Tag Archives: Bangladesh

45% growth in medical tourism to India

According to data provided by Ministry of Home Affairs, the number of medical visas issued by India in 2016 rose by 45 per cent over 2015. India issued more than 1.78 lakh medical visas in 2016, including for follow up treatment, as against 1.22 lakh in 2015, according to the data. A Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) report titled “India Services Sector—A Multi-trillion Dollar Opportunity for Global Symbiotic Growth 2017” stated that the presence of world-class hospitals and skilled medical professionals has strengthened India’s position as a preferred destination for medical tourism. Treatment for major surgeries in India costs only a fraction—in some cases as low as 10 per cent of that in developed countries. “Majority of the patients coming to India for treatment are from the Middle East, Africa, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Maldives, Pakistan, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. India’s cost advantage will significantly open doors to the US and Europe over future, due to lower cost than the US and almost half that of Europe.” Dental tourism accounts for 10 per cent of the medical tourism and the government is keen to promote it. “India provides competitive cost advantage at one tenth of the cost of the US and Europe. By 2020, medical tourism industry of India is expected to touch $8 billion,” the report said. Source: Livemint

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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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144 delegates attend Bengal Travel Mart 2017 in Siliguri

The department of Tourism, North Bengal Development Department and Eastern Himalaya Travel & Tour Operators Association (EHTTOA), the largest body of tourism industry in North East, jointly organised the second edition of three-day long Bengal Travel Mart (BTM) in Siliguri under Darjeeling district of West Bengal. It is the first event in the state where at least 144 delegates from different states along with delegates from Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka participated. It also included more than 200 stakeholders (buyers and sellers) for BTB meet and practical visits of the tourism sports in the region. The main motto behind the BTM is to enhance West Bengal tourism. The participants in the mart stakeholders said that this would boom their tourism industry as a whole.

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Getting Indian visa becomes easier for Bangladeshi tourists

As part of ongoing efforts to streamline, liberalise and ease the process of securing Indian visas, the High Commission of India will allow all Bangladesh travellers with confirmed air, train or bus tickets to submit their tourist visa applications without e-token or prior appointment dates from January 1, 2017. This was informed by the Indian High Commission in Dhaka. It was informed that the date of journey should be after seven days but within one month of submission of the visa application form. The Indian Visa Application Centre in Mirpur will receive walk-in tourist visa applications from confirmed travellers and senior citizens from 1 January instead of the centre in Uttara. Those who already have appointment dates can continue to submit their tourist visa applications in centres at Gulshan, Uttara, Motijheel, Mymensingh, Barisal, Khulna, Jessore, Rangpur, Rajshahi, Chittagong and Sylhet. (Source:Firstpost)

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SQ to increase frequency to Ahmedabad from Mar 26

Singapore Airlines will increase flight frequency to Ahmedabad to four times per week, up from the current three, with effect from 26 March 2017. While Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka will be served 10 times per week with effect from July 19, 2017, up from the current seven flights per week, Bangkok flight frequency will increase to six per day from five with effect from 26 March 2017. Ho Chi Minh City will be served 19 times per week from the same day, up from the current 17 per week. The airline plans to increase flight frequency to points in Australia, Europe, Southeast Asia and West Asia in the Northern Summer operating season (26 March 2017 to 28 October 2017) to meet growing travel demand. In Australia, Melbourne will be served with 31 weekly flights, up from 28, with effect from 17 July 2017, while flight frequency to Brisbane will increase to 28 per week, up from 24, starting on 22 August 2017. From 4 June 2017, Sydney will be served 33 times per week, up from 31 times per week. To cater to peak period demand, flight frequency to Sydney will be further increased to 35 weekly flights from 18 June to 30 September 2017. In Europe, Rome will be served four times per week from July 2017, up from the current two weekly flights. As previously announced, Moscow will be served five times per week, up from four times, with effect from 30 May 2017, when services beyond Moscow to the new destination of Stockholm are introduced. The additional services are subject to regulatory approvals.

