Category Archives: Agents

Russia & India to mutually abolish visas for tourist groups & e-Visas to Russia from 2021

Russia has offered India to mutually abolish visas for tourist groups & E-visas to Russia slated to start in 2021. Tourism professionals of the two countries discussed the expansion of air connectivity between Russia and India, the mutual promotion of tourism between the two countries, as well as the facilitation of the visa regime between the countries, including preparations for the introduction of an electronic visa in Russia since 2021 and the possibility of introducing group visa-free travel between the countries.This proposal was made by the head of the Federal tourism Agency Zarina Doguzova during the Second Russian-Indian strategic economic dialogue in Delhi. The Indian side expressed interest in the joint development of a draft government agreement on visa-free group travel for up to 21 days. According to the press service of the Federal Tourism Agency, the Second Russian-Indian strategic economic dialogue is taking place in India, within the framework of which a round table “Tourism and inter-territorial communication” was held on July 10, 2019. The moderator of this event, dedicated to the development of tourism between Russia and India, was the head of the Federal Agency for tourism Zarina Doguzova. The round table was also attended by Maya Lomidze, Executive Director of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR). As a result of the round table, it was decided to establish a joint working group between representatives of the tourism authorities of the two countries, representatives of business and the expert community to develop a joint action plan to increase tourism exchanges. According to forecasts, in the future, mutual tourist flows may exceed 1 million people annually. Mutual steps to increase tourism exchanges between the countries Zarina Doguzova …

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Agents discuss Visit Vizag 2020 campaign with AP Tourism Minister

In an exclusive interview to Tourism Breaking News, Vijay Mohan, President of Tour and Travels Association of Andhra Pradesh, said, “We met the tourism minister and discussed about increasing tourism in the region. Among other things, we discussed in detail about starting a Visit Vizag 2020 campaign. We also want to tap a renowned cricketer like Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the brand ambassador. The reason for choosing Dhoni is that in all his media interactions about Vizag, Dhoni has been quoted as saying, ‘This is where I first fell in love.’ It’s a great tag line for us. We also want to develop circuits for religious tourism for which we need to develop the shakti peeths, we also have a wonderful Buddhist circuit.”  

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Navin Kumar Choudhary is the new Principal Secretary- Tourism, Government of J&K

As per a recent order of the General Administration Department of Government of Jammu & Kashmir, Navin Kumar Choudhary (IAS), Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce department, will now also hold the charge of Administrative Secretary – Tourism department. A joint statement by Travel Agents Society of Kashmir (TASK), Travel Agents Association of Kashmir (TAAK), Association of Kashmir Tour Operators (AKTO), Pilgrim and Leisure Tour Operators Forum (PILTOF) and Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Owners Federation (KHAROF) said that the appointment of Choudhary is a right decision to help improve the tourism sector in the state. Earlier this year, Choudhary had also been give the charge of Administrative Secretary, Information Technology department, in addition to his own duties until a regular arrangement was made.

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Disappointing for tourism, but good for infrastructure: FAITH

Sharing his views on the Union Budget, Subhash Goyal, Secretary General, FAITH, said, “As far as the Budget is concerned, there are very few things for tourism in it. One thing for the industry is inland waterways, which can also be used for tourism and second is development of iconic sites. Thirdly, the Government has again focused on aviation as well as on tax reduction for SMEs. However, overall there is no indication of any relief. The GST council might do something later, but nothing has been done for taxation on tourism to be five per cent and exemption on foreign exchange earnings. Overall, we are a little disappointed with the Budget. We still have to read the fine print, although from what we have seen, there are certain things regarding water and infrastructure, which are good. If they give infrastructure status to hotels and tour operators, it will be very good. What I don’t understand is to create employment, and the industry which gives the largest employment has not been given anything.”

