Tag Archives: Lubaina Sheerazi

Oman witnesses 31 per cent growth in Indian arrivals

The Ministry of Tourism, Oman successfully conducted the first leg of its multi-city roadshow in Delhi at The Taj Mahal Hotel. Her Excellency Maitha Saif Al Mahrouqim, Undersecretary, Ministry of Tourism, Oman; Sunil VA, Regional Vice President, ISC, Oman Air and Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative – Ministry of Tourism, Oman along with other representatives were present at the roadshow. On the occasion, Mahrouqi said that Oman has witnessed over 31 per cent growth in Indian arrivals since 2014. “In 2017 alone, Oman received 321,161 Indian visitors with a growth of over 7 per cent in just one year. In the first six months of 2018, the country witnessed 15 per cent growth in comparison to the same period last year. Oman is a ideal for every kind of traveller but we are looking to focus immensely on MiCE opportunities from India.” Furthermore, to encourage more travellers to visit the country, Oman has recently announced a new short-term tourist visa at 5 Omani Riyal (OMR) equivalent to approximately Rs 940 to visit the Sultanate for a period of 10 days. This is in addition to the existing e-visa for Oman which is available at 20 OMR with a validity of one month.

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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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India generates over 8k visitors to Seychelles in the first half of 2018

Seychelles continues to ride the wave of growth with increasing number of Indian tourists each year. 2017 marked India’s placement as the top seventh source market for the destination with over 13500 visitors from India. The numbers are only increasing with over 8000 passengers having travelled in the first half of 2018, even before the peak honeymoon season of October-December. The destination now sees a growth in family and celebrations segment as well with a steady rise of 13.3% in Indian tourist arrivals from January to July 2018 vis-a-vis the same time period in 2017. This increase can be attributed to the India tourist office’s committed focus on promotion of the destination, interest and efforts from the hotels and DMCs to capture the Indian market, increased customer awareness due to innovative digital presence along with direct flights from Mumbai five times a week. Commenting on this accomplishment, Sherin Francis, CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board said, “We have always adopted innovative strategies and marketing collaborations to present Seychelles as the ideal luxury holiday destination in India. The growth would not have been possible without the constant support of Air Seychelles, the DMCs and the hotels who walk with us hand in hand in going the extra mile to ensure year on year success.” Lubaina Sheerazi, COO, Blue Square Consultants which is the India office for the Seychelles Tourism Board accounted this increase to focused efforts into innovative marketing campaigns and precise targeting of the destination to the Indian audience.  

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Oman to boost tourism through short stay visa

In an effort to bring momentum to tourism growth and encourage more travellers to visit the country, the Royal Oman Police has recently announced a new short-term tourist visa at 5 Omani Riyal (OMR) to visit the Sultanate for a period of 10 days. Indians who hold a valid visa to any one of these countries – United States of America, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Japan and Schengen States can avail the Oman visa through an e-visa process by logging on to https://evisa.rop.gov.om/ and make the 5 OMR payment on checkout, while other Indian travellers can get a sponsored visa by paying 5 OMR plus processing fee through their tour operators. This is in addition to the existing e-visa for Oman which is available at 20 OMR with a validity of one month. The amendments include dividing tourist visas into three sections: 10 days, one month and one year. Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative, Ministry of Tourism, Oman said, “Along with FIT, we have seen an increase in MiCE tourism with the recent launch of the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre in Muscat that supports international and local organisations in hosting large events. Also, many new international hotel chains that have recently opened in Oman have increased the number of rooms and venues in the country. Oman being a short-haul destination from India, with excellent air connectivity from major Indian cities, world-class hotels and easy availability of Indian food, is also becoming a preferred wedding destination. The reduced visa fees, new e-visa system, along with the newly opened Muscat International Airport will definitely be a boon for Oman’s tourism.” With a total of 3 million and 300 thousand tourists visiting last …

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Oman Tourism hosts networking events in Mumbai & Delhi for MiCE

Oman Tourism along with Cox & Kings hosted a networking evening in Delhi and Mumbai recently. Around 40-45 attendees representing the top management and decision makers of various corporate entities were present for this session to discuss Oman emerging as the next big hub for corporate events and MiCE groups. Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative, Ministry of Tourism, Oman said, “Conducting networking session for corporate organisations gave us an opportunity to showcase to them various MiCE offerings. For this, we feel privileged to be associated with Cox & Kings who bring along their expertise. Being a short-haul destination from India, with excellent air connectivity from major Indian cities, world-class hotels and easy availability of Indian food, Oman makes an ideal MiCE destination.” Khalid Al Zadjali, Director, Oman Convention Bureau said, “With new international hotel chains that have recently opened in Oman and many more to launch soon, we are seeing a considerable increase in the number of rooms and venues in the country. The recent revision in visa regulations (granting of Visa on Arrival for non-sponsored tourist visa for certain categories), increasing number of flights from India to Oman, diversification of tourism products and the upcoming phase II of the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC) will bring momentum to MiCE tourism.”

