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1. The Ministry of Tourism, under the “Incredible India” banner, would be showcasing the immense tourism potential of the country – business, leisure and medical value travel in Dubai. More than 20 participants from India, representing the travel trade, diversity of Heritage, Nature, Culture and Wellness tourism are participating in the India Pavilion set up by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India at ATM – 2018.
2. India Pavilion has participants representing the State Tourism Departments of Kerala, Air India, Tour Operators, Travel Agents, Hoteliers/Resorts, Wellness, Spas and Ayurveda Centres, who would be showcasing innumerable tourism products of ‘Incredible India’
3. The theme chosen for ATM-2018 is “Adventure, Yoga & Wellness Tourism”. One of the highlights of the ‘Incredible India’ being showcased at ATM-2018 is the depiction of India as a multi-faceted tourist destination for Luxury, Wildlife, and Wellness / Medical Tourism. India has 36 World Heritage Sites which include historic monuments and natural wonders and are being promoted by the tour operators.
4. The Indian tourism outlook is very promising with an upswing in the growth of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India in the recent years. In 2017, India received 10.18 million FTAs with a growth rate of 15.6%. The Gulf and the Middle East region are an important market for India. There has been a consistent and positive growth of Foreign Tourist Arrivals from this region to India over the last 3 years with the year 2017 having registered an overall growth of around 10% over the previous year. The aim is to maintain the same pace of growth rate in international tourist arrivals over the next 3 years including Middle East through a multi-pronged approach, including proactive marketing strategies in partnership with our tourism stakeholders. Some of the countries, particularly the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Sultanate of Oman, Egypt, Turkey and Sudan have registered a significant growth and are emerging as major tourism generating markets for India from this region.
5. India has emerged as a Destination for Medical / Wellness Travel in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The percentage of Foreign Tourist Arrivals visiting India for Medical Treatment has been increasing over the years and growing rapidly since year 2000. India is poised to become a hub for medical tourism because of several factors viz. world class hospitals with latest technology; highly skilled Indian physicians and surgeons; cost effective treatment; excellent quality of care and nursing; less waiting time for availing of medical services; traditional healthcare therapies like Ayurveda & Yoga combined with allopathic treatment providing a holistic wellness destination.
6. India has a rich and diverse Natural, Cultural and Religious Heritage which provides a unique opportunity for tourism, from the architecture of India’s temples, palaces, forts, to the grandeur of its sculptures, and the beauty of its paintings, from mountaineering to meditation, yoga to white water rafting in the Ganges, Brahmaputra, or in any of India’s mighty rivers, all offer an unparalleled experience to the visitors. Seventy Three percent of the Himalayas are in India. The Indian Himalayas are a complete destination in themselves and span across six states of India namely, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and the hill regions of West Bengal To improve infrastructural facilities in the country, the Ministry of Tourism has launched a new scheme for the integrated development of thematic circuits.

