Tourism Breaking News

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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Vistara receives 21st aircraft, now eligible for international operations

Vistara has received its 21st aircraft, an Airbus A320neo powered by CFM engines and the airline is also eligible to start international operations now. The new aircraft will be deployed to further strengthen the airline’s domestic network. Leslie Thng, CEO, Vistara, said, “There’s great excitement amongst all of us at Vistara, as we prepare ourselves for taking the next leap in our journey to fly international. The arrival of our 21st aircraft makes this phase even more special. It enables us to strengthen our network further, which gives us the opportunity to offer more choices in terms of frequencies to our ever-growing base of loyal customers.” Vistara’s A320neo aircraft comes in its unique cabin configuration of 158 seats (8 Business Class, 24 Premium Economy and 126 Economy Class) as well as other industry-first features, for which the airline calls it #NotJustAnotherNeo. Vistara has consistently raised the bar in the Indian aviation industry and has flown over 9 million customers, and today serves 22 destinations with over 800 flights a week.

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Bahrain aims at 46% growth from Indian tourists in 2018

Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) recently organised a consolidator’s familiarisation trip to Bahrain to showcase Bahrain’s famous tourist attractions to help grow the country’s tourism industry. This year, Bahrain is looking at the growth of about 46 per cent tourists from India in 2018. Sunil Mathapati, Country Manager said, “As part of the plan to highlight Bahrain’s overall tourism offering and to tap on the high potential consumer market that India has be it Luxury travellers, adventure enthusiasts, Wedding & MICE segments; we will be proactively doing marketing activities and trips to attract tourism and make a traveller aware about the destination which is rich in history and culture and has various adventure activities, which is just four hours from India.” Some places where delegation visited were Bahrain International Circuit, historical forts, cultural sites in the old capital Muharraq, beaches, The Al Fateh Grand Mosque, and The National Museum. They also visited five-star hotels to review and understand their offerings. They further went to check out the island flavor, exploring varieties of food options. The trip also showcased new tourist attraction like Jarada Islands and the group was taken to new hotel Jumeirah Royal Saray Bahrain as well for inspection.

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Rooms revenue contributed 53.6% to total hotel industry earnings in 2016-17

According to a latest research study by Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), in 2016-17, rooms revenue contributed a notable 53.6 per cent to the total hotel industry revenue, an increase over its percentage share in 2015-16, and an improvement from the declining trend exhibited in the years 2012-13 to 2014-15. On the other hand, contribution from Food & Beverage and Banquets declined to 39.5 per cent from 41.5 per cent recorded in 2015-16. The contribution of the other operating departments has remained range-bound,with a marginal increase recorded in 2016-17 over the previous fiscal.

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Tourism Minister launches new Incredible India website for deeper engagement with travellers

K J Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism has launched the new Incredible India website which showcases India as a holistic destination, revolving around major experiences, such as, spirituality, heritage, adventure, culture, yoga, wellness and more. The website follows the trends and technologies of international standards with an aim to project India as a “must-visit” destination, among its overseas travellers. Launching the new dynamic and interactive website with latest platform and technology, the minister hoped that the website will evolve as one of the best in the world. He also said that the new website is more interactive and it will have all the required content and further, the content shall be updated in a timely manner. Alphons thanked the stakeholders like Tech Mahindra, Google, Adobe and NIC team who were involved in the development of the website. Speaking at the event, Secretary Tourism, Rashmi Verma said that new website will suggest a visitor the options and there is no need of any queries. She also added that the website will provide information all over the world even about exotic destinations of the country. The Secretary also conveyed that the website has already started getting visits from US, Russia and China. The website has many useful features to make it more interactive and to provide a deeper engagement to the travelers visiting the website. With the help of Adobe solution suite, the Ministry of Tourism will now be able to engage effectively with visitors across Web & Social channels and measure engagement.

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Pandaw Expeditions to debut in India with Kolkata-Farraka river cruise from Dec 23

Pandaw Expeditions has announced the launch of an India river expedition that will take guests on a journey along The Lower Ganges, aboard the stately, Orient Pandaw. The seven-night, Lower Ganges sailing from Kolkata to Farraka, will debut on December 23, 2018, and will offer weekly departures until the end of April 2019. It will re-commence in July 2019 through to April 2020. Marco Rosa, Vice President Sales & Marketing, recently in India to oversee the project announced the appointment of www.travel-reps.com, a market representation & consulting firm, based in New Delhi, as the exclusive, in-market representative for www.pandaw.com to create, develop and implement a sales & marketing mandate and deliver on the objectives for www.pandaw.com from India as a source market. Also speaking on the occasion, Ashish Saran, CEO of www.travel-reps.com, welcomed the decision and said “ We are proud and delighted with this decision and hope to be a worthy in-market partner for www.pandaw.com. We will be responsible to promote and deliver sales from the India marketplace for not only the forthcoming project in West Bengal, India but also the complete fleet of ships operating in South East Asia. There is a high level of interest amongst the travel trade in India and we hope to work collectively to develop the market and deliver on the targets from India.”

