Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

Morocco inaugurates National Tourist Office in Delhi, in talks with Air India to boost tourism

Morocco, in an endeavour to double its tourist footfalls from India by 2019, has set up a Moroccan National Tourist Office in Delhi as the first step towards promotion of Morocco as a desirable destination for Indians. His Excellency Mohammed Sajid, Minister of Tourism and Air Transport, Kingdom of Morocco talked about his strategies to boost tourism from India. He said, “In our recent meeting with K J Alphons, Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism, Government of India, we signed an MoU to promote tourism in both the countries. We will be working on our products in Morocco as well as in India. There is also a lot of similarity in both these countries in terms of heritage, civilisation, etc. We will be signing an agreement in air transport field with Civil Aviation. In this trip to India, we have with us the chief of our national transport Royal Air Maroc. We will be having discussions with Air India and other local LCCs to facilitate flights between both the countries.” Morocco is one of the most beautiful cities in Africa with some of the most hypnotic street markets. Moroccan-Indian relations are getting stronger as Morocco prepares to implement several measures to welcome more of Indian tourists in 2019.  

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Seychelles Tourism Board concludes its three-city roadshow

Seychelles Tourist Office, India recently organised a three city roadshow from September 3-7, 2018 in Kolkata, Bangalore and Pune. Following the success of 2017’s format, the roadshow saw the same ‘pre-fixed meeting’ format in all three cities. This by-invite only format ensured quick 15 minute meetings between top agents from the cities and the private sector partners from Seychelles. Elsie Sinon from Seychelles Tourism Board shared information about the destination with all agents. Other partners included DMCs, hotels and airline partner Air Seychelles. Sherin Francis, CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board said, “We are happy to note the immense success of the three-city roadshow in India. We believe that growth of any destination relies heavily on its perception and knowledge among the travel trade of the country. We look forward to strengthen our bonds with the Indian travel trade by many more interactions with them in the form of roadshows, workshops and destination trainings in multiple cities of India.” The roadshow did not just introduce a new way of interaction but also saw the highest turn out of participants from Seychelles. The contingent had partners from various establishments. Lubaina Sheerazi, COO, Blue Square Consultants, Seychelles Tourist office India, said, “The cities were chosen due to their current and potential capacities for outbound tourism to Seychelles. We are pleased to have received such positive and encouraging feedback about the format and quality of meetings.”

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Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau concludes three-city roadshow

Showcasing Sri Lanka as a ‘must-visit’ tourist destination, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau successfully concluded its three city roadshow held in Pune, Rajkot and Surat. Over 100 trade partners attended the event and interacted with close to 24+ Sri Lankan delegates comprising hotels, airlines, integrated resorts, attractions and DMCs. Sri Lanka has seen a substantial growth in tourist arrivals from India in the year 2017 with over 384,000 Indian travellers. The destination has already recorded a growth of 15.3 per cent during the first half of 2018 compared with the same period last year. Chamari Rodrigo, Consulate General, Sri Lanka High Commission in Mumbai said, “India topped the number of tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka at 206,337 followed by Chinese tourists at 136,294. We strongly believe that there is a huge potential in this market and we aim to go all out to reach out to the audience across India. The seven city roadshow is one of the major activities Sri Lanka tourism conducted to ensure that key Indian travel and trade personnel  maintain a close relationship with Sri Lanka’s tourism industry partners.” Viranga Bandara, Assistant Director – Marketing, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau said, “Our primariy objective for the year is to reach out to the potential travellers and showcase various attractions the destination offers. Its important as a tourism board to ensure our trade partners are well updated with the latest developments, be it visa processing, special packages, new hotel launches, etc.”  

