Archive For The “LifeStyle” Category

Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board empanels India City Walks

Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board empanels India City Walks

Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board empanels India City Walks
To deliver and curate Heritage walks and content driven tourism in several
cities of Madhya Pradesh

Bhopal, November 2017: *Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board* empanelled ‘*India City Walks*’, based out of New Delhi a three-time national award-winning brand as their official agency for curation and operation of Heritage Walks and content driven tourism in several cities of Madhya Pradesh – Khajuraho, Orchha, Mandu, and Bhopal.

With a mission to offer engaging interactions with local cultures* ‘India City Walks*’ intends to showcase Madhya Pradesh’s rich heritage through storytelling and create experiential delivery of tours for showcasing living heritage, which is not just conceptual but has intangible aspects like regions language, lifestyles, ceremonies, festivities, cultures etc. The heritage walking tours will focus on unique story, develop visitor experience, preserve the assets of the region and increase footprints.
*Madhya Pradesh Tourism*

Speaking on this, Dr. Srikant Pandey, IAS, Additional Managing Director, Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board said “Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board’s initiative of Heritage Walk is not just a statement but is a commitment. Our inheritance is our history and it is also a testimony of our culture and tradition. So please join us in this great initiative and help us continue the invaluable legacy of Madhya Pradesh”.

Mr. Sachin Bansal, the Founder & Chief Explorer of India City Walks says –“The vision of *Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board* goes hand in hand with the vision of ‘*India City Walks*’. We are humbled to have been chosen to deliver the heritage walk experiences in the State. We are a passion driven organisation and intend to showcase every city with its own flavour and tale. Madhya Pradesh has a lot to share in terms of history, heritage and culture; we wish to capture it for all our travellers and guests”.

Taking this vision forward ‘*India City Walks*’ organized their first Heritage Walk on the third day of the Madhya Pradesh Travel Mart, 29th October in Bhopal. The three hour Heritage Walk and Sightseeing Experience starting at 6:00 AM covered heritage properties like Iqbal Maidan, Moti Masjid, Sadar Manzil, Sheesh Mahal, Shaukat Mahal, Taj-ul-Masjid and Taj Mahal. The Heritage walk was organized to showcase the fascinating amalgam of scenic beauty, old historic city and modern urban planning of this historic city and offer local immersions by creating an experience to cover all nuances of the city.

The idea behind such an initiative is to make the National and International Travel and trade fraternity aware about the variety of destinations that the state has to offer and revive the fast-growing tourism sector and to market and promote Madhya Pradesh and get travellers closer to treasure troves of history, heritage, cultures and humane values which are fast becoming a forgettable relic in a rapidly transforming society.

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The Best City for Travel in 2018 by Lonely Planet

The Best City for Travel in 2018 by Lonely Planet

Seville is the best city to visit in 2018, according to the prestigious Lonely Planet travel guide. The metamorphosis of the Andalusian capital into a cultural and sustainable destination along with the celebration of Murillo Year in 2018 have been the key factors to obtain this prestigious designation.*

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World Tapas Day : A Journey to the Flavors of Spain

World Tapas Day : A Journey to the Flavors of Spain

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*On 15th June, the Tourism Offices of Spain (Turespaña) all over the world and the gastronomical association ‘Tasting Spain’ celebrate Tapas Day globally, an occasion to commemorate and promote the Spanish gastronomy around the world. *

This year, Tapas Day celebrations will be held in 31 countries within Europe, America and Asia where more than 70 marketing and communication activities with media and consumers will take place in collaboration with 733 restaurants and more than 100 sponsors and partners worldwide.

Showcase the diversity of the Spanish gastronomy by the ‘tapas’ concept aims to be an annual event to be hosted on the third Thursday of June with international acknowledgement and is recognized as a day to celebrate the Spanish culture and values.

The Tourism Board of Spain (Turespaña) has appointed the Spanish gastronomy as one of the driving forces to promote the diversity and values of Spain as a tourist destination. As a result, amongst all the visitors to Spain during 2016 more than 7.7 million international tourists enjoyed any kind of gastronomy related activity.

*Why Tapas?*
Tapas is a word recognized worldwide as a symbol of the Spanish gastronomy. They are an important part of the Spanish gastronomical culture as they are consumed across the country and they prove the passion for life of Spaniards, because Tapas are not only about enjoying good food, but also about sharing and socializing!

