Anil Mohan

Indian nationals banned from travelling to Libya

In view of prevailing security situation in Libya, security threats and challenges to lives of Indian nationals in Libya, the Government of India has decided to impose travel ban on Indian nationals planning to travel to Libya irrespective of the purpose. All Immigration authorities have been notified in this respect. Indian nationals may please take note of the travel ban for compliance. The travel ban is effective from 3 May, 2016 till further orders.

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Ireland hosts 8 Indian agents at Meitheal 2016

Tourism Ireland hosted eight key Indian travel trade agents to Ireland’s largest tourism trade fair, Meitheal 2016. Organised by Tourism Ireland, the workshop brought together over 310 overseas buyers and 455 Irish tourism businesses for two days of negotiating business deals. Nearly 12,000 face to face meetings were organised between the buyers and sellers for the 2017 season. Huzan Fraser Motivala, India Representative, Tourism Ireland, said, “India is an important market for Tourism Ireland and one that we are committed to growing. Over the last five years, we have seen a year-on-year increase of over 25 per cent in Indian visitor arrival numbers to the island of Ireland.” She also informed that the Irish Visa Applications (year to date 2016) have also seen a 43 per cent increase in visa applications compared to the same period last year. Some of the factors in favour of this growth can be identified as increased air access to Ireland, particularly by Etihad Airways and Emirates via the Middle East and the British Irish Visa Scheme (BIVS) which has made it easier for tourists from India who are visiting Great Britain to also visit Ireland, without the cost or hassle of applying for a separate visa.

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25% rise in Indian visitors to Chile

Speaking about the importance of the India market for Chile on the sidelines of a seminar on ‘Exportable products from Chile’ in Mumbai organised by the Embassy of Chile, Carolina Vasquez, Trade Commissioner, ProChile India Commercial Office, said, “India offers great potential to Chile considering that more and more Indians have started to travel abroad.” She added, “Indian visitors to Chile have shown an increase of 25 per cent in 2015 as compared to 2014, and is likely to maintain the growth rate this year. We will try and increase the number of Indian travellers traveling to Chile by participating in trade shows here so as to make Indian tour operators aware of what Chile can offer. It is important to work with them in a focused and a personalised manner to generate the awareness about our country so that later when we launch a bigger campaign, we have more travellers interested in Chile and there are sufficient people to guide and advise them.” The seminar discussed the Partial Trade Agreement (PTA) for expansion and fostering of ties between the two countries, which is under legal review.

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Sarovar forays into South Sudan with Juba hotel

Sarovar Hotels has announced its foray into yet another international market as it takes over the management of The Panorama hotel in the capital city of the Republic of South Sudan. Now rebranded as The Panorama Sarovar Portico, Juba, it is Sarovar Hotels’ fourth operational hotel in Africa. The group currently manages The Heron Portico in Nairobi, The New Africa Hotel in Dar-Es-Salaam – Tanzania and The Zehneria Portico in Nairobi. Commenting on the new endeavour, Ajay K. Bakaya, Executive Director, Sarovar Hotels, said, “We are very excited to be setting our footprints to another new destination in the African region. We see immense growth potential in this market with high demand and good occupancies in most hotels. This is major step in our growth and expansion strategy and we are looking to operate 10 hotels in Africa in the next five years.” Located in the midst of a major business hub of Juba, the Panaroma Sarovar Portico is ideal for both business as well as leisure travellers. The hotel with 73 well designed rooms and suites offer a perfect balance of comfortable accommodation and warm hospitality. Each room equipped with state-of-the-art features and modern amenities has a balcony offering striking views of Juba. Dining options include restaurant serving local and international cuisine, a well-stocked bar offering best cocktails, wines, variety of beers and liquors. Nearby local landmarks such as the All Saints Cathedral and Bahr El Jebel Safaris makes it an attractive destination for travellers. Additional block of suites and a large conference and banqueting facilities will soon be added to the hotel. Sarovar Hotels Pvt. Ltd. currently operates over 75 hotels in India and abroad with a key …

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Wakayama, Japan & Maharashtra strengthen tourism ties

A delegation from the Wakayama Prefectural Government led by Hiroshi Shimo, Hon. Vice Governor of Wakayama Prefectural Government, is on a Maharashtra visit (Mumbai–Aurangabad) from May 17 to 23, 2016 with the key agenda of facilitating familiarisation tours bilaterally of Maharashtra and Wakayama. The tours will cover key places in Maharashtra from the Mumbai-Aurangabad circuit and Mumbai-Nagpur circuit (including Tadoba) along with seven travel trade professionals. As part of the MoU between Maharashtra and Wakayama Prefecture, Japan, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is funding the Ajanta-Ellora Development Phase 3 and showcasing their full support towards development of tourism in Maharashtra. Shimo said, “We have successfully implemented various projects in the field of tourism through our MoU. The Maharashtra Corner developed at Wakayama Prefectural Government is instrumental in giving out knowledge about Maharashtra and its offerings to concern authorities in Japan. We are thankful to Hon. CM Shri Devendra Fadnavis for providing us an office space in Aurangabad office which provides us with a similar opportunity to promote Japan tourism in Maharashtra. Our Omotenashi Project has given us a chance to host the MTDC officials in our country and give them an experience of the Japanese hospitality through a seven day programme. We are keen to renew our MoU which has proved mutually beneficial to both countries.” Paraag Jaiin Nainuttia IAS, Managing Director, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, commented, “The renewal of the MoU term will help increase tourism inflow in Maharashtra and Wakayama through the agreement. It will further help maintain mutual cooperation between both states for expansion of tourism ties to enhance economic growth and job creation. We thank Hon. Vice Governor of Wakayama, Mr. Hiroshi Shimo for providing …

