Tag Archives: India

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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Singapore concludes 6-city roadshow

Singapore Tourism Board and Singapore Airlines Group organised a six-city road show over 10 days across India and Colombo with participation from 39 Singapore stakeholders and over 800 in-market travel agents. India continues to be the fourth-largest source market in terms of visitor arrivals and third-largest tourism receipts generating market for Singapore. The roadshow in India commenced on July 10 in Pune followed by Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Kolkata and Hyderabad and concluded in Colombo on July21. Themed ‘Growing Tourism into Singapore, Together’, the delegation was led by G.B Srithar, Regional Director, South Asia Middle East & Africa, STB; Adrian Kong (Area Director, South Asia, Mumbai; and Yuemin Li-Misra, Area Director, South Asia, Delhi. The roadshows featured stakeholders from Singapore representing hotels, airlines, integrated resorts, attractions, Destination Management Companies (DMC) and cruise operators interacting and networking with STB’s travel and trade partners in India. There was also an update session on Singapore’s upcoming tourism offerings as well as Singapore Airlines Group’s range of cabin products and experiences. Srithar spoke about fostering collaborations with the travel trade partners especially from secondary cities across India. He said, “India has always been an important market for us. For the second time in a row, Singapore received more than one million Indian visitors in 2016. As the region’s middle-class becomes more affluent, there will be immense opportunities for international outbound travel and tourism, especially among families, working millennials and incentive movements. Through the roadshows, we seek to renew our ties with the travel trade, entrenching existing partnerships and forging new ones. Through these partnerships, we seek to bring Singapore’s tourism offerings to our target audiences through creative promotions, and in the process, ensuring meaningful results for …

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Greece’s Sky Express appoints Aviareps as its GSA

Aviareps has been appointed by Sky Express to represent the Greek domestic airline as its General Sales Agent (GSA) in eight markets around the world including Australia, Canada, France, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. The appointment, made with immediate effect, is the result of the airline’s initiative to expand its sales and marketing outreach internationally to travellers and travel industry leaders in key strategic markets. Operating out of its three domestic hubs of Athens, Thessaloniki and Heraklion in Crete, Sky Express connects travellers to 29 major tourist, cultural and business centres throughout Greece including Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes, Milos, Paros, Naxos, Kos, Mytilene, Ikaria, Zakynthos Kythira, Chios, Karpathos, Syros and Skyros to name a few. The fleet, which consists mainly of ATR aircrafts, is available for scheduled and charter flights, for individual passengers or groups. All Sky Express passengers departing from Athens or Thessaloniki are also provided free access to Business Lounge facilities.

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Air Canada to launch direct Mumbai-Toronto service on July 2

Air Canada inaugurates new, non-stop Toronto–Mumbai service on July 2, the only non-stop flight from Canada to India’s financial hub. The four-times weekly service will be operated with Air Canada’s most modern aircraft, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The aircraft feature 29 International Business Class lie-flat seat suites, 21 Premium Economy and 247 Economy Class seats, with upgraded in-flight entertainment at every seat throughout the aircraft. With the new Toronto–Mumbai route, Air Canada now offers three Boeing 787 Dreamliner routes between Canada and India, including year-round daily Toronto–Delhi service and seasonal Vancouver–Delhi service, which resumes in October and will be expanded to up to five times weekly this winter from three-times weekly last winter. “Our non-stop flights from our Asia-Pacific Vancouver hub feature 787-9 Dreamliner service and offer the shortest elapsed flying time from Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles to the Indian subcontinent,” said Duncan Bureau, Vice President, Global Sales, Air Canada. “Our non-stop flight, coupled with our streamlined and seamless connections process at Vancouver translates to a savings of three to five hours compared to itineraries with connections in Europe or Asia.”

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SQ’s A350 daily service from Mumbai-Singapore from July 1

Singapore Airlines has announced the introduction of its A350 services to India. Mumbai will be the 16th destination within its network to receive the Airbus A350-900 aircraft. The daily scheduled Singapore Airlines flight SQ421 will be served by this new aircraft and the inaugural A350 service will depart from Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai at 1145hrs on 01 July 2017. With advanced technology and superior operating efficiency, the A350-900 offers customers an improved travelling experience with features such as higher ceilings, larger windows, an extra wide body and lighting designed to reduce jetlag. Customers will also be able to enjoy our latest-generation cabin products as well as the award-winning, KrisWorld inflight entertainment system. The aircraft is fitted with 253 seats, in a three-class configuration – 42 in Business Class, 24 in Premium Economy and 187 in Economy. Singapore Airlines took delivery of its first A350-900 in March 2016 and now has 15 of the aircraft type in its fleet, with another 52 on firm order, including seven of an ultra-long-range A350-900ULR variant. Singapore Airlines is the launch customer for the A350-900ULR, for which deliveries will begin in 2018. The aircraft will be used to re-launch non-stop flights between Singapore and both New York and Los Angeles. “Singapore Airlines continually looks for opportunities to enhance the travel experience of our Indian patrons. The launch of A350 services to India is a testament to our commitment towards operating a modern and young fleet across the world,” said David Lim, General Manager India, Singapore Airlines. In conjunction with Singapore Airlines 70th anniversary, travellers from Mumbai can enjoy the A350 experience with special fares starting from Rs 22,070 to Singapore.

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Airbnb and the World Bank Group partner to boost rural tourism

Airbnb and the World Bank Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to partner toward boosting developing economies through tourism. The two organizations will also share information on the current scale of alternative accommodation options and home sharing across several countries, beginning with pilot projects in Sri Lanka and India. Through the agreement, signed at the 2017 Tourism Knowledge Exchange, an event highlighting the latest innovations in sustainable tourism, Airbnb and the World Bank Group will examine ways in which emerging destinations use new technology and platforms such as Airbnb to create economic opportunities for communities that have not traditionally benefited from tourism and hospitality. Travel and tourism is the largest service industry in the world and accounts for nearly 10 percent of global GDP. In 2015, revenues from international tourism represented $421 million in emerging economies. Emerging markets’ share of total global arrivals is expected to reach 57% by 2030. This corresponds to over 1 billion travelers, each spending money, transferring wealth, and creating jobs. “At Airbnb, we believe home sharing can help close the widening gap in economic opportunity between urban and rural areas,” said Clark Stevens, director, Government Affairs and Strategic Partnerships at Airbnb. “We’ve already seen the important economic engine that home sharing has become for communities around the world, and we’re excited to partner with the World Bank Group to further study the development impacts of home sharing and pilot projects in emerging tourist destinations.” “Travel and tourism is one of the largest service industries in the world and accommodation is at its core. The sharing economy has created opportunities across the sector and this partnership with Airbnb allows us to better understand those opportunities, …

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