*What happens on ¨World Tapas Day¨?*
World Tapas Day is celebrated simultaneously in Spain and 31 countries around the world and presents a complete programme of tastings, show cookings, activities in local markets, and more… Conducted by the moto ‘*World Tapas Day: a Journey to the flavors of Spain*’.

*India and Spain, the same passion for gastronomy*
India, as Spain, has great gastronomical diversity and the passion for good food. Both countries share the same hospitality values and the pleasure of sharing great moments around a meal. Therefore, Indians have shown an increasing interest in Spanish gastronomy. In this sense, in the last edition of the Lonely Planet Magazine India Travel Awards, Spain has been awarded *‘The Best International Destination for Food & Drinks 2017’*.

*The World Tapas Day in India*
This year, the celebrations to commemorate the Spanish gastronomy in India will take place in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru where the Tourism Office of Spain based in Mumbai has coordinated a gastronomical week with local partners: the Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai, the Sevilla Restaurant at The Claridges in New Delhi and the restaurants Caperberry and Fava in Bangalore.

Furthermore, Chef Alejandro Espinosa, Executive Chef at ‘El Patio de la Catedral’ in Segovia (Spain) is travelling to India to collaborate in some of the events hosted in Mumbai and Bangalore.

All information related to Tapas Day events in India can be found at the microsite www.spain.info/en_IN/world-tapas-day-india/ designed for the occasion. Also, social media campaign will be conducted with the hashtag *#TapasDay.*

So all you foodies out there! Celebrate your love for good food and don´t forget to enjoy these delicious combinations of miniature culinary delights during the week of *World Tapas Day celebrations commencing from 13th June, 2017*.

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Kerala Tourism the Best Destination for Romance

Kerala Tourism the Best Destination for Romance

Kerala, which is often referred to as God’s own country won the award for ‘Best Destination for Romance’ for Munnar by Lonely Planet Magazine India Travel Award 2017. P Bala Kiran, IAS, Director, Kerala Tourism received the prestigious award by Bollywood actress Diana Penty at the sixth edition of Lonely Planet India Travel Awards. This award is considered as another addition to the series of prominent awards won by Kerala Tourism in 2017.
Not so surprising!

Speaking on the occasion, P Bala Kiran, IAS, Director, Kerala Tourism said, “It is a euphoric moment for the state’s tourism department. It is overwhelming to be aware of the fact that Kerala is gaining popularity as India’s most preferred destination among the Indian travelers. The state’s tourism department will continue to keep up the positive momentum with its perennial growth trajectory”.

“One of the notable things about such awards is that they inspire other travel enthusiasts to visit and experience unexplored destinations. Moreover, India’s greenest state- Kerala is witnessing constant progress in foreign as well as domestic tourist arrivals since 2011”, he further added.

Demonstrating the growth of Kerala Tourism, he stated “As a matter of fact, foreign and domestic tourist arrival in Kerala has escalated by 6.23% and 5.67% respectively in the previous year. Under the leadership of Hon Minister Sri Kadakampally Surendran, there has been very good growth in Tourism infrastructure and is coming up with the new Tourist policy. Kerala tourism has been winning these awards under his leadership.”

Munnar, recipient of ‘Best Destination for Romance’ award, is famed for its romantic cottages, cloudy mountains, lively tea gardens, green valleys and on-going background sound of waterfalls. The calm climate of this photo scenic place makes it one of the most preferred honeymoon destinations in India. Other places of the state like backwaters in Alleppey, Wildlife in Thekaddy, beach in Kovalam and Trivandrum are equally magnificent.

Kerala, hub of cultural and natural heritage, has rightly emerged as a preferred wedding as well as a honeymoon destination, leaving international destinations far behind. In today’s time, luxurious hotels, resorts and exotic beaches of Kerala are the perfect locations for lavishing Indian weddings. The state is witnessing tremendous growth in the wedding tourism from the last couple of years. It would be right to say that Kerala has now become a trendsetter for foreigners and NRIs’ weddings. International as well as domestic vacationers adore the wide range of state’s tourist spots from idyllic beaches to backwater resorts, Spa and Ayurveda Centers, hill stations, wildlife and romantic Houseboat.

