Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

Nepal Sales Mission 2019 travels to Jaipur post successful events in Lucknow and Agra

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Nepal Sales Mission 2019, an eight-city event, will run up till February 1, 2019, in Lucknow, Agra, Jaipur, Bhopal, Indore, Kochi, Coimbatore and Madurai. The Mission aims to bring all travel trade partners together to update them about Destination Nepal, educate them on what the country has to offer that will be of great interest to their Indian clientele, and allow them to explore opportunities that lie within. Nepal recorded a growth of 25.1 per cent in visitor arrivals from India in 2017, attaining a remarkable surge over the previous year. In Lucknow, the Mission will be held at Hyatt Regency on January 10. It will then proceed to Agra on January 12 to be held at the Clarks Shiraz hotel, followed by Jaipur on January 14 at Hotel Crowne Plaza. Marriott Hotels in Bhopal, Indore and Kochi will host the Sales Mission on January 21, 22 and 28, respectively. It will proceed to Coimbatore on January 30 to be held at Le Méridien Hotel and conclude in Madurai on February 1 at the Poppys Hotel. The Nepalese delegation is looking forward to interacting with over 80 agents from each of the eight cities, where participants include destination specialists, fence sitters, and other key trade partners. Nepal Sales Mission 2019 will witness participation from several private players from Nepal, including Apoorva Tours & Travels, Kathmandu Holiday Tours & Travels, Fishtail Tours & Travels, Heritage Tours & Travels and Outdoor Expeditions.

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Penang Sales Mission 2019 showcases unique offerings at New Delhi

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Penang Sales Mission to India 2019, led by Ashwin Gunasekeran, CEO, Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau, is being held in New Delhi. The objective of the mission is to promote Penang as the preferred destination for corporate and association meetings, conferences, and incentives, as well as leisure travel. A delegation of 13 Malaysia-based organisations is visiting the capital city, joined by Yeoh Soon Hin, the Penang State Executive Councillor for Tourism Development, Heritage, Arts & Culture. Capitalising on Penang’s rising popularity in India, the Penang Sales Mission to India hosted a B2B engagement session with participating business events and leisure travel buyers from India. Speaking at the event in New Delhi, Hin said, “Penang has always been a melting pot of cultures – an intersection for history and trade. As its State government, we are committed to continue developing the tourism sector and to continue showcasing our proud heritage and history.” He further stated that Penang’s airport was the third busiest airport in Malaysia and had a total passenger movement of seven million in 2018.” Addressing the gathering, Gunasekeran said, “India is one of the top five markets for business events in Penang, and over the past year, we have received encouraging interest from event planners and conference organisers. This Mission is joined by some of Penang’s finest offerings in the hospitality, travel and events sectors, and will showcase the best of what Penang can offer to the Indian market.”

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Bangkok 2nd as per GDS Index

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Bangkok is second on the list of Asian destinations in the latest Global Destination Sustainability (GDS) Index. The rating, which measured social and environmental sustainability strategies, industry supplier support, and Convention Bureau strategy and initiatives. The results also praised Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB)’s performance as a top scorer in a comparison of convention bureaux in other Asian destinations. The top five destinations recently received GDS-Index Awards from the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) to recognise their sustainable practices in the business tourism and events industry. The five highest overall scores went to Gothenburg (Sweden), Copenhagen (Denmark), Reykjavik (Iceland), Oslo (Norway) and Uppsala (Sweden) respectively. According to the index, the top five Asian cities with highest overall scores are Tokyo (Japan), Bangkok, Goyang (South Korea), Sapporo (Japan), and Dubai (United Arab Emirates) respectively. Bangkok was ranked second in Asia and 21st in the world according to the GDS-Index. The ranking measured across four key areas, including city environmental strategy and infrastructure (14 topics), city social sustainability performance (4 topics), industry supplier support (8 topics), and convention bureau (CVB) strategy and initiatives (12 topics). Bangkok received an overall score of 58 per cent, with the convention bureau winning 69 per cent, ably beating the global benchmark of 53 per cent. TCEB president Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya noted that this was the first time that Bangkok had participated in the GDS-Index, leaving the bureau delighted by the result.