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STB appoints T&A Consulting as marketing representative for South India

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has appointed T&A Consulting as its official marketing representative agency for South India with effect from October 1, 2018. For the first time, India moved up a spot to become Singapore’s third-largest Visitor Arrival (VA) source market, with 1.27 million visitors in 2017 – a 16 per cent YoY growth, which made India the fastest-growing market for Singapore. Headquartered in New Delhi, T&A Consulting is a boutique advisory firm with an expertise in promoting India outbound tourism. As the official marketing representative of STB, T&A Consulting will be responsible for making Singapore as the preferred travel destination among consumers in South India, promoting quality tourism for leisure and business travel, increasing visitor arrivals and tourism spend as well as engaging with the travel trade. Adrian Kong, Area Director – South Asia, Singapore Tourism Board, said, “Singapore has consistently been ranked among the top most-visited destinations for families, honeymooners, cruisers, business travellers and incentive groups from India. The destination has received over 1 million visitors from India for three consecutive years, with South India being a significant visitor source market for us. With direct flights from nine cities and close travel proximity to Singapore, this region will continue to be an important visitor-ship driver.” According to Tarun Gupta, Co-founder and Managing Director, T&A Consulting, “Our role will be to enhance the positioning of Singapore as a favoured travel destination for travellers from South India. Our team aims to build more affinity for the destination through engagement with the travel trade fraternity and other relevant stakeholders”.

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Mauritius plans to attract 1.2 lakh Indian tourists in 2020

Mauritius is aiming to attract 1.2 lakh Indian tourists in 2020, up from 88,000 people expected to visit the island nation this year, a senior official from that country said. At a recent four-city India roadshow organised by Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA), Arvind Bundhun, Director, MTPA, said that 80,000 tourists from India had visited his country last year. “In the last four years, Mauritius tourism has seen double digit growth, with Indian tourists contributing significantly to this. We are looking to attract 1.2 lakh Indian tourists to our country in 2020,” Bundhun said. He said that Mauritius has positioned itself as an affordable luxury destination which offers tourists different activities like golf, spa, sky diving, zip lining among others. “In order to create more visibility, we are inviting celebrities and top CEOs from India to Mauritius. Special packages are being offered to promote incentive trips,” Bundhun informed. He added that the wedding segment remains an attractive niche, with a lot of newly-wed Indians choosing Mauritius as a honeymoon destination. Bundhun said that Bollywood was also finding Mauritius attractive with its film promotion policy, adding that some Indian movies had been shot there recently. “Between October 17-19, the Mauritius Film Development Corporation is organising cinema week and a number of Bollywood stars have been invited there. The government has put in place special incentives to shoot movies in our country,” he said.

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MTDC participates in roadshow in China

With the rising tide of Chinese tourists visiting India, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) participated in Tourism Roadshow in China organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, in association with the Indian Embassy, Beijing and Consulate General of India in Guangzhou and Shanghai. The event was successfully concluded in major cities, including Guangzhou, Wahun and Shanghai in the presence of KJ Alphons, Tourism Minister (I/C), Government of India; Jaykumar Rawal, Tourism Minister, Government of Maharashtra; Gautam Bambawale, Indian Ambassador to People’s Republic of China; Vice Governor, Hube region Wuhan, Chang Hyei and other officials. The roadshow consisted of buyer-seller meet, Incredible India seminar, a presentation on tourism promotion strategy by Chinese companies focussing on why Chinese travellers should travel to India and the state of Maharashtra. The aim is to draw Chinese travellers by highlighting Buddhist circuits across the state and the country. Circuits in Aurangabad, Pune, Nashik, Mumbai, Satara and Kolhapur, Raigad and Nagpur were promoted to encourage Buddhist tourism. The objective of the roadshow was to create awareness about Maharashtra and its many destinations among Chinese travellers. Rawal said, “It’s a pleasure to perceive that the roadshow has received an overwhelming response from all the stakeholders across China.”

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Tourism Australia launches new campaign to showcase hidden gems

