Tag Archives: Philippines

Philippines records 18% growth in Indian arrivals

The Philippines recorded a growth of 18 per cent in visitor arrivals from India in 2017, according to a report by Centre for Aviation and Department of Tourism (DOT), Philippines. India is the 12th largest source market for the Philippines, based on 2017 visitor data. The other top 12 source markets all have nonstop services – South Korea, China, the US, Japan, Australia, Taiwan, Canada, the UK, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. There were 107,000 Indian visitors to the Philippines in 2017 and only 52,000 in 2013 (the year PAL suspended service to Delhi.). Growth has been consistently in the high double digits, including 18 per cent in 2017, 21 per cent in 2016 and 22 per cent in 2015.

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India offers visa on arrival for South Korean nationals

India has decided to offer visa on arrival to South Korean nationals, a home ministry official said. Like the Japanese nationals (who have been getting the privilege since March 2016), the facility to South Korean citizens include double entry visit for a period not exceeding 60 days for business, tourism, conference and medical purposes for entry through six designated international airports – Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. According to an estimate, around 2 lakh Indian visas are issued to South Korean nationals every year, of which 80 per cent are tourists. On an average, 600 South Korean nationals arrive in Delhi daily. Though visa-on-arrival facility was earlier offered to citizens of 12 countries — Cambodia, Finland, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Luxembourg, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and South Korea — it was discontinued in November 2014 after the launch of e-Tourist Visa scheme. The e-visa facility now covers practically all the countries of the world, 166 as of now, and foreigners can arrive at any of the designated 26 airports and five seaports in India without interacting with any official before checking in at the immigration counter. Under the e-visa scheme, an applicant receives an email authorising him or her to travel to India after it has been approved. The tourist can travel with a printout of this authorisation. On arrival, the visitor has to present the authorisation to the immigration authorities who would then allow entry into the country. Source: PTI

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Israel opens Visa Application Centre in Kolkata

In an effort to encourage more Indian travellers to visit Israel, the Embassy of Israel in India has opened a Kolkata Israel Visa Application Centre for West Bengal and Northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. Additionally, visa applications in jurisdiction under the New Delhi centre are also acceptable at the new Kolkata Centre. The visa application categories include B1 for employment, B2 for business, tourism, meeting or conference and A2 for students. Commenting on the new opening, Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism – India & Philippines said, “Israel is experiencing a tourism boom like never before. India has recorded a half yearly growth of 82% as compared to the same period in 2015 and has become one of the best performing markets in Asia for Israel. The new centre in Kolkata will no longer require residents from West Bengal and Northeastern states to send in their documents to the Embassy in New Delhi.” Among other initiatives, Israel recently announced a reduction in visa fees to Rs 1,100 from its previous Rs 1,700 charge for Indian citizens. In December last year, relaxed visa documentation was brought in for applicants who have availed visas of Schengen countries, US, Canada, Australia or Israel and have completed their travel to these destinations. Madah added, “The Ministry of Tourism will be conducting a roadshow in Kolkata on August 29 to increase interest for the destination among consumers and trade fraternity.”

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‘Focus Philippines’ kick-starts in Goa

More than 120 travel fraternity members from across India will mark their presence at ‘Focus Philippines’ organised by Department of Tourism (DOT), Philippines, at the LaLiT Golf & Spa Resort, Goa. Over 20 exhibitors from the Philippines are showcasing their products, which include various Department of Tourism regional offices, attractions, hotels, integrated resorts, destination management companies as well as national and global air carriers. Through Focus Philippines, travel operators will witness exclusive, one-on-one meetings and gain a better insight on the destination. This will enable them to further customise their product offerings, based on exhibitor inputs, thereby taking Indian arrivals to the Philippines to the next level. MA Teresita C Daza, Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines, said, “Focus Philippines is a good opportunity for different stakeholders in the tourism industry in the Philippines to interact with travel operators in India. It will be a good opportunity from both the sides to actually see what packages, can be presented and promoted highlighting different attractions in the Philippines.” Dakila F Gonzales, Head, Office of Product and Market Development – India, Department of Tourism Philippines, said, “The inspiration behind the creation of the event is the huge increase in tourist arrivals of Indian nationals to the Philippines. In 2017, we had reached almost 107,000 arrivals, with a growth of 22 per cent and this growth is being sustained. We have realised that there is a further potential to increase this growth. Therefore, we want to stay committed to our current partners, giving them more knowledge on new segments of Philippines tourism.”  

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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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PATA Annual Summit 2019 to be held in the Philippines from May 9-12

Cebu, Philippines has been chosen as the destination to host PATA Annual Summit (PAS) 2019. The event will be held from May 9-12, 2019. This year’s PATA Summit in Gangneung, South Korea was attended by 372 registered delegates from 182 organisations representing 41 countries. Organised in association with the Korea Tourism Organisation and the Gangwon Province, PAS 2018 focused on building bridges, connecting people and how collaboration creates opportunities.

