Tag Archives: India

Switzerland Tourism conducts five-city trade show in India

Switzerland Tourism, in an effort to catalyse tourism development across India, has introduced several new attractions, experiences and activities for both popular and lesser known destinations in Switzerland. The recently conducted annual roadshow in India across cities of Mumbai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Delhi witnessed over 900 participants from the travel and tourism trade industry. A special B2B session was held in each city allowing the Indian travel agents to meet and discusses business prospects with the Swiss delegations. Claudio Zemp, Director – India, Switzerland Tourism, said, “This year has been a remarkable year for Switzerland Tourism with Ranveer Singh coming on board and promoting the destination with his charm, unmatched energy and fun personality which thoroughly matches the image Switzerland Tourism wanted to portray. In terms of growth from India, we had a fantastic year with a year to date growth of 25.1 per cent more overnights. We are thankful to our partners for their continued support and we hope that we welcome more tourists for the upcoming season.” Ritu Sharma, Deputy Director, Switzerland Tourism, India, says, “In the past few years, Switzerland tourism has upped the ante to attract more tourists from India. Apart from the key metros, we are also penetrating into Tier I & II cities by conducting training sessions in these markets to ensure that the travel trade is well equipped to answer queries relating to our offerings.” ­­­­­­

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Air Astana plans to start Mumbai flights from 2019

Having completed 13 years of service between India to Kazakhstan and Eurasia, Air Astana plans to start a new connection to Mumbai in 2019. Currently, the airline operates 10 flights a week between Kazakhstan and India. This includes a daily service between Almaty and New Delhi and three flights between Astana and New Delhi, which started in July this year. Peter Foster, President and Chief Executive Officer, Air Astana, said, “India is an important destination for Air Astana and has connected both business and leisure passengers well between both the countries. The number of passengers carried between India and Kazakhstan in 2017 is 43,459, an increase of 43 per cent as compared to that in 2016. In fact, the number of transit passengers travelling from New Delhi via Almaty to other international destinations grew by 33 per cent in 2016.”

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Finnair to open new route to Goa from Nov 1

Finnair is poised to enter the largest expansion in its history during the upcoming winter season with new routes opening to 20 intercontinental destinations including India, Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic and Lapland. Finnair is opening new routes to Goa from November 1, 2017; to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on November 5; to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic on November 30 and to Havana, Cuba on December 1. Juha Järvinen, Chief Commercial Officer, Finnair says, “This winter, we are entering the biggest expansion phase in our airline’s 94-year history. We are opening several new destinations, expanding our network and fleet including our eleven Airbus A350s, adding capacity to Finnish Lapland and taking important strides in our customer experience. It’s a very exciting time to fly Finnair.” Finnair currently flies six weekly to Delhi, two weekly to Goa, and 16 weekly to Bangkok, among other Asian destinations. Due to the continued increase in demand for Lapland as a tourist destination, Finnair is also heavily expanding its capacity to several Lapland airports for the upcoming winter season. The airline is increasing its capacity to Lapland by over 20 per cent. As of mid-December, Finnair will start flying new non-stop flights to Lapland airports from London Gatwick, Paris and Zurich. Finnair is also increasing its capacity from Helsinki airport to several Lapland airports for the entire winter season and offers a total of 430,000 seats to five of Lapland’s airports during the winter season.

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Singapore most powerful passport in the world; India jumps up three places to rank 75

According to Passport Index developed by global financial advisory firm Arton Capital, Singapore tops the rank of being the most powerful passport in the world under the Global Passport Power Rank 2017. This ranks passports of the world by their total visa-free score. Singapore is closely followed by Germany, Sweden and South Korea who are tied at number three, followed by eight other countries holding the number four spot jointly. The Indian passport appears at number 75 with a visa-free score of 51, ranking even lower than African countries like Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. Some of the countries with a lower ranking than India are Egypt, Bhutan Cambodia, Jordon and our neighbours Sri Lanka and Nepal. The last on the list is Afghanistan with a score of 22 preceded by Iraq and Pakistan with a joint visa-free score of 26.

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India is partner country at FITUR 2018

Post WTM London, Ministry of Tourism is all set to participate in FITUR, which will be held in Madrid from January 17-21, 2018. Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Tourism, revealed that India will be the partner country for FITUR, and is preparing for the same. “We will be participating in a very big way and the campaign has also been planned for the event in and around FITUR exhibition. We have many plans for it. Since the clientele in Spain is different, we will look at the countries which are participating at FITUR and offer our niche products as per their specific markets,” she informed.

