Anil Mohan

22% rise in India’s domestic air traffic

India’s domestic traffic soared 21.8 per cent, marking the 20th month of double-digit traffic growth and the 13th consecutive month it has led the domestic markets. Growth is being propelled by the comparatively strong economic backdrop as well as by substantial increases in service frequencies, according to International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) global passenger traffic data for April. Demand for domestic travel climbed 4.1 per cent in April compared to April 2015, while capacity increased 3.8 per cent, causing load factor to rise 0.3 percentage points to 81.4 per cent. All markets reported demand increases with the exception of Brazil, which showed a 12.1 per cent decline, reflecting the country’s ongoing economic recession and political turmoil.  

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0.5% Krishi Kalyan Cess leviable from June 1

A new tax called Krishi Kalyan Cess (KKC) will be levied at 0.5% on all taxable value of services with effect from June 1, 2016. Just like Swachh Bharat Cess (SBC), KKC shall be chargeable on the value of services and not on service tax. This means that along with 0.5% of KKC the effective service tax rate will become 15% on taxable service. The Krishi Kalyan Cess will not be leviable on services which are exempt from levy of Service tax as well as on services on which service tax is not leviable. In case there is any abatement or partial exemption available to a service, KKC shall be leviable on such amount which is arrived after deduction of said abatement or partial exemption. Service tax, SBC and KKC will have to be shown separately on the invoice. Separate accounting codes for payment of KKC will be released The central government seeks to levy and recover KKC @0.5% on value of outstanding amounts as on June 1, 2016. TAAI has advised all its members to collect their outstanding dues from their clients at the earliest and latest by May 31, 2016 to avoid recovery of additional 0.5% of KKC.

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Tigerair offers free ticket to Singapore on round trip

Singapore-based budget carrier Tigerair has announced a special ‘Fly to Singapore for free’ offer for Indian travellers on booking a round-trip fare that allows flyers to fly out of India to Singapore at discounted rates. The special round-trip fares have been announced for five Indian routes: Bengaluru (Rs 10999), Kochi (Rs 8,999), Hyderabad (Rs 9,999), Tiruchirappalli (Rs 9,999) and Lucknow (Rs 10,999). The offer is valid from 30 May, 2016 till 8 June, 2016. The applicable travel period for the offer is from 11 July, 2016 to 30 September, 2016. Commenting on the offer Leslie Thng, Chief Commercial Officer, Tigerair and Scoot said, “We are pleased to add on to the monsoon cheers in India and host our passengers. This offer is an example of how we strive to provide an added value for money to passengers through such promotions which makes their international trips more affordable. It reaffirms Tigerair as the most valuable airline of choice to fly to Singapore and across our vast network.”

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MP sanctioned Rs 98cr for wildlife circuit

Madhya Pradesh Tourism has been sanctioned Rs 98 crores for wildlife circuit project, and Rs 75 crore for Buddhist circuit under the Swadesh Darshan scheme of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. Tanvi Sundriyal, Additional Managing Director, Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation informs, “We have been sanctioned Rs 98 crores for Wildlife Circuit, Rs 75 crores for Buddhist circuit and Rs 98 crores in principle for Heritage circuit.” Sundriyal informs, “Wildlife circuit is the one in which we are adding value to the people visiting the wildlife places by giving them something extra. Buddhist Circuit looks at infrastructure development in various Buddhist oriented sites in Madhya Pradesh. These two have been completely approved but the third one, the Heritage circuit has got an in-principle approval. The places which fall under this circuit are Orchha, Khajuraho, Gwalior, Chanderi, Mandu and lesser known destinations in and around these places.”

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Delhi Tourism website gets a facelift

Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) has launched the revamped version of its official website www.delhitourism.gov.in. Keeping in mind previous year’s overarching theme of World Tourism Day, “One Billion Tourists – One Billion Opportunities,” DTTDC refurbished its website to attract more number of visitors to its website and encourage them to visit the city to explore the city and thus increase tourism in the state. The new look for DTTDC website was launched today by Padmini Singla, MD & CEO, DTTDC along with other senior officials of DTTDC at DTTDC Headquarters. Singla said, “Dotted with historical monuments and ruins, there is a lot that Delhi can boast about. The new look for Delhi Tourism official website will not only provide ease of access but will encourage tourists to plan their trip as per their preference.” The website’s features, such as ‘About the city, How to travel, Modes of transportation available, Best season to visit, Hangout zones, Cuisines, Events, Accommodations, Planning Itinerary, Packages, HO-HO Bus Service, Historic and Heritage Places to visit, Regular Walks & Tours, Museums and Dilli Haats, besides various other properties of Delhi Tourism like Garden of Five Senses, Azad Hind gram, GTB Memorial, etc. The e-commerce based booking services for the national & international packages offered by DTTDC and its travel partner provides various services like booking of Air Fare, Booking of Accommodation, booking of Car/Coaches, booking of Tour Packages & providing Travel Insurance. Downloadable Tourist Literature & Informations about the city and Photo Galleries to enable visitors to become acquainted with the city and encourage them to explore the rich heritage and magnificent monuments, savour various Indian delicacies and thus increasing tourism within the city. …

