Tag Archives: India

India crosses 1 mn mark in visitor arrivals to Singapore

For the third time in a row, visitor arrivals from India to Singapore has crossed the 1 million mark in 2017, reinforcing it as one of the most preferred destinations for Indian travellers. Singapore Tourism Board (STB) announced that India has recorded the highest growth rate of 16 per cent among all markets. While Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and Bangalore continue to remain their top VA source cities, STB’s efforts to engage travellers from Ahmedabad, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata and Pune have resulted in double-digit VA growth. GB Srithar, Regional Director – SAMEA, Singapore Tourism Board, said “We thank the Indian travellers and our travel trade partners for the record 1.27 million Indian visitors to our country in 2017. We are happy that Singapore continues to be perceived as one of the must-visit destinations. This year, STB will focus on expanding partnership with travel trade partners and promoting our new brand creatively. India continued to be the top source market for VA in the cruise segment for Singapore. 127,000 cruise passengers from India sailed out of Singapore’s shores in 2017, a year-on-year increase of 25 per cent from 2016. 2017 was a landmark year for STB as it unveiled the country’s new, unified brand identity ‘Passion made Possible’ in August.  

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Mexico Tourism targets 200,000 Indian tourists by 2022

The Mexico Tourism Board plans to target over 200,000 Indian outbound visitors to visit Mexico by 2022. In 2017, Mexico received 64,900 Indian visitors by nationality, a 10 per cent increase compared to 2016 and 22,431 Indian visitors by country of residence, 9.5 per cent increase compared to 2016. Melba Pria, Ambassador of Mexico in India, said, “We are happy that over the years, we are seeing a steady growth in Indian tourists and are confident that this trend will continue. We are extremely delighted in targeting the outbound tourists from India by focusing on the vibrant, multi-faceted experiences that keep visitors coming back to Mexico and its hundreds of destinations.” Guillermo Eguiarte, Regional Director – Mexico Tourism Board, shared the campaign of ‘A world of its own’- it embodies Mexico to be the world that awakens the drive to explore, to imagine, to feel. He said, “Mexico’s sustained, fast growth is testament to the incredible quality and diversity in the tourism offering, both internationally and domestically. The Indian outbound tourist is expected to be around 50 million globally, and Mexico is targeting a 4 per cent market share of this.

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India jumps to third largest source market for Singapore

India has moved up to the third position from the fourth in terms of visitor arrivals to Singapore along with a double digit growth of 17 per cent growth until October 2017, and continues to be the third largest tourism receipts generating market for Singapore. Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has organised a two-city roadshow in Mumbai and Jaipur to deepen this relationship with the Indian travel trade. G.B. Srithar, Regional Director–South Asia Middle East & Africa, STB said, “India has always been a key source market for Singapore. We are happy to have already crossed 2016’s full year 1.1 million visitor arrivals mark from India as end October 2017. We thank all our trade fraternity for their support in bringing our destination promotion messages to our audiences. Through our roadshows, we seek to renew our ties with the travel trade, entrench existing partnerships and forge new ones through creative promotions.” Year 2017 was a landmark year for STB with strategic associations with a Bollywood movie ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’, participation in cruise forums, travel trade conferences, partnerships with airlines, launch of the Vegetarian Food Guide, penetration in the regional markets such as Chandigarh, Jaipur, Lucknow, etc. and the unveiling of a new brand identity.’

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India in top five list of visitors to Thailand

India ranks in top five list of highest number of visitors to Thailand after China, Malaysia, Korea and Laos. In 2017, over 1.4 million Indians travelled to Thailand which is over 18 per cent increase as compared to last year. Thailand welcomed over 35.3 million international visitors in 2017 and earned 1.82 trillion baht in tourism revenue. The precise number of overseas tourists visiting Thailand in 2017 was 35,381,210; showing an increase of 8.77 per cent over 2016. Soraya Homchuen, Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Mumbai said, “TAT is initiating many unique activities and projects this year with a focus on promoting women, family and first-time traveller segments for the Indian market.” Santi Chudintra, Deputy Governor for International Marketing (Asia and the South Pacific) said, “Our new campaign ‘Open to the New Shades of Thailand’ aims to give more attention to unique local experiences and inclusive tourism, reflecting Thainess and Thai people’s warmth in welcoming visitors. The new campaign ‘Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018’ has been launched to support the government’s national tourism development plan, ensuring that Thailand remains a preferred destination.”  

