Tag Archives: Suman Billa

K J Alphons to attend ‘Incredible India roadshows’ in the US from June 18-22

With an aim to project India as a ‘must visit’ tourist destination, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism, K J Alphons will attend a series of ‘Incredible India roadshows’ in the US, from June 18-22,  2018. The roadshows will be held in several major cities of US including New York, Chicago & Houston. The Incredible India roadshows will hold B2B interactions, presentations and press briefings by the Indian delegation. The key note addresses will be delivered by the Tourism Minister and Incredible India presentation will be made by Joint Secretary Ministry of Tourism Suman Billa. The roadshows will include cultural performances also. USA is one among the top three source countries in the percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India. During April 2018, the US was the second highest source country with 11.21 per cent share of total FTAs.

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India highlights immense tourism potential at ITB Berlin 2018

The Indian delegation led by KJ Alphons, Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism, Government of India, highlighted the country’s tremendous tourism potential at the 52nd ITB Berlin as it kicked off at the Messe Berlin fairgrounds on March 7. Addressing the media, Alphons spoke about the country’s 5000 year-old civilisation, beautiful beaches, backwaters, desserts, coastline, Himalayas, and immense possibilities for millennials who are looking for adventure. The minister also apprised the audience about the growing yoga and ayurveda related activities and centres in the country, exploring the North East and the great potential of religious tourism, with emphasis on Buddhist tourism. “In terms of general numbers, India has done considerably well last year. 2017 was fantastic! We recorded 15.6 per cent, when the global numbers went up by 5 per cent. Our international tourists arrivals were 16.5 million last year. Are we happy with the numbers? No. We have so much to offer and we want to double the numbers in three years or less, double the revenues in three years or less. India’s tourism contributes about 8 per cent to the GDP of India. We have 14 million people employed in the tourism industry,” Alphons said. In terms of domestic tourism, close to 24 million Indians travelled last year. “In 2017, 1.8 million trips were made by Indians within the country and which will go up to 2 million in 2018 and we want this number to increase dramtically, its not just about international arrivals but also Indians visting India,” he said. The minister also stressed on the growing use of new technologies and methodologies in tourism, specially social media. Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of …

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1st Adventure Sports Expo Asia from Jan 27-29 in New Delhi

The first ever Adventure Sports Expo Asia is going to be held in New Delhi from January 27-29 at Four Points by Sheraton. As many as 15000 visitors and sports enthusiasts are expected to attend the show. Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, informed that the government has declared 2018 as the Year of Adventure and the ministry is going all out to promote the country as an important hub for adventure tourism. Ajeet Bajaj, Senior Vice President, Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) and the Managing Director of Snow Leopard Adventures, said, “The mission behind the Expo is bringing together all stakeholders to make India an adventure powerhouse while keeping risk management, sustainability and responsible tourism at the forefront. ATOAI is the backbone as far this industry is concerned in India and our aim is to make India a global hub for adventure tourism. Internationally, the adventure sports industry is a $400 billion industry. According to industry estimates, the Indian inbound industry for adventure tourism in growing by 5-7 per cent annually and domestic tourism for this segment is on an upswing, growing by 20-25 per cent annually.” The expo will host many sessions addressing the various issues of the adventure sports industry with luminaries from across the globe. Commenting on the Expo, Rishi Narain, Founder and Managing Director, RN Sports Marketing, said, “India already has huge potential as an adventure sports destination with so much diversity from mountains to rivers and desserts. ASEA 2018 will market India as an iconic destination for adventure to the world with the support of ATOAI. The event will also recognise individuals/groups and companies in the field of adventure on the …

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ITDC to transfer Hotel Jaipur Ashok to Rajasthan Govt.

The India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) has signed a transfer agreement with Rajasthan government on December 9 to transfer Hotel Jaipur Ashok to the state government. As per the agreement, Hotel Jaipur Ashok located at Collectorate Circle would now be operated and managed by the Rajasthan State Hotel Corporation Ltd, with new identity ‘Hotel Jaipur’. The agreement was signed by Piyush Tiwari, Director – Commercial & Marketing, ITDC and Nihal Chand Goel, Additional Chief Secretary – Tourism, State government in the presence of Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Minister of Tourism, Govt of India; Ravneet Kaur, Chairperson and Managing Director (CMD), ITDC; Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India and other dignitaries. ITDC executed transfer documents for transferring the hotel to the Rajasthan government at a negotiated price of Rs 14 crore. Earlier on September 5, a tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) was executed among ITDC, Ministry of Tourism and Government of Rajasthan for transfer of Hotel Jaipur Ashok to the state government at a negotiated value of Rs 14 crore without any liabilities and encumbrances.  

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Korea Festival celebrated in Gurugram

Ambience Mall, Gurugram played host to a two-day Korea Festival showcasing South Korea’s art, culture and heritage for the visitors to the mall. Organised by (KTO), the event was targeted to the consumers and had a separate stall where travel partners for KTO also showcased their itineraries and travel products to people. The event was inaugurated by Min Hong Min, Executive Vice President, KTO and Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. The event also saw high energy B-boying performances and Nanta performance by professionals flown in from South Korea, especially for the event.

