Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

Enjoy the taste of France at Goût de France on March 21

On the occasion of Goût de France/Good France 2019, a French culinary event is set to take place in 70 restaurants in India, among 5000 worldwide on March 21. Mme Sonia Barbry, Consul General of France in Bombay and Sheetal Munshaw, Director, Atout France jointly launched a special buffet featuring signature French dishes prepared by chefs who participated at the event held recently at the Residence of France in Mumbai. This year, each restaurateur will freely interpret his own version of a French menu, using his local and seasonal produce. Each menu will showcase a more responsible cuisine, more respectful of the planet’s resources and of the diners’ health. The guests opting for the set Goût De France/ Good France menu for the evening, will also stand a chance to win a 3 night/4 day sojourn in Northern France.  

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Czech Republic witnesses 12% growth from India in 2018

Becoming an emerging destination among Indian travellers, Indian footfall to the Czech Republic has grown by 12.5 per cent in 2018. The Central European destination welcomed 96,325 Indian visitors through the year and recorded a total number of 2, 36,145 nights spent by Indians last year, with the average length of stay being 3 .5 nights per visit. While Prague and its attractions remain popular among travellers, an increased interest has been recorded in newer experiences such as beer spa, glass–blowing and wine tasting, bringing Indian footfall to the newer parts, including the South Moravian region. Arzan Khambatta, – Head of Czech Tourist Authority, CzechTourism India said, “The theme of the Land of Stories this year is the happening cities of the Czech Republic like Prague and Brno, and cultural experiences of castles and chateaux where families can rejuvenate and relax amidst the nature.” Apart from targeting families, experiential travellers, business visitors, honeymooners and leisure travellers, one of the main focuses this year would be the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) segment. The Czech Republic has state-of-the-art infrastructure in place, with the capacity to host large corporate groups and events.

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Australia witnesses 18% rise in visitor arrivals from India in 2018

India once again earned the distinction of being the fastest growing inbound market for Australia, according to a report by Tourism Australia (TA). Arrivals for the year-ended November 2018 stood at 352,500 – a growth of 18 per cent over the previous year. During October 2017 to September 2018, Indian tourists spent $1.6 billion on their Australia trip, a growth of 10 per cent over the previous year. India is now on track to achieve fifth consecutive year of double-digit growth in arrivals, as well as spend. Over the past few months, TA executed few marketing activities to raise Australia’s appeal and attractiveness among the Indian high value travellers: launch of #UnDiscover Australia campaign on television and digital media, showcasing unusual and unfamiliar experiences that Australia has to offer; partnership with ESPN cricinfo with television presenter and model, Shibani Dandekar, visiting five Australian states, and interacting with five Australian cricketing talents, showcased their hometowns and Australia as a holiday destination to their Indian fans and followers through a series of 22 destination videos; leveraged the popularity of our Friend of Australia — Parineeti Chopra and Harsha Bhogle, and Indian cricketer Shikhar Dhawan, who showcased why there’s truly nothing like Australia among their followers; launched the fifth iteration of the Airline Marketplace campaign that delivered over 16,400 bookings in just 3 weeks; Strengthened relationship with the travel industry through the launch of the Premier Aussie Specialist Program, online webinars and face-to-face training initiatives.

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Tourism Malaysia and Kesari Tours to conduct 4-city seminar

Tourism Malaysia Mumbai, in association with Kesari Tours & Travel, has announced a four-city seminar that will include product briefings. This will be held in Surat on March 11, Indore on March 13, Nasik on March 15 and Pune on March 16. The seminars aim to highlight Malaysia as a value for money destination for its various product offerings and attractive packages. An update on visa documentation will be the key feature of this seminar. Product partners of Tourism Malaysia will include Resorts World Genting, Star Cruises, Legoland and Lexis, Swiss Hotels and Ipoh, Malindo Air and Desaru Coast who will be present to showcase their offers. Mohd Hafiz Hashim, Director, Tourism Malaysia Mumbai said, “We are happy to announce our four-city product briefing seminar in Surat, Indore, Nasik and Pune. We look forward to a fruitful association with Kesari Tours & Travel to boost Indian tourist to visit Malaysia. Malaysia is a bio-diversity country with rich tradition and culture. Our natural environment surrounded with rich flora and fauna, pristine beaches, theme parks, adventure activities, nightlife are appealing to Indian tourists. Luxury enjoyed at affordable price is what Malaysia is and will be.”

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Israel hosts 80 agents from 18 countries for its ‘Where Else’ tourism conference

In its 8th edition, ‘Where Else’ conference is the official tourism conference held annually by the Israel Ministry of Tourism for the world travel fraternity. The week-long convention from February 7-13, was attended by 80 travel agents from 18 countries. In attendance were six top travel agents from India such as Odyssey Tours and Travels, A Travel Duet – Celebrating Togetherness, Bigbreaks.com, Gainwell Enterprises, Quintessential Vacations and Swastika Holiday Solutions. The group explored the culturally rich Old City of Jerusalem, home to the world’s three largest religions with its holy sites and breath-taking biblical landscapes as well as emerging culinary, art and nightlife scenes. Furthermore, they visited the modern city of Tel Aviv, charming town of Jaffa, Dead Sea and Masada region followed by a tour of Herzliya in the central coast of Israel. In addition to this, business meetings were held between the Indian delegates and Israeli wholesalers and hoteliers. With a grand opening ceremony in Tel Aviv, senior members of the tourism industry from around the world participated in tours of key sites in Israel with support from the regional Tourism Associations, Hotels Association and the Israel Incoming Tour Operators Association. The purpose of the conference was to expose attendees to the travel brands in Israel alongside the country’s recreation, entertainment and leisure choices. Speaking about the familiarization trip, Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism – India and Philippines said, “Israel is currently witnessing tremendous momentum in tourism with a record of 4.12 million tourists in 2018. Arrivals from India have also increased to 70,800 visitors last year making it the 12th source market for the destination. Bearing this in mind, it was imperative for us to …

