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During 2023, Radisson Hotel Group in India took some major decisions, such as bringing the Radisson Collection brand to the country. As part of its strategic expansion, it is now looking at tier 2 and 3 markets.

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Radisson Hotel Group significantly expanded its presence in India last year with the signing of 21 hotels. During the year, the group signed the debut Radisson Collection hotels in the country, with three properties under the brand in the pipeline.

The company also signed as many as 10 new properties under the Radisson brand in 2023. In 2023, Radisson Hotel Group also signed Park Inn by Radisson Ayodhya, which became the first international branded hotel to open in the city in January.

Accelerated growth in India: During the year, the company’s signings focused away from tier 1 cities, with expansion in tier 2 and 3 cities, such as Raipur, Sonipat, Sonamarg, and Dera Bassi being driven by the upscale Radisson brand.

India-focused brand Park Inn and Suites by Radisson expanded its presence in the southern region. The group is also expecting a first-mover advantage in pilgrim towns of Vrindavan and Ujjain with new hotels soon to be opened. According to KB Kachru, chairman emeritus and principal advisor, Radisson Hotel Group, South Asia, the company is strategically focusing on solidifying its presence in untapped parts of India.

Himachal Pradesh Is India’s Most Welcoming Region:

Himachal Pradesh is the most welcoming region in India, according to’s 12th Annual Traveller Review Awards. In 2023, the state had stood at the fifth spot in the list. In this year’s rankings, Himachal Pradesh is followed by Goa and Kerala. On the other hand, Mararikulam in Kerala was named the most welcoming city in India, followed by Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer and Bir in Maharashtra.

Towards the end of 2023, hotels in Himachal Pradesh were operating nearly at full capacity, while Christmas Eve had record influx of 65,000 tourists at the Atal Tunnel, along with more than 12,000 vehicles. According to’s rankings this year, as many as three cities from the state, including Manali, Dharamshala, and Kasol, found a place in the list of top 10 most welcoming cities. Last year, no city from Himachal Pradesh was featured in the list.

Domestic Air Travel in January Witnesses Monthly Decline of 5%

Indian credit ratings agency ICRA Limited has estimated that the domestic air passenger traffic in January 2024 stood at 13.1 million, about 5% lower than the December 2023 figure of nearly 13.8 million. The agency, however, noted that this projected figure was 4.5% higher than the domestic air traffic recorded in January 2023, as well as 3% more than the pre-Covid level of passenger movement recorded in January 2020.

In the first 10 months of the 2023-24 fiscal year, the domestic air traffic stood at 127.6 million, marking a year-on-year increase of 15%, and a growth of 5% over the pre-Covid levels recorded between April 2019 and January 2020.

ICRA, which falls under the umbrella of Moody’s Corporation, had a stable outlook on the Indian aviation industry after its January 2024 estimates, affected by factors such as fast-paced recovery in the 2023 fiscal year and till January 31 this year in the 2023-24 financial year.

Korea Tourism Organization Launches Incentive Scheme for Indian Travel Agents

The Korea Tourism Organization is looking to promote South Korea as a travel destination to the Indian market. As part of its efforts, it has launched the K-incentive Scheme 2.0 for Indian travel agents. The program is designed to reward the agents who promote travel to the country with prizes up to $30 per passenger.

The organization also aims to support the agents by facilitating quick as well as hassle-free tour visas for tourists to South Korea between February and September 2024.

Myong Kil Yun, regional director, India & SAARC Countries, KTO, stated that India is among the most important source markets for South Korea. The Southeast Asian country has a goal to welcome 200,000 Indian tourists in 2024, and the decision to incentivize sale of South Korea travel packages is a part of the plan to achieve this target.

Indian Tourists Can Now Make UPI Payments in Sri Lanka and Mauritius

India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) services have been introduced in Sri Lanka and Mauritius. With this, Indian tourists traveling to the two countries would be able to use UPI settlement services, while Mauritian nationals would also be able to use the services on their visit to India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who attended the virtual event marking the launch, said that with this, there would be an increase in tourism between India, Sri Lanka and Mauritius, as Indian tourists are likely to prefer destinations where UPI is available.

UPI is an instant payment system developed in India, and at the beginning of February, France became the first European country to accept payments via UPI when it allowed Indian tourists visiting the Eiffel Tower to buy tickets using the system.

GB Srithar Takes Over as Head of Tourism Services at VFS Global

GB Srithar has joined as Head of Tourism Services at VFS Global with effect from February 1, 2024. Set to support the organization in offering specialized travel, trade, and tourism services to VFS’ client governments, Srithar was previously with Singapore Tourism Board as the regional director for South Asia, Middle East & Africa (SAMEA). He was with the Singapore Tourism Board for 27 years.

VFS Global, which specializes in outsourcing and technology services for governments and diplomatic missions, has 67 client governments to which it provides visa application processing and consular services.


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Tags: air traffic, air travel,, france, himachal pradesh, mauritius, radisson, radisson collection, radisson hotel group, south korea, sri lanka

Photo credit: Radisson Hotel Raipur Radisson Hotel Group

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