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Haveli Dharampura, Delhi recognised by UNESCO for heritage conservation

Haveli Dharampura, Delhi, the property restored by Union Minister Vijay Goel, has been recognised by UNESCO 2017 for Cultural Heritage Conservation in Asia-Pacific region in 2017. He shared the news at the property situated in the heart of Chandni Chowk in Delhi in the presence of Rashmi Verma, Secretary Tourism, Government of India; Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Tourism, Government of India; Usha Sharma, DG, ASI. He said, “This has been possible due to sheer hardwork spanning six years in which took us to restore the haveli. We built it from scratch without distorting its original beauty and old-world charm, which continues to entice the visitors.”

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Chander Mansharamani to continue as Vice Chairman, ICPB; new appointments in Governing Body

Chander Mansharamani has been re-elected as Vice Chairman of India Convention Promotion Bureau (ICPB) for another two-year term. Amaresh Tiwari and Girish Kwatra will also continue on their respective posts of Hon. Secretary and Hon. Treasurer. This was declared during the association’s 30th Annual General Meeting and Elections for the Governing Board held at The Ashok in New Delhi which was also attended by Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and Chairman, ICPB. New appointments were made in the Hotel, Tour Operator and Congress / Convention Centres categories. The two new appointments in the hotel category were Hemant Mediratta and Saurabh Bhargava & Abinash Manghani (due to a tie for the second post). Gunjan Suri and Naveen Chibber took up the two new posts in the travel agency category while Ajay Vinayak and Anuj Wadhwa took the two posts in tour operator category. The post for the Congress / Convention Centres went to Sudeep Sarcar. Talking about the key priorities for the bureau now, Chander Mansharamani, Vice Chairman, ICPB, said, “the government has been looking at us as the frontal organisation for marketing India as a convention destination. Keeping that in mind, we are completely invested to take things to the next level. Currently we have outlined three core areas to focus on; first is market creation wherein creating our chapters and bidding of international conferences will be a part of that. Market creation will involve conducting roadshows both in India and international markets. The second priority is Visa, lobbying and making the entire process easier to get a visa for delegates attending conferences in India and thirdly we want to sensitise the central and state governments on the …

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PATA India Chapter launches upgraded website

PATA India Chapter has launched an upgraded website www.pataindia.org packed with dynamic features and graphics. The website was launched at the office of Ministry of Tourism by Joint Secretary Suman Billa in the presence of all Executive Committee members following the 235th EC meeting of PATA India. A presentation was given by Jatinder Taneja, Hon. Secretary, PATA India Chapter, where he informed that the website is CMS-based compatible with desktops, smartphones and tablets such as iPad, etc. He said, the website data is well aligned and informative with member information, and event catalogue. The upgraded website has a well-structured homepage with recent and upcoming ‘Events’ section. Ministry of Tourism website is hyperlinked on the homepage for relevant updates. The updated homepage, loaded with attractive graphics, will soon hyperlink member website to add value to membership and hasa new ‘Members’ section with brief profile

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GITB 2017 opens with 275 foreign buyers and 288 exhibitors

The Great Indian Travel Bazaar opened with 275 foreign buyers and 288 exhibitors at The Lalit Jaipur on April 23. The inbound show committed to boost tourism in India and in Rajasthan was inaugurated by Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, and Krishnendra Kaur, Tourism, Art and Culture Minister, Government of Rajasthan, Jyotsna Suri, Chairperson, Tourism Committee FICCI, Nihal Chand Goel, Additional Chief Secretary (Tourism, Art & Culture), Bhim Singh, President, Federation of Hospitality and Tourism of Rajasthan, and Rahul Chakravarty, Senior Director and Head-Tourism, FICCI. Addressing the show, Billa said, India is truly on a growth path. We have grown at a rapid pace of 11 per cent in 2016 and since January to date we have grown at a staggering rate of 16 per cent, there is nothing in the market to suggest that it will slow down. Domestic tourism forms a key part of Indian tourism. Last year we had 1.7 billion domestic travellers and we are growing at 8-9 per cent Y-o-Y. Admittedly we are growing on a narrow base but the potential of tourism in India is immense. All of you here are at the right place to lay the seeds for what will become a great engagement for a market that has huge potential. He also informed that accordingly to the World Economic Forum report, India improved its tourism competitiveness by 25 places over three years and tourism is the government’s main agenda.

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Over 125 delegates at FICCI Digital Summit

FICCI Digital Travel, Hospitality and Innovation Summit opened with over 125 delegates. The attendees from various verticals of the travel and hospitality industry like technology providers, travel management companies, hotels, airlines, online travel agencies, GDS, etc., attended the event. The FICCI-Avalon knowledge paper-Travel 2.0-The Next Generation of Travel, was released at the event which details suggestions on mapping the travel industry better and trends that can offer insight to grow the industry. Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, said, “Travellers are moving away from exploring routes to exploring experiences. Social media is a legitimate research source and reviews are becoming increasingly important. Bloggers as a marketing channel have become important as they turn around niche products and create interest groups. The digital space has opened avenues for not just big players but even the smaller players in the industry can position themselves through digital platforms. Going digital is imperative and we have to see how fast we can become digital and at the same time look into what different we can offer in order to stay relevant in the market. The brick and mortar agencies have to embrace the technology curve and take on the challenge.” Jyotsna Suri, Chairperson, FICCI Tourism Committee and Chairperson and MD, Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, said “Adapting and adopting technology is the need of the hour and at FICCI we are happy to take on this vertical and offer a platform for thoughtful discussions and deliberation on the future of travel.”

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