Category Archives: Agents

Switzerland to host webinar on Lake Geneva Region and Schilthorn on April 16

Switzerland Tourism invites the trade to participate in its webinar titled ‘From the James Bond Mountain to the shores of Lake Geneva Region’ to be hosted on Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 3:00pm. One of the best 360-degree views of the Swiss skyline can be witnessed on top of the James Bon Mountain, Schilthorn. From the central Swiss Alps, travellers can then make their way to the French-speaking Lake Geneva Region on board the famous GoldenPass Panorama Train. Located on the shores of Lake Geneva, the region is surrounded by mountains and vineyards, and provides numerous activities and excursion possibilities. This webinar will provide the trade with the latest information and updates about Schilthorn Cableway and the Lake Geneva Region. Travel partners who attend all the webinars stand a chance of winning a trip to Switzerland. For more information, please contact Jaspreet Kaur on 9650196532 or jaspreet.kaur@ddppl.com.

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Yatra.com contributes masks for healthcare workers in Haryana

Yatra.com has contributed 56,000 face masks to the Haryana Government, for use by healthcare workers, as a gesture of gratitude for their dedication and efforts in fighting COVID-19. The masks were received by Hari Om Attri, Joint Commissioner, Municipal Corporation Gurugram. As coronavirus threatens the livelihood of daily wagers and underprivileged kids, Yatra.com contributed between two NGOs Arpana Trust and Naya Sawera. Arpana Trust which is into multi-disciplinary services is providing ration in slums of New Delhi to daily wage earners and underprivileged kids, while Naya Sawera is dedicatedly working for HIV infected kids to protect them against infections such as COVID-19. Talking about this initiative, Dhruv Shringi, Co-founder & CEO, Yatra.com, said, “In the time of this pandemic, it is very crucial for us to stand together and contribute in our own way towards the well-being of our citizens. At Yatra.com, we would like to show our solidarity towards the government initiatives through our contribution and support the people in this unprecedented situation. This is a small gesture of gratitude on our part, for the people who are working tirelessly at the forefront looking after individuals in need.” Through these contributions, Yatra.com stands with the government and local communities in their fight against COVID-19.

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Need to rationalise number of travel agents: Kapil Kaul, CAPA India

Talking about the after-effects of COVID-19 on the Indian tourism and aviation industry in the recovery phase during TravTalk Digital Conclave, Kapil Kaul, CEO & Director, CAPA South Asia said that there is a need to rationalise the number of travel agents in the country. “There will be consolidation across the travel and aviation sector. The change must start by rationalising the number of travel agents in the country. Somewhere, the associations need to relook at their membership. There should be stricter norms to be a travel agent otherwise there will be fewer entry barriers in the industry, we’ll keep having more and more travel agents. Travel trade associations must relook at whether they need so many travel agents? You can’t have thousands and thousands of travel agents. The more and quicker you rationalise, it is better for the health of the industry. There is a possibility that there would be no airline commission or GDS commission may drop(If NDC comes into effect in June) for travel agents in the recovery phase post-COVID-19 crisis. Then you may need to take that call earlier than post to avoid taking drastic measures suddenly. I urge TAAI, TAFI to look at their membership and restrict the qualification to be a travel agent.

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COVID-19 may cost tourism 7 years of growth: Suman Billa, UNWTO

During the TravTalk Digital Conclave, Suman Billa, Director, Technical Cooperation & Silk Road Development, UNWTO said that it may take almost 7 years for tourism to scale back growth achieved in recent years. According to him, the global tourism demand will not be the same again post-COVID-19 crisis is over. “COVID-19 may cost tourism seven years of growth – that’s seven years of lost jobs and lost opportunities. UNWTO’s recommendations for recovery urge governments to act decisively to protect jobs, protect companies and include tourism in all recovery plans,” the former Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism. In its analysis estimating the global impact, UNWTO predicted a loss of 290-400 million international tourist arrivals globally. 

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Consolidation important, EbixCash will lookout for special interest acquisitions: Naveen Kundu

Analysing the revival plans for the tourism industry post-COVID-19crisis, Naveen Kundu, Managing Director, EbixCash Travel & Holidays has said that there will be a lot of behavioural changes in the industry including a complete price realignment for every tourism product. He said that post-COVID-19 crisis, rationalisation and consolidation will become important they will look at special interest acquisitions going forward when the situation is normalised.  “Ebix has always been bullish about the Indian market. Post COVID-19, there will be a complete paradigm shift in the industry, which will make a consolidation opportunity for us. We will be looking at special interest acquisition and continue the way we have progressed in the Indian market. Among sectors, I believe MiCE industry will be the first one to bounce back,” said Kundu.

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India’s first digital conclave by TravTalk Overwhelming response: 6,000+ attendees

TravTalk Digital Conclave – India’s first virtual tourism conclave got off to a roaring success with over 6000 plus attendees in three sessions that took place yesterday. TravTalk got on board eminent stakeholders in the tourism industry to discuss various issues arising because of the COVID-19 crisis for the industry. Session one focused on ‘When will inbound bounce back? What action can tour operators take in the interim?’ Speakers for this session included Rupinder Brar (ADG – Ministry of Tourism), Himmat Anand (Founder – Tree of Life Resorts & Hotels) and Homa Mistry (CEO – Trail Blazer Tours). The second session was on the subject ‘Outbound tourism: Weathering the storm and gearing up for better days’. Speakers for this session included experts like Tricia Warwick (APMEA Director – VisitBritain), GB Srithar (Regional Director, India, Middle East & South Asia – Singapore Tourism Board) and Deepak Rawat (Senior Vice President, International Markets – MakeMyTrip). The final session covered the topic ‘Coronavirus – A small roadblock or a major disrupter for the tourism industry?’ This session had industry experts Suman Billa (Director, Technical Cooperation and Silk Road Development – UNWTO), Kapil Kaul (CEO, India & ME – CAPA) and Naveen Kundu (Managing Director – EbixCash Travel & Holidays), share their expert advice with the travel trade.