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Israel Tourism rolls out campaign in India to target 1 lakh travellers in 2018

Having witnessed close to 60,000 Indian tourists visiting Israel last year, marking a record growth of 31 per cent, Israel Ministry of Tourism office in India is confident of achieving its target of 1 lakh Indian tourist visitors this year. To support the forecasted growth, the Ministry has launched its summer campaign in India to attract the April-June peak holiday season. The advertising campaign incorporates varied media platforms including television, print and digital spaces. The integrated advertising campaign ‘Begin your journey to Israel’ which includes the television commercial (TVC) showcases Israel’s famous cities of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Talking about the advertising campaign and investments made in the Indian market, Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism – India & Philippines said, “Over the past three years, Israel has recorded a strong double-digit growth in tourist arrivals from India. In 2018 January to March, we have recorded a growth of 15 per cent in Indian arrivals compared to the same period last year. In order to keep this momentum going and to tap into the upcoming summer holiday season, we have launched our advertising campaign. Our campaign highlights the reasons why Indian travellers should choose Israel as their next holiday destination.”  

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Philippines recorded 19% surge in Indian arrivals

The Philippines recorded a growth of 19 per cent in visitor arrivals from India between January to November 2017, a remarkable surge over the previous year. The Department of Tourism (DOT), Philippines, has confirmed recording of 99,088 visitors from India until November 2017. India has jumped up to the 12th position for tourist arrivals in the Philippines and is consistently maintaining the position. SanJeet, Tourism Attaché, Philippines Tourism Marketing Office India, stated that with this growth rate, the DOT’s plan of achieving 100,000 Indian tourist arrivals by the end of 2017 will be easily achieved. He said that the double-digit growth in arrivals can also be attributed to major metros as well as feeder markets. “Disposable income for leisure and travel-related pursuits amongst middle and affluent class travellers are the major reasons behind this remarkable growth. There has also been a steady increase in MICE movement as well as FITs and small groups travelling from India,’’ he added. Over the last couple of years, DOT Philippines has been actively promoting the archipelago not only as a holiday destination but also for luxury, MICE, weddings and small group travel. Destinations such as Manila, Boracay, Cebu, Bohol, Palawan and Davao have been aggressively promoted in recent years.

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Philippines Tourism & Singapore Airlines ink deal to boost India arrivals

Anticipating a significant increase in Indian arrivals into the Philippines, the Department of Tourism (DOT), Philippines signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Singapore International Airlines (SIA) on December 12. Through the one-year collaboration, DOT and SIA will undertake joint marketing initiatives that will implement activities to promote the Philippines to the Indian market through social media, familiarisation tours, roadshows, among others. The agreement was signed by Benito Bengzon Jr., Undersecretary, DOT  and Campbell Wilson, Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing, SIA at the Makati Diamond Residences, Philippines. “The India market is growing at a very fast rate. In fact, we are expecting to reach 100,000 arrivals by end of 2017. This joint agreement is envisioned to sustain and further strengthen this growth in the coming years,” said Bengzon. He also disclosed that the department is not only looking at the headcount but also with the revenue it would generate. According to Wilson, this mutually beneficial agreement will pave way for a positive impact on the country’s tourism industry. “We are confident we can increase visitor arrivals; it is an honour to bring our passengers anywhere in the Philippines,” he said.  

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2nd edition of Travel Business Show kicks off in Gurugram

The 2nd edition of Travel Business Show, an exclusive MICE event, was held from December 2-3 at Le Meridien Gurgaon. The show was inaugurated by MA Teresita C. Daza, Ambassador of the Philippines to India, who was also the chief guest for the evening. Tourism and MICE continues to be a great contributor to the economy of nations, Daza said. “In 2016, the Philippines economy grew by 6.8 per cent, faster than 5.9 per cent expansion in 2015.  In the third quarter of 2017, it grew by 6.9 per cent. The top source markets for the Philippines from Asia include China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Currently, India ranks as the 12th largest source market for the Philippines. Many Indians visit Manila, Cebu, Palawan, Angeles and Boracay,” she informed. Giving an insight in the popularity of the Philippines as a destination for Indians, she added, “In 2016, the record of Indian arrivals in the Philippines was 90,000, which is an average of about 246 Indian passengers per day.  This number of Indian arrivals is very encouraging, despite visa requirements for Indians travelling to the Philippines.” On the visa policy, she informed, “To provide better visa services to Indian travellers, the Philippines has already instituted a 14-day free visa for Indian nationals, who are holders of  visas for USA,  Japan, Australia, Canada, Schengen, Singapore and the UK, from all international airports and seaports of the country.”

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