Tag Archives: China

Oman relaxes visa rules to attract more Indians

Oman is granting non-sponsored tourist visa for the citizens of India, China and Russia who reside in or hold an entry visa to one of these countries – USA, Canada, Australia, UK and Schengen states – to enter the Sultanate of Oman. These revised terms and conditions were issued by the Omani authorities. The issued statement indicated that the visa shall be granted for a period of one month for a fee of OMR 20. The spouse and children of the visa holder would also be allowed to enter the Sultanate while accompanying them. Applicants must also have a return ticket and confirmed hotel reservation in order to be granted the visa. Speaking about the recent development, Salim Adi Al Mamari, Director General of Tourism Promotion, from the Ministry of Tourism in Oman said, “We are extremely pleased with the recent development of facilitating non-sponsored tourist visa for the citizens of India, China and Russia. With the revision in visa regulations, we are expecting that Indian arrivals across all segments will grow exponentially – especially leisure and visitors to conventions and exhibitions. Oman has gained immense popularity with mature and evolved travellers in the recent years. We aim to expand our travel and tourism offerings and are certain that the revised policies will offer expediency and convenience to travellers and will encourage more impromptu trips to the Sultanate.” Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative, Ministry of Tourism, Oman, said, “The outbound segment in India is on a rise with the Indian economy booming and increasingly better standards of living. Most Indians typically travel for three to five nights as they want to experience Muscat and beyond. We are certain that the recent change …

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Mandate of World Committee on Tourism Ethics renewed until 2021

With a leading role in the recent approval of the Framework Convention on Tourism Ethics by the UNWTO General Assembly held in Chengdu, China, the composition of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics has been renewed. In order to continue advancing the important work of this subsidiary organ of the UNWTO General Assembly, the mandate of the outgoing members of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics was renewed until 2021, with Pascal Lamy continuing to chair the Committee. Joining the four Members whose mandate was set to end in 2019 – Yoshiaki Hompo (Japan), Fiona Jeffery (UK), Tanja Mihalic (Slovenia) and Eugenio Yunis (Chile) – will be Gede Ardika (Indonesia), Jean Marc Mignon (International Social Tourism Organization) and Ron Oswald (The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations) as Committee Members, and Hiran Cooray (Sri Lanka), Suzy Hatough (Jordan) and Günnur Diker (Turkey) as Alternates. The only new member joining the World Committee on Tourism Ethics four a four-year term starting 17 September 2017 is Rosette Chantal Rugamba, Founder and Managing Director of Songa Africa and Amakoro Lodge (Rwanda).

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Indian visitors to London to increase by 90% by 2025

The number of Indians visiting London is set to increase by 90 per cent by 2025, according to official data released by London & Partners, the business arm of the Mayor of London’s office. Last year, London received 0.27 million Indian visitors which is expected to increase to 0.52 million in the next eight years. In terms of spend Indian visitors to London from India spent 258 million pounds (USD 333 million) in 2016, which is projected to rise to 721.2 million pounds (USD 931 million) by 2025, marking a 180 per cent increase, according to the data. “Visitors to the capital bring huge benefits. The industry boosts London’s economy, as well as supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs and showing the world that London is an open, welcoming and diverse city,” said the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan at the launch of a new Tourism Vision for London. Besides India, the other fastest growing markets for visitors to London by 2025 include China (103 per cent growth), the US (43 per cent) and the UAE (43 per cent). For the new Tourism Vision, London & Partners has collaborated with more than 100 of the capitals tourism leaders, including the Greater London Authority, Gatwick Airport, Hilton and the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, to define a new vision for the tourism industry. “As a combined force, we believe that if this vision is realised, tourism will drive economic growth and stimulate the city’s cultural scene, support even greater numbers of jobs and strengthen London’s reputation as an open and welcoming city,” L&P said. The vision states that the growth in visitor numbers is not a given with increasing competition from …

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Bird Travels appointed as GSA for VietjetAir in India

Vietnam’s low-cost airline, VietjetAir has appointed Bird Travels as its GSA in India. Vietjet has been expanding its flight network in Vietnam and will continue to spread its wings to new destinations in the Asia Pacific region and around the world. Vietjet’s flight network covers Vietnam extensively and includes connections to Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, Myanmar and eight destinations in China. It is operating a fleet of A320s and A321s having an average age of 3.3 years.

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TAAI postpones Kunming Convention

  Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI)  has postponed its annual convention, which was scheduled from August 18-20 in Kunming, China. According to a communication shared by TAAI with its members, the association has said that they have not started the registration for the August convention, which was supposed to start on July 5, 2017, owing to few pending approvals and airline seat confirmations. Hence, TAAI has decided to hold the convention at a later date. The new dates and schedule of the convention will be announced soon.

