Tag Archives: Australia

Vietnam extends e-visa scheme to India

Vietnam has expanded its e-visa scheme to cover visitors from six more countries, including major tourism markets like Australia and India, taking the total number of countries now to 46. Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the UAE are the other four. Vietnam began allowing tourists from 40 countries to apply for e-visas last February, with China, Japan, South Korea, the US, the UK, Germany and Sweden — all major target markets for its tourism sector, among the 40. Of the six new additions, Australians are the seventh biggest group of foreign arrivals and among the top spenders. Visitors can apply online for a 30-day, single-entry visa by paying a non-refundable application fee. It will take applicants three working days to find out if their visa applications have been approved. Visitors with e-visas can enter through eight international airports, 13 international border gates on land or seven ports. Source: Vietnam News  

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FCM introduces international group tours

FCM Travel Solutions, the Indian subsidiary of Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG), Australia, under its retail leisure arm ‘Flight Shop’ has launched Group Inclusive Tours (GITs) in the country. Foraying into the segment, Flight Shop has introduced new exclusive itineraries to Europe specially designed for large group travellers. The service will also offer customers the flexibility to choose dates and destinations in its group tours. Shravan Gupta, Executive Director, Leisure Businesses, FCM Travel Solutions, Indian subsidiary of FCTG, Australia said, “GITs are the biggest segment in the organised travel sector and are growing at 10-12 per cent every year. Travelling in a group costs lesser and is around 20-30 per cent cheaper than travelling solo to any destination. At Flight Shop, we believe that we have the required land and cruise holidays’ expertise to organise unbeatable group tour experiences for Indian travellers. While we want to experiment with the flexible tour concept, which is a pioneering concept in India, our GITs will have fixed departure dates and conventional packages too.” Offering travellers the opportunity to leverage and make the most of the services, Flight Shop has announced ‘Europe on Sale’ Campaign as an introductory offering to their customers. Flight Shop has curated over 200 Europe Group Tour itineraries with departures beginning from April 2018. Flight Shop specialists can also provide individual customization of itineraries for travelers requiring extensions on a trip, etc. Groups are also eligible for discounted deals on ‘Europe on Sale’ itineraries until December 10, 2017. Each tour group will include – Return Economy Airfare with Taxes, Visas, Insurance, Accommodation in Standard Hotels, Meals & Sightseeing as per Itinerary, Ground Transportation in Luxury Coaches and an Independent Tour …

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Australia records 14.6% more Indian tourists in FY 16-17

Tourism Australia is reaping the benefits of its aggressive marketing and campaigning in India. It recorded an increase in Indian arrivals by 14.6 per cent for the year ended June 2017. This equals to a total of 271,100 visitors in the previous financial year, making India the ninth largest inbound market for arrivals for the year ended June 2017. Not only this, the purpose for holiday or visitation also increased by 21 per cent. As a result they even spent more while in Australia. For year ending June 2017, Indian visitors spent A$ 1.43 billion (Rs 7,150 crores) on their Australian trips, an increase of 30 per cent over the previous year. Therefore the average per capita spend for Indian visitors was A$ 5,491. Of the total arrivals, 68 per cent of Indian visitors visited Australia for leisure (187,850). Other visitors travelled for business (31,900), employment (21,000), education (20,450) and other purposes (15,900). Leisure visitors are on holiday (74,550) or visiting friends and relatives (113,300).

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Bleisure gaining popularity: FCM

‘Bleisure’ – the blend of business and leisure travel – is rising in popularity, with growing uptake among urban Indians, says FCM Travel Solutions’ latest findings of their global survey on Bleisure Travel. The report titled ‘Bleisure Report, India’ reveals that an increasing number of professionals in India are now extending their business trips for leisure, increasingly blurring the lines between business and leisure travel. Bleisure travel has recently become an unconventional employee perk in India with 65.5 per cent of respondents saying their employer allowed them to add leisure travel onto business trips. While Bleisure becomes a mainstream trend in the rest of the world, 27.6 per cent of Indian respondents say that their companies do not permit them to combine personal travel with their business trips, which is the highest among all countries. Speaking on the findings, Rakshit Desai, Managing Director, FCM Travel Solutions, Indian subsidiary of FCTG, Australia said, “Business travel has always been restricted and policy driven. While leisure travel, particularly outbound, has been niche with very low penetration. However, the survey has unlocked a remarkable trend called Bleisure. It is interesting to note that the lines between corporate and leisure travel are increasingly blurring. It would have looked very different, had we looked at this picture three or five years ago. There has been a significant change in the behaviour of corporate travel, since then.” Surveyed millennials (25-34 years old) had the highest appreciation for bleisure travel. They were also the most likely group to extend a business trip with colleagues (25 per cent), while 50 per cent of the respondents in age group of 50, would use the opportunity to travel with a family …

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Greece’s Sky Express appoints Aviareps as its GSA

Aviareps has been appointed by Sky Express to represent the Greek domestic airline as its General Sales Agent (GSA) in eight markets around the world including Australia, Canada, France, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. The appointment, made with immediate effect, is the result of the airline’s initiative to expand its sales and marketing outreach internationally to travellers and travel industry leaders in key strategic markets. Operating out of its three domestic hubs of Athens, Thessaloniki and Heraklion in Crete, Sky Express connects travellers to 29 major tourist, cultural and business centres throughout Greece including Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes, Milos, Paros, Naxos, Kos, Mytilene, Ikaria, Zakynthos Kythira, Chios, Karpathos, Syros and Skyros to name a few. The fleet, which consists mainly of ATR aircrafts, is available for scheduled and charter flights, for individual passengers or groups. All Sky Express passengers departing from Athens or Thessaloniki are also provided free access to Business Lounge facilities.

