Tourism Breaking News

India to record 11.5% annual growth rate of international arrivals between 2019-24: PATA

India is among the top 11 destinations in terms of International Visitor Arrivals (IVAs) in Asia Pacific, and will record an Average Annual Growth Rates (AAGR) of 11.5 per cent between 2019-24, reveals the Executive Summary of the Asia Pacific Visitor Forecasts 2020-2024, by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). The other destinations in top 11 include Cambodia, Bhutan, Myanmar, Lao PDR, Japan, Northern Marianas, Vietnam, Maldives and Korea. The report has predicted that nine out of 10 of these destinations will have  AAGRs of over 10 per cent between 2019-2024.

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2019 saw a record 452,000 visits from India to the UK

Tricia Warwick, Director, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa for VisitBritain, said that India is a huge tourism opportunity for Britain. “It is a priority market for Britain and forecast to generate more than 22 million outbound visits globally by the end of 2020, with inbound tourism from India to the Britain looking set to continue to increase by +50 per cent visits and +64 per cent spend between 2018 and 2025. According to the International Passenger Survey results for the first nine months from January to September, 2019, visitors from India to Britain set new records for visits and spend. Overall, there were a record 452,000 visits from India to the UK in those months in 2019, up 13% year on year. Those visitors spent a record £499 million, up 44% on January –September 2018,” she confirmed.

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6.5% decrease in hotel occupancy in Dec 2019 as compared to Nov 2019 across India: HVS

Hotel performance in India was subdued in December 2019 due to temporary softening of demand, reveals Hotels & Hospitality Overview India (January 2020) by HVS. December recorded an ADR of Rs. 6697.8 in top 13 markets in India recording a Month-on-Month (M-o-M) decline of -1.10 % and Year-on-Year (Y-o-Y) decrease of 0.63%. The occupancy was 70.5% with a 6.51% decline M-o-M and 0.35% decrease Y-o-Y. The RevPAR in December was Rs 4719.1, recording a -7.54 decrease M-o-M and 0.98% Y-o-Y.

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9th edition of Hi AiM kick-starts in Delhi

The two-day conference and exposition, Hi AiM kickstarted in Delhi where the theme “Emerging Trends” will be explored. The conference is expected to bring key stakeholders, developers and designers of the industry together. K.B. Kachru, Chairman Emeritus and Principal Advisor- South Asia, Radisson Hotel Group said, “It’s a great privilege to be here amongst distinguished designers, owners and suppliers. It’s a great platform for people who work behind the scenes to get the hotel running and also it’s a valuable platform to discuss pertinent issues of the industry. With the theme of 2020 Hi AiM, “Emerging Trends”, the Indian hospitality industry want to be in sync with the current trends.”

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No funding of expenses under ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ campaign, MOT clarifies

The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) has released a statement saying that there will be no funding of travel expenses for tourists visiting 15 destinations under ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ campaign, launched recently. MOT, has instead proposed to recognise the selected domestic travellers. The statement read, “It is to clarify that the Ministry of Tourism has no scheme for funding the travel expenses of tourists for visiting destinations in the country under the Dekho Apna Desh Campaign. However, the Ministry of Tourism proposes to give recognition to select domestic travellers who undertake a visit to various tourist destinations in the country through random selection for which details are being finalised.”

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AirAsia launches ‘Chalo! India’ sales campaign to celebrate reduced e-visa fee to India

