Embassies worldwide and Atout France, will amass a staggering 3,300 restaurants in 150 countries and five continents that will all serve French-styled menus to its patrons on March 21, 2018. Each participating restaurant will donate 5 per cent of the proceeds of this evening towards a local NGO. This year, 63 restaurants across India will be celebrating the flavours of French cuisine. As a prelude to the event, networking soirees for the travel trade fraternity and media are hosted by Consular services in different Indian cities and on the day of the event, a reception is hosted in New Delhi at the Residence of France under the patronage of His Excellency, Ambassador of France to India. Goût de France will also pay homage to legendary chef Paul Bocuse who was symbolic to French cuisine for half a century. Participating chefs will be invited to present a dish from his repertoire or an inspired creation. The event will honour the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region renowned for its exquisite French wine, with the global brand of Bordeaux, rich in various gastronomy and wine experiences.

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India crosses 300k mark in visitor arrivals to Australia

Visitor arrivals from India to Australia have crossed the 300,000 mark as recorded by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) for the year ended December 2017, an increase of 15.4 per cent over the previous year. India is also currently the eighth-largest and the fastest-growing inbound travel market for Australia, and has recorded double-digit growth for the fourth consecutive year. The growing appetite for Australian holidays has been fueled by Tourism Australia’s consumer marketing campaign – ‘There’s Nothing Like Australia’. Commenting on this achievement, Nishant Kashikar, Country Manager, Tourism Australia India and Gulf said, “We are delighted at having crossed the 300k mark for arrivals into Australia from India, and are extremely grateful to all our partners and stakeholders for being with us on this journey. There has been a consistent effort at the introduction of new products and experiences from a trade distribution perspective and innovative direct to consumer communication initiatives that have been implemented to build and sustain Australia’s preference as a holiday destination.” In mid-2017, the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection extended online lodgment of visitor visa applications to all Indian nationals. The online application process provides a more convenient option for Indians looking to visit Australia.

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Seychelles to conduct three-city roadshow

Seychelles Tourism Board is set to conduct roadshows at Kolkata, Pune and Bengaluru. The pre-fixed meetings format which was introduced last year will continue this year as well. Sherin Francis, CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board, says, “Last year’s roadshow allowed top agents to meet all partners in a quick pre-fixed meeting of 15 minutes each in a round-robin flow. This no-frills format focused on serious business generation and ensured that every agent invited could spend quality time with every partner from Seychelles.” For 2018, the tourism board plans to conduct workshops with its key B2B partners in cities of Raipur, Indore, Kochi, Coimbatore, Baroda, Surat and Rajkot. “We will also continue to meet and educate agents in main cities that will include Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune and Kolkata. We plan to support tour operators with incentive-based trainings to encourage bigger numbers to Seychelles,” Francis adds. Seychelles Tourism Boards recently hosted an appreciation evening in Mumbai to acknowledge high performers from the travel trade in association with Air Seychelles. India emerged as the seventh-largest source market for Seychelles with an arrival of 13,518 tourists from India in 2017 which indicated a 23 per cent growth compared to 2016. In 2018, the tourism board expects a similar percentage growth.  

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France launches Heritage Lotto to finance architectural heritage restoration

French President Emmanuel Macron hosted the signing of an agreement between the French Ministry of Culture, represented by Minister Francoise Nyssen and the French Heritage Foundation (Fondation du Patrimoine) represented by its president, Guillaume Poitrinal, relative to the use of government funds that will be generated by a new lottery known as the Heritage Lotto. Signatories also included Stéphane Bern (popular history & heritage Radio and TV show host) and Stéphane Pallez, CEO of ‘Française des Jeux,’ France’s national lottery authority. In the next three years or more, the drawing of the Heritage Lotto will take place during the European Heritage Days and proceeds will go to the French Heritage Foundation and will be earmarked for the restoration of architectural treasures throughout France. The inaugural drawing will be on September 14, 2018 one day before the European Heritage Days (Journées Européennes du Patrimoine) to be held September 14 and 15, 2018. A scratch-off game will also be offered. Last September, the French President enlisted Stephane Bern’s assistance in identifying and listing France’s imperiled architectural heritage and help find novel ways to finance their restoration. One of these solutions was to create a new lottery, which was voted into law on December 28, 2017. The French National Lottery estimates that the Heritage lotto will raise between 15 and 20 million Euros. Additional funding managed by the French Heritage Foundation will include corporate sponsoring and crowd funding. Stephane Bern will head the committee that will select among the 1800 restoration projects inventoried by the French Heritage Foundation and by the French Ministry of Culture that will receive financial aid from the special fund. Applications for funding are taken online by the Ministry …

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ExploreGB 2018 kicks off at Newcastle

ExploreGB 2018, the two-day flagship event which brings together Britain’s travel trade with international buyers from key inbound markets, kicked off at Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle on March 1. ExploreGB brings together 310 suppliers and 287 hosted buyers along with 16 international media from 40 countries. From India, 23 buyers are participating at the event. Delivering the welcome address, Carol Dray, Commercial Director, VisitBritain, talked about Newcastle Gateshead being a modern city with a fantastic art scene and some first-class conference facilities. The year 2017 has seen great growth numbers from long haul markets for Britain with the growth being driven by holiday visitors, while business visits have seen a decline of -4 per cent.

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VisitFinland re-enters India market, appoints Sara Sodhi Juneja as Country Head

Having witnessed a robust growth of 42 per cent in tourist arrivals and overnights from the Indian market in 2017, VisitFinland has reinstated their focus in the India market through the appointment of Sara Sodhi Juneja based in New Delhi to head VisitFinland activities in India. Dr. Jukka Holappa, Trade Commissioner for Business Finland India, shared, “Sara brings a wealth of her hospitality and tourism experience to this important strategic role and we are delighted to welcome her to head VisitFinland in India. Aligning with the growing potential of India market and our global expansion strategy, VisitFinland has decided to foray again into the Indian market”. Juneja shared, “My role will focus on developing our strategy devised for the Indian market and strengthening relationships with the travel trade to increase visitation and length of stay by Indians in Finland. In parallel, we will also work in close collaboration with the Indian media as communication is an integral part of our strategy. The key focus for 2018 is to encourage the Indian travel trade to increase their knowledge of Finland. For the same, we will organise roadshows and Fam trips throughout the year to give the Indian travel trade and media a first-hand experience of the destination.”  

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