Tourism Australia has launched a new bespoke tourism promotion campaign in India and Southeast Asia. The latest chapter in Tourism Australia’s evolving There’s Nothing Like Australia campaign, UnDiscover Australia specifically targets high value travellers in India, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. The campaign challenges perceptions and stereotypes of what Australia offers as a tourism destination by showcasing unusual, unfamiliar and unexpected attractions and experiences. To sustain growth in arrivals and yield, the campaign seeks to entice Indian travellers by providing a multidimensional understanding of Australia’s high-quality experiences, showcasing the journey of renowned Bollywood actor Parineeti Chopra. The campaign plays on some of the prevalent misconceptions about Australia highlighted by research carried out in the region, showing that there is much more to Australia than the typical stereotypes of beaches, furry animals and popular icons. Nishant Kashikar, Country Manager – India & Gulf, Tourism Australia said, “This campaign will shine a spotlight on some of our undiscovered and hidden holiday gems, showing there’s much more to an Australian holiday for Indians in addition to experiencing our well-known icons. Yes, you can watch a game of cricket at the magnificent Adelaide Oval, but are people aware that they can also do an amazing rooftop climb offering 360 views of the city? Or that there are plentiful immersive experiences amidst untouched natural landscapes in close proximity to our vibrant cities,” he said. The campaign will be executed in two phases in India – September to November and January to April to coincide with the holiday planning periods for the peak travel season during the year-end and Indian summer respectively.

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Israel conducts roadshow in Delhi to strengthen ties with trade

Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT) conducted a roadshow in Delhi to enhance commercial ties with the Indian travel trade fraternity. The 20-member delegation comprising destination management companies (DMCs) from Israel interacted with over 200 key travel and tour operators, MiCE providers, upmarket leisure operators and media personnel. Interactive B2B sessions, education programmes and workshops were held to aid trade members in planning itineraries and responding to customer queries. Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism – India & Philippines said, “Tourism is on the rise in Israel and inbound arrivals from India has appreciably increased in the last few years. More than 44,000 Indian tourists have already visited the country from January to July, 2018. The introduction of Air India’s direct flight connectivity from Delhi to Tel Aviv received an overwhelming response resulting in the national carrier to increase their frequency to four flights a week.” In March this year, Air India launched its historic direct flight operations from New Delhi to Tel Aviv. Madah added, “We have positively introduced various initiatives to ease the visa procedure for Indians. Along with relaxation of documents for persons who have availed visas of Schengen countries, US, Canada, Australia or Israel and have completed their travel to these countries, Fast Track visa processing for Israel was also incorporated earlier this year. Additionally, reduction in visa fee to Rs 1,100 will encourage more people to choose Israel as a holiday destination boosting inbound numbers from India.”

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Holland targets over 25% growth from India

The Holland Sales Mission kicked off on August 28 in New Delhi amidst a packed gathering at Shangri-La Hotel. The Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC), in collaboration with Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Jet Airways, is organising the three-day, three-city roadshow from August 28-30 in Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai. “For 2018, this is our key activity in the market. This year, we expect a growth of over 25 per cent from the Indian market. We are mainly focusing on leisure tourists, and MiCE is more on a reactive basis. In terms of marketing, we have a 360-degree approach, so we focus on the travel trade, consumers, as well as press and PR. These are the three key elements for promotions,” said Carola Muller, Global Travel Trade Manager, NBTC, when speaking about the agenda this year. The Indian market continues to be one of the most important contributors of international visitors into the Netherlands. The country recorded a growth of 31 per cent in visitor arrivals from India in 2017, attaining a remarkable surge over the previous year. NBTC has confirmed recording 67,000 visitors from India until May 2018, and this year’s Sales Mission aims to achieve good numbers.

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UK witnesses 32% increase in student visas

The number of UK visas granted to Indian nationals has continued to experience strong growth, according to the latest update from the UK Office for National Statistics. The latest figures show that there has been a 32 per cent increase in student visas and a 10 per cent increase in visit visas from India. This means that 550,925 Indians were granted UK visas in the year ending June 2018 while visit visas increased by 10 per cent to 454,658, which demonstrates that Indians are continuing to choose the UK as a holiday destination. T4 visas granted to Indian students touched 15,390, an increase of 32 per cent on the previous 12 months. Over 6,500 Indians came for short-term study in the UK during the same period. This is the third successive year that student visa numbers have increased. India continues to receive more UK work visas than the rest of the world combined with over 60,000 work visas issued last year. Dominic Asquith, British High Commissioner to India, said, “The latest figures reinforce a trend we have noticed for some time – that across the board more and more Indians are choosing the UK as a destination to visit, work in and study. I’m particularly pleased to note that numbers of Indian students have increased by 32%. I welcome this evidence that international students wish to study at our world class institutions and are succeeding in securing places there.”

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