India Travel Status Map

indiamapCurrently India experiencing an increase of COVID-19 cases in a few states while the majority of the states have been able to keep this under control. The good thing is that the recovery rate is around 48% and the fatality rate is low. The government has commenced with the easing of restrictions in 3 phases. The domestic flights have started their operations from the 25th of May 2020 while the international flights will start in Phase III.

Phases will be followed with the standard operating procedure (SOP), issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in consultation with Central ministries concerned and other stakeholders, to ensure that social distancing to contain the further spread of coronavirus.

 Phase I: Religious places and places of worship for the public, hotels (Delhi is on hold), restaurants and other hospitality services and shopping malls have been permitted to open from June 8, 2020.

Phase II: Schools, colleges, educational/training/coaching institutions etc will be opened after consultation with the states based on the feedback with all the stakeholders, including parents, a decision in this regard will be taken in July.

Phase III: Resumption of international flights, metro services, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks etc will be decided based on an assessment of the situation.

Night curfew will continue as it was since 1st June from 9 PM to 5 AM.

The government has issued strict guidelines pertaining to social distancing, sanitation, wearing of face masks, restrictions in seating in the restaurants and public transport with proper spacing etc. Similar guidelines have been issued to hotels, places of worship, and monument visits.

Plan for Road to Tourism Recovery in Australia

planforrecoveryThe Australian Tourism Restart Taskforce, recently created to co-ordinate and reinforce the industry response to the COVID-19 crisis, has just released a timetable which if accepted by all parties may see Australians travelling to New Zealand and other Pacific countries from as early as 1 July.

If this proposed plan is approved by both Australia and New Zealand Governments, there could be a flight between the two capitals – Canberra and Wellington on 1 July.

Travel to other destinations is projected to begin progressively.

If all goes according to the plan, the timetable stipulates all international travel restarting from December 15. However this will be depend on health advice, with countries included after they are deemed safe by Australian health authorities.

This plan excites the entire tourism sector – one of the worst affected by the corona virus crisis.

Both in Australia and New Zealand, restrictions are currently being eased in stages as number of positives cases have come down significantly.

Australia Travel Status Map

aussiemapAustralia is slowly re-opening. The Australian Government has outlined a national three step plan to relax restrictions imposed to contain the coronavirus. Travel and social distancing restrictions won’t be immediately lifting everywhere, though, with each state and territory moving forward at a pace that best suits their own individual circumstances.

 With travel restrictions around Australia continuing to ease, with each state and territory lifting restrictions at different times. Tourism Australia has created an interactive map that enables consumers and industry to Live from Aus streaming program continues. The map provides a national picture including an up to date status of border restrictions and links to each state and territory for further advice and resources

Link to the map here.

https://www.australia.com/en/travel-alerts/australian-travel-status-map.html?cid=DM55911&bid=28475556

Chairman’s Note

chairmenI know its difficult time, but hoping all our members and industry stakeholders are somehow managing to go through this unprecedented crisis as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Like everybody else, I am not sure whether we have reached the peak or not, what I know from WHO figures that it’s still in increasing mode in many countries, some experiencing the second wave thrust. The death toll worldwide is 423349 as on 13 June 2020 and our thoughts stay with the grieving families who have lost their loved ones.

While Australia is moving well along its road to recovery from this health calamity, the situation in India is not the best particularly in states like Maharashtra, Tamilnadu, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan where tourism is popular. However to keep the economy moving, restrictions are being eased in phases in both countries with caution to be exercised in every step.

Australia possibly will commence its international travel sooner than later. It’s hoped in July flights to New Zealand and neighbouring Pacific countries will commence with all international travel restarting from mid-December. However this will depend on the situation at that time and on health advice from the countries included after they are deemed safe by Australian health authorities. Similarly in India, international travel will commence in their third phase a date for which hasn’t been decided yet.

In my opinion travel will not be the same as before until the vaccine comes out. Until then all travel, particularly in the international sector will rely on the extent of traveller confidence on many factors like where they are travelling to, which airline they are flying and the hotel they will be staying. Elaborating on this, perhaps Aussie travelers will need to have full confidence on India as a health-wise safe destination to travel, maybe they will need to see third party certifications from tour operators, hotels and restaurants  that they are safe to be stayed and/or visited. Vice versa with Australia as well. Potential travelers would surely like to see a certification from the hotel that it’s clean and safe, particularly if it has been used a quarantine place.

Currently in India there are no unified standard operating procedures (SOPs) for hotels, home stays, group travellers, tour operators, guides and others, so it’s understood Ministry of Tourism is working with the industry to establish them. As a part of the process third party authorisation is also being thought. I hope authorities in Australia are thinking likewise as they will become essential in every country to re-establish safe and clean tourism.

