Category Archives: Associations

Capt. Swadesh Kumar re-elected as ATOAI President

Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) has elected Captain Swadesh Kumar, Managing Director, Shikhar Travels India, as President for 2019-2021. Sanjay Basu, Managing Director, Far Horizon Tours, has been elected as the Senior Vice President; Tejbir Singh Anand, Managing Director, Holiday Moods Adventures is the Vice President; Vaibhav Kala, Founder, Aquaterra Adventures, is the Treasurer and Vinayak Koul, Director, Snow Lion Expeditions is the new Secretary. The elected Executive Committee members are Akshay Kumar, CEO, Mercury Himalayan Exploration; Ajeet Bajaj, Managing Director, Snow Leopard Adventures; Rajesh Ojha, Co-founder, Banjara Camps and Retreats; Ravi S Kalra, Managing Director, Travel Inn; Vishwas Makhija, Founder & CEO, India Insight Tours; CDR Sam Samuel, Managing Director, Kalypso Adventures and Pradeep Murthy, Founder and Director, Muddy Boots Vacations. Speaking on his re-election, Kumar says, “The focus this term as President is to bring as many adventure tour operators as possible into the fold of the Association, since there are many tour operators in the unorganised sector. There are over 15,000 adventure tour operators in India. I want them to be a part of the Association and ensure that they all function within limits of safety. The second focus is to bring adventure tourism into the limelight and mainstream, instead of being limited to as just niche experiences and keep in focus the sustainable aspects of the eco-adventure destinations.”

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Women account for 12% of travel and tourism’s employment in India: WTTC

The female share of employment in tourism in India accounts for 12.1 per cent, according to a latest report by World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) titled ‘Travel & Tourism: Driving Women’s Success.’ There could be an 11 per cent increase in global GDP if every country achieved the fastest rate of progress in its region on closing the three key gender gaps of workforce participation, the report states. Travel and tourism can provide women with more opportunities for workforce participation, leadership, entrepreneurship and empowerment than many other sectors, particularly in developing countries and as such it can have a tremendous effect on poverty reduction in rural communities. At the macro level, a stronger representation of women in travel and tourism relative to other areas of economy is due to the sector’s unique characteristics: often less emphasis on formal education and training, greater emphasis on personal and hospitality skills, flexible working opportunities, and increased options for entrepreneurship that do not require heavy start-up financing. While there are wide variations in gender equality by region, socio-economic class, ethnicity and age, women’s labour force participation rates are gradually approaching those of men in many developed countries, supported by public policies including family support, rights to paid leave, and affordable childcare services for working mothers. Women also have some of the highest rates of participation in developing countries, reflecting economic necessity.

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Industry stalwart Alwin Zecha passes away, tributes pour in

Tourism industry veteran and founder of Pacific Leisure Group (PLG) Alwin Zecha passed away after suffering a cardic arrest on March 12 in Bangkok. Born in Sukabumi West Java, Indonesia on April 4, 1936, Zecha contributed enormously to the ASEAN travel & tourism industry through his close involvement with PATA, and helping to bring numerous PATA events such as the PATA Travel Mart and Annual Conference to Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand. In his career spanning over 50 years, Zecha founded PLG in 1961 and bulit up network offices across the globe and quickly gained a reputation as one of the leading DMCs worldwide. Extending his tribute, Eckard Kremer, Group Managing Director. PLG said, “We lost a friend, mentor and our PLG father today. His legacy will live on.” Al Merschen, Managing Director, Myriad Travel Marketing said, “To a man with zest of life, and a life well lived. Rest in peace my fellow AL.” San Jeet, Honorary Vice Chairman, PATA India Chapter said, “A big loss for me personally and all of us here in India. The travel industry has lost an eminent statesman who guided us and more importantly held us all together. He will be missed, but his legacy of great work will stay in our hearts forever.” Vikram Madhok, Honorary Treasurer, PATA India Chapter commented, “Sorry to see a true industry leader go. Alwin was an inspiration to many of us and I have lost a friend of more than 20 years since I became involved with PATA. When he spoke, people stopped to listen, such was his charm and persona.” Narzalina Lim, Former Secretary, Department of Tourism (DoT) Philippines, said, “Alwin gave us …

