Category Archives: Agents

VFS acquires visa service provider TT Services

VFS Global has completed the acquisition of visa service provider TT Services (TTS). The transaction enables VFS Global to leverage on core competences and brands and to further enhance operating performance. UK-based TTS is a provider of integrated visa processing solutions with global presence and a comprehensive portfolio of services. The company operates 51 application centres in more than 35 countries and has 216 employees and offers a range of visa services for its client governments, partners and applicants. Zubin Karkaria, CEO of VFS Global Group, says, “TT Services has, like VFS Global, extended industry experience of more than 15 years and is a trusted service delivery partner for its clients. I see a strong fit by TTS joining VFS Global. This will enable us to further enhance and extend our services towards our client governments and visa applicants.” The change of control will have no bearing on the business operations of the parties and act as a catalyst to improved services and enhanced client and customer satisfaction.

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Online travel agents liable to deduct TCS under GST: CBEC

Travel agents providing online ticketing and other services will be liable to deduct one per cent tax at source under the GST regime as they have been classified as e-commerce operators, the CBEC said. Under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, an e- commerce operator is required to collect 1 per cent of the net value of taxable supplies made through it. The amount so collected is called tax collected at source or TCS but this provision has been kept in abeyance for the time being. Online travel agents have been classified as e-commerce operators (ECO) and so they have to deduct TCS. The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), in a fresh set of frequently asked questions (FAQs), said the TCS requirement would not apply to someone selling own products through a website. Only applicable GST for the goods would be levied in that case. Electronic commerce or e-commerce means supply of goods or services, including digital products, over elect .. electronic network and an e-commerce operator is a person who owns operates or manages the electronic platform for e-commerce, it said. “Online travel agents providing services through digital or electronic platform will fall under the category of ECO (e- commerce operator) liable to deduct TCS under Section 52 of the CGST Act, 2017,” the CBEC said.

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Tamarind Global partners with Indonesian event company for destination weddings

With Bali constituting a major chunk of their destination wedding business, Tamarind Global has entered into a joint venture with Innaz Communique, a reputed wedding management company in Indonesia. This partnership is expected to boost cross-tourism as Innaz will also promote India as a prospect for destination wedding to Indonesians. Mahesh Shirodkar, Managing Director, Tamarind Global, says, “This strategic partnership will open up opportunities for our clients in India to explore Indonesia, which is perfectly suited for Indian weddings, along with social events like landmark birthdays and anniversaries. With destination weddings becoming bigger, more demanding and elaborate than they were in the past, we feel that the incredible choice of  venues in Bali  have a lot to offer. The island has some amazing hotels, great hospitality, and value for money and some fabulous outdoor venues. Added to this, the local on ground expertise and experience that Innayat and his team will bring to the table is a huge asset in every way.” Tamarind Global had 700 guests flown from India to Bali for a destination wedding last year with Innaz Communique as its local partner. Jakarta-based Innayat Khubchandani, owner, Innaz Communique, says, “Bali as a destination is ideal for an Indian wedding. The culture, food and exotic locales all lend a very unique yet comforting environment, which has a lot of similarities with Indian traditions and values. With this JV with Tamarind Global, we hope to create awareness of what Bali has to offer to host weddings and events from venues, hotels, food, entertainment, hospitality and great value for money. I am excited to join forces with Tamarind to work together to open up some fabulous untapped opportunities.”

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Czech Republic begins visa application operations in Gurugram

In a move that will ease the visa application process for potential travellers from the surrounding regions of Delhi/NCR, the Embassy of the Czech Republic and VFS Global have opened a Visa Application Centre in Gurugram. Earlier this month, visa applications centres were also opened for the Czech Republic in Chandigarh and Jalandhar. H.E. Milan Hovorka, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to India, said, “The Gurugram centre marks the launch of another important location within Delhi and NCR where people can submit their Schengen visa applications for travel to the Czech Republic via VFS Global. We thus continue to deliver on our promises. This is not the end of our endeavours, as we will soon announce the opening of additional Czech Visa Applications Centres in the market.” Commenting on the new VAC in Gurugram, Vinay Malhotra, Chief Operating Officer – Middle East and South Asia, VFS Global, said, “It is our privilege to be the trusted partner of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in India. The extension of our association with this esteemed client across the region reflects their faith in our ability to provide services to enhance the visa application experience for travellers. In view of the increase in travel to the Czech Republic, we are confident our efforts will make the travel experience seamless and smooth.”

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Singapore concludes 6-city roadshow

Singapore Tourism Board and Singapore Airlines Group organised a six-city road show over 10 days across India and Colombo with participation from 39 Singapore stakeholders and over 800 in-market travel agents. India continues to be the fourth-largest source market in terms of visitor arrivals and third-largest tourism receipts generating market for Singapore. The roadshow in India commenced on July 10 in Pune followed by Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Kolkata and Hyderabad and concluded in Colombo on July21. Themed ‘Growing Tourism into Singapore, Together’, the delegation was led by G.B Srithar, Regional Director, South Asia Middle East & Africa, STB; Adrian Kong (Area Director, South Asia, Mumbai; and Yuemin Li-Misra, Area Director, South Asia, Delhi. The roadshows featured stakeholders from Singapore representing hotels, airlines, integrated resorts, attractions, Destination Management Companies (DMC) and cruise operators interacting and networking with STB’s travel and trade partners in India. There was also an update session on Singapore’s upcoming tourism offerings as well as Singapore Airlines Group’s range of cabin products and experiences. Srithar spoke about fostering collaborations with the travel trade partners especially from secondary cities across India. He said, “India has always been an important market for us. For the second time in a row, Singapore received more than one million Indian visitors in 2016. As the region’s middle-class becomes more affluent, there will be immense opportunities for international outbound travel and tourism, especially among families, working millennials and incentive movements. Through the roadshows, we seek to renew our ties with the travel trade, entrenching existing partnerships and forging new ones. Through these partnerships, we seek to bring Singapore’s tourism offerings to our target audiences through creative promotions, and in the process, ensuring meaningful results for …

