Category Archives: Associations

Dilip Datwani re-elected HRAWI President for second term

Dilip Datwani has been re-elected as President of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) at its 67th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held recently in Mumbai. Datwani has been serving in the role of the President for the year 2016 – 17 and will now continue to serve in the same capacity for the term of 2017 – 2018.  Gurbaxish Singh Kohli also will continue to serve as the Senior Vice President for the same tenure while Pradeep Shetty takes a sabbatical for this year and  Sherry Bhatia replaces him as the Hon. Secretary. Datwani is also the Vice President of the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), the apex body of all the regional associations of hotels and restaurants across the country. He has been an active voice and part of the hotel and restaurant fraternity for over two decades. Datwani has previously served as Chairman of the Membership Committee, Chairman of the Classification Committee, and Senior Vice President of HRAWI. He is Chairman & Managing Director of Datwani Hotels Pvt. Ltd. and owns and operates Shatranj Napoli, a landmark restaurant at Pali Hill, Bandra. “Firstly, I thank all our members for re-electing me as the President. The last one year has been an eventful time for the hotel and restaurant industry, be it the recent issue of liquor ban along the State and National highways, GST, demonetization or service charge. I must mention that through all these tough times HRAWI petitioned, engaged and diligently followed up with the concerned authorities and ministries to resolve the issues faced by hoteliers and restaurateurs. The introduction of GST brings forth both opportunities and challenges. In the …

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Historical decision: UNWTO Framework Convention on Tourism Ethics approved

The member States of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) have approved a historical document – the UNWTO Framework Convention on Tourism Ethics. The Convention, approved at the 22nd UNWTO General Assembly transforms the Code of Ethics for Tourism into an international convention, the first in the life of the organisation. The Convention covers the responsibilities of all stakeholders in the development sustainable tourism, providing a framework that recommends an ethical and sustainable modus operandi, including the right to tourism, the freedom of movement for tourists and the rights of employees and professionals. “In an interconnected world where the business volume of tourism equals or even surpasses that of oil exports, ‎food products or automobiles, it is important to set out a legal framework to ensure that growth is dealt with responsibly and that it can be sustained over time. Tourism is a power that must be harnessed for the benefit of all,” said the Chairman of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics (WCTE), Pascal Lamy. Appointed as Chairman of the WTCE in 2013, Pascal Lamy, together with his colleagues in the Committee, has been instrumental in the process of presenting the Convention on Tourism Ethics to the 22nd UNWTO General Assembly. The conversion of the Code, which was adopted in 1999, into a proper Convention represents a significant step towards ensuring that tourism development is done with full respect for sustainable development, social issues, local community development, improves understanding between cultures and addresses labour issues. “This is an historical moment for UNWTO, said the Secretary-General”, Taleb Rifai. “The approval of the Convention is a strong legacy of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development that we celebrate this year. …

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Kerala Tourism’s Film Tourism brochure wins PATA Gold Awards 2017

Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala won the prestigious Pacific Asia Travel Association Grand and Gold Award 2017 for the Film Tourism Brochure in Marketing Media – Consumer Travel Brochure category. P Bala Kiran, IAS, Director, Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala received the award at the 32nd edition of the PATA Awards as the committee recognised its marketing strategy, which boosted Kerala as a must-visit destination. The PATA awards were presented to the best entries in four categories – Marketing, Education and Training, Environment and Heritage and Culture. PATA had received 220 entries from 77 organisations and individuals from different corners of the world for the category that Kerala Tourism bagged the honours. After receiving the award, Bala Kiran said, “The award has given us the opportunity to showcase the picturesque locations to a global audience that Kerala has to offer. Picturesque backwaters, pristine beaches, dreamy hill stations & exotic wildlife are the key attractions to shoot any form of media. This award is a testimony of the innovative marketing initiatives and promotional activities undertaken by the tourism department of Kerala.” “Film tourism also contribute to the overall economic development of the respective destination through income generation, investment, job creation, etc. We at Kerala Tourism are committed towards promoting tourism in a responsible manner,” he concluded.

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FICCI’s Global MICE Travel Mart begins in Delhi

The government shall soon roll out its much-awaited National Tourism Policy, expected to provide single window clearance for organisation of meetings and conferences, informed Satyajeet Rajan, Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, while addressing the second edition of Global MICE Travel Mart, organised by FICCI jointly with the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, on September 14 at The Lalit, New Delhi. He said that there was a need to provide incentives to this sector to make it competitive in the world market. He added that there was a pressing need to conduct a study to assess size of the industry and a consultant was being appointed to suggest a workable roadmap for the development of the sector. During the inaugural of this mart, which is underway until Sept 16, a FICCI-MRSS Knowledge Paper on ‘MICE Tourism Powerhouse of a New Era Tourism’ was unveiled by the dignitaries. The six-point agenda of the study suggested a six-point roadmap for development of India as a MICE tourism hotspot. Chander Mansharamani, Vice Chairman, ICPB and Managing Director, Alpcord Network Travel & Conferences Management Company, said that MICE was an economic activity and there was an imperative need for the creation of a market for the sector. Besides, he emphasised on the need for readily available comprehensive database, building capacities and capabilities while taking into account competition to make India a MICE hub. Highlighting the immense potential of MICE tourism in West Bengal, Amitava Rathod, Deputy General Manager, West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation, said that that with new convention centres projects such as HIDCO, Digha and Bagdogra coming up in the state, West Bengal is bound to lead the country in …

