Tourism Breaking News

IAAPI annual Amusement Expo to be held on February 26-28, 2020 at NESCO in Mumbai

The Indian Association of Amusement Parks & Industries (IAAPI) will be hosting the 20th edition of its annual Amusement Expo this month. It will be held from 26-28 February 2020 at NESCO Complex, Goregaon East in Mumbai. The exhibition is supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India under the banner of Incredible India. The event, hailed as India’s only focus B2B show for amusement and theme park sector, will be spread across 80,000 sqft with participation from over 150+ exhibitors from India and across 14 countries including Canada, Germany, Korea, Hong Kong, Italy, Philippines, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Turkey, UAE, UK and the USA who will be displaying their products and services at the expo.  Sohansinh Jadeja, President, IAAPI, shares, “We will also be organising the third edition of IAC Connect scheduled to be held on February 27, 2020, on the sidelines of the exhibition. Industry experts from digital marketing experts and mall developers will speak on how digital marketing can boost ROI, going beyond social media and the future of indoor amusement centres.”  The expo will provide an excellent networking platform with decision-makers from India and overseas which will include: park and FEC operators, resorts owners, real estate and mall developers, and allied professional connected to the amusements and leisure industry. Concurrently, the National awards for Excellence 2020 will be presented to new endeavours’ undertaken within the amusement and entertainment industry. Over 4,000 business professionals from India and neighbouring countries are expected to visit this event.

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Film makers to get financial incentives under Gujarat’s policy for cinematic tourism

To attract more tourists through web series, advertisements, documentaries and films, the Gujarat government is likely to announce a policy soon to provide aid and financial incentives to shoot films and videos in Gujarat. The state tourism policy contains guidelines for cinematic tourism, but it does not offer any financial support or benefits to attract film producers. “Apart from Gujarat’s proximity to Mumbai, we have the best beaches, heritage properties, mountains, deserts, rivers, modern buildings and other locations to offer. The state government has decided to form a new policy to promote cinematic tourism in the state,” said, Mamta Verma, Tourism Secretary, Gujarat.

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Private players to run 500 trains, manage 750 railway stations by 2025

To encourage private investments in the Indian Railways, the Ministry for Railways has prepared an ambitious plan to allow private players to run 500 passenger trains, manage 750 stations and even buy rolling stock from private players. This has been included in the National Infrastructure Pipeline, which has been prepared for the next five years. So far, the Ministry has stated publicly that the government is keen to allow private players to run 150 trains on 100 identified routes. The ministry on Wednesday said the draft request for qualification and the draft concession agreement have been uploaded on the websites of Niti Aayog and Indian Railways for seeking feedback from the stakeholders.

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MOT sanctions seven projects worth Rs 594 crore for Ladakh and J&K

In order to provide an impetus to tourism, the Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned seven projects worth Rs 594 crore in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh under the Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD scheme for development of tourism infrastructure. The schemes provide financial assistance to state governments / UT administrations. With a total sanction of Rs 594 crore, six projects are for Swadesh Darshan scheme for the development of the Himalayan circuit while one project worth Rs 42.02 crore for development of Hazratbal is for the PRASAD scheme. The allocation under Swadesh scheme is for the integrated development of Jammu, Kashmir, Pahalgam, Kargil, Leh under Himalayan Circuit worth Rs 82.07 crore, integrated development of Tourist Facilities at Jammu-Rajouri-Shopian-Pulwama under Himalayan Circuit worth Rs 96 .38 crore, integrated development of  Tourist Facilities under the Construction of Assets in lieu of those Destroyed in Floods in 2014 under PM Development Package for J&K under Himalayan Circuit worth Rs 90.96 crore, integrated Development of Tourist facilities at Mantalai- Sudhmahadev- Patnitop under Himalayan Circuit worth Rs 97.82 crore, integrated Development of Tourist Facilities at Anantnag- Kishtwar- Pahalgam – Daksum – Ranjit Sagar Dam under Himalayan Circuit worth Rs 87.44 crore and integrated Development of Tourist Facilities at Gulmarg-Baramulla-Kupwara-Leh under Himalayan Circuit worth Rs 96.93 crore.

