Amman (NITN): Jordan Tourism Board recently announced that it has witnessed 30.40 per cent growth in 2018 from the Indian market.
Dr. Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat, Managing Director of the Jordan Tourism Board, elaborated: “The Jordanian-Indian relationship has witnessed a tremendous positive shift throughout 2018. His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al-Hussein’s visit to India in February 2018 has had a cascading effect on the whole dynamics that connect both countries.”
Granting Indian visitors an upon-arrival visa was one of these changes that helped increase the number of Indian tourists visiting Jordan for its remarkable religious and historic sites, such as the Baptism Site and Petra, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Moreover, close to Petra, one can witness a Mars-like nature-crafted setup called Wadi Rum, which, just like Petra, has been incredibly used by big Hollywood studios to shoot some of its most iconic feature films, from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and The Martian to the upcoming hits Aladdin and Star Wars: Episode IX.
Bollywood has recently discovered the magnificence of Jordan as a filming location to shoot some of its feature films, including Krrish 3, and with the recently facilitated upon-arrival visas, Bollywood’s presence in Jordan is promising to be even more fruitful!
On a marketing level, the Jordan Tourism Board executed a number of marketing campaigns in India in 2018 to promote Jordan, which played a key role in presenting Jordan as a go-to destination in the Middle East.”
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which once captivated ancient travellers, continues to enthral a whole new generation as a modern, vibrant nation. From the haunting, primeval starkness of Wadi Rum, the teeming centre of urban Amman, from the majestic ruins of bygone civilizations to the timeless splendour of the Dead Sea, Jordan is unveiled as a unique destination offering breathtaking and mysterious sights, high standard accommodations, exquisite cuisine and countless activities that can provide visitors with inspiration, motivation, and rejuvenation.
Marveling at herds of gazelles and oryx and migrating birds, camping amidst the grandeur of Wadi Rum or Dana Reserve, trekking the ancient caravan trails from the highlands of Moab and Edom, hiking the wooded hills of biblical Gilead, or experiencing the unique, cleansing mud baths of the Dead Sea are just a few examples of the treasures awaiting visitors to this unique kingdom.
The new stream of luxury hotels emerging in Amman, Petra, Aqaba and the Dead Sea is just adding quality to a refined product that is distinct, accessible and friendly; a product that is home to a new display of modern meeting facilities and unique venues for incentive travel as well.
Whether it is a conference for 5000 people, a lavish dinner in the peerless desert of Wadi Rum, a barbecue at the shores of the Dead Sea, or a reception atop a medieval castle overlooking the Jordan Valley, the amicable and competent people of Jordan will ensure a memorable, once in a lifetime experience.
Tashkent (NITN): Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has announced that tourists from 45 countries will be able to visit Uzbekistan visa free, effective from February 1, 2019.
This is the latest in a series of reforms designed to stimulate the Central Asian country’s tourism development, as Mirziyoyev identified tourism and foreign investment as the two priorities for his term when he came to power in December 2016.
Initiatives including the introduction of e-visas in June 2018 have already resulted in an increase in foreign tourist numbers from 2.6 million in 2017 to 5.3 million in 2018. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs anticipates significant further growth in 2019.
National carrier Uzbekistan Airways will take delivery of two new Airbus A320neos and three new Boeing 787 Dreamliners in spring 2019, increasing its capacity on long haul international routes and enabling it to add new destinations. The airline already provides direct flights between London Heathrow and Tashkent, and expects to add a second UK airport to its network this summer.
From February 1, 2019, the following countries will be able to enter Uzbekistan visa free for up to 30 days:
Andorra, Canada, Iceland, Mongolia, San Marino, Argentina, Chile, Ireland, Montenegro, Serbia, Australia, Croatia, Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia, Austria, Czech Republic, Latvia, New Zealand, Slovakia, Belgium, Denmark, Liechtenstein, Norway, Spain, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden, Brazil, Finland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Switzerland, Brunei Darussalam, Greece, Malta, Republic of Cyprus, United Kingdom Bulgaria Hungary Monaco Romania, and Vatican City.
