Tag Archives: Mumbai

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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Hellenic Travel Network opens sales office in Mumbai

Hellenic Travel Network has opened a sales office in India in co-operation with Griffon in Mumbai. With more than 30 years of proven experience in the travel industry, the company owns a fleet of cars and mini vans having capacity from 1-19 passengers. Besides this, the company also has an in-house IT department and launched an online B2B booking engine. Andreas Genthe, VP, Hellenic Travel Network, Greece, says, “We are excited to open our India sales office with Griffon in Mumbai. Vivek Jain, MD, Griffon, has been dealing with the Greek market for over 15 years as GSA of various cruise lines and airlines. He is well-versed with Greece mainland and islands and we are confident of our India sales office.” Hellenic Travel Network has launched a special India brochure that has packages designed for Indian travellers keeping in mind their special needs such as Indian vegetarian food, personalised private transfers and tours, and visits to monuments having special interest to Indian travellers. Hellenic Travel Network S.A. has also introduced private villa stay options so large families or close friends groups can stay in private villa which are fully equipped with swimming pool, gardens and even direct access to the beach.

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Jet Airways to start fifth direct service between India and UK

Jet Airways has announced that it will launch its first non-stop service between Mumbai and Manchester, beginning November 5, 2018, thus further strengthening its connect to the United Kingdom (UK). This new service is the first non-stop service connecting India, via its economic capital with Manchester. Jet Airways will deploy its wide body A330-200 with 254 seating for the service, which will operate for four days every week including Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Manchester will become the 21st international addition to the Jet Airways network and with the introduction of this new flight – the carrier’s 5th non-stop service to/from the UK. The launch of this new service will provide seamless connectivity to several domestic destinations to and from India via Mumbai. The new service will complement the carrier’s existing thrice daily, non-stop services between Mumbai – London Heathrow and a daily service between Delhi – London Heathrow. Vinay Dube, Chief Executive Officer, Jet Airways said, “The new service will bring Manchester into our global network, reinforcing our footprint as well as expanding the choice of connectivity to/from the United Kingdom for our guests with the four-day/week, non-stop service. With the new flight, Jet Airways will have over 8000 seats on offer every week, making it increasingly convenient for both business as well as leisure travellers.”

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SATC hopes to up footfalls during India-Aus series in Adelaide this Dec

The South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) expects that the number of visitors from India will increase in anticipation of the upcoming cricket series set to be held between India and Australia in Adelaide in December this year. The Adelaide Oval will host the first Test Match, scheduled for December 6-10, 2018, which is expected to attract a large number of Indian visitors to Adelaide. In addition to focusing on attracting honeymooners, families and independent travellers between the age of 25-45 years in the primary markets of Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai, SATC is also working to attract cricket lovers this year. This will be executed through SATC’s influencer, media, marketing and trade partnerships throughout 2018. Commenting on the announcement, Dana Urmonas, Regional Director (India & Southeast Asia), SATC said, “We look forward to hosting Indian cricket enthusiasts and travellers for the Test Match. Adelaide witnessed a surge in Indian tourist arrivals during the ICC India-Pakistan World Cup in 2015 and we’re confident this December will be no different. The match gives us a unique opportunity to showcase Adelaide and its surrounding regions to Indian travellers and cricket enthusiasts alike.” Speaking on Adelaide Oval hosting the game, Laura Robinson, Tourism Manager, Adelaide Oval said, “Adelaide Oval has hosted some historic games in the past and we believe that this time will be no different. India and Australia have shared excellent cricketing ties over the years.”

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Qatar Tourism Authority opens office in Mumbai

Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has announced the opening of a representative office in Mumbai. QTA’s representative office in India will oversee a wide range of promotional initiatives, including workshops, sales visits, travel agent destination training through QTA’s online Tawash programme, partnerships with tour operators, familiarisation trips, media campaigns and a variety of innovative activities to raise Qatar’s profile as a leisure and business tourism destination among Indian tourists. Rashed Saeed Al-Qurese, Chief Marketing and Promotion Officer, QTA commented, “The rapid growth of India’s outbound tourism market in recent years, coupled with QTA’s intensified efforts to diversify and grow visitor source markets, makes it the right time to establish our on-the-ground presence in India.” He added, “The steps taken to make accessing Qatar easier are particularly targeted at visitors who are seeking to experience our country’s luxury hospitality and unique cultural offerings, all while benefiting from the convenience of relatively short flights.” Qatar aims to have 5.6 million tourist visitors by 2023. Qatar recorded 1,56,726 Indian visitors from January to April this year, an increase of 15 per cent compared to last year. Qatar has become an increasingly accessible destination for Indian travellers, especially after Qatar waived entry visa requirements last year for 80 countries including India.

