Category Archives: Associations

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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ADTOI begins new chapter in Maharashtra

The Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI)  recently started a new chapter for the state of Maharashtra in order to garner more strength from the western India chapter. The new team will be led by Dharmendra Singh as the chapter Chairman. Yogesh Lele is the new Secretary General and Nilesh Sharma from Nasik is the Treasurer for the new chapter. PP Khanna, President, ADTOI, said, “We welcome the new team and can be rest assured that there will be some activity and engagement from the western region of India. We will look at opening more state-wise chapters in this region so that the association has a national presence.”

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Civil Aviation’s Maintenance, Repairs & Overhaul Association appeals to Finance Ministry to fix lop-sided tax policies

The Maintenance, Repairs & Overhaul (MRO) Association of India (MAOI) has appealed to the Finance Ministry to, on priority, fix the lop-sided tax policies to create a level playing field between the Indian MRO industry and foreign MROs. The MAOI has stated that in the current financial year 2018 -19, the industry has registered negative growth. With 90 per cent of the MRO requirements of India being imported, the import driven policy has lost 90,000 direct jobs to countries like Sri Lanka, Singapore, Thailand, France and Germany. The MAOI has made recommendations to the government for the future and growth of the Indian MRO industry: reduce GST for Indian MRO services to 5 per cent to bring it on par with foreign MRO services. Alternatively, customs duty on MRO services (where such capabilities exist in India as per DGCA CAR 145 approved organisations list) should be applied at 18 per cent on all imports and grant of ‘infrastructure’ status to MRO industry. Bharat Malkani, President, MAOI, says, “Based on data from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), the current fleet of 550 airliners is expected to grow to 1000 by 2023. The government is focused on creating new infrastructure and is encouraging domestic carriers to expand their fleet size. While this is a positive development for Indian Aviation, it has no bearing on its immediate ancillary MRO sector. This is because the present GST for importing MRO services to India is levied at 5 per cent, whereas the same services offered at home are taxed at GST of 18 per cent. Of the several requests we are making to the Ministry through the pre-budget memorandum, our highest priority is to have the GST …

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Kumbh 2019 to generate revenue worth Rs 1.2 lakh crore: CII

Underway from January 15 in Prayagraj, Kumbh Mela is expected to generate a revenue of Rs 1.2 lakh crore for Uttar Pradesh, says a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) report. Although the Kumbh Mela is spiritual and religious in nature, the economic activities associated with it generate employment for over six lakh workers across various sectors, CII said. The Uttar Pradesh government has allocated Rs 4,200 crore for the 50-day Kumbh Mela this time, thrice the budget of the Maha Kumbh in 2013. The hospitality sector aims at employing 2,50,000 people, airlines and airports around 1,50,000 and tour operators around 45,000. The employment numbers in eco-tourism and medical tourism are being estimated at 85,000, says a CII study. Apart from this, there will be around 55,000 new jobs in the unorganised sector comprising tour guides, taxi drivers, interpreters, volunteers, etc. This will lead to increase in income levels for government agencies and individual traders. Kumbh attracts foreign tourists from countries like Australia, the UK, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, New Zealand, Mauritius, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka. The ‘mela’ is expected to generate a revenue of Rs 1.2 lakh crore for Uttar Pradesh, while neighbouring states like Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh will also benefit from the enhanced revenue generation with many national and foreign tourists expected to explore other destinations. Rajesh Agarwal, state Finance Minister, said, “The UP government has allocated Rs 4,200 crore for 2019 Kumbh Mela. The previous state government had spent around Rs 1,300 crore for the Maha Kumbh, which was held in 2013.” Source: PTI

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Hotels in Sikkim boycott Go-MMT effective January 16, 2019