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Indian tourism suffers $500 million losses following coronavirus cancellations: IATO

The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) has estimated that there could be losses up to $500 million because of cancellations from tourists from China and other countries due to the coronavirus outbreak. According to an estimate, more than 50,000 Chinese tourists were expected to visit during January-February and most of these bookings have now been cancelled, as India has blocked the entry of people from China and Hong Kong apart from many other countries. “We fear an immediate loss of up to $500 million as the coronavirus outbreak has hit the arrival of tourists from China, Hong Kong and neighbouring countries,” said Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO. He said losses for domestic tour operators would be much higher, as many outgoing local tourists to China and other countries were also cancelling bookings after the outbreak. “There is a panic in the tourism sector as thousands of bookings have been cancelled,” said E.M. Najeeb, Senior Vice President, IATO. He said foreign as well as domestic tourists were cancelling travel to Kerala.

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Czech Republic: Prague seeks restrictions on Airbnb to tackle overtourism

Prague is seeking restrictions on Airbnb and other short-term letting platforms in the city to curb over-tourism. City’s mayor, Zdeněk Hřib, said under proposed restrictions, property owners are barred from renting out homes or apartments in their entirety, except when it’s their own home and they’re not present for the duration of the rental. Rentals would be limited to single rooms where the owner also lived. Between 2016 and 2018, the number of visitors to the Czech capital increased by 840,000 to over nine million. At the same time, accommodation capacities in the city’s hotels and hostels only increased by around 1.4%. Short-term letting platforms stepped in to fill the gap, namely Airbnb, which increased its capacity by 34%, according to a 2019 hospitality study from Deloitte.

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Kazakhstan: Air Astana announces direct flight between Almaty & Mumbai from 1st June

Air Astana, Kazakhstan’s largest airline has announced the launch of direct flights between Mumbai and Almaty effective June 1, 2020. The flight KC291 from Almaty will fly on Mondays & Tuesday at 0705 hours and land in Mumbai at 1105 hours. On Thursdays and Saturdays, it will fly at 2205 hours from Almaty and land at 0210 hours. From Mumbai, flight KC292 will depart at 0310 hours and reach Mumbai at 0805 hours on Fridays and Sundays, the same flight will operate on 1205 hours from Mumbai and reach its destination at 1655 hours on Mondays and Tuesdays. For more details, reach out to Kazin Travel Consultants at ops@ktc.travel.

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South Africa: South African Airways to cancel most domestic flights, close eight international routes

The South African Airways will cancel all its domestic flights, except for a reduced service to Cape Town, as well as eight international routes by end of February as it undergoes a business restructuring aimed at cutting costs. From February 29, it will no longer serve Abidjan via Accra (Ghana), Entebbe (Uganda), Guangzhou (China), Hong Kong, Luanda (Angola), Munich (Germany), Ndola (Zambia), and Sao Paulo (Brazil). On its domestic route network, it will continue to serve Cape Town from Johannesburg on a reduced basis but will end all other destinations, including Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth. Domestic routes operated by its low-cost subsidiary Mango will not be affected. Customers booked on cancelled flights will receive a full refund or be re-accommodated on services operated by Mango. International services between Johannesburg and Frankfurt, London Heathrow, New York, Perth and Washington via Accra will be retained.

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Spain: New low-fare, high-speed rail line connecting Madrid to Barcelona from April 2020

Spain has launched a new low-fare, a high-speed rail line that connects passengers from Madrid to Barcelona with prices starting from just €10 (US $11) each way. The new line is known as AVLO, from the national rail company Renfe, and tickets will be priced between €10 and €60 (US$66) per journey, depending on the route and time of travel.  The high-speed AVLO service will offer three daily trains each way between Madrid and Barcelona, Spain’s busiest travel route. Travellers under the age of 14, who are accompanied by an adult, will pay just €5 (US$5.51). Commencing services in April, the rail line is offering passengers an average discount of 60% on fares between Madrid and Barcelona compared to the cost of the existing high-speed AVE trains (whose one-way tickets start from €32.30/US$35.60).

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10% increase expected in Indian arrivals to Middle East by 2024

The number of Indian travellers to Middle East market is expected to increase by a compound annual growth rate of 10% to 9.8 million travellers by 2024, reveals a study by Colliers International as part of Arabian Travel Market series. Out of the 26.1 million travellers who took outbound trips from India, 5.4 million Indian tourists arrived in Middle East region in the year 2018. The Middle East countries like UAE, Bahrain and Oman are taking initiatives to increase share of Indian travellers through roadshows and easing of visa regulations. These countries are focusing on the Indian wedding and M!CE segments, diversifying from traditional leisure market.

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