Tag Archives: Nepal

Henley Passport Index 2018 ranking puts India on 81st spot

India has secured 81st spot on the 2018 Henley Passport Index, with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 60 destinations. The current ranking is an improvement from last year’s, when India stood at 86. The 2018 Henley Passport Index is a ranking of all the passports of the world according to the number of countries their holders can travel to, visa-free. As per the index, Indians have access to travel without a visa to 60 countries, which includes Bhutan, Mauritius, Nepal, Fiji, among others. Japan has overtaken Singapore in terms of the most powerful passport. The island country now enjoys visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 190 destinations, compared to Singapore’s total of 189. ‘Japan and Singapore have been neck and neck on the index since they both climbed to first place in February — following a visa-exemption from Uzbekistan — and pushed Germany down to second for the first time since 2014,’ the statement said. In this year’s ranking, both UK and US have slipped the charts with 186 destinations. ‘‘With stagnant outbound visa activity compared to Asian high-performers such as Japan, Singapore, and South Korea, it seems increasingly unlikely that the US and the UK will regain the number one spot they jointly held in 2015,’’ the statement said. Afghanistan and Iraq were ranked lowest on the index, as they have free-visa access to only 30 countries.

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HPMF Sri Lanka Chapter launched during International Housekeepers Summit 2018 in Colombo

HPMF Sri Lanka Chapter was recently launched at Shangri-La Hotel Colombo during International Housekeepers Summit 2018. This will be the second international chapter after the launch of Middle East Chapter in Dubai in February 2018. HPMF has grown to over 12 Chapters in India and 2 outside India. The membership base has increased from its initial three to almost 2000 members across India and the Middle East. The launch event was attended by several industry professionals from Asia which mostly included housekeepers, buyers, General Managers and hotel owners. Soon the HPMF Sri Lanka chapter council members will be announced so that top fraternity professionals from Sri Lanka take forward the vision of HPMF to all members. Before the Annual Convention at Varanasi from October 25-27, 2018, HPMF intends to launch the Nepal and Bangladesh chapters. Mohan Deshpande, Chairman, HPMF was thrilled on the overall turn-out of the hospitality professionals at Summit.

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Emirates announces dates for its next cricket tournament

Continuing with its agenda to inspire the spirit of sportsmanship among the travel trade, Emirates Airlines will organise the third edition of its ‘Emirates Cricket Trade Tournament 2018’ for the travel trade in November in Mumbai. The League matches will be held on November 17-18, 2018 and the semi-final and final matches will be on November 24-25, 2018 at Islam Gymkhana. The cricket trophy was also unveiled in a pre-event networking event where it invited all the team members. Essa Sulaiman Ahmad, VP-India & Nepal, Emirates, was present at the networking party and wished the players all the best. The matches will be powered by DTCM, Amadeus and Reckon Travels & Holidays. The previous edition played in 2016 had 416 players in 32 teams playing 45 games over four days over two weekends.

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10.1% growth in foreign tourist arrivals in February YOY

Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) this February were 10.53 lakh as compared to FTAs of 9.56 lakh in February 2017 and 8.49 lakh in February 2016, according to the latest data released by the Ministry of Tourism. The growth rate in FTAs in February 2018 over February 2017 was 10.1 per cent as compared to 12.7 per cent in February 2017 over February 2016. FTAs during the period January-February 2018 were 21.19 lakh with a growth of 9.2 per cent over the same period of previous year, as compared to the FTAs of 19.40 lakh with a growth of 14.6 per cent in January-February, 2017 over January-February, 2016. The percentage share of FTAs in India during February 2018 among the top 15 source countries was highest from Bangladesh (18.28 per cent) followed by USA (12.40 per cent), UK (11.75 per cent), Canada (4.36 per cent), Russian Federation (4.20 per cent), France (3.24 per cent), Malaysia (3.14 per cent), Germany (3.04 per cent), Sri Lanka (2.89 per cent), China (2.33 per cent), Japan (2.09 per cent), Thailand (1.92 per cent), Afghanistan (1.65 per cent) and Nepal (1.41 per cent).

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Fern Hotels to operate 3 properties in Nepal by March 2018

Fern Hotels & Resorts is on an expansion spree not only in India but in neighbouring Nepal as well and is all set to close the financial year with three operational properties with a total of 233 keys, reveals Suhail Kannampilly, COO, Fern Hotels & Resorts. The company recently started managing the 73-room Summit Hotel, a Nepali-styled boutique hotel located 7 km from Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu. “The Fern Residency, Bharatpur in Nepal is a 48-key property which will be operational by the end of the current financial year,” Kannampilly informs. The company will also be managing another 112-room upcoming hotel property in Kathmandu under The Zinc brand. It is scheduled to be operational by year end as well. The company is looking to increase the key count to 500 in Nepal during the course of the next 18 months and aims to become one of the biggest hospitality players in Nepal by having presence in key destinations like Pokhara, Lumbini, Nagarkot, Biratnagar. The company already manages a chain of six boutique island resorts in Seychelles. “As of now we are managing seven properties outside India and will add two more to our kitty by the year end taking our tally to 9”, he said. “In the Indian market we are going to open a property every single month in the current financial year and are expecting to reach a figure of 59 operational properties,” he adds. “Our long-standing relationships with local Corporates and the Travel Trade, along with our strong connects with all the key OTAs, ensures volumes are driven into all our hotels from all these key channel partners”, he further elaborated. The company has appointed a full-fledged …

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Singapore most powerful passport in the world; India jumps up three places to rank 75

According to Passport Index developed by global financial advisory firm Arton Capital, Singapore tops the rank of being the most powerful passport in the world under the Global Passport Power Rank 2017. This ranks passports of the world by their total visa-free score. Singapore is closely followed by Germany, Sweden and South Korea who are tied at number three, followed by eight other countries holding the number four spot jointly. The Indian passport appears at number 75 with a visa-free score of 51, ranking even lower than African countries like Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. Some of the countries with a lower ranking than India are Egypt, Bhutan Cambodia, Jordon and our neighbours Sri Lanka and Nepal. The last on the list is Afghanistan with a score of 22 preceded by Iraq and Pakistan with a joint visa-free score of 26.