Nationals of France, Israel, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and Turkey were granted visa free access in 2018. Germans will have visa free access from January 15, 2019.
President Mirziyoyev’s 5 January decrees also stated that:
- The existing e-visa scheme will be extended to cover the nationals of 76 countries, and will allow for double and multiple entries;
- New visa categories will be created for pilgrims, students, academics, and for medical tourism, and will be available within one month;
- Hotels must offer accommodation “regardless of the place of residence, citizenship, kinship and marital relations of individuals, as well as other factors that restrict the right to privacy.” This removes restrictions on unmarried couples;
- A list of prohibited sites (i.e. those of security concern) will be published on or before February 1, and clearly marked with signs. Tourists may photograph and film all unmarked sites without restriction.
Edinburgh (TAN): Visiting Edinburgh could burn a deeper hole in tourists’ pockets very soon, as plans of introducing a tourist tax has won huge support. If implemented, visitors may have to shell out GBP2 per person per night.
In a research conducted by the City of Edinburgh Council, 85 per cent of 2,500 respondents, including over half of accommodation owners, supported the move, media reports said.
The public consultation on Transient Visitor Levy (TVL) proposed a GBP2 or a 2 per cent charge per room, per night on all types of accommodation, on short stays up to seven nights.
Kochi (TAN): Sub-zero temperatures and South India do not often go hand in hand. Yet, the mercury in Munnar, one of Kerala’s most favourite tourist getaways, dropped below zero degrees last week, covering the hill station in thick layers of frost.
Places such as Chittuvara, Lakkad, and Chendura in Munnar saw temperatures fall up to -3 degree Celsius.
Tourism benefited as travellers flocked to Munnar to witness the unusual weather conditions first hand. Hotel and business owners were hopeful further fall in temperatures would boost business in the area.
Not just Munnar, other places in Kerala including Wayanad, Alappuzha, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram, and Kannur too recorded dip in minimum temperatures. The cold and dry weather in South India has been attributed to the cold wave sweeping across the subcontinent. Ooty, Tamil Nadu’s popular tourist destination, was hit by the cold wave and experienced a chilly weather. Continue reading Munnar turns winter wonderland as mercury dips below zero
December 29 (TravelAndy): VietJet started operations between Vietnam’s Phu Quoc Island to South Korea’s capital Seoul on December 22 this year.
The airline operates daily between the Vietnamese island and Seoul. While flights from Phu Quoc leave at 3.40 pm and reach Seoul at 10.55 pm, local time, the return flights take off at 1.45 am from the South Korean capital and arrive at Phu Quoc at 5.35 am, local time.
VietJet offered souvenirs and flowers to passengers on the inaugural flights to Seoul and back. The airline is also running special promotions on the tickets to celebrate the new route. It has tied up with Phu Quoc’s Vinpearl Discovery resort, which will offer promotions between March 25 and November 30, 2019.
November 23 (TravelAndy): United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has partnered with one of its newest Affiliate Members, real-world games developer Niantic, to enhance global tourism through the use of mobile augmented reality game experiences.
UNWTO will collaborate with Niantic, creators of Pokémon GO and Ingress Prime, to curate unique campaigns around the world that will build awareness for the Organization’s Travel.Enjoy.Respect campaign, designed to enhance tourism’s contribution to the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Each activity will also be designed to inspire and support exploration, and promote safe and responsible gaming practices for players of all ages.
Niantic and UNWTO will work together to combine tourism and Augmented Reality technology for players to engage with real-world locations using Niantic’s mobile games in a variety of ways. Niantic’s games and global initiatives have brought millions of players from around the world together at real-world events that promote civic engagement and cultural diversity while highlighting local heritage. Continue reading Tourism experiences through real-world games
November 15 (TravelAndy): Scotland’s tourism department is promoting the country as the place to be in 2019 with a host of new openings, festivals, events and anniversaries.
