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 EDITORIAL
Travel Fairs…Time to Consolidate
Over the years, travel trade fairs have proliferated in the Indian travel and tourism industry. The industry is flooded with trade fairs and exhibitions, with one or two trade fairs taking place in some or the other city every month. These exhibitions are organised either by tourism boards or by private exhibition organisers in collaboration with tourism boards.
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 COVER STORY

Outbound cruise vacations for India on a growth trajectory
According to a study by the Union Ministry of Tourism (MoT), it is estimated that by 2030-31, India will have 1.2 million cruise tourists. Outbound cruising from India, which is increasing by 30-35% annually, is gaining momentum with a mix of Indian cuisine, halts at prime destinations, and a range of entertainment options offered by cruise lines. Akansha Pandey tracks the potential and growth of Cruise Tourism in India
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 IN FOCUS

HICSA 2015: Encapsulating the changing mood in hospitality industry
The 11th edition of Hotel Investment Conference South Asia (HICSA) that concluded in Delhi was able to send across the message that the India story is real and back on track. However, the deliberations at the conference gave ample indications of prevailing uneasiness in the travel and hospitality industry, for there hasn’t been any conscious effort on the part of the policymakers in terms of policy corrections to help the industry unleash its true potential. TravelBiz Monitor reports
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This Week's Top Headlines
ETA-enabled Tourist Visa on Arrival scheme renamed e-Tourist Visa
  The Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India has decided to change the name of the scheme, ‘Tourist Visa on Arrival-Electronic Travel Authorization’ (TVoA-ETA) to ‘e-Tourist Visa’ (eTV), with effect from today. ...read more>>
Govt to offer airlines incentives for operating to North East destinations: MoS DoNER
  Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister of State (I/C) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Government of India, said that the government is ready to extend all sorts of support to airline companies who come forward to start operations to destinations in the North East. ...read more>>
PM Narendra Modi confirms presence at maiden Global Exhibition on Tourism this month
  Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi has consented to inaugurate the first-ever Global Exhibition on Services (GES) on April 23, and thereby be a part of the Global Exhibition on Tourism, which is branded as GET-INDIA....read more>>
IATO Convention returns to MP after 20 years
  The 31st Annual Convention of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) will take place at the soon-to-be launched The Grand Bhagwati in Indore, Madhya Pradesh (MP), from August 20-23, 2015. ...read more>>
MoT proposes biometrics on arrival at Indian airports
  In order to allay the confusion generated over biometrics mandated by India for certain countries, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has proposed to the government to consider biometrics at arrival airports in India ...read more>>
Maiden Great Indian Travel Festival to take place from Apr 18-26, 2015
  In an effort to give a boost to online holiday bookings in India, the travel industry has come together to host the first-ever Great Indian Travel Festival, which will be held from April 18-26, 2015. ...read more>>
Kerala Tourism announces aggressive marketing campaign around Visit Kerala Year 2015
  Kerala Tourism has announced major incentives for travellers during the year-long Visit Kerala Year celebrations commencing from April 15 this year. ...read more>>
DGCA permits airlines to charge passengers for specific seats, extra facilities
  According to a report by P.R. Sanjai in Mint, Indian airlines are now free to charge all of their fliers extra for choice of specific seats, luggage, and use of airline lounges, among other facilities....read more>>
Georgia to strengthen tourism engagement with India
  The Caucasian country of Georgia is keen to strengthen their engagement with India to improve tourist traffic between the two countries....read more>>
Brand USA launches module on National Parks for online training programme
  Brand USA has launched the ‘National Parks’ module on its USA Discovery Program – the online training programme for agents in India. ...read more>>
Lama Tours launches Lama Express Visa services in India
  In order to offer visa facilitation to the Indian travel trade, Lama Tours has launched Lama Express Visa services in India....read more>>
MoT holds consultation meeting with States & UTs for formulating new National Tourism Policy
  As per a PIB release, the Union Ministry of Tourism (MoT) held a meeting for formulating the new National Tourism Policy, 2015 with the Tourism Department representatives of the states and union territories...read more>>
FAA grants Category-I rating to India’s aviation safety standards
  According to various reports, India’s aviation safety ranking has been upgraded by US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), a US official said today. ...read more>>
Seychelles welcomes 120% more Indian tourists in Q1 2015 vs 2014
  Indian tourist arrivals to Seychelles have increased by 120 per cent in the first quarter (Q1) of 2015, from that in the first quarter of 2014....read more>>
Kaneswaran Avili steps down as SpiceJet CCO
  Kaneswaran Avili has stepped down as the Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of SpiceJet Ltd., effective today....read more>>
Thailand expects spurt in tourist numbers as Martial Law gets lifted
  The Martial Law that has been in effect in Thailand since last May, has been lifted, except in the southern provinces of Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat, the Sadao district of Songkhla province, and some border areas that are not on the tourism map....read more>>