Tag Archives: Middle East

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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Jet, Virgin enhance India-USA connectivity via Heathrow

Jet Airways and Virgin Atlantic have announced a further expansion of their codeshare agreement between India and the United States, which will make it even easier for guests to tailor their trip by combining flights from Jet Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines in a single booking. From April 19, 2017, Jet Airways guests travelling between India and the United States can connect through London Heathrow on to nine US destinations operated by Virgin Atlantic; Atlanta, Boston, Newark, Washington (IAD), New York, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco and Seattle. This expansion builds on the existing agreement between Jet Airways and Virgin Atlantic in place since 2009 – enabling Virgin Atlantic guests to travel on Jet Airways operated services between Mumbai and London Heathrow in addition to the airline’s own direct Delhi to London service. In 2015, this codeshare was extended on to Jet Airways domestic services allowing Virgin Atlantic guests to travel between London Heathrow and five destinations across India via Delhi or Mumbai. Gaurang Shetty, Whole-time Director, Jet Airways, said, “Offering greater choice and connectivity to our guests has always been a hallmark of our network strategy. The new codeshares build on the success of our ongoing cooperation with Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic over London Heathrow and will provide our guests with more connectivity to and within the United States. Further, our loyalty program partnership will also enable the frequent flyers of both carriers to accrue and redeem their miles across each other’s entire network.”

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IndiGo to now fly daily to Doha

Strengthening its position in the Middle East, IndiGo has introduced its first daily non-stop flight connecting Doha to Delhi and Mumbai. Doha is IndiGo’s 7th international and 46th overall destination. With Doha as a new destination, IndiGo is all set to enhance connectivity between India and the Gulf region after Dubai, Muscat and Sharjah. The introduction of direct flights connecting Doha to New Delhi and Mumbai will open more convenient travel options for business and leisure travellers including the Indian expatriates based in Middle East. Aditya Ghosh, President and Whole Time Director, IndiGo said, “Being an economic and cultural hub of Qatar, Doha attracts a lot of business and leisure tourists. Adding Doha on our network is in line with our growth strategy and more so for the Middle East. IndiGo has established itself as a preferred carrier on India-Gulf routes. We are hopeful that this daily service would also prove equally popular with our flyers.”

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