Tag Archives: India

‘Vision of Scandinavia’ opens office in India

Vision of Scandinavia (VOS), a 20-year old inbound tour operator and DMC for the Baltics and the Nordic Countries, based in Copenhagen, has recently opened an office in Mumbai through the appointment of Mahip Agarwal, Sales Representative & Operations Manager (India), VOS. This makes India its first Asian country to have an office. It also recently opened an office in Russia. Speaking about the company’s plans for the market, Agarwal says, “We are targeting 3,000 passengers from India this year. Our focus will be on series departures apart from FITs, specially the honeymooners. At present, Scandinavia doesn’t get much of series departures from India and we want to tap this niche. Apart from conducting one-on-one sales calls with the trade, this year will be devoted to research and gathering data. We are also listed with the Scandinavian Tourism Board – India and will be part of their annual roadshow this year.” He added that VOS is keen to take part in exhibitions and trade fairs next year in Mumbai and New Delhi. “We welcome travellers from all segments. It is a myth that Scandinavia is an expensive destination and meant only for the premium segment and we want to dispel this myth by showcasing the products in the right way,” Agarwal adds.  

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Taiwan records 10.8% growth in Indian arrivals from January to November 2018

Taiwan considers India as one of its focus markets, and from January to November 2018, it recorded 10.8 per cent growth in Indian arrivals to Taiwan, against 4.2 per cent growth in the previous year. Speaking at its recent roadshow in New Delhi, Trust HJ Lin, Director, Taiwan Tourism Bureau, said, “We feel great that we have double-digit growth from India and for the 2019-2020, we have a new strategy which is called ‘2 20:20’. In this campaign, the ‘2’ means that we focus on the top 2 per cent of higher income travellers who have the purchasing power to travel overseas. Then the first ‘20’ represents our aim to cooperate with top 20 tour operators in India, while the second ‘20’ in the campaign means that we want to reach 20 per cent growth by the year 2020.”

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Indian tourists spent $1.6 billion in Australia from Oct 2017-Sept 2018

India once again earned the distinction of being the fastest growing inbound market for Australia. Arrivals for the year-ended November 2018 stood at 352,500 – a growth of 18 per cent over the previous year. During October 2017 to September 2018, Indian tourists spent $ 1.6 billion on their Australia trip, a growth of 10 per cent over the previous year. India is now on track to achieve fifth consecutive year of double-digit growth in arrivals, as well as spend. Over the past few months, TA executed few marketing activities to raise Australia’s appeal and attractiveness among the Indian high value travellers: launch of #UnDiscover Australia campaign on television and digital media, showcasing unusual and unfamiliar experiences that Australia has to offer; partnership with ESPN cricinfo with television presenter and model, Shibani Dandekar, visiting five Australian states, and interacting with five Australian cricketing talents, showcased their hometowns and Australia as a holiday destination to their Indian fans and followers through a series of 22 destination videos; leveraged the popularity of our Friend of Australia — Parineeti Chopra and Harsha Bhogle, and Indian cricketer Shikhar Dhawan, who showcased why there’s truly nothing like Australia among their followers; launched the fifth iteration of the Airline Marketplace campaign that delivered over 16,400 bookings in just 3 weeks; Strengthened relationship with the travel industry through the launch of the Premier Aussie Specialist Program, online webinars and face-to-face training initiatives.

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Abu Dhabi expects India to be top source market for overseas arrivals in 2019

Abu Dhabi expects India to continue to be the largest source market for overseas arrivals in 2019 with a growth of around 10 per cent year-on year, a senior official has said. Anthony Rippingale, Acting Director, Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism, Travel Trade and Market Development Department, told PTI, “We expect India to continue to be the largest overseas market for arrivals in 2019. We are expecting around 10 per cent growth in the number of Indian arrivals in 2019.” In 2018, the capital city of United Arab Emirates had around 3.35 lakh arrivals from India up to October. As of October 2018, India is the largest source market for overseas arrivals to Abu Dhabi, he added. “The growth we are expecting is despite this being an election year in India. This is on account of long historical ties between the two countries with strong person-to-person contact,” Rippingale said. When asked about the focus areas that the department is targeting here, he said, “We are focusing on all the segments such as MiCE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) segment, leisure segment, specially the families and on weddings and honeymoon segment.” The average stay per person in Abu Dhabi is 3 to 4 nights, he added. On the initiatives being taken to promote Abu Dhabi as a preferred destination, Rippingale said, “We are expanding sales team in India. We are also creating regional sales teams to cater to the specific needs of various regions in India.” Efforts are also being made to promote culture tourism. Focus is also to promote cruise tourism. The efforts are being made to support the trade partners, he added. Source : PTI

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India extends e-visa facility for conference and medical attendants from China

India has further liberalised visa regime for Chinese nationals by extending e-visa facility for the conference and medical attendants as part of its efforts to attract more tourists from China. Previously those attending conferences in India needed to get clearances from New Delhi to get visas. The Conference Visa will be issued for those who intend to travel to India to attend conference/seminar/workshop organised by Ministry or Department of Government of India, State Departments or Union Territories, Administration and their subordinate/attached organizations and PSUs, the Indian embassy said in a statement. The documents required included scanned bio-page of passport showing the photograph and details, invitation from organisation. It also needs political clearance from the Ministry of External Affairs, the statement said. The e-Medical Attendant Visa will be issued for those who wish to travel as attendant to e-Medical visa holder. The e-visa facility is now available for Tourist Visa, e-Business Visa, e-Medical Visa, e-Medical Attendant Visa and e-Conference Visa, it added. Despite special measures like e-visas, only 2.4 lakh Chinese tourists visited India last year against 14 lakh Indians visiting China. Minister of State for Tourism K J Alphons, accompanied by about 20 Indian tour operators, conducted special campaigns in Beijing, Wuhan and Shanghai in August as part of India’s efforts to attract more Chinese tourists to the country. Source: PTI

