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Medical Tourism Emerging Trend


India Tourism has been seeing a year on year growth; there has been an increase in domestic travellers as well as foreigners travelling to India. India also attracts patients from several countries for Medical treatments.

Medical tourism or health and wellness tourism refers to the industry where people from across the world travel to other countries to get medical, dental or surgical care and at the same time visit local attractions of that country
Out of the total Medical tourism across globe approximately 63% is shared between Singapore, Thailand and India with Singapore and Thailand being the leaders in the field.
India has seen a regular growth in Medical tourism traveller’s and from 2013 -2016, the medical visas issued annually has grown from 1.22 lacs to 1.78 lacs.

FHRAI Demands Status for The Hospitality Industry
  Garish Oberoi, President, FHRAI

The Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), India’s apex body for Hotels & Restaurants, has through a memorandum to the Government of India, for the upcoming Budget 2018, asked for Infrastructure & Industry status for the Hospitality Industry for projects of INR 25 Crores and more.

FHRAI has also asked the Government to keep uniformity in a flat tax rates at 12% on all the categories as a lower rate of 12% will contribute to increase Nation’s GDP, encourage tourism induced employment, across the country. Currently, there are four rates for hotels (0%,12%, 18% and 28%) based on the declared tariff of rooms.

Garish Oberoi President FHRAI said, “The tourism sector suffers from a gap in terms of world-class infrastructure development in the country’s tourism destinations. This gap can be bridged by encouraging investments in hotel sector by giving infrastructure status for lower investments. Also no other nation has GST rate as high as 28% on hotels and tourism. Charging different tax rates on the nature of accommodation and destination may escalate a perception that India is not a tourist friendly nation”.

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India Growing Market for Australia

  Nishant Kashikar, Country Manager, India and Gulf, Tourism Australia

Sustained growth in arrivals and spend reveals Australia as a destination of choice for Indian travellers. Arrivals from India to Australia grew by 15 per cent for the year ended October 2017, with an influx of 294,000 visitors, compared to the same period last year. This makes India the 9th largest inbound market for Australia, and inches it closer towards achieving its Tourism 2020 goal of 300,000 visitors annually, three years ahead of target. Indian visitor spend in Australia for the year ended September 2017 reached A$1.45 billion (approx. Rs 7,200Crore), an increase of 26 per cent over the previous year, making India the 8th largest market in terms of spend by tourists. With an impressive double-digit growth in arrivals and spend for the fourth consecutive year, India has emerged as Australia’s fastest growing inbound market.

In mid-2017 the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection extended online lodgment of visitor visa applications to all Indian nationals. The online application process provides a more convenient option for Indians looking to visit Australia. In an age where travellers are increasingly self-reliant in planning and booking holidays, thee-lodgment allows tourists greater independence when planning a trip to Australia and is likely to be a strong catalyst for boosting tourist arrivals from India.

Karnataka International Travel Expo



The ‘Govt. of Karnataka - Department of Tourism’ announces ‘Karnataka International Travel Expo’ from the 28th February - 2nd March 2018 to be held at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC). The inaugural expo is the largest B2B travel event in India. A platform of over 400 registered buyers and media from over 25 countries seek to further enhance the tourism sector.

The three-day event will attract over 1,000 delegates facilitating over 10,000 pre-matched appointments to bring together International Buyers and sellers for face-to-face meetings, education forums and networking.

Shri Priyank Kharge, Minister for Tourism, IT & BT, Govt. of Karnataka said “Karnataka is home to a large and exciting portfolio of globally acclaimed tourism products with UNESCO World Heritage Sites, splendid wildlife and resplendent nature, virgin beaches to adorn. ‘Karnataka International Travel Expo’, being held for the first time, will provide the impetus to the inbound travel and tourism and would enhance the marketing efforts of Karnataka Tourism to promote our destinations to the travel-trade from all over the world”.

The Year of Adventure Tourism
  Capt. Swadesh Kumar, President, ATOAI

On the behest of ATOAI, MOT announced 2018 as “The Year of Adventure Tourism”. The Association will spearhead various activities across the country to promote adventure travel to celebrate the year of adventure tourism. “The goal is to double the adventure travel in the country in the next two years.” Said Capt. Swadesh Kumar-President ATOAI on the announcement.

For past few years the focus of ATOAI has been creating widespread awareness about adventure tourism being one of the important facets of tourism in the country and the need to promote India as one of the most popular adventure tourism destinations in the world. India as an adventure tourism destination has grown in popularity both in the domestic and international market. The celebration of 2018 as Year of Adventure Tourism will greatly help in achieving the goals which ATOAI has set.

Kerala’s Traditional Folk Arts
  Left : Kerala’s Traditional Folk Arts; Right : Kadakampally Surendran, Minister for Tourism, Cooperation and Devaswom, Government of Kerala

Utsavam 2018, conceived as an attempt to rejuvenate the traditional folk art forms of Kerala, will be organized by the Kerala Tourism Department from January 6 to 12, 2018 across all 14 districts of Kerala, said Kadakampally Surendran, Minister for Tourism, Cooperation and Devaswom, Government of Kerala.

