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Traverse Omani culture at Muscat Festival

Oman has a plethora of exciting activities to enjoy during the colder months, as well as tranquil beaches to cool off on during the scorching-hot summer months. While the Gulf area is commonly associated with skyscrapers and five-star resorts, Oman remains one of the prized Arabian pearls that can reconnect one with the diverse traditions and customs of a civilisation that extends back hundreds of thousands of years. More and more people are flocking to Oman to discover what makes this country so special, including marine life off the southern coast of Dhofar Province, a wealth of rich history to discover in Muscat, mountains and deserts to discover, and a paradise of extravagant festivals to discover. Oman also has a terrific infrastructure that is excellent for visitors and is a safe place to visit solo or in groups. Experience Oman’s diverse heritage Ancient mosques, forts, and tombs tell the narrative of the battles, beliefs, and people who shaped this distinct region of the Middle East. The majority of these architectural marvels are open to the public all year and are among the most spectacular relics of the pre-modern Islamic world. Many breathtaking ancient sites adorn the country’s historic cities. Their roots reflect Oman’s many influences and layers of history, with some going back to the Sassanid Empire, the last Persian Empire kingdom before the emergence of Islam. Five Omani sites have been included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Despite the extraordinary developments that have happened in Oman over the years, the country has remained committed to its traditional arts and crafts. A variety of customs, ranging from music and dances that differ by location, are still widely practiced today. …

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Tourism NZ to conduct webinar about New Zealand luxury for trade today at 11am

Luxury takes many forms in New Zealand and to showcase them, Tourism New Zealand will conduct a webinar today at 11am IST. The luxury accommodation in New Zealand is varied and unique. There are award-winning lodges spread throughout the country. Travel agents are urged to attend this webinar for more inspiration to help them plan their clients’ luxury trip to New Zealand. To sign up, contact Jaspreet Kaur at jaspreet.kaur@ddppl.com or 9650196532 or register directly at https://event.webinarjam.com/register/364/k68xnt0v

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Tourism NZ to conduct webinar about New Zealand luxury for trade on Feb 22

Luxury takes many forms in New Zealand and to showcase them, Tourism New Zealand will conduct a webinar on February 22, 2022 at 11am. The luxury accommodation in New Zealand is varied and unique. There are award-winning lodges spread throughout the country. Travel agents are urged to attend this webinar for more inspiration to help them plan their clients’ luxury trip to New Zealand. To sign up, contact Jaspreet Kaur at jaspreet.kaur@ddppl.com or 9650196532 or register directly at https://event.webinarjam.com/register/364/k68xnt0v

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World’s first parallel airline company ‘WINAIR’ from India to take to the skies soon

World’s First Parallel Airline Company ‘WINAIR’ has just been formed in India. A parallel airline is a new concept that means utilising an existing operator who has equipment (Aircraft, NOC, NSOP) and an operating permit. In short, the aircraft are leased utilising their license and viable routes are planned. In other words, it is just like utilising the idle hours of the existing airlines. This is the first time in the world that such a module is being framed by an Indian. Samuel Timothy, Chairman & Managing Director, Winair Aviation, says, “The term ‘WINAIR’ means We Indian Nationals. The Indian aviation story is all set to undergo a huge change in the coming year and the markets are going to grow faster than they were ever before. The growing number of airports, the increasing per capita income, and the fierce competition resulting in one of the lowest ticket prices globally has boosted the number of people traveling by air.”

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Goa welcomes 500 pax from Moscow every 10 days and we expect this to increase: TTAG

Nilesh Shah, President, Travel & Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG), reveals that international charters – the main artery for travel business in Goa – restarted from December 2021 from Russia and Ukraine. “From Moscow we are welcoming almost 500 passengers every ten days and we expect this to increase. However, the charters from Ukraine have paused for the time being due to the third wave and the civil unrest there. Moreover, TUI was to send four flights per week from the UK – two from Manchester and two from Gatwick. This unfortunately got cancelled because of the third wave. They were to start from January 20, 2022. But we remain hopeful and with the new private airport in Mopa which will be operational by the next season, I think the charter movement will see a boom as there will be no restrictions,” he shares.

