Tourism Breaking News

Ural Airlines to start flights between India and Russia

The potential of the outbound tourist market from India to Russia has prompted Ural Airlines to start flights from various cities in India ex Yekaterinburg to Moscow, St. Petersburg, and to the other cities in Russia along with offering connections to other prime destinations in Europe. As per the Russian Information Centre (RIC), tourists from India to Russia have been growing at 30 per cent YoY. Considering the unique needs of Indian tourists and to cater to their specific needs, Ural Airlines is considering to join the ‘India-Friendly’ programme in Russia, which is initiated and executed by RIC in India. Airports of Regions & Russian Information Center in India are assisting the process of launch of services in India by helping identify partners and other associates that will contribute to the entry of Ural Airlines into the India market. Ural Airlines is the primary airline of Airport Koltsovo in Yekaterinburg and one of the largest rapidly developing Russian airlines.

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Akquasun conducts four-city roadshow

Akquasun Group is set to go digital in terms of operations in 2018. Till now, the portal offered was an integrated system but going forward, the destination management company (DMC) plans to offer its travel partners its own inventory on the digital platform, informs Sujit Nair, Group Managing Director, Akquasun Group at the company’s Delhi roadshow. The DMC is currently conducting its four-city roadshow covering Kolkata, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Chennai. The unique element of this year’s event is the exclusive partnership between Tourism Malaysia and Akquasun Group, in which the tourism board has partnered with the DMC to promote Malaysia in India. “We will be buying up our own inventory and offer the same on the online platform. We recently hosted a curtail raiser at IITT Mumbai for the same and the company will be coming out with a host of different technology tools useful for travel agents,” he said. As many as 40 partners from 18 destinations represented by the group participated at the roadshow. According to Nair, the market in Kolkata was very responsive with as many as 250 travel agents in attendance at the roadshow.

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Technology is revolutionising travel: FCM, KPMG report

FCM Travel Solutions and KPMG released a whitepaper titled ‘The Digi-Smart Indian Business Traveller’ with a focus on how technology is rapidly revolutionising travel by maximising efficiencies, improving experience and increasing options for the average traveller worldwide and increasingly in the Indian market. Rakshit Desai, Managing Director, FCM Travel Solutions, said, “Digital technology today is rapidly growing. Self-booking tools, travel analytics, Artificial Intelligence and sharing economy services are not only here to stay but hold myriad and exciting possibilities for the future. The report aims to assist organisations that wish to serve today’s digi-smart travellers, understand their needs and make strategic decisions, based on these insights.” Jaideep Ghosh, Partner and Head, Transport, Leisure and Sports, KPMG in India commented, “Globally, technology has penetrated deep into business travel practices — it finds a host of applications in travel, including online booking tools, sharing economy services, travel analytics, virtual assistance, payments and compliance. With this whitepaper, we have set out to explore the concept of smart travellers, technology trends in business travel, their enabling ecosystem, as well as some potentially disrupting developments that could transform business travel landscape.”

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TAT launches Thai Golf Passport for golf travellers to Thailand

SLW, a golf management company, in association with Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has launched Thai Golf Pass, a reward and loyalty programme to offer Indian golfers a seamless golf experience in Thailand. Every Indian golfer who plays golf in Thailand will receive points depending on the services used from the service providers. Anil Dev, Managing Director, SLW, stated, “Indian golfers can be a part of this amazing rewards programme whenever they tee off in amazing Thailand. A number of quality service providers like Thai Airways, Cox & Kings, Callaway and a number of golf courses, resorts and hotels have come together to partner this initiative.” “As India is a leading market for Thailand, we have launched Thai Golf Passport to ensure value added services. This will help golfers to enjoy the game in their favourite destination and help us in connecting with the golfing fraternity in India,” said Isra  Stapanaseth, Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand. The Thai Golf Passport was launched in New Delhi by Stapanaseth along with Vani Kapoor, leading Indian golfer; Gajendra Panwar, Vice President, Cox & Kings and Prashant Singh, General Manager, Callaway Golf India.

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Philippines recorded 19% surge in Indian arrivals

The Philippines recorded a growth of 19 per cent in visitor arrivals from India between January to November 2017, a remarkable surge over the previous year. The Department of Tourism (DOT), Philippines, has confirmed recording of 99,088 visitors from India until November 2017. India has jumped up to the 12th position for tourist arrivals in the Philippines and is consistently maintaining the position. SanJeet, Tourism Attaché, Philippines Tourism Marketing Office India, stated that with this growth rate, the DOT’s plan of achieving 100,000 Indian tourist arrivals by the end of 2017 will be easily achieved. He said that the double-digit growth in arrivals can also be attributed to major metros as well as feeder markets. “Disposable income for leisure and travel-related pursuits amongst middle and affluent class travellers are the major reasons behind this remarkable growth. There has also been a steady increase in MICE movement as well as FITs and small groups travelling from India,’’ he added. Over the last couple of years, DOT Philippines has been actively promoting the archipelago not only as a holiday destination but also for luxury, MICE, weddings and small group travel. Destinations such as Manila, Boracay, Cebu, Bohol, Palawan and Davao have been aggressively promoted in recent years.

