Category Archives: States

Port Blair becomes an international airport

Foreign tourists can now directly fly to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as the government has designated Port Blair airport as an authorised immigration check post for entry into and exit from India with valid travel documents. The decision came more than a month after the killing of an American national by members of a highly protected tribe in one of the islands of the Union Territory. “In pursuance of sub-rule (b) of rule 3 of the Passport (Entry into India) Rules, 1950, the central government hereby designates Port Blair airport of Union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands as an authorised immigration check post for entry into/exit from India with valid travel documents for all classes of passengers,” a home ministry notification said. In another notification, the home ministry appointed the Superintendent of Police, CID, the Andaman and Nicobar Police, as the “civil authority” for the immigration check post at Port Blair airport with effect from December 31, 2018. The Andamans, under global spotlight after the killing of an American national, has emerged as one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the country receiving on an average four lakh tourists, including several thousand foreigners, annually. According to data available with the home ministry, the archipelago has received 4,02,393 tourists, including 11,818 foreigners, till October, 2018 while it received 4,87,229 tourists, including 15,310 foreigners in 2017. In 2016, as many as 4,00,019 tourists, including 15,467 foreigners, had visited the Andamans and in 2015, a total of 3,11,358 tourists, including 14,674 foreigners, had gone to the union territory, the data revealed. Source: PTI  

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Over 200 agents from Chennai attend Karnataka Tourism roadshow

With an aim to increase tourists from Tamil Nadu, the Department of Tourism, Government of Karnataka recently organised a roadshow in Velacherry, Chennai to promote tourist places, hotels, resorts, homestays and service providers from Coorg and Karnataka. This B2B roadshow had over 200 travel agents from Chennai and over 35 discerning trade partners from Coorg. The event was aimed at showcasing the scenic beauty of Coorg which succeeded in being one of the most vibrant editions that the Karnataka Tourism had ever seen. The main objective of Karnataka Tourism is to promote Coorg as leisure, MiCE and wedding destination in the Indian market. Under the theme ‘Destination Coorg’, this is aimed to promote the different hotels, resorts and service providers from Coorg and Karnataka. The roadshow was inaugurated by Sadananda, Vice President, Hotel & Restaurant Association of Coorg, in presence of N Ravindra, Deputy Director, Karnataka Tourism, and Rathnakar, Jungle Lodges & Resorts. The roadshow brought together different aspects of the tourism products in Coorg like natural beauty, adventure, pilgrimage, coffee tourism, homestay experiences and many more to the Chennai and Tamil Nadu market.

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Govt inaugurates first project under Swadesh Darshan scheme in Nagaland

The central government has launched ‘Development of Tribal Circuit: Peren-Kohima-Wokha Project’ under its Swadesh Darshan scheme to develop Nagaland as a tourist state. Neiphiu Rio, Chief Minister, Nagaland, inaugurated the project at Kisama Heritage Village in the presence of KJ Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C), Tourism, and H Khehovi Yepthomi, Adviser, Tourism, Art & Culture, Government of Nagaland. The project was sanctioned by Ministry of Tourism in November 2015 for Rs 97.36 crores. Under the project, the Ministry has developed facilities like tribal tourist village, eco log huts, open air theatre, tribal rejuvenation centre, cafeteria, helipad, tourist interpretation centre, wayside amenities, last-mile connectivity, public conveniences, multi-purpose hall, nature trails, trekking routes, etc. In addition to the above project, the Ministry has sanctioned another project in Nagaland ‘Development of Tribal circuit: Mokokchung–Tuensang-Mon’ for Rs 99.67 crores. The implementation of the project is in progress.