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Air Italy to start flights to Mumbai from October 2018

As its first route to India, Air Italy is set to begin operations to Mumbai from October 31, 2018. The new service will operate between Mumbai and Milan with an Airbus A330-200, offering 24 flatbed seats in Business Class and 228 seats in Economy Class. This will be the Italy-based airlines’ fourth new international destination to be served from its Milan Malpensa hub. Air Italy will offer five weekly flights between Milan Malpensa and Mumbai and will be the only non-stop flight between Italy and Mumbai. This new route between Milan and Mumbai comes after the earlier announcements of new routes from Milan Malpensa to New York and Miami starting in June 2018 and to Bangkok starting from September 2018. The new service to Mumbai will operate the following schedule and is open for sale. Flight schedules are effective from October 31, 2018.  The Milan Malpensa (MXP) flight to Mumbai (BOM) IG 927 departs at 14:20 hrs and arrives at 02:50 hrs on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.  The Mumbai (BOM) to Milan Malpensa flight (MXP) IG 928 departs at 04:50 hrs and arrives at 09:20 hrs on the same days.

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Travkart enters Mumbai with franchisee programme

With a vision to strengthen its pan-India service network, Travkart has signed on its first franchise in Mumbai. The move is in line with Travkart’s endeavour to tap the immense potential that Mumbai offers. What also makes the launch of Travkart’s franchisee programme in Mumbai an interesting development is the end-to-end business support that it offers to partner travel agencies. As part of the programme, the company will provide assistance to the associated travel agency to help it deliver better end-customer services. It provides comprehensive training spearheaded by a qualified in-house franchise manager, in addition to extensive operational assistance, to ensure seamless operations. The platform plans to undertake similar expansion in cities such as Chennai, Chandigarh and Nagpur. Manheer Singh Sethi, Co-founder, Travkart commented, “As India’s business hub, Mumbai is one of the most promising travel markets in the country. There exists a growing demand for travel packages within the city, which is why we are delighted to have signed our first franchisee here. While we received a large number of requests, we closed a franchising agreement with The Kangaroo Travels based on its commitment to the brand’s long-term growth and the end-customer’s satisfaction. Our aim is to expand our presence in all major cities in India and build 100 Travkart franchisees by 2020.”  

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Israel Tourism collaborates with Ola to attract travellers from India

Israel Ministry of Tourism has joined hands with Ola cabs in India to collaborate on a two-week contest that will run on the Ola app which is valid for its Mumbai and Pune users only. The Ola users who undertake the maximum number of rides during the two weeks period and use code ISRAEL stand a chance to win a free trip to Israel for three nights or four days. Utilising Push notifications, in-App promotion, e-mailers , Ola Website and their Social Media pages, the ride-sharing company will promote the contest. Talking more about the association Hassan Madah, Director – Israel Ministry of Tourism, India & Philippines said, “Ola is one of the largest taxi services in India and have a large user base, especially in metro cities. Today, many urban dwellers use the services of taxi hiring in big cities as it is convenient. We are always thinking of distinct ways to promote Israel and felt this association with Ola cabs will help us reach Ola’s over 80 lakh users in Mumbai and Pune. We look forward to creating more awareness of the beautiful destination among Ola users so that they can plan a trip soon to Israel.” Israel has welcomed close to 10,000 Indian travellers between January and March, resulting in a 15% increase in Indian tourists arrivals compared to the same period in 2016. With the recent addition of Air India’s direct connection from Delhi to Tel Aviv, Israel hopes to witness one lakh Indian tourist arrivals in 2018.

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Sarovar Portico, Lonavala relaunches with modern facilities

Sarovar Hotels & Resorts has relaunched its Sarovar Portico Lonavala located in the hill town near Mumbai. Back with a refreshing new look, Sarovar Portico Lonavala is an ideal destination for a summer holiday complemented with excellent services. The hotel offers great facilities and comfortable rooms to create a quintessential vacationing experience. Sarovar Portico Lonavala features 23 well furnished rooms including three Dupleix rooms. Each room is equipped with modern facilities and carefully selected amenities. A multi-cuisine restaurant, The Restaurant at Sarovar Portico Lonavala, offers wide range of delicacies. The hotel offers excellent conferencing and banqueting services overseen by experts to keep an occasion memorable. Outfitted with the latest audiovisual equipment, picture screens, overhead video and slide-projectors and advanced audio and microphone systems, the two meeting spaces at the hotel are equipped with a host of facilities tailored to cater to business and social needs.

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OTOAI introduces new team to Western Region members

The Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) conducted a member’s meet in Mumbai last week to introduce the new team to the members in the Western Region. Present at the event were the association’s Executive Committee (EC) led by its President, Mahendra Vakharia. He said, “We have decided to have the EC meeting once a month on every second Saturday so everyone can plan their month accordingly. It will be held in different cities but predominantly in Delhi and will rotate between Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Ahmedabad.” Speaking about the association’s upcoming convention, he said, “It is shaping up very well. We will announce the name of the country in a week. We are doing it with the support of the destination’s tourism board and it will be held sometime in August or September 2018. The team will start working on the logistical details now like airlines, hotels, etc.” The next EC meeting will be held on May 14, 2018 in New Delhi. The EC members had met earlier in the day to discuss the plan of action for the association as well as its upcoming convention. Ajay Sengar, Chapter Chairman – Western India, OTOAI, who is from the tier city of Akola in Maharashtra, was also present at the networking event. Some other EC members had flown down from New Delhi including Shravan Bhalla and Rajeev Sabharwal, along with General Secretary Chitra Bhatia.

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