Tag Archives: India Representative

Oman to boost tourism through short stay visa

In an effort to bring momentum to tourism growth and encourage more travellers to visit the country, the Royal Oman Police has recently announced a new short-term tourist visa at 5 Omani Riyal (OMR) to visit the Sultanate for a period of 10 days. Indians who hold a valid visa to any one of these countries – United States of America, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Japan and Schengen States can avail the Oman visa through an e-visa process by logging on to https://evisa.rop.gov.om/ and make the 5 OMR payment on checkout, while other Indian travellers can get a sponsored visa by paying 5 OMR plus processing fee through their tour operators. This is in addition to the existing e-visa for Oman which is available at 20 OMR with a validity of one month. The amendments include dividing tourist visas into three sections: 10 days, one month and one year. Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative, Ministry of Tourism, Oman said, “Along with FIT, we have seen an increase in MiCE tourism with the recent launch of the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre in Muscat that supports international and local organisations in hosting large events. Also, many new international hotel chains that have recently opened in Oman have increased the number of rooms and venues in the country. Oman being a short-haul destination from India, with excellent air connectivity from major Indian cities, world-class hotels and easy availability of Indian food, is also becoming a preferred wedding destination. The reduced visa fees, new e-visa system, along with the newly opened Muscat International Airport will definitely be a boon for Oman’s tourism.” With a total of 3 million and 300 thousand tourists visiting last …

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Oman Tourism hosts networking events in Mumbai & Delhi for MiCE

Oman Tourism along with Cox & Kings hosted a networking evening in Delhi and Mumbai recently. Around 40-45 attendees representing the top management and decision makers of various corporate entities were present for this session to discuss Oman emerging as the next big hub for corporate events and MiCE groups. Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative, Ministry of Tourism, Oman said, “Conducting networking session for corporate organisations gave us an opportunity to showcase to them various MiCE offerings. For this, we feel privileged to be associated with Cox & Kings who bring along their expertise. Being a short-haul destination from India, with excellent air connectivity from major Indian cities, world-class hotels and easy availability of Indian food, Oman makes an ideal MiCE destination.” Khalid Al Zadjali, Director, Oman Convention Bureau said, “With new international hotel chains that have recently opened in Oman and many more to launch soon, we are seeing a considerable increase in the number of rooms and venues in the country. The recent revision in visa regulations (granting of Visa on Arrival for non-sponsored tourist visa for certain categories), increasing number of flights from India to Oman, diversification of tourism products and the upcoming phase II of the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC) will bring momentum to MiCE tourism.”

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Bahrain partners with agents for Grand Prix

Bahrain Tourism has partnered with six travel agents each in seven Indian cities along with including the Grand Prix package on their website for The Formula 1 2018 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix to be held from April 6 to 8, 2018 at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC). Bahrain Tourism is doing a 360-degree promotional campaign for the same as it is one of the biggest sporting events in Bahrain. Sunil Mathapati, India representative, Bahrain Tourism, says, “We have not specifically conducted a familiarisation trip to showcase BIC but have organised an educational trip for the event to promote it to consumers. We have been constantly promoting the event on social media platforms and doing print, radio and digital campaigns as well.” He says that it is important for destinations to promote exclusive events, specially sporting events such as this to showcase the destination and rake in the numbers. “Each sport has its enthusiasts. India also has its fair share of F1 fans. It becomes extremely important for a destination to promote the same. It also gives a boost in numbers as nowdays people are looking for multiple things to do when they travel,” Mathapati adds.  

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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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Scandinavia to record over 15% increase in Indian bednights in 2017

Scandinavia expects to record over 15 per cent growth in Indian bednights in 2017 over 2016 with 350,000 Indian bednigts recorded year-to-date. This information was given by Mohit Batra, India Representative, Scandinavia Tourist Board, during the the Delhi leg of the three-city roadshow being conducted by the tourism board. The roadshow will head to Chennai on November 15, followed by Mumbai on November 16. “We have seen a tremendous growth in interest towards Scandinavia and some markets in the region may have witnessed an upward of 20 per cent growth too. All segments have shown growth, be it leisure, honeymooners or the incentive market from India. Our focus has been Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru but we have also seen interest coming in from other cities as well.”

