Tourism Breaking News

SMA Sheeraz bags Face of the Future title

SMA Sheeraz, Managing Director, Sheeraz Tours won the Face of the Future title. Through his 20-year long association with the industry, Sheeraz has earned the goodwill of various domestic and international tourism boards and airlines. As the founder of Sheeraz Tours in Lucknow in 2007, he has helped scale the company to new heights and has become one of the most trusted travel companies in North India. He is also the Director of Tripshapers.com, a B2B online portal company, where he plays an instrumental role in showcasing the Uttar Pradesh region as a potential outbound market from India.  

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Himanshu Patil receives DDP Trailblazer Award

Himanshu Kesari Patil, Director, Kesari Tours, has been honoured with the DDP Trailblazer award. An industry veteran with 30 years of experience and sharp insights into the travel industry, Patil inspires the youth to venture out and follow their passion and experiment with innovation. His latest initiative ‘Travosh’ offers Indian tourists a perfect match for every destination and season with a functional product range that promises prompt delivery. His company brings a smile on the faces of millions of tourists every year. As Vice President of Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI), he ensures high-value proposition in every initiative towards business transformation.

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PS Duggal enters Gallery of Legends

PS Duggal, Executive Director, Minar Travels, has been conferred the Gallery of Legends trophy at India Travel Awards 2018. Having started as a banking professional at ANZ Bank, he joined the company in 1992 and has since been part of the growth story. With 26 years of experience in the industry, Duggal now looks after the entire administration and accounts of the company whilst coordinating with all its offices across countries. Today, Minar Travels is a market leader in Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, and has an international presence in 32 countries, with inroads in the Latin and North American markets as well as Europe and Asia. The company is of the biggest aviation services and destination management companies in the country with 16 offices in India and nine overseas. It is also the GSA for eight airlines. The luxury division became a traveller-made DMC in 2018. That’s not all, the company’s MiCE division is also a huge success.  

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5th India Travel Awards felicitates travel professionals in Agra

The fifth edition of India Travel Awards concluded at Hotel Clarks Shiraz Agra amidst the presence of the stalwarts of the travel and tourism industry. The chief guest for the evening was Satyajeet Rajan, Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, who not only felicitated the winners, but also congratulated them for their contribution to the industry. The award was given in a total of 74 categories, celebrating the achievements of travel professionals in travel and MiCE industries across the country. India Travel Awards celebrates the winners and achievers of the travel industry by honouring them at a glittering ceremony.

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Cox & Kings introduces culinary tours in India crafted by food experts

‘Tour to Feast’, powered by Cox & Kings has been launched to introduce travellers to unique handcrafted delicious journeys across India’s most popular culinary destinations, with a slice of history. Each of these journeys is designed and accompanied by hand-picked experts who will take travellers through the evolution of the indigenous cuisines of each region. To begin with, ‘Tour to Feast’ will offer journeys across the most popular culinary destinations in India like Mumbai, Delhi, Lucknow, Varanasi, Jaipur, Agra and Goa. Travellers can choose from an array of customised culinary holidays. Speaking at the launch, Debolin Sen, Head, Tour to Feast said, “Our distinctly crafted tours take travellers beyond just restaurant tastings, give a taste of a region’s culture through its cuisine. Whether you want to taste food through bazaars, food walks or home dining experiences, cook like a local or just curious to know about the origins of the most celebrated cuisines, we have all that covered under Tour to Feast which promises to offer authentic culinary experiences like no one else.” Karan Anand, Head, Relationships, Cox & Kings said, “We see a substantial increase in the number of tourists integrating culinary tours as part of their travel experiences. In India, each state has unique flavours, delectable cuisines and such amazing stories of bygone eras and their influence on food – the richness of these experiences needs to be presented in a very unique way and through a niche offering like Tour to Feast.”    

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New Tourism Secretary, Yogendra Tripathi addresses IATO members

Yogendra Tripathi, the newly-appointed Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, marked his presence at the special luncheon organised by Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) to bid farewell to Rashmi Verma, Former Secretary, Tourism on her superannuation from the post. Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO, thanked Verma for her support and welcomed Tripathi on behalf of the association. Addressing the members, Tripathi said that he is aware of the contributions of his predecessor for the industry and is hopeful to take the industry voice to the government in the same manner. “There are always unresolved issues, as well as new problems and agendas for the industry. I believe that the Tourism Secretary is nothing but an advocate for the tourism industry. Apart from what we do indirectly, what we do directly is primarily promotional, which is also supporting the industry one way or the other. It is our job to support the industry, and we will continue to do that,” he added.

