Tag Archives: Director

Ethiopia initiates e-visa service

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The Ethiopian Immigration and Nationality Affairs Main Department in collaboration with Ethiopian Airlines has recently launched an e-visa service for all international visitors to Ethiopia. The e-visa is processed and issued online on a single webpage where applicants apply, pay and secure their entry visa online. Once the application is approved, applicants will receive an email authorising them to travel to Ethiopia and they will get their passport stamped with the visa upon arrival in Addis Ababa. Regarding the newly revamped service, Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO, Ethiopian Airlines, remarked, “Ethiopia, the oldest independent civilisation in Africa and one of the oldest in the world, is endowed with historical places, natural beauty, colourful and diverse cultural activities and various endemic wild animals which are of great interest to international tourists. However, we have not made best use of these natural resources to attract large number of tourists. To this effect, this project is part of a new national initiative to transform the tourism sector in the country.” Gebreyohannes Teklu, Director, Main Department for Immigration & Nationality Affairs, commented, “We are glad that we have been working together with Ethiopian Airlines for the effective implementation of e-visa facilities at Bole International Airport. Now international visitors to Ethiopia, from any country in the world will make use of this service.”  

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Newly-opened Holiday Inn Resort Kolkata NH6 to cater to MICE

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InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced a partnership with SDB Developers to bring a second Holiday Inn hotel to Kolkata. As part of the agreement, the 110-room Holiday Inn Resort Kolkata NH6 will have 90 rooms operational by the end of 2018, with 20 additional rooms expected to be operational by 2020. The upcoming Holiday Inn Resort Kolkata NH6 will house impressive meeting and banquet facilities along with beautifully landscaped lawns, especially suited for wedding functions. All rooms will be equipped with modern amenities for guests’ comfort. The resort will also feature a state-of-the-art gymnasium, pool, and a spa for guests to relax and revive. Furthermore, guests staying at the hotel will be spoilt for choice with three dining options offering excellent food and beverage selections. Sprawling across 12 acres of land in Uluberia, a city that comes under the Kolkata Metropolitan Area, Holiday Inn Resort Kolkata NH6 is strategically located to offer excellent connectivity to central Kolkata. Well suited to cater to leisure, business and MiCE guests, the resort will be an hour’s drive from the City Centre and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport. The resort will also be well connected to the National Highway and the Orissa Trunk Road. Commenting on the announcement, Sudeep Jain, Vice President – Development, South West Asia, IHG said, “The signing of Holiday Inn Resort Kolkata NH6 is in line with our strategy to grow our portfolio of midscale hotels in the country, comprising the Holiday Inn brand family. Given the location, facilities and best in class amenities that will be available at the resort, we expect strong demand from various guests’ segments including, leisure, MiCE, social events and weddings.” Pawan Bhimsaria, Director, SDB Developers said, “With IHG’s …

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Israel lowers visa fee to INR 1,100 for Indian travellers

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Israel has reduced its visa fee to INR 1,100 from its previous INR 1,700 charge for Indian citizens.  The move is aimed to encourage more Indian travellers to visit the country. VFS Global currently offers visa processing services for Israeli visas in the cities of Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. Centres will soon open in Hyderabad and Kolkata to service the residents in these cities, who will not be required to send their documents to the Consulates in Mumbai and Bengaluru or the Embassy in New Delhi. The revised application fee is on the B2 visa category, where a visit to Israel is for purposes including business, meeting or conference or tourism. Commenting on the initiatives, Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism – India & Philippines, said, “We are happy to announce the reduction in visa fees for Indian travellers with immediate effect. I am confident that this move will encourage more people to choose Israel as a holiday destination and boost inbound numbers from India. With the ease in visa norms and Fast Track visa processing incorporated earlier this year, we have seen an increase in travel and I am confident that the revised visa fees will help grow these numbers. Besides this, we are working towards e-visa processing as well as easing the group visa process.” He also added, “We have seen tremendous growth in the number of tourists from India in the last three years and 2017 has been the best year so far with close to 60,000 visitors. Our inbound figures have already recorded an increase of 27 per cent (approximately 19,000 travellers) in Indian tourist arrivals from January to April as compared to the same …

