Category Archives: Associations

International tourism – strongest half-year results since 2010

Destinations worldwide welcomed 598 million international tourists in the first six months of 2017, some 36 million more than in the same period of 2016. At 6 per cent, growth was well above the trend of recent years, making the current January-June period the strongest half-year since 2010. Visitor numbers reported by destinations around the world reflect strong demand for international travel in the first half of 2017, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Worldwide, international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) increased by 6 per cent compared to the same six-month period last year, well above the sustained and consistent trend of 4 per cent or higher growth since 2010. This represents the strongest half-year in seven years. Results are underpinned by robust growth in many destinations and a continuation of the recovery in those that suffered declines in previous years. Of UNWTO regions, growth was strongest in the Middle East (+9 per cent), Europe (+8 per cent) and Africa (+8 per cent), followed by Asia and the Pacific (+6 per cent) and the Americas (+3 per cent). The first half of the year usually accounts for about 46% of total annual international arrivals, with the second half longer by three days and including the Northern Hemisphere high season months of July and August. Growth was strongest in the Middle East (+9 per cent), Europe (+8 per cent) and Africa (+8 per cent), followed by Asia and the Pacific (+6 per cent) and the Americas (+3 per cent). “The first half of 2017 shows healthy growth in an increasingly dynamic and resilient tourism market, including a strong recovery in some of the destinations impacted by security challenges last year,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai ahead of the 22nd session …

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MOT to launch ‘Adopt a Heritage’ campaign soon

Tourism Secretary Rashmi Verma has said that the Government of India will soon announce a new ‘Adopt a Heritage’ campaign in association with Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). With an aim to encourage the corporate and private sectors to adopt a heritage monument, the campaign will give a boost to the heritage tourism circuit through public-private partnership. Verma announced this on the sidelines of IATO Convention underway in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. She also announced the second edition of Incredible India campaign, which will be market specific and will be based on India’s thematic circuits.

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33rd IATO Convention opens in Bhubaneswar

A high-level government delegation inaugurated the 33rd IATO Annual Convention in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, at Mayfair Convention Centre. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik along with Union Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism, Alphons Kannanthanam, Odisha’s Minister of Tourism and Culture Ashok Chandra Panda and Tourism Secretary Rashmi Verma were present during the inauguration. They announced that the 34th IATO convention will be held in Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. The Tourism Secretary spoke about the new campaign that the Government of India will announce soon. Called ‘Adopt a Heritage’ the campaign is aimed at the corporate and private sector to adopt a heritage monument in association with ASI.

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Bars, permit rooms re-open within city limits in Maharashtra

The Maharashtra State Excise Department has issued a notification to all concerned authorities to begin reissuing or renewing licences of bars and permit rooms affected by the highway liquor ban, which had come into effect from April 1, 2017. The move comes on the back of the Supreme Court’s clarification regarding the non-applicability of ban on sale of alcohol in hotels and restaurants within municipal limits. The notification states, effective September 4, 2017, any liquor vend or liquor serving establishment that may have been affected by the ban can apply for renewal of their licences after providing the required documents and paying the necessary fees. Dilip Datwani, President, Hotel & Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI), reveals, “In the last five months, the industry has suffered a loss of roughly Rs. 5000 crore and this is only in the State of Maharashtra. The notification will provide relief to approximately 25,000 restaurants and 5,000 hotels operating on the State and National Highways and which fall under either Municipal Corporations or City Councils or Cantonment Boards or Town Municipalities. HRAWI will continue to work in the best interest of the industry and wishes all its stakeholders a speedy recovery.”

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ASSOCHAM identifies challenges and solutions in aviation

ASSOCHAM, in collaboration with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, hosted the 10th International Conference Cum Awards on Civil Aviation, Cargo and Tourism, in New Delhi, where leaders of tourism, cargo and aviation industries deliberated on opportunities and challenges under the UDAN scheme; opportunities and challenges of cargo industry; roadmap for development of new airports; and also, the impact of GST on civil aviation, cargo and tourism sectors. Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Government of India, who was the Guest of Honour, addressed the gathering and said “We are very fortunate that we have hit a price point and a comfort level where everyone wants to fly today. We know that the value proposition of flying is very good. Flying is actually as cheap as Rs. 5-6 per km, almost equivalent to travelling in an auto rickshaw. India has the largest order book for new aircraft. Currently, we operate around 500 aircraft, which we plan to take to 1350 in the next 10 years. In UDAN round 1, in one year we added 31 new airports to the aviation sector.” Other dignitaries present at the conference included Sandeep Jajodia, President, ASSOCHAM; K Narayan Rao, Chairman, ASSOCHAM National Council on Civil Aviation; Pawan Kumar Agrawal, Senior President – Corporate Finance Infrastructure Banking, YES Bank; O.P. Singh, Director General, Central Industry Security Force (CISF); and Kamal Hingorani, Co-Chairman, ASSOCHAM National Council on Civil Aviation.