With actual travel now in coma mode, we are living in the world of virtual travel with lots of webinars to keep the travel energy vitalised. Focus is very much on domestic tourism but we all know it’s not adequate to get tourism spearheading the nation’s falling economy. So I suggest not moving attention from international tourism. Perhaps this is the best time to be in the minds of potential travellers with updated destination knowledge and other relevant information. This means more coverages in multimedia platforms, so that the nation’s icons find a place in the bucket list of would be travellers. International marketing and promotions are highly competitive and important and tourism intensive countries like India and Australia cannot be complacent when it comes to overseas marketing.

We in AITTC believe that as tourism gains momentum again we will have a big job in hand to support Tourism Australia and India Tourism to achieve their strategic goals. So we are working behind the scenes to get ready for that. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any suggestions on what we can do on our way forward journey.

 

Sandip Hor

Chairman

THE BEST OF AUSTRALIA WILL BE LIVE STREAMED INTO LIVING ROOMS ACROSS THE COUNTRY

uluruTourism Australia will be transporting the country’s incredible tourism offerings into the living rooms of hundreds of thousands of Australians with a curated live program of virtual travel experiences to inspire them to dream about their next Australian holiday.

The program will highlight the best that Australia has to offer, from our unique culture to our stunning natural beauty, world class food and drink and exceptional wildlife.

Live From Aussie is set to kick off on Friday 15 May with a special one-hour broadcast at 7:30pm on Network Ten in Australia. ‘The Love Australia Project’, proudly supported by Tourism Australia, will be headlined by some of the nation’s favorite tourism and entertainment personalities who will help shine a spotlight on our unparalleled offerings.

For the entire weekend of May 16 and 17, Tourism Australia will be going live with exclusive new travel experiences, broadcasting on the hour, every hour, to a potential audience of more than 13 million from across Australia and around the world.

From a dance party with The Wiggles and iconic workouts in Byron Bay, to close crocodile encounters with the Outback Wrangler Matt Wright, pro golfing lessons and a dinner party with Matt Moran and friends, the program of live events kicks off from 7AM AEST on Saturday 16 May 2020.

An ongoing streaming program from 18 May will reconnect Australians with our country’s unique wildlife, landscapes, food and wine, Indigenous, arts and cultural experiences through Tourism Australia’s digital and social media channels.

australia-fish

Tourism Australia Managing Director Phillipa Harrison said the broadcast and digital activation would help to further bring to life Tourism Australia’s With Love From Aus campaign, which has been rolling out across its social channels over the last month.

“Even though demand for travel is currently on hold and the timing of the recovery is still uncertain, it’s important that we don’t go quiet as a destination. While people can’t travel right now, they can certainly dream and plan for those holidays to come,” Ms Harrison said.

“The brands that continue to engage with their audiences in a crisis are the ones that tend to recover the fastest. Our marketing job right now is about keeping Australia front of mind for travelers by using this enforced period of self-isolation to engage with people in their living rooms, feed their escapism and inspire them to travel again once the restrictions start to lift.

“The With Love From Aus campaign is about providing a platform for our industry operators, tourism products and experiences to continue to connect with travel lovers and give them the ideas and inspiration to explore our incredible country when borders reopen, and people can travel again.”

The Live From Aus program will be hosted by an array of Australian personalities, advocates and industry operators who will educate, entertain and inspire viewers with a range of interactive experiences, including cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, exercise classes, cultural immersion sessions, Australian wildlife encounters, and a live music program presented by Sounds Australia.

Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said that restarting the tourism industry once restrictions were eased would be crucial to Australia’s overall economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

“The international border controls and restrictions that have helped to keep Australians safe are sadly inflicting enormous pain on tourism businesses all over Australia,” Minister Birmingham said.

“Australians may not be able to travel across our wide brown land at present, but those who can should definitely be dreaming and planning to tick off some bucket list items when it’s safe do so.

“Those able to take breaks once restrictions are eased should do so knowing they can enjoy the time of their lives while also helping to save the businesses or jobs of fellow Australians.

“COVID-19 may have taken some of the fun out of life right now, but soon Aussies will be able to experience the sumptuous food and wine, thrilling adventures, rich culture and beautiful nature that usually make us such a favorite destination with international visitors.”

Tourism Australia’s Chief Marketing Officer, Susan Coghill said the campaign was all about bringing a little bit of Australia to people while they’re spending time at home.

“The Australian optimism is boundless and is just what the world needs right now. We will be collaborating with some of the country’s most inspiring creators, industry operators  and advocates to bring the Aussie spirit into the living rooms of people around the country and the world, to get them dreaming and planning their Australian holiday,” Ms Coghill said.

