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January 21, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

New Year brings-in new expectations for all and the industry as well. India International Travel & Tourism (IITT) Exchange held from 10 to 12 January in Mumbai set the ball rolling for the year’s travel trade fairs that woo industry and travellers with new products and services.

Host state Maharashtra is opening-up its 720 kilometer long coastline in a big way through domestic as well as international cruise ships. Angriya ship with 450 passenger capacity is making successful cruises between Mumbai and Goa. Jalesh Cruises launching its first ship Karnika by April with a capacity of 2000 passengers is offering incredible Indian luxury between Mumbai and Goa until June, before adding a new itinerary on India’s East Coast. Three virgin coasts of Jaigarh, Vijayadurg and Karla in Maharashtra are waiting to be connected by new ships.

Anju Tandon, CEO, Ark Travels, said: “It will create new interest and new travellers in cruising and will be a healthy competition. We are witnessing double digit growth in Indian cruise tourist figures year on year. Asian cruises like Star cruises have been the popular choice. We sell 7 and 9 night itineraries too but two night cruises are most popular with Indian clients.” Ark Travels handled 54,000 cruise passengers in 2018 and has created DeckPro, a cruise booking site with precise information, costing and payment gateway to make it easy for agents to service their clients’ bookings.  Naresh Rawal, Vice President- Sales, Genting Cruise Lines, said: “We’ll have one of our ships home porting in Australia this summer and are expecting Indian clients too there.”

Anju Tandon, CEO, Ark travels

Central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh (MP) with pro-active tourism approach through updated infrastructure and marketing had a Jungle Book themed eco-friendly stall. Yuvraj Padole, Deputy Director-Events & Marketing, Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board, said: “IITT has provided a platform for MP to showcase our mixed offering of exotic places, historic marvels, wildlife and warm hearted people.” Known as tiger state, MP has 10 National parks and 25 wildlife sanctuaries.

Kerala Tourism is all set to host big MICE events with the opening of Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty Hotel and Convention Centre. Chander Mansharamani, Vic Chairman, ICPB said: “We have recommended to Ministry of Tourism, Government of India to declare 2019 as the year of MICE

Jungle Book themed MP stall at IITT

Chamari Rodrigo, Consul General, Consulate  General of Sri Lanka, Mumbai said that she was amazed at so many pre and post wedding functions held at the recent Ambani wedding and decided to promote Sri Lanka as a destination for  Indian weddings. John A. E. Amaratunga, Hon.Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs, Government of Sri Lanka was at IITT to understand and welcome the same. He said: “We have good inventory for events along with accommodation at beaches, hills, history and wildlife destinations. We’re ready to facilitate all that’s necessary for any Indian wedding. We’ll soon organise a FAM trip for wedding planners and tour operators to get an update.”

Indonesia’s big stall had double the number of sellers than last year. William Kalua Putra, from the Ministry, said: “Bali is very popular and we’re looking at Indian travellers that can travel beyond Bali. Garuda Indonesia has very good domestic and international connections from Bali and is known for on time performance.”

Sri Lanka delegation @IITT

Queens with 7 Indian restaurants in Indonesia, with four in Bali alone, was a participant at the trade fair along with an Indonesian coffee house.

Cox& Kings is promoting 365 self drive tours for India outbound tourists.  Abdul Wahid, Manager, Western India-B2B, Cox & Kings said: “Indian driving licence is valid abroad and tourists can enjoy self drives to explore the destination at own pace.” He said that Australia and New Zealand are most popular self drive destinations for Indians.

Rajiv Duggal, Director, Travel Specialists has a hint for new NTO’s looking to tap India market.  He said while moderating a conference at the three day event: “New entrants can do a bit of everything like finding a place in big tour operators’ itinerary, selling unique attractions to individuals, families, groups, weddings and film makers, hosting familiarisation trips and being active across media platforms to capture a slice of incredible India market.”

Written by Anand & Madhura Katti

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