Tag Archives: UK

Bangladesh, USA & UK are top source countries for India during February 2018

According to data from Bureau of Immigration, Government of India, Bangladesh, USA and UK were the top three countries in terms of FTAs in India during February 2018. The top 10 source countries accounted for 61 per cent of the total inbound tourist flows in the year 2017. The introduction of e-Visa has led to a strong surge in Foreign Tourist Arrival resulting in a Y-o-Y growth of 62% in February 2018 compared to February 2017. UK, USA and France were the top three source countries availing e-Tourist Visa facilities during February 2018.

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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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Advantage Asia launched to empower small agents

Pricol Travel Limited, a part of Pricol Group of Companies, announced its alliance with the Advantage Travel Partnership UK offering empowerment programs for holiday and leisure travel agencies in India through the Advantage Asia Travel Partnership. Advantage Asia will be the country’s first leisure travel consortium providing the necessary edge to holiday travel agencies, enabling them to offer the best blend of travel products and services to their customers which will run under a licensee arrangement. The partnership program is suitable for small to medium sized travel agencies, who aspire to grow their business in the outbound leisure segment. It will work closely with their member partners, sharing collective knowledge to deliver exceptional travel services. “Advantage Travel Partnership UK has empowered thousands of small and medium travel agents in Europe, enabling and providing them with the necessary updated product knowledge and current technology for them to be relevant at all times.” Vikram Mohan, Chairman – Pricol Travel Limited. “The program provides different services that support various aspects of an agency run business. At the advantage travel partnership, we work closely with our member partners to provide them with tools to offer their customers the most inspirational, yet affordable range of travel products said Mr. A Dharmaraj, COO, Advantage Asia Travel Partnership.

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Over 526,000 UK visas issued to Indian nationals

Over 526,000 UK visas were issued to Indian nationals between January and December 2017, a jump of nearly 10 per cent from 2016. According to the latest quarterly report from the UK’s Office for National Statistics, British visas issued to Indian nationals in 2017 increased sharply over the previous 12 months. The increase was driven by a surge in visitors and students with visitors increasing by 11 per cent to 427,000 and students by 28 per cent to 14,500. Indian nationals still receive more employment visas than all other nationalities combined, with 59,000 Indians choosing the UK to further their careers. Dominic Asquith, British High Commissioner to India, KCMG, said, “These statistics illustrate the continuing strength of the UK and India’s relationship.  I am delighted that more Indians than ever before are choosing the UK for work, study, tourism and business travel. Particularly welcome is the 28 per cent increase in Indian students, showing that our world-class universities are again attracting more of India’s brightest young people. Our visa service for Indians is as good as any other. Almost 90 per cent of applicants are issued visa, in line with global norms. We have more visa application centres across India than we do in any other country.”

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58.5% growth in FTAs on eTV in Jan 2018 over Jan 2017

The number of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in January 2018 was 10.66 lakh as compared to FTAs of 9.83 lakh in January 2017 and 8.45 lakh in January 2016. The growth rate in FTAs in January 2018 over January 2017 was 8.4 per cent, compared to 16.4 per cent in January 2017 over January 2016. During January 2018, a total of 2.40 lakh foreign tourists arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 1.52 lakh during the month of January 2017 registering a growth of 58.5 per cent. The percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during January 2018 among the top 15 source countries was highest from Bangladesh (16.36%) followed by USA (14.10%), UK (10.81%), Canada (4.63%), Russian Federation (4.49%), Australia (3.60%), France (2.76%), Germany (2.64%), Malaysia (2.63%), Sri Lanka (2.59%), China (2.27%), Japan (2.08%), Republic of Korea (1.93%), Afghanistan (1.86%) and Nepal (1.59%). The percentage share of top 15 source countries availing e-Tourist Visa facilities during  January, 2018 was as follows: UK (18.6%), USA (10.6%), Russian Fed (6.5%), France (5.4%), Canada (5.3%), China (4.8%), Australia (4.3%), Germany (4.0%), Korea (Rep.of) (3.9%), Oman (3.4%), Italy (2.4%), Thailand (1.9%), Israel (1.4%), Netherlands (1.4%), and South Africa (1.4%). The percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during January 2018 among the top 15 ports was highest at Delhi Airport (28.03%) followed by Mumbai Airport (17.47%), Haridaspur Land Check Post (7.63%), Chennai Airport (7.17%), Goa (6.19%), Bengaluru Airport (5.16%), Kolkata Airport (4.81%), Cochin Airport (3.77%), Ahmadabad Airport (3.01%), Hyderabad Airport (2.56%),Gede Rail Land Check Post (1.82%), Trivandrum Airport (1.56%), Tiruchirapalli Airport (1.25%), Ghojadanga Land Check Post (1.11%), Amritsar Airport (1.01%).