7. The Ministry of Tourism has also taken the initiative of identifying, diversifying, developing and promoting nascent / upcoming niche tourism products viz. Golf Tourism, Adventure, MICE & Cruise Tourism. India’s advantage in respect of promoting cruise tourism is the long coastline from Gujarat to West Bengal and strong positioning of ports that has natural advantage to the country in attracting international cruise liners. Another advantage for India is its proximity to already popular cruise destinations in the South Asian region. There is enormous potential in the country to develop cruise tourism, both international and domestic and the Ministry of Tourism is making all efforts to promote this segment by developing required world class cruise infrastructure. With the aim to promote India as a year-round destination, attract tourists with varied interests and ensure repeat visits, it was recently decided to do away with bio metrics for e-visa passengers at the sea ports to ensure that passenger movement out of the ship is expedited.
8. To promote Adventure Tourism to India and to create awareness about the varied adventure options available, the Ministry of Tourism has decided to celebrate the year, 2018 as ‘The Year of Adventure Tourism’. Dramatic Himalayan landscapes in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, each dissected by raging rivers, provide the perfect geography for adventure sport such as white water rafting, rock climbing, skiing, low and high altitude trekking, canyoning and paragliding and horse polo, and water sports such as scuba diving, parasailing, kayaking and canoeing in Kerala, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Lakshadweep and Andamans.
9. One of the regions in focus is the North Eastern region of India which comprises the eight States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. Promotion of tourism of the North Eastern States of India with its rich and diverse tourism products viz. a variety of attractive flora and fauna and also home to the unique Asian one horned Rhino, is being given special emphasis. This area is also becoming popular with tourists for River Cruises. The rich natural beauty, serene landscapes and rare flora and fauna are the main attractions in these areas.
10. The Ministry of Tourism promotional website www.incredibleindia.org is available in Arabic, Chinese (simplified), French, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Spanish languages. Other IT related initiatives include availability of guided, multimedia and interactive walking tours. The Ministry of Tourism is also active on Social Media with its own popular Face book, Google Plus pages, YouTube channel and Twitter handles, Instagram, Pinterest, Vimeo, Periscope and LinkedIn.
11. One of the priorities of the Government of India is the Safety and Security of both Domestic as well as International Tourists traveling in India and accordingly, several measures have been taken in this regard. The launch of a 24×7 Toll Free Tourist Helpline in 12 International languages including German is a big step in this direction. This Helpline is available on the existing Toll Free Number 1800111363 or on a short code 1363 for dialing in India. Ministry of Tourism has also taken steps to sensitize drivers, guides and other stakeholders to highlight the theme of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ which means ‘Guest is God’.
12. The Government of India has taken path breaking initiative to liberalize the Visa Regime by providing easy access to visitors to the country in the form of e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) which was launched in November 2014. The e-Tourist Visa facility, now extended to 163 countries (including Jordan, Oman, Palestine & UAE), has led to the ease of travel to India. During the year 2017 total of 16.97 lakh tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 10.80 lakh during year 2016 registering a growth of 57.2%. E-Visa is now available under three sub-categories i.e. ‘e-Tourist Visa’, ‘e-
Business Visa’ and ‘e-Medical Visa’. The window for application under e-Visa has been increased from the existing 30 days to 120 days and the duration of stay in India under e-Visa has been increased from the existing 30 days to 60 days. Complete list of countries is available on https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html and 18599 & 34134 visitors travelled from UAE to India and e-visa in 2016 and 2017 respectively. The total number of Foreign Tourist Arrivals from UAE saw a rise from 67165 during 2016 to 68045 during the year 2017 (provisional) with an increase of 1.31%.
13. The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India is taking new initiatives with a new marketing strategy. With the launch of “Incredible India 2.0 Campaign”, the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India is engaging with all stakeholders to ensure widespread publicity to offer maximum support to its tourism industry and to highlight India’s diverse range of tourism products.
14. A new Incredible India website is being developed with a view to provide an enhanced experience to visitors. The new Incredible India website will have a range of features, such as personalization, responsive designs, social media marketing, content creation and management. Google through their Arts and Culture initiative is partnering with the Ministry of Tourism in enriching the new website with 360 degree videos, museum views, etc.
15. Diverse tourism products are our strength and India Tourism along with all our tourism stake holders will be working hand in hand to take Incredible India to greater heights.

Abu Dhabi hotels welcome over 2.25 mn guests in H1 2017

Recent statistics shared by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) stated that the emirate recorded a 30% increase in number of hotel guest arrivals this June, compared to the same month in 2016.

In the first six months of 2017, the emirate welcomed more than 2.25 million guests to its 165 hotels and hotel apartments – an increase of seven percent over first half of last year.

HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, director general of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), said: “We are well placed to maximise opportunities as we head into the second half of 2017. The Abu Dhabi Summer Season is also now well underway and we expect the remaining series of theatre, music and entertainment shows along with significant promotions in our retail and hospitality sectors to have a positive effect on demand well into August.”

Each of TCA Abu Dhabi’s six tier one markets recorded impressive performances, with guests from Saudi Arabia more than doubling in June. China’s surge as the largest overseas source market has continued, posting a 78.5% month-on-month increase, with year-to-date (YTD) guest arrivals up 55% to 185,000, thanks to TCA Abu Dhabi’s sustained promotional activities complemented by an expansion of air access.

India and the United Kingdom maintain second and third spots, with YTD growth of eight percent and two percent respectively, with the United States regaining ground after a period of stability, posting double-digit growth for the month, pushing YTD growth to five percent.

Domestic tourism grew by 28%, with the 100,087 guests representing 32% of all hotel occupants for the month. In 2016 Abu Dhabi saw a record 4.4 million hotel guest arrivals and is expected to attain or better this figure during the current year.

