Category Archives: Associations

TAAI to sign MoU with Malaysia

TAAI Western Region will sign an MoU with Malaysia Tourism on June 22, 2017 in Mumbai to offer training workshops to its members in the Western Region. The workshop is titled ‘Malaysia – Beyond KL’ and will be offered to frontliners and representatives of tour operators. The association also launched a concise booklet on Malaysia that features 1,001 packages and aims to serve as a ready-reckoner for agents who want to sell the destination. Sampat Damani, Chairman Western Region, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI)adds, “Fourteen states from Malaysia have worked out detailed packages in this booklet along with pricing. Agents just need to look at it.”

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IATO announces Chairman, Co-Chairman for Convention

The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) has finalised the Chairman and Co-chairman of their convention scheduled from September 7-10, 2017 at The Mayfair Convention Centre in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Rajiv Mehra, Vice President, IATO, is the Chairman, while Lally Matthews, Hon. Secretary, IATO, has been designated as the Co-Chairman for the convention. On their planning for the convention, Mehra said, “We are looking forward to an excellent convention, and discuss various issues like GST, role of social media, as well as how to get leads through websites and developing websites. Through sessions, we will be working towards the ultimate aim of telling our members how to grow their business. We are choosing topics through which we can do something for our medium and small sized operators.” Matthews, on the other hand, said, “Right now we are trying to get the registrations started. Also, we are waiting for the GST roll out, so that the hotel rates can be finalised under the new regime.”

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2nd Odisha Tourism Conclave in Bhubaneshwar from June 17

Hotel & Restaurant Association of Odisha (HRAO) is organising the 2nd Odisha Tourism Conclave on June 17, 2017, at Hotel Swosti Premium, Bhubaneswar. The theme of the conclave is ‘Tourism to be the Driving Force of Future Economy’. The conclave will see discussions on different potential issues relating to tourism sector and the conclave is planned to cover sub themes like ‘Branding of Odisha’, ‘Infrastructure to boost Tourism’, ‘Richness of Eco & Wildlife Tourism’, ‘Creating Tourism Friendly Awareness’, ‘Media & Tourism’, ‘Social Media & Digital Marketing in Tourism Promotion’, ‘Advantages of Odisha Tourism Policy 2016’, ‘Planning From Smart City to Smart State’, ‘Odisha a Buddhist Tourism Circuit’ and ‘Enhancing Skills & Training in Hospitality Education in Tourism Promotion’. Dr. S. C. Jamir, Governor of Odisha,  is expected to inaugurate the Conclave in the morning and the valedictory ceremony will be attended by the Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in the evening of June 17, 2017, at the Swosti Premium Hotel, Bhubaneswar.

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Don’t let tourism suffer in Gulf crisis: UFTAA

Universal Federation of Travel Agents Association (UFTAA) has expressed concern over the impact on tourism of Gulf crisis due to Saudi–led grouping of Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE, Yemen and Maldives, cutting diplomatic ties with Qatar. Sunil Kumar, President, UFTAA, said, “UFTAA appeals to the involved countries to not involve Tourism at large and Aviation in specific for political purposes. Tourism is a vehicle for peace and understanding between nationals even if the politicians think otherwise. The right for free movement of people is very basic.” He was speaking on the sidelines of IATA’s Annual General Meeting at Cancun, Mexico.

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Goh Choon Phong is new IATA Chairman

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that Goh Choon Phong, CEO, Singapore Airlines, has assumed his duties as Chairman of the IATA Board of Governors (BoG) for a one-year term, effective from the conclusion of the 73rd IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Cancun, Mexico. Goh is the 76th Chair of the IATA BoG, and the third CEO of Singapore Airlines to hold this position. Goh succeeds Willie Walsh, CEO of International Airlines Group. Walsh will continue to serve on the BoG and the Chair Committee. “It is an honor to serve as IATA’s Chairman for the coming year. While the industry’s global profitability may be strengthening, there is more work to be done as it is not evenly spread. Security is at the top of the agenda. We must improve our partnership with governments to meet the many emerging threats. Additionally, I will be paying special attention to progressing preparations for the Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), driving the modernization of cargo processes, and increasing transaction volumes with the New Distribution Capability. We have a busy year ahead.  I look forward to working with Alexandre and his team to represent, lead and serve the airline industry,” said Goh. Goh joined Singapore Airlines in 1990 and held senior management roles in Singapore and overseas before being appointed CEO in 2011. He was President of the 68th IATA AGM which was held in Singapore in 2011 and has served on the IATA BoG since then. IATA also announced the BoG agreed to appoint Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways, to serve for a one-year term as Chairman of the IATA BoG from June 2018, following …

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TAAI signs agreement with South Africa Tourism to educate agents across India

