Tag Archives: Middle East

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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UK records 35 per cent growth in Indian arrivals in 2017

The latest official figures from VisitBritain record 562,000 visits from India to the UK in 2017, up 35 per cent on the previous year, with Indian travellers spending a record £454 million in the UK last year, an increase of 5 per cent on 2016. Tricia Warwick, Director – Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, VisitBritain, said “India is a very important market for VisitBritain and it is fantastic that more people than ever are travelling and enjoying experiences that you can only have in Britain, from the exciting and contemporary culture to innovations in food and drink, from exploring the stunning countryside to the vibrancy of its cool cities.” “Britain is offering great value for visitors from India and we are working hard with partners including tour operators and airlines to make it easier to book and explore more of the country, inspiring more visitors to travel right now,” she said. VisitBritain is also inspiring visitors from India to put the UK at the top of the list as their must-visit destination through its ‘Find Your GREAT Britain, I Travel For…’ digital campaign launched earlier this year.  

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Kayak launches Hotel Travel Report, highlights preferences of travellers

Taking a deep dive into the hotel searching habits and preferences of Indian travellers, travel search engine Kayak has launched its first Hotel Travel Report. The report highlights the most popular month and best combinations for booking hotels, as well as the most popular destinations for Indians, both for short breaks and longer holidays. The report also revealed that Thursday is the most popular weekday to search for a hotel destination among Indians. Abhijit Mishra, Director of India and Middle East, Kayak said, “While travelling, factors such as the destination and flight prices are extremely important. Equally, the choice of travel accommodation plays a crucial role in determining the holiday experience. A great hotel can be the saving grace of a disappointing holiday, while a bad one can ruin an entire trip.”  

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Yas Experiences appoints VFS Global as India representative

Yas Experiences, Yas Island’s recently launched trade arm, has signed an agreement with VFS Global, appointing them as the company’s representative in the Indian market. The appointment will see the new partner work closely with the Yas Experiences’ business development team in Abu Dhabi to promote the leisure and entertainment destination and provide package solutions for trade partners across India. As part of the agreement, VFS Global will set up three sales offices in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru to cater to travel partners in Central, North and South India respectively. The sales rep office headquartered in Mumbai will support Yas Experience’ sales & marketing efforts to further promote Yas Island to Indian travellers. The two parties will work together to explore approaches to target Indian holidaymakers, and with a strong network presence across India, both are confident of the results this strategic partnership will reap. “We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen as the India representative for Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Yas Island is a unique destination renowned for its assortment of experiences. We are confident that we will be able to further establish the island as a premier destination for discerning Indian travellers,” said Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group Chief Operating Officer – China, Middle East and South Asia, VFS Global. Around nine million Indians are expected to travel to the GCC by 2021, according to the latest figures from Colliers International.  

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Globus introduces European Private Touring for a group size of two to two dozen people

Globus has recently introduced Private Touring in Europe designed for parties ranging from two to two dozen people. Any Europe itinerary can be converted to a Private Touring experience once an itinerary is chosen and the travelling party’s numbers have been confirmed. Of particular interest to travellers looking for a multi-generational experience, there is no age restriction for travellers and even infants can join on the tour. “The biggest opportunity for agents is with friends and family groups,” stated Varesh Chopra, Regional Director – South Asia & Middle East, Globus family of brands. “A Globus Private Tour is a great way to give those groups that perfect balance of logistics support with the personalised delivery of catering to their particular group. For all agents who have those group prospects,reaching out proactively now to suggest a private tour could translate to a nice incremental revenue opportunity along with a great experience for their clients.” Above the brochure price for the regular tour, travellers pay a supplement based on the number of people in the group. The higher the number of guests, the lower the supplement per person.  

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Travelport reveals fastest-growing international destinations for KSA travellers

The countries that have seen the greatest growth in flight bookings from travellers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) in the last 12 months are Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Turkey, according to analysis conducted by Travelport. From April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018, bookings made in the KSA through all global distribution systems (GDS) to Egypt increased by nearly 190,000, up 17 per cent on the previous 12 months. Bookings to the UAE rose by over 70,000, up 13 per cent, and to Turkey by just over 65,000, up 31 per cent. Matthew Powell, Managing Director – Middle East, Africa and South Asia, Travelport said, “Growth in flight bookings tends to be driven by increased airline capacity, rises in demand from leisure travellers, economic and political advances, which attract more interest in trade and investment, and major construction projects that require large international labour forces. The results we’re seeing here cut across all of these.” Travelport will participate in the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai for the 10th consecutive year. Its stand will include demo pods that allow visitors to experience how the company helps travel agents and airlines drive revenue by delivering intelligence through analytics tools like Travelport Business Insights and Travelport Competitive Insights.