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30-room ‘The Fern’ opens in Bhimtal

The Fern Hotels & Resorts has announced the opening of The Fern Hillside Resort, Bhimtal, a premium Resort nestled in the hills of Bhimtal and overseeing Bhimtal Lake. The resort offers 30 spacious rooms with a contemporary design. The room rates start from Rs 2250 plus taxes. All rooms are spacious and offer a beautiful view of the surrounding hills, equipped with all modern amenities required for a comfortable stay; the resort also offers a multi-cuisine restaurant, a meeting space, in-door activity options such as Pool Table, Table Tennis, board games. The Resort also arranges for adventure sport activities such as rappelling, river crossing, rock climbing, kayaking, paragliding, trekking and boating. Located in the pristine hills of Bhimtal at about 30 minutes drive i.e 20 kms from Nainital Lake and a short 5 minutes drive i.e 2 kms from Bhimtal Lake. Other places of interest include – Ghorakhal Temple, Kainchi Temple, Naukuchiatal and Sattal are all in close proximity to the resort. The unit is owned and promoted by Pawar Hotels and Resorts. The hotel is managed by Concept Hospitality, part of CG Hotels and Resorts portfolio.

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MP Tourism’s 5-city roadshow begins from Delhi

Madhya Pradesh Tourism is organising multi-city roadshows in the country in order to strengthen relations with the travel fraternity and the various private players. With the roadshow starting from Delhi on May 27, it will move to Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Bengaluru. Tanvi Sundriyal, Addil. Managing Director, Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation, says, “Roadshows are a way in which we are bidding partnerships with our private sellers and the buyers in the form of travel and tour operators of various cities. We’ll start with Tier I cities and then move on to the Tier II cities.”

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Skyscanner releases Facebook messenger bot

Skyscanner, the flight search engine, has launched the Facebook messenger bot that lets users search for flights through the chat interface. Users will be able to enter destinations and receive flight prices, as well as ask for recommendations. Filip Filipov, Director, Skyscanner commented, “The messaging economy and conversational search are areas which we believe are incredibly important evolutionary features for the travel industry. It has been a top priority for us to take a pioneering approach when it comes to building a bot for the Messenger Platform. We want to make travel search as easily accessible as possible, and believe that the launch of our Messenger bot will allow more people to search for their travel in a fun and informative way.”

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India engages with Australian trade

A horde of travel agents and tour operators from across Australia, keen on knowing more about India, attended the ‘Know India Better’ event held in Sydney on May 24. A joint initiative of India Tourism and Australia India Travel & Tourism Council (AITTC), this was the final of a series of sessions launched last year, aimed to educate the industry with updated travel information on India covering flights, hotels, infrastructure developments, visa, tours and safety awareness. According to Sandip Hor, Chairman AITTC, this project has immensely aided the industry allowing agents and tour operators to excite potential travellers on India. “Australia has moved from ninth to the seventh position in the list of foreign tourists arriving India”, said Kanchan Kukreja, Acting Director India Tourism Sydney. Attendess heard about this exotic destination from various presentors – India Tourism, Intrepid Travel and Air India and on India’s various touristy drawcards , including some of the economic and technological developments. Madhu Mathen, Manager Air India emphasised how the direct flights between Sydney/ Melbourne and Delhi are contributing to the growth in bilateral travel. While Kukreja in her presentation engaged the audience through various showstopping scenes of India, Sandip Hor expressed thoughts of initiating similar program in India to update market with more information on Australia, AITTC objective being to promote bilateral tourism. Representatives from Air India, Accor Hotels, Intrepid Travel, Insight Vacations, Far Horizon, Taj Hotels, Grace Hotel, Special Holidays Travel were also present.

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