Tag Archives: India

Seychelles Tourism Board concludes its three-city roadshow

Seychelles Tourist Office, India recently organised a three city roadshow from September 3-7, 2018 in Kolkata, Bangalore and Pune. Following the success of 2017’s format, the roadshow saw the same ‘pre-fixed meeting’ format in all three cities. This by-invite only format ensured quick 15 minute meetings between top agents from the cities and the private sector partners from Seychelles. Elsie Sinon from Seychelles Tourism Board shared information about the destination with all agents. Other partners included DMCs, hotels and airline partner Air Seychelles. Sherin Francis, CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board said, “We are happy to note the immense success of the three-city roadshow in India. We believe that growth of any destination relies heavily on its perception and knowledge among the travel trade of the country. We look forward to strengthen our bonds with the Indian travel trade by many more interactions with them in the form of roadshows, workshops and destination trainings in multiple cities of India.” The roadshow did not just introduce a new way of interaction but also saw the highest turn out of participants from Seychelles. The contingent had partners from various establishments. Lubaina Sheerazi, COO, Blue Square Consultants, Seychelles Tourist office India, said, “The cities were chosen due to their current and potential capacities for outbound tourism to Seychelles. We are pleased to have received such positive and encouraging feedback about the format and quality of meetings.”

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TAAI Convention in China this November

The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) is set to organise its annual convention this year in Kunming, Yunnan, China by November end. The association held its convention in Srinagar in March this year. The step comes in the wake of TAAI’s focus to bond with China, whose outbound has been the largest in recent years. Further, India’s outbound to China is also extremely significant and continues to grow. The final dates of the convention will be announced soon. TAAI and Yunnan Provincial Tourism Development Commission (YPTDC) are joining hands to deliver a great partnership that would benefit tourism between the two large and formidable nations of the world. On the invitation of Yunnan, TAAI team visited the beautiful city of Kunming and found it a great venue to organise this Convention, TAAI said.

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Travel Money opens an exclusive retail store in Vijayawada

Travel Money, the flagship foreign exchange brand of FCM Travel Solutions, Indian subsidiary of Flight Centre Travel Group Australia, strengthened its presence in South India with an inauguration of its first owned retail store at one of the key locations in Vijayawada. The outlet was inaugurated by Gagan Malhotra, Vice President, Foreign Exchange, FCM Travel Solutions India. This expansion augments total number of outlets to the 34 stores across India, out of which 14 are in South India. Spread over 1,000 sq ft at M G Road, the store offers a range of foreign exchange services such as forex, travel cards and outward remittances for education or close relative maintenance. Malhotra said, “According to the BCG report titled ‘Demystifying The Indian Online Traveller 2017’, the Indian travel market is projected to grow at 11 to 11.5 per cent to the tune of $48 billion by 2020. Indian travel given the significant outbound tourism growth in South India market, we aim to deliver quality and convenience in all aspects of foreign exchange including remittance for students, Leisure & Business travel, Prepaid Travel Cards, and much more to our travellers.” Travel Money’s current footprint extends to a total of 34 stores across India in all major cities including Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Bangalore and Cochin via a combination of owned branches and franchise outlets.

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UK witnesses 32% increase in student visas

The number of UK visas granted to Indian nationals has continued to experience strong growth, according to the latest update from the UK Office for National Statistics. The latest figures show that there has been a 32 per cent increase in student visas and a 10 per cent increase in visit visas from India. This means that 550,925 Indians were granted UK visas in the year ending June 2018 while visit visas increased by 10 per cent to 454,658, which demonstrates that Indians are continuing to choose the UK as a holiday destination. T4 visas granted to Indian students touched 15,390, an increase of 32 per cent on the previous 12 months. Over 6,500 Indians came for short-term study in the UK during the same period. This is the third successive year that student visa numbers have increased. India continues to receive more UK work visas than the rest of the world combined with over 60,000 work visas issued last year. Dominic Asquith, British High Commissioner to India, said, “The latest figures reinforce a trend we have noticed for some time – that across the board more and more Indians are choosing the UK as a destination to visit, work in and study. I’m particularly pleased to note that numbers of Indian students have increased by 32%. I welcome this evidence that international students wish to study at our world class institutions and are succeeding in securing places there.”

