Domestic tourism grows by 13.8% during 2011: Govt
The number ofdomestic tourist visits (DTVs) to the States/ UTs during 2011 was 851mn ascompared to 748mn in 2010 and 669mn in 2009. During 2011, the number ofdomestic tourist visits to States/UTs registered an increase of 13.8% over 2010as compared to increase of 11.8% in 2010 over 2009.
The top ten States in terms of number of domestic tourist visits (inmns),during 2011, were Uttar Pradesh (155.4), Andhra Pradesh (153.1), Tamil Nadu(137.5), Karnataka (84.1), Maharashtra (55.3), Madhya Pradesh (44.1), Rajasthan(27.1), Uttarakhand (25.9), West Bengal (22.3) and Gujarat (21.0).
Thecontribution of top 10 States was about 85.3% to the total number of domestictourist visits during 2011. The percentage shares of top 5 States were UttarPradesh (18.3%), Andhra Pradesh (18%), Tamil Nadu (16.2 %), Karnataka (9.9 %)and Maharashtra (6.5 %).Uttar Pradesh has occupied the first rank in terms ofDTVs in 2011, whereas Andhra Pradesh, which was at first place in 2010, hasmoved down to the second rank.
During 2011,the number of foreign tourist visits (FTVs) to the States/ UTs was 19.5mn ascompared to 17.9mn in 2010 and 14.4mn in 2009. This year, the number of FTVs toStates/UTs registered a growth of 8.85% over 2010 as compared to a growth of24.6% in 2010 over 2009. The top tenStates in terms of number of FTVs (inmns) during 2011 were Maharashtra (4.8),Tamil Nadu (3.4), Delhi (2.2), Uttar Pradesh (1.9), Rajasthan (1.4), WestBengal (1.2), Bihar (0.97), Kerala (0.73), Karnataka (0.57) and HimachalPradesh (0.48).
Thecontribution of top 10 States was about 90.1% to the total number of FTVs inthe country during 2011. The percentage shares of top 5 States were Maharashtra(24.7%), Tamil Nadu (17.3%), Delhi (11.1%), Uttar Pradesh (9.7%) and Rajasthan(6.9%).
Data showsthat DTVs continued to grow at a double digit rate in 2011 also. The growth inFTVs moderated to 8.85% after an impressive growth of 24.6% in FTVs in 2010.The rate of growth of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) also reduced to 8.9% in2011 as compared to 11.8% in 2010.
Hotels.com shows you how to get Olympics-ready
Nothing brings people together across different cultures and nationalities quite like sports and this year, London will see this ring true as it hosts the 2012 Summer Olympics. With travellers from all over the world coming together to cheer on their national teams, visitors tothe British capital during July will get to soak in an atmosphere they’d be hard pressed to find elsewhere.
Planning to join in the party? Hotels.com shows you how to survive the year’s biggest event, with tips on getting the most out of your experience.
Getting around in London
To get around effectively during the Olympic season, make sure you have two things – an Oyster card and comfortable walking shoes.The lucky few who have managed to score a ticket for an Olympic event on the same day will be glad to know that public transportation is free for them, but if not, the Oyster transit pass is the cheapest way to pay for single journeys on the Tube system, public buses, trams and most National Rail services in the country. Besides costs savings – a standard £2.30 (Rs. 203.48) bus ride will only cost you £1.35 (Rs. 119.44) with the Oyster – it also saves you the trouble of having to queue for tickets at every transit.
Alternatively, taking to the streets might reduce your travel time and help you avoid tourist crowds taking the Tube. The majority of London’s central locations are within walking distance, and therevamp of public transit, cycling routes and pedestrian trails to connect most parts of the city easily to main Olympic venues means that walking to your destination is now easier than ever. Besides saving money on transportation fees, you will also get to take in more of the sights. Just make sure you invest in a pair of comfortable shoes!
If neither walking nor taking the Tube is for you, consider getting around the city on two wheels by hopping on a Boris Bike. This cycle hire scheme allows anyone with a credit card to rent a bicycle from any of its 400 docking stations. With miles of wide, uninterrupted, traffic-free cycling paths in London – many of which are being spruced up and connected in light of the Games – not only is this a great way to avoid meat-packing yourself in the London Underground, it’s also a pleasant way to soak in the city’s atmosphere, one street at a time. Besides, if the trip is less than 30 minutes, you don’t even have to fork out a single cent.
Beating the Olympic crowd
While one can easily beat the crowd and crammed tube carriages with alternative transportation methods (see above), there is unfortunately no way to completely avoid a crowd staple: pickpockets.
