Tag Archives: Ministry of Tourism

Israel reduces visa fee to INR 1,100 for Indian travellers

In an effort to encourage more Indian travellers to visit Israel, the country has reduced its visa fee to INR 1,100 from its previous INR 1,700 charge for Indian citizens. VFS Global currently offers visa processing services for Israeli visas in the cities of Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. Centres will soon open in Hyderabad and Kolkata to service the residents in these cities, who will not be required to send their documents to the Consulates in Mumbai and Bengaluru or the Embassy in New Delhi. The revised application fee is on the B2 visa category, where a visit to Israel is for purposes including business, meeting or conference or tourism. Commenting on the initiatives, Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism – India & Philippines said, “We are happy to announce the reduction in visa fees for Indian travellers with immediate effect. I am confident that this move will encourage more people to choose Israel as a holiday destination and boost inbound numbers from India. I am confident that the revised visa fees will help grow the numbers.” In September 2017, the Ministry introduced one-year multiple entry visas for business travellers to Israel. Steps are being taken towards bringing more changes to make the process faster and easier for Indian travellers to visit Israel.

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International Buddhist Conclave from Aug 26-28: MOT

The Ministry of Tourism is increasingly focusing on promoting Buddhist tourism, for which not only are they working on promotion, but also infrastructure development. MOT recently concluded a roadshow to a few ASEAN countries, and is all set to organise the International Buddhist Conclave in August. Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, said, “Buddhist Tourism is our priority area and in line with the same, we just concluded a roadshow in four countries–Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. We saw a lot of interest in people from these countries for coming to India and visiting these sites. We are also organising the International Budddhist Conclave from August 26-28, in which we will have business meetings and will also be inviting prominent monks from these countries. The inauguration will be held at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi, and then by charter flights we will take all the delegates to Ajanta and Ellora caves. This  is the first time we will be showcasing other sites related to Buddhism. From there, we will be take them to Bodhgaya and Sarnath. With this, we are hopeful that after this, the delegates would be able to see the improved infrastructure at these sites, which will encourage them to make visits to our country.”

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MOT’s Global Travel Mart from Sep 18-20

Ministry of tourism is set to organise its Global Travel Mart from September 18-20, 2018 in association with Federation of Associations of Indian Travel and Hospitality (FAITH). Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, said, “We are taking a number of new initiatives. For a long time, it was the demand of the industry that we should also have a Global Travel Mart in our country on the lines of WTM and ITB, and this year we have finalised the mart in partnership with the industry. MOT will be organising this Global Travel Mart from September 18-20 in Delhi and we will be getting participants from all over the world and about 200-250 foreign delegates and media will be participating in it. The entire travel trade industry will be partners in this and their apex organisation FAITH will be doing it with us in partnership. This new initiative would give opportunity to the entire travel trade and will give a lot of fillip to the tourist traffic to India.

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FTA’s visit India most in winter season

The number of foreign tourist arrivals to India during July 2017 amounted to 788,000, up from 734,000 during February the previous year. The largest number foreign tourist arrivals are usually seen in December and January during the winter season when temperatures are more bearable, according to a report by Ministry of Tourism. In 2016, December has been the peak month for FTAs in India, said the report titled “India Tourism Statistics 2017”. December was peak for countries like USA, UK, Bangladesh, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Russia and Singapore. The peak season is followed by November, January, February and March, the report said. The shares of FTAs in February, March, July, September and December in 2016 has increased as compared to 2015. For China, Japan and Germany, November was the peak month, the report added.  

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Indian nationals’ departures in 2016 registered growth of 7.3%

The number of Indian nationals’ departures from India during 2016 registered a growth of 7.3 per cent over 2015 as compared to 11.1 per cent growth in 2015, according to a report by Ministry of Tourism. In 2016, approximately 21.87 million Indian nationals departed on outbound travels, up from 20.38 million the previous year. During 2016, top three air ports for departures of Indian nationals’ from India were from Mumbai, Delhi and Cochin airport. These three airports accounted for 51.93 per cent of total departures in 2016, the report said. During 2015, Mumbai, Delhi and Cochin airport had a percentage share of 21.96 per cent, 20.08 and 9.62 per cent respectively, the report added. The Indian nationals’s departures rose with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.17 per cent.

