Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

Turkey hosts Fam for Indian wedding planners and agencies

In an initiative to promote Turkey as a preferred wedding destination for Indian weddings, Turkey Cultural & Tourism board, India, recently organised a familiarisation trip for top Indian wedding planning agencies. Agencies were selected on the quality of their work as well as their experience in planning weddings abroad. The visit offered the Indian contingent with the opportunity to view and experience Turkey as a unique destination for holding Indian weddings. The week-long trip had wedding planners travelling to cities of Antalya, Bodrum, Istanbul where they had the opportunity to visit more than 25 hotels and resorts and interact with the representatives of these luxury hospitality chains. In addition, a city tour was also organised in each city where the Indian delegation had the chance to visit some of regions most popular tourist attractions. Special cultural events, culinary galas and B2B sessions also kept the delegation busy. The trip helped wedding planners understand the current offerings in Turkey and how it could be explored as a destination for lavish Indian weddings. Talking about reasons to promote Turkey as a wedding destination, Deniz Ersöz, Culture and Tourism Counsellor, Turkish Culture and Tourism Office in India, said, “Weddings in India are becoming larger than life and destination weddings are getting more and more popular among Indians. Turkey has great potential to become a wedding destination and the feedback we got from the wedding planners after the Fam trip was very encouraging. It is a destination with the most amazing and diverse topography, which is perfect for an Indian wedding as you could have every event set against a unique backdrop.”

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France welcomes 89 million global tourists and 600,000 Indians in 2017

The year 2017 continued to be a record year for tourism in France, highlights Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India. The country had the honour of welcoming 89 million global tourists last year whilst retaining the position of being the most popular choice in the tourism industry. France also welcomed over 600,000 Indian visitors, being the number one destination in Europe for Indians.  Indian arrivals to France have doubled in the last four years and grew at approximately 20 per cent each year. The figures for 2018 already look very positive especially with the support of the embassy and visa efficiency. Two years back, the French embassy committed to take a visa decision within 48 hours of receiving an application and this has helped further promote the destination in India.  

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Seychelles conducts destination trainings in Surat and Nagpur

Seychelles Tourism Board recently completed destination trainings in Surat and Nagpur. The workshops were conducted to engage a new set of tour operators who have the potential to promote the destination and equip them with information and details about Seychelles. The events were attended by 25-30 companies in both cities which included a destination presentation followed by question and answer and networking sessions. While the training was conducted by Shakambri Soni from Seychelles Tourism Board, Neeti Bhatia, GM—Marketing and PR at Blue Square Consultants orchestrated the networking sessions ensuring quality meetings. Seychelles has seen a steady growth in inbound tourism from India with more than 10,000 passengers till September 2018. India is the top sixth source destination for Seychelles and is seeing an increase in traffic from Tier-II cities of India. Commenting on the success of the workshops, Lubaina Sheerazi, COO, Blue Square Consultants, Seychelles Tourist office India said, “The workshop gives a common platform for all to get information and support from the tourism board. Limiting the presentation to around 30 companies ensures good one to one interaction between the tourism board representative and invited operators and leads to more serious business meetings between the two. Seychelles is now a choice of destination for target audiences beyond honeymooners and metro cities, and penetration into Tier-II cities through this format provides a larger stage to initiate and nurture quality B2B interaction.”

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Tourism from India to Russia grows 27.5 per cent

At the recently-concluded Round Table on Tourism on the sidelines of the Russian Indian Summit 2018, Ivan Breganov, Regional Manager of IFS (Russian Visa Center) confirmed that the number of tourist visas issued from January to September 2018 has already surpassed the total number of visas issued in 2017, pegging the YoY growth around 27 per cent. The round table was organised by Russia Expo Center, Moscow along with Russian Information Center, Mumbai (RIC) with more than 120 trade professionals from India attending along with TAAI MC Member Rajan Sehgal and EEMA Executive Vice President Sanjiv Pasricha making the keynote address along with Timur Vekilov, Chief Representative in India of Russ Expo Center. The round table moderated by Paresh Navani, Director, Russ Information Center discussed the needs and special services required by Indians and ways to address the same. In this regard, Russ Information Center announced the pre-launch of Ural Airlines set to begin operations from March 24, 2019 connecting Mumbai to Yekaterinburg and Moscow along with some tourism products to take advantage of the new airline service between the two countries, further RIC presented its ‘Indian Friendly’ programme to the Indian travel trade, the Indian friendly programme trains Russian hotels on Indian culture, cooking Indian dishes and ensure that other specific needs are provided to Indians in Russia. Another point noted by the attendees was that tourists from Russia to India has also grown over the last years by around 29 per cent, showing good recovery of arrival compared to the past few years.

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Jeju Tourism conducts two-city roadshow in India

Jeju Special Self-Governing Province and Jeju Tourism Organization recently held a joint roadshow in New Delhi and Mumbai to present the destination to travel agents. This was their second tourism presentation in India since 2015 when they made their India debut. Park Hong Bai, President, Jeju Tourism Organization, led the Korean delegation that comprised Jeju Special Self-Governing Province and three domestic businesses that were participating in the roadshow. About 100 tour operators attended the show in each city. Indian nationals do not require a visa for visiting Jeju Island. Hong Bai, said, “This roadshow is a very important first step for Jeju to tap the Indian market. Jeju will be working with Korea Tourism Organization and Hong Kong Tourism Board to boost promotion of each region in India and to increase the satisfaction of Indian travellers who plan to visit Jeju.”