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TAAI narrows down on Egypt, SA, Singapore for convention

The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) is in dialogues with a few destinations for its annual convention that is likely to be held between August-September 2016. Sunil Kumar, President, TAAI, who was in Mumbai recently, said, “Convention is also one of the reasons why the four Office Bearers met at the TAAI Secretariat. We are having a few meetings and hopefully by May end we should have confirmed the destination and the venue. The window for our convention is between August 15 – September end. If required, we may get on to October. We already have details from a few bidders.” Lokesh Bettaiah, TAAI’s Secretary General, said, “Many destinations have shown their interest in hosting our convention and among them are Egypt, South Africa and Singapore. Four of the Office Bearers had also visited Egypt recently for a recce on the Ministry’s invitation.”

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Cambodia Tourism’s 3-city roadshow

Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia along with Cambodia Airports is organising a three-city roadshow, starting from Bengaluru on May 23, Hyderabad on May 25 and concluding in Mumbai on May 27, 2016. A delegation of around 15 representatives from tourism and aviation stakeholders such as members of Cambodian Association of Travel Agents, PATA Cambodia Chapter members, members of Cambodia Hotels Association and Hotel Operators and Cambodian Airlines will be traveling to India for this. The last roadshow was held in New Delhi in 2014.  

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WelcomHeritage Mani Mansion, Ahmedabad reopens

The latest addition to WelcomHeritage portfolio – WelcomHeritage Mani Mansion – is a 94-year-old heritage property that was once home to the Dalal family. The property reopened on May 9 after it had shut for renovation last year. The hotel room rates start from rs 6000. Built by the legendary social worker and acclaimed businessman, Manibhai Dalal in 1923 and the property was formerly known as “Corporate Suites – The Heritage Home Stay.” Located on Ashram road in Ahmedabad, the property aims to preserve the rich cultural heritage associated to the ancestral home. From an ancestral mansion, it has been suitably modified as one of the city’s finest heritage hotels. WH Mani Mansion is a boutique heritage hotel with 21 suites providing an experience of ancient era in Ahmedabad. WH Mani Mansion has also received heritage property stature from the Government of Gujarat. The hotel offers a multi cuisine Restaurant serving variety of cuisines including authentic Gujarati cuisine prepared by chefs who have been associated with the family since past 2 generations thus giving a taste of true Gujarati culinary prowess. While staying at WelcomHeritage Mani Mansion, one can explore the attractions of Ahmedabad that involves Kalupur Temple, Calico Museum of Textiles, Gandhi Ashram, Adalaj, Hatheesing Jain Temple, Sarkhej Roza, and Vishala Vessel Museum. Also one can take a day trip to Champaner, Pavagadh Temple Trek, Raja Ravi Verma Collection, Modhera (Sun Temple), Rani Ki Vav (Patan) (World Heritage Site), White Rann of Kutch, Palitana Temple, Gir Forest, Lothal. One can also visit Ambaji Temple, Mount Abu, Udaipur & many more places within comfortable and drivable distance from Ahmedabad.

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North East agents register for IATO for free

The Executive Committee of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) has decided to waive off the Rs. 5000/- registration fee for new members from North East India till March 31, 2017. Lally Matthews, Honorary Secretary, IATO, said, “IATO is looking at adding more members now. We would like to increase membership from the North East and have thus waived off the registration fee of Rs. 5000/- for interested tour operators from the region.”

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32 Foreign Tour Operators attend GMTM

Around 32 Foreign Tour Operators from 12 countries, and 10 corporates attended the first edition of Global MICE Travel Mart (GMTM). In all, 42 buyers and 27 sellers were in attendance. The next edition of GMTM will be held in July 2017, announced Dr. Jyotsna Suri, Immediate Past President, FICCI, and Chairperson, FICCI Tourism Committee at the inauguration of the 1st edition of Global MICE Travel Mart. Organised by FICCI in association with the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) and India Convention Promotion Bureau (ICPB), the mart is being held from May 19-21 2016 at The Lalit, New Delhi. Dr Suri said that the conference is a step towards promoting India as a MICE destination and will be held annually here onwards. The FICCI-MRSS report on ‘India Inbound MICE Tourism – Trends and Opportunities’ was released during inaugural session where Dr A Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI, Chander Mansharami, Vice Chairman – ICPB, Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, MOT and Rahul Chakravarty, Director & Head – Tourism, FICCI, spoke about MICE tourism in India. A panel discussion on ‘Furthering MICE Tourism into India – Rejuvenating the Roadmap’ with several well-known industry professionals followed after.

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