The Sikkim Hotels & Restaurants Association (SHRA) recently convened hoteliers’ meeting in Gangtok during which it was unanimously agreed to not continue conducting business with Go-MMT until the concerns were addressed and resolved. Effective January 16, 2019, hotels in the state have indefinitely closed inventory to the OTAs and have decided to not honour any new bookings that might come through. During the meeting, SHRA member hotels also decided to terminate their contracts with Go-MMT immediately. Pema Lamta, President, SHRA, said, “We are in solidarity with the country’s apex hospitality body – Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) and also our regional body – Hotel & Restaurant Association of Eastern India (HRAEI) in uniting against the OTAs’ unfair and discriminatory business practices. We have made an official appeal to all our members to not honour Go-MMT bookings from January 16, 2019, and have requested them to terminate their contracts with the OTAs immediately. However, we will accommodate guests who have already been booked through Go-MMT even after the 16th. We do not want our guests to be harassed or inconvenienced. However, they will be requested to make payments directly to the hotel instead of to the OTAs.” Many other hotel Associations across India have accused the said OTAs of charging exorbitant commissions, unfair accounting practices and unauthorised and further discounting of hotel prices set by hoteliers. The boycotting of the two online portals gained momentum after Ahmedabad Hotel Association had first raised the issue, which many other associations and hotels followed on later. “SHRA had earlier written to OTAs with concerns raised by local hotels and even held meeting with them. The association had raised specific concerns …

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India ranks second in domestic passenger traffic growth: IATA

The growth of India’s domestic air passenger traffic slowed in November but still managed to rise in double digits for the 51st consecutive month, according to International Air Transport Association (IATA). “India posted its 51st consecutive month of double-digit domestic RPK (revenue passenger kilometres) growth in November (13.3 per cent). This was the slowest pace in 16 months, but the bigger picture is that the strong upward trend in traffic remains in place,” IATA said in its air passenger market analysis for November 2018. According to IATA, India’s domestic air passenger volume, measured in RPK, was the second highest amongst major aviation markets like Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, Russia and the US. India’s domestic RPK in the month under review rose 13.3 per cent compared to the corresponding month of the previous year. Its domestic passenger traffic growth was second only to that of Russia at 13.8 per cent, followed by China at 7.2 per cent in the third place. “As we have argued before, strong gains in the domestic India market are being supported by structural changes, including ongoing rises in living standards, as well as large increases in the number of airport connections within the country. The latter translates into time savings and has a similar stimulatory impact on demand as reductions in fares,” IATA said. In terms of capacity, India’s domestic available seat kilometres (ASK) — which measures available passenger capacity — stood higher by 19.8 per cent in November, followed by that of Russia’s 10.9 per cent and China’s 10.2 per cent

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Meet The Folks Events to organise tourism exhibition from April 5-7 in Delhi

Meet The Folks Events (MTFE) has announced its first-ever consumer tourism fest and exhibition ‘Meet 2 Travel’ to be held in Delhi from April 5-7, 2019. Sharing the highlights of the event, Vineet Gopal, Founder, Meet The Folks Events, said, “MTFE has covered four major aspects of industries, where everyone can meet, connect and network with new people and transact business – ‘Creating Business Network’ is our tagline. “Meet 2 Travel  – M2T is providing a platform for travel companies to showcase their brand, services and products directly to their clients. In today’s time, one of the biggest challenges that organisations face is to source new clients when OTAs are taking a major market share. With our state-of-the-art B2C exhibition, M2T aims at providing helpful and successful solutions”, added Gopal. Megha Mittal, Project Head, Meet 2 Travel further mentioned, “M2T travel exhibition brings travel companies, tour operators and others on a single platform under the same roof. Exhibitors get a chance to meet and network with potential clients and customers and spearhead their business in the right direction of success. This exhibition is organised at some of the high footfall location of the city making it more accessible for the common people. The event will take place on weekends to ensure higher footfall. It is a win-win situation for tour operators and travel companies to be a part of this highly targeted exhibition. You get to meet clients and customers directly, highlight your services, and grow your business.”

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