Category Archives: Agents

Trade unhappy, no relief from double taxation: Pronab Sarkar

Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO, expresses his discontent over the Union Budget 2018, saying there was nothing in it for tourism. “The Union Budget 2018 has nothing to offer to the tourism industry. We are not happy as there was no relief from double taxation in GST which was our major concern. Even after focusing on job creation, the government has ignored that tourism could be a major facilitator for job creation. Under GST Goods and services should be under the same purview. Since there is no respite from cascading taxation, India would remain a costlier destination than its neighbouring countries for tourists. The only positive is the focus on infrastructure, wherein they have introduced sea planes, 99 smart cities, 10 new destinations, enhanced experience at 110 Adarsh monuments, airport expansion, etc. Also, Corporate Tax of 25 per cent is extended to companies with turnover up to Rs. 250 crore in financial year 2016-17. Earlier, this was for companies with turnover of Rs. 50 crore. Even road and rail transport have got an increased budget. However, businesswise there is no change,” Sarkar said.

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Aviation, Heritage tourism benefit from an otherwise disappointing Budget 2018

The tourism and hospitality sectors had to listen intently to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s Union Budget 2018 speech for a mention, which was made precisely three times. The Finance Minister proposed to develop 10 prominent tourist sites into ‘Iconic Tourism destinations’ by following a holistic approach involving infrastructure and skill development, development of technology, attracting private investment, branding and marketing. “To preserve and revitalise soul of the heritage cities in India, National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) has been taken up in a major way,” the minister said. In addition, to enhance visitor experience, tourist amenities at 100 Adarsh monuments of the Archaeological Survey of India will be upgraded. For promoting tourism and emergency medical care, Government will make necessary framework for encouraging investment in sea plane activities, Jaitley mentioned. The Minister noted that in the last three years, the domestic air passenger traffic grew at 18 per cent per annum and airline companies placed orders for more than 900 aircraft. Regional Connectivity Scheme of UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) initiated by the Government last year shall connect 56 unserved airports and 31 unserved helipads across the country, he said, adding that operations have already started at 16 such airports. “We propose to expand our airport capacity more than five times to handle a billion trips a year under a new initiative – NABH Nirman,” he said. For the Railways sector, “We are in a process of eliminating unmanned railway crossings. All railway stations having more than 25,000 footfall will have escalators. We are also working to provide Wi-Fi and CCTV Cameras on all trains and stations,” Jaitley said. Redevelopment of 600 major railway stations has been …

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Bharat Deko holds first Partner’s Meet in Mumbai

As a part of its 260 years’ celebration, Cox & Kings’ Bharat Deko held its first-ever Partner’s Meet with its vendors from across India. Hoteliers, transporters and other suppliers, who have long been partnered with Cox & Kings, participated in the meet. The domestic wing of Cox & Kings, Bharat Deko had organised the event for its panel of partners and suppliers to recognise their support and performance. The event served as an opportunity for both suppliers and the operational staff to interact with each other who otherwise are connected digitally. Bharat Deko also conducted an orientation presentation to familiarise the partners with its ethos, policies, achievements and new plans. Speaking about the event, Yusuf Poonawala, Head, Bharat Deko said,” The Partner’s Meet reiterates our efforts in acknowledging our supplier’s commitment to our brand. They are our important stakeholders who encourage us to be further innovative by offering us their timely and commendable service. While the oldest travel brand Cox & Kings is turning 260 years, we wish to have our partners to be a part of the celebration”

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DTCM joins hands with Nijhawan Group for India

As a result of the Indian subcontinent’s growing outbound demand, Dubai Tourism has announced the appointment of Nijhawan Group as its in-market destination representation and trade marketing management firm in India. With over 45 years of experience in India, Nijhawan Group will now be responsible for all trade communications, brand partnership conversations and building crucial trade relationships in the Indian subcontinent to strengthen Dubai’s position in the market. Meanwhile, Cruise Club has been appointed as the representative in India for Dubai Business Events, a division of Dubai Tourism. Based out of Mumbai, Cruise Club’s role is to increase Dubai’s market share from incentive groups and corporate meetings. The team has already begun delegate boosting activity and promoting upcoming events. Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM) said, “India remains a top priority for us, now consistently being the largest source market for tourists to Dubai. This is a feat achieved through years of establishing and building strong trade ties in the market.” Ankush Nijhawan, Managing Director, Nijhawan Group, added, “With our appointment, we hope to capitalise on our extensive network of agents and generate greater growth into Dubai with their support.”

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STHI Holidays conducts roadshow in Dehradun

Around 90 travel agents from Saharanpur, Roorkee, Meerut, Haridwar and Rishikesh attended STHI Group’s first roadshow of the year in Dehradun. Exhibitors from Air Arabia and Sheraton were also seen at the event. Speaking at the roadshow held on January 24, Lalit Singh, COO, STHI Group, said, “We want to aim for global fraternity by hosting this roadshow in our earnest endeavour. We want to do everything possible to achieve this goal for posterity.”