TCA Abu Dhabi launches global ‘Extraordinary City Story’

With the 2017-18 Premier League football season fast approaching, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) and Manchester City Football Club have launched a new season-long campaign.

The campaign gives fans a chance to create their own extraordinary story on a trip to Abu Dhabi by sharing their own extraordinary memories and stories about being a Manchester City fan.

The ‘Extraordinary City Story’ activity ‘kicks off’ with a competition offering Club supporters a chance to win prizes throughout the season, such as tickets to the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and a grand prize of an all-expenses paid trip to Abu Dhabi coupled with tickets to a Manchester City game at Etihad Stadium.

To celebrate launch of the global competition, TCA Abu Dhabi unveiled a specially commissioned shirt. The shirt will be worn by Sergio Aguero, Kevin de Bruyne, Vincent Kompany and rest of the City stars as they take on the likes of city rivals Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur in the US.

Abu Dhabi to host FIFA Club World Cup mobile roadshows

Abu Dhabi will play host to two mobile roadshows celebrating the 14th edition of the FIFA Club World Cup.

The road shows will take place  at Bawadi Mall in Al Ain from 6-8 July 2017 and return from 3  5 August 2017. The event is organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), in partnership with MBC Group, Alchemy Project, YAK Events and Oberoi Middle East Event.

The road shows are being organised in anticipation of The FIFA Club World Cup 2017. The World Cup will witness teams from around the world compete at Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi and Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain from 6 – 16 December 2017.

The mobile roadshows feature a series of activation’s that will challenge sports enthusiasts through football trivia competitions and interactive skill-based activities.

TCA Abu Dhabi inks MoU with General Command of the Armed Forces

TCA Abu Dhabi inks a MoU with the General Command of the UAE Armed Forces

The Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the General Command of the UAE Armed Forces.

The MoU secures co-operation and establish electronic linkage of the Abu Dhabi Events Licensing System to facilitate registration and licensing procedures.

The (MoU) also paves way for a unified online e-service for obtaining event licenses, eliminating complexity of separately obtaining necessary approvals from each relevant authority. The MoU was signed by HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, director general of TCA Abu Dhabi, and major general Salem Saeed Ghafan Al Jabri, head of administration and human resources in the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The agreement is the culmination of on-going mutual co-operation between TCA Abu Dhabi and the General Command of the Armed Forces in various fields aimed at more expertly ensuring provision of services to the public.

Ghobash explained that the MoU would help both parties strengthen their social and national roles enabling them to promote electronic transformation of government services, facilitate event organisation and improve efficiency.

Overview of Abu Dhabi Summer Season 2017

The Tom & Jerry performance lined up

This year’s Abu Dhabi Summer Season 2017 will kick off from 20 July until 20 August 2017.

The month-long event will have entertaining shows and theatrical performances, themed-mall activations, promotions and prizes for the entire family.

Organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), in partnership with event companies MBC Group, Alchemy Project, YAK Events, Bidaya Media, Summit Events and Oberoi Middle East Events, Abu Dhabi Summer Season will cater for both residents and tourist alike. Some of the event line-ups are mentioned below:

Hollywood superstar and comedian Mike Epps makes his Middle East debut at Al Raha Beach Hotel Theatre on 18 August, bringing to the capital a night of laughter and good cheer. From 14 July to 20 August 2017, spending AED 200 or more at any of the participating malls enters one into the weekly raffle for five brand new BMW luxury cars. Tom and Jerry will be live on stage in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain along with the interactive Cheese Maze at Dalma Mall in Abu Dhabi.

A brand new Iftah Yah Sim Sim, written in Arabic, will be sure to keep up the entertainment value. Children will also have a chance to meet and interact with their favourite characters after the show, honing in their creativity with arts and crafts workshops. For Bollywood fans, to celebrate India’s 70th Independence Day, Namaste Abu Dhabi, starring Salim-Sulaiman will showcase a journey of Bollywood melodies at Emirates Palace on 18 August.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael, and Leonardo will be Bawadi Mall from 9-12 August 2017. Masha and the Bear will have performance featuring more than 30 ice-skaters, dancers and acrobats on 28 -29 July at the Zayed Sports City Ice Rink.