The good news is protecting yourself from being pickpocketed is fairly easy, as long as you keep your wits about you and take the following practical steps to protect your valuables:
Never bring out all your money, credit cards and passport – try to keep the bulk of your money in your hotel safe instead
Spread your money out – this ensures that if you do get pickpocketed, you’ll still have enough money to get back to your hotel
Try not to keep your wallet in your back pocket but if you must use a pocket to store your cash and cards, use the front pocket of your jeans and do check it from time to time
Lastly, remember you will be dealing with professionals, so don't ever think, “It will not happen to me”.
What to pack
If there was only one word to describe the weather in London, it’s most certainly the word ‘unpredictable’. While you don’t quite get four seasons in a day, you could be sweltering in a T-shirt one day and shivering in two sweaters the next, making packing somewhat of a nightmare.
Britain has a maritime climate, so it is not unusual for the weather to change from that of sunshine to a heavy downpour within minutes – even in summer. As such, aside from packing some nerves of steel and a truckload of patience to deal with the crowd, it would be wise to bring along an umbrella or a raincoat wherever you go as well as some warm clothing such as scarfs and jackets.
The basic key to dealing with this weather volatility is simply to pack clothes that will allow you to either add or remove layers through the day.
Free Olympic events
If you failed to score tickets to the London 2012 Games, fret not, as there are still other means you can catch some of the world’s top athletes live in action this summer.There will be a number of Olympic events that are free to watch along the streets of London, including road cycling, triathlon, marathon, race walking, as well as the ranking rounds of archery.
Regardless of which free events you decide to catch, it is still highly recommended that you fit in a visit to the Olympic Park, where you can catch a glimpse of the unique stadium architecture and soak in the buzz and spirit of the Games.
Thomas Cook India expands presence in Bihar
Thomas Cook (India) Ltd, India's largest integrated travel and travel related financial services company, launched its dedicated Foreign Exchange Branch in Siwan, Bihar
today. The Foreign Exchange Operations was inaugurated by Md. Saquib Ashraf (Chief Manager of SBI Siwan (main branch).
The Siwan branch will provide a diverse range of services such as Inward remittances via MoneyGram and Xpress Money, products such as currency note in 26 global currencies, travellers cheque, drafts and wires. The branch will also offer ticketing facilities. As a special gesture to its customers, a special promotion of a free gift is on offer on every MoneyGram (inward remittance) transaction.
IntelliStay Hotels to open 50 new properties by 2014-15: reports
IntelliStay Hotels that owns and operates Mango Suites is planning to invest close to $10 mn for its hotel expansion plans in India, according to reports.
Reports stated that the company plans to open 50 new properties by 2014-15 in cities such as Raipur, Bhopal, Tirupati, Chennai, Coimbatore, Vadodara, Vapi¸ Surat, Ahmedabad, New Delhi, Gurgaon and Jalandhar.
IntelliStay Hotels was acquired by Apodis Hotels and Resorts this year, report says.
Sarovar Hotels opens new property in Bangalore
Thomas Cook wins MoneyGram Award
Modest growth expected in tourism industry this year
Overnight stays in Canada are forecast to rise by a modest 1.8 per cent in 2012, as a result of balanced growth in both domestic and international visits, according to The Conference Board of Canada's Travel Markets Outlook-Spring 2012: National Focus. This report, published twice a year, provides a five-year forecast for the tourism industry.
"While we expect continued growth in the number of overnight domestic trips, Canadians' limited gains in household discretionary income will curtail the average spending per trip," said Greg Hermus, Associate Director, Canadian Tourism Research Institute.
Overnight visits from the United States are expected to edge up by a slight 0.5 per cent in 2012. Led by robust travel from emerging markets and Japan, overseas visits are forecast to grow by 3.1 per cent in 2012.
Overall tourism spending is expected to increase by 3.8 per cent in 2012. Following a sharp rise during 2011, travel prices are expected to post more modest growth of 1.5% in 2012.
Relais & Chateaux appoints THRS as General Sales Agent
Relais & Chateaux, an association of the world’s finest hoteliers, chefs and restaurateurs has appointed Travel and Hospitality Representation Services Pvt. Ltd (THRS) as their General Sales Agent (GSA) with a view to acquaint the discerning Indian and Sri Lankan traveller to a whole new context in luxury hospitality. Relais & Chateaux properties around the world are known for their personalised service, the finest cuisine and a deep commitment towards providing their guests with authentic and unique experiences. THRS aims to focus on promoting these aspects of Relais & Châteaux with the travel trade community in the Sub-continent.
The THRS team comes with rich experience in the Indian hospitality industry along with bespoke strategies in alliance marketing, value driven sales and highly focused Public Relations programmes in the Indian marketplace. In addition THRS consults for high-end hospitality clients in sales, marketing and corporate affairs. THRS understands travel and hospitality and has a strong network with the travel trade as well as the discerning travellers.
Four natural, 4 cultural properties added to World Heritage List