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Over 6,500 meetings at Tourism Australia’s India Travel Mission in Jaipur

The 16th edition of Tourism Australia’s India Travel Mission 2018 (ITM 2018) in Jaipur brought together 75 Australian tourism businesses to meet with 87 travel retailers from India in over 6,500 business appointments over three days. The event witnessed participation from 14 first-time sellers and 20 buyers. The spotlight during ITM 2018 was on Signature Experiences –a collection which offers a diverse range of travel options including Australian Wildlife Collection, Great Golf Courses of Australia, Great Walks of Australia, Luxury Lodges of Australia and the Ultimate Winery Experiences of Australia. “India is a significant market for Australia and has been seeing a very encouraging growth trend. The introduction of Signature Experiences, the participation of new products showcasing at ITM this year and commitment of tourism suppliers who have been investing in India over the past decade is a cohesive effort to bring top selection of Australian tourism experiences to Indian High Value Travellers (HVTs),” stated Brent Anderson, Regional General Manager – South & South East Asia, Tourism Australia. Nishant Kashikar, Country Manager – India & Gulf, Tourism Australia, said, “ITM 2018 has the largest ever delegation of Australian tourism suppliers. Our focus for the year is to sustain the growth in arrivals and drive yield through our strategic trade and consumer initiatives. After achieving the 2020 goal of 300,000 visitors, three years ahead of the target date, our ambitions are fuelled to go bigger and achieve higher milestones”. In addition to ITM, the distribution strategy of Tourism Australia includes an enriched trade engagement programme.  

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GPS Pune opens on a resounding note

After successful shows in seven cities across the country, the concluding Global Panorama Showcase (GPS) of 2018 opened at JW Marriot Hotel Pune with over 600 attendees. The first day of the event was inaugrated by GB Srithar, Regional Director – South Asia & Middle East, Singapore Tourism Board; Sunil VA, Regional Vice President – ISC, Oman Air; Sanjay Rao, Aviation Consultant; Vishal Bhatia, Country Manager – India, VisitBritain and Dev Karvat, Founder – TrawellTag & CEO, Emerging Markets, Covermore Group.  

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31 per cent Indians use social media for tourism research

The global increase in social media usage since January 2017 in terms of tourism destinations is 13 per cent, according to a study by TrekkSoft. India is second in place with 31 per cent of people using social media to know about various tourist destinations. Saudi Arabia has the largest year-on-year increase in social media users since January 2017 (32 per cent), a 17% increase compared to the global average.  Indonesia and Ghana as technology is improving and social media becomes easily accessible to more of the population. UAE, South Korea and the UK have the slowest increase with 5 per cent. Facebook has the most daily active users compared to other social network, the study said.  

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Easy visa application process ups Indian arrivals to Australia by 20%

Since the introduction of the new visa system by the Department of Home Affairs (HA), arrivals from India to Australia have surged by 20 per cent. The online application process provides a more convenient option for Indians looking to visit Australia, by allowing them to apply for their Australian tourist visa within the comfort of their home, without any biometric requirement or physically submitting their passport to the Department. Tania Gerlach, Chief Migration Officer, Department of Home Affairs, commented, “The expansion of online lodgement to Indian applicants is an important step in managing the large number of visitor visa applications processed in India. Processing times for these visas are now faster, as both applications and supporting documentation are immediately available to the processing office.” Nishant Kashikar, Country Manager – India, Tourism Australia, said, “We see the introduction of online visitor visa lodgement as a progressive and innovative measure to ease travel logistics. In addition to destination delights to woo potential tourists, ease of access is usually seen as a catalyst that drives decision making.” Consumers can conveniently apply for their Australian visitor visa through the Department’s Immi Account portal. Online visa lodgement 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.

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Israel opens Visa Application Centre in Kolkata

In an effort to encourage more Indian travellers to visit Israel, the Embassy of Israel in India has opened a Kolkata Israel Visa Application Centre for West Bengal and Northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. Additionally, visa applications in jurisdiction under the New Delhi centre are also acceptable at the new Kolkata Centre. The visa application categories include B1 for employment, B2 for business, tourism, meeting or conference and A2 for students. Commenting on the new opening, Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism – India & Philippines said, “Israel is experiencing a tourism boom like never before. India has recorded a half yearly growth of 82% as compared to the same period in 2015 and has become one of the best performing markets in Asia for Israel. The new centre in Kolkata will no longer require residents from West Bengal and Northeastern states to send in their documents to the Embassy in New Delhi.” Among other initiatives, Israel recently announced a reduction in visa fees to Rs 1,100 from its previous Rs 1,700 charge for Indian citizens. In December last year, relaxed visa documentation was brought in for applicants who have availed visas of Schengen countries, US, Canada, Australia or Israel and have completed their travel to these destinations. Madah added, “The Ministry of Tourism will be conducting a roadshow in Kolkata on August 29 to increase interest for the destination among consumers and trade fraternity.”

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South African Tourism appoints Neliswa Nkani as Hub Head—Middle East, India & SE Asia

South Africa Tourism has recently announced the appointment of Neliswa Nkani as Hub Head—Middle East, India and South East Asia at a networking dinner hosted in Mumbai for the travel trade. Hanneli Slabber now takes charge as the General Manager— Asia, Australasia and Middle East for South Africa Tourism. The event of Nkani’s appointment was attended by Sthembiso Dlamini, Chief Operating Officer (COO), South African Tourism along with ML Ramokgopa, Consul General—South African Consulate, Mumbai.

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