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INDIA TOURISM, DUBAI

INDIA TOURISM, DUBAI

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.

TCA Abu Dhabi conducts three-city US road show

Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) conducted a three-city roadshow to the United States to help create more awareness and encourage even more US visitors to visit the destination.

The delegation, led by the Authority, was in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. The delegation met up with with major travel agents and key influencers from some of the US’s leading travel organisations including Altour, American Express Travel, BCD Travel, Omega World Travel, Signature and Virtuoso.

The United States is a key tier one market for Abu Dhabi with the emirate welcoming 67,000 American hotel guests in the first five months of 2017, making it currently the fifth largest overseas source market. In 2016, the US provided 136,657 hotel guest arrivals spending 592,235 guest nights across Abu Dhabi, Al Ain Region and Al Dhafra Region.

Mubarak Al Nuaimi, director promotions and overseas offices, TCA Abu Dhabi, said: “The United States is showing consistent growth year-on-year. Our extensive marketing campaigns in the US, combined with promotion of Abu Dhabi through our office based in New York, help us showcase our destination, cultures and attractions.

Joining the roadshow was representatives of Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, the Crowne Plaza hotel on Yas Island, Yas Marina Circuit, Bab Al Qasr hotel and Dusit Thani hotel.

Further TCA Abu Dhabi overseas roadshows planned for this year include trips to the UK, Ireland and France.

TCA Abu Dhabi welcomes French Ambassador

The French Ambassador to the UAE, HE Ludovic Pouille was welcomed by chairman and director general of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi).

The meeting was held at TCA’s Abu Dhabi headquarters for informal discussions on extending bilateral ties between the UAE and France.

France is currently the emirate’s fourth largest European source market, welcoming in 2016 some 65,000 hotel guests, an increase of nine percent on the previous year, generating 226,000 guest nights. These figures are expected to markedly improve with opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi later this year.

TCA Abu Dhabi showcase Emirati culture at inaugural Ramadan evening

The Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) recently launched the inaugural edition of the Manarat Al Saadiyat Ramadan evenings.

The programme is set to take place from June 4-17, 2017 offering a wide range of cultural experiences during the Holy Month through a variety of culinary experiences, creative activities, retail opportunities, performances and workshops.

HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, director general of TCA Abu Dhabi, said: “The Ramadan evenings is a community event that will encourage individuals and families to share experiences together and enjoy an inspiring daily programme that reflects the Emirati culture. The evening will also include activities such as live musical recitals, workshops, and food and retail offerings inspired by our heritage and traditions.”

Performances by Bait Al Oud musicians every Friday during the festival will offer a musical flavour for the festival, while traditional crafts and workshops on skills such as ‘Talli’ embroidery, ‘Khos’ palm frond strand braiding and ‘Sadu’ weaving will provide participants a chance to engage with Emirati intangible heritage and history. Special daily activations will include live reading of stories from the Quran every Sunday, talks on Islamic architecture every Tuesday, and poetry sessions every Saturday. The festival programme will also include a book corner which will feature recitals by popular authors for families to enjoy from Sunday to Friday during the event, board games, vintage video games, an interactive mosaic mural as well as an interactive puppet show, a Ramadan Souq and a wide selection of dining options.