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Over 300 delegates from 28 countries attend PATA adventure travel in Rishikesh

  Around 300 delegates from 28 countries attended PATA Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart 2019 (PATA ATRTCM) in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand. The event, organised by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and hosted by Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board, brought together international experts at the forefront of the adventure travel industry from both the private and public sectors to discuss issues and opportunities in travel and tourism. Delegates heard from a diverse line-up of speakers at the one-day conference on the theme ‘Rejuvenate Your Soul Through Travel’. The thought leaders, innovators and pioneers, who are shaping the emerging landscape of the adventure travel and responsible tourism industry, examined various conference topics that covered ‘Rejuvenating Your Soul Through Travel’, ‘Storytelling to Sell Travel on Instagram’, ‘Using Sustainability to Future-Proof Our Destination’, ‘Trends to India’, ‘Creating Experiences that are Regenerative’, ‘Marketing to the New Adventure Travellers’, ‘Tourism as a Tool for Rejuvenation’, ‘A Special Story of Indian Rejuvenation’ and ‘Sustaining our Souls: Vision-Driven Leadership in Adventure Tourism’. The conference was opened by Dilip Jawalkar, IAS, Secretary Tourism, Religious Affairs and Culture Department, Government of Uttarakhand; Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism; Yogendra Tripathi, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, and Satpal Maharaj, Minister of Tourism, Uttarakhand. Dr Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA noted, “The event aims to be a catalyst for generating new ideas and improving collaboration between public and private sector organisations. By bringing together such a dynamic and diverse group of speakers, we hoped to highlight the need to discuss, analyse and share various ideas with both the public and private sector in planning, building and promoting a responsible travel and tourism industry.” The B2B mart welcomed 47 seller organisations from 10 destinations and 44 buyer organisations …

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International tourist arrivals hit 1.4 billion in 2018, two years ahead of forecast: UNWTO

International tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) worldwide increased 6 per cent in 2018 to 1.4 billion, based on data reported by destinations around the world, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Given the remarkable growth of international arrivals in recent years, the 1.4 billion mark has been reached two years ahead of UNWTO’s long term forecast issued in 2010. 2018 consolidates the very strong results of 2017 (+7%) and is the second strongest year since 2010. Middle East (+10%) and Africa (+7%) led growth, while arrivals to Asia and the Pacific and Europe (both +6%) increased in line with the world average. The Americas saw growth of 3%. Overall results were driven by a favourable economic environment and strong outbound demand from major source markets. Based on current trends, economic prospects and the UNWTO Confidence Index, UNWTO forecasts a growth of 3% to 4% in international tourist arrivals worldwide in 2019, more in line with the historical growth trends.  

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India becomes fastest growing domestic aviation market 4th year in a row: IATA

The domestic aviation market in India has registered the fastest growth for the fourth year in a row in 2018, according to a recent report by International Air Transport Association (IATA). The year-end aviation data analysis by IATA revealed, “The India domestic market recorded the fastest full-year domestic growth rate for the fourth year in a row (18.6 per cent), followed by China (11.7 per cent).” In fact, India recorded its 50th consecutive month of double-digit annual growth in October. Other than India and China, Russia (9 per cent), USA (5.1 per cent) and Brazil (4.8 per cent) were among the top five fastest growing domestic air travel markets. According to the IATA report, globally, revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose by 6.5 per cent in 2018, slower than the 8 per cent growth registered in 2017.  

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IndiGo to offer special extra baggage rates to IATO members