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Kolkata-Dhaka on Novoair from Dec 1

Novoair, a private airline in Bangladesh, is planning to connect Dhaka with Kolkata from December 1. In addition, the airline will start flights on the Chittagong-Kolkata route from December 14. Initially, four flights from Dhaka will be operated from December 1 on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday, while on the remaining days from Chittagong from December 14, informed Mofizur Rahman, Managing Director, Novoair. Md. Hasibur Rashid, Director, Novoair, Sohail Majid, Head of Marketing and Sales, Novoair, and other officials from the airline were present at the launch of the new flight operations. The return ticket for Dhaka-Kolkata-Dhaka will start from Tk 9,999 (including all taxes) while the return promotional fare on the Chittagong-Kolkata route will start from Tk 11,555 (including all taxes). “We will connect Dhaka and Chittagong to Kolkata throughout the week very soon,” said Rahman. He further added that the airline has planned to launch Dhaka-Kathmandu and Dhaka-Guwahati flights also as next international destinations. “We are now exploring commercial viability on Dhaka-Kathmandu route while operation on Dhaka-Guwahati route will follow the suit after establishing the Bangladesh Consulate in Guwahati,” said Rahman. Source: Financial Express

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Rail link to connect India-Bangladesh

Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu will lay the foundation stone for a new cross-border line on July 31 linking Agartala in Tripura, with Akhaura, in Bangladesh’s Chittagong region. The project is expected to cost Rs 9.68 billion (US$144 million) and will run for just 15 km either side of the border – 5 km on the Indian side and 10km on the Bangladeshi side. However, the link will help increase accessibility between the remote state of Tripura and the rest of India. The 1,650 km distance between Agartala and Kolkata will be reduced to only 550 km once the new rail track is linked. Presently, India and Bangladesh have four rail links with West Bengal.

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Indo-Bangla MoU to open shipping routes

Bangladesh is likely to allow India’s passenger and cruise vessels through its waterways helping the landlocked northeast to have better connectivity. Md. Shahriar Alam, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh, reportedly announced that the two countries were planning to start a movement of passenger and cruise vessels on coastal shipping routes and a memorandum of understanding is to be signed between New Delhi and Dhaka for the same. The Indo-Bangla coastal shipping agreement has opened up new avenues of connectivity and trade facilitation. The declaration by Alam comes amid a spate of other initiatives over the past couple of years that have allowed India transit rights through Bangladesh for better connectivity between the Northeast and other parts of India. The Indo-Bangla MoU on the use of Chittagong and Mongla ports by India would further enhance connectivity not only bilaterally but also sub-regionally when Nepal and Bhutan become part of the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) initiative. BBIN is a sub-regional architecture of countries in South Asia to formulate, implement and review quadrilateral agreements across areas such as water resources management, connectivity of power, transport and infrastructure. BBIN signed a Motor Vehicles Agreement last year. It enables vehicles to enter any of the four nations without the need for trans-shipment of goods from one country’s truck to another’s at the border. Under the system, cargo vehicles are tracked electronically; permits are issued online and sent electronically to all land ports. Source: Economic Times

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April ’16 sees 10.7% rise in FTAs over 2015

As revealed by Ministry of Tourism, India witnessed a 10.7 per cent growth in FTAs in April, 2016 over the same period in 2015. The total number of FTAs during April, 2016 was recorded at 5.99 lakh, which is higher than the total number of FTAs in April, 2015 and April 2014, where the numbers were recorded as 5.42 lakh and 5.35 lakh foreign tourists respectively. Bangladesh accounted for the highest percentage share in foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) into India with 18.09 per cent during the month of April 2016. Among the top 15 source countries, USA was ranked second with 12.24 per cent share, followed by the UK with 9.58 per cent share, making Bangladesh, USA and UK, the top three source markets for India in April 2016. The percentage share of FTAs from other source markets like Sri Lanka was 3.71 percent; Malaysia was 3.23 per cent; China was 3.14 per cent; Australia was 3.05 per cent; Germany was 3.02 per cent; France 2.86 per cent; Canada was 2.83 per cent; Russian Federation was 2.81; Japan was 2.50 per cent, Nepal was 2.07 per cent; Singapore was 1.85 per cent and Thailand was 1.61 per cent.

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TAT appoints new Director in Delhi

Isra Stapanaseth has been appointed the Director of Tourism Authority of Thailand New Delhi with North & East India, Bangladesh, Bhutan & Nepal as the areas of responsibility. Stapanaseth previously was the TAT Director of Chiang Rai and replaces Runjuan Tongrut who headed North and East India for the past four years. Thailand crossed the one million mark for Indian tourist arrivals in 2015 and registered a total of 1,069,149 arrivals marking a year-on year growth of 14.64 per cent over the same period in 2014, according to data released by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Govt. of Thailand. India is Thailand’s sixth biggest source market and the country is aiming for a 10 per cent growth in Indian arrivals in 2016.

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