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Insight Vacations launches 2018 Europe tours

Insight Vacations, brought in India by Signature Tours, has launched its new 2018 Europe Premium Escorted Journeys collection featuring 70 Insight Experiences, 100 guided vacations, and four styles of distinctive journeys. Included are eight new European Discovery Journeys as well as Regional Journeys, Country Roads and Easy Pace, different travel styles to match varying preferences. Evon Ler, President, Insight Vacations, Asia says, “Guests who have travelled with Insight Vacations know about our outstanding Insight Difference since it has been our personal mission for 40 years to create magical experiences for travellers. We are proud of our team of passionate travel directors and colleagues who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure we deliver authentic experiences that make holidays memorable. Our Insight Experiences are a curated collection of memories-in-the-making by connecting our guests with locals, unique activities and expert insights to bring each destination to life.” Ler was in India recently to launch the new itineraries. The eight new 2018 European Discoveries range from 9 to 19 days, each offering experiences to Europe’s popular destinations. These itineraries visit 12 countries.

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FCM Travel Solutions eyes Rs 4,000 cr turnover in FY18

FCM Travel Solutions, Indian arm of Australia-headquartered Flight Centre Travel Group, is looking to achieve a turnover of Rs 4,000 crore during the current fiscal year. The company, which follows a July-to-June fiscal year, had clocked a revenue of Rs 2,700 crore in the country in the financial year 2016-17. “At FCM Travel Solutions, we are aiming at achieving around 50 per cent growth this fiscal year. Our target this fiscal year is to reach a turnover of Rs 4,000 crore,” said Rakshit Desai, Managing Director India, FCM Travel Solutions. The company operates an extensive portfolio of businesses across leisure, corporate travel and forex, he added. “55 per cent of our existing business is from corporate travel including SMEs and the remaining 45 per cent business is from leisure travel and forex,” Desai added. The travel firm is also looking to re-brand its travel retail and holiday brand – Flight Shop to Travel Tours. Travel Tours has strong brand equity and heritage that will benefit the company when it expands its presence across the nation, he added. The company had acquired the business interests of Travel Tours Group (TTG), in a cash and stock deal in October 2016, Desai said. Source: PTI

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CTRIP’s Tours4fun acquires stake in Travstarz Global Group

India Travel Award winners Pankaj Nagpal and Sucheta Nagpal, the founders of Travstarz, have announced that Tours4fun, a booking portal for global tours and activities and subsidiary of CTRIP, has ventured into India by acquiring a stake in Travstarz Global Group. The company will continue to be led by them as the Managing Director and Director & CEO respectively. Tours4fun has ventured into global travel B2B business with the launch of RezB2B Global Limited and its platform Rezb2b.com. The details of the deal were not disclosed by both parties. Post the investment, Travstarz Global Group will merge its platform Travelrezonline.com with Rezb2b.com and will dedicatedly run the group’s B2B business in Indian Sub-Continent and other adjoining regions. “With this alliance, we will expand much faster and will get access to latest technology, wide range of products and global markets. We shall be merging our online platform travelrezonline.com into Rezb2b.com and all further developments will be jointly done by our India and Global IT Teams to offer an advanced and robust online B2B system with best worldwide inventory of flights, hotels, packages, transfers and sight seeing, visas, travel insurance and forex. It will provide complete IT Solutions for travel agents, DMCs and hoteliers to seamlessly manage their own content online and provide them a platform to sell their own products to a worldwide audience through us. It is a technology driven product and will change the way travel businesses run across the globe. We will be rapidly expanding our DMC operations under the Travstarz Global DMC Network Program also,” said Pankaj Nagpal, MD, Travstarz Global Group and Sucheta Nagpal, Director & CEO. Established in 2009, Travstarz Global Group started with selling Hong …

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Ezeego1.com partners with PAYBACK to enhance online travel offerings

Online travel company Ezeego1.com has announced its strategic partnership with PAYBACK, a multi-brand loyalty programme, to expand its offerings into online travel category. With its wide range of travel products available in the market, Ezeego1.com offers a comprehensive ‘one-stop platform’ to the suppliers, travel agents, and travel partners for them to distribute, promote and sell their products. Under this partnership, PAYBACK’s 110 million members will be able to use their PAYBACK Points when making flight, hotel and holiday bookings on Ezeego1.com. In addition, they will also be able to earn 2 PAYBACK Points for every Rs. 100 spent on the same transaction done on Ezeego1.com with real time enrolment and registration. The partnership is aimed at driving loyalty and stickiness at the Ezeego1 travel domain by offering members a chance to earn points on their spends as well create a rewarding experience for them through redemption opportunities. Neelu Singh, CEO & Director, Ezeego1, said, “Creating memorable travel experiences and adding overall value to our customer’s travel process is at the core of our business. Our partnership with PAYBACK reiterates our commitment in providing customers best travel products as well as value- added benefits through reward points that can be redeemed on Ezeego1 for travel services around the world, from airlines to car rentals, hotels and cruises.”

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Akquasun conducts four-city roadshow

Akquasun Group is set to go digital in terms of operations in 2018. Till now, the portal offered was an integrated system but going forward, the destination management company (DMC) plans to offer its travel partners its own inventory on the digital platform, informs Sujit Nair, Group Managing Director, Akquasun Group at the company’s Delhi roadshow. The DMC is currently conducting its four-city roadshow covering Kolkata, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Chennai. The unique element of this year’s event is the partnership between Tourism Malaysia and Akquasun Group, in which the tourism board has partnered with the DMC to promote Malaysia in India. “We will be buying up our own inventory and offer the same on the online platform. We recently hosted a curtail raiser at IITT Mumbai for the same and the company will be coming out with a host of different technology tools useful for travel agents,” he said. As many as 40 partners from 18 destinations represented by the group participated at the roadshow. According to Nair, the market in Kolkata was very responsive with as many as 250 travel agents in attendance at the roadshow.

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