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ITDC conducts hospitality training for Air India staff

India Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. (ITDC), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Air India to upgrade the skills and knowledge base of the national airline’s senior executive & cabin crew in hospitality and service industry. The MoU was signed in the presence of Ashwani Lohani, Chairman and Managing Director, Air India and Sudha Chandra, Principal, Ashok Institute of Hospitality & Tourism Management (AIHTM) and General Manager, HRD ITDC at Air India Head Quarters, New Delhi on May 29, 2017. In line with the MoU, AIHTM conducted a 5-Day training program on Leadership Excellence from July 11-15, 2017 for the first batch of senior executives of Air India at Hotel Samrat, Delhi. Speaking oat the Valedictory function held at Hotel Samrat on July 15, 2017, Piyush Tiwari, Officiating Chairman &Managing Director and Director Commercial & Marketing, ITDC said that, “ITDC is grateful to Air India and Shri Ashwani Lohani for their faith in ITDC’s expertise in hospitality training and management. We are proud that we have been the biggest force to drive tourism in India and have always contributed in nation building and progressive development of the industry. Our talented team at AIHTM has specially designed curriculum for Air India employees in consultation with best faculties and Air India management. We are going to plan more programs in the coming quarters for enforcing strength and leadership quality in other organisations as well. ITDC and Air India are two most prominent and visible PSUs in service sector and have lots of common traits and can work for mutual benefit.”  

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BuyForexOnline launches online remittance for students

BuyForexOnline.com has announced the launch of convenient and affordable online remittance services for Indian students planning to study abroad. BuyForexOnline’s wire transfer services allows students to make university payments online at attractive rates. Wire transfer services are available in 26 currencies to 200+ countries worldwide and are executed within 48 hours. “Wire transfers or remittances are a popular method of transferring funds abroad using the SWIFT platform. To remit money one needs to have a sending bank account and a receiving Bank account. The prevailing Forex rate viewed online will be frozen at the time of placing the order, and the sending fee levied by the sending bank and a Beneficiary fee or BEN charges levied by the receiving Bank are also transparently displayed ”said Ananth Reddy, Founder and Managing Director of BuyForexOnline. “So for instance if you are sending US$10,000 abroad through a bank or offline vendors, you might be charged a sending fee of Rs 2,500 and BEN charges of up to US$50, and be offered rates at a margins of up to four per cent, which all could add up to a cost of around Rs 30,000! We are trying to make the process affordable by offering the lowest wire transfer rates and zero sending fee, so a similar remittance transaction online with us would cost the student just about Rs 5,000 or less.’’ “Wire transfers are still an indispensable way to make university payments, especially during the university application and Enrollment phases, though Forex cards are gaining in popularity for making in-person University Fee payments and for maintenance expenses. And to bring-in added convenience we have made documentation much easier by enabling online upload and offering …

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CWT launches new division dedicated to hotels

Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) has announced the formal launch of its new business division wholly dedicated to hotel distribution – RoomIt by CWT. The new division is focused on creating and delivering a new and innovative experience to expanding access and providing greater variety to customer accommodations around the world. Scott Brennan, President, hotels, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, says, “RoomIt by CWT simplifies the hotel booking process and puts the most relevant lodging options all in one place. CWT is committed to giving our clients a wide range of global options at the most competitive rates and our investment into RoomIt will enable better, more personalized service to our travelers.” RoomIt is designed with increased functionality and personalization capabilities while equipping companies with the tools to effectively monitor employees’ travel schedules.

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GPS makes its next stop at Chandigarh

The second edition of Global Panorama Showcase in Chandigarh took off from where it left Ahmedabad last week, with a packed crowd and a plethora of business opportunities for the trade. The first day saw select product presentations from the likes of InterGlobe Technology Quotient, FXKart, Tourism Office of Spain, Genting Hong Kong, Sahibji Group of Companies and Voice of Chandigarh. This was followed by the much-awaited session on GST by CA Manish Gadia from GMJ & Co which gave the present representatives of the travel trade valuable insight into the workings of GST. Day 2 will commence the B2B sessions and with that it will bring to the front the tourism potential of this Tier II city.

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Amadeus India celebrates two decades of market leadership

Amadeus India celebrated its two decades of successful market leadership across the Indian Subcontinent, with top customers during an evening of entertainment at Roseate House New Delhi on July 13, 2017. Rakesh Bansal, Chief Executive Officer, Amadeus Indian subcontinent said, “We are delighted to share this accomplishment with all our stakeholders. I feel immense pride that Amadeus continues to be the market leader and preferred technology partner for the travel industry. This could not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our employees as well as the unwavering support of our valued customers. As we look forward to many more years of continued success, we would like to express our appreciation to our partners who have shown consistent trust in Amadeus.”

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