The festival organised in all districts by the respective District Tourism Promotion Councils (DTPCs), will get underway in 28 venues this time around, compared to the 14 venues where the festival was organised last year. Also, an amount of Rs 2,32,00,000 has been earmarked to be spent for the festival this year, the Minister said, adding that Rs 1 crore has been added this year to the amount set aside last year.

‘Utsavam 2018 being organised during the tourism season would also mean more visibility and mileage to Kerala Tourism and this is expected to add more charm to the department’s activities’, Kadakampally Surendran, Minister for Tourism, Cooperation and Devaswom, Government of Kerala said.

Luxury, Honeymoon, and Safari Top Destination


With 2017 on the cusp of retirement, Google India has revealed the top travel trends observed from September to November this year. The trends highlight search behaviour transformations of the Indian audience, compared with travellers’ data documented during the same period in 2016.

As per Google, holiday related search queries have increased 27% this year, with the vogue being ‘luxury’, ‘honeymoon’, and ‘safari’ destinations. Both international and domestic luxury searches have increased by 34%, amid online hunts for ‘royal holidays’, that has spiked 12 times.

The quest for warmer topographies and related activities become widespread during winters, which can be associated with a 32% rise in safari destination explorations. Searches for Desert Safari in Dubai, Night Safari in Singapore, Bali Safari and Marine Park, as well as Safari World in Bangkok have surged; in conjunction with Google’s insight.

India Ranks in Top 5
  Left : Santi Chudintra, Deputy Governor for International Marketing, Asia and the South Pacific; Right : Soraya Homchuen, Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Mumbai

Thailand welcomed over 35.3 million international visitors in 2017 and earned 1.82 trillion Baht in tourism revenue. The precise number of overseas tourists visiting Thailand in 2017 was 35,381,210; showing an increase of 8.77 percent over 2016. India ranks in top 5 list of highest number of visitors to Thailand after China, Malaysia, Korea and Laos. In 2017, over 1.4 million Indians travelled to Thailand which is over 18% increase from last year.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Mumbai showcased its new campaigns ‘Open to the New Shades of Thailand’ and ‘Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018 Hotels like Aonang Princeville Resort & Spa, Golden Tulip Sovereign Hotel, Bangkok, Royal Cliff Hotels Group, Ramada Phuket Deevana and many more along with other DMCS and entertainment companies like Phuket Aqua Project, Phuket FantaSea Public Co. Ltd., Thai Adventure Club, Siam Ocean World Bangkok Co. Ltd, Safari World Public Co. Ltd., Siam Park Bangkok Co. Ltd, ASIATIQUE the Riverfront. TAT also had the support of Thai Airways, Thai Smile & Bangkok Airways at the event. Travellers can count on these airlines to make a trip to Thailand memorable right from the start.


Incredible India Digital Calendar

In line with the Government’s Digital India initiative, Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge) and Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology, K.J. Alphons launched the Incredible India Digital Calendar-2018” here today. He also released the Incredible India Wall Desk Calendar for 2018.
The Incredible India Digital calendar application enables users to know about the events festivals happening in India on the go. The Digital Calendar can be downloaded on Android and iOS platforms.

The Incredible India Digital Calendar contains all exclusive features of any Digital Calendar making it a perfect travel planner on the go. This digital calendar can also be used as a personal planner. It also has information on festivals and events happening in the country and will also allow user to create and manage personal events, get regular notifications on the upcoming festivals and events, allow set up of customize reminders for individual events, share the events with friends and contacts, etc. Each day will have a stunning image of tourist destinations from across India which can be shared on various social media platforms also.


TDC Showcased Commendable Performance
  Anmol Zutshi, General Manager, Ashok Events Division, ITDC

Anmol Zutshi, General Manager, Ashok Events Division, ITDC said, “To be designated as Ministry of Tourism’s executing agency for the six day long extravaganza, is a matter of immense pride and honor for ITDC. This was 3rd consecutive Bharat Parv at Red Fort organized by MOT wherein ITDC worked as event manager and displayed its capabilities in conceiving, implementing and managing mega events. We tried to do our best to make this event a wonderful experience for the visitors attending it. Bharat Parv was organized by Government of India as part of Republic Day celebrations-2018 with an objective of promoting the rich cultural and traditional diversity of the country and to associate each and every citizen with such national festival.”

Artists from all across the country performed at the ‘Bharat Parv 2018,’ which was open for public from 12 noon to 9 PM till 31st January 2018. The Bharat Parv was organized with the theme ‘Dekho Apna Desh’. Republic Day parade tableaux, performances by armed forces’ bands, Photo Exhibition by the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP) along with cultural performances promoted the rich cultural variance of the country. The theme and events witnessed wider participation of general public.

(For full stories read SAFARI INDIA)