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Nepal gets its first Marriott hotel

Fairfield by Marriott, part of Marriott International, has announced the opening of Fairfield by Marriott Kathmandu, which marks Marriott International’s entry into Nepal. Mike Fulkerson, Vice President, Brand & Marketing Asia Pacific, Marriott International, says, “As with all Fairfield by Marriott hotels around the world, guests can expect the same high standards of service and seamless experience so they never have to skip a beat. We are very proud to debut in the kingdom of Nepal and introduce the Fairfield by Marriott brand as Marriott International’s first hotel in the country.” Fairfield by Marriott Kathmandu is located in Thamel, a district at the heart of the capital’s central commercial hub, which was previously known as a bohemian haven before it became a popular shopping destination. Close to all the destination’s popular attractions including the Narayanhiti Palace Museum, Garden of Dreams and the Kathmandu Durbar Square, the hotel is also situated 5km away from the airport. Neeraj Govil, Area Vice President, South Asia for Marriott International added, “We believe this is exactly the right product for this market as it fills a much-needed gap in the moderate tier segment with its fresh, contemporary design, service excellence and great value. We are confident this will resonate well with both leisure and business travelers to Kathmandu.” Fairfield by Marriott Kathmandu is the latest addition to the brand’s footprint in South Asia, with four hotels in India currentlyopen including Fairfield by Marriott Bengaluru Rajajinagar, Fairfield by Marriott Bengaluru Outer Ring Road, Fairfield by Marriott Lucknow and Fairfield by Marriott Belagavi. The hotel offers 115 rooms. Kava, the all-day dining restaurant, serves local, Indian and international cuisine. Meanwhile, Kava – The Bar and lobby lounge …

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Jet eases student travel for new academic year

Jet Airways has expanded the scope of its popular eduJetter programme for upcoming 2017-18 academic year. The revised program will make it easier for Indian students and those from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal – holding confirmed admissions for studying at universities/ institutions in Australia, Canada, Europe, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, United Kingdom, and the USA, to commence their new academic journey. Effective this year, privileges include special baggage allowance of up to 69 kg, free SIM cards (with exclusive calling rates), and through baggage check-in up to the final destination. Participating students also receive a free ISIC Forex Card  that offers easy and safe access to foreign exchange besides enjoying a five per cent discount on JetEscapes Holidays. Jet Airways has also simplified the entire process of eduJetter application and booking, as part of widening the appeal of the programme. The new, automatic application process is user-friendly and allows students to apply in three steps – book a flight ticket, visit the EduJetter page on the Jet Airways website to fill an online request form. The student then receives  an updated ticket from the airline with applicable eduJetter benefits within 72 hours. Commenting on the programme and its enhancements, Jayaraj Shanmugam, Chief Commercial Officer, Jet Airways said, “Jet Airways  has always endeavored to provide exceptional value to guests by way of special programmes and partnerships. EduJetter is one such initiative that offers tremendous value to the student community travelling abroad for higher education from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal, in the form of a bouquet of services that have been specially created by anticipating their needs at this significant moment in their life.”

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Lords Hotels & Resorts signs 105-key luxury property in Kathmandu

Lords Hotels & Resorts has announced the signup of its fourth hotel property in Nepal. With 105 keys, the premium resort property will be named Lords Resort Budhanilkantha because of its proximity to the sacred temple. It is slated to commence operations by the end of 2017. This would become Lords Hotels & Resorts’ second hospitality offering in Kathmandu with Mirage Lords Inn being its first. Besides these two, the hotel chain has signed up two other hotel properties in Birjung and in Bhaktapur which too will shortly open to tourists. With four properties, Lords Hotels & Resorts will become the leading Indian hospitality brand in the paradise tourist destination of Nepal. “We are pleased to announce the launch of Lords Resorts Budhanilkantha and are positive that this will become a landmark resort in Kathmandu. Built on a vantage point, it is away from the hustle bustle of the city. Access to the city, however, is unrestricted and convenient. Being located at the top of a hill, skirted by dense flora, every room will offer a magnificent view of the valley and its fauna. Besides offering an unparalleled location advantage, the resort will also cater to travelers across the spectrum from leisure to adventure and business to pilgrimage,” says P.R. Bansal, Chairman & Managing Director, Lords Hotels & Resorts.

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144 delegates attend Bengal Travel Mart 2017 in Siliguri

The department of Tourism, North Bengal Development Department and Eastern Himalaya Travel & Tour Operators Association (EHTTOA), the largest body of tourism industry in North East, jointly organised the second edition of three-day long Bengal Travel Mart (BTM) in Siliguri under Darjeeling district of West Bengal. It is the first event in the state where at least 144 delegates from different states along with delegates from Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka participated. It also included more than 200 stakeholders (buyers and sellers) for BTB meet and practical visits of the tourism sports in the region. The main motto behind the BTM is to enhance West Bengal tourism. The participants in the mart stakeholders said that this would boom their tourism industry as a whole.

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