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TAAI urges airlines for cash refunds instead of credit vouchers, waive off cancellation charges

Addressing concerns from member agencies regarding refunds/credits from airlines/ IATA due to the impact of Covid2019 as customers are demanding refunds from travel agents, TAAI has said, “With reference to the unilateral decision of the airlines to give credit notes and no cash refunds, we have made it very clear to all concerned that, cash refunds are required due to the global pandemic situation. It is the right of the passenger to get back his amount paid in stipulated time. Cancellation charges shall not be borne by the traveller due to the cancellation of flights/ lockdown situations/ banning of flights by government of India as well as of other countries, etc.” In an official statement by TAAI to its members, it was written, “We are in daily communications with the Indian Prime Minister’s office(PMO), Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Ministry of Tourism (MOT), Ministry of Finance (MoF), Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI), Niti Aayog, IATA Global Head Quarters, IATA-India, all airlines individually including Low Cost airlines in India. We are working in support with, all associations of travel, tourism & hospitality trade under UFTAA, FAITH, CII and other leading trade bodies. Our concerns have been voiced not only in our communications but also in mainline media being TV channels & newspapers, trade media as well as social media.” The TAAI team urged its members to be patient, claiming that the as Govt. of India, is prioritising the requests of citizens, industries, trade, travellers, etc. and are actioning to the best of their abilities, with timelines. “Their main objective right now is to ensure the health safety of all persons and providing proper medical …

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IATA allows agents to make payment settlements later without penalties

An official statement by IATA has said that travel agents can make payment settlements later without penalties, in the wake of the global crisis of COVID-19. The statement read “For travel agents, we’re allowing settlements to be made a bit later, without penalties. While remittance periods have been kept in accordance with BSP Calendars, we are taking a flexible approach and preliminary figures confirm this, showing that default rates in 2020 are a bit below the year-ago period—despite the stresses on the system in 2020.” In addition, recognising the fact that it may be difficult or impossible to get audited financial statements, or arrange a financial guarantee, “IATA is offering to extend deadlines for these statements by up to a month.”

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Yatra.com launches ‘Yatra Service Assured’ Packages, extends support to essential service workers

Yatra.com has extended its support to essential service workers and healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic by associating with its hotel partners and chains to offer stays at special fares for rejuvenation and a good night rest. Standing in full solidarity with the authorities and professionals working diligently to fight COVID-19, the company is extending its support to these professionals by offering a comfortable stay with best amenities at the partner hotels. At the time of check-in, essential service workers and healthcare professionals need to provide their valid staff ID cards to avail this service. Yatra is also launching ‘Yatra Service Assured’ Packages for its customers for future travel. These packages have been designed keeping in mind feedback received from the customers, providing them with a secure, clean and safe environment for future travelling. Commenting on these two initiatives Dhruv Shringi, Co-founder & CEO, Yatra.com, said, “We salute the contribution of the brave heroes from the medical fraternity, all first responders and essential service workers who are leading the fight against COVID-19 pandemic with strength and courage. To contribute to their tireless service, we wish to provide them with comfortable and secure stay and, thus, have made available hotel at special prices for them. Also, for the safety of our customers which is our utmost priority, we are launching Yatra Service Assured Packages, to ensure that all precautionary measures are in place so that our customers can plan their future travel without any worry.”  Through Yatra Service Assured Packages, the company is planning to focus on the safety needs of its customers. This special package is designed with the best of essentials and includes hotel services with 24 x 7 …

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India’s first virtual tourism conclave, powered by TravTalk, to be held tomorrow

TravTalk Digital Conclave – India’s first virtual tourism conclave – is all set to take place tomorrow, April 7, from 10 am to 1:30 pm. The conclave will be divided into three sessions, each designed to help the travel trade survive in present times amid the COVID-19 crisis, while also focusing on what the future holds for both inbound and outbound tourism. Three eminent speakers and industry experts will speak on a subject during each of the sessions. Session-1 will focus on ‘When will inbound bounce back? What action can tour operators take in the interim?’ Speakers for this session will be Rupinder Brar (ADG – Ministry of Tourism), Himmat Anand (Founder – Tree of Life Resorts & Hotels) and Homa Mistry (CEO – Trail Blazer Tours). The next session will delve on the subject ‘Outbound tourism: Weathering the storm and gearing up for better days’. Speakers for this session will include experts like Tricia Warwick (APMEA Director – VisitBritain), GB Srithar (Regional Director, India, Middle East & South Asia – Singapore Tourism Board) and Deepak Rawat (Senior Vice President, International Markets – MakeMyTrip). Session-3 will cover the topic ‘Coronavirus – A small roadblock or a major disrupter for the tourism industry?’ This session will have industry experts Suman Billa (Director, Technical Cooperation and Silk Road Development – UNWTO), Kapil Kaul (CEO, India & ME – CAPA) and Naveen Kundu (Managing Director – EbixCash Travel & Holidays), share their expert advice with the travel trade.

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