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Legacy wouldn't last unless there was community support, and also that tourism has a multiplier effect on jobs and livelihoods. After all, there’s no greater motivation than protecting one's heritage.

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Airbnb has signed a memorandum of understanding with India’s Ministry of Tourism to showcase the country’s heritage stays and promote cultural tourism. As part of the ministry’s “Visit India 2023” initiative, Airbnb will launch a dedicated ‘Soul of India’ microsite; offer support to hosts in untapped tourist areas; assist them in promoting their homestays; build host capacity; and foster a culture of responsible hosting.

Airbnb said it will train hospitality micro-entrepreneurs in emerging destinations that are part of the ministry’s flagship scheme, adding, it would also share travel and homestay insights with the ministry for informed responsible tourism policies and training requirements.

Last December, Airbnb inked a memorandum of understanding with the Goa tourism department to promote inclusive tourism. The partnership aimed to boost hinterland and homestay tourism in Goa and enable capacity building of hospitality entrepreneurs in the state. The platform is witnessing strong demand from Indian travelers for non-urban destinations like rural homestays, said Amanpreet Bajaj, general manager of India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan at Airbnb. In April, the Indian Heritage Hotels Association pitched for creating a district-wise inventory of old bungalows, mansions, palaces and forts to promote heritage tourism.

Airbnb signing a memorandum of understanding with Ministry of Tourism

India Is Now U.S.’s No. 2 Source Market

India has become the U.S.’s second-largest international source market behind the UK (excluding Canada and Mexico), with 199,364 visitors in May, according to the latest figures from the United States National Travel and Tourism Office.

Between January and May 2023, Indian arrivals to the U.S. were placed third, after the UK and Germany, with a total of 643,270 arrivals. This number represents a 6 percent increase compared to the pre-Covid arrivals during the same period in 2019, which was a record-breaking year. The tourism agency forecasts that Indian arrivals will surpass 2019 arrival figures by the end of this year. Over 75,000 tickets to and from India were sold from the U.S. in 2022, up 432 percent year over year, according to Trevolution Group, which focuses on agency sales of airline tickets and travel services.

Cygnett Hotels & Resorts Launches Cozzet Victoria in Bhubaneswar

Indian hospitality chain Cygnett Hotels & Resorts has announced the opening of its budget segment brand Cozzet Victoria in Bhubaneswar in the eastern state of Odisha. “As we move ahead with our expansion plans for this financial year, we have been strengthening our presence in the mid-segment hospitality market in India. We will keep exploring markets where there is a need for branded value-for-money hotels,” said Sarbendra Sarkar, founder and managing director of Cygnett Hotels & Resorts. In April, the company signed a 42-room property in Sonipat in the north Indian state of Haryana

Domestic Air Traffic Soars 36 Percent Year-on-Year

India’s overall domestic air traffic surged 36 percent year-on-year in May as airlines carried 13.2 million passengers during the month, according to latest data from aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation. Indian airlines carried 63.6 million passengers through May, versus 46.7 million during the same period of 2022.

This is the first aviation data released following the halt in operations of cash-strapped carrier Go First. Low-cost carrier IndiGo continued to helm its position as a market leader, with its market share growing significantly from 55.4 percent in April to 61.3 percent in May. The airline carried 8.11 million passengers during the month, followed by Tata Group-owned Air India, which flew 1.2 million passengers in May.

MakeMyTrip Opens Franchise Store in Srinagar

Online travel company MakeMyTrip has opened a franchise store in Srinagar in the north Indian territory of Jammu & Kashmir. The network expansion is part of the company’s broader strategy to serve a wider base of customers in India. “We aim to build a hyper-local marketing connection by leveraging our partners to build travel communities in cities like Srinagar. We have also invested in technology and training to ensure the service remains consistent across all franchises,” said Jasmeet Singh, business head of holidays and experiences at MakeMyTrip.

While Thailand, Dubai and Maldives are the top three overseas destinations booked from the union territory; Goa, Kerala and Andaman islands are most preferred domestic destinations. For Indian students traveling abroad, the company recently partnered with airlines for extra baggage and competitive student fares; and with banks for exclusive discounts

AirAsia X to Resume Kuala Lumpur-Amritsar Direct From September 3

Low-cost airline AirAsia X, which had stopped operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, is now all set to resume direct services between Kuala Lumpur and Amritsar in the north Indian state of Punjab. Scheduled to take off on September 3, the airline will service the route with four flights per week along with an additional annual capacity of 157,263 seats between the two cities. “The restart of this route is part of our efforts to strengthen our position in South Asia, complementing our robust network in North Asia. We are optimistic that this route relaunch will not only enhance our medium-haul destination offering with affordable fares, but also contribute to the overall business growth,” said AirAsia X CEO Benyamin Ismail

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Tags: air asia, air traffic, airbnb, budget hotels, dgca, heritage, india, makemytrip, skift india report, u.s. tourism

Photo credit: Airbnb will launch a dedicated microsite to showcase India’s culture and heritage. Source: FabIndia / Flickr FabIndia / Samode Haveli - Rajasthan, India

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