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Cyprus offers incentives for MiCE

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In order to attract the growing conferences and incentives segment from India, the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) is offering attractive financial incentive schemes so that MICE agents and corporates choose Cyprus as their preferred destination. There are broadly four schemes. Speaking about this is Michalis Metaxas, Director, Cyprus Tourism Organization and Cyprus Convention Bureau (CCB). He says, “Cyprus is an attractive and competitive destination for the organisation of conferences, meetings and incentive trips. We have four different types of schemes for corporates depending on who they are and what their aim is.” One scheme is for MICE directed at non-profit organisations, associations and academic institutions for conferences and meetings and licensed tourism and travel offices and companies for corporate conferences and incentive trips. The second incentive scheme is to support conference bidding and sales calls to attract conference and incentive tourism to Cyprus. The bidding for hosting of conferences should be done by non-profit organisations/associations, and educational/academic institutions that will travel abroad in order to bid for the hosting of conferences/meetings of non-profit regional, European or international organisations/associations, or educational/academic institutions on the island. Cyprus also offers incentives for inspection visits of the destination in general, and meeting Cypriot professionals within this field as well as for conducting familiarisation trips to Cyprus for MiCE.  

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Air India to launch Delhi-Tel Aviv direct from March 22

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Air India will begin its non-stop flight from New Delhi to Tel Aviv starting March 22. The carrier has confirmed flying thrice a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday on Air India’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner that has 18 Business Class and 238 Economy seats. The aircraft will depart from New Delhi at 4.50 pm and arrive in Tel Aviv at 8.25 pm. On its return leg, the plane will depart from Tel Aviv at 10.15 pm and land in Delhi the next day at 9 am. This announcement has come at a time when Israel Ministry of Tourism has recorded a whopping growth of 50 per cent in January and 25 per cent in February, 2018, of Indian arrivals to Israel vis-à-vis the same period in 2017. In addition to Air India, Israel’s national carrier El Al currently has four weekly non-stop flights from Mumbai to Tel Aviv and will soon increase its frequency furthermore. Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism India & Philippines, says, “In light of the significant increase in incoming tourism from India over the past few years, the Ministry of Tourism has been in talks with Air India and other airlines to increase their flights and seat capacity into Israel. Direct flights now from both Mumbai and New Delhi by El Al and Air India, respectively, will help meet the growing demand and enable us to achieve our target of one lakh Indian arrivals in 2018.”

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Israel sees 31 per cent increase in Indian arrivals

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Indian tourist arrivals to Israel have increased by 31 per cent from January to December, 2017 with around 60,000 Indian tourists visiting the country last year. This marks a growth of 48 per cent in the last two years, according to statistics released by Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT). Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism India & Philippines, said, “2017 has been outstanding and by far the best year for Israel tourism in India and worldwide. By October, 2017 we already saw 49,000 Indians arrive in Israel, breaking previous records, and we were positive to close the year with 60,000 travellers to Israel from India. With over 20 million outbound tourists a year, India has been an important market for us. Introducing initiatives, including easing of the visa process and with airlines in India and Israel expressing interest to increase connectivity between the countries, I am confident that this growth will help us achieve 1 lakh Indian arrivals in 2018.”

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‘Shop Bahrain’ gets Gulf Air as its official airline

