Category Archives: Associations

1,200 agents register for IATA workshop in 16 cities

Around 1,200 agents have registered for the IATA workshop on the IBSP billing system that is being jointly conducted by the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) and the Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) in co-ordination with IATA. The workshop which started from Delhi from September 14 will be held in 16 chapters across India until September 29, 2016. This will not just be for its members but for all IATA agents as well. These three-hour sessions aim to improve the participant’s overall understanding about the latest development and impending changes in the billing and settlement reports used in BSP. BSP India is scheduled to migrate its billing software to IATA’s single global software – IBSPs. This joint effort is aimed at getting all IATA-accredited agencies in India to get familiar with the new BSP reports.

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32nd IATO Convention begins in Chennai

The 32nd IATO Convention was inaugurated in Chennai today in the presence of Vinod Zutshi, Secretary-Tourism, Government of India, T.K. Ramachandran, Principal Secretary-Tourism, Culture, & Religious Endowments Department, Ministry of Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu, Thiru. Pandiarajan K, Ministry of School Education and Sports and Youth Welfare (responsible for archaeology), Government of Tamil Nadu, Thiru. Vellamandi N. Natarajan, Tourism Minister, Government of Tamil Nadu, Ashok Chandra Panda, Tourism and Culture Minister, Government of Odisha, and senior IATO officials. Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO, thanked the VIPs and the Chief Minister for having the convention in Tamil Nadu. Sarkar said, “Tamil Nadu has all the ingredients to attract tourism. Tourism is one of the major engines of economic growth in the world and has exceeded the automotive and oil industry. We organise IATO Convention to allow members to get a first-hand experience of the States and educate them about the services and offerings. I hope after this convention, Tamil Nadu will experience the growth in tourism as well.”

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PHD promotes tourism through films

According to a PHDCII report, 35% of Bollywood films were shot in India during 2014-2016, while 45% were shot abroad and 20% were shot both in India and abroad. Some of the popular foreign destinations for Bollywood film shootings include England, Thailand, UAE, and South Africa. In order to leverage Film Tourism in India, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, organised a conference – Global Conference on Film Tourism-India: The Focal Hub – at The Lalit on September 16. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Minority Affairs (I/C), Government of India, graced the conference as the Chief Guest. “We look forward to new ideas so that film tourism gets a new direction in India and promotes tourism in the country,” said Dr. Mahesh Gupta, President, PHD Chamber. Prominent film directors like Madhur Bhandarkar and Prakash Jha, Ambassadors from various countries including Czech Republic, Poland, Turkey, Vietnam, Austria, Romania and Latvia, government officials and travel agents were also present at the conference. An extensive study on tourism was released at the event.

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MTDC’s city-specific guide course to begin with Mumbai

The Maharashtra Chapter of IATO has convinced the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) to conduct city-specific guide courses, starting from Mumbai. N.S. Rathor, Chairman, Western Region IATO and Regional Chapter Chairman, says, “We met the Secretary of MTDC recently and spoke to him about the scarcity of guides that we experience in some cities, specially Mumbai. Fortunately, MTDC has agreed to start city-specific guide courses starting from Mumbai and then offering city-specific courses in Pune and Nasik. MTDC has said it will start the course from September end – October beginning but the dates have not yet confirmed.” IATO had been in talks with Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM) in Gwalior to offer their guide course in Mumbai since it was difficult for applicants to travel and stay away from home for six months, especially women. The institute had however agreed to offer their course at its Goa campus. Unfortunately, due to few applicants – only nine on the last count – the institute decided to cancel it as it was not viable.

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‘Brand India’ theme for FHRAI Convention in Indore

The Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) will pivot its 51st Annual Convention on ‘Brand India’. It will be held between September 22-24, 2016 in Indore. Revealing its objectives, Bharat Malkani, President, FHRAI, said, “The convention will encompass several sessions and panel discussions on subjects ranging from Innovative ways of Financing Hotels & Restaurants, Trends in Interior Design, Maximizing Food & Beverage Revenue using Technology and Deployment of Mobile Wallets & Digital Marketing. The discussion forums will provide an excellent opportunity for the participants to engage with key policy makers, business people from allied industries and inspirational entrepreneurs.” One facet of the convention will draw emphasis on accommodating the increasing tourist arrivals in the country. The hospitality industry plans to take up the challenge to set up the required tourism infrastructure for this and complement the Government’s efforts to make Brand India the beacon of growth in both products and services. Besides the inaugural session, business sessions, networking sessions and entertainment programmes, the three-day convention will concurrently run an exhibition featuring the latest products and technologies in hospitality.  

