Tag Archives: India

Switzerland witnesses 23% increase in overnights from India

Switzerland witnessed a 23.4 per cent increase in the overnights spent by Indians in Switzerland in 2017. Indian tourists are increasingly looking at Switzerland as a travel destination because of the plethora of options it offers to each traveller. In order to showcase these diverse options, Switzerland Tourism has taken its multiple offerings across Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata and Delhi through its recently-concluded annual roadshow. Switzerland’s increasing number of Indian overnights can be attributed to Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh coming on board as the brand ambassador. “This year has also been a very exciting one for Switzerland Tourism with Ranveer Singh continuing as our brand ambassador. He has showcased Switzerland in a very attractive and diverse light, be it adventure, sports, culture, food, new destinations or experiences. Each year, we see a growing interest among Indian travellers but 2017, thanks to Ranveer, the overnights have been extremely high. Our numbers this year are also encouraging – we are up 10 per cent in hotel overnights in the period January to August 2018 as compared to the same period last year. Besides this campaign, we also continue our travel trade campaigns – with regular webinars, training sessions in tier two and tier three cities as well our new e-learning modules on the Switzerland Travel Academy,” said Claudio Zemp, Director–India, Switzerland Tourism. The roadshows in all the four cities had a B2B session where Indian travel agents met and discussed business prospects and ideas with the Swiss delegation.

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Slovakia to operate 38 new VACs in 10 countries including India

VFS Global has signed a contract with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic for providing visa services in 10 countries including India. The other countries to get visa application centres for Slovakia via VFS Global are China, Kazakhstan, Palestine, Belarus, Russia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Egypt. The rollout of 38 visa application centres is expected to be completed by December 2018. Under the new contract, VFS Global will accept both short and long-term visa applications on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. Chris Dix, Head – Business Development, VFS Global, said, “We are excited about our new partnership with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. The countries where we will be operating are markets where VFS Global has worked for several years and whose travellers are familiar with our services and expertise. We are also pleased to have the opportunity to serve our new clients in new locations, and bring applicants in these locations the same benefits and high-quality service that we have been offering our customers worldwide for the last 17 years.”

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Doha offers visa-free arrival for Indians

Citizens of India can now be granted a visa waiver for a period of 30 days on their arrival in Qatar, upon certain conditions. The passenger’s passport must be valid for at least six months and must have a confirmed return ticket. He/she must have a valid credit card. (For a family travelling together, the card must be in the name of the passenger or one per family). Passengers should also provide a confirmed hotel reservation.

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India generates Rs 1,777 billion via international tourist arrivals

Visitor exports are a key component of the direct contribution of travel and tourism. In 2017, India generated Rs 1,777.1 billion in visitor exports. In 2018, this is expected to grow by 8.8 per cent, and the country is expected to attract 18,655,000 international tourist arrivals. By 2028, international tourist arrivals are forecast to total 30,469,000, generating expenditure of Rs 3,316.4 billion, an increase of 5.5 per cent per annum.

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India witnesses 7.9% growth in FTAs from January to June 2018 YOY

India has witnessed a total of 51,63,343 Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in 2018, a growth of 7.9% compared to 2017, reveals a latest report ‘India Tourism Statistics at a glance 2018’ by the Ministry of Tourism (MoT). Last year, from January to June, the country saw 47,84,847 FTAs. However, in 2016, there were 41,68,864 FTAs during the same months. When compared, an increase of 14.8% was found in FTAs from 2016 to 2017. The report also mentions that in FY2016-17, the months of April and June saw 21.3% increase in the number of FTAs – the maximum in the year. In April 2016, there were 5,92,004 FTAs in the country, whereas 7,17,899 in 2017. The report also highlights that in the current year, March 2018 records the highest percentage (18%), with 10,25,830 FTAs in India.

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Sweden witnesses 23% increase in tourists from India

According to the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, the number of bednights by Indians in Sweden in 2016 was 175088 nights which went up to 216058 nights in 2017, a 23 per cent increase from the previous year. Michael Persson Gripkow, Chief Brand & Communications Officer, VisitSweden says, “We have noticed a rise in ‘bleisure’ travel trend. In addition, according to Statistics Sweden, 17,000 Indian passport holders resides in Sweden today. This along with other factors has led to an increase in tourism from India.” Today more than 170 Swedish companies are registered in India among the likes of Ericsson, Volvo, H&M, Scania, DeLaval, Tetrapak and the latest entrant being global home furnishings giant IKEA. This growing bridge between India and Sweden has impacted tourism positively. Ruth Dolla, Project Manager – India, VisitSweden adds, “We look forward to further growth this year. Air India’s direct flight from Delhi to Stockholm completed one year since its first flight in August 2017 and continues to bring incoming traffic from India to Sweden.” In addition more and more airlines are launching new routes to Sweden. Qatar Airways is slated to launch a direct flight in December 2018 from Doha to Sweden’s second largest city – Gothenburg that will provide better connections to passengers from India.  