Reproduced from press release

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Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon launch new digital Discovery platform

Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon today launched *Discovery* – www.cathaypacific.com/discovery – a new digital destination where travellers can access and enjoy content from the airlines’ leading inflight magazines, *Discovery* and *Silkroad*, wherever they are in the world.


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Maldives is the best Island Destination

Maldives is the best Island Destination

Maldives consecutively wins the Outlook Traveller award yet again for the third time as ‘Best International Island Destination’ at the Outlook Traveller Awards night held in New Delhi, India.
The Annual Outlook Traveller Awards is currently in its 10th Edition. The awards facilitates the best in the travel industry, with 28 categories, the awards take a 360⁰ view of the tourism sector and the way it has been growing in the last year. This year the awards were divided into three categories—15 Jury awards, two Editor’s Choice awards and 11 Readers’ Choice awards.
Photo Credit - Think Strawberries
Photo Credit – Think Strawberries
Since its inception in June 2001, Outlook Traveller has catered to the needs of the growing number of travellers. A pioneer in many ways, the magazine has steadily over the last 16 years published many articles on the hidden gems of India, thereby contributing to the tourist flow. As an organisation, Outlook Traveller believes in partnering with society to bring about awareness and aid in disciplined changes for the welfare of all.
Travel and Tourism sector of India ranks 7th in the world in terms of the total contribution to the country’s GDP. Indian outbound market has been one of the fastest growing market in the recent years, from 13 million in 2010 to 19.4 million in 2015. This is expected to grow further with 32.3 million outbound trips in 2020 making India the fastest growing market in the world. Maldives is among the top choices for Indian travellers resulting in a growth of 27.9% at the end of 2016.

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Huelva, Spanish Gastronomy Capital of 2017

Huelva, Spanish Gastronomy Capital of 2017

Food has always been an integral part of travel. We always try to find the best local food which are available at any destination.

Huelva Gastronomica

Doñana Huelva National Park


So, if you’re planning an escape to Spain this year, do not forget to stop by the Capital of the Costa de la
Luz, Huelva in Andalusia, which is the 2017 Spanish Capital of Gastronomy.

Gastronomy has always been (more…)

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Summer Bonanza for Cathay Pacific and Dragon Customers

Summer Bonanza for Cathay Pacific and Dragon Customers

Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon, Hong Kong based award winning airlines announced a joint promotion with Ocean Park Hong Kong, a unique home-grown theme park and world-class attraction, to introduce a discount offer for its customers. Passengers travelling on Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon from India to Hong Kong can avail a 12% discount while purchasing tickets to Ocean Park.

Ocean Park, Hong Kong Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragoon

Ocean Park, Hong Kong

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Amsterdam Toren – For the most magical view of the city

Amsterdam Toren – For the most magical view of the city

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Behind the Amsterdam Central Station and beside the spaceship-resembling EYE Film Institute, there rests a 22 story building named Amsterdam Tower. The structure, that is lovingly called A’dam Toren, is home to a rooftop observation deck dubbed ‘A’dam Lookout’ that lets tourist get unequalled panoramic views of the most populous place of the Kingdom of the Netherlands – Amsterdam.
Tower of many talents, A’dam Toren, offers unlimited memory making moments to its visitors. It gives a 360-degree view of the capital that includes its historical centre, its pulsating port, the unique Dutch polder landscape and much more. Besides, it also hosts several cool bars and restaurants, and a bunch of pioneering music companies like ID&T, MassiveMusic and Gibson. Visitors can also view Amsterdam in whole new light, while dinning at the revolving restaurant – Moon.
A’dam Toren looks brand new, but this iconic landmark’s history actually lays in 1971, when it was owned by the oil company -Royal Dutch Shell. Subsequent to a multi-million euro refit, the tower was born in early 2016 as one of most visited tourist attractions in Amsterdam.
Complementing the name given to it, A’dam Toren is all about the view from almost the sky. It is also home to Europe’s highest swing—Over the Edge. It is a 100-metre-high swing, where people swing to and fro over the edge of A’dam Toren with the capital underneath their feet. Be there to see the sun disappear behind the city. Over the Edge is open every day from 11:00 am.
The creators of A’dam Lookout have also kept in mind what perks should be given to the little guests visiting the place. There is a special section for children where they can enjoy interactive games, while exploring the miniature model of the city.
A’dam Toren has the capability of striking the right chord with everyone who visits. Visitors will get the chance to experience extraordinary sensory sights, breathtaking sceneries, groundbreaking technologies, delicate flavours and subtle scents of fresh air. In short, all the good reasons are backing A’dam Lookout, which is an all-weather tourist hotspot.
For more information: www.nbtc.nl/en

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Singapore in Bollywood

Singapore in Bollywood

#DearZindagi Promotes Singapore!