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Travel & tourism’s GDP in Delhi to witness double-digit growth over the next 10 years

The GDP in Delhi in terms of travel and tourism is set to experience double-digit growth over each of the next 10 years (10.8%), according to a recent report by World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). Its share of overall city GDP will remain relatively unchanged from the current 3.6 per cent as other industry sectors also gain prominence. The sector’s share of Delhi’s employment is also set to remain steady at 8.3 per cent over the years to 2026. The Capital generated US$3.2 billion from travel and tourism in 2016, just over one third coming from international visitors. Delhi has much less source market dominance than in other Asian Pacific cities, however, with the largest market, the US, contributing just 11% of inbound traffic.

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Kerala Tourism to lure more domestic travellers; announces Phase-I of trade meets

The Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala, is all set to kick start its five-month long promotional campaign in the high-potential domestic markets. Kerala Tourism has plans to conduct 15 B2B meets across domestic markets in order to attract the maximum number of domestic travellers to its various destinations. The phase I of the ambitious promotional campaign 2018-2019 would commence with the Travel & Tourism Fair in Kolkata from July 6-8, followed by the tourism partnership meets in Bhubaneshwar (Odisha) and Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh) on July 10 and 12, respectively. Kerala Tourism would tap the Karnataka market with IITM Bengaluru (July 27-29) and Gujarat with three partnership meets in Ahmedabad (July 31), Vadodara (August 1) and Surat (August 3) each.  Further, it would organise partnership meets in Lucknow (August 14) and Indore (August 17), followed by trade fair – TTF Ahmedabad (September 7-9). Kadakampally Surendran, Minister for Cooperation, Tourism and Devaswoms, Government of Kerala, stated, “Following the ambitious promotional campaign, the Tourism Department aims to promote the state’s tourism across potential domestic markets. Simultaneously, Kerala Tourism would continue to keep focusing on exploring the tourism potential of pristine Northern Kerala. Through domestic B2B meets, we are hopeful to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the state across the country.” Additionally, Kerala Tourism has plans to promote its tourism potential in Maharashtra through conducting partnership meets in Nagpur (October 3), TTF Mumbai from October 5-7 along with partnership meets in Pune (October 9) and Mumbai (October 12).  The first phase of the domestic B2B meets would culminate with IITM Hyderabad (November 23-25), tapping the Telangana market.

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Nipah scare fades; Kerala safe for travel

Kerala government has said that its tourism scenario has breathed a sigh of relief with the Nipah virus scare, having been subdued. The virus outbreak had threatened to affect tourism arrivals to the state.  The state government also said that there has been no new cases of the Nipah virus attack reported over the past 21 days, and the state health department believes that the scare has waned off. “The health advisories issued by the State Health Department on May 22 and 25, 2018, soon after the Nipah virus had made its appearance, have now been withdrawn. The government believes that it is absolutely safe for travelers to arrive in Kerala,” a statement by the state government said. As per the latest health advisory released by the Kerala Health and Family Welfare Department, the Nipah virus outbreak is over in Kerala. The advisory substantiates this with the fact that there has been absolutely no new cases of the virus attack reported over the past 21 days, and this is more that the longest recorded incubation period of the virus. Travellers who had been putting off their travels plans owing to fear of the virus, can now be sure enough that it is absolutely safe to travel to Kerala. The scare has died off and the state’s destinations are safer as before, the statement said.

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Air Odisha connects Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh with new services

Air Odisha has started its services to Chhattisgarh from Andhra Pradesh, as it launched a flight to Jagdalpur from Visakhapatnam through Raipur. The services launched under the Udan regional connectivity scheme were inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi through video conferencing. “We are happy to announce the launch of our new routes in Chhattisgarh connecting with Andhra Pradesh. The UDAN scheme is an excellent scheme initiated under the flagship of our Honourable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi which would aid to the growth of the economy where a common man can also now travel more affordable and convenient way and we are delighted to be a part of this historic moment of nation’s aviation sector,”Shaishav Shah, Managing Director of Air Odisha’s & Executive Director of GSEC said. “In terms of outright benefits to the passengers and travellers, Raipur -Jagdalpur (288 km by road) travel time of 15 hours by train and 6 -7 hours by road shrinks to a mere 40 minutes that to at a cost of Rs 1,670,” the Air Odiaha said in a release. UDAN is to let the common citizens of the country fly by making the air travel affordable and widespread and Air Odisha is able to materialise this goal. With every passing month Air Odisha is adding more regions to its radar for better connectivity in the towns.  In this context commencement of regional connectivity scheme in towns like Jagdalpur, Raipur, Vizag continue to demonstrate Air Odisha’s growth.  

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