Tourism Breaking News

Kerala plans Rs 325 cr project to promote Malabar region

With the aim to increase the geographical spread of arrivals to the state, Kerala Tourism plans to promote its Malabar region aggressively through a Rs 325 crore project. This includes unexplored destinations such as Kozhikode, Wayanand, Bekal and Kannur. This was revealed by P. Bala Kiran, IAS, Director, Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala. He says, “To promote river cruise, the Government of Kerala has envisioned a Rs 300-crore project for nine rivers in Kannur and Kasaragod. In order to ease travel for international tourists, Cochin International Airport has been entrusted to execute the cruise tourism project by forming a Special Purpose Vehicle. In addition, the state government is planning to develop a few adventure parks as well. The government has allocated Rs. 45 crore for the Prasadam project in Kasaragod and Rs 120 crore for Green Carpet scheme for Alappuzha, Enranjil, Neyyar and Thenmala.” The state government also plans to develop 10 eco-tourism circuits to connect various forests in order to promote green tourism.  

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Rahul Lall appointed Secretary General for FHRAI

Rahul Lall has been appointed as the Secretary General for FHRAI (Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India). He completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Hotel Management from The Oberoi School of Hotel Management, New Delhi. He is from the Management Trainee batch(1985-1987). Prior to this he did his Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from Delhi University. He is an alumnus of St. Xavier’s Collegiate School, Kolkata and Don Bosco School, Chennai. He brings with him over 30 years of progressive hotel experience spanning renowned hotel chains across the country. He has extensive operational, administrative and bottom line management experience. Coupled with a strong leadership and financial skill sets, he is ideally suited to take on the responsibilities of running the day-to-day administration of FHRAI. A Professional hotelier, he has worked with the Oberoi Group of Hotels for 15 years and thereafter with Sarovar Hotels. He has been in various capacities as General Manager, Area Director and Vice President Operations. He has over seen pre-opening and successful openings of various hotels. Prior to joining FHRAI he held the role of the Vice President Operations for the Dangayach Group of Hotels (Marriott Jaipur, Ramada Jaipur, Chomu Palace Hotel Jaipur, Four Points by Sheraton Agra and Park Plaza, Jaipur).

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WTTC announces Christopher J. Nassetta as Chairman elect

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has elected Christopher J. Nassetta, President, and CEO of Hilton, as the Council’s next Chairman. Nassetta joined Hilton in 2007 and since assuming the role of CEO he has brought Hilton hospitality to 27 new countries by adding 2,200 hotels to a network of more than 5,000 properties in 103 countries and territories. He has been a Member of WTTC’s Executive Committee since 2011 and Vice Chairman for North America since 2014. Nassetta will take over from current Chairman, Gerald Lawless, following the Council’s Annual General Meeting, which will take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina on April 17, 2018. Lawless said, “It has been an honour to serve as Chairman of WTTC for the past two years and I am delighted to be handing over to Chris Nassetta to steer the Council into its next phase of development. I am sure that he and Gloria Guevara, WTTC’s President and CEO, will form a strong team to advocate for the economic and social benefits of Travel & Tourism.” Nassetta said, “I would like to thank Gerald for his tireless advocacy on behalf of the global travel and tourism industry. I am also honoured to accept the role as WTTC Chair at a time of amazing opportunity and growth. I believe the Council can play an important role to bring governments and the industry together to deliver smart plans that support both security and international travel. I also believe that the unique scale and reach of WTTC members can be used to tackle significant global issues, including climate change and global youth unemployment.”

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CWT announces multi-year distribution agreement with British Airways and Iberia

Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) has announced a multi-year distribution agreement with British Airways (BA) and Iberia Airlines (IB), enabling CWT customers to avoid the airlines’ proposed surcharge on bookings created within participating global distribution systems (GDS) that agree to these terms with IAG. The agreement, effective November 1, 2017, applies to CWT business travel and leisure clients. CWT continues to work with all key parties to provide further surcharge-free BA and IB content for its customers. “This agreement further strengthens our long-standing partnership with BA and IB and highlights our mutual commitment to the concept of new distribution capabilities (NDC) to drive improved product differentiation. While we believe GDSs provide the best technology platform available for CWT to enable best-in-market user experience and operating efficiency, we will continue to monitor and assess new technologies and capabilities,” said Brian Mogler, Senior Vice President, Global Supplier Management, CWT.” Ian Luck, Head of Distribution at British Airways, said, “We are delighted with this new agreement which will bring both immediate and longer-term benefits. We are particularly pleased with the strong undertaking CWT has made to work collaboratively with us, GDSs and other technology partners in delivering NDC content and other benefits to our customers.” In May 2017 International Airlines Group (parent company of BA and IB) announced it would add a US$10 ‘distribution technology charge’ on each airline fare component of a booking, effective November 1, 2017.

