Tag Archives: Director

Alfa Destinations Marketing to represent PCEB in India

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Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) has appointed Alfa Destinations Marketing as its representation firm in India to manage travel trade strategy, public relations and industry alignment across both countries. India is proven to be a strong market for Penang and is one of the top five markets for business events in Penang. Over the past year, Penang has received encouraging interest from event planners and conference organisers. In 2017, 13% of Business Events of Asia Pacific origin was from India, contributing RM190 million or USD 46 million. In 2018, Penang’s largest Business Event – V-CON 2018 – which saw a participation of 16,000 delegates from around the world reported that 80% of their delegates were from India. The number of Indian travellers flying in to Penang has also increased in recent years. The Penang Immigration Department reported that for the period between Jan to Nov 2018, 7,250 Indian travellers flew into the Penang International Airport, compared to 6,569 in the same period in 2017. The 10.37% increase came despite there not being direct flights between Penang and India. To further attract the Indian outbound meetings and conference market, PCEB has introduced attractive support packages specially tailored for India. PCEB recently held the 2nd sales and media mission in India with partners from the Penang meeting with over 1000 travel trade contacts and media across 4 cities; Chennai, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and New Delhi. “We are so pleased and excited to add Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau to our existing client portfolio. Alfa’s focus will be to align and enhance the ‘Experiences Unfiltered’ campaign under PCEB through cooperative strategies with key wholesale, airline and trade partners, as well as increase awareness …

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Destinos India Honored with SITE Crystal Award

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Destinos India was recognised by Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) with a Crystal Award for Best Destination-Based Incentive Travel Program at the Crystal Awards Recognition Ceremony held during SITE Global Conference 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand. Considered the highest honor in the incentive travel industry, SITE Crystal Awards recognise creative, practical, and truly memorable incentive programs that not only keep employees engaged, but also drive business results and improve a business’ bottom line. “As the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence it’s only fitting that we have our own reward and recognition program to highlight excellence in incentive travel. The Crystal Awards program is a long-standing SITE tradition, part of our association since 1980 and a hotly contested, much anticipated annual event. It confers the highest honor in our industry to incentive travel professionals who have clearly demonstrated how incentive travel leads to business results,” commented SITE President 2018, Annamaria Ruffini, CIS, CITP, CMP. “Right after our inception as a DMC, this was the very first dream project to put our heart and soul in to deliver an incredible incentive voyage. With detailed research, offbeat vision, sagacity, prevision, dedication and micromanagement, backed by hard work by our experienced, professional and enthusiastic team, we transformed all possible challenges to opportunities and presented an incentive journey to cherish for a lifetime. This award becomes even more special and important for us as we have got it in the very first year of our existence.” commented Sanjay Malhotra, Director, Destinos India. “It is a special honor to be recognised with our first SITE Crystal Award within the very first year since inception. We feel privileged and grateful to our client for their immense trust …

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Fitur 2019 to focus on MICE

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Being one of the most efficient global meeting points for tourism professionals, leading travel trade fair FITUR is looking to raise the bar in 2019. Organised by IFEMA at Feria de Madrid, FITUR is scheduled from January 23 to 27. According to Ana Larrañaga, Director, FITUR, 880 companies will be taking part this year — an increase of 9 per cent from last year. She is expecting that the number of attendees will surpass the last year’s numbers, when 251,000 delegates turned up for the show. Sharing her expectations and targets from the show, Larrañaga says, “Apart from this increased participation, we expect that the call for professionals will also be a complete success, in line with the improved figures for the tourism sector both in Spain and worldwide. To achieve this, we are also promoting initiatives like strengthening the programme for international buyers, especially in highly-specialised sectors such as MiCE, for which we are organising the new FITUR MITM – MiCE & BUSINESS B2B space. Talking about the theme of the show, she said that sustainability is one of the main themes of FITUR this year. “We are working hard to enrich and increase its content, both domestic and international. One of the most innovative initiatives will be the FITUR Cine/Screen Tourism space,” she emphasises. Commenting on the growth of inbound tourism in Spain and the traffic from India, she says, “The latest data indicates that more than 82 million tourists visited Spain in 2017, and in 2018, we expect to break the record again. Regarding the source market, as with other destinations, European countries are the leaders because they are closer and have easier transport connections, and within …

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NokScoot launches 4-times-a-week Delhi-Bangkok direct

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Thailand-based NokScoot has launched its non-stop flight from New Delhi to Bangkok at inaugural fare of Rs 7200 one way (inclusive of taxes). It is a joint venture between Scoot, which is 100 per cent owned by Singapore Airlines and Thailand’s Nok Air. Giam Ming Toh, Deputy CEO, NokScoot; HE ChutintornGongsakdi, Ambassdor of Thailand to India and IsraStapanaseth, Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), addressed the media and shared how the new airline would offer new connection to Bangkok at very competitive fares.

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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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