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Skål International India launches Srinagar Club

Skål International India has opened its 12th club under the name Skål International Srinagar that will comprise 21 members from Srinagar as well as Ladakh. Ibrahim Siah is the Founder President of the club, while Nasir Shah is its Secretary. The chief guest for the Chapter night was Syed Abid Rasheed Shah, District Development Commissioner, along with other eminent dignitaries. Hosted by Fortune Resort Heevan, the event was well-attended by the Skål India National Board and All India Club Presidents/Representatives. Ranjini Nambiar, President, Skål International India, informed, “Club members consist of hoteliers, travel agents, tour operators and adventure specialists. The state boasts of great ski slopes, apple orchards, houseboats on the 24 sqkm famous Dal lake and is an absolute safe place to be. All members worldwide are welcome to interact with the Skålleagues of Srinagar.”

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FCM Travels opens two new stores in Maharashtra

FCM Travel Solutions, the Indian subsidiary of Flight Centre Travel Group Australia, has launched its two new stores in prime locations of Nashik and Aurangabad in Maharashtra. This strategic expansion augments FCM Travel Solutions’ distribution and reach to seven outlets in the state of 40 Travel Money outlets and 32 Travel Tours stores across India. FCM has identified Maharashtra as a high-potential market and the company has thus chosen Nashik and Aurangabad and the state as a key driver of its all-around strategic plan. This includes focused expansion in viable metros/mini-metros and tier II and III markets of Maharashtra, and offering consumer-empowering Product-Service portfolio. Commenting on the aggressive expansion, Gagan Malhotra, Vice President- Foreign Exchange, FCM Travel Solutions, India, says, “The latest additions in Nashik and Aurangabad is a reinforcing of our strategic intent at FCM Travel Solutions- to expand our footprint across key markets. Maharashtra has been a powerhouse in our success story and these new outlets in prime retail locations will take us a step closer to our consumers’ doorstep! With our distinctive and innovative consumer-centric services witnessing a strong uptake, our foreign exchange business is witnessing an impressive 133 per cent growth over last year.”

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7th International Tourism Mart to be held in Tripura from November 22

The Ministry of Tourism, in association with the Department of Tourism, Government of Tripura and the north-eastern states is organising “7th International Tourism Mart” in Tripura from November 22-24, 2018. To be held at the Pragna Bhawan, the event will be inaugurated by Professor Kaptan Singh Solanki, Governor, Tripura, in the presence of KJ Alphons, Union Minister for Tourism; Biplab Kumar Deb, Chief Minister, Tripura; Rashmi Verma, Union Tourism Secretary and other dignitaries from central ministries and north-eastern states. The event aims at highlighting the tourism potential of the region in the domestic and international markets by bringing together the tourism business fraternity and entrepreneurs from the eight north-eastern states. The event has been planned and scheduled to facilitate interaction between buyers, sellers, media, government agencies and other stakeholders. The earlier editions of this mart have been held in Guwahati, Tawang, Shillong, Gangtok and Imphal. The ITM will see wide participation of International buyers and media delegates from countries around the world and from different regions of the country. They will be engaging in business-to-business meetings with sellers from the North Eastern Region. A total of 41 foreign delegates from 18 countries namely Australia, Canada, China, France, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, the UAE and the USA will be in Tripura for the mart. These include 23 tour operators and travel agents, 18 media representatives, journalists, travel writers and bloggers. The three-day event will also include presentations by state governments of the region on their tourism potential, panel discussion, cultural evenings, sightseeing visits to local attractions in and around Agartala and a press meet on November 23.

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K J Alphons inaugurates two Northeast Circuits in Arunachal Pradesh under Swadesh Darshan Scheme

