Tourism Breaking News

India M!CE outbound market to GCC set to surpass US$ 5bn by 2025

According to a report by ResearchAndMarkets.com titled ‘India Outbound Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (M!CE) Tourism to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Countries – Market Trends and Opportunities to 2025’ released in December 2019, UAE is the top destination for Indian MICE tourists. Saudi Arabia and Bahrain accounted for more than 15 per cent of the share of the total outbound MICE spending by Indians in 2018. The India outbound MICE market to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries is set to surpass US$ 5 Billion by 2025. The report uses a country-focused analysis to explore India outbound MICE tourism market to GCC countries. The report includes historical data from 2014-2018 and forecasts until 2025. It covers six GCC nations: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, and Bahrain.

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UK tops the list of source countries availing e-Tourist Visa facilities in November 2019: MOT

The percentage shares of top 15 source countries availing e-Tourist Visa facilities during November, 2019 were highest from UK (12.22%), followed by USA (10.75%), China (8.06%), Russian Fed (7.85%), Malaysia (5.71%), France (4.61%),Germany (4.60%), Australia (4.16%), Canada (3.85%), Thailand (3.25%), Italy (2.32%), Singapore (1.87%), Spain (1.64%), Vietnam (1.50%) and Israel (1.40%), reveals Ministry of Tourism.

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Hahn Air enters 2020 with 40 new partner airlines

Hahn Air added 39 new carriers to its leading network of over 350 partner airlines over the course of 2019. The flights of all new partners can be issued by travel agencies around the world on the insolvency-safe Hahn Air ticket. 17 of the new partner airlines are using the product HR-169 and have entered into an interline agreement with Hahn Air. The remaining 23 carriers are taking advantage of the products H1-Air or X1-Air for airlines that are looking to expand their GDS presence, thereby extending their reach through ten major GDSs to 100,000 travel agencies in 190 markets. “2019 was an incredible year for Hahn Air”, comments Jörg Troester, Head of Corporate Strategy, Industry and Government Affairs at Hahn Air. “In the 20th year of our ticketing business, we have introduced our NDC platform, Hahn Air Technologies and our new solution for corporate shuttle flights, HR-Corporate. In addition, we received IATA Level 3 NDC certification, issued the world’s first blockchain-generated air ticket and added 40 new airlines to our partner network. We are ready for 2020 with a focus on our products H1-Air and X1-Air, new technologies and sustainability. We’ll be able to share more news soon.”

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Travelport becomes sole GDS provider of Air India’s domestic flight content

Travelport has confirmed that the company is now the sole global distribution system (GDS) provider of Air India’s domestic flight content in India. Martin Herbert, Regional Managing Director for India and Sri Lanka at Travelport, said, “We’re delighted to reach this landmark. Wide and cost-effective distribution, coupled with impactful merchandising, are important to all airlines and we’re proud we are now the sole GDS provider of these services to Air India. The results the carrier has already achieved since it started adjusting its distribution strategy have been extremely positive.” Sandeep Dwivedi, Chief Operating Officer at InterGlobe Technology Quotient, said: “Since inception, this partnership between Air India and Travelport has presented impressive prospects. Now that we have had a glimpse of last year’s performance, with respect to positive reflections on growth, cost and savings for our partner – Air India; the future only seems bright from here. As the sole GDS distributor of Air India’s domestic content, we are aiming at easing the process, cutting down unnecessary stages and offering value-added advantage in booking Air India branded fares and ancillary services, both simply and seamlessly.”

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Genting Cruise Lines to launch new ship, Global Dream, in 2021

Genting Cruise Lines will be launching their new cruise ship- Global Dream in 2021. The bookings for the same will start this year. Michael Goh, President, Dream Cruises & Head of International Sales at Genting Cruise Lines, revealed that the new ship has been made in their own building facility in Germany and can accommodate as many as 9000 guests. He says, “The Global Dream will allow the guests to open the cabin doors via their smartphones, has many configurations for luxury guests, the biggest roller-coaster ride ever built on a ship and many more features that will make it as one of the most unique and biggest cruise ships ever.”  

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Ladakh tourism budget increases from Rs 55 lakh to Rs 200 crore

The Union Territory of Ladakh has increased its tourism budget to Rs 200 crore this year from Rs 55 lakh earlier when it was only a district in the erstwhile Jammu & Kashmir state, revealed RK Mathur, Lieutenant Governor, Ladakh, while speaking at the special ‘Ladakh Night’ organised by the Administration of UT of Ladakh Tourism Department and All Ladakh Travel association stakeholders. He also revealed that the newly allocated budget would be used to create new tourism products and infrastructure in the UT. The event saw the stakeholders presenting the tourism products of Ladakh to the travel and tour operators in Delhi. Some of the dignitaries present at the event were Rigzin Samphel, Commercial Secretary, Tourism, Ladakh and Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, Member of Parliament, Ladakh.  

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Exclusive VAC for travel agents to be opened by VFS in Delhi this month

VFS Global is soon going to open an exclusive Visa Application Centre (VAC) dedicated only for travel agents and tour operators. Sharing details, Sanjeet Joher, Head- South Asia, VFS Global, said that the VAC will provide visa assistance to travel agents for non-Schengen countries and visas that don’t require biometric data. He also shared that VFS Global will also have dedicated helpline number for travel agents apart from special weekend visit to arrangements for large groups. He briefed that there will also be dedicated counters/time slots for travel agents across VFS Global facility location across India.

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Odisha Tourism to create land bank for premium tourism, hospitality infrastructure

After overcoming a major civic and tourism infrastructure challenge post Cyclone Fani, Odisha Tourism is looking to prepare a blueprint for developing its most-visited tourist destinations with a focus on creating a land bank for hotel projects. Vishal K Dev, IAS, Secretary, Odisha Tourism, said, “One of the challenges that Odisha Tourism faced was creating a land bank for developing premium tourism and hospitality infrastructure. We are looking to consolidate an investment-ready land bank of over 2,000 acres for the sector in the coming years.” He added that this plots of land will be identified near all major touristic sites. Land banks will be created in areas close to Chilika, Bhitarkanika, Similipal, Hirakud, Satkosia and sea coastline. Dev added that the tourism board had already developed and launched its Marine Drive Eco Retreat at the Ramachandi Beach near the grand Konark Sun Temple. “It has been developed as an environmentally sustainable model incorporating best practices in material utilisation, zero liquid and sewerage discharge and holistic waste management. It has been envisioned as eastern India’s first glamping set up. Scheduled from 14 December 2019 to 31 January 2020, the Eco Retreat is a unique experience of glamping in 50 luxury cottages along with adventure and water sports activities. We plan to replicate the Eco Retreat model at suitable times of the year on prominent beach stretches along our 482 km coastline, each having its own unique experience,” Dev added.

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