Category Archives: Agents

Higher tax reduces competitiveness of tour packages

Riaz Munshi, Managing Director, N. Chirag Travels and Vice President, OTOAI, says it is a negative and an unfortunate move for the tourism and hospitality industry. “The increase in service tax is almost nine per cent more and a deterrent to our business as it reduces the competitiveness of our packages. The government has to understand that the products sold are available globally and an Indian traveller might as well buy a package for Singapore from a travel agency based in Singapore rather than pay 9 per cent extra tax to an Indian travel agency. The travel agencies based abroad do not need to pay this service tax and thus can sell packages at a much cheaper rate than us. We as OTOAI will put forward our concerns to the government and highlight how this move is a dampener to the growth of our tourism industry.

Read More »

Industry must brace itself for higher taxes

Ankush Nijhawan, MD, Nijhawan Group, “I think this increase in service tax is just the trailer for GST to set in. The government has made a soft opening to what GST will have in store at 14-18 per cent. Given this move, the tourism and hospitality industry has to brace itself for high tax rate when GST will be implemented. The prices will shoot up in short term and the effect will be seen on outbound as well as domestic travel. The increase in prices of holidays sold as packages will result in travellers to pay more and the business will be impacted temporarily. However, we need to wait for what GST has in store when it is implemented in June this year.

Read More »

Unjust tax would kill Indian tourism industry

Guldeep Singh Sahni, President, OTOAI, says “With this move, the tax for us is going to increase from 4.5 per cent to almost 9 per cent. The move will directly affect the offline tour operators within India and it will in turn be beneficial for those who take booking outside the country, as they won’t come under any such laws. Over 20 million people from India are travelling outside the country and the outbound travel industry is creating so many jobs. Taxing this sector would only affect the tour operator businesses in India and would allow anybody to operate the same business for Indians outside India. It’s an unjust tax and would kill the tourism industry in India.”

Read More »

Higher tax for tour operators

CA Manish Gadia, Partner, GMJ & Co, says, “The Service Tax has indeed gone up from 1.5 per cent to nine per cent on the total tour package now, which is a huge jump. While the tour operators will now have to pay a higher tax, they will also stand to benefit from this as they can now take set-offs in the form of CENVAT credit. According to this, service providers are allowed a set-off of the taxes paid on the services that are incurred while providing the same.”

Read More »

New Service Tax norm jolts tour operators

According to a recent ruling, starting January 22 2017, tour operators will have to pay a service tax on 60 per cent of the amount they bill the customer. The move might make the cost of the tours to go up by 10-15 per cent. Before this, tour operators had to pay service tax on 25 per cent of the bill amount if they offered a packaged tour, and in case of offering their service for booking a hotel as part of a tour, they paid service tax on only 10 per cent of the bill amount. For any other tour-related service, the service tax was on 40 per cent of the bill amount.

Read More »

Cox & Kings starts school for underprivileged kids in Pune

As a part of the systematic efforts to provide education to the underprivileged kids, Cox & Kings Foundation- the philanthropic arm of Cox & Kings Ltd along with The Mamta Trust, has set up a new pre-primary school for underprivileged kids in Pune. The school will provide quality education, nutrition and care to the youngest and most vulnerable children in the area.  The admissions for the new academic year are open and once started, the school will run in two batches a day with almost 100 enthusiastic children. With quality education, the children will also get smart uniforms, daily nutritious snacks and stationery and learning supplies.  All these are free of cost except a small token fee of Rs. 200 which is charged to acknowledge the parents’ dignity. This also helps them to value the education that their children are receiving.

Read More »

Global Destinations adds three new products to portfolio

Representation company Global Destinations has added three new partners to its portfolio in 2017: AlliedTPro, Infinity Escapades and Leisure Pass Group. The companies will be represented from the Mumbai office of Global Destinations, along with its 18 other partners, starting January 1, 2017. With the new additions, Global Destinations will be representing travel companies from continents across the globe. Speaking about getting their new partners on board, Pranav Kapadia, Founder, Global Destinations, says, “We are very excited about our new partnership with three esteemed companies – AlliedTPro, Infinity Escapades and Leisure Pass Group. Each company is a leader in its segment and the alliances will enable us to provide our stakeholders a whole new variety of offerings. 2016 has been a good year for us with the addition of new products to our portfolio and being announced as the GSA for Air New Zealand in India.” While AlliedTPro, head-quartered in New York, is a major in the USA and Canada inbound market, Infinity Escapades is a full-service Travel Management Company from Morocco and Leisure Pass Group is a sightseeing and tourism technology specialist that develops and manages city passes.

Read More »

NIMA mobile App for MICE operators

To connect better with its members and the partners, Network of Indian MICE Agents (NIMA) will soon be launching its android-based mobile application “Let’s Connect” Version 1.0 later this month. “NIMA always strives to add value for its members, and this mobile application is one such innovative step,” said Gajesh Girdhar, National Coordinator, NIMA. Maj. Vikrant Gulani (Retd.), Coordinator PR said that NIMA’s mobile App will take the MICE operators to a digital networking platform. The official website www.thenima.in will also be re-launched with new look and additional features, he added.

Read More »

Ras Al Khaimah announces strategic alliance with TUI

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has announced a strategic partnership with TUI India Pvt. Ltd. to promote and enhance its presence in the Indian market. With this alliance, Ras Al Khaimah TDA aims to further strengthen the key aspects of the destination amongst the Indian audience. The partnership will come into effect from January 1, 2017. The agreement includes promotion of the emirate by TUI India Pvt. Ltd through specially created itineraries, special promotions on its consumer website as well as a series of co-op activities and campaigns. Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA, said, “India is one of the top source markets for us, we are aiming to enhance strategic efforts to drive awareness across India through our dynamic marketing campaigns and relationships with key partners in the public and private sectors. We are glad to begin the New Year with an association with such a renowned travel company and are looking forward to welcome more Indian tourists in future.” Vishal Sinha, CEO, TUI India Pvt. Ltd, added, “Ras Al Khaimah is quickly becoming a leading choice for Indian travellers of all ages. We will focus on creating attractive packages and aggressive promotion of the destination through right mix of media channels.” With India ranked as the emirate’s fourth largest international source market, RAKTDA has seen extensive trade and promotional activities to ensure continued growth from the Subcontinent. As per the latest official data, the northern UAE emirate recorded a 19 per cent rise in Indian hotel guests between January and November in 2016 when compared to the same period in 2015.

Read More »

Tripvillas looks to appoint GSAs

To push its two products – villas and homestays – in the Indian market, Tripvillas is looking to tap offline travel agents. Roshan D’Silva, CEO, Tripvillas, says, “We currently do not have a direct tie-up with offline agents and have chosen to work through aggregators. In India, a travel agent can have access to our product through Via.com and international travel agents can access our product through Tourico travels in Florida. However, we are actively looking for new reputed travel agents to appoint as our General Selling Agents.” It is looking for travel agents with a strong presence in the upper mid-market as well as specialised agents handling family travel, corporate groups, weddings, and celebrity travel. “We are open and supportive to any ideas and would be happy to engage with other companies for mutual benefit. In the pipeline are multiple training programs, materials and in-person seminars for the travel trade. We offer special payment terms to travel agents who are IATA-certified and pass our credit checks. Our policies are travel agent-friendly and gives them a good opportunity to generate additional revenue and provide a valuable service to their customers,” he adds. It has also tied up with OTAs such as MakemyTrip, Goibibo, Yatra, Travelguru, Via.com as well as international online companies like Ctrip, Ostrovok, Booking.com, Agoda and Expedia

Read More »