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Buyer-Seller online applications open for Thailand Travel Mart 2019

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has opened online applications for buyers and sellers wishing to attend the Thailand Travel Mart Plus (TTM+) to be held between 5-7 June at the Ocean Marina Yacht Club, Pattaya. Online applications will be open until 29 March, 2019. This is the second consecutive year that Thailand’s largest annual B2B tourism and travel trade event is being held at the marina. The event is designed largely to give the emerging generation of creative small- and medium-sized enterprises, especially those which cannot afford to attend international trade shows, an opportunity to network with international buyers. This year, the theme of the ‘New Shades of Emerging Destinations’ is designed to encourage visitors to explore the new shades of Thailand in the 55 provinces identified as emerging destinations or the ‘hidden gems’ throughout the country. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said: “Although Thailand is one country, every place has its own character. There’s more to Thailand than Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket waiting for visitors to discover. TAT is also trying to expose businesses from the emerging destinations to the international audiences in this year’s TTM+.” He said that as part of the focus on responsible tourism development and to make the TTM+ 2019 a green event, TAT will continue last year’s campaign to cut back on plastic usage. Thai sellers will also be partly selected on the basis of their environmental commitment. First organised in 2001, the TTM+ today attracts about 350 sellers, primarily from Thailand with a small number from the neighbouring GMS countries. About 300 buyers from roughly 60 countries are fully hosted, but the event is also open to those wishing to attend on …

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Atout France and La Vallée Village organise networking event for trade in Mumbai

Atout France Tourism Development Agency and La Vallée Village organised an informal networking exchange in the form of an aperitif for key representatives of the trade at the recently-concluded second edition of the Luxury Lifestyle Weekend held at Jio Gardens in BKC Mumbai. This interaction allowed the guests an opportunity to actively engage in discussions and interact with Patrick Allais, Business Development Manager, La Vallée Village. He apprised the guests on all the latest offerings available for their clients at La Vallée Village.

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Inner Mongolia organises culture seminar to attract Indian tourists

The Department of Culture and Tourism of Inner Mongolia, autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China organised the Inner Mongolia Culture and Tourism Festival as part of the ongoing Chinese New Year festivities. Representing the travel trade, Chitra Bhatia, General Secretary, OTOAI and Rajeev Sabharwal, EC Member, OTOAI were present at the event. Hosted by the Chinese Embassy in India and the Government of Inner Mongolia, the promotional event was aimed to promote and attract tourists to the region of northern China. Briefing about the attractions in Inner Mongolia, Shi Mo, Deputy General Secretary, People’s Government of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, introduced the guests while Ai Lihua, Vice Chairman, People’s Government of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Zhu Xiaohong, Culural Counsellor, Chinese Embassy in India presented the welcome remarks. On the ocassion, He Zhiliang, Director of Department of Culture and Tourism, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region said, “This is the first time we have come to India to promote Inner Mongolia province. We are trying to promote the culture of Inner Mongolia by showcasing it through a art performance by ‘Anda Union’. I hope the Indian audience will like this event and visit Inner Mongolia.” During the event, a cooperation agreement was signed between Zhong Xin International Travel Co and Delhi-based Pettitts India Tours.

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Oman records 12.37% growth in Indian tourist arrivals in 2018

The Sultanate of Oman has recorded a 12.37 per cent growth in Indian tourist arrivals with 357,147 travellers visiting the country from January to December 2018 vis-à-vis 317,844 in 2017 making India the second highest source market for Oman. This marks a remarkable growth of 39.4% over the last five years, as per the statistics released by Oman’s National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI). The country received 1,484,063 international travelers in 2018 vis-à-vis 1,369,199 in 2017, which is significantly higher, showcasing a growth of over 8.39%. The numbers do not include regional travelers from other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, who do not require a visa. Speaking about the incredible growth, Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative, Ministry of Tourism, Oman said “2018 has been a splendid year for the Ministry of Tourism. India represents a substantial and vast market for Oman, given the high percentage of travellers willing to travel abroad and experience new destinations. We have been observing a steady year-on-year increase in tourist arrivals to Oman from India and are extremely pleased with the consistent growth. India has been an important market for us and we are delighted to say that it has been one of the best performing countries, reaching the status of second highest source market after GCC. Several initiatives have contributed to this success, such as launch of the Electronic visa, direct flight connectivity from various cities in India and opening of the new passenger terminal at Muscat International Airport, among others. With growing number of travellers each year, we are expecting double digit growth in 2019 as well.

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Finland witnesses 15 per cent growth in Indian tourist arrivals in 2018

Finland witnessed a 15 per cent growth in Indian arrivals in 2018 and over 80,000 overnights, informed Jukka Holappa, Commercial Counsellor, Country Head—India and Sri Lanka, Business Finland, at VisitFinland and India Workshop 2019 held in Delhi on February 25. Speaking at the event, he said, “The numbers from India have been growing. At our roadshows in Delhi and Mumbai, we have 10 partners from Finland and are looking at a participation of about 70-80 agents in each city. Indians usually like to explore more countries in one single visit, often going to Russia and Estonia; we are hoping to get them to stay longer in Finland.” Holappa claims that the they are committed to support, educate and grow the business for their travel partners. “It’s our role to educate the travel agents on Finland but the Indian travel trade needs to educate us to manage Indian travellers as well,” he concluded. He also informed that Lapland is very popular with Indians as they love to see the Northern Lights.

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