Tourism Breaking News

SIA, Lufthansa expand codeshare operations

Singapore Airlines (SIA) and the Lufthansa Group are further expanding their partnership agreement to provide customers enhanced connections and new codeshare destinations. The expanded codeshare ties will provide SIA customers access to over 20 new routes on Lufthansa- and SWISS-operated flights, to and from points in Europe via the transfer hubs of Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich. In turn, Lufthansa and SWISS customers will be able to access new points via SIA-operated flights between Singapore and destinations such as Canberra, Dusseldorf and Wellington. SIA’s regional subsidiary, SilkAir, will also progressively introduce new codeshare flights with the Lufthansa Group. The expanded codeshare operations are the result of a joint venture agreement signed between the two airline groups in November 2015, which aims to deepen co-operation in key markets in Europe, Southeast Asia and Southwest Pacific. The new codeshare flights will be progressively made available for booking through SIA’s various booking channels.

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13 weekly services to be added between Changi & India by 2016 end

Heading into 2017, Changi Airport will be offering more flight options for travel to India. A total of 13 weekly services will be introduced between now and the end of the year, representing an addition of nearly 2,300 weekly one-way seats to India. From 20 November, Air India Express will launch 4x weekly services to Kolkata. It will also step up its Chennai services, newly-launched in October, from 5x weekly to daily services.  Meanwhile, Jet Airways will be launching a new daily Singapore-Bangalore service from 14 December; this follows after the airline boosted capacity by switching to a wide body aircraft for their daily Singapore-Mumbai flights earlier this year. Since the beginning of this year, Changi has welcomed two new city links to India – Amritsar and Jaipur – both operated by Scoot, which is a new entrant into the India market. With new routes, increased frequency of services and upgauging of various aircraft this year, seat capacity on India routes has also seen a year-on-year increase of 20.3 per cent. Today, India is Changi Airport’s seventh largest country market, accounting for 6.1% of the airport’s total passenger traffic.  For the first ten months of this year, passenger traffic to and from the India market rose 5% year-on-year to reach 2.94 million movements.  For the month of October, India had the strongest year-on-year growth (+12.4%) among Changi’s top ten country markets. In 2015, Changi Airport saw a record 3.43 million passengers travelling between Singapore and India. Today, Changi is connected to 15 cities in India, with flights operated by nine airlines. Singapore is a popular transfer hub for travellers between India and Australia, and between India and Indonesia. With strong …

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Switzerland Tourism launches two new campaigns

Switzerland Tourism announced the launch of its winter campaign for 2016 and ‘Nature wants you back’ campaign for summer 2017. The campaign was launched in presence of the tourism partners of Switzerland – Davos Klosters, Bernina Express, St Moritz and Glacier Express, hopes to further increase and sustain the double digit growth of 16% seen in 2015-2016. With an initial focus on the winter tourist, Switzerland Tourism will showcase the multiple options like skiing, sledging and snowboarding for the active traveller and Christmas markets, open air hot springs and igloo stays for the more relaxed visitor looking for pure white relaxation in winter. The summer focus for the campaign too will be packed with an array of activities such as sky-diving, wakeboarding, canyoning, etc. combined with Switzerland’s best touristic and nature highlights. Claudio Zemp, Director – India, Switzerland Tourism, said, “In India we see people getting more adventurous these days. They do not only want to take a cable car up a mountain and take pictures but also want that thrill and rush which one gets while doing adventure sports. With a versatile and energetic personality like Ranveer Singh on board, we would like to showcase that Switzerland is not only about scenic beauty but also has many activities and adventures to offer to the more experiential Indian traveller. Winter is coming up and is an absolutely beautiful time to visit Switzerland. One can enjoy various winter activities and explore their hidden passion for adventure with sports such as skiing, snow-shoe trekking, tobogganing. Ranveer’s next trip is going to be in winter.” Ritu Sharma, Deputy Director, Switzerland Tourism India, said, “Our new campaign is all about telling people that holidays …

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Lufthansa’s 1st A350-900 flight from Munich-Delhi on Feb 10

