Category Archives: Agents

ETAA to host second domestic convention from March 3-5

ETAA will be hosting its second domestic convention from March 3-5, near Hyderabad. The convention will be held at Leonia Resort which is one hour away from the Hyderabad airport. As of now Tourism Fiji have confirmed to be the co-sponsors for the convention and other tourism boards may soon join in. The convention will host B2B sessions, presentations from the exhibitors and sponsors showcasing new products and destinations to its members. The third day will be a optional sightseeing tour of Hyderabad which will be part of the package. Speaking on the occasion Jagat Mehta, President, ETAA said, “We want to showcase new products to our members and maximise their business possibilities so we will be having exhibitors showcasing unique products at the convention. We may also plan to keep knowledge sessions on GST and its effect on the travel industry once there is a clear picture by the government. We expect 200 plus members across the country to attend the convention.” ETAA will also be hosting knowledge sessions in Kolkata on 4th February and Hyderabad on 10th February focussing on up-selling and cross selling where professionals from the travel and trade industry will be present.

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Philippines Tourism to organise training sessions in Delhi and Ahmedabad

The Department of Tourism (DOT), Philippines will be conducting training sessions in Ahmedabad and Delhi this February, in conjunction with the DOT’s participation in OTM 2017 in Mumbai. The training sessions will be conducted by top suppliers from the Philippines in Ahmedabad on February 24 at Hyatt Ahmedabad and on February 27 in Delhi at The Lalit New Delhi. The objective of the workshop is to educate, interact and establish commercial ties with Indian trade in these cities. Representatives from DOT Philippines along with a 14 -member delegation will interact with over 400 key travel agents and tour operators, MICE and up-market leisure operators. SanJeet, Tourism Attaché, Philippines Tourism, said, “India being an important source market for Philippines tourism, such training sessions ( our first of 2017) will provide an excellent platform to showcase the destination’s products and services. The Indian travellers’ palate has become experimental and therefore, through our numerous trade initiatives, we envisage the influencers of the Indian travel market to sell the destination more effectively to the end consumers.” The programme for the workshop will include presentations by officials of DOT Philippines, DMCs and hotels from the Philippines in addition to Q&A, detailed networking sessions, entertainment by Filipino artists and a special lucky draw for the participants.

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Ezeego1 launches new franchise outlet in Surat

Ezeego1, a comprehensive online portal that provides end-to-end travel related services, launched its new franchise store in Surat, Gujarat, with an aim to grow its presence and cater to the increasing travel demand from travelers in this market. This franchise outlet will act as a one-stop-shop for all travel needs and provide services like flight tickets, hotel accommodation, car rentals, holiday packages, rail, cruise, bus, sightseeing, visa and insurance, both online and offline. Travelers can choose from a wide variety of group tour summer packages to domestic destinations like Ladakh, Andaman, Sikkim, Himachal, Goa and Kashmir and international destinations like Europe, South Africa, Dubai, Thailand, Mauritius, Hong Kong, Singapore, amongst many others. The store will also offer only- veg tours for travellers who have a vegetarian or Jain food preference. Neelu Singh, Chief Executive Officer and Director, Ezeego1, said, “We are happy to announce the launch of our franchisee owned and operated in Surat, an important source market for several destinations. Rising disposable income and growing travel aspirations have increased the travel appetite of people in Tier II and Tier III markets. Considering that a large number of travelers contributing to the domestic and international travel market are from Gujarat, there is immense opportunity to tap and gain a stronghold in this market. We also plan to expand our franchise network to other cities in West India, for deeper market penetration.” Ezeego1 will provide the franchisee with an active marketing, technical and store development support. The marketing activity will include print and radio advertising, attractive and preferential commercials. Store development support will include store designing to reinforce the brand’s look and feel. Training and technical support will be provided to …

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Stayzilla ties up with Agri Tourism Development Company to promote rural tourism

After strategic tie-ups with eight state tourism departments across India, Stayzilla gets on board with Agri Tourism Development Company Private Limited (ATDC) to promote Agri Tourism homestays. ATDC is a private organization which stands to endorse agriculture tourism to achieve income, employment and economic stability in rural communities in India. It also helps to boost a range of activities, services and amenities provided by farmers and rural people to attract urban tourists to their area, thus providing opportunity for urban people to get back to the roots. The MoU was signed between Western Region Office of Stayzilla and ATDC Pune Headquarters. Ankit Rastogi, Vice President Marketplace, Stayzilla, said “India is largely an agrarian economy and most of the festivals and culture are centered at agriculture. The real taste of Indian culture lies in the villages and adding agri-tourism to the portfolio is a logical progression. With this collaboration Stayzilla becomes the strongest proponent of experiential tourism in India. Our associations with different state governments also share the same vision towards rural tourism.” Stayzilla will collaborate with ATDC to promote agri tourism by empowering the farmers to market their homestays with the support of Stayzilla’s platform. Under this MoU, more than 300 agri tourism stays will be listed on Stayzilla to provide an enhanced experiential stays for the tourists where they can stay with the local people in the rural areas. The MoU also provides for joint workshops by Stayzilla and ATDC in which the farmers will be trained on travel technology and Agri- tourism. “The sole objective of ATDC is to promote agri tourism by all means possible and take up initiatives that works for promotion of our rural communities. Promotion …

