Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

TAT launches Thai Golf Passport for golf travellers to Thailand

SLW, a golf management company, in association with Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has launched Thai Golf Pass, a reward and loyalty programme to offer Indian golfers a seamless golf experience in Thailand. Every Indian golfer who plays golf in Thailand will receive points depending on the services used from the service providers. Anil Dev, Managing Director, SLW, stated, “Indian golfers can be a part of this amazing rewards programme whenever they tee off in amazing Thailand. A number of quality service providers like Thai Airways, Cox & Kings, Callaway and a number of golf courses, resorts and hotels have come together to partner this initiative.” “As India is a leading market for Thailand, we have launched Thai Golf Passport to ensure value added services. This will help golfers to enjoy the game in their favourite destination and help us in connecting with the golfing fraternity in India,” said Isra  Stapanaseth, Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand. The Thai Golf Passport was launched in New Delhi by Stapanaseth along with Vani Kapoor, leading Indian golfer; Gajendra Panwar, Vice President, Cox & Kings and Prashant Singh, General Manager, Callaway Golf India.

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Philippines recorded 19% surge in Indian arrivals

The Philippines recorded a growth of 19 per cent in visitor arrivals from India between January to November 2017, a remarkable surge over the previous year. The Department of Tourism (DOT), Philippines, has confirmed recording of 99,088 visitors from India until November 2017. India has jumped up to the 12th position for tourist arrivals in the Philippines and is consistently maintaining the position. SanJeet, Tourism Attaché, Philippines Tourism Marketing Office India, stated that with this growth rate, the DOT’s plan of achieving 100,000 Indian tourist arrivals by the end of 2017 will be easily achieved. He said that the double-digit growth in arrivals can also be attributed to major metros as well as feeder markets. “Disposable income for leisure and travel-related pursuits amongst middle and affluent class travellers are the major reasons behind this remarkable growth. There has also been a steady increase in MICE movement as well as FITs and small groups travelling from India,’’ he added. Over the last couple of years, DOT Philippines has been actively promoting the archipelago not only as a holiday destination but also for luxury, MICE, weddings and small group travel. Destinations such as Manila, Boracay, Cebu, Bohol, Palawan and Davao have been aggressively promoted in recent years.

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Oman Tourism launches new website

The Ministry of Tourism, Oman has launched a new promotional website ‘www.experienceoman.om’ that will serve as a one-stop-shop for all Oman Tourism related information. The website was launched under the patronage of His Highness Sayyid Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, Minister of Heritage and Culture during a gala dinner recently hosted in Muscat on the sidelines of the 2nd UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture. Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative, Ministry of Tourism, Oman said, “The launch of the website comes as a part of the Ministry’s initiatives to support the development of the tourism sector in all areas, especially in the use of electronic platforms and digital marketing. Providing insights into suggested travel itineraries; list of tour operators, hotels, and services; MICE opportunities; the website also orients tourists with the latest events in Oman and can be viewed in six languages.” The Ministry aims to enhance the Sultanate’s presence in the digital world by shedding light on the most popular landmarks, creating a platform to interact with visitors and responding to their enquiries through the website. The ‘www.experienceoman.om’ will complement the existing Oman Tourism website to provide diverse information about the latter.

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15% rise in Indian arrivals to Australia by Oct 2017

Arrivals from India to Australia grew by 15 per cent for the year ended October 2017, with an influx of 294,000 visitors, compared to the same period last year. This makes India the 9th largest inbound market for Australia, and inches it closer towards achieving its Tourism 2020 goal of 300,000 visitors annually, three years ahead of target. Indian visitor spend in Australia for the year ended September 2017 reached AUD 1.45 billion (approx. Rs. 7,200 crore), an increase of 26 per cent over the previous year, making India the 8th largest market in terms of spend by tourists. With an impressive double-digit growth in arrivals and spend for the fourth consecutive year, India has emerged as Australia’s fastest growing inbound market. Tania Gerlach, Chief Migration Officer, Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) commented, “We are extremely pleased with the success of the e-lodgment process, with over 60 per cent of the total tourist visa applications now received online. The month of November 2017 has witnessed the highest-ever tourist visa lodgments. Online lodgment offers benefits such as 24/7 accessibility, electronic payment of the visa application charge and the ability to check the status of applications lodged online. Processing times for these visas will now be faster, as both applications and supporting documentation are immediately available to the processing office. This is good news for every Indian visitor planning to visit Australia, whether they are travelling for business or pleasure”. Commenting on the success, Nishant Kashikar, Country Manager, India and Gulf, Tourism Australia, said, “It is an extremely proud moment for us to achieve the fastest growing market status in our 50th anniversary year of marketing Australia to the world …

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Nijhawan Group to represent Bosnia and Herzegovina in India

The Nijhawan Group has been appointed as the Tourism Representative in India for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Commenting on this partnership, Ankush Nijhawan, Managing Director, Nijhawan Group, added, “With Indian nationals looking for newer experiences and destinations, the demand for relatively new entrants like Bosnia and Herzegovina is only poised to grow. It is an exciting time for outbound tourism, and the Indian traveller will only benefit from this trend. Since Bosnia and Herzegovina is a new destination in the Indian market, we will actively work with the trade community to enhance their knowledge about the destination as well as help them in curating exciting itineraries for their clients since the country is a treasure trove of history.” Dr. Sabit Subasic, Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to India, said, “Bosnia and Herzegovina is predicted to be, according to World Tourism Organization, one of the fastest growing tourism destinations of the world in the period till 2025. And that prediction is getting confirmed and visible. Bosnia and Herzegovina is already known as a very attractive tourism destination and many tourists from all over the world come to this country. From India, however, we would like to welcome more tourists since we see potential in this market. Therefore, we decided to develop a strategy and promote Bosnia and Herzegovina as a tourism destination for Indian tourists.”

