Tourism Breaking News

Maharashtra to establish Sarangkheda Fair in Nandurbar as global attraction

Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) recently organised its first ‘Sarangkheda Festival’ from December 13-27 in order to boost tourism in Nandurbar. The festival witnessed the arrival of more than 2,000 horses at its market place which is also one of the largest horse fairs in the country. The festival also showcased horse dance show and powra, a tribal dance by the locals of Nandurbaug district. MTDC also organised a host of initiatives such as the Tourism Conclave, Uttar Maharashtra Ratna Gaurav Puraskar and Horse Painting exhibition. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis mentioned that the government is committed to take the Sarangkheda horse fair to a global platform and that the fair should become a brand on the lines of Pushkar’s camel fair. The Chief Minister and the Tourism Minister also spoke about positioning Nandurbaug as a tourist hub through Sarangkheda Festival. Jaykumar Jitendrasinh Rawal, Minister of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra said, “To give the state a further impetus in terms of tourism, Department of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra and MTDC organises various festival like Ajanta Ellora Festival, Nagpur Festival, Koradi Festival, Kalidas Festival and now the Sarangkheda Chetak festival and many more. To highlight the array of destinations and varied facets of Maharashtra, we plan to work towards development of proper infrastructure for tourists and utilise the budgets for the development of these destinations. One such festival, Sarangkheda Chetak Festival, which is a 500-year-old fair but, remained ignored for so many years. But, now, we are committed to take it to a global platform through development of infrastructure, marketing and branding. We also plan to have a horse museum for tourists that will enlighten them about the various qualities of breed, …

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Shivantika Bon Voyage & Travelz Factory open office in N. Europe

Shivantika Bon Voyage in association with Travelz Factory are opening their office in Northern Europe, intending on Baltic region which is yet to be explored enormously. We are established in all three Countries – Vilnius (Lithuania), Riga (Latvia) and Tallinn (Estonia) and Latvia (Riga). Their expertise lies in customised travel itineraries emphasising on Meeting and Incentive Guests. The itineraries can be altered as per the Groups requirement.  They will be offering series group departure for June’2017 with Breakfast and Dinner and also assist you for FIT movement for this region offering personalised and unique experiences for each client.

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Skål Asian Area Congress in Bahrain from May 12-15

Skål Asian Area has confirmed the program for its 2017 Annual Congress and General Assembly which will take place in Bahrain from May 12 to 15, 2017 at Gulf Hotel in Manama. The Chief Executive of the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority, Sheikh Khalid Bin Humood Al Khalifa, has been invited to make the opening address. Keynote addresses are also expected from local tourism industry executives representing such organisations as the Bahrain Economic Development Board, the Bahrain Airport Company, Sabre and SITA. Arun Raghavan, Asian Area Secretary, Skål International, stressed the value of the delegate packages. He said, “We have worked hard on the Congress package pricing to attract high numbers of delegates from our member clubs ensure maximum value and return. The packages are competitively priced and represent remarkable value. The 2017 Congress in Bahrain presents a fantastic opportunity to meet and network with fellow industry professionals.” Early bird discounts on the total registration package are available for a limited period. Delegates have the option of staying at the Gulf Hotel, K-Hotel and Ramada Bahrain hotels in Manama city. Bahrain’s national carrier Gulf Air has pledged to provide a 30 per cent discount on air fares for all delegates. Robert Sohn, Skål Asian Area President, said, “The Skål Club in the Kingdom of Bahrain has done an amazing job in developing at this early stage the programme for our 2017 Congress and General Assembly. I pay tribute to Skål Bahrain President Mohamed Buzizi and his committee for their fantastic achievement. I am looking forward to welcoming to Bahrain David Fisher – the newly-elected President of Skål International – and Skål members from clubs across the Asia Pacific region.”

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250,000 Indians visited Australia in 2016

Travellers from India continue to be enticed by the diverse attractions and stunning tourism experiences on offer in Australia. In 2015, the destination achieved a milestone when it welcomed over 200,000 Indian travellers during the year. Adding another feather to it’s cap, Australia has now notched an impressive 253,100 arrivals from India as of year ended (YE) October 2016. This number reflected a growth of 11.3 per cent vis-a-vis the same period last year, making India the ninth largest inbound market for arrivals to Australia. The month of October 2016 alone saw 20,400 Indian arrivals to the destination, an impressive growth of 24 per cent over the same period in 2015. Most importantly, the holiday purpose of visit have driven the overall market growth with an impressive 20 per cent and 19 per cent increase in arrivals and spend respectively. Nishant Kashikar, Country Manager, India & Gulf, Tourism Australia, said, “Marketing activities, in collaboration with key distribution and airline partners, an increased thrust on digital initiatives, integration on leading television shows, and improved air connectivity between the two countries, have been key factors in boosting travel to Australia.” The Tourism Forecasting Committee (TFC) has predicted 265,000 visitors from India for the Jul 2016 – Jun 17 period, a 9.6 per cent increase over 2015-16. Arrivals from India are expected to perform well with an average annual financial year growth rate of 6.4 per cent through to the financial year 2021-22.

