Category Archives: Associations

KTM urges government to address tax anomalies

The Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) Society has expressed serious concern over high rates of taxation under the new GST regime, saying it would stifle the tourism business in the country by making it unsustainable and drive away the foreign tourists to destinations other than India. A KTM delegation, led by President Abraham George along with Prof KV Thomas, MP, held meetings with Union Tourism Minister Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Tourism Secretary Rashmi Sharma, the GST Council Chairperson and officials of the Union Finance Ministry and GST Council, drawing their attention to the serious anomalies in the GST, which would throw the tourism industry into a major crisis. The delegation included Riaz Ahmed, past president of KTM and Jobin Jose, who represented the houseboat industry. “The high incidences of taxes will make India uncompetitive when it comes to tourism as international tourists will skip the country as a destination. There is almost a 19 per cent tax hike for an Indian product after the implementation of GST. The Centre should address the issue urgently,” said KTM president Abraham George. The industry has already been reeling under the impact of demonetisation and liquor ban on highways, he said, adding that implementation of GST has also started adversely impacting the business. KTM has also shot off a memorandum to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, pointing out that that ‘the new GST structure is the highest in the world’ and is ‘seriously affecting the sustainability of tourism business.’ In the memorandum, the KTM president appealed to the Centre to reduce the tax for hotels from 28 per cent to 18 per cent, substantially bring down the tax on houseboats and declare tax holiday for inbound …

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Skål India to now focus on Young Skal for growth

Skål India has a new focus area. It will look to Young Skål club for its next wave of growth. Informing this is Partha Chatterjee, President, Skål Mumbai who said, “Skål India has now crossed 1,000 member mark with Nikita Dossa – who is a Young Skål member – as its 1001st member from Bombay Skål Club. Most of the Skål clubs in India are now promoting Young Skål, with events structured specifically for them. This is because we expect the next area of membership growth will be from Young Skål.”

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ATOAI Convention in Kumarakom from Sept 18-21

Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) will host its 13th annual convention at Backwater Ripples Resort in Kumarakom, Kerala, from September 18-21, 2017. The theme of the convention-Emerging Pathways will focus on making India as the adventure capital of the world. The convention will provide a platform for key stakeholders of the industry including representatives of the government, tourism boards and other players, to deliberate upon adventure tourism policy, capacity creation, responsible tourism and marketing of this segment.

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1st Odisha Travel Bazaar from Oct 15-17 in Bhubaneswar

The Department of Tourism, Government of Odisha in collaboration with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry  (FICCI) is organising the first Odisha Travel Bazaar (OTB) on October 15-17, 2017, at Bhubaneswar. According to Sanjeev Kumar Mohanty, Head, FICCI-Odisha State Council, there will be around 40 foreign tour operators, 10 top of the line inbound operators, 20 leading domestic tour operators from across India and 5 leading airlines participating as hosted buyers. The Tourism fraternity of Odisha comprising of hotels and tour operators will be promoting the tourism products of Odisha as sellers. “There will be an inaugural session and a day of B2B and B2G meetings to allow interaction between the buyers and sellers and showcase the tourism potential of Odisha,” said Mohanty. The objective of this event is to create a platform to aggressively promote the tourist destinations of Odisha to its buyers from India and across the world. Consequently the strategic focus would be on inbound and domestic tourism. OTB also plans to address investment opportunities in tourism infrastructure of the state to its target investors.

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WTTC appoints new President & CEO

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has announced the appointment of Gloria Guevara Manzo as its new President and CEO. She served as Secretary of Tourism for Mexico and CEO of the Mexican Tourism Board from 2010 to 2012, minister in the cabinet of President Calderón. Prior to that, she worked for global distribution system Sabre where most recently she was CEO of Sabre Mexico, reporting to the board of directors of a joint venture between Aeroméxico, Mexicana and Sabre Holdings. She is currently Special Advisor on Government Affairs for the Centre on Health and the Global Environment at the School of Public Health, Harvard. Announcing Guevara’s appointment, Gerald Lawless, WTTC Chairman, said “Gloria is a proven leader who is well known and well respected within the global Travel & Tourism sector. I am delighted that she will lead WTTC into the next phase of its development. She was chosen from a competitive field of international candidates. With a career encompassing senior roles across private sector, government and academia, she brings a unique combination of experience and expertise.”

