Tag Archives: Spain

Belmond and Oberoi Mumbai offer trade an authentic Italian experience

Belmond Worldwide together with The Oberoi Mumbai recently organised an Italian Food Festival at the Vetro, Oberoi Mumbai, from January 28 that will go on till February 12. During this festival, Belmond Worldwide also hosted a travel trade event which included cocktails and canapes curated by Chef Roberto Gatto to celebrate the Italian flavours. Executive Chef Roberto Gatto and Executive Chef Attilio Di Fabrizio from Belmond Hotel Cipriani,Venice and Belmond Villa San Michele, Florence respectively were in Mumbai to unveil the best kept secrets of Italian cuisine. Laura Di Bert, PR Director, Belmond Italy, Spain & Portugal said, “I am proud that my chefs are attending the event, as a unique opportunity to deep dive into the Indian world through a mutual interest: food.”

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Spain records over 50% growth in Indian arrivals till August 2017 YOY

In 2017, up until August, Spain recorded as many as 86,000 Indian tourists, registering an approximate growth of about 50 per cent in 2017 over the same period in 2016, informed Ignacio Ducasse Gutierrez, Director, Tourism Office of Spain – Mumbai, during the Spanish Travel Show in New Delhi. This year, Spain Tourism is organising its annual roadshow in three cities – Delhi, Ahmedabad and Chennai. “We have seen a huge increase in the number of Indian tourists travelling to Spain in 2017 and we hope to increase this number further. Since our roadshows are an annual affair, we try to cover different cities every year. Next year we will reach out to other cities which we have never visited before like Nagpur and Jaipur apart from the ones we have covered this year. We are expecting around 100-150 travel agents and tour operators in each city for the roadshows,” said Gutierrez. Various tourism boards and regions of Spain participated in the show which included Madrid Region, Barcelona Premium, Andalucia Tourist Board, Costa del Sol Tourist Board, Galicia, Castilla y Leon Tourist Board and AVE Cities Network. Various travel agencies and hotels like Europamundo Vacaciones, Warq Events and Holidays, Century Incoming, Melia Hotels International and Palladium Hotel Group etc. also showcased their products to the travel agents in the various cities.

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Greece’s Sky Express appoints Aviareps as its GSA

Aviareps has been appointed by Sky Express to represent the Greek domestic airline as its General Sales Agent (GSA) in eight markets around the world including Australia, Canada, France, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. The appointment, made with immediate effect, is the result of the airline’s initiative to expand its sales and marketing outreach internationally to travellers and travel industry leaders in key strategic markets. Operating out of its three domestic hubs of Athens, Thessaloniki and Heraklion in Crete, Sky Express connects travellers to 29 major tourist, cultural and business centres throughout Greece including Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes, Milos, Paros, Naxos, Kos, Mytilene, Ikaria, Zakynthos Kythira, Chios, Karpathos, Syros and Skyros to name a few. The fleet, which consists mainly of ATR aircrafts, is available for scheduled and charter flights, for individual passengers or groups. All Sky Express passengers departing from Athens or Thessaloniki are also provided free access to Business Lounge facilities.

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India tourism climbs 12 places up, ranks 40th from 52nd globally

India has moved 12 places up to 40th position from 52nd in Travel and Tourism Competitive Index (TTCI) of World Economic Forum. Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism & Culture, said, “We are pleased to announce that India’s tourism industry has moved up 12 places since 2015, and now occupies 40th rank globally while countries like Japan, China, US, and Switzerland have improved by less than five positions. The ranking is a witness to the several initiatives that have come into effect, such as the liberalisation of visa, formation of tourist helpline 1363, initiation of welcome kits, among many others. Demonetisation has not had much of an impact as we have observed a six-fold growth after it came into action.” He further elaborated that while tourism’s global growth has been 3.9 per cent in 2016, India alone recorded a 10.7 per cent growth, with a CAGR of about 8.4 per cent. The safety and security ranking has also increased by 15 points since the previous year.

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VFS to manage India visa services in Spain, Thailand, and South Africa

As part of its expanding visa services network for the Government of India’s Ministry of External Affairs worldwide, VFS Global will now manage India visa processing services in three additional countries: Spain, Thailand and South Africa. VFS Global has served the Government of India since 2007, and manages visa processing for the client government in a total of 12 countries worldwide. The Embassy of India in Spain and VFS Global have signed a four-year contract to manage India visa processing services in three cities: Madrid, Barcelona and Las Palmas. The new centres in these cities are on schedule to open in April 2017. VFS Global won the contract to offer India visa processing services in Spain in July 2016. However, the launches were delayed due to a petition filed by BLS International against the Government of India in the Delhi High Court, disputing its disqualification from the Spain bid for failing to meet the minimum technical criteria. Spain is the 12th country where VFS Global will begin visa processing operations for the Indian Ministry of External Affairs. VFS Global also signed contracts to manage Indian visas in Thailand (Bangkok and Chiang Mai) and South Africa (Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town).

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BLS to open 150 VACs for Spain in 45 countries

After bagging the contract from Spain MAEC (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation – Spain), BLS International will open nearly 150 Spanish Visa Application Centers in 45 countries to support the Spanish Embassies and Consulates globally. Out of a total 128 Spanish Visa Centers, 53 are already operational from December 2016, and together the company expects to process approximately 1.8 million applications annually. The five-year contract is worth €175 million (Rs 1,300 crore), Recently, BLS International also announced the renewal order for four years from Russia and Singapore for outsourcing services to the Indian Embassies and Consulates. Shikhar Aggarwal, Joint Managing Director and Additional Director, BLS International Services Limited said, “Through our association with Spain government, we intend to provide Spanish Visa’s effortlessly accessible by providing services in many small countries like Algeria, Ecuador, Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Tunisia, Mauritania etc. We aim at expanding our foreign mission category by bagging global contracts particularly from Thailand and Canada governments, via a competitive process.” BLS International has commenced one Spanish Visa Application Center in each Delhi and Mumbai and at least one center in other countries around the globe including, Russia, Morocco, Algeria, Turkey, China, India, South Africa, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Bolivia, Kuwait, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Dominican, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Senegal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Ivory Coast, Vietnam, Oman, Kenya, Cameroon, Scotland, Israel, Ghana, Qatar, Ukraine, Thailand, Philippines, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Tunisia, Nigeria, Armenia, Belarus, Iraq, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan. The company plans to open several more offices in these locations in 2017.

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Vinod Zutshi inaugurates India pavilion at FITUR 2017

Vinod Zutshi, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, attended FITUR 2017, organised by Ifema in Madrid, encouraging the Indian travel fraternity at the first large-scale travel show for this year. FITUR in its 37th year has seen almost 10% more exhibition space, 62,494 square meters, and a 6% increase in direct stand holders with a total of 755 displaying the offerings of 9,672 companies, configure a professional business platform which sees its international offerings reinforced by 9% in terms of main standholders. UNWTO has picked FITUR as the venue for kicking off the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

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