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41st PATA Travel Mart in Langkawi from Sept 12-14, 2018

Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has announced the 41st PATA Travel Mart at Langkawi, Malaysia, from September 12-14, 2018. This event has been held at a variety of venues across Asia Pacific bringing global tourism to the doorstep of a new country every year. Langkawi promises to be a very interesting destination located in the heart of Asia. PATA India Chapter has been officially appointed as the nodal office for all PATA events. PATA Travel Mart has successfully attracted international buyers and sellers to a common platform year on year. It is amongst the few international travel and tourism marts where buyers and sellers meet with pre-arranged appointments, making the event extremely productive and mutually beneficial. In 2017, PTM recorded 293 hosted buyers while delegates from 281 organisations and 51 source markets attended the mart. Out of these delegates, 32 per cent belonged to Northeast Asia; 29 per cent to Europe; 13 per cent to Southeast Asia; 10 per cent to North America; 7 per cent to South Asia; 5 per cent to the Pacific while 4 per cent where from other regions.

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World Economic Forum recommends national tourism board for India

The World Economic Forum’s white paper on India’s tourism industry outlines the country’s $20 billion tourism opportunity that lies untapped. One of its recommendations is the formation of a tourism board. According to the White Paper titled ‘Incredible India 2.0 India’s $20 Billion Tourism Opportunity,’ a proposal to create a tourism board is put forward. It says, ‘India has more than 50 active foreign tourism boards, yet the country does not have its own tourism board. While it has a number of industry associations and state-level bodies, no public-private organisation represents the industry, and these bodies work independently to drive forward their own agenda. The industry is fragmented and hindered by poor coordination between the state and central government as well as within the central government itself. No single ministry is responsible for all the policies affecting the aviation, travel and tourism industry. The Ministries of Civil Aviation, Tourism, Home Affairs, Culture, and Road Transport and Highways, among others, have all been actively involved in the industry’s policies.’ The paper released in September this year goes on to add that this gap must be filled by bringing the public and private sectors together under an empowered and proactive body. ‘To fuel its success, the board would consider the structure, objectives and best practices implemented in other countries, keeping in mind India’s strengths and limitations.’ Speaking on the scope of implementation that this White Paper has, Tiffany Misrahi, Community Lead, Aviation, Travel & Tourism Industries, World Economic Forum, says, “The Minister of Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju, as well as Minister of State Jayant Sinha, along with the Chief Executive Officer of NITI Aayog, Amitabh Kant, have been actively involved in …

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FAITH elects new team

The Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) has elected its new team with Nakul Anand, Executive Director, ITC, as the Chairman, who was nominated by Hotel Association of India (HAI). The Vice Chairman is Akshay Kumar, CEO, Mercury Himalayan Explorations, who was nominated by Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI). The association also created an additional position of Vice Chairman, for which they have elected Sunil Kumar R, CEO, Travel World, who was nominated by Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI).  Subhash Goyal, Chairman, STIC Travel Group, who was nominated by Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), is the new Honorary Secretary, while Garish Oberoi, Partner, Hotel Uberoi Anand, has been declared as the Treasurer. Aashish Gupta continues as the Consulting CEO of FAITH. All the above positions have been unanimously elected by the FAITH Board.

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Philindex 2017 to travel to 4 Indian cities this October

DOT Philippines, along with prominent travel partners from Philippines, is all set to host Philindex 2017 in four cities in India. Representatives from Philippines and DOT Philippines will educate over 600 travel trade partners from Hyderabad, Jaipur, Chandigarh and Lucknow, about the tourism offerings of the Philippines. Participating delegates will get an overview of the booming tourism industry during the interactive sessions. Other partners from Philippines, would include Cathay Pacific, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, Thai Airways, Philippine Airlines, Shroff International Travel Care Inc., and VFC Travel and Tours. The B2B meetings at Philindex 2017 will offer an insight to the travel trade partners on Philippines being an ideal destination for scenic wonders, adventures and business pursuits.

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UP Tourism Policy 2017 draft expected in November

Tourism department of Uttar Pradesh is planning to release its Tourism Policy by November this year. The draft policy will be placed under the Cabinet’s consideration and then will be released thereafter, informed Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Minister of Women Welfare, Family Welfare, Maternity and Child Welfare and Tourism, Government of Uttar Pradesh. According to Joshi, the private players play a major role in tourism development in the state and the policy will offer a host of incentives and concessions to them. “We have everything in the state, be it religious tourism, spiritual tourism, eco-tourism, wildlife, landscape, festivals, heritage and culture etc. The government is very aggressive to develop and promote this sector in collaboration with the private players. We hope with such vision and efforts, UP will become the number one state in terms of tourism.”

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