After announcing direct flights between Ahmedabad and Kuala Lumpur from April 29, 2020, AirAsia has launched the “Chalo! India” sales campaign to celebrate lower tourist e-visa fees to travel to India. This promotion will run until February 16 for travel between 29 April 2020 to 30 October 2020. Fly from Kuala Lumpur to Bhubaneswar, Cochin, Kolkata from as low as RM229 one-way, or to Jaipur, Delhi, Amritsar from as low as RM299 one-way. All promotional fares are available for booking on airasia.com or AirAsia mobile app. The campaign is offering flights from Kuala Lumpur to Bhubaneswar, Cochin, Kolkata from as low as RM229 one-way, or to Jaipur, Delhi, Amritsar from as low as RM299 one-way. All promotional fares are available for booking on airasia.com or AirAsia mobile app. On this, Benyamin Ismail, CEO, AirAsia X Malaysia said, “India has never been more affordable so there is no better time to travel. We are running some of our biggest sales yet to every India destination we fly to, including this new route from Kuala Lumpur to Ahmedabad. At the same time, the cost for the tourist e-visa fee for Malaysians is currently at its lowest. We thank the Indian government for lowering the visa fees for Malaysians to facilitate tourism growth. India is a must-see destination on many people’s travel list, and we are confident that our latest promotional campaigns and extensive flight network will stimulate travel to India and also entice more Indian travellers to visit Malaysia in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2020” Government of India had reduced the country’s e-visa fee from USD100 (1-year multiple-entry tourist e-visa) to USD10 (30-days tourist e-visa for April to June; USD25 for …

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IRCTC to run country’s third Tejas Express on Indore-Varanasi route

The Railway Board Chairman, VK Yadav has said that Indian Railways is all set to start country’s third private train, Tejas Express on the Indore-Varanasi route later this month. Completely run by the Indian Rail Catering and Tourism (IRCTC), the new train will run three days a week and will be the first Tejas Express which will run overnight. Last year, IRCTC launched its first Tejas Express which runs on Lucknow-Delhi route. The second Tejas Express started operating last month on Mumbai-Ahmedabad route. IRCTC follows dynamic fare scheme for both the trains. Indian Railways also decided to allow private entities to operate passenger trains on its routes. Niti Aayog had recently moved a draft document for discussion on private participation in Railways. Indian Railways proposed a plan to include private players in 100 routes across the country.

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Kerala witnesses cancellations in hotel booking for February-March

Tourism Minister of Kerala, Kadakampally Surendran has said that after three confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state, the tourism sector is badly affected as hotel bookings have suffered mass cancellations for the month of February and March. “Several bookings in hotels for the months of February and March have been cancelled. The bookings were almost full for these months earlier. The cancellations now are much more, compared to that after Nipah virus was reported. A lot of misinformation on the virus is being spread too,” said Surendran in the state Assembly during the question hour. Urging media to exercise self-restraint during the time of calamities and keep themselves away from fearmongering, the minister said blowing up issues beyond proportion was largely affecting tourism industry. A total of 8.19 lakh tourists had visited the southern state, popularly known as the “God’s Own Country”, in 9 months in 2019, which was 10.96 lakh in 2018, the minister added.

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Validity of Airport Entry Passes for tour operators extended till 31st March

The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) has informed that the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, Government of India has extended the validity of Airport Entry Passes for tour operators till March 31, 2020. Earlier, the Bureau had extended the validity till January 31, which initially expired on December 31, 2019. “We are pleased to inform you that with our regular follow up with Ministry of Civil Aviation/Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, the Director-General- Bureau of Civil Aviation Security has extended the validity of Commercial Airport Entry Passes up to 31st March 2020. Necessary directives have been issued to All Regional Directors of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security to take necessary action accordingly,” said an IATO circular. The extension has been given only to the tour operators, till the time new mechanism for passes is finalized by the Bureau of Civil Aviation, Security.

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Accor to open its 2nd Fairmont in Mumbai with 646 rooms

Jean-Michel Cassé, Chief Operating Officer (COO) –India & South Asia, Accor has said that 2nd Fairmont in Mumbai with 646 rooms is in the pipeline. “Our upcoming properties for 2020 include the launch of Raffles Udaipur, Novotel Mumbai International Airport and ibis Mumbai LBS Road. We also have the Raffles Jaipur and Fairmont Mumbai Sahar, which are in the pipeline. Over the next few years, our focus is to continue to grow our regional network and introduce new brands. We have 25 hotels and approximately 5,000 keys in the pipeline and under active development.”

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