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Oman relaxes visa rules to attract more Indians

Oman is granting non-sponsored tourist visa for the citizens of India, China and Russia who reside in or hold an entry visa to one of these countries – USA, Canada, Australia, UK and Schengen states – to enter the Sultanate of Oman. These revised terms and conditions were issued by the Omani authorities. The issued statement indicated that the visa shall be granted for a period of one month for a fee of OMR 20. The spouse and children of the visa holder would also be allowed to enter the Sultanate while accompanying them. Applicants must also have a return ticket and confirmed hotel reservation in order to be granted the visa. Speaking about the recent development, Salim Adi Al Mamari, Director General of Tourism Promotion, from the Ministry of Tourism in Oman said, “We are extremely pleased with the recent development of facilitating non-sponsored tourist visa for the citizens of India, China and Russia. With the revision in visa regulations, we are expecting that Indian arrivals across all segments will grow exponentially – especially leisure and visitors to conventions and exhibitions. Oman has gained immense popularity with mature and evolved travellers in the recent years. We aim to expand our travel and tourism offerings and are certain that the revised policies will offer expediency and convenience to travellers and will encourage more impromptu trips to the Sultanate.” Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative, Ministry of Tourism, Oman, said, “The outbound segment in India is on a rise with the Indian economy booming and increasingly better standards of living. Most Indians typically travel for three to five nights as they want to experience Muscat and beyond. We are certain that the recent change …

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Indian visa to cost 50% more

The Indian government has reportedly increased the visa fee in different categories for nationals from the US, the UK, Canada, Israel, Iran and UAE. As per a government notification, a tourist visa up to one year will now cost $153 from the earlier $100. The tourist visa for over a year and up to five years will cost $306 instead of $120. Mainly affecting foreigners who work in the country, the move comes about as a reciprocal measure, since countries like the US, New Zealand and Australia have planned or already implemented such processes. However, UK nationals, who used to cough up $162 for a tourist visa up to a year, will now pay $248. And for a five year tourist visa, they will pay $741 instead of $484. For the employment visa, nationals from Canada, Ireland, France, Australia, New Zealand and Thailand will now pay $459 instead of $300 for a visa spanning over a year and up to five years. Israelis continue to cough up the most for a short-term visa. They will now pay $1,714 instead of $1,120.

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Peru exempts visa for short-stay visitors from India

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Peru, has decided to exempt the requirement of business and tourist visas to certain Indian citizens whose duration of stay is up to 180 days as maximum, whether continuous stay or various visits during the period of one year. The stay will be determined in the port of entry by the Immigration Officers. These rules have been effective since March 27, 2017. Others who are also exempted from visa include holders of valid visa of USA, UK, Canada, Australia or Schengen countries, with a validity of at least six months (excluding transit visas), and those who are permanent residents, accredited with the document of permit (Green Card) in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia or Schengen space countries.

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Emirates introduces laptop and tablet handling service for US flights

Emirates has introduced a new service to enable customers to use their laptops and tablet devices until just before they board their flights to the US. Emirates customers travelling to the US via Dubai will be able to utilise their laptops and tablet devices on the first part of their journeys, and also during transit in Dubai. They must then declare and hand over their laptops, tablets, and other banned electronic devices to security staff at the gate just before boarding their US-bound flight. The devices will be carefully packed into boxes, loaded into the aircraft hold, and returned to the customer at their US destination. There will not be any charge for this service. Passengers on US-bound flights starting their journeys in Dubai are encouraged to pack their electronic devices into their check-in luggage in the first instance, to avoid delays. Customers should be aware that there will be a detailed search of all hand baggage on non-stop flights to the US from Dubai. They should therefore declare their devices before the search, or ensure their electronic devices are packed into their check-in luggage in the first instance. Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: “Our aim is to ensure compliance with the new rules, while minimising disruption to passenger flow and impact on customer experience. Our new complimentary service enables passengers, particularly those flying for business, to have the flexibility to use their devices until the last possible moment. Once on board they can still stay connected on their mobile phones. Our historical data shows that on Emirates’ US flights, 90% of passengers using our onboard mobile and Wi-Fi connectivity services do so via their smart phones. Only …

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India-UK sign MoU to allow more flights to boost tourism

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Indian and the UK to ease restrictions on the number of scheduled flights between the two countries. Limits on flights from key Indian cities including Chennai and Kolkata have been scrapped, allowing for a greater range of flights for passengers while providing a boost to trade and tourism for the UK and India. The agreement also opened all destinations in the UK for Indian carriers for code share flights, and reciprocally the UK carriers can also operate code share flights to any International Airport in India, through domestic code share arrangements. According to Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Minister of Civil Aviation, said “The increase in number of flights between the UK and India is encouraging news for our businesses and tourists. We already enjoy strong ties with the UK and we welcome such continued association which in the long run will not only encourage business activity, but also people-to-people contact. I am sure that this agreement will bring direct and indirect benefits to many sectors of the economies of our two countries.” Tourism from India makes an important contribution to the UK economy. In 2015, there were 422,000 visits from India to the UK, bringing more than £433 million to the economy. Lord Ahmad, Aviation Minister of the United Kingdom, said, “India is one of our closest allies and key trading partners and this new agreement will only serve to strengthen this crucial relationship. We are unlocking new trade and tourism opportunities which will boost our economies, create new jobs and open up new business links. This is great news for both the UK and India and is yet another sign that …

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