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3rd OTOAI Convention in RAK begins with 180 delegates in attendance

The third Annual Convention of Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) kicked off in Ras Al Khaimah with 180 delegates. The Convention was inaugurated by Shaji Thomas, Director-Destination Tourism Development, Ras Al Khaimah; Guldeep Singh Sahni, President, OTOAI; Riaz Munshi, Convention Chairman and Vice President, OTOAI; Mohamed Khater, Senior Tourism Development Manager, Government of Ras Al Khaimah; Gurdeep Gujral, Joint Secretary, OTOAI; SanJeet, India Representative, Ras Al Khaimah, and Mahendra Vakharia, Chairman-Western Chapter, OTOAI. Sahni said, “Amidst the challenges in outbound tourism, there are growth opportunities and we need to seize them by raising our game and gearing up for growth. We need to up our value proposition and rise above the competition.” Thomas informed that India is the fourth largest source market for Ras Al Khaimah with Germany being the largest followed by UK and Russia. “India is a very important market for us. Earlier Indians used to stay 1.9 nights in RAK but now they stay for 2.25 nights which means they have explored more things to do at the destination. We have become a popular destination for weddings. This year we have 17 Indian boutique weddings and we hope to increase this number steadily.”

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37% growth in Indian arrivals to Canada in April 2017

  Destination Canada recorded a significant growth of over 37 per cent in Indian arrivals to Canada in the month of April 2017, compared to the same period last year. This rise in the growth rate substantiates the fact that a large number of Indian visitors had explored the tourism offerings of Canada in April. SanJeet, India Representative, Destination Canada, said, “The 37 per cent increase in Indian footfall to Canada is a big achievement and motivation for us. Having shown such a huge growth proves that Indians are looking at exploring Canada for its exclusiveness. From scenic beauty, shopping avenues, adventurous experiences, train journeys to self-drives, Canada has everything to offer for Indian travellers. We are optimistic about breaking our previous arrival records by the end of 2017.”

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12-15% growth in Indian visitor arrival numbers to Ireland

Tourism Ireland in association with Etihad Airways hosted top 10 travel agents from across India to Ireland’s largest tourism trade fair, Meet the Buyer and Mietheal 2017, which was organized by Tourism Ireland. Huzan Fraser Motivala, India Representative, Tourism Ireland who accompanied the group for this key trade fair said “India is an important developing market for Tourism Ireland and one that we are committed to growing. We have been seeing a steady growth of 12-15 % in Indian visitor arrival numbers to the island of Ireland. “The Irish Visa Applications YTD 16 have also seen a 33% increase in visa applications compared to the same period last year. Factors in our favour include increased air access to Ireland, particularly by Etihad Airways and Emirates via the Middle East. Qatar Airways will be launching an additional flight starting June 2017, which we believe will further aid connectivity.  We hope that this FAM trip will help the travel trade to create customized itineraries to promote Ireland to their clients. Going forward, we will look to organize more such activities through 2017 and are confident of witnessing a growth in the number of Indian visitors to Ireland.” The workshop brought together over 310 overseas buyers and 455 Irish tourism businesses for three days of negotiating business deals. There were approximately 12,000 face to face meetings organised over the duration of this event – allowing international and Irish operators to meet and agree business for the 2017-2018 seasons. India is one key emerging market for Ireland and we see great potential from this region. In the last few years there has been greater interest and numbers being generated from the India as more …

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Munich Travel Guru training program for agents

Munich Tourist Office, India, has launched a specialist-training program called Munich Travel Guru for the travel trade. The programme builds on the theme ‘Simply Munich’ and engages the travel trade through 10 online informative modules. The participants will have to score a minimum of 90 per cent in each module to proceed to the next level. Once the participant clears all modules and becomes a Munich Travel Guru, certificate will be issued online and the early birds will be rewarded. SanJeet, India Representative, Munich Tourist Office, said, “We have been actively working with our travel partners with an objective to create the buzz and help build business for Munich City. The program has also been designed specially to enhance knowledge of the frontline staff through extensive education and sell packages to Munich more effectively.” As per the latest statistics, Munich has recorded a year-on-year growth of 21 per cent during January–June 2016 in Indian visitor arrivals and 14 per cent growth in Indian overnights.

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17% rise in Indian arrivals to Oman in 2015

Oman received 299,022 Indian arrivals last year recording 17 per cent growth in 2015 over 2014. Oman’s National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) released the figures from India which highlight an increase in inbound numbers. The statistics also reflect a growth of 60 per cent in Indian arrivals to Oman in the last five years. Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative, Ministry of Tourism, Oman, said, “The increase is very encouraging and reflects all the hard work we have put in promoting and marketing the destination in India. Since 2014, we started promoting Oman as an ideal wedding destination for Indians as Muscat is close to India. Our efforts were rewarded as we witnessed several large-scale weddings take place in the last two years. Many Indians are now visiting Oman for destination weddings. MICE has also seen an increase and to attract more MICE activities this year, our efforts are aimed at increasing interactions with tour operators and corporates.”

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