Tag Archives: Bhutan

Henley Passport Index 2018 ranking puts India on 81st spot

India has secured 81st spot on the 2018 Henley Passport Index, with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 60 destinations. The current ranking is an improvement from last year’s, when India stood at 86. The 2018 Henley Passport Index is a ranking of all the passports of the world according to the number of countries their holders can travel to, visa-free. As per the index, Indians have access to travel without a visa to 60 countries, which includes Bhutan, Mauritius, Nepal, Fiji, among others. Japan has overtaken Singapore in terms of the most powerful passport. The island country now enjoys visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 190 destinations, compared to Singapore’s total of 189. ‘Japan and Singapore have been neck and neck on the index since they both climbed to first place in February — following a visa-exemption from Uzbekistan — and pushed Germany down to second for the first time since 2014,’ the statement said. In this year’s ranking, both UK and US have slipped the charts with 186 destinations. ‘‘With stagnant outbound visa activity compared to Asian high-performers such as Japan, Singapore, and South Korea, it seems increasingly unlikely that the US and the UK will regain the number one spot they jointly held in 2015,’’ the statement said. Afghanistan and Iraq were ranked lowest on the index, as they have free-visa access to only 30 countries.

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Bhutan launches new destination website

The Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) has launched its official destination website which will act as an information portal for potential visitors. The tourism council undertook the upgradation of its website during the past few months with the hope of improving awareness about Bhutan among stakeholders of the tourism industry in Bhutan along with the industry members and visitors. TCB also expects that this development will improve confidence of the stakeholders and visitors in information being shared by the TCB regarding Bhutan. The new website (bhutan.travel) offers features which were not available in TCB’s previous website such as subscribing to emails and newsletters, sharing their feedback and share buttons. Another improvement incorporated in the new website is the inclusion of tour packages to Bhutan.

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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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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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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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