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Travel Tours launches fifth retail store in Bengaluru

Travel Tours, the flagship leisure travel brand of FCM Travel Solutions – Indian subsidiary of Flight Centre Travel Group Australia, recently inaugurated its fifth store in Bengaluru. The store was inaugurated by Rakshit Desai, Managing Director, India at Flight Centre Travel Group. With the launch of this store, FCM Travel Solutions now has 30 operational Travel Tours stores across India. The new store in Bengaluru aims to fulfill the diverse needs of travellers in the city by offering both personalised vacations and group tours. The store will cater to the needs of high-end urban consumers such as families, business travellers, honeymoon couples and large groups of travellers. Expressing his thoughts on the launch, Desai said, “The launch is a further development of our expansion and strategic intent at Travel Tours across the Southern India. Bengaluru contributes to 22 per cent of leisure travel at Travel Tours overall and 35 per cent in South India. This year has been exciting for us and as we expand rapidly into the year, we plan to open 50+ stores by 2020.” Travel Tours current footprint extends to a total of 30 stores across Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kochi, Anand and Nagpur via a combination of owned branches and newly opened franchise outlets.

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WA tourism minister in talks with 6 Indian airlines for direct flight between India and Perth

The Tourism Minister of Western Australia, Paul Papalia, was in Mumbai recently, to announce Tourism WA’s commitment to the India market in terms of funds, and has appointed a dedicated marketing representative based in Mumbai. The Minister also held key meetings with, and delivered business cases to six Indian airlines in a bid to attract a direct service between India and Perth. Papalia said, “The State Government is serious about growing WA’s tourism industry and entering a new market such as India, with the potential to deliver thousand more visitors. We are working with Perth Airport to secure a direct air link between Perth and India, and this marketing activity will help promote WA and create even greater demand for these flights once they begin. Our extraordinary state has much to offer to Indian travellers, whether they’re visiting for business, education or leisure. Perth boasts the best hotels in Australia, with more than 3,000 new rooms opening in the past few years. It is also the perfect launching pad to visit our spectacular regions. Western Australia is also an attractive option for Indians looking to study overseas, with the Premier recently announcing he will give high-achieving education graduates – PhD, Masters, Honours and other higher degree graduates – a pathway to skilled migration.”

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Turkey hosts Fam for Indian wedding planners and agencies

In an initiative to promote Turkey as a preferred wedding destination for Indian weddings, Turkey Cultural & Tourism board, India, recently organised a familiarisation trip for top Indian wedding planning agencies. Agencies were selected on the quality of their work as well as their experience in planning weddings abroad. The visit offered the Indian contingent with the opportunity to view and experience Turkey as a unique destination for holding Indian weddings. The week-long trip had wedding planners travelling to cities of Antalya, Bodrum, Istanbul where they had the opportunity to visit more than 25 hotels and resorts and interact with the representatives of these luxury hospitality chains. In addition, a city tour was also organised in each city where the Indian delegation had the chance to visit some of regions most popular tourist attractions. Special cultural events, culinary galas and B2B sessions also kept the delegation busy. The trip helped wedding planners understand the current offerings in Turkey and how it could be explored as a destination for lavish Indian weddings. Talking about reasons to promote Turkey as a wedding destination, Deniz Ersöz, Culture and Tourism Counsellor, Turkish Culture and Tourism Office in India, said, “Weddings in India are becoming larger than life and destination weddings are getting more and more popular among Indians. Turkey has great potential to become a wedding destination and the feedback we got from the wedding planners after the Fam trip was very encouraging. It is a destination with the most amazing and diverse topography, which is perfect for an Indian wedding as you could have every event set against a unique backdrop.”

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Trafalgar launches 2019 brochure in India

Trafalgar has launched its new 2019 brochure that will include some new itineraries and elements. It recently organised an exclusive meeting between its top agent partners in Mumbai and Gavin Tollman, CEO, Trafalgar & CostSaver. Tollman flew down to Mumbai from Geneva to meet the travel agent partners and exchange ideas and get feedback from them on the India market. He was accompanied by Nicholas Lim, President, Trafalgar Asia, and the India team during the networking event in Mumbai. After that, the team visited Pune, Bengaluru and Chennai to launch the 2019 brochures. The new brochure will have a new destination – Africa, which has been launched recently. Trafalgar’s in-house survey has revealed that India delivers a repeat booking rate of 58.3 per cent and these guests are choosing to travel to further destinations like South America and other exotic destinations.

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