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Implementation of visa on arrival: Tourist count up by 1,215%

Number of tourists arriving in India has increased by several times as compared to previous year after the launch of visa on arrival (VoA) enabled Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) scheme for 43 countries.

A total of 25,023 tourists arrived in India in January this year using the VoA enabled ETA scheme as against 1903 in the same month last year, registering a growth of 1214.9% growth, according to tourism ministry data. Government extended the VoA enabled ETA facility for 43 countries in November 2014. Prior to it, the VoA scheme was in operation for 12 countries only.

While maximum tourists came from the US (23.71%), followed by Republic of Korea (18.26%), Russian Federation (14.06 per cent), Ukraine (9.99 per cent), Australia (8.83%) and Germany (6.53%).

The facility is operational at nine international airports including all four metropolis and Kochi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Trivandrum and Goa.


Night Tourism at Amer Fort, Jaipur

Amer Fort, also spelled and pronounced as Amber Fort is located in Amer, 11 Km from Jaipur. The Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the principal tourist attractions in the Jaipur. The fort would now turn even more enchanting with the launch of night tourism officially from February 21. After putting the lights and fixtures in place, the department of tourism has finally launched Amber by Night, as visualized by chief minister Vasundhra Raje. The monument that regularly shuts at 5:30 pm would now remain open for night tourism at extended time i.e. from 7pm till 10 pm. Elephant ride is not permitted for night visit of the fort.

Hyatt launches global free Wi-Fi, Global roll-out launched on 14 February 2015

Hyatt is now offering free Wi-Fi at its entire portfolio of hotels. The initiative, which was first announced in December 2014, came into effect on 14 February 2015 and will apply to more than 500 Hyatt-branded properties worldwide.

Guests will be offered complimentary connectivity in all rooms and public areas of the hotels, on an unlimited number of devices.

In addition to the standard free Wi-Fi service, Platinum and Diamond members of the Hyatt Gold Passport loyalty programme will receive a free upgrade to premium Wi-Fi services.

Marriott International announces opening of Courtyard by Marriott Agra

Marriott International, Inc. the global hospitality chain, now ensuring its presence in all the cities of Golden Triangle, officially opened its 12th Courtyard by Marriott branded hotel in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. The hotel group is all set to launch their 1000th Marriott property probably by March. Calling the property an entry level five-star, the General Manager at the property-Vishal Bharti aims to position it among the top three hotels in the city.

Strategically located five minutes away from the iconic Taj Mahal on the Fatehabad Road, Courtyard by Marriott, Agra offers 189 spacious guest rooms including 18 Suites which is the highest among the city hotels. Among the F&B options, the hotel boasts off inducing dining options which include MoMo Café-the all-day dining, MoMo 2 Go - bakery and retail outlet, MoMo 2 You - the in-room dining service and Onyx Bar (20 covers) for delightful beverage selections. An open air Indian barbeque restaurant along with a bar is slated to open in the next six months.



Tree of Life launches Udaipur and Dudhwa National Park properties

Tree of Life Resorts and Hotels, a four year old hospitality chain officially unveiled the Tree of Life TatSaraasa Resort and Spa, Udaipur on February 1, 2015 and the Tree of Life Jaagir Lodge, Dudhwa National Park, in Uttar Pradesh on February 17, 2015. Today, with four properties under the Tree of Life brand, the Founder-Himmat Anand expects to have over eight hotels (both owned and managed) by the year 2017.

"Starting from scratch, today we have four properties under the Tree of Life brand at Jaipur, Rishikesh, Udaipur and Dudhwa National Park (in Uttar Pradesh). Going forward, I hope to have eight hotels by 2017, both owned and managed. Besides other in pipeline, the Varanasi and Agra hotels will open by end of 2017. We aim to create a brand in the 'small hotel' space which provide a different experience at every location," he added.