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Seychelles Tourism Board concludes three-city roadshow

Seychelles Tourist Office, India recently organised roadshows in Delhi, Ahmedabad and Mumbai. These three Indian cities churn out some of the highest numbers of visitors each year to Seychelles and comprise of travel trade that facilitates most number of travellers from north and western parts of India. The highlight and differentiator of this roadshow was its format. For the first time since commencing operations in the India market, Seychelles Tourism Board adopted a new format for its roadshow – the Round Robin format, which ensured pre-scheduled meetings between the partners and trade and was strictly by invitation. Each city had partners meeting 60 top agents of Seychelles. Commenting on the roadshow Sherin Francis, CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board said, “The cities were chosen due to their current and potential capacities for outbound tourism to Seychelles. We have received only positive feedback about the format and execution by both our Seychelles partners and agents back in India. We look forward to strengthen our bonds with the Indian travel trade with more of such interactions with them.” The delegation had partners from various segments like DMCs, hotels, Cruise Company, airlines, Seychelles government associations and tourism associations Lubaina Sheerazi, COO, Blue Square Consultants, Seychelles Tourist office India, said, ”We introduced this new format of roadshow in the fourth year of Seychelles’ presence in the country keeping in mind the awareness and interest built over the years. The cities chosen contribute as the top performers for Seychelles and have shown great potential to rise further.”

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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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India, Japan sign open sky agreement

India and Japan have signed an agreement that will allow their airlines to operate unlimited number of flights between the two countries. The pact followed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe holding strategic discussions on a wide range of issues. An official release said India and Japan exchanged RoD (Record of Discussions) on civil aviation cooperation with respect to open sky. “It opens skies between India and Japan ie. Indian and Japanese carriers can mount now unlimited number of flights to the selected cities of each other’s countries,” the release said. The National Civil Aviation Policy, 2016, allows the government to enter into an ‘open sky’ air services agreement on a reciprocal basis with SAARC nations as well as countries beyond a 5,000 kilometre radius from New Delhi. Currently, Japanese carriers All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines — fly into India while Air India and Jet Airways -1.60 % operate services to Japan. ast year India signed open sky agreements with Greece, Jamaica, Guyana, Czech Republic, Finland, Spain and Sri Lanka. India also has open sky agreement with the US, among other countries. Last week, full service carrier Vistara had announced plans to enter into a code share partnership with Japan Airlines by next year. Vistara is also likely to unveil plans for international operations soon and Japan is on the radar, it had said. (Source: PTI)

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Qatar offers visa-free entry to Indians

Citizens of 80 countries including India can now enter Qatar visa-free. Besides Indians, travellers from the UK, the US, Canada, South Africa, Seychelles, Australia and New Zealand will be able to enter Qatar visa-free. “Citizens of these 80 countries wishing to visit Qatar will not need to apply or pay for a visa,” Qatari officials announced in a release said. “A multi-entry waiver will be issued free-of-charge at the port of entry, upon presentation of a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months and a confirmed onward or return ticket,” the release added. “Depending on the nationality of the visitor, the waiver will either be valid for 180 days, and allow the visitor to spend a total of 90 days in Qatar (multiple-entry); or it will be valid for 30 days and entitle the visitor to spend up to 30 days in Qatar (multiple-entry) with the possibility of applying for an extension of the waiver for an additional 30 days,” it said. Hassan Al Ibrahim, Acting Chairman of Qatar Tourism Authority said: “With 80 nationalities eligible for a free visa waiver upon arrival, Qatar is now the most open country in the region and we are delighted to invite visitors to discover our renowned hospitality, cultural heritage and natural treasures.” In November 2016, Qatar introduced a free transit visa, which allows passengers of all nationalities transiting in Qatar for a minimum of five hours to stay in Qatar for up to 96 hours (four days). In May 2017, QTA and Qatar Airways launched +Qatar, a package which includes a free night’s stay in a 5- or 4- star hotel in Doha, alongside a complimentary transit visa. (Source: Economic …

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India secures three categories at PATA Gold Awards 2017

India has bagged awards in three categories at the PATA Gold Awards 2017 scheduled to take place in Macao SAR on September 15 during PATA Travel Mart 2017. The Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India will be honoured under the Marketing Media – Travel Advertisement Print Media category for its Go Beyond project, while Kerala Tourism has secured an award for Marketing Media – Consumer Travel Brochure on Film Tourism. Travel provider Cox & Kings is the other winner for its Social Media marketing project Forever Young. Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA, said, “On behalf of PATA, I would like to extend our warmest congratulations to all 2017 Grand and Gold Award winners. This is no better time and place to celebrate their accomplishments, than this International Year for Sustainable Tourism for Development in Macao SAR during the 40th Anniversary of PATA Travel Mart. I look forward to celebrating this year’s winners who represent the values of the Association in working towards a more responsible travel and tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region.”

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