Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

Vietnam welcomes Indian travellers to explore its cultural treasures through Delhi roadshow

In a bid to lure Indian tourists, the Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in association with Om Tourism organised a roadshow in Delhi on the theme ‘Vietnam- A charming destination for Indian tourists’. HE Pham Sanh Chau, Ambassador of Vietnam to India, Nepal & Bhutan, revealed that around 110,000 Indian tourists travelled to Vietnam in 2017. He affirmed that the number is estimated to increase in the coming years. “Vietnam is home to eight UNESCO world heritages, well preserved historic relics and beautiful beaches. Indian travellers can find the affulence of Indian culture in Vietnam through Hindu temples in Ho Chi Minh or at the My Son sanctuary with an abundance of Indian restaurants,” he added. The event proceeded with a product presentation by the five Vietnamese partners namely, Victoria Tour, Hello Asia Travel, Go Indo China Tours, Melia Hotels International and Orchid Global. The event witnessed an active participation from several trade partners and tour operators around the city.  

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Cox & Kings India promotes Qatar as its new preferred destination

Cox & Kings India is now promoting Qatar as the group’s new preferred destination. The marketing and promotion campaign comes as part of a strategic partnership with Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) aimed at boosting the destination’s profile to attract luxury, business and independent travellers to visit Qatar. Rashed AlQurese, Chief Marketing and Promotion Officer, QNTC, commented, “We are pleased to be partnering with Cox & Kings group for the destination’s first-ever integrated campaign in India. Qatar is an easily accessible destination within a few hours from most Indian cities making it an attractive destination for travellers looking for short city getaways or a convenient stopover when heading further West.” In Qatar, Cox & Kings group is offering visits to tourism hotspots and activities that explore both the traditional and contemporary sides of the destination. Karan Anand, Head-Relationships, Cox & Kings said, “Qatar is an easily accessible destination within a few hours from most Indian cities. Every week, there are 176 flights connecting Indian cities to Doha offered by Qatar Airways as well as IndiGo, Jet Airways and Air India Express. Since January this year, Qatar has welcomed more than 335,922 Indian visitors till October, representing a 25 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.” Every week, there are 176 flights connecting Indian cities to Doha offered by Qatar Airways as well as Indigo, Jet Airways and Air India Express. Since January this year, Qatar has welcomed more than 335,922 Indian visitors till October, representing a 25 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.

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Singapore observes robust tourist traffic from South India

Chennai and Bengaluru have been among the top source cities from South India for visitor arrivals from India to Singapore in 2017. Cities like Coimbatore, Trichy, Hyderabad and Kochi registered growth in traveller numbers to the city. The factors contributing to the strong visitorship numbers are the short three-plus hours’ travel time, increased direct flight connectivity of nine cities to the city and quick weekend holidays. In January 2018, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) organised a consumer-centric mall activity in Bengaluru, featuring the various travel offerings one can indulge in while in Singapore. In the middle of the year, it conducted, together with key trade partners from Singapore, an extensive travel trade roadshow series across Trichy, Coimbatore, Kochi and Visakhapatnam.

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Indian tourist arrivals to Greece increases by 119% in September 2018

As per the statistics released by Greece National Tourist Office (GNTO) and Athens International Airport, 38,046 Indian tourists visited Greece in the nine months vis-à-vis 17,376 Indian tourists during the same period in 2017, which is a whopping increase of 119 per cent. Speaking about the positive growth, Konstantinos Tsegas, Secretary General, Greek National Tourism Organization said, “Greece as a destination has gained momentum over the years and we are glad to witness the rising interest of Indians for Greece as a popular holiday destination across the country. Our approach is to target the captive audience across various age groups simply by appealing to every kind of travel need. We have effectively leveraged diverse platforms, based on specific characteristics of the Indian market. The strategy is to also promote 365-day tourism in Greece and create awareness about lesser known cities of Greece like Thessaloniki, Xanthi or Kavala which have great geophysical, historical and cultural importance along with Athens. We are closely working with our partners in India for growth across segments like families, FITS (first time travelers segment), MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events), destination weddings, honeymoon and films.” The beauty of Greece is a Unique Sales Proposition (USP), by any means. But what truly makes a difference is its people, the authenticity and simplicity of Greek touristic products in combination with an extremely rich historical background. In 2016, Greece National Tourist Office noticed 14.6 million arrivals in total and in 2017, 15.5 million, whereas, the growth percentage of arrivals from India has been around 9.7 per cent each year.

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Thailand launches special schemes and offers for Indian market

Geared up to capitalise on the upcoming festive season, Tourism Authority of Thailand has recently introduced some attractive scheme and offers to ensure maximum footfalls from India and other countries to Thailand. This year Thailand has already recorded 919,130 tourist arrivals from India a Y-O-Y increase of 13.24 per cent. Recently the government granted a visa-on-arrival fee waiver for tourists from 20 countries. From 15 November, 2018, to 13 January, 2019, citizens of Andora, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China including Taiwan, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan will be exempted from the 2,000 Baht visa-on-arrival fee for the purpose of touring in Thailand not more than 15 days. Tourism Authority of Thailand now launches Amazing Thailand Grand Sale ‘Passport Privilege’ campaign during the same period.” Tourism Authority of Thailand gives delightful experiences in shopping and using services for foreign tourists who come to Thailand during November 15, 2018 – January 15, 2019. The campaign will help tourists to increase buying power on a variety of products and services from leading service providers Furthermore tourist travelling to Thailand (arriving at Suvarnabhumi and Donmuang Airport) can now avail of E Visa on Arrival. The Nation Immigration Bureau acting commissioner Pol Maj-General Surachate Hakpal officially launched the e-Via on Arrival (E-VOA) system that is expected to cut visa processing time to as little as one minute. Surachate presided over a ceremony to launch the new system, which has been used on trial basis at Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang airports since November 15. The launch ceremony was held at Suvarnabhumi International Airport. The facility is available at Phuket International Airport since …

