Nisha Verma

TAAI hopeful for Government support, asks MoCA to set up Aviation Task Force

Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) has written again to the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Finance, regarding concerns of the industry and urging for a stimulus package and schemes of the Government, which was not included in the package announced by the Ministry of Finance. Jyoti Mayal, President, TAAI, also revealed that they have asked MoCA to make an aviation task force which includes the travel agent community, so that they can be put their issues and ideas at the forefront.

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MOT to release new post-lockdown protocols for accommodation units: Prahlad Singh Patel

Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State (I/C), Tourism & Culture, Govt. of India, has said that they will be releasing new post-lockdown protocols for accommodation units, so that the clients can feel confident about travelling as well as overall safety. “Our objective is to revive demand as soon as possible. One way we can do this is to help overcome the fear of health while travelling. The ministry will soon be releasing new post-lockdown protocols for accommodation units to give confidence to clients to travel and stay safely. We are also coming out with a set of recommendations for different segments—travel agents, tour operators, transport operators, and facilitators/guides,” he shared in an interview to Hindustan Times.

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NIMA tying up with local trade associations in states, will not create its own state chapters

Network of Indian M!CE Agents (NIMA) will not be creating its own state chapters, but instead would partner with other local trade bodies and associations in every state and promote M!CE tourism with them. Jagdeep Bhagat, National Coordinator,  NIMA and CEO of Vee Bee Tours & Travels, said, “Instead of creating state chapters for our association, we will be partnering with the local state associations. The local state bodies are already there and our core objective is to develop the state. Hence, whatever NIMA resources are there, towards skill development, education, branding, and technology advancement, we will be drafting, analysing, conceptualising all these efforts, which are required for the M!CE sector to grow within the state. We will be doing this collectively with the local state tourism associations. Of course, we will join hands with like-minded associations, and those who believe in our philosophy to do good work in the field of M!CE. We have already partnered with couple of state associations and we are in discussion with others too. By the time the whole lockdown is cleared, we will be up and running in at least 10-12 states. This way we will work for the benefit of MICE sector in the states and ultimately it will grow M!CE within the country.”

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Global Panorama Showcase goes virtual, to hold digital event globally this year

Global Panorama Showcase (GPS) will be held virtually across the world this year. GPS Virtual will be held at a global stage in July or August, instead of physically going to different Tier II, III cities because of the COVID-19 crisis. Harmandeep Singh Anand, MD, GPS, revealed that the event will be attended by around 10,000 people and that it will be an annual feature apart from the physical event, which will be further fine-tuned. “We have developed the technology to host the virtual event. In fact, we already had the tool in place. There will be around 200 exhibitors, which would come from India and across the world. The prices will be competitive and GPS members would also be benefit,” he shared.

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Cross Hotels Webinar concludes successfully with 850 attendees

Cross Hotels & Resorts concludes its webinar with an overwhelming attendance of around 850 people. The hospitality brand showcased 24 hotels in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. Also, the brand is offering prices, much lower than the online prices, as a gesture to support the industry. Ms. Yui, Director, Cross Hotels & Resorts, along with Ms. May, Cluster Manager, Cross Hotels & Resorts from Thailand addressed the webinar and shared information on the brand and its various properties.

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Domestic civil aviation operations to restart from 25th May in a calibrated manner: HS Puri

Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of Civil Aviation, has announced that domestic civil aviation operations will resume from 25th May and it would happen in a phased and calibrated manner. The passengers would have to follow strict social distancing, while airports across the country are working towards maintaining optimum 6 feet distance and minimum touch points for passengers. In a tweet, he said, “Domestic civil aviation operations will recommence in a calibrated manner from Monday 25th May 2020. All airports & Air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations from 25th May. SOPs for passenger movement are also being issued by MoCA.”

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RAK ensures guest safety at hotel pools & beaches

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) is working closely with hospitality partners and Government Authorities to safely welcome guests back to the Emirate as restrictions are gradually eased, and hotel pools and beaches become accessible to visitors.  To ensure the wellbeing and safety of visitors and employees, the Authority is in ongoing dialogue with hotel partners to ensure they are strictly adhering to government and public health guidelines and complying with all social distancing advisories from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the UAE Federal Authorities. In Ras Al Khaimah, current hospitality standards and procedures include testing of all hotel staff for COVID-19, provision of masks and gloves for all guests, allocation of separate entrances and exits for guests and staff and mandatory thermal screening at all entrances on arrival.  RAKTDA inspectors will also be undertaking daily spot checks to ensure the measures are being adhered to and will provide support from Government Authorities to help hoteliers enforce the protocols designed for guest wellbeing. To ensure guests have confidence in their stay, RAKTDA is working closely with the Public Service Department (PSD) to oversee a dedicated certification process – the RAK ‘Stay Safe’ Hotel Certification – whereby hotels are required to fulfil a detailed set of measures to attain the certification.  The certification assesses all the measures in place across all areas of the hotels including reception and concierge areas, guest rooms, restrooms, restaurants and lounges, pools, beaches, spas fitness areas, kid clubs and retail spaces.  Guidelines are also being provided around guest transportation, meeting and function spaces, housekeeping, laundry and waste management. The ample space within hotel properties in Ras …

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Weddings will be back by December 2020: Rajeev Jain

Speaking at the third edition of the TravTalk Digital Conclave held on May 15, 2020, Rajeev Jain, Director, Rashi Entertainment said that weddings will start happening in India by December 2020. He said, “The last wedding we did was on February 29, 2020 in Udaipur. But this situation is not that big a problem for those who have cash reserves. These months are anyways an off-season for weddings. Business would definitely come back by December 2020 with a bang and it will be back in India. The expense is not a hurdle as people have money to spend on weddings. The wedding industry is here to stay!”

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Lufthansa announces Mumbai as first Indian long-haul destination when travel resumes

In its June flight schedule, Lufthansa Group has announced services to 106 destinations across the world. In India, Mumbai will be the first destination served by the German carrier and will connect Frankfurt with the business capital of India. George Ettiyil, Senior Director Sales, South Asia, Lufthansa Group, says, “I am quite proud of our decision to have Mumbai as one of the first destinations for increasing our long-haul services. It reflects the robust demand for flights to and from India, even in these unprecedented times. While we fully understand and respect the Indian Government’s final call as to when this can take place, resuming flights to Mumbai, underlines our confidence in how the Indian Government is handling the pandemic crisis. With Germany and Switzerland also leading the way by flattening the “curve” in Europe, reopening this route will increase economic cooperation between our countries again.”

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FAITH to create fund to help tourism industry: Subhash Goyal

The Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) has decided that making a fund to help the ailing tourism industry would be part of their future course of action, after the tourism industry was snubbed by the Government and no stimulus package was announced by the Finance Minister for the same. Subhash Goyal, Secretary General, FAITH, said “We have a board meeting today at 9’o clock, and our next course of action will be decided there. We are making a final appeal to the Tourism Minister and the Prime Minister, and then we’ll see what action we shall take. Ultimately, we’ll have to create our own fund, on which we are working, and we will decide what name we’d give it today.”

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