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Eyeing Indian travellers, Qatar opens tourism office in Mumbai

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QATAR Tourism Authority, Photo Credit: The Peninsula Qatar

Mumbai, May 3 (IANS) Eyeing a chunk of tourists from India, the world’s second largest outbound tourists market, the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has opened an office here on Thursday.

QTA’s Chief Marketing and Promotion Officer Rashed AlQurese said the decision was taken in view of the rapid growth of India’s outbound tourism market in recent years, coupled with QTA’s intensified efforts to diversify and grow visitor source.

“The steps taken to make accessing Qatar easier are particularly targeted at visitors seeking to experience our country’s luxury hospitality and unique cultural offerings, all while benefiting from the convenience of relatively short flights,” AlQurese told media persons.

The QTA has about a dozen offices worldwide including in Moscow, Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Turkey, the US, China, Russia, the Gulf Cooperation Council markets and South East Asia, he added.

According to a United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimate, India will account for 50 million outbound tourists by 2020.

Similarly, the market for travel and tourism in India is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 7.23 per cent during the period 2016-2021.

QTA’s office here will oversee a wide range of promotional initiatives, including workshops, sales visits, travel agents destination training, partnerships with tour operators, familiarisation trips, media campaigns and other innovative activities to boost Qatar as a leisure and business tourism destination.

After Qatar waived entry visas for Indians last year, it has become an increasingly accessible destination for Indian travellers, with more than 110,000 visitors in the first quarter of 2018.

The Qatar Airways has 100 weekly direct flights connecting the capital Doha to thirteen major cities across India and 67 flights from India to Qatar by major airlines like Air India Express, Indigo Airlines and Jet Airways.

Indian nationals can enter Qatar visa-free, for 30 days’ stay, which can be extended by another similar period.

IANS

Cities

Airlines asked to mount additional flights to Kerala, cap maximum air fares

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New Delhi/Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 17 (IANS) The civil aviation regulator DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) has asked domestic airlines to mount additional flights to and from Kerala with a cap on the maximum fare.

The advisory came as the state reeled under torrential rain and the worst floods in the recent past.

The grim situation has left the state with only two operational civil airports at Thiruvananthapuram and Calicut, as operations at Cochin airport have been suspended till August 26 on account of rising water levels in the operational area.

“Scheduled domestic airlines have also been advised to ensure that air fares for flights to or from Trivandrum and Calicut airports in Kerala and nearby airports i.e. Mangalore and Coimbatore are kept at optimal level proportionate to sector distance so that travelling public is not inconvenienced,” the Ministry of Civil Aviation said in a statement issued on Friday.

Accordingly, airlines have been requested to cap the maximum fare to around Rs 10,000 on longer routes and around Rs 8,000 on shorter routes to and from Kerala and nearby airports.

“In addition, DGCA is constantly monitoring air fares on 32 direct routes operating to or from Trivandrum, Calicut, Coimbatore and Mangalore,” the statement said.

“Spike in airfare on few routes have been observed. Concerned airlines have been advised to cap the airfare on these flights.”

On Thursday, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu tweeted:

“We have advised airlines to be more sensitive to situation arising out of #KeralaFlooding & keep airfares in check. It’s a humanitarian cause. Thx to all for agreeing with my suggestions to carry free of charge the #KeralaFloodRelief related material. All efforts ongoing for relief.”

A day ago, Minister of Statistics & Programme Implementation D.V. Sadananda Gowda had tweeted: “Private Airlines are at a money making Shame!! Today Mangalore to Bengaluru ticket rate sky-rocketed to Rs 18,000. This route’s average rate is never more than Rs 4,000. It’s time to introduce more flights @jayantsinha.”

The monsoon fury has hit different parts of Western Ghats including districts of Kerala and adjoining areas in Karnataka.

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Lifestyle

Ways to pack nutritious food while travelling

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New Delhi, Aug 16: Do you travel often for work or personal reasons, and end up munching on junk? Make sure you get the best of both worlds and eat local, but with a twist — carry your power jars with you so that you don’t come home with a lot of guilt.

Akshit Rungta and Naina Trehan, Co-Founders at Hungry Jars and Sargam Dhawan, Director, Planet Herbs Lifesciences Pvt Ltd, list the solutions to maintain a wholesome and nutritious diet.

* Almond butter is a healthy alternative. Not only is it sweet and luscious, it is also high in nutritional value. Apart from being highly nutritious, it is also high in antioxidants and has properties which help in controlling blood sugar and weight. So, carry almond butter as it serves as a nice dip for your fruits and sweet crackers.

* Besides being a great snack, cashew butter can also blend well in smoothies and provide a rich creamy consistency. Cashew butter is a good alternative to other nut butters. The monounsaturated fats found in cashews promote good cardiovascular health with magnesium and antioxidants. If you need an instant sweet fix, dark chocolate with 75 per cent cocoa value will be a quick grab-and-go snacks.

* Sandwich is one delight that is loved by many. Make them healthy with garlic butter as garlic is a good source of nutrition and combats sickness including common cold, roasted chicken and veggies which can taste heavenly and is an instant snack which is easy to carry.

* Roll up your wheat tortillas or chapatis with nice and tangy pickles to savour the ultimate taste of health.

* Make healthy and nutritious snacks like chilli garlic brown fried rice sautéed vegetables and grilled chicken with the fiery and tangy chilli garlic sauce which can help to lower the cholesterol level because of the antioxidant properties in garlic.

IANS

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Business

Hawaii tourism hit due to Kilauea eruption

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Los Angeles, Aug 5 : The cumulative expenditure loss to the tourism of the Big Island of Hawaii inflicted by the eruption of the Kilauea volcano may reach approximately $200 million, a study has found.

“The Big Island may have already lost 38,000 potential visitors and around $50 million in potential tourism expenditure in May and June,” said Mark Kimura, faculty member of the Department of Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Hawaii.

“Besides the loss of tourists’ expenditures, there is usually a ‘ripple effect’ among tourism-related businesses, such as the impact on local workers in the industry and sales of indigenous goods,” he added.

According to George Szigeti, President and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, “Hawaii’s tourism industry has done extremely well in the first half of 2018 in all key categories.”

Kilauea, one of the youngest and most active volcanoes in the world, has been erupting continuously since early May, which has prompted closure of two-thirds of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in the Big Island.

 

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