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Blue Square Consultants to represent ‘Australia & Beyond Holidays’ in India

Blue Square Consultants has been appointed as the sales and marketing representative for ‘Australia & Beyond Holidays’ in India. Formed by Simon Bernardi, Australia’s inbound travel management operator provides global solutions to Indian travel agents, from both DMC products and FIT. Through its online Agora booking system, the company offers thousands of land products and hotels worldwide, many with allocations. Simon Bernardi, Director, Australia & Beyond Holidays, said “India continues to be an important tourism market for Australia, with growth of over 15 per cent in arrivals over last year and a 30 per cent increase in travel spend. The Indian market spends on average 13 nights in Australia allowing us to develop itineraries to inspire our customers from India. Blue Square Consultants is the apt partner to have in India because of their highly professional team and undisputed knowledge of the travel trade in India.” Lubaina Sheerazi, COO, Blue Square Consultants, added, “Our emphasis has always been to associate with reputed clients and we have achieved this once again with our recent alliance with Australia & Beyond Holidays. We are confident that our association will not only be beneficial for the client but also for Australia as a destination.”  

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Oman Tourism launches new website

The Ministry of Tourism, Oman has launched a new promotional website ‘www.experienceoman.om’ that will serve as a one-stop-shop for all Oman Tourism related information. The website was launched under the patronage of His Highness Sayyid Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, Minister of Heritage and Culture during a gala dinner recently hosted in Muscat on the sidelines of the 2nd UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture. Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative, Ministry of Tourism, Oman said, “The launch of the website comes as a part of the Ministry’s initiatives to support the development of the tourism sector in all areas, especially in the use of electronic platforms and digital marketing. Providing insights into suggested travel itineraries; list of tour operators, hotels, and services; MICE opportunities; the website also orients tourists with the latest events in Oman and can be viewed in six languages.” The Ministry aims to enhance the Sultanate’s presence in the digital world by shedding light on the most popular landmarks, creating a platform to interact with visitors and responding to their enquiries through the website. The ‘www.experienceoman.om’ will complement the existing Oman Tourism website to provide diverse information about the latter.

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Seychelles Tourist Office, India, conducts seminar in Seychelles

Seychelles Tourist Office, India recently conducted a seminar for local hoteliers, DMCs, tourism board head office and other establishments in Seychelles. The seminar is aimed at defining the Indian market and presenting its nitty-gritties to the local travel trade fraternity of Seychelles. The event witnessed speeches on the cultural and behavioural differences between the two countries by three eminent speakers from India. These included Ashutosh Mehere, COO Alliances, Cox & Kings, India; Jai Bujhwala, Founder, Holidays Box; and Parthip Thyagarajan, Founder, WeddingSutra.com. Sherin Francis, CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board, was also present at the event. She said, “The seminar was one of its kind and highly informative for all our private sector partners. It created awareness about the diversity of India and answered many questions about the trade and tourist behaviour. It certainly created a high inquisitiveness about the market among the locals which is a great sign for developing further relations with the Indian market.” Lubaina Sheerazi, COO, Blue Square Consultants, Seychelles Tourist office India, explained the cultural diversity and uniqueness of the Indian market setting stage for the speakers. She says, “We were happy with the reception of the seminar and glad that our agenda of bringing out the differences between any other market and India for Seychelles had been met. The speakers gave some highly thought provoking inputs which will certainly better equip the private sector to cater differently to the Indian audience and allow us to further expand our vision for the destination.”

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Blue Square Consultants to represent Iceland Travel

Blue Square Consultants has been appointed as the sales and marketing representative for Iceland Travel, a leading DMC (Destination Management Company) in Iceland. With this new addition, Blue Square Consultants has once again achieved its objective of representing clients from ‘unique’ destinations in India. Having started its operations in 1937, Iceland Travel has been a premier travel company, tour operator and DMC in Iceland offering top-quality services. The DMC offers diverse product categories that will suit Indian agents, such as escorted tours, day tours and self-drive tours in Iceland. Iceland as a destination is gaining popularity in India because of its vast and varied landscape filled with volcanoes, glaciers, black sand beaches, lava fields, and remote fjords. Jakobina Gudmundsdottir, Director of Sales & Marketing, Iceland Travel, says, “Recently, we have witnessed an increase in Indian enquiries to travel to Iceland. To foster this growth, we needed to have a strong representation in India. We felt that Blue Square Consultants is the apt partner to have in India because of their excellent track record; highly professional team and undisputed knowledge of Indian travel trade and travelers. We are confident that through this association we will witness a positive growth in the number of Indian visitors to Iceland.” Lubaina Sheerazi, COO, Blue Square Consultants, says, “We had conducted Iceland’s maiden roadshow in India earlier this year in association with Promote Iceland which was valuable for the delegation including Iceland Travel. We are confident that our association with Iceland Travel will not only be beneficial for them but also for Iceland as a destination as it has something new to offer to Indian travellers.”  

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Oman Tourism to conduct four-city roadshow in September

The Sultanate of Oman in association with the national airline Oman Air will conduct multi-city roadshow for the travel trade in India during September. The roadshow will commence on September 19 at Park Hyatt, Hyderabad; September 21 at The Oberoi, Kolkata; September 23 at Courtyard by Marriott, Ahmedabad; and conclude on September 26 at JW Marriott, Pune. Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative – Ministry of Tourism, Oman says, “In 2015, we witnessed 17 per cent growth in Indian arrivals and in the first six months of 2016 too we have seen a positive growth. Encouraged by these figures and to penetrate better in tier II cities, we have decided to conduct the roadshow in Pune, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad. This year, we also identified Kolkata as a new market for Oman and will be conducting our first roadshow in the city. With this new addition, Oman has made presence in 8 Indian cities with Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai being our main source markets.” Representatives from Ministry of Tourism, Oman along with a 15-member delegation representing hotels, DMCs and attractions in Oman will interact with key travel agents and tour operators from India. The roadshow will follow a pre-fixed meeting format whereby the invited travel agents will get adequate time to meet each delegate from Oman.

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