Category Archives: States

Kerala rolls out customised trips to Biennale

In keeping with Kerala’s new ‘Land of Biennale’ branding, its District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) has launched the ‘Biennale Deluxe’ initiative, which will provide free, customised tours of the ongoing third edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. The first of a number of such buses planned over the Biennale’s run pulled in from Thiruvananthapuram, bringing 17 visitors across age groups for a weekend trip to India’s only Biennale. The group took in a tour of primary venue Aspinwall House and other sites. K. Suresh Kumar, assistant manager, DTPC – Thiruvanthapuram, said, “The Biennale has become a major unique selling point to promote Kerala and this prompted us to roll out this attractive and unique tourism initiative. The Biennale Deluxehas been conceptualised and executed by the DTPC. The DTPC organises customised tours from the state capital to various tourist destinations in the state. We already have a well chalked-out itinerary, which engages the guests with both the host city and the Biennale. The one-day trip to the KMB is totally free of cost.” The initiative is supported by a leading tour operator. The Council is planning to associate with other tourism stakeholders across the state to bring in more people to the Biennale, especially from southern Kerala, and organise similar trips.

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Kerala continues to focus on its 10-point agenda

Considering the uptick in domestic tourism, the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala recently organised B2B roadshows in multiple metros including Mumbai. The delegation from Kerala was led by Shine KS, Tourist Information Officer, Department of Tourism, Govt of Kerala and comprised 63 major players from the state’s tourism industry – the highest so far. Explaining the initiatives for 2017, Shine KS said, “The marketing initiatives for the year 2016-17 were formulated and executed based on the keen understanding of the unique appeal that Kerala holds for visitors. The marketing measures adopted by the government have elevated the state to the top-tier of ‘must visit’ destinations around the world. There has been a remarkable increase in the arrival of tourists within a single year as a result of the various initiatives implemented by the Government. We will continue with our 10-point agenda which was launched in September 2016 under the Green Carpet Initiative which focuses on giving a facelift to select tourist destinations in the state to ensure security, cleanliness, hygiene, and scientific waste management methods, apart from offering unique experiences.”

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6.23% growth in FTAs to Kerala in 2016

A total of 14.2 million tourists visited Kerala in 2016, corresponding to a 5.71 per cent growth as compared to 2015. The provisional figures from the tourism department indicated that 14,210,954 tourists came to Kerala in 2016, out of which 13,172,535 were domestic arrivals and 1,038,419 were foreign visitors, corresponding to an increase of 5.67 per cent and 6.23 per cent respectively as compared to 2015. An 8 per cent increase in tourist arrivals was expected in November, a peak tourist season for Kerala. Dr. Venu V, Principal Secretary-Tourism, Government of Kerala, pointed out, “A setback to the tourism sector will have a significant impact on the economy. The continuous efforts by the government and private tourism partners helped Kerala Tourism withstand the demonetisation crisis. The unique tourism products and innovative marketing strategies helped Kerala to a large extent to tide over the difficult phase.” While the months of October and December saw increases of 8.45 per cent and 8.01 per cent respectively when compared to 2015, November saw a smaller increase of 6.98 per cent. The overall scenario was better compared to domestic arrivals since foreign visitors tend to book their holidays in advance, the state tourism department added. Source: PTI

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Annual Goa Carnaval from February 25-28

Goa Tourism will organise the annual Goa Carnaval from February 25-28, 2017 in Panjim. The state will come alive to celebrate the four-day event with spectacular float parades, Carnaval festivities and an array of events and activities. The float parades will take place in four cities of Panjim, Margao, Vasco and Mapusa. The government has formed various Carnaval committees and drawn up guidelines for smooth conduct of the four-day festivities. In addition to maintaining the traditional and cultural essence of Carnaval, this year the focus is weeding out non eco-friendly floats, polluting vehicles and a total crackdown on indecency.

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APTDC signs MoU with O2 Spa to create employment opportunities

O2 Spa has announced it has signed an MoU with the Government of Andhra Pradesh that will see an investment of $1.75 million for a period of three years starting from October 2017. This investment is aimed at setting up of O2 Spa facilities across Andhra Pradesh wherein youth from the state will be trained and absorbed thus creating employment opportunities. This agreement was signed between O2 Spa and Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation at the Second Sunrise Andhra Pradesh Investment Meet that was held in Vizag. Girija Shankar, Managing Director of APTDC, was representing the Government. Ritesh Mastipuram, Founder and Managing Director, O2 Spa said, ”We will set up facilities across cities like Amravati, Vijaywada, Vizag to name a few within the next 3 years. The training aspects for the youths will be undertaken by O2 Skills Academy, an initiative of O2 Spa, primarily conceptualised to help meet the shortage of quality and skilled manpower in the spa and hospitality industry This collaboration will aim to provide employment linked, market oriented vocational training that will enable filling in the gaps.” O2 Spa is investing $15 million in expanding its operations in the country and aboard. The company will grow from its current base of 82 outlets in 18 cities to 150 outlets across 30 cities by FY 2016-2017. The expansion plans include addition of about 30 outlets in Tier I and 60 outlets in Tier II cities in India and more than 10 outlets abroad.