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GPS Hyderabad to be held from June 28-30

The Hyderabad edition of Global Panorama Showcase (GPS) will be conducted from June 28-30. Harmandeep Singh Anand, Managing Director, GPS, announced the new dates at the first edition of GPS this year in Nagpur, which is going on till January 17. Hyderabad is the latest city to host GPS this year, taking the total count of the cities to eight. The event is dedicated towards Tier-II, and Tier-III cities in the country to empower agents in these cities.

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38th Thailand Tourism Festival from Jan 17-21 in Bangkok

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is back with the 38th Thailand Tourism Festival (TTF), to be held from January 17-21, 2018 at Lumphini Park, Bangkok. H.E. Weerasak Kowsurat, Minister of Tourism and Sports will preside over the opening ceremony. The festival will showcase attractions and culture from all corners of the Kingdom of Thailand. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor, TAT, said, “The incredible experiences and attractions on offer across Thailand are being showcased at this year’s TTF, coupled with an array of food, culture, live music, and more.” The 38th edition of the festival will be made up of ten zones, including ‘Follow in the King’s Footsteps – the Art and Science of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’ in Zone 1. Zone 2 will have domestic travel products – introducing all that’s on offer for domestic travellers. Zone 3 would have ‘Discover Thainess in five regions – the Northern village will feature King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s ‘Sufficiency Economy Philosophy’, information about local hill tribes and Doi Tung coffee shops.

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GPS 2018 kicks off in Nagpur

The sixth edition of Global Panorama Showcase (GPS) in Nagpur took off on January 15 at Centre Point Hotel. Around 956 registered attendees marked their presence at the event. The first day saw presentations on products like Eurail by Amigo Travels, cyber security session by Prevoyance Cyberforensic, Genting Cruise Lines, FXkart, Travcare, Singapore Airlines, Sahibji Group, Mazda Travels, Red Tours, etc. A knowledge session was also held on Goods & Services Tax (GST) for the travel industry. GPS Nagpur will host 120 exhibitors for B2B meetings over the next two days.

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48.3% growth in FTAs on e-TV in December y-o-y

The number of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in December 2017 was 11.76 lakh as compared to FTAs of 10.21 lakh in December 2016 and 9.13 lakh in December 2015. The growth rate in FTAs in December 2017 over December 2016 has increased to 15.2 per cent, compared to 11.9 per cent in December 2016 over December 2015. FTAs in 2017 were 101.77 lakh with a growth of 15.6 per cent over 2016, compared to FTAs of 88.04 lakh with a growth of 9.7 per cent in 2016 over 2015. The percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during December 2017 among the top 15 source countries was highest from Bangladesh (19.04%) followed by USA (16.90%), UK (10.41%), Australia (5.31%), Canada (3.85%), Russian Fed. (3.79%), Malaysia (3.11%), Germany (2.08%), China (2.06%), Sri Lanka (2.01%), Singapore (1.85%), France (1.81%), Japan (1.64%), Thailand (1.60%) and Italy (1.44%). The percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during December 2017 among the top 15 ports was highest at Delhi Airport (25.80%) followed by Mumbai Airport (17.31%), Haridaspur Land Check Post (9.75%), Chennai Airport (6.36%), Bengaluru Airport (5.33%), Dabolim (Goa) Airport, (5.29%), Kolkata Airport (4.95%), Cochin Airport (3.92%), Hyderabad Airport (3.02%), Ahmadabad Airport (2.63%), Gede Rail Land Check Post (1.94%), Trivandrum Airport, Trichy Airport (1.44%), Ghojadanga Land Check Post (1.26%) and Sonauli Land Check Post (1.14%).

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U&I Holidays to launch online reservations’ portal

U&I Holidays is all set to launch its online portal, www.uandiholidays.net on February 2, 2018, which will be accessible to all tour operators to make reservation for Bali and Maldives. The B2B portal will help tour operators to book hotels, tour transfers, meals, and customised packages for Indonesia. U&I Holidays, being very keen to extend the business focuses on promoting MICE 30 per cent higher than 2017. Apart from the six-city roadshow the company also plans to conduct a training programme for Tier-II and III cities from March 2018 focusing on the cities which are unaware about Indonesia. And the target cities for the same programme are Raipur, Indore, Jaipur, Nagpur, and Kochi.  

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