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13 Indian buyers participate at ‘Queensland on Stage India 2018’ in Gold Coast

A total of 13 Indian buyers including top travel companies from across India, Tourism Australia and Malaysia Airlines, marked their participation at ‘Queensland on Stage India 2018’ at Top Golf, Gold Coast held on November 20. Around 17 Queensland sellers exhibited their offerings at the event. Speaking on the occasion, Ryna Sequeira, Country Manager of Tourism and Events Queensland in India said, “Queensland witnessed a 17 per cent growth in June 2018 and welcomed around 78,000 Indian visitors. We have seen a strong year-on-year growth out of the market. We thank all the Indian buyers for their consistent business to Queensland and the sellers who believe and invest in the market.” The event provided participating operators the opportunity to meet with Indian agents to enable them to expand their product knowledge; look for new and exciting experiences and products; and to build on existing relationships.

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Dubai concludes 4-city roadshow in North India

Dubai Tourism Corporation and Marketing (DTCM) India recently conducted a four-city roadshow in North India. Represented by Nijhawan Group in India, DTCM held roadshows in Lucknow on November 12, in Jaipur on November 13, in Chandigarh on November 15, and finally concluding it in New Delhi on November 16. Khalid Al Awar, Manager–India & Pakistan, International Operations, led the delegation which consisted of partners including airlines, hotels and popular attractions in Dubai. Addressing the attendees at the Delhi roadshow, Al Awar thanked the travel agents and their support in making India the number one source market for tourism in Dubai.

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Switzerland witnesses 23% increase in overnights from India

Switzerland witnessed a 23.4 per cent increase in the overnights spent by Indians in Switzerland in 2017. Indian tourists are increasingly looking at Switzerland as a travel destination because of the plethora of options it offers to each traveller. In order to showcase these diverse options, Switzerland Tourism has taken its multiple offerings across Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata and Delhi through its recently-concluded annual roadshow. Switzerland’s increasing number of Indian overnights can be attributed to Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh coming on board as the brand ambassador. “This year has also been a very exciting one for Switzerland Tourism with Ranveer Singh continuing as our brand ambassador. He has showcased Switzerland in a very attractive and diverse light, be it adventure, sports, culture, food, new destinations or experiences. Each year, we see a growing interest among Indian travellers but 2017, thanks to Ranveer, the overnights have been extremely high. Our numbers this year are also encouraging – we are up 10 per cent in hotel overnights in the period January to August 2018 as compared to the same period last year. Besides this campaign, we also continue our travel trade campaigns – with regular webinars, training sessions in tier two and tier three cities as well our new e-learning modules on the Switzerland Travel Academy,” said Claudio Zemp, Director–India, Switzerland Tourism. The roadshows in all the four cities had a B2B session where Indian travel agents met and discussed business prospects and ideas with the Swiss delegation.

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Sri Lanka targets millennials with new brand platform

The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) has announced a new brand identity under the platform ‘So Sri Lanka’ which targets millennial travellers who select holiday destinations based on what they can hope to experience there. Revealed at World Travel Market in London, the new brand platform is grounded on the insight that Sri Lanka is more than just a destination, it’s a feeling. The brand platform has a contemporary, social and engaging design to reflect the heart and individuality of the country. It will roll out across all tourism promotion materials in a multi-channel, international campaign starting early next year. Madubhani Perera, Director—Marketing, SLTPB, says “There has never been a better time for a rebrand. Sri Lanka has just been named Lonely Planet’s Number One Destination for 2019. For us ‘So Sri Lanka’ symbolises our evolution with the digital revolution. The modern traveller goes online to seek inspiration and to find the next life-changing travel experience. ‘So Sri Lanka’ helps us evoke the inimitable feeling of our beautiful, vibrant, authentic and generous country through the smartphones of potential travellers.” Sri Lanka is the essence of a people renowned for their hospitality, a stunning landscape, rich biodiversity and a wealth of immersive experiences on offer for travellers. The rebrand marks the start of Sri Lanka’s fresh approach to destination marketing.    

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Tourism Australia launches Premier Aussie Specialist Program in India

Tourism Australia has introduced a second tier to its specialist program in India with the introduction of the Premier Aussie Specialist Program. Membership in the Premier Aussie Specialist category is an acknowledgement of the destination expertise, insider knowledge and strong ties with the Australian travel industry of Aussie Specialist agents with an established record of selling Australia. As part of the launch, 70 agents from across cities like Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Ludhiana, Mumbai and Pune have been inducted into the Premier Aussie Specialist Program in India. The programme offers professional validation for retail agents selling Australian holidays to discerning consumers. As part of the membership, Premier Aussie Specialists are invited to attend exclusive travel industry workshops, market updates and training events hosted by Tourism Australia and Australia’s States and Territories. Speaking at the launch, John O’Sullivan, Managing Director, Tourism Australia said, “The Premier Aussie Specialist Program seeks to recognise the invaluable advocacy that travel advisors, who have been selling Australian holidays for many years, deliver for the destination. This group of elite agents are important contributors to our efforts to make Australia a destination of choice for travellers from India and it is a proud moment for us to congratulate and show our appreciation to these industry friends for their incredible passion and dedication to selling Australia.” Tourism Australia’s distribution strategy for India includes an enriched trade engagement programme. As one of the pioneers of the online destination training, Tourism Australia’s Aussie Specialist Program has recruited more than 2,981 travel agents across India.

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