Singapore gets featured in a Hindi movie yet again. Mr Sridhar , head of Singapore Tourism Board in India said that starting decades back when Shammi Kapoors Singapore was shot in Singapore, there have been many Bollywood movies that have their locales there.

He opined that STB is committed to provide al the help to the film  industry for their projects.

The glamour quotient was provided by the leading lady of Dear Zindagi , Alia Bhat her self. It was clear that she was busy but not nervous on this big day of the release of the film. She spoke highly of Singapore, Singapore Tourism Board and Singapore Airlines  and shared a couple of her experiences. 

The film is about Kaira (Alia Bhat) and Jug (SRK) and how they manage their relationships and how life’s experiences shapes a person. 

Executives of Singapore Tourism and Singapore Airlines 

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The Adventure Travel Trade Association

The Adventure Travel Trade Association

 

 

 

 

Jordan to host the ANNE meeting for ATTA in 2017

 

 

Jordan Tourism Board (JTB) is delighted to announce that The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) will hold its regional Adventure NEXT Near East (ANNE) meeting in Jordan during the Spring of 2017. The announcement comes on the heels of the summit of The ATTA held in Anchorage, Alaska on September 19-22.

The Minister of Tourism and Antiquities and chairman of JTB Board, Lina Annab, said “We are extremely happy and excited to see Jordan hosting this very important event”, she added “holding Adventure NEXT Near East in Jordan will showcase the stunning and breathtaking adventure sites spread all over Jordan. It will also provide a platform for new ideas as well as development opportunities in the adventure field, making it an ideal meeting place for adventure tourism service providers from tour operators to accommodation suppliers and others.”

 

ANNE will be the first conference of its kind in a region where stories about travel and adventure date back thousands of years. “Jordan has a diverse landscape and social fabric which blends antiquity and modernity.

Dr. Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat , Managing Director of the Jordan Tourism Board, expressed his enthusiasm towards hosting such an event in Jordan “Jordan Tourism Board North America (JTBNA) has spearheaded the efforts with ATTA to secure Jordan as the host for ANNE 2017, we are confident that we will be able to showcase an exhilarating adventure product”.

ANNE promises to provide adventure tourism globally with a media connecting network for adventure writers, bloggers, photographers and editors who will be sharing the latest adventure trends, destinations and stories coming out of the region as well of the globe.

Adventure tourism is a burgeoning segment in the tourism sector all over the world and in Jordan. Various adventure milestones were achieved recently turning Jordan into a world class adventure hub. Projects such as the Jordan Trail that rivals major hiking trails in the world, as well as the development of canyon sites all meet the ever increasing demands of global adventure traveler. The timing of this conference coincides with the completion of the Jordan Trail, a 650 km trail that passes through 52 villages and which helps bring income and sustainability to these local communities along the way.

The Jordan Tourism Board (JTB), was founded in 1998 as an independent, public – private sector partnership committed to utilize marketing strategies to brand, position and promote the Jordan tourism product as the destination of choice in the international markets. The adopted strategies are tuned to reflect the true image of the Jordan tourism product, being a cultural, natural, religious, adventurous, leisure and MICE destination.

The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) has 1000 Members globally whose vision it is to 1) Support and benefit from the creation of sustainable adventure travel markets with focus on people, planet and profit 2) Network with destinations, tour operators, travel agents, accommodations, service partners and media partners worldwide, and 3) Access and deliver global and regional news, research, events, networking and education.

