Category Archives: Agents

3rd edition of TravTalk Digital Conclave scheduled on Friday, May 15

After the overwhelming response for the first and second editions of its Digital Conclave, TravTalk is all set to bring the third edition of the online conference on May 15 from 10 am to 1:30 pm, which would discuss pertinent issues in the industry at the time of COVID-19 crisis. There will be 3 sessions of 1 hour each and will see experts from different segments of travel, deliberating on the way forward. The panelists for first session, titled ‘The Reality of NO tourism!’ will be Rajiv Mehra from IATO, Bharat Atree from Caper Travel Company, and Debjit Dutta from Impression Tourism Services. Second session, titled ‘Hotels in the age of social distancing. Where are the robots?’ will have Mandeep Lamba from HVS ANAROCK, Dilip Puri from Indian School of Hospitality and Jatin Khanna from Marriot Hotels. For the third session, titled ‘Big ticket business! When do we start looking at weddings, corporate and M!CE travel?’, the panelists include Rajeev Jain from Rashi Entertainment, Rajdev Bhattacharya from Wipro Limited, and Rajeev Kale from Thomas Cook India.

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MOT to provide incentives under CSS Scheme for promoting M!CE Tourism in India

In order to give a boost to M!CE Tourism and attract more M!CE events to the country, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has decided to extend the benefits to M!CE organisers in the form of certain incentives under the Champion Sector in Services Scheme (CSSS). For this purpose, a M!CE fund has been set up under CSSS. Under this initiative to encourage M!CE operators to bring more conferences/meetings/seminars to India, they will be entitled to avail certain financial incentives in the form of GST reimbursement. The incentive would be made available for a period of three years. A prior approval from MOT will be required to avail incentives under the scheme along with a NOC from the concerned travel trade association. MOT has made India Convention Promotion Bureau (ICPB) as the nodal agency for steering and promoting the scheme who in turn would motivate Indian Travel Planners / Societies / Associations towards publicising the scheme.

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States & hotels should do joint promotions with agents to boost domestic tourism: PP Khanna

PP Khanna, President, Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI) during the 2nd TravTalk Digital Tourism Conclave said that it is important for states, hotels and travel agents to come together and do joint promotions for domestic tourism and boost it further. “Both states and hotels should look towards doing joint promotions with the travel agents to boost domestic tourism in India. M!CE is a big segment and according to 2018-19 data, this segment earned a revenue of Rs25,000 crore. With new ventures like banquet halls, trade fairs and facilities in cities like Delhi coming up, it is expected that by 2022, this revenue could double to the tune of Rs40,000-50,000 crore. All the states should consider opening new M!CE facilities.”

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FAITH doubles its tourism loss estimates from Rs 5 lakh crore to Rs 10 lakh crore

Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH) has revised upwards its loss estimation to Indian tourism. In a meeting, the association informed that it would like to revisit and double its earlier guidance. The earlier guidance which was calculated in March 2020 had put tourism’s economic value at risk at almost Rs 5 lakh crores from this pandemic. FAITH believes this value at risk could go as high as Rs 10 lakh crores given the way tourism supply chains are breaking down in India across all its key inbound, domestic & outbound markets. The direct and indirect economic impact of the tourism industry in India is approximately estimated at ~ 10% of India’s GDP.  This roughly puts the full-year economic multiplier value of tourism in India at almost ~ Rs 20 lakh crores. This value covers the whole tourism value chain across airlines, travel agents, hotels, tour operators, tourism destinations restaurants, tourist transporters, tourist guides etc. These are across all the segments of tourism be they leisure ( inbound, outbound, domestic) corporate travel, heritage, adventure, meetings incentives, exhibitions & events, religious and spiritual tourism and in upcoming high-value niche tourism products such as sea & river cruises, camping, rafting, golf & film tourism, jungle tourism, agritourism and many more. Tourism has one of the largest economic multipliers. FAITH based upon its industry estimates believes, that in India given its globally unique natural and cultural heritage which is spread across the Indian hinterlands, each rupee spent on tourism could have an economic multiplier of between 2.5 – 3 times. While this is India’s global competitive advantage in tourism, this can also quickly translate into a competitive disadvantage due to …

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Around 3,500 licensed tourist guides call for relief package from MOT and PMO

In a bid to deal with the impact of COVID-19 on their livelihoods, Tourist Guides’ Federation of India (TGFI), representing around 3,500 regional tourist guides licensed by Government of India across the country, have approached Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of Tourism and Culture (I/C), asking for relief package. They have also approached tour operators and IATO for the release of their payments. Shakeel Wahab Chauhan, Nominated Vice-President, TGFI, has said that because of no business coming their way in this time of lockdown, most of the member associations might lose their entire year’s income and most of them do not have any funds to survive. Hence, they have approached the PMO and MOT for some relief.

