Anil Mohan

Andrew Jones: New Chairman of PATA Executive Board

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has announced the election of Andrew Jones, Guardian, Sanctuary Resorts, Hong Kong SAR, as Chairman of the Association’s Executive Board. He replaces Kevin B Murphy who was elected Chairman in April 2015 and who remains a member of the Executive Board as Immediate Past Chairman. Over the past 45 years he has worked in numerous senior management and corporate positions for prestigious hotels, resorts and management companies in London, Bermuda, Canada, Hong Kong SAR and across Asia. In 1996 he founded and became the Guardian of Sanctuary Resorts, a resort management company creating responsible and sustainable tourism experiences where people can balance their body, mind and spirit in an environmentally friendly space. A Certified Hotel Administrator of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, and a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, Andrew was previously a member of the Board of the Indian Ocean Tourism Organization and Director, Asia Pacific Affairs for the International Hotel and Restaurant Association. Andrew Jones said, “It is especially meaningful to me to be elected to the position of Chairman of PATA during this 65th anniversary year of the Association. During this time, after a long career in hospitality, I also celebrate my 65th year on the planet. In leading and guiding PATA in the coming year, my focus will be on the continual and future enhancement of the Association. In taking on this role I commit to pro-actively working with the Executive Board, management team and our members to continue the good work of PATA. I want us to deliver on our promised advocacy themes, especially Human Capital Development, and to encourage membership development and involvement while supporting the …

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India top BRIC market for visitor volumes in UK

2015 was a record year for Indian visits into Britain according to the International Passenger Survey from the Office of National Statistics UK. The latest figures show visits from India in 2015 are up 8 per cent, from 390,000 to 422,000, setting a new record. Indian visitors spent £433 million in Britain last year along with 9.2 million nights. These 2015 figures mean that India retains its position as Britain’s No. 1 BRIC market in terms of visitor volume and among the 20 top source markets for Britain globally. Growing outbound travel trends fuelled by increased flight connectivity into regional Britain has helped India cement its’ position with growing visitor numbers over 2014. VisitBritain Director Asia Pacific, Mid East & Africa, Sumathi Ramanathan said, “India is the top BRIC market for Britain in terms of volume and the year-on-year robust visit figures ensure our way to achieve our 2020 target of 500,000 visits. Our focussed strategy for the India market featuring the Bollywood Britain campaign, combined with our trade engagement, targeted consumer engagements and tactical offers with tourism partners will be crucial for us to deliver our tourism targets in 2016-2017.”

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Fly Scoot from Amritsar to Singapore at Rs 4700

Spreading its wings to India, Scoot launches services from Singapore to Amritsar (fares starting Rs 4700) and Singapore to Chennai (fares starting Rs 5700). Scoot’s service to Amritsar commences three times weekly and will increase frequency with an additional Monday service from July, restarting the Singapore-Amritsar route for the SIA Group. The airline takes over the Singapore-Chennai daily service from Tigerair, expanding capacity to Chennai for the SIA Group with its new and spacious Boeing 787 Dreamliner as the world’s first all-787 operator. Chief Commercial Officer for Scoot and Tigerair, Leslie Thng, said, “India is one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world and Scoot is excited to present exceptional value, an empowering selection of customisation options including inflight connectivity and in-seat power, as well as service with Scootitude to guests flying into and out of India.” “Guests from India can now fly to amazing destinations in our Asia-Pacific network through the Singapore hub, as well as onward with Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Tigerair in the SIA Group portfolio,” he added. Scoot will also commence Singapore-Jaipur services four times weekly from October. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) , India is projected to be the world’s third largest air passenger market by 2031 with a total of 367 million passengers by 2034, an extra 266 million annual passengers compared to today.

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Air India connects Bhopal with Pune via Raipur

Air India boosts regional connectivity by commencing operations to Pune via Raipur from Bhopal. Flight AI 9865 operating with a 70 seater ATR-72 will ply on the route Bhopal-Raipur-Pune. The flight will operate thrice a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Air India offers a direct air link on this route for the first time. The flight will leave Bhopal at 0845 hrs and land at Raipur at 1015 hrs, will depart from Raipur at 1045 hrs and arrive in to Pune at 1300 hrs. The return flight AI 9866 will leave Pune at 1330 hrs and reach Raipur at 1545 hrs, depart Raipur at 1615 hrs and will touch down at Bhopal at 1745 hrs. Present on the occasion to launch the flight Minister of Home and Jail, Madhya Pradesh, Babulal Gaur, said, “We congratulate Air India for starting this flight as it will save travelling time for passengers commuting to regions like Raipur and Pune from Bhopal. The 100% occupancy on the first flight is a testimony of the demand for such flights to push regional connectivity.” At Raipur the flight was received and flagged off by Minister for Agriculture, Chhattisgarh Brij Mohan Aggarwal. The passengers arriving at Pune were greeted by the Airport Director Shri Ajay Kumar who also gave the boarding card to the first passenger to check-in for the return flight to Raipur.

