Tag Archives: Country Manager

Bahrain aims at 46% growth from Indian tourists in 2018

Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) recently organised a consolidator’s familiarisation trip to Bahrain to showcase Bahrain’s famous tourist attractions to help grow the country’s tourism industry. This year, Bahrain is looking at the growth of about 46 per cent tourists from India in 2018. Sunil Mathapati, Country Manager said, “As part of the plan to highlight Bahrain’s overall tourism offering and to tap on the high potential consumer market that India has be it Luxury travellers, adventure enthusiasts, Wedding & MICE segments; we will be proactively doing marketing activities and trips to attract tourism and make a traveller aware about the destination which is rich in history and culture and has various adventure activities, which is just four hours from India.” Some places where delegation visited were Bahrain International Circuit, historical forts, cultural sites in the old capital Muharraq, beaches, The Al Fateh Grand Mosque, and The National Museum. They also visited five-star hotels to review and understand their offerings. They further went to check out the island flavor, exploring varieties of food options. The trip also showcased new tourist attraction like Jarada Islands and the group was taken to new hotel Jumeirah Royal Saray Bahrain as well for inspection.

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Two Indian start-ups receive the highest grants from Booking.com’s €2 million fund

Indian start-ups Sakha Consulting Wings: Women on Wheels and Global Himalayan Expedition were awarded this year’s highest grants of €325k and €400k respectively by Booking.com. The company has announced the 10 sustainable tourism start-ups receiving scaling grants as part of its 2018 Booking Booster accelerator programme. After three weeks of workshops and intensive coaching sessions, the programme culminated in a final pitch to receive grants of up to €500k from Booking.com’s €2 million fund to help support the next stage of the startups’ projected growth. The 10 teams of finalists pitched their scaling plans to a live audience and panel of expert judges in Amsterdam. “We are delighted that two startups from India with great ideas focused on sustainable tourism were a part of the grand finale and both have received a combined total grant of €7.25 lakhs. Our aim is to build a network of like-minded organisations and individuals that are leveraging technology to create a more sustainable future for destinations worldwide,” said Ritu Mehrotra, Country Manager – India, Booking.com on the sidelines of the Booking Booster finale held at Tobacco theatre, Amsterdam. All the startups that participated in the program will receive 12 months of ongoing mentoring and coaching from a strategic mix of Booking.com experts representing all parts of the business, as well as opportunities and access to collaborate with Booking.com on potential innovation initiatives and experiments to help accelerate their future growth.

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Tourism Fiji appoints Country Manager for India

Tourism Fiji has announced the appointment of Seema Kadam as its Country Manager for India. She will be based in Mumbai and will be responsible for Tourism Fiji’s activities across India. Kadam brings with her an abundance of knowledge of the travel industry and products as well as great interpersonal and business development skills. Having worked and excelled at other international tourism companies such as Switzerland Tourism, where she was the Area Manager, she is well qualified to lead the team in India for Tourism Fiji. Matthew Stoeckel, CEO, Tourism Fiji, said, “India is a strategically important market for us and one that has significant potential for sustainable long-term growth. This new appointment is the first of many steps we have taken to increase visitor arrivals from India and further promote Fiji within the India market. Visitor arrivals from India have grown by 24 per cent over the last three years and we hope to drive these numbers up further.”

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India crosses 300k mark in visitor arrivals to Australia

Visitor arrivals from India to Australia have crossed the 300,000 mark as recorded by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) for the year ended December 2017, an increase of 15.4 per cent over the previous year. India is also currently the eighth-largest and the fastest-growing inbound travel market for Australia, and has recorded double-digit growth for the fourth consecutive year. The growing appetite for Australian holidays has been fueled by Tourism Australia’s consumer marketing campaign – ‘There’s Nothing Like Australia’. Commenting on this achievement, Nishant Kashikar, Country Manager, Tourism Australia India and Gulf said, “We are delighted at having crossed the 300k mark for arrivals into Australia from India, and are extremely grateful to all our partners and stakeholders for being with us on this journey. There has been a consistent effort at the introduction of new products and experiences from a trade distribution perspective and innovative direct to consumer communication initiatives that have been implemented to build and sustain Australia’s preference as a holiday destination.” In mid-2017, the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection extended online lodgment of visitor visa applications to all Indian nationals. The online application process provides a more convenient option for Indians looking to visit Australia.

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Travelport signs multi-year agreement with Travelgenio

Travelport has announced a renewed long-term partnership with Travelgenio. With nearly 250 airlines signed up to use Travelport’s unique merchandising technology, Travelgenio is able to further differentiate itself by displaying and selling branded fare families and ancillary products from these airlines in the same way they do on their own websites. Having recently become the first global distribution system (GDS) to be certified by IATA as a “Level 3” Aggregator under its New Distribution Capability (NDC) initiative, Travelport will also benefit Travelgenio by creating NDC connections with airlines as they become available. Commenting on the renewed agreement, Mariano Pelizzari, CEO, Travelgenio, said, “Given all the searches that take place, it’s crucial we take advantage of the right technology to optimise our customer experience. The renewal of our agreement with Travelport demonstrates our commitment to serve the end traveller even better by continually providing the rich choice of content with the speed and accuracy that’s critical to them.” Fred Lindgren, Country Manager, Travelport Spain, commented, “To maintain its leadership in the competitive landscape of online travel, Travelgenio needs continued access to extensive global travel choices and the best booking technology to deliver a fast, differentiated and personalised booking. This agreement is testament to Travelport’s combination of innovative technology and extensive travel content.”

