Category Archives: Associations

Record number of registrations for TAAI Convention 2018

TAAI’s limited edition convention in Srinagar has gathered keen interest from the trade. “Within 24 hours of opening registration, we received over 100 forms. Registrations for the TAAI Convention opened on February 19 and more than 200 delegates have already confirmed their participation. The hotels are in huge demand,” confirms Sunil R. Kumar, President, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI). Set to be held from March 27-30, 2018, the TAAI Convention is being organised in association with the Ministry of Tourism, Jammu & Kashmir with a view to promote a more visible J&K and its outstanding attributes that extensively support tourism and culture.

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HRAWI to host 18th regional convention in Sri Lanka

The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) has announced plans of hosting its 18th Regional Convention in Colombo, Sri Lanka. HRAWI, for the first time ever, is going to host the Regional Convention overseas. Scheduled to take place from June 27-30, 2018, the convention will integrate business sessions on specially curated topics for hospitality professionals with evening gala over cocktails and dinner. With over 300 participants expected to gather at one place, the convention will offer business networking opportunities for industry players. As an added attraction, HRAWI will also organise post-convention tours for delegates to unwind and relax in the paradise beach destination of Sri Lanka.  

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Sunil R. Kumar re-elected as UFTAA President

The new Universal Federation of Travel Agents Association (UFTAA) board was elected at its AGM held during the UFTAA Congress held in Tel Aviv. The new UFTAA board now included Sunil R. Kumar from India as the new president, Yossef Fatael from Israel as the Vice President, S.G. Kaka from Kenya as the Vice President – Finance, and Cetin Gurcun from Turkey as the Vice President – Tourism. Sunil R. Kumar has been re-elected as the President of UFTAA for the third time starting from 2015. Kumar says, “It is delightful to be assigned with the responsibility to lead the most prestigious UFTAA once again. The association has a glorious past and a roaring future in the world of global networking that is extremely important in our fast evolving industry. UFTAA’s tourism initiatives and getting more parts of the world into Active UFTAA is what does matter for the success of UFTAA. I attribute this success to TAAI and India, for our respect globally is well acknowledged and accepted. It also implies that we have greater responsibility of our shoulders and this will certainly be delivered well. Congratulations everyone one in the Indian Industry for this global lead opportunity, which is historic to have been re-elected.” The Board of Directors meeting of UFTAA was held on February 6, 2018, at Tel Aviv. During the Congress, UFTAA welcomed some prominent regions of the world who joined UFTAA. This includes COTAL, the federation of travel & tourism associations of 25 countries of Latin America and China Association of Travel Services (CATS) that joined UFTAA as its Association Member.

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TAAI signs MoU with Faizabad university

The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand Chapter has signed an MoU with Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Avadh University in Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh to establish a cooperative relationship between the two that will help students of tourism. The MoU is with respect to offering a Bachelor in Vocational (B.VOC) Tourism & Hospitality Course, a three-year degree course. It will be conducted at Dr. RML Avadh University. Sunil B. Satyawakta, Chairman, TAAI – Uttar Pradesh & Uttarakhand Chapter, says, “This MOU sets the framework for the cooperative relationship between the parties to enhance quality of education in courses and designing the curriculum to make it industry relevant. This is the third MoU signed by the chapter with education institutes in the last two years. The others were with Lucknow University and Banaras Hindu University.”

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A mixed bag for hospitality: Garish Oberoi

Garish Oberoi, President, FHRAI, says the hospitality industry has been repeatedly asking for infrastructure status which hasn’t been mentioned this year as well. “Among the positives in the Budget is the Rs. 500 crore allocation for ‘Operation Green’ to promote Farmer Producers Organisations (FPOs), agri-logistics, processing facilities and professional management,” Oberoi adds. He notes that focus on technology is very relevant in this digital age. “The Budget allocated to the Railways to the tune of Rs. 148, 528 crore to build infrastructure, laying tracks, Wi-Fi and CCTVs will help improve them. In tourism 10 prominent tourist sites will be made into national tourist sites. New Greenfield Airports are in the offing and building airport capacities to handle 1 billion trips can give a boost to connectivity. Post demonetisation and GST many hotels have become Non-Performing Assets (NPAs). We still await measures by the government to deal with NPAs. In totality, the Budget is more for the ease of living and not so much the ease of doing business. While the focus on healthcare and education is commendable, the biggest challenges to growth and employment generation are low credit offtake and ease of doing business, neither have been supported by the Budget,” Oberoi says.

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No end to GST woes in Budget: PP Khanna

PP Khanna, President, ADTOI, said they had been looking forward to some GST relief in the Budget. “There has been no relief in GST in the Union Budget 2018-19, we had been looking forward to it. However, the budget offers some SOPs to tourism sector by announcing 10 prominent tourist sites to be developed into iconic ones and enhancing visitor experience in 110 Adarsh monuments under the ASI, with railways to have Wi-Fi and CCTV cameras on all trains and stations. Enhancement of sea plane activities and boosting aviation sector with the present 124 airports, the government plans to take this up five times to accommodate one billion trips per year. Focus on infrastructure, education, healthcare, creation of jobs has been highlighted in the budget, which is a good move.”

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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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‘AdventureNEXT’ in Bhopal from Dec 10-12

Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) will host its first event in Asia—Adventure Next in Madhya Pradesh from December 10-12, 2018. The event is set to bring together all stakeholders of the adventure travel trade from across the globe. With support from Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI), this event will showcase the adventure tourism potential of India. Commenting on the same, Hari Ranjan Rao, Principal Secretary Tourism, Madhya Pradesh Tourism says, “Adventure Next is one of the most important events of ATTA. ATTA has been one of the most front running associations in the adventure travel space across the world, hosting notable events for this segment and we hope to make their visit in India successful in Madhya Pradesh.” Madhya Pradesh, ATOAI and ATTA also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to mark the launch of this event in India. Capt. Swadesh Kumar, President, ATOAI further says, “We are very happy that Ministry of Tourism has declared 2018 as the Year of Adventure and we are going to make use of this opportunity to the fullest. Adventure Next is one such initiative where we are bringing the global adventure travel industry to India.”

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TAAI Convention to be held in Srinagar from March 27-29

The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) is hosting its much-awaited annual convention from March 27-29, 2018 in Srinagar. The event is being organised in association with the Ministry of Tourism, Jammu & Kashmir with a view to promote a more visible J&K and its outstanding attributes that extensively support tourism and culture. A press conference will be held on the same at The Claridges, New Delhi on January 31. The guests presiding over the event would include Tassaduq Hussain, Minister of Tourism, Jammu & Kashmir; Sarmad Hafeez, IAS, Secretary Tourism, Government of Jammu & Kashmir and Mehmood Ahmad Shah (KAS), Director Tourism, Government of Jammu & Kashmir.

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Skål Ball to be held in New Delhi on February 17

Skål International Delhi-125 hosted its first networking gathering at The Oberoi, New Delhi where over 100 members attended the event. The association is set to host Skål Ball on February 17 in New Delhi, informed Ranjit Vig, Secretary, Skål International Delhi-125. “The large attendance at the event is a reflection of the interest and desire of the members to be a part of this fraternity. We have a long way to go and are looking forward to be awarded as the best club of the year,” he said. Vig also pointed out that the drive to increase membership is a key agenda for 2018. The association is also planning to introduce a wellness programme for its members soon.

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