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FHRAI puts MakeMyTrip and Goibibo on notice to protect the interest of stakeholders

In response to grievances expressed by its members, the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) has put Online Travel Aggregators (OTA), MakeMyTrip and Goibibo on notice. A number of its members had brought to the association’s notice that the OTAs’ business practices which were exploitative, unethical and divisive led to predatory pricing and other market distortions that had the potential to harm both hoteliers and consumers in the long term. FHRAI has written a letter to the OTAs outlining the most critical concerns of the hotel industry which includes the issue of distortion of market price, demand for exorbitant commissions and hosting of illegal and unlicensed bed and breakfast accommodations. “One of the biggest concerns is that after securing discounted rates from a hotel, the OTAs further discount it on their online platforms without the hotel’s consent. This damages the hotel’s reputation, and also simultaneously distorts the market scenario. Ironically, the OTAs have a clause in their agreement that forbids hotels from discounting their own rates but are themselves free to do so. This disparity is not just unfair but is clearly intentional and is done with the objective of market cannibalisation,” says Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President – FHRAI & President – Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI). Hotels have alleged that the OTAs charge commission that range anywhere between 18 and 40 per cent. The exorbitant commissions have been adversely impacting revenues, business and the livelihood of hoteliers. The Federation has written to MMT and Goibibo in the hope that they will understand the ground level situation of hotels. However, based on the previous experience of hoteliers whose attempts at negotiations were neglected …

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Vietnam welcomes Indian travellers to explore its cultural treasures through Delhi roadshow

In a bid to lure Indian tourists, the Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in association with Om Tourism organised a roadshow in Delhi on the theme ‘Vietnam- A charming destination for Indian tourists’. HE Pham Sanh Chau, Ambassador of Vietnam to India, Nepal & Bhutan, revealed that around 110,000 Indian tourists travelled to Vietnam in 2017. He affirmed that the number is estimated to increase in the coming years. “Vietnam is home to eight UNESCO world heritages, well preserved historic relics and beautiful beaches. Indian travellers can find the affulence of Indian culture in Vietnam through Hindu temples in Ho Chi Minh or at the My Son sanctuary with an abundance of Indian restaurants,” he added. The event proceeded with a product presentation by the five Vietnamese partners namely, Victoria Tour, Hello Asia Travel, Go Indo China Tours, Melia Hotels International and Orchid Global. The event witnessed an active participation from several trade partners and tour operators around the city.  

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MoCA to introduce air cargo policy in January 2019: Suresh Prabhu

In a landmark decision, the Ministry of Civil Aviation is set to introduce an air cargo policy in January 2019. In a video message to the winners at India Cargo Awards, Union Minister for Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu said, “We are currently working on a comprehensive strategy to create logistics hubs. I have already talked to several countries including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman as well as far away countries like Russia for creating the integrated corridor for transportation along with finding out ways of exporting certain niche products. All of this is going to bring about a huge change in the way we do logistics in India.” Prabhu further said, “Logistics as a subject has been put, for the first time, in the Ministry by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and we are working on it to create an integrated strategy to make it happen. We hope to have a seamless, cost-effective and efficient cargo movement soon which will bring in more economic benefits to the country as a whole.”

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Govt inaugurates first project under Swadesh Darshan scheme in Nagaland

The central government has launched ‘Development of Tribal Circuit: Peren-Kohima-Wokha Project’ under its Swadesh Darshan scheme to develop Nagaland as a tourist state. Neiphiu Rio, Chief Minister, Nagaland, inaugurated the project at Kisama Heritage Village in the presence of KJ Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C), Tourism, and H Khehovi Yepthomi, Adviser, Tourism, Art & Culture, Government of Nagaland. The project was sanctioned by Ministry of Tourism in November 2015 for Rs 97.36 crores. Under the project, the Ministry has developed facilities like tribal tourist village, eco log huts, open air theatre, tribal rejuvenation centre, cafeteria, helipad, tourist interpretation centre, wayside amenities, last-mile connectivity, public conveniences, multi-purpose hall, nature trails, trekking routes, etc. In addition to the above project, the Ministry has sanctioned another project in Nagaland ‘Development of Tribal circuit: Mokokchung–Tuensang-Mon’ for Rs 99.67 crores. The implementation of the project is in progress.

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