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PATA India Chapter secures Award of Excellence

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) India Chapter has bagged the PATA Award of Excellence 2016 which will be presented at the Welcome Board Dinner during the upcoming PATA Travel Mart. Commenting on the momentous occasion, Runeep Sangha, Executive Director, PATA India Chapter said, “It is a matter of great pride for us to be selected from 41 other chapters around the world to receive such a prestigious award. It underscores the commitments and efforts of our members, and their unending support to the tourism industry in India. Our focus is on value delivery to our members and we continue to strive for excellence for years to come.” PTM 2016 is scheduled to take place from September 7-9 in Greater Jakarta, Indonesia.

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Indian domestic airline market grows by 26.2%

According to IATA, India’s domestic passenger market ranks number four with a double-digit annual growth of 26.2 per cent and PLF level of 84.5 per cent in July. This has been propelled by strong growth in real consumer spending and because airlines are adding lots of airport-pairs and frequencies, which cuts journey times for passengers and has the same effect on demand as a large cut in fares. International traffic flown by Asia Pacific airlines rose by 9.8 per cent year-on-year in July, with signs that the upward trend in seasonally-adjusted traffic is reasserting itself. Reports suggest that Asian passengers are being put off by terrorism in Europe: traffic on the Europe-Asia route fell by 0.9 per cent year-on-year in June (latest available), and it has been the weakest-performing major route so far in 2016. It appears that Asian travellers may be substituting to destinations closer to home: international traffic growth within Asia accelerated to a four month-high of 8.1 per cent year-on-year in June.

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TAAI expects 600+ members at convention

The Travel Agents Association of India’s (TAAI) 63rd convention that will take place in Abu Dhabi from October 14-16, 2016 is likely to get about 600-700 delegates from across India. Jay Bhatia, National Treasurer and Chairman (Tourism Council), TAAI, revealed this, adding, “We are also expecting our overseas members to participate that include DMCs and operators from the UAE and the Middle East region. We are currently awaiting fares from airlines for the package that we are giving to members starting from Rs 24,900 plus registration per person on twin-sharing basis.” For four-star hotel stay, the package is from Rs 22,300 plus registration and airfare. TAAI has so far met Jet-Etihad, Emirates, and Oman Air. Abu Dhabi, he adds, was chosen because of its proximity to India and good connections from most major cities of India. “That way our members don’t waste time flying and members from all our regions and chapters can directly connect to Abu Dhabi or Dubai. The Abu Dhabi Tourism & Cultural Authority also came forward to offer us full support for the Indian Travel Congress,” Bhatia adds.

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TAAI UP & Uttarakhand to organise Badminton League in Lucknow

The Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand Chapter of the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) has announced a first-ever Badminton League that will be played in Lucknow on September 11, 2016.  Chapter Chairman, Sunil B. Satyawakta, said, “For the first time, our chapter will be organising a ‘TAAI Badminton League 2016’ and the prestigious trophy this year would be known as ‘Tigerair Cup’. Over 85 travel agents have registered themselves to play and include both TAAI members as well as non-members, staff and their family members, airlines and GDSs from all over Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Besides the players, we also expect a large number of our fellow agents visiting and cheering the players. It has been our endeavor to bring the fellow trade partners together so that they can bond, understand and interact.” The matches will be played at Babu Banarsi Das Badminton Academy in Lucknow on 11 September 2016. The TAAI Chapter has hired the entire academy, consisting of eight courts, for the day. Besides that, it will have the lawns for putting up the food court as well as a Selfie Point.  

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IATO Gujarat Chapter conducts meeting for members

The Gujarat Chapter of the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) recently conducted a networking event for all its members that saw a great turn-out. Jayendrasinh K Jhala, Chairman, IATO Chapter Gujarat, said, “We had a wonderful landmark gathering in Ahmedabad on July 27, 2016. We have an excellent harmony in our chapter and we saw maximum member recruitment this year with 25 new members in just seven months. Our Chapter also gets good support from the executive committee, president and the secretary of IATO.”  

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