On 19 December 2016, the Lufthansa Group will receive its first A350-900, which is the most modern long haul aircraft worldwide and will be based at Lufthansa’s Munich Hub. The first regular commercial flight will be from Munich to Delhi on February 10, 2017. “We are looking forward to welcoming our first A350-900 shortly before Christmas. And already in February, our passengers will be able to enjoy a higher level of comfort on their flights to Delhi as we have now made further improvements to key components of the A350-900’s cabin interior. This includes a newly designed self-service area in Business Class, new seats with ergonomically designed cushions in Economy Class, larger screens in all classes and improved broadband internet services,” says Thomas Winkelmann, CEO of the Munich Hub. Once Lufthansa has taken ownership of the aircraft on December 19, the A350-900 will be transferred to Munich during the week leading up to Christmas. Lufthansa Technik in Munich will then install the cabin interior including the new Premium Economy Class as well as other features so that the new flagship aircraft will be ready to be presented to the public at the beginning of February. From February 2017 onwards, Lufthansa will station the first ten Airbus A350-900 aircraft in Munich. The first flight destinations are Delhi and Boston. The aircraft will have space for 293 passengers – 48 in Business Class, 21 in Premium Economy and 224 in the regular Economy Class section. The A350-900 is the most modern and environmentally friendly long haul aircraft worldwide and uses 25 percent less kerosene and produces 25 percent fewer emissions. The A350-900’s noise “footprint” is up to 50 percent lower than that …

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Airport expansion, enhanced regional connectivity top priority for Govt: Civil Aviation Minister

Minister of Civil Aviation, Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati, Minister of State, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha and Secretary, Civil Aviation, Rajiv Nayan Choubey inaugurating the two-day Aero Expo India-2016 organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry under the patronage of Ministry of Civil Aviation here today. The Minister remarked that with new civil aviation policy in place and other associated reforms accompanying it, the civil aviation sector would emerge to serve the un-served at affordable pace. Raju reassured the Indian civil aviation industry, emphasising that the government of the day is exploring all possibilities for capacity expansion of leading airports in the country as well doing its best to make sure that the regional air connectivity is accomplished as per its UDAAN initiative. The Minister also stressed that though the domestic civil aviation industry has been growing at a rate of more than 20% in the last few years, admitting that higher passenger growth in civil aviation sector is still a challenge for the government which could be won with addition of capacities in India’s leading airports. Speaking on the occasion, Sinha asked civil aviation industry to grow in such a manner so that its passenger traffic, currently estimated at about 150 million for domestic and overseas sector multiplies manifold and catches on pace with the air traffic of China which presently is calculated at 500 million per annum. In order to achieve this objective, the ministry has been adopting three pronged strategy under its UDAAN commitment which includes expansion of airports capacities, ensure regional connectivity and equip the air passenger with better level of satisfaction and experience under its Air Sewa initiative, emphasized the minister adding …

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Task force for adventure tourism promotion & development

At the behest of Adventure Travel Operators Association of India (ATOAI), Vinod Zutshi, Secretary Tourism, Government of India, announced the formation of National Task Force on Adventure Tourism for the development and promotion of adventure tourism in India. The National Task Force will be chaired by the Secretary Tourism while the team will comprise Joint Secretary Tourism as the convener, Joint Secretaries of MHA, MEA, Ministry of Civil Aviation, MoEF, MOD, Ministry of Sports, Director- Indian Mountaineering Foundation, Principal- IISM, Gulmarg, Director – National Institute of Water Sports, Goa, President of ATOAI, Representative of ATOAI, secretaries of all states concerned with Adventure Tourism and Dy. Director General (Niche Tourism). The task force also aims to resolve the issues related to the segment which includes safety and security of adventure tourists, accessibility, products and promotion, among others. “Adventure travel is facing challenges on multiple fronts, across almost every region in India. Safety, accessibility, licensing and standards are the four pillars of any adventure travel destination and we have to deal with multiple ministries and offices to address these issues. The formation of the National Task Force on Adventure Travel will not only attempt to address these challenges, but at the same time, will be able to highlight our vast plethora of natural assets to international markets – which have till now been ignored,” said Akshay Kumar, President, ATOAI.  “It will allow the great geographical features of India and the adventure tourism opportunities there to become a focus for development and promotion throughout the global markets. This in turn will make the field grow tremendously in revenues, helping Indian tourism to potentially double the number of international tourist arrivals in India,” said …

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10.4% growth in FTA in Oct 2016 over 2015

Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) during October, 2016 were 7.54 lakh as compared to FTAs of 6.83 lakh during October, 2015 and 6.68 lakh in October, 2014. There has been a growth of 10.4% in October, 2016 over October, 2015. FTAs during the period January-October, 2016 were 69.62 lakh with a growth of 10.5% as compared to the FTAs of 62.98 lakh with a growth of 4.5% in January- October, 2015 over January- October, 2014. The Percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during October, 2016 among the top 15 source countries was highest from Bangladesh (16.67%) followed by  USA (12.83%), UK (11.03%), Canada (3.73%), Australia (3.50%), Sri Lanka (3.45%),  Germany (3.38%), Russian Fed (3.20%), France (2.91%), China (2.70%), Malaysia (2.65%),  Nepal (2.16%), Japan (2.12%), Singapore (1.54%) and Thailand (1.44%). The Percentage share of  Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during October 2016 among the top 15 ports was highest at Delhi Airport (34.06%) followed by Mumbai Airport (15.69%), Haridaspur Land check post (9.22%), Chennai Airport (7.19%),  Bengaluru Airport (5.50%), Kolkata Airport (4.10%), Hyderabad Airport (3.01%),  Goa (2.90%), Cochin Airport (2.72%), Ahmadabad Airport (2.14%), Gede Rail (1.86%), Amritsar Airport (1.71%), Trivandrum Airport (1.28%), Ghojadanga land check post (1.16%) and Gaya Airport  (1.03%). Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from Tourism in India during October, 2016 were Rs. 12,303 crore as compared to Rs. 10,549 crore in October, 2015 and Rs. 10,041 crore in October, 2014.

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IndiGo connects Lucknow to Ahmedabad & Guwahati, Bengaluru-Indore & Raipur-Patna

IndiGo has announced the launch of 28 new flights on its existing domestic network. The new schedule will see maiden flights on the Guwahati-Lucknow, Lucknow-Ahmedabad, Bengaluru-Indore and Raipur-Patna sectors. With the new flights and frequencies and induction of two new Airbus A320 aircraft, the airline’s frequency will increase to 890 daily. Effective November 2016, these flights will provide enhanced connectivity on the key sectors thus strengthening IndiGo’s existing network within India. With 890 daily flights connecting 41 destinations, these new flights will enable both corporate and leisure travellers to experience IndiGo’s unmatchable on-time performance. Speaking about the latest network expansion, Aditya Ghosh, President and Whole Time Director, IndiGo said, “We are absolutely delighted to announce 6E’s new flights connecting the metro cities with the regional destinations. In the exciting times for Indian aviation, we are hopeful that these flights will prove to be popular among our customers.”

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eTV a hit with 86.4% growth in October 2016

As many as 1,05,268 foreign tourists arrived in October 2016 on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 56,477 during the month of October 2015 registering a growth of 86.4 per cent. The UK continues to be biggest market availing the services with a 22.9 per cent share, followed by USA (12.1%), France (6.6%), China (5.8%), Russian Fed (5.6%), Germany (5.5%), Australia (4.5%), Canada (3.6%), Spain (2.3%) and Netherlands (2.1%). New Delhi Airport served the most number of eTV applications with a 51.67 per cent share, followed by Mumbai Airport (18.65%), Dabolim (Goa) Airport (6.20%), Bengaluru Airport (5.18%), Chennai Airport (4.97%), Kochi Airport (3.15%), Amritsar Airport (2.42%) Hyderabad Airport (2.18%), Kolkata Airport (2.08%) and Trivandrum Airport (1.28%). During January-October 2016, a total of 7,80,570 tourists arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 2,58,182 during January-October 2015, registering a growth of 202.3 per cent.

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MTDC’s Agri Tourism Conclave in Nagpur on Nov 20

Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has taken a step towards boosting agriculture tourism with its Agri Tourism Conclave 2016 in the Vidharba region will take place on 20 November 2016, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development in Nagpur, during the Kalidas Festival 2016. The motive of this conclave is to increase employment and investment opportunities in agro tourism in the region. The conclave will be inaugurated by Pravin Datke, Mayor, Nagpur followed by a presentation on encouraging people to take up agri-tourism as a profession by enterprising speakers from Baramati, Washim, Pune, Nagpur and Satara. This will serve two purposes i.e. boosting the farmer’s income and also bringing rural India closer to the cities. Dr. KH Govinda Raj, Managing Director, MTDC said, “As tourism is becoming increasingly important to the economy. Agricultural tourism is one alternative for improving the incomes and potential economic viability of small farms and rural communities. The objectives for promoting rural and agri-tourism is to educate the public and promote the products of the farm and generate additional farm income; provide rural experience to urban residents and allow diversification of income opportunity to farms and ranches that can help buffer fluctuating markets.”

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