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 IN CONVERSATION
‘Bihar is witnessing a growing trend in both domestic and inbound segments’ - Dr Deepak Prasad IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Tourism, Bihar
A state that has immense heritage and cultural value, Bihar is a good draw for both domestic and inbound tourists. The state’s Tourism Department is undertaking initiatives to better its tourism offerings, enhance the Buddhist Circuit, and improve facilities for tourists. Dr Deepak Prasad IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Tourism, Bihar, talks to TravelBiz Monitor about these initiatives
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 ON RECORD

Honeywell Global Business Aviation Forecast sees 4% average annual industry growth over next decade
According to a survey by Honeywell, up to 9,450 deliveries of new business jets, valued at USD 280 billion, are forecast through 2024. Operators plan to replace 23 per cent of their fleets with new jets in the next five years and large-cabin jets account for up to 46 per cent of five-year new purchase plans. TravelBiz Monitor presents highlights of the survey
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 COVERSTORY

Opportunities and Challenges in Tourism in India - OTAs
The travel and tourism industry has emerged as one of the largest and fastest growing economic sectors globally. The growth in the Indian travel and tourism industry is driven by a combination of rising income levels and changing lifestyles, development of diverse tourism offerings, and policy and regulatory support by the government authorities. Over the past year, this growth has reflected over all segments of tourism. TravelBiz Monitor speaks to industry experts about the top Opportunities and Challenges they currently see in individual segments of Inbound/Domestic Tourism, MICE Tourism, Outbound Tourism, Aviation, Hospitality and in the rapidly growing Online Travel Agents’ (OTA's) space. This is the first part of the two series of Opportunities and Challenges in India tourism
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This Week's Top Headlines
India unveils Visa on Arrival enabled by ETA for 43 countries
  In a major decision, which is termed as “historic” by the travel and tourism industry, the India government today officially unveiled Visa on Arrival (VoA) enabled by Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) for citizens of 43 countries. ...read more>>
PM announces Rs 28,000 crore for new rail projects in North East
  As per a PTI report, focusing on improving connectivity to the North East, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi yesterday said the Centre would provide Rs 28,000 crore for laying new railway lines in the region and develop the "untapped" tourism potential of the area. ...read more>>
India to give business visa for 3-5 years for SAARC countries: PM
  As per an IANS report, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi today said India will give business visa for three to five years for SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries and called for making procedures simple and facilities better. ...read more>>
Dr Suman Billa joins MoT as Joint Secretary
  Dr Suman Billa has been appointed as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism (MoT), Government of India. A 1996 batch Kerala cadre Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Officer, Dr Billa was Secretary – Tourism, Kerala, prior to this. ...read more>>
Merger of PIO & OCI schemes to receive Cabinet approval soon
  Fast-tracking the announcements made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his recent overseas visits, the government would soon bring the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill for Cabinet approval. ...read more>>
British Airways has the capability to grow in India: Executive Chairman
  Keith Williams, Executive Chairman, British Airways, said that the airline company has a long association with India and looking at the new government’s policy on transportation and tourism, would consider increasing the capacity in the Indian market. ...read more>>
Kerala govt. to study the impact of liquor policy on Conference Tourism
  K Babu, Minister for Excise, Kerala said that the state government will study the impact of recently implemented liquor policy on tourism in the state. The Minister was responding to a question related to the closure of bars in hotels below the rank of four-star in the state in the ...read more>>
Central govt to support Chhattisgarh tourism as a means to combat Naxalism
  The Central government has assured Chhattisgarh of complete support to develop tourism as an effective means to combat Naxalism in the state. With special focus on Chitrakoot, Tirathgarh, and Kutumsar caves, Chhattisgarh is chalking out a plan to promote tourist ...read more>>
LATAM Airlines aims to certify 50 Indian travel agents as LAN & TAM South America Specialists by Dec 2015
  LATAM Airlines recently conducted a workshop in Mumbai for Level 3 of the ‘LAN & TAM South America Specialist Program’. The South American airline group has already certified 30 travel agents and tour operators as specialists under the Program, which was launched in India in ...read more>>
Visit Flanders promotes Bruges for Film Tourism through Bollywood movie PK
  Visit Flanders, represented by Mileage Communications in India and the Consulate General of Belgium, recently hosted an event to highlight the tourism offerings of the city of Bruges in Flanders, Belgium. ...read more>>
European Quartet conducts 5th edition of its annual roadshow in India
  The European Quartet, comprising the countries of the Visegrád Group, is conducting a series of roadshows in India. European Quartet is the promotional name for the joint marketing initiative by the national tourism head offices of the four countries, namely Czech Republic, ...read more>>
Vietnam National Administration of Tourism to launch Representation office in India soon
  While promoting the launch of Jet Airways flights from New Delhi (daily) and Mumbai (third daily) to Ho Chi Minh City via Bangkok, Ton Sinh Thanh Ambassador of Vietnam to India, termed India as a major source market for Vietnam. ...read more>>
Tourism trade bodies in Kashmir to revive promotional activity
  In order to revive tourism in the Valley in the aftermath of the recent floods, the tourism trade bodies of Kashmir have decided to revive promotional activity of Kashmir. This was decided at a meeting organised by J&K Hoteliers Club at Vivanta by Taj-Dal View in Srinagar, wherein ...read more>>
Swiss Youth Hostels conducts all-women FAM trip for Indian agents
  Swiss Youth Hostels (SYH) in association with Switzerland Tourism recently conducted a five-day Familiarization (FAM) trip to showcase its various accommodation options. The all-women delegation was led by Nikita Amburle of Maison De Voyage, the General Sales ...read more>>
Rocky Mountaineer appoints Mazda Travel as GSA in India
  Mazda Travel has been appointed by rail operator, Rocky Mountaineer to be its exclusive General Sales Agent (GSA) in India. Established in 1990, Rocky Mountaineer has garnered considerable recognition as one of the world’s greatest travel experiences. ...read more>>