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Deccan Odyssey launches ‘Companion Scheme’

Deccan Odyssey, the award-winning luxury train operated by Cox & Kings, has launched an exclusive companion offer on select journeys starting January 2017. Travellers can book a twin-sharing cabin in Deccan Odyssey and avail flat 50% discount for their companion. The offer is applicable on bookings made from January 1–April 30, 2017. The scheme is open to all including Indian citizens, Foreign diplomats/expats resident in India having work/resident permit. The Deccan Odyssey has 21 luxury coaches of which 12 are guest cabins. The train is also home to four Presidential Suites.

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Trafalgar conducts workshop for Chennai agents

Trafalgar Travel, along with its General Sales Agent Comfort Leisure, recently conducted a first of its kind workshop for travel agents in Chennai. The presentation showcased the new destinations and itineraries offered by Trafalgar Travel for Summer 2017. Sanjay Temkar, Director-Sales, Trafalgar Mumbai, highlighted the products that Trafalgar offers travellers with varied interests and preferences. “For example, the At Leisure itineraries are slow-paced. Guests spend more number of days at a single destination and can start their day at 9:00am in the morning instead of 7:30am. For guests who like to go off the beaten track, the Hidden Journeys itineraries are ideal as they explore ‘treasures’ that not typically frequented by tourists,” he said. Trafalgar Travel has been creating guided holidays for over 70 years and Comfort Leisure has been its General Sales Agent for 15 years. it was the first company to introduce Trafalgar Travel, in association with TT Travels, to the Indian market.

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Holiday packages to get pricey

Brijesh Modi, Head-Finance & Commercial, SOTC Travel, says, “Due to the changes in the taxable services from 30 per cent to 60 per cent on holiday packages (bundled services), the effective service tax rate will see an increase from 4.5 per cent to nine per cent.” He adds that the tax on hotel accommodation services provided by travel agents is expected to increase from the current 1.5 per cent but agents are still seeking clarification on the same. “On transport services provided by travel agents, the current service tax rate will remain at six per cent. Above change in service tax will increase the selling prices of holiday packages,” Modi says.

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Indian tour operators have lost all ground to compete with global OTAs

Jay Bhatia, Hon. National Treasurer, Travel Agents Association of India, says, that although the effective rate of tax for a tour operator has increased, the government has removed restrictions on claiming CENVAT credit of the input services. “Now the input credit for all eligible services can be claimed. However, the hotels don’t give a break cost and the competition faced from OTAs still shall persist as regards to a tour operator. The Government is losing a lot of service tax as well as the loss in terms of foreign exchange going out when travellers book through the OTAs. The Indian tour operators have lost all ground to compete with the global OTAs who are promoting and selling online.”

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Some benefit for inbound tour operators likely

Sarab Jit Singh, Vice Chairman, FAITH, says, “While the service tax would increase to 60 per cent, the government has allowed input credit, which might neutralise the effect of service tax. However, I feel that inbound tourism might not be affected much because of this rule. In fact, there might be some benefit for inbound tour operators in the long run. It will be outbound tour operators, which will see the impact of this announcement. I feel that this ruling is part of government’s move towards GST. Such measures would force people to do business legitimately.

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Govt preparing the trade for GST

While this ruling will affect tour operators’ business, there is still confusion over if the increase on service tax would be 6 per cent or 9 per cent. P.P. Khanna, President, ADTOI, says, “We have called a meeting on the same. I feel that with this announcement, the government is preparing us for the GST. There is already a big load on tour operators, as we are competing with OTAs. We know that tour operators come to be a bit costlier because they are already paying service tax, which is not the case with OTAs. Now, with the new tax regime, it would be another blow to our businesses. We only survive on relationships we build up with our customers and their loyalty. However, with more price hikes, we would sure lose out on our business. On one hand, the government wants to increase the employment and revenue in tourism, on the other hand, it is heavily taxing the tour operators.”

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