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Now visa free travel for Indian tourists to Far East Russia

Tourists and businessmen from India and 17 other countries can now travel to Russia’s Far East without a visa, informed Dmitry Medvedev, the Prime Minister of Russia. In order to boost tourism and investment in the region, the nationals of these 18 countries will have simplified entry procedures into Russia through the free port of Vladivostok. According to Pavel Volkov, Deputy Minister, Development of the Far East, tourists and entrepreneurs will only be required to fill a form on the website of Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Applications will be approved within four days. Electronic single entry visas will be issued directly at the Russian border and will be valid for 30 days. The 17 countries apart from India include Algeria, Bahrain, Brunei, Iran, Qatar, China, North Korea, Kuwait, Morocco, Mexico, UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Tunisia, Turkey, and Japan. “I have recently approved the list of countries, whose nationals can take advantage of the preferential regime. We are proactively forming the modern infrastructure and creating special regimes in the far East; the law on visits to the Vladivostok free port was approved in March. This is not because these states are situated at a closer or longer distance – we are appropriately introducing bilateral agreements on visa-free travel for those ready to use such an approach for us,” said Medvedev. Volkov further said, “We’d like to see an increase in tourism to the region by at least 30 percent. Given the fact that every wealthy tourist spends at least $1,000 in the territory, we assume this will significantly increase the opportunities for the development of the region, trade turnover, and currency flows.” Source: Live Mint  

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India 3rd largest growth market for visitor arrivals in Singapore

India ranked third among the top growth markets for international visitor arrivals in Singapore in terms of absolute growth in 2016, registering a growth of 8 per cent. While China (+36%) topped the growth markets, Indonesia (+6%) finished a close second. The growth was due to more visitor arrivals from Tier-I and Tier-II cities in China, India and Indonesia, where STB had intensified its marketing efforts. India also overtook Australia to become Singapore’s 4th largest source market for visitor arrivals. The largest declines in visitor arrivals were posted by Hong Kong (-12%), Malaysia (-2%), Australia (-2%), South Korea (-2%) and Japan (-1%). From January to September 2016, there was good growth in tourism receipts across Singapore’s top ten source markets. For the second consecutive year, China (+41%) ranked top in tourism receipts, followed by Indonesia (+14%) and India (+37%). Both visitor arrivals and tourism receipts exceeded forecasts to hit historical highs in 2016. While visitor arrivals grew by 7.7 per cent to 16.4 million, tourism receipts rose even higher by 13.9 per cent to $24.8 billion. The strong tourism receipt results came on the back of visitors spending more on Food and Beverage, Shopping and Accommodation. On the business tourism front, STB supported more than 410 business events held in 2016, a 15 per cent year-on-year growth. These events garnered around 343,000 visitor arrivals, and generated approximately $611 million in tourism receipts, a 20 per cent and 28 per cent increase year-on-year respectively.

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India records double digit growth in domestic passenger demand in Sept

India and China continued to register double-digit growth in domestic passenger demand in September 2016, according to International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) global passenger traffic report. The results showed that global demand, measured in revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) grew 7 per cent compared to the same month in 2015. This was the strongest year-over-year increase in seven months. Capacity climbed 6.6 per cent and load factor edged up 0.3 percentage points to 81.1 per cent. Growth in domestic traffic slightly outpaced growth in international traffic. Domestic passenger demand climbed 7.2 per cent in September as compared to September2015, which was up from the 4.1 per cent year-on-year growth recorded in August. International RPKs climbed 6.9 per cent with airlines in all regions recording growth compared to 2015. Total capacity climbed 7.2 per cent, causing load factor to slide 0.2percentage points to 80.4 per cent. “September’s growth in passenger demand was healthy. Importantly, this rebound from August weakness suggests that travel demand is showing its resilience in the aftermath of terror attacks. We must, of course, be ever-alert to the ongoing terror threat. And overall the industry is still vulnerable to being buffeted by rising geopolitical tensions, protectionist political agendas, and weak economic fundamentals. This will still be a good year for the airline industry’s performance, but our profitability will continue to be hard-won,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and Chief Executive Officer, IATA.

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Ctrip plans to compete against U.S based Expedia and Booking.com

China’s Ctrip, the second largest online travel agency in the world after Priceline has set its eyes on the U.S. market with its acquisition of three U.S. based tour operators in a bid to boost business and improve service levels for Chinese outbound travellers vacationing in the U.S., said Tao Yang, a Ctrip senior vice president and head of its vacation business. The tour operators — Universal Vision, Ctour and Tours for Fun — stated they would also benefit from access to Ctrip’s customer base and technology. Ctrip took a majority stake in each of these tour operators for what the online travel agency describes as a marriage to form a Quartet focusing on Chinese travellers touring and visiting attractions in the U.S. But that partnership is distinct from Ctrip’s strategic plan to create a U.S. point of sale to sell travel globally, and this would put Ctrip in competition in the U.S. with partners such as the Priceline Group and Expedia, Yang said. He also said the relationships with Expedia and the Priceline Group would include elements of both partnership and competition, as is common in the travel industry.

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Tourism Ireland hosts fam for Indian tour operators

The island of Ireland hosted the second annual Ireland Specialists Mega Fam trip from 21 August 21 to August 26, for 12 top-performing agents from six markets that included Australia, China, India, GCC, South Africa and New Zealand. From India Thomas Cook and Vacations Exotica participated in this fam. They travelled to Ireland and battle it out in daily challenges to be crowned the 2016 Emerald Ireland Specialist 2015. The challenges included photo challenges, food challenges and sporting challenges as well as a competitive, high-tech treasure hunt around Dublin City. As well as competing for the title, the agents experienced many of the key visitor attractions. Over 11,000 agents across the world have signed up for the programme since launching in 2013.

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