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Peru exempts visa for short-stay visitors from India

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Peru, has decided to exempt the requirement of business and tourist visas to certain Indian citizens whose duration of stay is up to 180 days as maximum, whether continuous stay or various visits during the period of one year. The stay will be determined in the port of entry by the Immigration Officers. These rules have been effective since March 27, 2017. Others who are also exempted from visa include holders of valid visa of USA, UK, Canada, Australia or Schengen countries, with a validity of at least six months (excluding transit visas), and those who are permanent residents, accredited with the document of permit (Green Card) in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia or Schengen space countries.

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Flight Centre opens first Flight Shop store in Surat

Flight Shop, the leisure brand of Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG), Australia, in India opened its first retail store in Surat and second franchise outlet after Hyderabad. With the launch of this store, FCTG, Australia now has 17 operational Flight Shop stores across India. Spread over 1100 sq. ft., the Flight Shop outlet in Surat is based in VIP High Street, and will cater to the needs of up market urban consumers – families, business travellers, honeymoon couples and groups of travellers. Shravan Gupta, Executive Director – Leisure Businesses, FCM Travel Solutions India (the Indian arm of Flight Centre Travel Group, Australia) said, “Over the last few years, Surat has grown to become one of the fastest developing cities in the country with constantly rising travel demands of two to three trips in a year per household. As an affluent market driven by diamond and textile merchants, Surat is one of the highest contributors to the GDP amongst other emerging metros such as – Jaipur, Vishakhapatnam and Lucknow.” Flight Shop stores are spread across Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kochi and via a combination of owned branches and newly opened franchise outlets. FCTG, Australia plans to open 50 more Flight Shop stores across the country in the next two to three years.

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FCM receives Authorised Dealer Category II license from RBI

FCM Travel Solutions, the Indian subsidiary of Flight Centre Travel Group, Australia, can now undertake various permissible outward remittance activities for travellers across segments(leisure travel, business travel, medical treatment, education, emigration and employment).The upgrade comes into effect post receiving the Authorised Dealer Category II (AD-II) license, as granted by the Reserve Bank of India. In addition, FCM Travel Solutions will be able to release/ sell foreign currency in form of multi-currency prepaid travel cards, currency notes and Travellers Cheques for visas, emigration and emigration consultancy fees, employment and processing, assessment fees for overseas job applications, students who intend to study overseas or seek to apply for proficiency examinations, international film shootings and medical treatments abroad. Gagan Malhotra, National Head, Foreign Exchange at FCM Travel Solutions India Pvt. Ltd. said, “We are pleased to be a part of the few AD-II license holders in the travel fraternity. The elevation not just widens the scope of availability of foreign exchange through different channels but also makes the pre-trip process more convenient and hassle-free for our customers. It will also help us seek better currency rates.”

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Jet eases student travel for new academic year

Jet Airways has expanded the scope of its popular eduJetter programme for upcoming 2017-18 academic year. The revised program will make it easier for Indian students and those from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal – holding confirmed admissions for studying at universities/ institutions in Australia, Canada, Europe, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, United Kingdom, and the USA, to commence their new academic journey. Effective this year, privileges include special baggage allowance of up to 69 kg, free SIM cards (with exclusive calling rates), and through baggage check-in up to the final destination. Participating students also receive a free ISIC Forex Card  that offers easy and safe access to foreign exchange besides enjoying a five per cent discount on JetEscapes Holidays. Jet Airways has also simplified the entire process of eduJetter application and booking, as part of widening the appeal of the programme. The new, automatic application process is user-friendly and allows students to apply in three steps – book a flight ticket, visit the EduJetter page on the Jet Airways website to fill an online request form. The student then receives  an updated ticket from the airline with applicable eduJetter benefits within 72 hours. Commenting on the programme and its enhancements, Jayaraj Shanmugam, Chief Commercial Officer, Jet Airways said, “Jet Airways  has always endeavored to provide exceptional value to guests by way of special programmes and partnerships. EduJetter is one such initiative that offers tremendous value to the student community travelling abroad for higher education from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal, in the form of a bouquet of services that have been specially created by anticipating their needs at this significant moment in their life.”

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AirAsia’s inaugural Kuala Lumpur-Bhubaneswar flight to land on Apr 26

AirAsia Berhad’s inaugural flight AK 31 connecting Kuala Lumpur to Bhubaneswar will arrive at Biju Patnaik International Airport on the night of April 26. It is the first international airline to operate to and from Bhubaneswar. The four-times weekly flight is estimated to take off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 22:10 hours and is expected to land in Bhubaneswar at 23:25 hours on April 26. Aireen Omar, CEO, AirAsia, and Tourism Malaysia Director General will be travelling to Bhubaneswar on the flight, which will be received with a traditional water salute upon welcome. The airline has received tremendous support from the Odisha Government and Odisha Tourism in particular. The airline will connect Bhubaneswar and Odisha to 120 AirAsia destinations in the Asia Pacific covering South East Asia China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

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