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‘Escapes by Globus’ invites travellers to explore new vacations

Globus has launched its ‘Escapes’ vacations, a compilation of specially curated vacations offering departures from November 2018 to March 2019 to Europe and other exotic locations. These vacations give an opportunity to experience the world’s most popular destinations for less while providing a better travel experience with fewer travellers and less crowding of the most visited tourist attractions. “After extensive research, we have realised that the trend has changed from travel only during the peak summer months to travelling anytime throughout the year.” says Varesh Chopra, Regional Director – South Asia and Middle East, Globus family of brands. “No longer are travellers looking at a restricted travel period, they pick and choose the destination as per what is attractive and offers value. Our instincts proved right and we got an overwhelming response for ‘Escapes’. We were able to achieve three times the numbers we set out to achieve.” For 2018-19, Globus family of brands has unveiled its collection of 16 new tours of Escapes. When travellers choose ‘Escapes’, they get all the benefits of escorted travel of Globus including a greater choice of activities, behind-the-scenes experience, superior centrally located hotels and plenty of free time to explore the destination the way they want with vacations starting from as low as $100 per day.

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45% growth in medical tourism to India

According to data provided by Ministry of Home Affairs, the number of medical visas issued by India in 2016 rose by 45 per cent over 2015. India issued more than 1.78 lakh medical visas in 2016, including for follow up treatment, as against 1.22 lakh in 2015, according to the data. A Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) report titled “India Services Sector—A Multi-trillion Dollar Opportunity for Global Symbiotic Growth 2017” stated that the presence of world-class hospitals and skilled medical professionals has strengthened India’s position as a preferred destination for medical tourism. Treatment for major surgeries in India costs only a fraction—in some cases as low as 10 per cent of that in developed countries. “Majority of the patients coming to India for treatment are from the Middle East, Africa, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Maldives, Pakistan, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. India’s cost advantage will significantly open doors to the US and Europe over future, due to lower cost than the US and almost half that of Europe.” Dental tourism accounts for 10 per cent of the medical tourism and the government is keen to promote it. “India provides competitive cost advantage at one tenth of the cost of the US and Europe. By 2020, medical tourism industry of India is expected to touch $8 billion,” the report said. Source: Livemint

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Melbourne joins SriLankan Airlines’ global route network from Oct 2017

SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka and a member of oneworld alliance, will be establishing its presence in Australia with daily non-stop services to Melbourne commencing October 29, 2017. The non-stop services will also facilitate passengers from the Middle East and South Asia seeking onward connectivity via Colombo to/from Australia. The airline will be operating Airbus 330-200 aircraft on the route. For the convenience of travellers seeking onward connectivity from its Colombo hub, SriLankan currently connects over 10 Indian points with over 100 flights a week, which includes services to/from Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Calcutta, Trivandrum, Tiruchirappalli, Cochin, Mumbai and New Delhi. SriLankan will be adding Visakhapatnam, Coimbatore and Hyderabad to its route network in July this year, further expanding its presence in India. SriLankan Airlines’ Chief Executive Officer, Captain Suren Ratwatte, said, “Our presence in Australia cements the long-standing relationship between our two countries. We recently celebrated the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our nations, and the addition of Melbourne signifies our strategy of optimizing the Airline’s network in line with our restructuring. This also means that we have connected another continent to our global route map. On the other hand, given the number of Sri Lankans residing in and around Victoria, we fulfill a long felt need for a direct service. We are proud to welcome all the diverse residents of Victoria who can now enjoy the direct connections when visiting their friends and families throughout our network.” Australia is home to one of the largest Sri Lankan expatriate communities, many of whom reside in and around Melbourne, the capital of Australia’s ‘Garden State’, Victoria. This factor, together with the tremendous potential for business travel and …

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Over 30,000 visitors expected at ATM 2017

Over 2,600 exhibitors and an expected 30,000 visitors will participate at the 24th Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2017, the largest travel trade event in the Middle East taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 24-27. Over 150 countries are participating, with more than 100 new exhibitors set to make their ATM debut. New to ATM 2017, ILTM Arabia will play host to one-on-one, pre-scheduled appointments, between suppliers of luxury products and destinations from around the world to an audience of high net-worth individuals. Meanwhile marketing to experiential travellers will be an integral part of the ATM Travel Tech seminar programme. The UNWTO & ATM Ministerial Forum returns, uniting more than 20 ministers with industry leaders in the MENA region to consider methods of capitalising on tourism growth and building a sustainable ecosystem for the sector to unlock its potential within each country’s national agenda.

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