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Wine Routes in Spain

Wine Routes in Spain

Wine Routes in Spain– A World of  Creative Activities

 

Cavatast 2016 From 7th to 9th October

 

Cavatast is an annual meeting point in Penedès, where cava-lovers can enjoy different cavas along with a selection of dishes that the gastronomic companies will present during three days of the fair. Visitors will enjoy festive atmosphere surrounding the fair and will have the opportunity to buy products offered in tasting sessions without having to leave the fair. During the Cavatast fair, visitors can also take part in different activities available such as guided tours at CIC Fassina and other cava cellars and wineries in town.

 

 

XXI               Edition ´Utiel Gastronomic Festival´From 21st to 23rd October

 

Great gastronomic event related to local and typical products and from other places in Spain and a huge sample of wines of Protected Designation of Origin (D.O.P.) Utiel-Requena. There is a Tapeo´s route around 21 bars in Utiel (tapa+wine 2€), exhibitions, commented tasting sessions, cooking shows, etc…

 

Lleida Wine Fest From 22nd to 23rd October

 


Would you like to discover everything that surrounds the world of wine? Then you should come to Spain where you can not only explore the wine routes, but also find a wide array of alternative options. Go horse riding through vineyards, visit traditional wineries, learn about the art of tasting, or relax with wine therapy treatments. Let the amazing variety of delicious wines thrill your senses.

There are many wine routes in Spain. They will take you to destinations rich in culture and gastronomic tradition. They all offer activities, landscapes and traditional fiestas that will make your trip a unique experience. Would you like to learn to distinguish between fruity and sparkling wines? Then visit the wineries on these routes. They offer tasting courses for beginners with wine experts. Hiking, cookery workshops and visits to spa resorts are three more activities that many you will be surprised to find on these wine routes.

Why not sample wines accompanied by a delicious tapa of ham on the Penedès wine and cava route, where you can also enjoy entertaining themed dinners? On the Montilla-Moriles wine route, you can take part in olive oil tasting sessions, while in Tenerife, on the Tenerife Wine Route, you have the chance to try a potato tasting session or a gastronomic workshop at the Monje Winery. Come and give your sense of smell and your palate a real treat.

DON´T MISS THESE CREATIVE ACTIVITIES WITH A GLASS OF SPECIAL SPANISH WINE

Seafood Festival O Grove From 6th to 16th October

Since 1963, the Seafood Festival takes place every October in O Grove, municipality of the Galician Rias Baixas. A cultural-gastronomic event that highlights the basic pillars of this coastal town’s economy: fishing and tourism. The combination of both makes cultural promotion possible.


More than 25 exhibitors and 70 wine references of Designation of Origin (D.O.) Costers del Segre come together during the Festa del Vi of Lleida. This is the only opportunity to know all about this city and what its territory has to offer: Wines, restaurants, museums, guided visits to the heritage elements, modernist buildings, etc… the best of Lleida comes together in one weekend.

 

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Thailand Visa on Arrival Rules

Thailand Visa on Arrival Rules

Change in Visa on Arrival Rules in Thailand 

 

Starting from 27 September 2016, Thailand, by the order of Ministry of Interior No. 30 B.E. 2559 (2016) dated 1 July B.E. 2559 (2016), will increase its VoA fee from 1,000 to 2,000 THB. Tourists from Andorra, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan are entitled to apply for VoA at 42 designated

 

immigration checkpoints, which will allow tourists to stay in the country up to 15 days.

 

42 designated immigration checkpoints to apply for the VoA are as follows:

 

1. Suvarnabhumi Airport, Samut Prakarn
2. Don Muang International Airport, Bangkok
3. Chiangmai International Airport, Chiangmai
4. Phuket International Airport, Phuket
5. Hatyai International Airport, Songkhla
6. U Tapao Airport, Rayong
7. Mae Sai Immigration Checkpoint, Chiangrai
8. Chiang Saen Immigration Checkpoint,
Chiangrai
9. Chiang Khong Immigration Checkpoint,
Chiangrai
10. Betong Immigration Checkpoint, Yala
11. Sadao Immigration Checkpoint, Songkhla
12. Samui Airport, Surat Thani
13. Sukhothai International Airport,
Tak Immigration Checkpoint
14. Bangkok Harbour Immigration Checkpoint,
Bangkok
15. Sri Racha Immigration Checkpoint, Chonburi
16. Mabtaput Immigration Checkpoint, Rayong
17. Nong Khai Immigration Checkpoint, Nong Khai
18. Samui Immigration Checkpoint, Surat Thani
19. Phuket Immigration Checkpoint, Phuket
20. Satun Immigration Checkpoint, Satun
21. Krabi Immigration Checkpoint, Krabi
22. Songkhla Harbour Immigraion Checkpoint,
Songkhla