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Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, is onboard once again, supporting ‘Shop Bahrain’ for the fourth consecutive year as official airline of the nationwide shopping festival. As a strategic partner of ‘Shop Bahrain’, Gulf Air is providing more than 6,000 airline tickets at discounted prices as raffle prizes. In addition, Gulf Air customers will receive 4 points for every 1BHD spent when purchasing flights throughout the festival period which runs until February 10, 2018. Captain Waleed Abdulhameed Al Alawi, Deputy CEO, Gulf Air, said, “We are delighted to partner with ‘Shop Bahrain’ once again. This strategic partnership is in line with Gulf Air’s ongoing commitment to support initiatives that help drive the growth of the tourism, retail and hospitality sectors in the Kingdom of Bahrain. It is fitting that we collaborate in this regard, further strengthening Bahrain’s positioning as an attractive destination regionally, while helping to showcase the Kingdom’s tourist attractions and encourage visitors to experience the trademark Arabian hospitality.” Yousef Al Khan, Director, ‘Shop Bahrain’, stated, “This year, we have been coordinating with Gulf Air and various hotels in the Kingdom to develop attractive tourist packages. We aim to offer visitors an unforgettable shopping experience packed with fun-filled events and promotions.

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Travel Business Show: Engaging discussions on MICE

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The 2nd edition of the Travel Business Show inauguration was followed by an engrossing panel discussion on Meetings Incentives Conferences and Events (MICE), moderated by Priti Khanna, Director, DDP Publications. The discussion involved different stakeholders of the MICE industry to share key inputs on experiential MICE. The eminent panelists included Tekla Maira, Director Luxury Sales –India, AccorHotels; Homa Mistry, CEO,  Trail Blazer Tours;  Kiran Thomas, AVP, Administration and Global Travel, Sutherland Global Services and Ismail A Hamid Amer, Regional Director, Egyptian Tourism Counsellor.

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Travizuu appointed as Jet Airways’ key vendor at Mumbai International Airport

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Travizuu has signed an agreement with Jet Airways as a direct travel vendor to its staff at Mumbai International Airport. This collaboration is designed to support Jet Airways growing fleet requirement, and the need to have a designated one point of authorised contact to operate seamless day-to-day travel. Headquartered in Mumbai, Travizuu recently added hundreds of newer models of car which are authorized and ply under the regulation of Transport Department. This partnership will allow them to service Jet Airway’s growing need of cars on the road, ensuring that vehicles are ready for their staff around the clock. “Our strict process of induction is not only confined to drivers but also to vehicles. We ensure that all the vehicles have valid official documents such as permit, registration certificate, insurance policy and fitness certificate before they are operational and in service,” said Amjadh Waghu, Director, Travizuu, who heads Compliance and Vendor Relations. “We are excited to partner with Jet Airways, the fleet management companies are changing the mobility landscape in a profoundly transformative and beneficial manner,” said Juned Khan, Director, Travizuu, who spearheads the Investor Relations and Strategy building for National & International Business. He further added, “Not only does this partnership enable us to leverage our current capabilities and reach, but it also allows us to extend our reach with key tie-ups with sub-vendors available in the marketplace across the country.”

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Ethiopia offers e-visas to MICE participants

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Ethiopian Immigration and Nationality Affairs main Department in collaboration with Ethiopian Airlines Group has launched e-visa services for African and international participants of Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions held in Ethiopia effective September 20, 2017. With this, MICE travellers to Ethiopia will be able to issue their visas online, book, pay and check-in their flight with Ethiopian, all online. Group CEO Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde Gebre Mariam, remarked, “With the immense potential for conference tourism, Ethiopia has still a lot to do to tap into the sector and the launching of an e-visa service for MICE is an impetus for the exponential demand of Ethiopia’s conference tourism; saving time and cost besides inducing a modern online visa application process with more simplicity and efficiency. Further facilitating passengers travel experience, Ethiopian offers special fares and discounts besides availing custom designed tour packages to the various breathtaking tourist sites in the country. I wish to take this opportunity to thank our IT team and our colleagues at Ethiopian Immigration and Nationality Affairs main Department for a remarkably gratifying collaboration.” Ethiopia has availed an e-visa service for international visitors to Ethiopia effective June 12, 2017. Gebreyohannes Teklu, Director, Main Department for Immigration & Nationality Affairs, said, “The introduction of e-visa for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions will provide travelers with a fast and convenient way to apply for a visa and initiate their travel to Ethiopia while ensuring absolute security of sensitive information. This is important milestone for Ethiopia being capital of Africa to serve various African Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions.”  

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