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35th IATO Convention to be held in Kolkata from 12-15 September

The next convention of the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) is likely to be held in Kolkata from September 12-15, informed Rajesh Mudgill, Hony. Secretary, IATO. He said that further details will be announced in due course of time. “The 35th convention will likely be organised in Kolkata. We had some deliberations regarding the dates but things are almost finalised now. We are looking make this convention much bigger and better,” adds Mudgill. He also said the upcoming monthly luncheon meeting of the association, scheduled on July 10 at The Oberoi, Delhi will be followed by the Executive committee meeting, where the association is expected to discuss more about the preparations for the convention. Apart from working on the new IATO website, Mudgill also informed that the association is also looking to come up with a mobile app to facilitate convenience and more information to its members.

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SK Valmiki Hari Kishan bags the Asian Personality of the year award at Skål Asia Congress

Hyderabad’s Tourism professional SK Hari Kishan Valmikki was honoured with the Personality of the year award for 219 at the recently concluded 48th Skål Asia Area Congress in Bengaluru. Valmiki is a well-known travel professional in Indian as well as asian region of the Skål and has been chosen among 3600 members spread across in the Asian continent. He has twenty years of experience in tourism industry in India. Founder & the MD of Hyderabad-based, Valmiki Travel & Tourism Solutions, he is known for his contribution in creating a positive impact on the tourism industry through various initiatives. He was also part of the bidding committee and was instrumental in bringing 78th Skål World Congress to Hyderabad in 2017 under the leadership of the then President. After Andhra Pradesh’s bifurcation, he collaborated with FTAPCCI as a Chairman for Tourism & MiCE Committee to organise the 1st Telangana Tourism Conclave with the primary aim to promote interaction between the tourism industry and stakeholders. He has also submitted white draft to help Government of Telangana’s tourism Policy. On winning the award, an elated Valmiki said, “ The ‘Athithidevo Bhava’ social awareness campaign introduced by the Ministry of Tourism with the objective of sensitising the stakeholders and the general public about various social awareness themes must be propagated more deeply and intensely. This award will increase the responsibility as in individual to do more and better towards the development of the tourism sector and also become a responsible citizen to do something for the society.

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Pacific Travels is now the India Representative for Activo Travel

Leading Destination Management Company and travel agent, Pacific Travels has been appointed as the India Representative for Activo Travel, a leading European destination management company headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany. This new and exclusive deal enables Pacific Travels access to a wide range of high quality Activo tour and travel services within EU territory, spanning countries like Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Czech, Poland, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and other European countries. Activo Travel is a big name in four major business segments including local ground service for series travel groups, tour bus rental and schedule planning service, customized tour service and MICE service. Every year, more than a hundred thousand travelers from all over the world, benefit from the high quality services offered by Activo Travel. The company is also highly popular in China and brings a good number of Chinese tourists to Europe.

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Leisure travel spend to reach US$ 432.3bn by 2028

A recent report by India Brand Equity Foundation on tourism and hospitality revealed that the share of revenues from leisure travel to the total tourism revenue stood around 94.8 per cent in 2018. According to statistics shared in the report, leisure travel spending reached US$ 234.16 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach US$432.3 billion by 2028. On the other hand, business travel revenues were US$ 12.84 billion in 2018 and are projected to increase to US$ 24.4 billion by 2028.

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Tamil Nadu Travel Mart to be held from 19-22 Sept, registrations now open

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with Tamil Nadu Travel Mart Society, supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and Department of Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu is organising the 2nd edition of CII Tamil Nadu Travel Mart to showcase the potential of Tamil Nadu’s tourism on a global platform from 19-22 September in Chennai. The registrations for the same have been opened. The three-day exhibition will witness more than 300 exhibitors showcasing tourism business opportunities in the state along with 1000 domestic and international buyers.

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AATO’s President meets Tourism Minister, urges to relook at water activities ban

M. Vinod, President, Andaman Association of Tour Operators (AATO), recently met Prahlad Singh Patel, the Tourism Minister, Govt. of India at his office in Delhi and discussed various tourism related issues affecting the industry.  Some of the major grievances raised during the meeting were- Closure of swimming in a majority of the beaches since last six months along with suspension of sports like sea walk, scuba diving and snorkeling.   One of the major issues raised was also the lack of co-ordination between the stakeholders and Andaman administration where AATO says the Administration closes all the activities during peak season without any intimation affecting the industry.    

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