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Dubai welcomes 11.58 million visitors in first 3 quarters of 2018

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Dubai remains on track to becoming the most visited city for global travel, business and events, according to the latest visitation figures released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism). The emirate welcomed 11.58 million visitors in the first three quarters of 2018, with India retaining its position as Dubai’s leading source market, followed by Saudi Arabia and the UK continuing to hold second and third positions respectively, underlining the city’s sustained appeal to its traditional strongholds and a wider diversified global audience. Russia, China and Germany continued to be key drivers within the top performing markets, each recording double-digit growth compared to the same period in 2017. Tourism from Russia remained on high trajectory, growing by a massive 60 per cent year-on-year, with visitor numbers surging to 460,000 in just the first nine months of 2018. The increase in Russian overnight guests was supported by a strong 19 per cent growth in air capacity across non-stop flights, in addition to added ease of travel access following the introduction of visa-on-arrival facilities in the last two years. China also continued to highlight benefits from the visa-on-arrival scheme, complementing the ongoing ‘China Readiness’ strategy, consequently re-enforcing its upward curve resulting in China securing its position as the fourth largest feeder market with an impressive 641,000 visitors so far this year, marking a 12 per cent increase versus 573,000 for the same period last year. Germany grew even faster at 15 per cent to reach 388,000 visitors during the first nine months, landing in eighth place within the top 10 source markets for Dubai. From a regional perspective, the first nine months saw 20 per cent of overnight visitors …

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Said Salim Al-Shanfari appointed as CEO of OCEC

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Oman Tourism Development Company (OMRAN) the developer of the iconic Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (OCEC) project,  has appointed through the Board of Directors of OCEC company Said Salim Said Al-Shanfari as CEO to lead the organisation through its next phase of innovation and growth. He has rich experience working in leadership roles in marketing and communications across Oman as well as in the region. He successfully completed Oman’s National CEO Program in 2017. The National CEO Program benefits individuals and corporations, preparing Oman’s brightest talent to compete in the global marketplace and aims to build the next generation of Omani leaders. With his leadership skills and experience from the CEO program, Al-Shanfari aims to promote Oman and OCEC as a hub for regional and international conferences and exhibitions along with live events, as well as showcasing the natural beauty and essence of Oman. Al-Shanfari brings with him a wealth of experience as he progressed through various management positions during his eight-year tenure in Ooredoo Oman as Director of Business Marketing and most recently as the General Manager of Marketing Communication and Performance at Omantel. On Said’s appointment, H.E Mohsin Bin Khamis Al Balushi, Adviser at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of OCEC company, a subsidiary of Omran, stated, “Oman is now on the world map as one of the top tourism destinations, and we are confident in appointing Said Al Shanfari to lead OCEC towards its vision of introducing Oman as a world-class destination for business events. We strive to continue our success in bringing international conventions whilst simultaneously ensuring we remain focused on delivering the very best service to our customers, delegates and stakeholders. A …

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Holland Sales Mission in India projects business opportunities

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NBTC Holland Marketing, in collaboration with Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Jet Airways, organised the Holland Sales Mission 2018. This three-day event was held from August 28 to 30, 2018, in Delhi, Bengaluru, and Mumbai. The Mission aimed to educate the travel trade about the tourism offerings in the Netherlands, also allowing them to explore the many opportunities that lie within. The B2B sessions allowed delegates to learn more about Holland’s key offerings in Amsterdam and beyond. Participants learned about up-and-coming attractions, airline connections, and were also able to address their concerns about visa norms. Holland Sales Mission 2018 included participation of several private players from the Netherlands, including Lovers Canal Cruises, Efteling Theme Park, Henri Willig Cheese Farms, Madurodam theme park, and ITO Tours. Marten van den Berg, Ambassador Designate, Kingdom of the Netherlands, said, “The Netherlands is about tradition, it is about long history, it is about art, visionary architecture, cutting-edge design, and also about romantic nightlife. There are so many places, other than Amsterdam, to go to in the Netherlands. It is also one of the most globalised countries in the world. We are extremely open to international trade, international investment, and because of our international connections, we have a wonderful infrastructure connected to all the countries in Europe. The Netherlands is also used as a hub for tourists to go to Paris, London, and Berlin. I would like you to visit the Netherlands, experience it, and enjoy it!” Providing statistics on visa applications, Gerco Broekstra, Head of Operations and Consular Affairs, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in New Delhi, said, “Visa applications to the Netherlands increased at a rate of least …