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1.5 million visitors expected at Surajkund Mela

The 31st edition of Surajkund International Crafts Mela is being held from February 1-15 and has gone cashless to cater to the 1.5 million crowd expected this year. The event has Jharkhand as theme state and Egypt as partner nation, as was inaugurated by Manohar Lal, Chief Minister of Haryana in the presence of Ram Bilas Sharma, Haryana Tourism Minister; Amar Kumar Bauri, Minister of Tourism and Culture, Jharkhand and Hatem Tageldin, Ambassador of Egypt to India amongst other dignitaries. This year, the organisers have tied up with BookMyShow for booking entry tickets and Mobikwik for hassle-free payment. Partner Bank – Dena Bank has also provided card swiping machines to every seller making it easy for visitors to shop. This year’s edition has an increased space of 2.5 acres with 145 more stalls this year, up from 865 last year to 1010 this year. Six ATM machines and mobile ATMs have also been facilitated, informed V S Kundu, Additional Chief Secretary, Haryana Tourism.

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Delhi to promote tourism on BookMyShow

Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation Ltd. (DTTDC) has joined hands with BookMyShow for an online ticketing platform on Pilot Project basis. This means that DTTDC through BookMyShow will offer online ticketing for major tourist attractions which includes Dilli Haats – INA, Janakpuri and Pitampura, The Garden of Five Senses, Guru Teg Bahadur Memorial and the Delhi Hop On Hop Off shuttles (HO-HO), and all other entry tickets/ events and paid shows, etc. Kapil Mishra, Hon’ble Minister of Tourism, Govt. of Delhi announced this partnership saying that Delhi Tourism has taken the lead in giving the Tourism sector a digital push, through this partnership between DTTDC – BookMyShow on Pilot project basis. The objective behind this association is to help promote tourism in the state. Tourist attractions that will be made available for booking online and Promotion of Delhi Tourism events will be done through this project to add more convenience to the National and International Tourist, besides Delhiites. “With increased smartphone and internet penetration, the convenience associated with online ticketing can be definitely leveraged across different sectors today. Tourism is centered around providing great experience and we are confident with this pilot project DTTDC will be able to add tremendous value through its offering,” said Mishra. In addition, the registration, entry and other ticketing details of all events being organised by Delhi Tourism in the State will be posted on the BookMyShow platform. Kumar Razdan, Country Head, BookMyShow said, “As we pave our way into online tourism ticketing in India, we are thrilled to partner with The Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation Ltd. (DTTDC). Delhi is a city of monuments, historical sites and is rich in heritage. With …

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MPSTDC & MakeMyTrip join hands to promote homestays

In an attempt to promote its home-stay scheme in the state, the Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation (MPSTDC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with MakeMyTrip. Under this collaboration, MakeMyTrip would promote and help in implementing the state-run MPSTDC’s scheme which is meant for the owners of apartments, bungalows, cottages at the places of tourist interests. The homeowner, who can provide accommodation and food facility to domestic and international tourists, may register under this scheme. According to a state official, the programme has seen a good response so far. It was informed that so far, 82 people have registered themselves under the home-stay scheme with the highest number-26- being from Indore followed by Bhopal at 13. Among others, nine each have registered themselves in Ujjain and Pachmarhi, five in Amarkantak and four each in Jabalpur, Gwalior and Balaghat.

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Chhattisgarh Tourism & Thrillophilia sign MoU to digitalise tourism

To boost tourism in the state, Chhattisgarh Tourism Board has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Thrillophilia to collaborate to promote tourism in Chhattisgarh. Under this collaboration, the idea is to digitalise the most unique travel experiences that the state and local tours and activity providers in the state have to offer and promote them across the world via digital channels. The focus areas would also be to impart education and training to all the registered tours and activity providers with Chhattisgarh Tourism Board, on best practices such as online listings, content management, operations, and handling bookings. Thrillophilia will provide them with personal web dashboards and mobile apps to manage their inventory and bookings. Thrillophilia will also lend expertise and strong assistance on the technology front in areas of online payments and bookings, web software application and content management. Commenting on the collaboration, Abhishek Daga, Co-founder, Thrillophilia says, “We are extremely delighted and take sheer pride in collaborating with Chhattisgarh Tourism Board. The state has so much to offer to all travel lovers yet a lot of it remains untouched and unexplored. We firmly believe that the synergy between Chhattisgarh Tourism Board and Thrillophilia would result in a massive boost in tourism in Chhattisgarh.”

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MTDC-certified Govardhan Eco Village observes 2017 as Year of Yoga

Govardhan Eco Village (GEV), an ISKCON project and a wellness destination which is a premium MahaBhraman status certified by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), announced the launch of Govardhan School of Yoga. It recently received the prestigious UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization) Award for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism. Dr. K.H. Govinda Raj, IAS, Managing Director of Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, stated, “We are delighted to be associated with Govardhan Eco Village as they are significantly contributing through innovative initiatives which are competitive and at the same time sustainable in character. Govardhan Eco Village is the only destination in Asia to be awarded by UNWTO this year. As more people embrace overall healthier lifestyles at home, we are now seeing those behaviours translate and be integrated into their travel and vacation habits. This initiative will attract tourists from all across the world.” Govardhan Eco Village highlights the importance of spiritual ecology. The 28-day residential program will enables guests to not only learn and teach yoga, but also to learn healthy eating, taking care of your body but also meditation practices. Gauranga Das, Director, Govardhan Eco Village said,” It’s our honour and privilege to receive this award on behalf of land of India and we would like to express our gratitude to UNWTO for giving this opportunity to share this message of sustainability on a larger scale especially in this year which is celebrated as the year of sustainable tourism.”

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