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 EDITORIAL
Beyond Rhetoric
The honeymoon period for the Modi government is almost over. The Delhi election was sort of a wake-up call for the government. Certain degree of uneasiness has started creeping in slowly among different sections of the society. From the industry, the first salvo was fired recently by Deepak Parekh, Chairman of HDFC. He minced no words when he said nothing has changed on the ground in the last nine months other than just a feeling of optimism.
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 IN FOCUS

ITB Berlin 2015 to recognise best practices in Sustainable Tourism with World Legacy Awards
Featuring a more comprehensive line-up of interactive sessions, panel discussions, and exhibitions than the previous edition, ITB Berlin 2015 is about to make for an insightful, informative and exciting experience for both visitors and exhibitors. TravelBiz Monitor provides a gist of what to expect at the travel trade event, which will be held from March 4-8 at Messe Berlin
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 BUSINESS STRATEGY
Goibibo.com: Betting on smartphone users to increase market share
Travel aggregator, Goibibo.com recently completed five years in the OTA business. The company has always maintained speed and reliability as its core value differentiators, according to its CEO, Sanjay Bhasin. He tells Akansha Pandey about Goibibo’s journey and how they look forward to innovating with future offerings
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 SPECIAL REPORT

5 hotel distribution trends to watch out for in 2015

eRevMax, the technology and distribution provider to the hospitality industry has released an infographic focusing key insights on 5 Distribution trends to watch for in 2015. Based on various market researches, the results show that big data, use of analytics, content personalisation and mobile bookings continue to move and shake the industry in the upcoming months. TravelBiz Monitor presents highlights
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This Week's Top Headlines
Union Budget 2015-16: Proposal for extending TVoA to 150 countries in stages
  Presenting the Union Budget 2015-16 today, Arun Jaitley, Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, and Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, proposed to extend Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVoA) to 150 countries in stages. ...read more>>
Union Budget 2015-16: GST to be implemented from April 1, 2016
  Presenting the Union Budget 2015-16 today, Arun Jaitley, Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, and Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, said that India has now embarked on the game of changing reforms such as Goods and Services Tax (GST) to ...read more>>
Centre to launch ‘Incredible Rail for Incredible India’ for tourism promotion
  Emulating the model of the Konkan Railway for tourism promotion, the Union Ministry of Railways will launch ‘Incredible Rail for Incredible India’ and train drivers of auto rickshaws and taxis as tourist guides. ...read more>>
Union Budget 2015-16: Facilities at cultural World Heritage Sites to be restored
  Arun Jaitley, Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, and Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, has said that the facilities at India’s 25 cultural World Heritage Sites are deficient and require restorations. ...read more>>
Cab service provider Ola buys TaxiForSure for USD 200 mn
  According to a report in The Times of India, mobile app cab service, Ola (formerly Olacabs) has acquired its smaller Bengaluru-based rival, TaxiForSure (TFS) for USD 200 million (approx Rs 1,260 crore) in a major consolidation move, giving the combined entity a clear ...read more>>
NCTA and UAE to organise roadshows in India this month
  The National Council of Tourism & Antiquities (NCTA), in association with various tourism departments and authorities of the UAE, is organising a three-city roadshow in India this month. Called 'Seven Emirates As One Destination', the roadshow ...read more>>
Thai Tourism Minister launches ‘Discover Thainess’ campaign in India
  On her maiden visit to India this week, Her Excellency Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister for Tourism & Sports, Thailand, officially launched the ‘Discover Thainess’ campaign in the market. Organised by the Thai Ministry of Commerce, in collaboration with the Tourism ...read more>>
MoT comes up with Swadesh Darshan scheme for theme-based circuit development
  The Ministry of Tourism (MoT), Government of India has formulated a plan scheme Swadesh Darshan for integrated development of tourist circuits around specific themes. ...read more>>
VisitBritain to roll out new ‘BritAgent Programme’ in March
  VisitBritain will roll out the modified BritAgent Programme for the travel trade next month. This was revealed by Sally Balcombe, CEO, VisitBritain while interacting with the media at the ExploreGB event in London. ...read more>>
PROMPERÚ appoints AVIAREPS as its India Representative
  In order to target the growing number of Indian outbound travellers to South America, PROMPERÚ (Peru Export and Tourism Promotion Board) has appointed AVIAREPS as its Representative in India. ...read more>>
VisitBritain to make ExploreGB an annual B2B event
  Considering the huge success of the first edition of ExploreGB, a B2B inbound expo of VisitBritain, the national tourism body decided to make it an annual calendar event. The 2016 edition will be hosted in Liverpool. ...read more>>
Number of TVoAs issued in Jan 2015 up 1214.9% on year due to ETA
  During the month of January 2015, a total of 25,023 tourists arrived by availing of the Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVoA) enabled by Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA). This is in comparison with the 1,903 TVoAs issued in January 2014, registering a growth of 1214.9 per cent. ...read more>>
Australian and NZ tourism officials seek permanent joint tourist visa post-World Cup
  According to a report on travelmole.com, the joint visa allowing travel between Australia and New Zealand (NZ) is proving a big hit with cricket fans during the ICC World Cup 2015. ...read more>>
Dubai records over 150,000 cruise tourists in Jan 2015
  Dubai’s cruise season saw its busiest month so far in January 2015. Dubai Cruise Tourism announced that the cruise terminals in Mina Rashid welcomed over 30 ship calls, bringing over 150,000 cruise tourists to the emirate in one month, including 26 hub ship calls from four ...read more>>
Vistara to commence daily flights to Guwahati & Bagdogra in April
  Vistara will commence flights to Guwahati (Assam) and Bagdogra (West Bengal) from April 2, 2015 onwards. The airline will operate daily on the Delhi-Guwahati-Bagdogra route, and bookings for the flights have commenced today, as per a release. ...read more>>
IIPT India signs MoU with LIUTEBM to expand IIPT Consortium of Collaborating Universities
  The International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT) held its Global Symposium at Johannesburg from February 16 to 19 to respect, honour and further the legacies of the three greatest Apostles of Peace - Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. ...read more>>