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SriLankan to increase Mumbai and Delhi frequencies

With a focus on the Indian market, SriLankan Airlines intends to increase its frequencies to 13 flights per week to Delhi and 14 flights a week to Mumbai. According to Chinthaka Weerasinghe, Country Manager, SriLankan Airlines, “We are keen on increasing the destinations and flight frequencies in India as the demand is constantly on the rise. With the new development ventures, we anticipate significant passenger numbers from our key contributors to inbound tourism traffic that includes India, China, Europe, Australia and the Maldives.” India has been a vital partner in SriLankan Airlines’ route network from the early days since it is Sri Lanka’s number one source of inbound tourist traffic. Today, the airline directly operates to 14 Indian destinations with a total of 135 flights a week. Weerasinghe adds, “The Indian government authorities and related state institutions have always been a firm supporter to all SriLankan Airlines and Sri Lanka Tourism projects.”

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Virgin Atlantic appoints new Country Manager for India

Virgin Atlantic has announced the appointment of David Hodges as the new Country Manager for its India operations. In his new role, David will drive Virgin’s business at a strategic and commercial level for all sales within India. An accomplished industry leader with over a decade of business development and external affairs experience, David has an established track record of leadership and business expansion at large, complex, multinational organisations including varied roles at London Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Brevia Consulting. Hodges said, “I am excited to be part of the dynamic team in India. We will continue to champion the customer’s needs and tap the incredible growth opportunities in both leisure and business segments. I look forward to meeting the organisation’s objectives, strengthen the brand and grow business in the India market.” Prior to this, he was Senior External Affairs Manager in which he worked closely with the Government and the business sector on issues that led to a significant increase in the number of people flying with Virgin Atlantic.  

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15% rise in Indian arrivals to Australia by Oct 2017

Arrivals from India to Australia grew by 15 per cent for the year ended October 2017, with an influx of 294,000 visitors, compared to the same period last year. This makes India the 9th largest inbound market for Australia, and inches it closer towards achieving its Tourism 2020 goal of 300,000 visitors annually, three years ahead of target. Indian visitor spend in Australia for the year ended September 2017 reached AUD 1.45 billion (approx. Rs. 7,200 crore), an increase of 26 per cent over the previous year, making India the 8th largest market in terms of spend by tourists. With an impressive double-digit growth in arrivals and spend for the fourth consecutive year, India has emerged as Australia’s fastest growing inbound market. Tania Gerlach, Chief Migration Officer, Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) commented, “We are extremely pleased with the success of the e-lodgment process, with over 60 per cent of the total tourist visa applications now received online. The month of November 2017 has witnessed the highest-ever tourist visa lodgments. Online lodgment offers benefits such as 24/7 accessibility, electronic payment of the visa application charge and the ability to check the status of applications lodged online. Processing times for these visas will now be faster, as both applications and supporting documentation are immediately available to the processing office. This is good news for every Indian visitor planning to visit Australia, whether they are travelling for business or pleasure”. Commenting on the success, Nishant Kashikar, Country Manager, India and Gulf, Tourism Australia, said, “It is an extremely proud moment for us to achieve the fastest growing market status in our 50th anniversary year of marketing Australia to the world …

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Mauritius records 8% increase in Indian visitors in H1 2017

Mauritius has recorded an 8 per cent increase in visitors from India during January-June 2017, as compared to the same period last year, revealed Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority. Vivek Anand, Country Manager, MTPA India, dedicated the increase to strategic industry partnerships to boost market awareness about Mauritius as a leisure, MICE and wedding destination “Our brand positioning emphasises on Mauritius’s natural beauty, luxurious indulgence and a range of activities for different types of travellers. We are working closely with India’s leading trade stakeholders to promote the destination as an ideal choice for the discerning consumer and this activities will continue in the second half of 2017,” he added. As part of the promotional plan, MTPA India has already organised roadshows in Tier-II and Tier-III cities, and seminars for travel agents; hosted familiarisation trips for travel agents, wedding planners and media in the first half of the year. Starting July, MTPA will organise a four city roadshow in August 2017 in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore. OM Tourism was set up to handle outsourced sales, marketing and media relations for luxury hotels chains and National Tourism Boards. Amongst OM Tourism’s clients are Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, Visit Indonesia Tourism Office, Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority.

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Treebo and TripAdvisor join hands

Treebo Hotels has announced its association with TripAdvisor, which will open up a global audience of 390 million monthly users looking to make hotel reservations for budget hotel chain. Commenting on the partnership, Sidharth Gupta, Co-founder, Treebo Hotels, said, “TripAdvisor is one of the key touch points for us to connect with our users. These users have already been posting and reading reviews of Treebo’s top-rated properties on TripAdvisor. Now they’ll also see be able to see the best available prices and book hotels on TripAdvisor itself. We are expecting TripAdvisor to contribute close to 5 per cent of monthly bookings in the next three months, becoming a key distribution channel for us.” This partnership will allow TripAdvisor users search and book – via meta – quality hotel experiences across over 50 Indian cities. Nikhil Ganju, Country Manager, TripAdvisor India, commented, “TripAdvisor’s aim is to help the Indian traveller save time and effort when planning their travel with tools that make it easy to find the best hotel offering that suits their needs wherever they are going. With Treebo on board, both local and international travellers will be able to find good quality budget accommodation in India they know they will have a good experience at.”

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