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Philippines Tourism & Singapore Airlines join hands to augment India arrivals

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The Department of Tourism (DOT), Philippines has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Singapore International Airlines (SIA) on December 12 to perk up a significant increase in Indian arrivals into the Philippines. Through the one-year collaboration, DOT and SIA will undertake joint marketing initiatives that will implement activities to promote the Philippines to the Indian market through social media, familiarisation tours, roadshows, among others. The agreement was signed by Benito Bengzon Jr., Under Secretary, DOT  and Campbell Wilson, Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing, SIA at the Makati Diamond Residences, Philippines. “The India market is growing at a very fast rate. In fact, we are expecting to reach 100,000 arrivals by end of 2017. This joint agreement is envisioned to sustain and further strengthen this growth in the coming years,” said Bengzon. He also disclosed that the department is not only looking at the headcount but also with the revenue it would generate. According to Wilson, this mutually beneficial agreement will pave way for a positive impact on the country’s tourism industry. “We are confident we can increase visitor arrivals; it is an honour to bring our passengers anywhere in the Philippines,” he said.  

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MOT to close 7 foreign offices, new office in Moscow on the cards

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The Ministry of Tourism has decided to close its foreign offices at Los Angeles, Toronto, Sydney, Amsterdam, Paris, Milan and Johannesburg. Alphons Kannanthanam, Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism, confirmed the news saying that they will be closing a few international offices in the near future. According to an official release from the MOT, the ministry will open a new office at Moscow. Thus, the Ministry of Tourism will now have offices at New York, Dubai, Frankfurt, Moscow, Beijing, Tokyo, Singapore and London.

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Indian overnights in Germany witness 13% growth during Jan-May ’17

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Germany received 329,860 Indian visitor overnights during January-May, 2017, reflecting a 12.8 per cent growth over the same period in 2016, informed Romit Theophilus, Director, Sales and Marketing, German National Tourist Office (India), at the Discover Germany roadshow held in Delhi recently. “We have had a phenomenal year. We grew by 8.6 per cent year on year and recorded over 413,000 overnights last year. By the end of this year, we hope to close nearly 800,000 overnights from India to Germany. We are on track to achieve our goal of a million Indian visitors to Germany by 2020 and hopefully receive 2 million Indian arrivals by 2030,” said Theophilus. He further informed that until now, Germany had especially been very popular for MICE and business travel from India, but lately, the destination has picked up for leisure travel as well. “It is now a 50-50 split between MICE, business and leisure travellers from India, and we are hopeful that Germany will be seen as a choice destination for all segments,” he adds. The next leg of the roadshow, organised by Destination Germany, will be held in Ahmedabad on September 6 and then in Mumbai on September 8.

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Singapore’s Tourism and Economic Development Board launches unified brand

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The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) unveiled the country’s unified brand, ‘Passion Made Possible’, to the Indian audiences. STB and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) have come together to develop this brand to market Singapore internationally for tourism and business purposes. The brand aims to communicate the country’s value proposition in addressing the needs of travellers and companies.  GB Srithar, Regional Director – South Asia Middle East & Africa (SAMEA), STB, announced the official launch of the brand in India, “Singapore remains a highly popular travel destination among Indian travellers. We welcomed a record 1.1 million visitors from India in 2016. The unveiled brand will allow us to build a deeper and more personal connection between Singapore and India. It is in line with quality tourism as it will appeal to the more sophisticated tourists who are seeking more aspirational value propositions in their travel.” In the development of the unified brand, STB and EDB had embarked on qualitative and quantitative research with close to 4,500 respondents on what Singapore stands for, reaching out to residents, industry stakeholders, and international audiences in Singapore and across 10 countries, including India. Yuemin Li-Misra, Area Director, South Asia (New Delhi), said, “We havelined up a multi-faceted brand promotional campaign to reach out to audiences across India. This includes a comprehensive multi-modal media campaign, on-ground consumer and trade-facing events and roadshows, stories by influential Indian public figures experiencing Singapore with our local brand personalities, and collaborations with strategic trade partners to promote brand-related travel packages to Singapore.” Srithar added, “STB has been fortunate in having many travel agent and airline partners collaborating with us over the years to bring Singapore’s offerings and experiences to …

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