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TravTalk Salary Survey: Tourism industry optimistic as only 41% staff on leave without pay

The result of the ‘TravTalk Salary Survey’ 2020 has revealed that GSAs are working with 80 per cent staff and only 20 percent of them have got salary cuts. Inbound agents have put only 33 percent of their staff on leave without pay. Furthermore, 14 percent of the outbound and domestic agents have reported putting more than 50 percent of their workforce on leave without pay. This survey was conducted anonymously to discuss some of the best employment practices in the industry.  

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MoCA should provide win-win solution to both airlines and agents: Jyoti Mayal

Jyoti Mayal, President, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), has said that they have had several meetings with the Ministry of Civil Aviation regarding protecting the interest of their members, in the wake of the losses they have suffered because of not getting refunds from airlines amidst the COVID-19 crisis and the eventual shutting down of airline operations. She adds, “Tourism and aviation are inter-dependent. Both airlines and travel agents depend on each other for business and hence we have requested the Ministry of Civil Aviation to look at a solution that is a win-win situation for both. We don’t want airlines to go out of business, but also want to save our businesses. While airlines across the world are seeking monetary support for their survival, they should not be holding back the agents’ or customers’ money, which is lying with them as per advance bookings. They should refund the agents and customers, instead of giving credit shells.”

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TravTalk Salary Survey: 77% of industry takes pay cut, 90% DMCs & B2B agents trim staff salaries

The results of the TravTalk Salary Survey 2020 have revealed that almost 77% of the industry has to opt for pay cuts to deal with the impact of COVID-19 crisis. The survey on staff salaries indicated that 90% of B2B agents and DMCs have effected pay cuts for their staff while only 67% of GSAs have chosen to cut the salaries of their staff. Around 72% of inbound companies have also implemented deductions in salaries of their employees to deal with the adverse impacts of no business in the industry. The survey was conducted anonymously (without recording any detail of the respondents) to assess and discuss the best employment practices in the industry.

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Revenue will come from domestic tourists: Ankur Bhatia, Executive Director, Bird Group

Sharing his views during the 2nd TravTalk Digital Tourism Conclave, Ankur Bhatia, Executive Director, Bird Group which owns Roseate Hotels and Resorts, said, “I don’t think we will be travelling to any international destination any time soon. So the revenue will come from domestic tourists. We need to look at the localised audience rather than a globalised audience. We also need to look at the context of luxury. At this point in time, luxury is getting out of the house and meeting friends and family. The current situation is far beyond pandemic and we really don’t know when travel will resume. There is real fear in the minds of people. But when we do start to open up, we have seen globally that people will get into their cars and drive to the nearest holiday destination. We see the same thing happen in India as well. I think this is what we will see start to happen first.”  

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Analytics firm VIDEC launches global travel staffing barometer

Boutique advisory and analytics firm VIDEC has launched a Global Travel Staffing Barometer, an online resource to monitor the impact of COVID-19 coronavirus on the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. The free-to-use tracker offers industry insights on the state of terminations, furloughs and pay-cuts, across industry categories and countries, collated from various sources and updated on daily basis. Virendra Jain, Cofounder and CEO, VIDEC, says, “The travel industry is crumbling before our eyes with more than half a million lay-offs in less than a month. Amid the global spread of the pandemic, companies of all shapes and sizes – from the billion-dollar valued to start-ups – are trimming costs, disbanding, and letting go off their most precious asset, the workforce. The Global Travel Staffing Barometer quantifies the discharged staff and aims to become the central hub for tracking the loss of human resources, and in time offer the first glimpses for the road to recovery for the travel industry.” According to this tracker, more than 500,000 workers in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries have been furloughed in the last three weeks.

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