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TAFI convention at two destinations in Turkey

The Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) will conduct its annual convention in two different places in Turkey this year – a first for any travel trade association. One part of the convention will be held in Dalaman and the other one in Antalya. The convention, which is to be held from Oct 27-31, 2017, has been split between two destinations so as to enhance the members’ experience of Turkey.

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Delhi Tourism and PHD Chambers dwell upon measures to augment tourism in Delhi

Looking to establish Delhi as a prime tourist destination, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in association with Delhi Tourism, held an interactive conference at the PHD House, New Delhi. The deliberations focused on the various OUVs (Outstanding Universal Values) that the city possesses and the various measures, including policy matters, that are needed to bring forth Delhi as a destination rich in history, culture and various forms of art, as well as a political and business destination. Speaking at the occasion, Guest of Honour, Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism, Art, Culture and Language, Government of Delhi, said, “Tourism is not just about successful branding; we need massive collaborations to create, manage and sell efficiently. The impetus should be on creating circuits, infrastructure and activities to extend the average length of stay of a tourist.” From adding dimensions in order to better practice heritage conservation to introducing a heritage-centric strategy to reinvent the ecosystem of the city, the conference discussed about a makeover of the city that would augment tourism in the city and strengthen the overall economic framework of the city in the process. The forum also laid stress on the need for more result-oriented heritage projects and for synergies to be created between private and public players to establish the image of Delhi as a modernised city rooted in the history and culture of its people.

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TAFI convention in Turkey from Oct 27-31

Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) has announced Turkey as the venue for its next convention, which will be held from October 27-31, 2017. The 4-night, 5-day convention is planned to be held at two different locations in Turkey and entail pre- and post-convention tours for the delegates, according to an official document released by the association. However, their names have still not been announced.

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Skål International Delhi becomes the largest Club in the world

Skål International Delhi has surpassed Skål International Istanbul to become the largest club in the world; this was announced by Sunil Ghadiok, President, Skål International Delhi. With a current membership sitting of 229 members, the Club is targeting a total membership count of close to 300 by the end of the calendar year. Commenting on the this accomplishment, Ghadiok exclaimed, “It’s not so much about being the largest club in terms of membership rather it’s about bringing value to the members of the club both in terms of professional and personal aspects of their life”. He also added that the club will be starting various initiatives along with making efforts into bringing in the younger generation to further substantiate the Delhi club.

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UNWTO launches ‘Travel.Enjoy.Respect’ campaign

In the framework of the International Year on Sustainable Tourism for Development, 2017, the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) is launching a consumer-oriented campaign aimed at raising awareness of the value and contribution that sustainable tourism can make towards development. The ‘Travel.Enjoy.Respect’ campaign wants to engage tourists in making the sector a catalyst for positive change. The main message of the campaign is summarised by the UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai: “Whenever you travel, wherever you travel, remember to: respect nature, respect culture, and respect your host. You can be the change you want to see in the world. You can be an ambassador for a better future. Travel, Enjoy and Respect.” The campaign, which will run in various languages and outlets around the world, includes a manual of ‘Tips for a Responsible Traveller’, developed by the World Committee on Tourism Ethics in line with the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. The manual provides travellers with a set of recommendations to help them make responsible choices when travelling and have a positive impact on the destinations they visit. “Today more than ever, ensuring that tourism is an enriching experience for visitors and hosts alike demands strong, sustainable tourism policies and practices and the engagement of national, as well as local, governments and administrations, private sector companies, local communities and tourists themselves,” added Rifai. The message will reach consumers through campaign supporters including among others CNN International, the Government of Andorra, the Madrid City Council, Iberia, the Spanish National Railways System (Renfe), Minube, PR MEDIACO, Cleverdis and Air Mauritius. Destinations and companies from around the world are invited to join the campaign and celebrate the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development …

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