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IATO thanks MoCA and MOT for reinstating airport passes for tour operators and hotels

Rajiv Mehra, President, IATO, has thanked the MOT and MoCA for reinstating the Commercial Airport Entry Airport Pass (AEP) for recognized tour operators and hotels. “We have been trying for a long time and now the orders have finally come. Now, at least when the borders open, our members can apply for airports passes in the same manner as they used to earlier, except there has been some capping on the number of passes available, for which we were given indication two years back, when the airport passes were being suspended,” he said.

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Ex-Turkish Chairman Ilker Ayci is the new CEO & MD of Air India

Tata Sons have announced that Ilker Ayci has been appointed the CEO & MD of Air India. The Air India board met this afternoon to consider the candidature of Ilker Ayci and N Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons, was a special invitee to the meeting. The board approved the appointment after due deliberations. Before taking up this role, Ilker Ayci, was the Chairman of the Turkish Airlines and he was on the board of the company prior to that. Ayci will assume his responsibilities on or before 1st April 2022.

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Britain unveils £10 million global tourism campaign at Expo 2020 Dubai

Britain has unveiled a £10 million global tourism campaign, called the GREAT tourism campaign, at Expo 2020 Dubai in a bid to strengthen close trade ties with the UAE. The global initiative is aimed to drive inbound tourism to the UK, as the country gears up for a year of big events including Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum jubilee celebrations and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. The launch event was hosted by Visit Britain, and was held before UK National Day at Dubai Expo 2020. The tourism campaign will highlight major British events this year, set to be global visitor draws, especially the queen’s platinum jubilee, the Commonwealth Games and ‘Unboxed’, a UK-wide celebration of creativity. VisitBritain also hosted senior trade delegation from India in Dubai at a roundtable with Dame Judith Macgregor, Chairperson, VisitBritain, along with West Midlands Growth Company in the afternoon before the launch of new GREAT tourism campaign. The delegates included Sunil Suresh, Chief Marketing Officer, MakeMyTrip; Anoop Kanuga – Chairman, Tourism Services Committee at TAAI; Jitul Mehta, Chairman, Western Chapter, TAAI and Riaz Munshi, President, OTOAI.

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Fully vaccinated passengers to UK don’t need COVID-19 test on arrival

Effective 4am, 11 February 2022, major changes to UK’s coronavirus (COVID-19) travel rules have come into force, which will make international journeys cheaper and easier for passengers ahead of the half term. Eligible fully vaccinated travellers arriving in the UK no longer need to take any COVID-19 tests – resulting in the UK having one of the most free-flowing borders and open societies in Europe. Hence, they only need to fill out a simplified passenger locator form, confirming their vaccination status, travel history and contact details. Also, arrivals who do not qualify as fully vaccinated will only need to take a pre-departure test in the 2 days before they depart for the UK and a PCR test on or before the end of day 2 after they arrive in the UK, as well as completing the passenger locator form. These passengers will not need to self-isolate on arrival and will only need to do so if they test positive. Changes come as children aged 12 to 15 in England can now prove their vaccination status or proof of prior infection for outbound travel with the digital NHS COVID Pass. Sally Balcombe, CEO, VisitBritain said, “Britain’s tourism industry is ready to welcome international visitors, we know there is pent-up demand for travel and our priority is to build back visitor spending as quickly as possible, competing hard for international visitors who contribute billions to our economy. Our £10 million global GREAT Britain marketing campaign is already rolling out across our major overseas markets, showing that Britain is packed full of fresh and exciting experiences to come and enjoy today. This year’s landmark events including HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the Commonwealth …

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From 14th Feb, no quarantine for Int’l travellers & pre-departure test scrapped for 82 countries

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare have released a new set of protocols and SOPs for international travellers, airlines and all points of entry (airports, seaports and land border), under which, effective February 14, there will be a uniform health protocol applicable to all international travellers. Travellers entering India would have to upload self-declaration form on Air Suvidha along with a copy of RT-PCR report within 72hrs OR Certificate of full vaccination. Two per cent of pax on flight will be randomly selected for screening. However, the government has removed the requirement for quarantine unless tested positive during random screening. A reciprocal agreement for recognition of vaccination certificates between India and 82 named countries has been released and the ‘at risk’ doesn’t exist anymore for any country, with rules being uniform for all countries.

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