Category Archives: Associations

UNWTO forms Global Tourism Crisis Committee, to release recommendations for recovery in response to COVID-19

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation has formed a Global Tourism Crisis Committee in response to the global outburst of COVID-19 and several countries announcing lockdown. In the coming days, UNWTO will release a set of recommendations for recovery. The document will highlight the steps governments and other authorities need to take to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism sector and to then accelerate recovery. The UNWTO-led Committee will hold regular virtual meetings, reflecting the need for coordinated and efficient action by the private and public sectors, governments and  international financing institutions. The world tourism body further emphasise the call for international cooperation to underscore a united response based on latest public health recommendations and reflecting the deep economic ripple effect and social cost of the pandemic.  

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Poona Hoteliers appeal to Chief Minister for interim relief amidst COVID-19 crisis

The Poona Hoteliers Association, taking cognisance of the situation owing to the COVID-19 infection and steps taken by the Government to curb the spread of infection has written to the Hon’ble Chief Minister on behalf of its member Hotels, Restaurants and allied Institutions seeking relief given the huge losses facing the industry. The plea highlights the critical state that hoteliers and hospitality professionals find themselves due to dwindling revenues and pressures to service debt and fulfil financial obligations towards the government. PHA has also sent copies of the appeal to relevant departments like the Tourism Ministry, Maharashtra, Commissioners of PMC and PCMC and the Hon’ble Collector of Pune. Poona Hoteliers Association (PFA) is a non-profit entity working in the interest of industry stakeholders. In the light of the drastic fall in occupancies and customers at the restaurants, PHA in its submission has requested the Government for assistance in offering relief in licence fees, levies, taxes, duties and GST on various amenities including electricity, fuel, excise and municipal levies to tide over the current crisis. “Our effort is merely to draw the attention of the Government towards the plight of Hoteliers and the industry, which is the single largest generator of employment in the Country. A favourable consideration will help the industry save several jobs, which are under threat right now, apart from keeping several ancillary businesses afloat. There are many families dependent upon employment generated directly by the industry and we only seek to do our bit to ensure we keep the kitchen fuel burning in their homes”, said Sharan Shetty, President of PHA. PHA members include over 90 major star and independently operated Hotels and Hotel Management Institutes in …

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FHRAI advises members to refund travel agents

Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Association of India (FHRAI) has requested their members to refund 100% deposit on bookings made by travel agents. Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President, FHRAI, and President of HRAWI, has said, “We have advised all our hotel members to give 100 per cent refunds to the travel agents through whom the bookings have come. Some of them may have not done so. But they are definitely deferring the dates. We have advised them not to do this because at the time of crisis to gain the confidence of the guest, one must offer immediate and 100 per cent refund whenever asked for. Of course, deferment of dates is already there. We request the travel agents to try and influence the airlines – certain airlines have not been kind enough to refund. They are only offering a change of date. Unfortunately, that is not how it will work specially at a time like this. We are a service industry and customers are of prime importance.”

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IATO election: Last date for withdrawing nominations today

Nominations for IATO election, scheduled on 25th April at The Ashok New Delhi, have been released. The last date of withdrawal is today by 3pm. As of now, for the position of the President, there have been five nominations— Rajiv Mehra, Uday Tours & Travels; Amaresh Tiwari, AT Seasons & Vacations Travel; Lally Mathews, Divine Voyages; Rajesh Mudgill, Planet India Travels and EM Najeeb, Air Travel Enterprises. For Senior Vice President, the nominations are— EM Najeeb, Air Travel Enterprises; Lajpat Rai, Lotus Trans Travel; and Sarab Jit Singh, Travelite (India). For Vice President, nominations have been received from Raj Bajaj, Perfect Travels & Tours; Ravi Gosain, Erco Travels; Amaresh Tiwari, AT Seasons & Vacations Travel; Arun Anand, Midtown Travels; Lally Mathews, Divine Voyages; Rajesh Mudgill, Planet India Travels; and Lajpat Rai, Lotus Trans Travel. For Hony. Secretary, nominations have been received from Rajnish Kaistha, Paradise Holidays India; Raj Bajaj, Perfect Travels & Tours; Ravi Gosain, Erco Travels; Amaresh Tiwari, AT Seasons & Vacations Travel; Lally Mathews, Divine Voyages; Rajesh Mudgill, Planet India Travels; and Sanjay Razdan, Razdan Holidays. For Hony. Treasurer, the nominations have been received from Rajnish Kaistha, Paradise Holidays India; Viney Tyagi, Uni Crystal Holidays; Ravi Gosain, Erco Travels; Arun Anand, Midtown Travels; Sunil Mishra, Cosmos Tours & Travels; Atul Rai, Ananya Tours; Tony Marwah, Indian Travel Promotion Company; and Sanjay Razdan, Razdan Holidays. For Hony. Joint secretary, Rajnish Kaistha, Paradise Holidays India; Raj Bajaj, Perfect Travels & Tours; Viney Tyagi – Uni Crystal Holidays; Sunil Mishra, Cosmos Tours & Travels; Atul Rai, Ananya Tours; Tony Marwah, Indian Travel Promotion Company; Sanjay Razdan, Razdan Holidays; and Naresh Sharma – Inpac Tours. For EC Members – Active (5 posts), …

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Tourist arrivals may decline by up to 3% & APAC to be most affected, says UNWTO

UNWTO has revised its 2020 prospects for international tourist arrivals to a negative growth of 1-3 per cent, translating into an estimated loss of US$ 30 to 50 billion in international tourism receipts. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, UNWTO predicted a positive growth of 3-4 per cent for this year. This first assessment expects that Asia and the Pacific will be the worst affected regions, with an anticipated fall in arrivals of 9-12 per cent. Estimates for other world regions are currently premature in view of the rapidly evolving situation. UNWTO underscores that any estimate must be treated with caution and is likely to be updated.