From Edinburgh’sHogmanay to the Glasgow Film Festival, Scotland is no stranger to staging huge international events. 2019 is set to be the year that the country strengthens its reputation as a top event destination as it welcomes the Solheim Cup for the first time, as well as an exciting new TEDSummit.
Read on to discover what’s happening in 2019, the latest food and drink news, impressive hotel openings and exciting new exhibitions to check out during the year ahead. Continue reading Scotland promotes itself as the place to be in 2019
November 10 (TravelAndy): A new report from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the European Travel Commission (ETC) shows that outbound tourism from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – comprising six countries of the Arabian peninsula – has grown strongly in recent years, with international tourism expenditure surpassing USD 60 billion in 2017.
‘The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Outbound Travel Market’, a new report prepared by UNWTO and ETC with the support of Value Retail, examines the fast-growing outbound market of the GCC countries – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates – with an additional focus on the image of Europe as a tourism destination. It finds that per-capita international tourism spending from the GCC was 6.5 times higher than the global average in 2017, with expenditure estimated to be more than USD 60 billion in 2017, up from USD 40 billion in 2010.
“GCC countries constitute a fast-growing market with the potential to make a significant contribution to European tourism, diversifying demand and promoting new tourism segments”, said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili upon launching the report.
“The GCC nations remain a growing source market for European destinations, which should themselves capitalize on the potential of a younger, value-driven, well-informed and technology-savvy GCC traveller”, added ETC President Peter de Wilde. Continue reading Outbound tourism spending from Gulf is 6 times global average
The Summit will continue the conversation on innovation and digital transformation, a UNWTO priority designed to give tourism its deserved prominence on the digital agenda. It will debut a disruptive new format, involving private sector leaders for the first time. A panel of investors will discuss investment in tourism technology, followed by the ministerial segment that this year will link both public and private sectors to set the agenda for ensuring the sector’s digital transformation enhances its inclusion, sustainability and competitiveness. Continue reading UNWTO calls for tech and investment in tourism
October 30 (TravelAndy): The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and the People’s Government of Guilin, China held the 12th UNWTO/PATA Forum on Tourism Trends and Outlook on 25-27 October 2018. This year’s edition – ‘The Future of Tourism: Road to 2030´, aligns with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Digital advances provide opportunities to tourism in order to enhance inclusiveness, community empowerment and efficient resource management to achieve the SDGs. Yet to do so, we need to better understand where tourism is heading so we can adopt the adequate policies and business strategies.” said UNWTO Executive Director Shanzhong Zhu at the event.
International tourist arrivals in Asia and the Pacific grew 6% in 2017 to reach a total of 323 million. Rapid economic growth in emerging economy markets, rising air connectivity, more affordable travel and enhanced visa facilitation continue to fuel tourism from within and outside the region. Asian destinations earned USD 390 billion in international tourism receipts in 2017, 29% of the global figure, a share that has steadily increased from 17% in 2000. China, the world´s top spender in international tourism and fourth largest destination, has been one of the main drivers behind this growth. Continue reading Discussion on future of tourism at China meet
October 29 (TravelAndy): The popular Boracay island in the Philippines reopened late last week after remaining closed for six months for rehabilitation.
However, only 19,000 tourists and 15,000 workers are allowed on the island on any given day. Also, only half of the island’s 12,000 hotel rooms will be allowed to open to ensure that only the desired number of visitors are on there at any given point, reports said.
“Let us treat the island as our home. Keep it clean and pristine. Don’t drink alcohol or smoke in the beach, don’t litter,” Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo- Puyat said in a message to tourists coming to Boracay. Continue reading Boracay island reopens for tourists after 6 months
October 29 (TravelAndy): The number of tourists who visited Kerala to see the Neelakurinji flower, which blooms once in 12 years, was much lower than expected and officials are blaming the devastating floods in the state earlier this year.
A total of 119,757 tourists visited the Eravikulam National Park near Munnar between September 1 and October 28 to witness the blooming flowers, said officials.
Reports said tourists are now moving to Kolukkumalai, where the flowers will remain for another two weeks. Continue reading Flower tourist numbers don’t meet expectations in Kerala