2 mn hotel guests for Abu Dhabi

Recent statistics reported by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) state that the emirate for the period January to May, 2017 recorded nearly two million hotel guest arrivals (1,965,436), a four percent growth compared to 2016.

Of this figure, domestic visitors account for more than 600,000 hotel guests across the emirate’s 167 hotels and hotel apartments in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain Region and Al Dhafra Region. Internationally, China is the largest source market with 160,902 hotel guests so far this year. India stays second largest international source market with 136,000 hotel guests, followed by the UK with 104,000, US with over 67,000 and Saudi Arabia with more than 62,000 arrivals.

HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, director general, TCA Abu Dhabi, said: “Looking ahead, we have some exciting upcoming events including return of Abu Dhabi Summer Season to the emirate between 20 July and 20 August, with its standout selection of exciting entertainment and promotions across the emirate, which is expected to appeal greatly to domestic visitors, and especially those from India and Saudi Arabia.”

TCA Abu Dhabi will also be initiating a fully integrated consumer marketing campaign focusing on holiday decision-makers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s major metropolitan centres, positioning Abu Dhabi as an ideal destination for summer holidays, promoting an array of offers, attractions and events that cater to both families and young travellers.

TCA Abu Dhabi records 1.6 million guests for Jan – Apr 2017

New figures from Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) reported that the emirate welcomed 1.6 million guest arrivals year to end of April 2017. This is a seven percent growth compared to 2016.

As a single month, April has continued to build on strong performance of the opening quarter of the year, posting a year-on-year increase of 15% in hotel guest arrivals. Each of the six international tier-one markets of China, India, UK, USA, Germany and Saudi Arabia showed growth. Domestic hotel guest numbers in April also grew, numbering 130,000, with each of the emirate’s three districts – Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra regions – all experiencing an upturn in arrivals.

HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General, TCA Abu Dhabi, said: “Efforts to stimulate interest in our destination continue unabated and we are encouraged by our latest hotel guest arrival results. As we expand our year-round programme of events and develop new cultural and family attractions, we expect even greater traction in enticing more people to explore the emirate”.

As far as details of April is concerned, China has maintained its position as the largest overseas source market with 131,253 hotel guest arrivals, followed by India with 104,436 and the UK with 86,529. The surge from China reflects recent relaxation of entry visa rules, with Chinese visitors now given visas on arrival at Abu Dhabi International Airport or other points of entry into the UAE.

TCA Abu Dhabi-led delegations, working alongside the Authority’s 11 overseas offices, have helped reinforce the ‘Your Extraordinary Story’ destination campaign with a series of recent regional and international roadshows, including visits to Saudi Arabia, China, Germany and South Africa. Further delegations of Abu Dhabi’s tourism proposition, including hotels, travel agents, destination management companies and attractions, will visit the US, India and Europe as the year progresses.

Entertainment line-up for Abu Dhabi Summer Season

Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) recently announced the programme of this year’s edition of Abu Dhabi Summer Season. The season will be held from 20 July to 20 August 2017.

The tourism authority has come together with MBC Group, YAK Events, Wizcraft International, Bidaya Media and Oberoi Middle East Events to provide the season’s theatrical performances, shows and mall activations.

HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, director general TCA Abu Dhabi, said: “Abu Dhabi Summer Season is one of our anchor events and underpins the emirate’s credentials as a premium leisure destination. It forms part of our long-term entertainment and cultural event planning process designed to incentivise private sector involvement in event development while building international awareness of the emirate’s appeal.”

The first quarter of 2017 have seen hotel guest arrivals in the emirate rise by four percent compared to 2016 and particular emphasis will be placed on marketing this year’s summer season in the key markets of India and across the GCC to further boost the impressive rise in hotel guests.

Tom and Jerry will be live on stage for 10 performances in Abu Dhabi city and Al Ain. The cartoon characters will also appear in a week-long series of events in an Abu Dhabi malls. Characters from popular television series ‘Iftah Ya Simsim’ will also be making an appearance this. There will also be a Broadway-style Bollywood show ‘Balle Balle The Big Fat Indian Wedding’ in Abu Dhabi city and Al Dhafra. To celebrate India’s 70th Independence Day, a world-famous Bollywood star will be appearing at the du Forum in Abu Dhabi on 18 August 2017.