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Seychelles takes measures to encourage safe hiking for tourists

The Tourism Department of Seychelles has launched a new leaflet providing tips to hikers, especially tourists, keen to explore Seychelles’ walks and trails. The leaflet has been produced by the Risk Management Section within the Tourism Department, in collaboration with other partners including the Seychelles National Parks Authority and Seychelles police. Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, said, “This goes well with the Seychelles brand as the country is a champion of a clean environment and when we engage in activities such as trekking this also helps us to maintain a healthy lifestyle.” The leaflet is available on the Tourism Department’s website. Physical copies are also being distributed to the various stakeholders including the tourism establishments, SNPA, police, tourist information office, among others. It has taken around five months to produce the document. The leaflet also has a list of essential numbers to be contacted in case of emergency. According to Chief Superintendent Sean Jacklin, the police records at least one incident of tourists being lost on trails every two months, but they are usually provided with assistance within 12 to 24 hours. The Seychelles National Parks Authority is also collaborating with the Seychelles Tourism Board to design a smartphone app, which will present the new Seychelles Hiking Guide launched by STB in a digital format, also allowing hikers to access a host of other features.

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Nine Indian travel agents hosted at 7th Israel Tourism Conference

Nine leading travel agents from India were among 130 other agents from 16 countries to attend the 7th Israel ‘Where Else’ Tourism Conference held by the Israel Ministry of Tourism for the world travel industry. The travel agents from India were accompanied by Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism, India and Philippines. The group explored beach tourism in Eilat and Dead Sea, tours in the North focusing on religion and history and city breaks in Tel Aviv- Jaffa and Jerusalem. In addition, business meetings were held between the Indian delegates and Israeli wholesalers and hoteliers. Elaborating on this Fam, Madah said, “Israel has witnessed another year of record breaking tourist arrivals with over 55,000 Indians who have travelled to the country through November 2017. It was important for us to showcase Israel to key Indian travel trade through our biggest annual tourism conference in Israel. The conference was a wonderful experience that exposed the Indian travel trade to varied offerings and experiences in Israel.” The week-long convention aimed to expose attendees to the tourism brands in Israel along with the country’s recreation, entertainment and leisure options.

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Philippines goes on taxi branding spree in Mumbai and Delhi

The Department of Tourism, Philippines, branded taxis and buses in Mumbai and Delhi in order to increase the visibility of the archipelago. Her Excellency Ma. Teresita C.Daza, Ambassador, Republic of Philippines to India, inaugurated the promotional campaign with 50 taxis in Mumbai and two HOHO buses in New Delhi. Addressing the gathering, she said, “DOT Philippines has been very active in India in promoting it as a tourism destination. We have launched around 50 taxis, and it will hopefully raise interest and awareness about the Philippines as a tourist destination. We have been doing pretty well in terms of tourist arrivals and we are hoping to increase the numbers further in the coming years. Currently India is at 12th rank in terms of arrivals to the Philippines. During January-July this year, 72,498 Indian tourists travelled to the Philippines as compared to 60,658 tourists for the same period last year, registering a growth of 28.41 per cent. It was made possible by the hardwork of Buzz Travel Marketing India and also the growing interest of people about the Philippines as a tourist destination.”    

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GNTO launches training programme for travel trade

The German National Tourist Office (GNTO), India launched its online destination training programme in India on December 14, via an online webinar attended by over 450 operators. The step comes in the light of the increasing number of Indian visitors to Germany and a request from the travel fraternity for a training module on the destination. The online programme would provide Indian tour operators and travel agents with an in-depth knowledge required to market the destination persuasively to their clients. Romit Theophilus, Director Sales and Marketing, GNTO, India said, “Over the years, we have repeatedly received requests from our trade partners to start an online training programe, which could be referred to by them whilst planning itineraries and travel programmes for their clients; hence the launch of www.germanyspecialist.com. The program consists of four informative modules: Module 1 – Introduction to Germany, Module 2 – Discover the German Federal States/ Regions; Module 3 – Theme-based Travel and Module 4 – Special Scenic Routes. We expect this module to serve as a one-stop shop for all the operators’ queries on destination Germany.”

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VisitBritain appoints new Country Manager for India

Vishal Bhatia has been promoted to take on the role of Country Manager – India at VisitBritain effective immediately. Based in Mumbai, he will be taking on the day-to-day aspects of VisitBritain’s operations in India. He has been associated with the tourist board since February 2013 when he started out as Deputy Manager and subsequently appointed as the B2B Manager. Bhatia was Interim Country Manager from June-December 2016. He has been integral in delivering the India strategy, while leading on all B2B activities in the market. He was also instrumental in delivering the first joint co-operative partnership under GREAT in 2013. Bhatia has extensive market knowledge and expertise of the local travel landscape. Shuja Mehdi who is based in VisitBritain’s Delhi office will also assume a new role and be responsible for all trade activity as the B2B Manager. On his appointment, Bhatia says, “I thank our travel partners and the travel trade at large for their continued support over the years and look forward to working closely with them.”

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