23. Chiangrai Airport Immigration Checkpoint,
Chiangrai
24. Surat Thani Airport Immigration Checkpoint,
Surat Thani
25. Sattahip Harbour Immigration Checkpoint,
Chonburi
26. Khlong Yai Immigration Checkpoint, Trat
27. Pong Nam Ron Immigration Checkpoint,
Chanthaburi
28. Aranyaprathet Immigration Checkpoint, Sakaeo
29. Mukdahan Immigration Checkpoint, Mukdahan
30. Tak Immigration Checkpoint, Tak
31. Padang Besar Immigration Checkpoint, Songkhla
32. Su-ngai Kolok Immigration Checkpoint,
Narathiwat
33. Nong Khai Immigration Checkpoint, Nong Khai
34. Bueng Kan Immigration Checkpoint, Bueng Kan
35. Phibun Mangsahan Immigration Checkpoint,
Ubon Ratchathani
36. Tha Li Immigration Checkpoint, Loei
37. Nakhon Phanom Immigration Checkpoint,
Nakhon Phanom
38. Nan Immigration Checkpoint, Nan
39. Ban Prakob Immigration Checkpoint, Songkhla
40. Khuan Don Immigration Checkpoint, Satun
41. Tak Bai Immigration Checkpoint, Narathiwat
42. Bukit Tal Immigration Checkpoint, Narathiwat

 

 

 

42 designated immigration checkpoints to apply for the VoA are as follows:

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Tourism Exchange Programme

Tourism Exchange Programme

RIC India hosted the first ever conference in India devoted to mutual tourist exchange between Russia and India

The event was organised by the Russian Information Centre in India, with the support of the Consulate General of Russia in Mumbai, Russian Centre of Science and Culture in Mumbai. The speakers of the conference were representatives of the Russian Centre of Culture and Science in Mumbai, Maharashtra Tourism Ministry, Russian Information Centre in India, the Russian House in Delhi.

 

The announcement of the meeting

created a buzz and the event was very well represented by the Tourism Industry, Airlines and financial institutions, the key dignitaries who attended were Mr. Satish Soni, Joint MD at MTDC, Mr Sampat Damani, Chairman of the west chapter of Travel Agents Association of India, Mr. Sergey Kidisyuk, General Manager (India) at Aeroflot, Mr. Alexander Perminov, India Representative of Vnesheconombank. Speeches from  from the Head of Tourism department of St. Petersburg and from Department of Tourism Crimea were read out to the audience.

 

 

Mr. Satish Soni, Joint Managing Director of MTDC: “Russia and India are long-standing partners, Russia is known and loved in India. We hope that with the start of the program of mutual tourist flow will increase. Our department is ready to provide full support – we are ready to take the promotional tours of Russia, to begin the exchange of students, to participate in the exchange of information with the Russian regions. A large number of tourists and businessmen from Russia visited Mumbai, but the tourism potential of our state for the Russian tourists have not yet fully been explored. For example, noteworthy caves of Ellora and Ajanta, Mahabaleshwar, the beaches of Maharashtra “

 

 

Ekaterina Belyakova of the Russian Information Center in India said that Indian tourists  number about 15 million a year. Many of them go to Europe and Asia, but the regions of Russia are relatively less known. According Rostourism in 2015, the number of tourists from India number in the region of 31,000. So the possibilities are enormous. Today’s event ‘Indo-Russian Tourism Exchange’ is the first in the series of programmes for the development of mutual tourist traffic between India, Russia, and the countries of the Eurasian Economic Council, part of which is also a series of promotional tours for Indian travel companies in April-May 2016 in St. Petersburg, Moscow and the Crimea (Program attached). RIC plans to organise a tour for about 100 members of the tourism community to Russia in 2016 to familiarise them to the culture and attractions.

