Airlines, hotels tie up to roll out red carpet.

Our Bureau

New Delhi, Feb. 18 With foreign tourist arrivals during January this year declining by over 100,000 as compared with the previous year, leading airlines and hotel chains have come together to woo the travellers.

The joint strategy announced by the Government will provide value addition to the foreign tourists visiting between April and December this year.

Promotional schemes

Among other schemes, Air India is offering a 50 per cent discount on a companion ticket for passengers booking for travel from US to India in the highest level of first and business class tickets, while Kingfisher Airlines is offering a companion free offer on the published IATA fare levels in calendar year 2009 on its international sectors.

Generally, the IATA fares are much higher than the normal ones.

Travel agents told Business Line that a passenger travelling between London-Delhi on the IATA fare in economy class would pay £2,790 while the lowest economy class fare on the sector being offered by most airlines would be around £254.

Jet Airways, on the other hand, has done away with the earlier restriction which prevented a foreigner travelling on the dollar denominated ‘Visit India 7 and 14 days fare scheme’ from visiting any part of the country.

Addressing a press conference to announce the tie-up between the hotels and airlines, the Tourism Secretary, Mr Sujit Banerjee, said that at least 124 hotels around the country are participating in the promotional scheme under which a tourist will be offered a complementary one night stay.

“The Taj group is participating with 59 hotels, Ashok with 13, ITC (12), Oberoi (7) and Trident (7),” Mr Banerjee said.

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(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 19, 2009)
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