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Only 4% confirmed meetings impacted by virus outbreak, rest continue as scheduled: ICCA report

According to a recent analysis by International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) on COVID-19’s impact on the meetings industry, 95.9 per cent of the confirmed meetings in Asia Pacific scheduled for 2020 were not affected by the virus outbreak. This accounted for 1,021 of the 1,065 meetings confirmed. The analysis also states that only 44 meetings scheduled for Asia Pacific were affected by COVID-19, accounting for only 4.1 per cent of the total. While 34 of these meetings were postponed, 10 were either relocated or cancelled. Outside Asia Pacific, two meetings in Europe and one in Africa are postponed. “We believe the international meetings industry can play its part in finding a solution to the current COVID-19 outbreak. International meetings represent the best possible vehicle for addressing this and many other global issues. As an industry, we must demonstrate resilience and confidence by maintaining to the greatest extent possible our ongoing schedule of activities – and where this is not possible, by working collaboratively to develop alternatives that help maintain the exchange of information and insights that account for the benefits we believe to result from this kind of engagement,” says ICCA President, James Rees.

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150 aircraft, including almost all of the international fleet, could be grounded soon: CAPA India

CAPA India’s preliminary estimates for the near-term impact on the Indian industry states that as a result of the significant reduction in flying, Indian carriers may initially ground around 150 aircraft (including almost all of the international fleet), with this number expected to increase as more domestic operations are curtailed over the coming weeks. Based on the latest cancellations, international capacity is currently estimated to be down by 60-70 per cent year-on-year, although the situation is evolving on a daily basis. India has banned entry by all foreign nationals (with some very limited exceptions) until at least April 15, 2020. Foreigners account for around 25 per cent of international air travellers to/from India. However, India has also blocked the entry of its own nationals from the European Union and several other countries, and has advised its citizens not to travel overseas. If the decline in traffic continues to be severe, the majority of the fleet could be grounded by April.

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FHRAI launches new short-term skill development courses

Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President, Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) and President of HRAWI, has said that the association’s hospitality institute has launched new courses that were to start from March 2020. He says, “We have an institute called FIHM, which is short for FHRAI IHM in Greater Noida and keeping the demand for shorter courses in mind and so many new trends emerging, we have introduced short-term courses on FOSTAC and FSSAI that involve skill development. This is also something that the government is pushing. We have these courses ready and they were due to start immediately but now we have kept it on hold because of the unfortunate coronavirus situation. We will start them as soon as it comes under control. Apart from short-term courses, we also have the regular courses but we have stressed in these short courses as that’s the need of the hour. There will be guest lecturers and visiting facility for this as well.”

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FHRAI requests government concessions to save hospitality sector

In a letter to PM Modi, Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India, (FHRAI), has requested the following concessions for the industry because of the health pandemic. Firstly, a complete GST holiday for 6 months (Central and State Level). Second deferment for fiscal statutory compliance deadlines such as payment of direct or indirect taxes. Thirdly the deferment for repayment of loans, Bank Emi’s etc for a period of 6 months. Fourthly the reduction of bank interest rate by almost 200 basis points with immediate full transmission for working capital. The Hospitality industry is a labour intensive one and is the biggest employment generator of both direct and in direct jobs, and, therefore, the industry has to take care of a large number of employees. On top of that, the hospitality Industry requires a lot of working capital, which is seriously hit by almost 90% of both larger establishments and budget hotels and restaurants, and to pay taxes such as advance tax and GST. Now, in an event of such a pandemic, we have been managing the system with our own cash reserves. In addition to that, a lot of hoteliers have taken loans to construct and run their establishm·ents, and, in such a state, adhering to the on-time payment of EMI’s or the re-payment of loans seems an onerous task.

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FAITH shares regular updates with PMO & MOT on COVID-19 impact on industry

Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) has been sharing a regular updates with the Ministry of Tourism(MOT) and Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on the impact of COVID-19 on the industry and apprise the Government on the effect of the outbreak has been till now. The update letter reads, “This is one of the worst crisis ever to hit the Indian tourism industry  impacting all its geographical segments – inbound, outbound & domestic, almost all tourism verticals— leisure, adventure, heritage, mice, cruise, corporate & niche segments. The whole tourism value chain across hotels, travel agents, tour operations, destinations, restaurant, family entertainment venues & air, land & sea transportation.” – Inbound foreign tourism of $ 28 bn + in value terms accounts for on an average basis almost 60-65%  between October to March. As the news of the virus started picking up from November, the percentage  of cancellations started going up in this segment exponentially and is reaching a peak of almost 80% now in March in many Indian locations. The value at risk from this segment will be in multiples of tens of thousands of crores. – The forward bookings for the inbound season of October 2020 – March 2021, which should have started picking are all muted.  These are showing highly discouraging signs with cancellations of important global travel marts which are marketplaces for contracting for the next season. – The value of NRI segment from developed markets whose major season for visit to their families and relatives is around 60% + during April to September. There are reports of large-scale forward cancellations from these and unless the progression of the virus stops the almost entire value …

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