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FHRAI’s Annual Convention underway in Bengaluru

The 52nd FHRAI Annual Convention is underway at Shangri-La Hotel, Bengaluru. At the three-day event, being held between September 14 and 16, delegates will get a chance to attend panel discussions on relevant topics and be able to network with fellow hoteliers. The theme chosen for this year’s convention is “Hospitality 2025 – The Future is NOW”. The inauguration ceremony was presided over by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who blessed the function. Ananth Kumar, Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers; Ashok Chandra Panda, Minister of State, Department of Tourism, Government of Odisha; R.V. Deshpande, Minister for Large & Medium Industries & Infrastructure Development, Government of Karnataka, and many other dignitaries are also present at the event. Speaking at the ceremony, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said, “Hospitality is in the DNA of Indians just like teamwork is in the DNA of Japanese, precision in that of the Germans, etiquette in the English, and marketing in the Americans. India is still lagging behind and needs improvement in infrastructure. We need to have Greece as the benchmark where tourism is soaring. We should host food festivals more often. Also, there is a need for more and more hotels. We do not necessarily have to ape the Europeans, we can set our own standards; an indigenous touch is always welcome. Apart from this, India needs more colleges to train youngsters.” Addressing the audience at the convention, Deshpande said, “Tourism is the highest employment generator but India’s biggest concern is employment as automation is taking over the human touch. Infrastructure has to be definitely looked at and we are getting there. Karnataka has the best connectivity in the entire country with some of …

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Zurab Pololikashvili is the new UNWTO Secretary General

Zurab Pololikashvili, current Ambassador of Georgia to Spain, Morocco, Algeria and Andorra, has been appointed Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for the period 2018-2021. Pololikashvili’s candidature was presented by his country, Georgia, in accordance with the UNWTO statutes. He was elected by consensus at the 22nd UNWTO General Assembly being held in Chengdu, China, following the recommendation of the 105th UNWTO Executive Council. Pololikashvili was Minister of Economic Development of Georgia (2009-2010) and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia (2005-2006).

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PATA Travel Mart 2017 takes off in Macao

The 40th edition of PATA Travel Mart 2017 (PTM 2017) kicked off with ‘Travolution Forum Asia: Redefining Travel Experience’ at The Parisian Macao. Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA, moderated a session on ‘The Importance of Reviews and Personalised Marketing’ at PTM 2017. The Mart will be held in Macao SAR from September 13-15 and is being hosted by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO). PTM mobilises a relevant contingent of travel trade stakeholders from the Asia Pacific region and around the world and provides a first-hand update about the significant developments in Macao. Last PTM in Macao was held in 2010. Langkawi is the venue for PATA Travel Mart 2018 (PTM 2018) with this signature Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) event being hosted by Tourism Malaysia and Langkawi Development Authority.

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IATO plans first outbound convention in Sri Lanka from Oct 2-5, 2017

After successfully concluding its annual convention in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha from September 7-10, the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) has announced its first outbound convention in Sri Lanka. Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO, reveals, “We have been given a green signal from the Sri Lanka Tourism Board for our first outbound convention that will be held from October 2-5, 2017 in Colombo. We will be working on that now and will inform our members as soon as we return to New Delhi. This will be the first outbound convention that will be organized by IATO. We will discuss the agenda for that and announce it within a few days.”  

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International tourism – strongest half-year results since 2010

Destinations worldwide welcomed 598 million international tourists in the first six months of 2017, some 36 million more than in the same period of 2016. At 6 per cent, growth was well above the trend of recent years, making the current January-June period the strongest half-year since 2010. Visitor numbers reported by destinations around the world reflect strong demand for international travel in the first half of 2017, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Worldwide, international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) increased by 6 per cent compared to the same six-month period last year, well above the sustained and consistent trend of 4 per cent or higher growth since 2010. This represents the strongest half-year in seven years. Results are underpinned by robust growth in many destinations and a continuation of the recovery in those that suffered declines in previous years. Of UNWTO regions, growth was strongest in the Middle East (+9 per cent), Europe (+8 per cent) and Africa (+8 per cent), followed by Asia and the Pacific (+6 per cent) and the Americas (+3 per cent). The first half of the year usually accounts for about 46% of total annual international arrivals, with the second half longer by three days and including the Northern Hemisphere high season months of July and August. Growth was strongest in the Middle East (+9 per cent), Europe (+8 per cent) and Africa (+8 per cent), followed by Asia and the Pacific (+6 per cent) and the Americas (+3 per cent). “The first half of 2017 shows healthy growth in an increasingly dynamic and resilient tourism market, including a strong recovery in some of the destinations impacted by security challenges last year,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai ahead of the 22nd session …

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MOT to launch ‘Adopt a Heritage’ campaign soon

Tourism Secretary Rashmi Verma has said that the Government of India will soon announce a new ‘Adopt a Heritage’ campaign in association with Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). With an aim to encourage the corporate and private sectors to adopt a heritage monument, the campaign will give a boost to the heritage tourism circuit through public-private partnership. Verma announced this on the sidelines of IATO Convention underway in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. She also announced the second edition of Incredible India campaign, which will be market specific and will be based on India’s thematic circuits.

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