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Service tax exemption on pilgrimage from July 2012- Aug 2014

The Central Government has notified travel serivce providers that it has exempted service tax on religious pilgrimage for Kailash Mansarovar, Haj Yatra or pilgrimage facilitated by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, between July 1, 2012 to August 19, 2014. A notification was issued to TAAI members on September 2, 2014, specifically exempting service tax on services provided by specified organisations in respect of religious pilgrimage for Kailash Mansarovar, Haj Yatra or a religious pilgrimage facilitate by MEA, GoI, with effect from August 20, 2014. However, for the period from July 1, 2012 to August 20, 2014 service tax was applicable on the aforesaid services but due to common practice prevalent during that time, no service tax was paid on the services.

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PATA & MOT’s US roadshows begin

PATA India and the Ministry of Tourism’s (MOT) first leg of its five-city US roadshow begins today at San Francisco and will cover the West Coast. Imparting more details on the roadshow, Vikram Madhok, Hony. Treasurer, PATA India, said, “One of our mandates for PATA membership is to add value so we embark on roadshows across the world, primarily in the main feeder markets. Now, we are going back to the US and have more than 20 people from every segment participating. It’s going to begin from May 24 in San Francisco, May 25 in Los Angeles (Orange County), May 26 in Los Angeles (Beverly Hills), May 31 in Vancouver ending on June 1 in Seattle. Another roadshow in Europe is currently in the pipeline.”

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Highest luxury growth rate among BRIC nations

India’s luxury market’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13 per cent is higher than any of the other BRIC nations, and is the highest of the 25 countries explored in a recent Amadeus report called Shaping the Future of Luxury Travel. This report looks at luxury travel trends until 2025 to help the travel industry better target and service its fastest-growing segment. The report was commissioned by global travel technology provider, Amadeus, and developed with data from Tourism Economics and with dozens of expert interviews with global luxury travel experts across specialist travel concierge agencies, airlines, hoteliers and intermediary suppliers through Connections, a global networking event organiser for luxury travel providers. Global consumers are increasingly spending their disposable income on experiences rather than material goods. Consumers’ desire for life experiences is spurring a growth in luxury travel that is outpacing the rest of the travel industry, finds a new Amadeus report featuring data from Tourism Economics. Between 2011 and 2015, luxury travel, in terms of outbound flights on business or first class, saw a 4.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), versus 4.2% for overall travel. This trend will continue to accelerate over the next ten years, with luxury travel trips projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.2% between 2015 and 2025, almost a third faster than overall travel at 4.8%. This trend is good news for the luxury travel sector. The report, Shaping the Future of Luxury Travel, reveals the fresh challenges and opportunities that the luxury travel market will face over the next decade.Some key findings from the report include: North America and Western Europe account for 64% of global outbound luxury trips, despite only making up …

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23.2% growth in domestic airlines performance in April

Domestic airlines carried 309.35 lakh passengers during Jan-Apr 2016 as against 251.05 lakh passengers during the corresponding period of 2015 thereby registering a growth of 23.22 per cent. DGCA released the figures after analysing traffic data submitted by various domestic airlines for the month of April 2016. In terms of On-Time Performance (OTP) of scheduled domestic airlines Air Asia ruled the roost at 89.1 per cent with Indigo close behind at 88.5 per cent. In terms of Passenger Load Factor, SpiceJet remains ahead at 93.2 per cent in April.

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Indian nationals banned from travelling to Libya

In view of prevailing security situation in Libya, security threats and challenges to lives of Indian nationals in Libya, the Government of India has decided to impose travel ban on Indian nationals planning to travel to Libya irrespective of the purpose. All Immigration authorities have been notified in this respect. Indian nationals may please take note of the travel ban for compliance. The travel ban is effective from 3 May, 2016 till further orders.

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Ireland hosts 8 Indian agents at Meitheal 2016

Tourism Ireland hosted eight key Indian travel trade agents to Ireland’s largest tourism trade fair, Meitheal 2016. Organised by Tourism Ireland, the workshop brought together over 310 overseas buyers and 455 Irish tourism businesses for two days of negotiating business deals. Nearly 12,000 face to face meetings were organised between the buyers and sellers for the 2017 season. Huzan Fraser Motivala, India Representative, Tourism Ireland, said, “India is an important market for Tourism Ireland and one that we are committed to growing. Over the last five years, we have seen a year-on-year increase of over 25 per cent in Indian visitor arrival numbers to the island of Ireland.” She also informed that the Irish Visa Applications (year to date 2016) have also seen a 43 per cent increase in visa applications compared to the same period last year. Some of the factors in favour of this growth can be identified as increased air access to Ireland, particularly by Etihad Airways and Emirates via the Middle East and the British Irish Visa Scheme (BIVS) which has made it easier for tourists from India who are visiting Great Britain to also visit Ireland, without the cost or hassle of applying for a separate visa.

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