“Viewing of live content across digital and social media globally has nearly tripled in the past month, while television viewership in Australia has climbed 11 per cent on last year due to people being in isolation. With Love From Aus aims to make the most of this opportunity and playing into consumers’ desire for positive content by filling their feeds with spectacular content from around Australia.”

Network 10’s head of programming Daniel Monaghan said: “I’m delighted Tourism Australia has chosen 10 as the place to launch Live From Aus ‘The Love Australia Project’ will take us for a ride through our own backyard and reconnect Aussies with the beauty that awaits us after lock down.

“As we watch the world battle COVID 19, never has the phrase “there’s no place I’d rather be” rung more true for Australians. So while the international borders remain closed, let’s celebrate the island we live on, it truly is a fantastic place.”

The Live from Aus program schedule released on 8 May on www.australia.com  and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SeeAustralia/events/

Sad News

michaelAfter suffering from critical illnesses (not coronavirus), our member Michael Osborne passed away yesterday. We express our deepest condolences for the grieving family.

Michael was well known in the travel media fraternity.  He went from the heady world of advertising to publishing in 1984 and created what was to become the Mature Traveller – a reputed digital travel publication. In the mid 80’s he was the President of the Wine and Food Appreciation Society of NSW and until recently the Chairman and the driving force of Travel Industry Curry Club of Australia (TICCA).He received the Government of India’s Tourism Association’s “Golden Peacock Award” for a published travel article on India. We pray for his soul to rest in piece

Stranded Australians in India and Indians in Australia

strandedBecause of lock downs and border closure, some Australians are stuck in India . Recently private charter flights brought back some of them. Arriving passengers went through mandatory health checks at the airport before being transported to designated hotels for 14 days compulsory quarantine.

Perhaps there are still some more stranded in different parts of India. AITTC suggests members/stakeholders/contacts that if they know of any stuck Australian kindly request them to register with Australian High Commission in New Delhi or Consulate in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. This will enable Australian authorities to contact them should the need arise.

Likewise it’s suggested that Indians – students, workers and visitors – who are stuck in Australia also register with High Commission of India in Canberra or Consulates in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. This will allow Indian authorities to contact should the need arise.

New Member – Saravanna Bhavan

sarvanabhavanWorld’s number one Indian vegetarian restaurant chain now have several branches in Sydney and Melbourne. They proudly serve irresistible vegetarian food created under extremely hygienic condition with choicest ingredients.

They will be an ideal choice for tourists from India who with preference for vegetarian Indian cuisine as well as for local Aussies keen on a shift from typical butter chicken and lamb rogan josh. For more information on Saravanna Bhavan check https://www.saravanaabhavan.com.au/

Popular hotel for Indian origin Aussie tourists in Singapore

singaporehotelLocated in the heart of Little India quarter in Singapore the PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road – a member of the Pan Pacific Hotels Group – is a landmark hotel with a unique locale, ideal for both corporate and leisure guests alike. Unveiling a full transformation in 2020, the family-friendly hotel boasts 542 spacious guestrooms and suites, alongside enhanced MICE facilities and natural day-light function rooms, integrating technology and sustainability for an elevated hospitality experience.

It’s a popular staying place for tourists from India and for some Aussies of  Indian origin who finds it nostalgic when walking along the Serangoon Road lines with saree stores, jewellery shops, temples and mosques and several curry houses.

singporefood While Spice Brasserie, the hotels all-day-dining restaurant serve a tempting selection of Asian food including many Indian delicacies from southern and northern India, Si Chuan Dou Hua is a pioneer of Sichuan cuisine. The hotel is ideal for shopaholics as it stands next to the 24 hours open Mustafa Shopping Centre where it’s possible to find everything that human mind can think of.

Singapore Airlines cutting 96% capacity because of COVID19

singaporeSingapore Airlines which has the largest market share in the Australia – India sector has announced cutting 96% of the capacity that had been originally scheduled up to end-April, given the further tightening of border controls around the world over the last week to stem the Covid-19 outbreak. This will result in the grounding of around 138 SIA and SilkAir aircraft, out of a total fleet of 147, amid the greatest challenge that the SIA Group has faced in its existence.

The Group’s low-cost unit Scoot will also suspend most of its network, resulting in the grounding of 47 of its fleet of 49 aircraft. The SIA Group diversified its network and set up Scoot to spread its risks and cater to a wide range of passenger and market segments. However, without a domestic segment, the Group’s airlines become more vulnerable when international markets increasingly restrict the free movement of people or ban air travel altogether.

It is unclear when the SIA Group can begin to resume normal services, given the uncertainty as to when the stringent border controls will be lifted.