 

The conference discussed the practical steps for the interaction between the regional Ministries of Tourism in India and Russia. In particular, the discussion centred around the harmonisation of the draft agreement on cooperation of Department of Kerala tourism and of St. Petersburg. The purpose of cooperation – increase mutual tourist flow in their respective regions. It is hoped that the co-operation agreement will be finalised by the end of March 2016.

 

The tourism community were very interested in the packages to Russia and CIS regions for reasons of it being yet untapped market, more attractive than Western Europe and lower costs compared to other packages.

The next meeting in the series of programmes is slated for 10 March 2016 at the Russian Centre for Science and Culture in New Delhi.

 

 

 

 

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Thailand celebrates 1,000,000 arrivals

Thailand celebrates 1,000,000 arrivals

Thai Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul visited Mumbai to announce 2015’s astounding tourist figures and celebrate with local travel agents, wedding planners, Bollywood stakeholders and corporates

As Thailand’s sixth largest market globally in 2015, India obviously a place of importance to Thailand tourism stakeholders. Additionally, India has displayed a steady tourist flow and promising year-on-year increase in arrivals over the last two decades.

 

However to warrant a visit from the destination Minister for tourism two years consecutively, it is obvious India must be a high-potential source market and cause for attention.  Her Excellency Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Thailand’s Minister for Tourism & Sports put India’s significance into perspective when she said, “We welcomed 1.06 million Indian travelers to Thailand during 2015, putting India at sixth position globally, up from seventh position last year. Indians spent 47,827 million baht in Thailand last year. I must thank you – our friends in the travel trade, the wedding planners who weave dreams in Thailand, Bollywood producers who tempt people to return to Thailand and corporates who reward employees with incentive travel to Thailand – for your support, without which this amazing milestone would not be possible. I count on your support in the years to come too – we see India as having the capacity to double this figure by 2022.”

Thailand is the perfect holiday destination for Indian travelers being short haul, with an extremely simple and convenient visa process. With flights from all the metros and visa processing centres in most key cities, Thailand offers Indians a hassle-free getaway. Thailand also offers amazing value for money, which Indians look for at every price point. Moreover the variety of flavours, sights and tourist experiences across Thailand have Indian travelers returning year-on-year, enticed by new and unseen parts of Thailand.

HE added, “We look forward to welcoming those of you who have visited Thailand once again in the years to come. If you have seen Bangkok and Pattaya; Phuket, the Koh Samui archipelago Chiang Mai & Chaing Rai await you. If you have already seen those, Kanchanaburi, Koh Chang, Koh Tao and Koh Lanta await you. If you have seen all of those then Thailand’s amazing North East is an amazing treasure that you must explore. Just as India offers you different flavours, sights, sounds, customs and traditions at every state border; Thailand too offers you a new world in every new province. I hope that we are able to share all of our treasures with you over time.”

Thailand was once seen only as a budget-seekers paradise in India, frequented only by groups on packaged holidays. But over the last 4 years, Thailand has earned repute as a luxury-seekers haven with India’s golf-enthusiasts flocking to its world-class 18-hole golf courses, others simply enjoying its world-renowned service at 5-star ++ hotels boasting either butler service or private islands or rooftop residences, complete with yacht transfers or helicopter transfers and other indulgences that only Thailand can put within reach. Still other luxury-seekers jet set to Thailand over weekends for yacht breaks or roadtrips across its scenic landscapes and countless of their friends’ and family members’ weddings and other celebrations. Culinary enthusiasts return just for the food; sometimes to learn the art of Thai cuisine. India’s young and adventurous flock to Thailand to zipline, rock-climb, scuba dive, bungee jump, island-hop, party and much more. Of late, families are seeing Thailand as a destination for a good dose of family bonding at theme parks like Cartoon Network, Vana Nava and Sea World.

“It gives me immense joy to say that India has successfully shown a migration from just bulk of tourist numbers to a better quality of tourist experience and without having ever slowed down in growth of arrivals. I can only encourage you to keep it up as 2016 picks up pace,” concluded Her Excellency.

Thailand has set a target of 8% increase in arrivals for 2016.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s offices in Mumbai and Delhi will be targeting specific quality-focussed segments such as getaways for groups of women, family holidays, leisurely breaks for senior citizens, enriching vacations for youngsters and of course niches like golfers, divers and road-trippers

 

 

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