Union Minister of State (I/C) Tourism K J Alphons, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Arunachal Pradesh Tourism Minister Jarkar Gamlin inaugurated two projects under Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Ministry of Tourism at PTSO Lake in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh. These projects are ‘Development of Northeast Circuits: Bhalukpong- Bomdila – Tawang Project & Nafra- Seppa- Pappu, Pasa, Pakke Valleys- Sangdupota- New Sagalee- Ziro- Yomcha Project’. Other important dignitaries were also present on the occasion. Speaking at the event, Alphons said, “The efforts of Ministry have shown positive results and the foreign tourist arrivals in the region have shown an upward trend over the years. The region received a total of 1.69 lakh foreign tourist visits during 2017 as against 1.45 lakh in 2016 registering a growth of 16.7% over 2016. The domestic tourist visits reached to 95.47 lakhs in the year 2017 against 77.71 lakhs registering impressive double digit growth of 22.8% over 2016. The increased number of tourists in turn has created better employment opportunity for the local population in the region.” Under the project development of Bhalukpong- Bomdila – Tawang, the Ministry has developed facilities like accommodation, cafeteria, wayside amenities, last mile connectivity, pathways, toilets, multipurpose hall at Jang, Sorang Monastery, Lumpo, Zemithang, Bumla Pass, Gritsang TSO lake, PTSO Lake, Thingbu and Grenkha Hot Spring, Lumla, Sela Lake. The facilities developed under Nafra- Seppa- Pappu, Pasa, Pakke Valleys- Sangdupota- New Sagalee- Ziro- Yomcha include helipad, trekking trails, rafting centre, log huts, craft bazaar, eco park, tourist facilitation centres, parking, festival ground, etc.  

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Manipur Sangai Festival 2018 to be held from November 21-30

Manipur Tourism recently organised a curtain-raiser of the upcoming Manipur Sangai Festival at Select Citywalk in Delhi. Officials from Manipur Tourism along with its stakeholders shared updates on the ongoing preparations for the largest tourism festival of the state scheduled to be held from November 21-30. Famous personalities from the state including Mary Kom, MP, Rajya Sabha and Padma Bhushan Awardee; Sarita Laishram, former World Boxing Champion; and P Kenedy Singh, former Indian Football Captain promoted the event in the city. Dr Sapam Ranjan Singh, Chairman, Tourism Corporation of Manipur stated that the festival will be inaugurated in Imphal on November 21, while two other districts Bishnupur and Senapati will also play host to the festival and have a line-up of events ranging from half-marathon, water sports and trekking to other adventure activities. The festival takes its name from the state’s unique, shy and gentle brow-antlered Sangai Deer. The Sangai Deer is found only in Manipur’s floating Keibul Lamjao National Park at Loktak lake.

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F1H2O Grand Prix to be held in Andhra Pradesh from November 16-18

Amaravati, the capital of Andhra Pradesh, is set to host the fifth round of F1H2O World Championship from November 16-18. Hosted by Andhra Pradesh Tourism Authority, the event is believed to position Amaravati on the world map. Mukesh Kumar Meena, Secretary, Tourism & Culture, Government of Andhra Pradesh, along with Marco Pietrini, Director of Logistics, F1H2O and Sandeep Mandava, CEO, India Xtreme Adventure Activities, organised a press conference in New Delhi, to share updates about the event. Speaking at the conference, Meena revealed, “The F1H2O World Championship is going to be held in India for the second time after 14 years. With a global event like this, Amaravati will be recognised world over. In fact, there will also be a Team Amaravati with two key race drivers from Sweden—Jonas Anderson and Erk Edwin, who have been participating in all the legs of the race. In Amaravati, the race will be held in River Krishna and all the logistics and arrangements will be of international standards.”

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IndiGo to operate direct services between Vijayawada and Singapore from Dec 4

The Andhra Pradesh government has partnered with IndiGo to operate two weekly non-stop services between Vijayawada and Singapore with effect from December 04, 2018. Ajay Jain, IAS Principal Secretary- Energy, I&I said, “We feel excited to engage IndiGo as the most preferred airline for connecting Vijayawada to Singapore. This will fulfil the dreams of Telugu Diaspora in Singapore and will be a great convenience for our investors and business community.”  Virender Singh, CEO- APADCL, said, “This is just a beginning to add more such flights to many more destinations”. William Boulter, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo said, “We feel privileged to be the first domestic airline to launch international services from Vijayawada in association with the Government of Andhra Pradesh. These twice weekly non-stop flight services between Vijayawada and Singapore will augment our regional connectivity that we aspire to provide across domestically and internationally.”

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