In a mutual agreement with Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) to benefit the travel trade, IndiGo is set to provide special extra baggage rates exclusively for IATO members. Keeping in view the free baggage allowance of 23 kgs allowed by international airlines into India, IndiGo has agreed to extend special prepaid excess baggage rates for the members of IATO, when they are handling foreign tourists on the airline’s domestic network. During the IATO Interactive Luncheon Meeting organised in Delhi, Rajiv Mehra, Vice President, IATO informed, “With reference to our meetings and points discussed with IndiGo, we are pleased to extend this facility to all our members. Tourists can avail 8 kg of extra baggage for a special rate of Rs 1000. Likewise for 15 kg extra baggage, they can avail the facility by paying just Rs 1500. By informing the concerned authority before 72 hours of date of travel, IATO members can avail this facility.” The bimonthly IATO luncheon meeting was aimed at discuss key issues about the association’s activities and its deliberations on future event. On the occasion, IATO invited Ashwani Lohani, Former CMD, Indian Railways Board and former CMD, Air India to bid farewell to him, who superannuated from his services on December 31, 2018. Mehra also shared details about the celebration of IATO Annual Day on February 17, 2019 at Heritage Village Resort & Spa, Manesar.

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HRANI Conclave in Lucknow on February 16 to promote eco-friendly practices

The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Northern India (HRANI) is set to organise its next conclave in Lucknow on February 16, 2019. Set to be held at Taj Mahal, Lucknow, the conclave will be inaugurated by Justice D P Singh, Chairman, Uttar Pradesh Solid Waste Management Monitoring Committee. The theme of the conclave ‘Environmental Concerns of Hospitality Industry’ is chosen to promote ecotourism by adopting environment-friendly practices. Dr Anita Bhatnagar Jain, Additional Chief Secretary, Food Safety and Drug Administration Dept., Govt of Uttar Pradesh; Anurag Yadav, Secretary, Urban Development, Government of Uttar Pradesh, and I K Kapila, Advocate & Solicitor, Techno-Legal Environmental Consultant will be gracing the event as guest speakers. The topics for discussion during the upcoming HRANI Conclave – Applicable SWM and plastic waste disposal rules and role of stakeholders in effective implementation of plastic and solid waste management – aim towards spreading awareness on the environment-friendly practices that hotels can adopt.

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MOT appoints ABTO in National Tourism Advisory Council to promote Buddhist tourism

The Association of Buddhist Tour Operators (ABTO) has been appointed as Advisor in National Tourism Advisory Council (NTAC) after Ministry of Tourism nominated the association to the council for preserving heritage monuments and promoting Buddhist tourism in the country. Thanking the Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism, KJ Alphons for imparting the accolade, Dr Kaulesh Kumar, Secretary General, ABTO said, “ABTO is the platform for all tourism service providers and others stakeholders engaged in the promotion of Buddhist pilgrimage tourism in India, Nepal and other Asian countries. From the last four years, our association is working hard to promote, protect and preserve Buddhist monuments and pilgrimage sites around the Buddhist circuit on national and international level. We are trying to raise awareness among tourists about the importance of these heritage sites. We also organise heritage walks around these monuments so that people can get to know more about the cultural and historical significance of Buddhism in India.” “With all these initiatives, we are aiming to increase the tourist footfall in the Buddhist sector. I am happy that our work has been appreciated by the Ministry and we have been nominated to NTAC. We also organised the first-ever International Buddhist Travel Mart in Bodh Gaya for the travel trade. After receiving appreciation from the industry, ABTO is now going to organise roadshows in nine countries- Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Japan starting from April 2019. It will provide a good platform to everyone, who is looking to promote Buddhist tourism on an international level.”

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45,000 new aircraft to be delivered globally between 2018 and 2040

Over the next two decades, the global commercial aircraft fleet size is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 4 per cent. Around 45,000 new aircraft are likely to be delivered globally between 2018 and 2040, suggests a report ‘Vision 2040 for the civil aviation industry in India’ by FICCI and KPMG. The growth will be driven by socioeconomic changes in emerging economies, especially in India, China, South East Asia and the Middle East. These factors include rising incomes and aspirations, lower oil prices, fierce competition between airlines and increasing value of ‘time’. For India, Boeing raised its long-term forecast for commercial airplanes to 2,300 new jets – valued at $320 billion – over the next 20 years. Nearly 84 per cent of those are expected to be narrow bodies. According to Boeing, with more than 5 per cent of the world’s fleet expected to operate in India by 2037, commercial services like flight training, engineering and maintenance and digital analytics etc., will be the key drivers of growth. In the South Asian market, including India, Boeing forecasts a commercial services market valued at USD 430 billion over the next 20 years.

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