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Muscat International Airport gets a new facelift

The first phase of Oman’s brand new Muscat International Airport is operational now. It has increased the passenger capacity to 20 million, up from the previous 12 million passengers recorded in 2017. The state-of-the-art airport has been designed to be the shining symbol of the Sultanate of Oman. The new airport is designed as International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) category 4F airports which will be able to accommodate the world`s largest aircraft, Airbus A380 and the runway will enable independent parallel operations. The passenger terminals built with the latest technology are aligned with IATA Service Level A standards. The total gross area for the new Muscat International terminal building is 580,000 m2 with an overall airport land area of 21 km2. Salim Al-Mamari, Ministry of Tourism, Oman said, “The government of Oman is focusing on Travel and Tourism as a part of its economic diversification strategy. The newly opened Muscat International Airport, brand new Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, revised visa rules along with other infrastructure developments seen in the recent times determine some of the efforts to increase tourism in Oman. India is one of the key markets for Oman and we are certain that this proactive initiative by the Ministry will drive a lot of visitors from India. Since 2014, Oman has witnessed over 23% growth in Indian arrivals. In 2016, Oman received 297,628 Indian arrivals as compared to 256,210 arrivals in 2014 that is over 16% growth within 2 years. In 2017, Oman received 321,161 Indian arrivals which is remarkably higher, showcasing growth of over 7.90 % in just one year.”

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India participates at 25th Arabian Travel Market in Dubai

His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, inaugurated Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2018, marking the start of the 25th edition of the show. This year’s show, which is taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 22-25, 2018, has more than 400 stand holders. India’s presence at the show includes state tourism boards, hotels, tour operators and technology providers. Showcasing India’s diverse tourism offerings and the growing inbound numbers from the UAE, Navdeep Suri, Ambassador of India to the UAE, highlighted that there are currently 1065 flights a week between both nations connecting 17 Indian cities to the UAE. Suri was accompanied by Manas Pattanaik, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Tourism and Braja Mukherjee, Assistant Director (in-charge), Indiatourism, Dubai, while promoting the country at the show. ATM 2018 has adopted Responsible Tourism – including sustainable travel trends – as its main theme and this will be integrated across all show activities.      

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10th Great Indian Travel Bazaar kicks off in Jaipur with 280 buyers & 270 exhibitors

The 10th edition of Great Indian Travel Bazaar (GITB) opened with 280 foreign buyers from 55 countries and 270 exhibitors at The Lalit Jaipur on April 22. Committed to boost tourism in India, the inbound show was inaugurated by Vasundhara Raje, Chief Minister, Rajasthan; Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism; Jyotsna Suri, Chairperson, FICCI Tourism Committee; Dipak Deva, Co-Chairman, FICCI Tourism Committee; Nihal Chand Goel, Additional Chief Secretary (Tourism, Art & Culture), among other officials from the Government of Rajasthan. The show, celebrating a decade of successfully promoting inbound tourism in Rajasthan, hopes to cross the 11,000 mark in terms of pre-scheduled B2B meetings between the exhibitors and buyers. Raje said, “It is heartening to see such an enthusiastic participation at GITB. The tourism sector has seen a new vigour and dynamism after the launch of the campaign ‘Jane Kya dikh Jaye’. Our vision was to get 50 million tourists in Rajasthan by 2020 but by the end of 2017 itself, the state received 47.5 million tourists and we would compete our target by the end of 2018.” Raje also thanked the central government for the financial support provided for the state’s various tourism projects. An MoU was also singed on behalf of the Government of Rajasthan and FICCI under which the GITB will continue to be hosted till 2024. The dates for the next edition of the show in Jaipur are April 28-30, 2019.  

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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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ITDC bags Rs 550 crore project for developing infrastructure in Andhra Pradesh

India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) has recently signed a MoU with Hyderabad-based firm, Suraas Impex for developing a mega tourism destination project at Bhairav Lanka in Kakinada, East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh at an estimated cost of Rs 550 crores. This is the first-of-its-kind project for the state-owned ITDC, which got preferred against several private contenders. ITDC will be the Consulting Agency as well as Implementing Agency for the DPR and the execution which shall be taken up in three stages, i.e., preparing the DPR, implementation of project costing around Rs 550 crores and implementation of second phase of the project. ITDC has been the prime mover in the progressive development, promotion and expansion of tourism in the country. The Division has completed 67 infrastructure projects for Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture and various state governments. The division has also prepared more than 85 DPRs for various tourism projects in the country. The corporation provides Engineering Consultancy Services through its full-fledged Ashok Consultancy & Engineering Services Division. It undertakes development of tourism infrastructure projects from concept to commissioning.

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