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1200 delegates expected at IATO Convention in Bhubaneswar

More than 1200 delegates are expected to attend the 33rd annual convention of IATO, scheduled to be held from September 7-10, 2017, in Bhubaneswar, informed Lally Mathews, Honorary Secretary, IATO and Co-chairman of IATO Convention. Speaking at a luncheon organised by IATO at Eros Hotel New Delhi, Nehru Place, Mathews further added that the theme for the convention this year is ‘India Tourism- Time to reinvent ourselves,’ and Mayfair Bhubaneswar will be the host for the convention. “Odisha offers everything, be it beaches, pilgrimage, hill station, wildlife, shopping, Ayurveda and medical tourism etc. and these are our main consideration to have our convention in Odisha and see these products. Concurrently with our convention, there will be an India Travel Mart which is an opportunity for exhibitors to showcase exciting and diverse range of destinations and conference venues,” said Mathews. Ashok Chandra Panda, Minister of Tourism and Culture (I/C), Government of Odisha, said, “We hope to offer all support to IATO to make their convention a success. There has been a lot of development on the tourism front in Odisha from the last time when IATO held its convention in Bhubaneswar in 2008 and we hope to showcase the state’s various tourism circuits to the delegates through the post fam tours.”

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TAAI-SR and TAAI South Tamil Nadu Chapter elect new teams for 2017-19

TAAI Southern Region has elected K. Shahul Hameed (Director, Al-Awhad Travels) as its new Chairman for the period 2017-2019. S. Sakthi Vadivel (Managing Director, Sansar Tours) has been elected as the Secretary, while N. Karunakaran (Managing Director, Vaigai Wings) is the new Treasurer of TAAI-SR. Meanwhile, TAAI South Tamil Nadu Chapter has elected G. Ravichandar (Executive Director, Trichy Airshine Tours & Travels) as their Chairman for the term 2017-2019. The new secretary for South Tamil Nadu Chapter is N. Ravichandran (Managing Director, Sky To Sea Tours & Travels) and G. Ravindran (Managing Director, Sky Wing India Tours & Travel) is the Treasurer.

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Sameer Karnani elected as Chairman, TAAI Western Region

The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) Western Region Chapter has chosen Sameer Karnani, Director, Arunodaya Travels, and currently serving as the Secretary for the Chapter, as the new Chairman for the Western Region for the new term. Revealing this is Sampat Damani, current Chairman – Western Region, TAAI. “The election for the Western Region was conducted on July 24, 2017. Madhuri Kanga, Treasurer, TAAI – Western Region and myself have stepped down. Sameer Karnani has been elected as the new Chairman and Rajesh Poddar, has taken over as the Secretary. Dharmesh Shah of Dadyson Travels, will be the new Treasurer,” he says. He added that the national elections will be held around the third week of September 2017. He continues to serve as the Chairman of the region until the national elections are held, post which the new team will take over.

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ADTOI Convention @ Novotel Visakhapatnam Varun Beach from Nov 17-19

The Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI) announced the host property for its annual convention- Novotel Visakhapatnam Varun Beach. Rajat Sawhney, Vice President, ADTOI, is the Chairman for the convention, while Dalip Gupta, Hony. Joint Secretary, ADTOI will be the co-Chairman for the convention, which is scheduled for Nov 17-19, 2017. While the convention hotel is finalised, ADTOI is currently in talks with other hotels in Vizag as well as with airlines to come up with final packages for the delegates.  

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IAAI’s convention from Sept 14-17 in Kochi

The IATA Agents Association of India (IAAI) will conduct its national convention – ICON 2017 – from September 14-17, 2017 at the picturesque Cherai Beach located 25 km from Kochi City. It will be held as a three nights-four days event with the theme ‘Travel Agents by 2030 – Protocols Redefined’. Biji Eapen, National President, IAAI, says, “As travel agents are just coming to grips with the newly implemented GST, it will form one of the prime issues for discussion since airline commission is going to be crucial for their survival. The additional BSP charge of US$30 per month imposed by IATA since April 2017 has come at a time when airlines are still denying commission to their own appointed travel agents. As implied by the ICON 2017 Theme, IAAI is all set to launch ‘i-Top’ (Indian Travel-Agents Own Portal), a new revenue model that would safeguard the interests of its members from all the present challenging market conditions.”

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