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FITUR opens with India as Partner Country

IFEMA kicks off the international schedule of tourism trade fairs with FITUR 2018, one of the greatest business platforms for world tourism in Madrid from January 17-21 with India as its Partner Country. Like every year, the event will allow agents from the travel and tourism industry to establish the lines of work that will set the programme for the entire year. Many business meetings are being held, and contacts and business exchanges being made. The international trade show is set to generate 260 million euros over its five days, and strengthen various sectors connected to tourism. The tourism fair has grown by 8 per cent and international participation has grown by 13 per cent this year.  

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Ural Airlines to start flights between India and Russia

The potential of the outbound tourist market from India to Russia has prompted Ural Airlines to start flights from various cities in India ex Yekaterinburg to Moscow, St. Petersburg, and to the other cities in Russia along with offering connections to other prime destinations in Europe. As per the Russian Information Centre (RIC), tourists from India to Russia have been growing at 30 per cent YoY. Considering the unique needs of Indian tourists and to cater to their specific needs, Ural Airlines is considering to join the ‘India-Friendly’ programme in Russia, which is initiated and executed by RIC in India. Airports of Regions & Russian Information Center in India are assisting the process of launch of services in India by helping identify partners and other associates that will contribute to the entry of Ural Airlines into the India market. Ural Airlines is the primary airline of Airport Koltsovo in Yekaterinburg and one of the largest rapidly developing Russian airlines.

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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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Online visas drive Australia’s rising Indian tourist arrivals

India has emerged as Australia’s fastest-growing source market for tourist arrivals. One of the main reasons for this is the introduction of electronic lodgement of visa applications for Indian passport holders, which is likely to further boost arrivals. 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 ninth-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. Tania Gerlach, Chief Migration Officer, Department of Immigration and Border Protection, says, “We are extremely pleased with the success of the e-lodgement 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 lodgements. 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.”

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Israel eases visa process for Indian tourists

With an aim to encourage Indian travellers to visit Israel, the country has simplified the visa application procedure for Indian citizens. The relaxed visa rule involves less documentation for Indians who have availed visas of Schengen countries, US, Canada, Australia or Israel and have completed their travel to these countries.  For these travellers, the documents include a valid passport, completed visa application form, two photographs, cover letter with travel information, traveller’s insurance and passport copy. Hassan Madah – Director of the Israel Ministry of Tourism, India, says, “Easing the visa requirements will not only make the application process faster but will also increase travel to Israel as well. We are also working on an express service with VFS which will be introduced soon. In addition to this, we are working towards e-visa processing as well as easing the group visa process.” In September this year, one year multiple entry visas for business travellers was introduced. Visa processing is available through VFS processing centres located all over India for the Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai and Bengaluru as well as the Embassy of Israel in Delhi.

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SWISS celebrates 10 years of Delhi-Zurich route

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS), part of the Lufthansa Group, completed 10 years of operations on the Delhi – Zurich route. To celebrate this milestone, SWISS hosted a special walk titled ‘The Delhi Seductress’ featuring Mehrauli Archeological Park on December 17, 2017. The walk explored the by-lanes of Mehrauli, its multi-faceted history and architecture through visits to mausoleums, step wells as well as several other structures modified during its history. SWISS and experts from Darwesh – a travel and culture studio jointly led the event. Paurus Nekoo, General Manager Sales, India, Lufthansa Group, on behalf of SWISS said, “We are proud to add another milestone to our history with India. As an airline deeply rooted in tradition and culture, we are delighted to celebrate this occasion with a unique activity that pays tribute to Delhi’s rich cultural heritage.” Nekoo adds, “India is a key market for SWISS and over the years, we have constantly innovated to elevate travel experience for passengers to and from India. From special meals, Indian flight attendants to Bollywood movies onboard, we are committed to deepen our connect with our customers by extending the very best of Swiss warmth and hospitality onboard.”

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