South Africa Tourism (SAT) and Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) have once again entered into an agreement to offer training to travel agents across India. Learn SA in its seventh edition will hold training programs in over 17 cities in India where TAAI members are situated, starting from July 6-29, 2017. The schedule will cover Tier II and Tier III cities of India starting from Mumbai, Rajkot, Baroda, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Delhi, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Indore,  Nagpur, Pune and Goa. Mumbai and Delhi will host two sessions each. DMCs, hoteliers and other stakeholders of tourism from South Africa shall be a part of the B2B interactions and presentations made by SAT. Detailed presentations on itineraries and attractions in South Africa shall be made during each session. Hon. Secretary General of TAAI, Bettaiah Lokesh, says, “We shall be giving a ‘Certificate of Participation’ to each agent along with study materials.” Jay Bhatia, Hon. National Treasurer, TAAI, adds, “The training shall be open to all travel agents and professionals across the country who are already selling SA or have a potential to promote the destination to tourist. This shall be offered free of cost to the entire trade, so as to promote the destination and also to ensure continuous education and updates on tourism products.” This agreement was undertaken under the Preferred Partner Programme wherein destinations are promoted by TAAI to educate its members and the trade at large.

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IATO Maharashtra Chapter to convene in Karjat on June 21

The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) has announced that its Maharashtra Chapter will come together once again in Karjat on June 21. IATO’s National Committee along with Chairman of Western Region, N.S. Rathor are expected to present for this. Announcing this is Himanshu Agashiwala, Chairman, Maharashtra Chapter, IATO, who says, “Our Maharashtra chapter conducts at least four to five meetings in a year. One such meeting will be held on June 21 at Hotel Radisson Blu in Karjat. It is a day-long event and we have even invited our executive committee from New Delhi to join us. They might stay overnight. This will be third time that the executive committee from Delhi will be attending a Western Chapter meeting. They normally meet in Delhi itself. One of our members Arika Holidays has managed to get rooms and lunch at the hotel for our members.”

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10.7% growth in global air passenger traffic in April’17 over April’16

Global passenger traffic for April 2017 increased by 10.7 per cent as compared to April 2016, which was the fastest pace in six years, according to data provided by International Air Transport Association (IATA). The international passenger demand in April 2017 rose 12. 5 per cent as compared to April 2016, with all regions recording double-digit year-over-year traffic increases for the first time in 12 years. Total capacity climbed 7.7 per cent and load factor climbed 3.5 percentage points to 81.5 per cent. Demand for domestic travel climbed 7.7 per cent in April compared to April 2016, while capacity increased 6.2 per cent, causing load factor to rise 1.2 percentage points to 83.0 per cent. All markets reported demand increases with the exception of Australia, which showed a 2.1 per cent decline. IATA attributed the strong performance to a pick-up in global economic activity and lower airfares. After adjusting for inflation, the price of air travel in the first quarter was around 10 per cent lower than in the year-ago period and it was estimated that falling airfares accounted for around half the demand growth in April. However, it was also noted that the cabin ban on the carriage of large portable electronic devices (PEDs) from 10 Middle Eastern and African airports to the US seemed to have weighed down Middle East-North America passenger traffic. “April showed us that demand for air travel remains at very strong levels. Nevertheless there are indications that passengers are avoiding routes where the large PED ban is in place. As the US Department of Homeland Security considers expanding the ban, the need to find alternative measures to keep flying secure is critical. If the …

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TAAI hosts GST session for its members in Mumbai

Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) hosted a session on Goods and Services Tax (GST) for its members in Mumbai. Service Tax expert CA Manish Gadia from GMJ & Co gave an insight on how GST will come into play. TAAI has initiated GST training sessions in cities such as Kolkata, Ahmedabad and now Mumbai. Revealing more is Jay Bhatia, Hon. Treasurer & Tourism Council Chairman, TAAI. “By June 30, we plan to complete these sessions in all the 20 cities across the country where TAAI is present. Subsequently by July-August we will have detailed session as the government gives more clarity on GST. Currently, we are not happy with the GST rates and we will be making representation through FAITH to the government which is definitely going to be reviewed by the government but as of now the current intention of the government is to implement GST from 1st of July. Once it is implemented we have assurance from the government that they will look into the issues faced by agents and take the right steps,” he said. Sampat Damani, Chairman – Western Region, TAAI, commented, “Although we received notifications from the government but still a lot of things are not clear. With GST being very complex we see tourism and hospitality industry getting a big hit. Like demonetisation we may see day to day changes by the government which will be a chaos for the next 6-8 months. We were supposed to go into a paperless scenario but here with 37 returns to be filed annually we are taking a step backward instead of going forward.”

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