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Singapore Tourism targets discerning, local experiences-seeking young Indian travellers

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has partnered with a popular music channel to launch a music video, featuring both Indian and Singaporean talents. With this, STB becomes the first tourism board to come out with its own, cross-border collaborative English music video. India is a key traveller source market for Singapore and moved up a spot to become its third-largest visitor-arrival contributor in 2017. With an estimated 65 per cent of India’s population being 35 years and under having strong disposable income and increasingly travelling overseas, STB recognises the importance of reaching out to them. These young adults or working millennials seek immersive, unique and local experiences and Singapore presents a plethora of options. With this music video, STB forays into a different public space: the world of English music, pop culture and entertainment to connect with the young Indians, who are more adventurous and seek lifestyle experiences when travelling.

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Visit Maldives appoints AVIAREPS as India representative

AVIAREPS has been appointed as the Sales, Marketing and PR representative in India for Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC). The appointment came into effect owing to Maldives’ growing outbound demand, steady rise in visitation from India, along with surge in the length of stay and spending power of Indian travellers. Speaking after the announcement, Haris Mohamed, Acting Managing Director, MMPRC, said “Maldives’ tourism industry has been expanding over the years to provide unique experiences to its visitors whilst also catering to specific needs of the niche segments that Maldives attracts. We are delighted to have appointed AVIAREPS to represent the Maldives tourism board in India. We hope to work together with the aim of increasing the number of tourists from India, which has been a growing market and the top fifth market in terms of arrivals to Maldives. With well-planned strategies and activities targeted towards educating and inviting the Indian Market, we hope to achieve continued growth in the years to come”. “The Maldives’ is one of India’s closest neighbour with world-class resorts and tourism offerings. Our plans include working very closely with the Indian travel trade and media to reach out to the Indian consumer. Our prime focus will be on maintaining and strengthening Maldives’s positioning in India as the first choice beach and leisure destination with a myriad of tourism offerings,” commented Joseph Fernandes, General Manager—India, AVIAREPS.  

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Germany witnesses a 10.8% growth in visitor overnights from January – July 2018

Germany emerges as one of the most favoured leisure destinations for Indian travellers again. From January-July 2018, the country received 547,402 visitor overnights making for a growth of 10.8 per cent from India compared to the same period last year. The Discover Germany roadshow – an annual event for the GNTO -flagged off in Delhi on September 25, was followed by Bengaluru on September 26, and will conclude in Mumbai on September 28. Owing to the growing interest from Indian operators, the roadshow saw the participation of two new German partners this, year namely Europamundo Vacations (Coach Tour Operator) and a&o Hotels and Hostels (A Hotel Chain). The roadshow also saw repeated participation from Maritim Hotels, Baden Baden, KD German Rhine Line, Lufthansa, Rail Europe, Vienna House, Saxony Tourism and Stuttgart & SouthWest Germany. Romit Theophilus, Director Sales and Marketing, GNTO, India, said, “Year on year, we have been noticing an increased interest from the Indian travel trade in Germany. This can be witnessed by the overwhelming participation received in our roadshows. Furthermore, we have witnessed a growth in the overall perception of Germany as a favoured leisure destination by the travellers. Additionally, the forecasted data from airline seat load factors and our overnight statistics prove that Germany is fast becoming one of the most sought after leisure destination for Indian travellers.”

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Oman conducts three-city roadshow in India

The Ministry of Tourism, Oman, has successfully conducted the second leg of the multi-city roadshow in Mumbai. The event witnessed participation from around 140 companies to bridge connections between local travel agents and destination management companies in Oman. The unique interactive platform with pre-fixed meetings gave trade partners and travel agents an opportunity to interact and learn more about the diverse product offerings and experiences that Oman has to offer. Her Excellency, Maitha Saif Al Mahrouqi, Undersecretary, Ministry of Tourism (MOT), said, “The objective of the roadshow is to highlight the various facets of Oman as a destination and to create awareness about the new segments and offerings that the country has to offer. We see India as a promising potential market and have witnessed significant growth over a period of time. We recognise and acknowledge the demand from India and other potential markets. Hence, as part of the Sultanate’s National Tourism Strategy 2040, the Ministry of Tourism seeks to introduce the sector’s latest developments, services, projects and facilities of the tourism industry like opening the new passenger terminal at Muscat International Airport and launching the electronic visa.” Commenting on the roadshow, Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative, Ministry of Tourism, Oman, said, “The roadshow offers us a platform to expose the uniqueness of Oman as a holiday destination from India. From luxurious resorts and campsites to exotic scuba diving spots to rustic shopping experiences, Oman has something to offer to anyone who has a quest for adventure and thirst for a distinctive cultural experience. Oman is not only seeing a surge in MiCE travel, but is also a preferred wedding destination for many.”

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Turkey Tourism to conduct six-city roadshow in India from October 8-13

The Turkish Culture and Tourism board in India will be conducting a roadshow and destination workshop in six cities across India from October 8-13, 2018. To be held in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Mumbai, the aim of the roadshow is to interact with stakeholders, agents, policy makers and travellers in these cities on current tourism offerings of Turkey and create more awareness on destination. The roadshow will also help in positioning Turkey as a leisure, wedding and MiCE destination amongst Indian travellers. Deniz Ersöz, Culture & Tourism Counsellor, Turkish Culture and Tourism Office in India said, “India is a very important market and we are aware of the potential it holds in terms of inbound visitor traffic to Turkey. In 2017, Turkey hosted more than 32 million international tourists while from India the number was 87,000. This year, from January to July, we recorded 25 per cent increase in the number of overall tourists. That means we will be hosting 40 million international tourists by the end of 2018. When we look at figures from India, we see 95 per cent increase for the same period. If this trend continues we will be hosting almost 2 lakh Indian tourists by the year-end.” The roadshow will also witness participation from Turkish Airlines, luxury hotels and important delegates and officials from Turkey.

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