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Etihad Holidays launches in India

Etihad Holidays, the tour operating arm of the UAE’s national airline Etihad Airways, has launched in India, offering travellers a wide range of holiday packages to destinations worldwide. Etihad Holidays has teamed up with leading Indian travel company TUI to distribute its products to over 900 registered travel agents across India. Etihad Holidays has numerous travel options that include flights, accommodation and tour choices with stopovers in Etihad Airways’ Abu Dhabi hub. Agents have the opportunity to earn commissions by selling Etihad Holidays’ products. Commission levels range between five and 10 per cent on packages booked, dependent on class of travel. The packages are bookable through the VAX trade e-platform or through a local sales support team over the phone. Destinations across North America, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Gulf and Asia are featured in the packages. Popular markets from India include Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai, the GCC, United States, Canada, European cities, as well as South Africa and the Indian Ocean. Among the most attractive packages is the Abu Dhabi Stopover Programme allowing guests to break their journey in the UAE capital and take advantage of the two-for-the price-of-one night accommodation offers. Neerja Bhatia, Etihad Airways Vice President Indian Subcontinent, said, “The strong presence of Etihad Airways and Jet Airways in one of the most dynamic markets in the world makes it a natural and compelling proposition for Etihad Holidays to launch in India. We have many exciting plans in India during the months ahead offering our guests more choice, greater travel options and increased flexibility to help them plan their flights and holidays.”

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New rail route between India-Bangladesh to start in Jan

A new cross-border rail service to connect India with Bangladesh might get operational in January, to coincide with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Shaikh Hasina’s state visit to India. A senior Railway official reportedly said that the new route would connect Kolkata with Khulna. The 155km line between Kolkata and Bangladesh’s third largest city already handles freight traffic, but it will now carry passenger trains.

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Rajeev Jalnapurkar to represent India in IAAPA

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), Virginia USA, has inducted Rajeev Jalnapurkar, Chief Executive Officer, Ramoji Film City, into its Asia Pacific Government Relations Subcommittee. IAAPA represents facility, supplier, and individual members from 99 countries and Jalnapurkar would be serving the committee for the year 2017. Jalnapurkar brings with him a rich experience of 20 years in the field of theme parks and amusement industry and is also the only Indian to be selected for this prestigious position. He is the Director of IAAPI and Education Subcommittee of Education at Asia. “India offers a tremendous opportunity to increase the number of amusement destinations. Beyond the metro cities amusement parks are accessible to a much larger community. With this objective we aim to work with the national/ state governments to create much better entertainment avenues for the people. I am honored to be a part of IAAPA and hope that I will be able to contribute to its mission,” said Jalnapurkar. In 2017, the Asia Pacific Government Relations Subcommittee will world towards creating an advocacy effort that supports key global, regional and local initiatives. It will also formulate a three-year tactical plan to increase understanding and awareness of the amusement parks and attractions industry in Asia Pacific region.

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Royal Orchid Hotels adds 2 more hotels to its portfolio

Royal Orchid Hotels announces the opening of two hotels under its brand Regenta Inn in Vadodara and Kolkata on Dec  15, expanding to 40 hotels by the end of 2016. Regenta Inn Vadodara is located at the newly constructed Ved Transcube Plaza adjacent to the Central Bus Terminal, walking distance to the Vadodara Railway Station and a short ride to the airport. The hotel offer 94 well-appointed room and is part of Ved Transcube Plaza that uniquely hosts various different shopping outlets, a flea Market, an Indian Heritage Lane, an Art Cafe, PVR Cinemas, a Thematic Food Court and Kids Game Zone. The hotel offers multiple banquet and conference facilities for upto 500 guests with state-of-the-art business facilities and Wi-fi services. Chander K. Baljee, MD of the Royal Orchid Hotels said, “We are glad to bring our brand of hotels in these cities. Kolkata has always been an important market for hoteliers in terms of both business and leisure segments. Whereas Gujarat tourism is already witnessing a boost and we intend to tap this segment with our existing portfolio along with our second property in Vadodara.” Regenta Inn, Kolkata is a budget friendly hotel consisting of 45 well-appointed rooms making it ideal for business & leisure travelers’ seeking accommodation next to the airport in new Kolkata city. The property offers choices between Executive rooms and premium rooms for a luxurious stay. The hotel offers optimum banquet spaces for small occasions, an all-day dining restaurant and a swimming pool.

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Assam Tourism appoints Priyanka Chopra as brand ambassador

Assam Tourism has appointed leading Bollywood lady Priyanka Chopra as its brand ambassador. She has signed a two-year contract with the state government to promote Assam tourism both at the national and international levels. This was informed by Himanta Biswa Sarma, Tourism Minister, Government of Assam. Sarma said “She would arrive here on Saturday and address an international tour operators’ meeting. She will also feature in still and video commercials of Assam tourism and promote Assam tourism wherever she goes.” Talking about the marketing plans of the state tourism, Sarma said, “This time, our tourism campaign will go global instead of being confined within the country. We will focus on countries like the UK, the US, Japan and Germany.” He further informed that the financial component of the tourism campaign will be included in the next budget and while Chopra will not charge anything for being the brand ambassador for Assam tourism, she will be paid a fee for the time she spends shooting for commercials and for whatever activity she undertakes for promotion of state tourism.

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Kairali’s ‘The Ayurvedic Healing Village’ partners with Lux Hotels

Kairali Ayurvedic Group’s signature resort ‘The Ayurvedic Healing Village’ is the latest property to come under the Lux Hotels umbrella for marketing and promotion. Bhupesh Kumar, Director, Lux Hotels, spoke about the development, saying, “We are elated to have partnered with Kairali Ayurveda for their global and national brand awareness and developing incremental business. Also, we want to increase the visibility of the brand in the global and national market.” Kairali Ayurvedic group, came in to being in 1989 with the aim of propagating the ideologies of Ayurveda throughout the world and has been a name to reckon with in the wellness industry.

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