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Bangladesh constitutes 45% of total FTAs to India on medical visa

Bangladesh alone constituted about 45 per cent of total foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) to India on medical visa in 2017, according to a FICCI study on ‘India: Innovating Transforming and Defining Medical Value Travel’. Bangladesh holds the eighth place among largest population countries in the world. The major destination countries include India, China, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, the USA, the UK, Australia, Japan and Germany for treatments including cardiology, oncology, neurology and orthopaedic. Majority of deaths in Bangladesh are due to non-communicable diseases out of which cancer has a share of 10 per cent. However, the existing infrastructure caters to approximately 10 per cent of cancer patients with 16 cancer treatment centres in Bangladesh. High costs, poor services, long waiting lists, lack of technology in Bangladesh are the major reasons for medical value travel from Bangladesh.

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IndiGo and Turkish Airlines announce codeshare agreement

IndiGo and Turkish Airlines have signed codeshare and mutual cooperation agreement enabling both carriers to provide more flexibility of choice to their respective customers to fly on sectors between India and Istanbul, and beyond. As part of its international expansion strategy, this is the first codeshare agreement for IndiGo. Through this cooperation, Turkish Airlines will be offering new destinations in India as Marketing Carrier on IndiGo operated flights, while IndiGo customers will be able to reach many European destinations through Turkish Airlines’ extensive network. This reciprocal arrangement will allow TK and 6E to provide seamless connections to their customers, besides enabling them to use through check-in and many other facilities. IndiGo will place its code “6E” on 20 points beyond Istanbul operated by Turkish Airlines. Similarly, Turkish Airlines will use its code “TK” on IndiGo-operated flights within India. Rahul Bhatia, Director and Interim Chief Executive Officer, IndiGo, said, “We are excited to be launching our first codeshare with Turkish Airlines. Apart from supporting our upcoming direct services to Istanbul, this strategic partnership will expand the choices available to our customers for journeys beyond Istanbul, using Turkish Airlines’ extensive network. It will become possible for our customers to book itineraries into many cities in Europe on IndiGo, using Turkish Airlines and experiencing their renowned inflight service.” Bilal Ekşi, CEO and Deputy Chairman of the Board, Turkish Airlines, said, “We are happy to host new operators in our main hub Istanbul, and IndiGo will be the first Indian carrier starting flights to Turkey. We believe that it would be a great opportunity to improve our cooperation with our new codeshare partner IndiGo, which will provide new services and destinations for our passengers …

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India will need 2,300 new planes by 2037: Boeing 

India will need 2300 new airplanes by 2037, specially single-aisles as there is a huge growth in low cost carriers as well as domestic traffic, informed Dr Dinesh Keskar, Senior Vice President – Sales, Asia Pacific & India, Boeing Commercial Airplanes while presenting a forecast for the aviation industry – globally and for India – in New Delhi and in Mumbai recently. Outlining some highlights of the report, he said, “In the last 50 months, India has seen double-digit growth in the aviation sector. Clearly, it’s a country of single aisles.” He added that there has been a significant growth in the domestic market with more than 11.8 million passengers flying in 2018 till September.

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Russia visa available through VFS Global in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai

Residents of India can now apply for visas to Russia at VFS Global Visa Application Centres (VACs) opened for the Embassy of the Russian Federation. The new centres will cater to the growing needs of outbound travellers to Russia, and increase accessibility to, and convenience of, visa services. With approximately 55,000 travellers visiting Russia from India each year, the application process through the new centres will prove to be more streamlined. The centre in New Delhi was inaugurated by H E Nikolay Rishatovich Kudashev, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of India. He said, “The new Russian Visa Application Centre looks very impressive, very advanced and it perfectly fits into the new substance of our bilateral ties as well as our global co-operation. As you would surely know our relationship is a relationship of Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership. It carries political, economic, cultural and humanitarian content, but after all and finally, it is all about people; it is all about people to people connection, making this enormous relationship going. And this person to person connection will not be possible without such a simple thing as visa. I hope this visa application centre will make a real contribution to the growing strategic connection between our countries and our people.” Speaking about the development, Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group Chief Operating Officer – Middle East, South Asia & China, said, “The network of Russia Visa Application Centres serves the needs of the ever-increasing numbers of travellers to Russia from this region and we are confident it will deliver services that exceed the expectations of the applicants.”

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India offers visa on arrival for South Korean nationals

India has decided to offer visa on arrival to South Korean nationals, a home ministry official said. Like the Japanese nationals (who have been getting the privilege since March 2016), the facility to South Korean citizens include double entry visit for a period not exceeding 60 days for business, tourism, conference and medical purposes for entry through six designated international airports – Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. According to an estimate, around 2 lakh Indian visas are issued to South Korean nationals every year, of which 80 per cent are tourists. On an average, 600 South Korean nationals arrive in Delhi daily. Though visa-on-arrival facility was earlier offered to citizens of 12 countries — Cambodia, Finland, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Luxembourg, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and South Korea — it was discontinued in November 2014 after the launch of e-Tourist Visa scheme. The e-visa facility now covers practically all the countries of the world, 166 as of now, and foreigners can arrive at any of the designated 26 airports and five seaports in India without interacting with any official before checking in at the immigration counter. Under the e-visa scheme, an applicant receives an email authorising him or her to travel to India after it has been approved. The tourist can travel with a printout of this authorisation. On arrival, the visitor has to present the authorisation to the immigration authorities who would then allow entry into the country. Source: PTI

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