Category Archives: Associations

PATA draws tourism spotlight on the island of Palau

The next edition of PATA New Tourism Frontiers Forum (NTFF) will be held in Palau from November 15-17, 2017. The event, generously hosted by the Palau Visitors Authority, consists of a one-day conference, networking events and a day of on-ground activities embracing a Technical Tour and Tourism Marketing Treasure Hunt. PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy stated, “On behalf of PATA, I would like to thank the Palau Visitors Authority for providing us the opportunity to showcase one of the most beautiful and pristine island paradises in the world.  The event will enable us to present the natural beauty, culture and heritage of this magnificent destination whilst also providing insights into how best to market lesser-known destinations and manage the increase in international visitor arrivals.” Nanae Singeo, Managing Director of Palau Visitors Authority, said, “We are extremely honoured that this important event is taking place next year in Palau. Palau is a small island nation of 20,000 people but known and recognised globally as a conservation leader. As the UNWTO has declared 2017 as the Year of Sustainability we could not ask for a better time to stage this event in Palau.” Palau is an island country located in the western Pacific Ocean. Comprising 586 islands, from the big island of Babeldaob to the smallest rock, approximately seventy-five percent of Palau is covered in native forest and mangrove. The country contains diverse terrain, flora and fauna, and a rich variety of wildlife.

Read More »

WTTC, UNWTO urge UK govt to lift air ban to Sharm el Sheikh

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) call on the UK government to lift the current ban on UK-based airlines flying to Sharm el Sheikh. In a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May, David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC, and Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General, UNWTO, stressed the importance of resuming operations to the Egyptian coastal resort as the current travel advisory is having devastating effects on the country’s economy and social stability. The ban has been in place since a Metrojet airline flying from Sharm el Sheikh to St Petersburg crashed in the Sinai Desert in October 2015. They said, “Travel & Tourism is vital to Egypt’s economy and social peace, contributing 11% of the country’s GDP and 2.6 million in jobs in 2015. The reduction of visitors has created huge employment losses. The country’s biggest concern is how the lack of employment opportunities, especially for young men and women, has instilled a desperate disposition and thus vulnerability to radicalisation or to fleeing on a refugee boat.” Egyptian authorities have taken significant measures to step up the level of security not only in the airport but in the surrounding area as well. These improvements now meet the safety standards as indicated by the UK Department for Transport. All other countries, including Germany and Russia, have allowed their airlines to start flying to Sharm el Sheikh again. They concluded, “It is devastating to see the impact the current UK travel advisory has on Egypt and on the young workforce in particular. We call on the UK government to review the advisory and allow commercial aircraft to fly to Sharm el Sheikh and thereby help restore the …

Read More »

FAITH proposes ‘Holiday in India’

At a recent pre-budget meeting with the Finance Ministry, FAITH proposed a tourism strategy — Holiday in India — on the lines of ‘Make in India’. FAITH has done a scenario analysis, which shows that under this strategy, Indian tourism can impact up to an estimated 12-16 crore jobs directly or indirectly from the current levels of approximately 4-5 crores. The tourism GDP can get impacted directly or indirectly up to 40 lakh crores from the current levels of around 7- 8 lakh crores. In a document released to its industry members, FAITH has said that the objective behind ‘Holiday in India’ is to make India a multi- season, multi-product, highly preferred tourist / business / conference destination for both the global and domestic tourists.

Read More »

ADTOI to start Rajasthan Chapter from Dec 10

Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI) will inaugurate its Rajasthan Chapter in Jaipur on December 10. Mahender Singh, Director, K K Holidays N Vacations, has been appointed the Chairperson, informed P. P. Khanna, President, ADTOI at the General House Meeting of the association. He said, “This is being coordinated with India Travel Mart-Jaipur 2016 which is being held from December 9-11. The ADTOI website is under construction and we will be launching the same around next month in order to improve connectivity between association members, the Ministry of Tourism and state tourism bodies. We are also in talks with various state tourism bodies to organise specialised programs for the members and are trying to reach out to the remotest corners of places like Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand to introduce our members to newer destinations and allow them to sell the products better.” Akshay Kumar, President, Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) was also present at the meeting. Khanna informed, “We are trying to collaborate with various associations in order to explore sectors that have not been focused upon till now like adventure travel”. He also added that that the association was joined with 30 members during Sept-Nov and more members are being enlisted in the organisation.

Read More »

Sunil Kumar re-elected as UFTAA President at 50th Congress

Sunil R. Kumar has been re-elected as the President of United Federation of Travel Agents’ Association (UFTAA) for the term 2016-17, at the association’s golden jubilee congress. UFTAA members gathered  in Istanbul on November 25 for the event. Welcoming the attendees at the congress, Kumar thanked TURSAB to invite them to the destination and arranging the event in Istanbul and assured that it would help boost inbound in the country. The theme of the congress is ‘Celebrate the Connect’. Kumar said that its necessary for different associations around the world to connect with each other and grow together. UFTAA also plans to have its global office in Doha, Qatar.

Read More »

Regional & State-level guides allowed at centrally protected monuments

All guides with licences issued by ASI and Additional Director General, Tourism, are valid and can enter all the Centrally Protected Monuments including Fatehpur Sikri, till fresh licences are issued under the new Policy, informs Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO quoting Supreme Courts’ order on IATO’s writ petition. IATO had sought clarification on the restricted entry of Regional Level Guides and State Level Guides at Fatehpur Sikri, where only local guides were being allowed to work. This was causing financial burden on IATO members as they had to pay guide fee to their Regional/State Level Guide and the local guide.

Read More »

‘Illegal implementation of BSP Link charges in India’

IATA-accredited travel agents all over India will soon be receiving invoices from IATA for the annual additional amount of $360 towards usage of the 2-tier BSP Link Access that is being implemented effective January 1, 2017. IAAI has contended that, though it is required under IATA Res. 818g, the new BSP Link charges in India have not been listed through the agenda and neither discussed or approved nor recommended by the APJC-India as per the IATA procedures. Hence IATA’s decision to charge $30 per month is totally illegal, arbitrary and unacceptable to the Indian Travel Agents Fraternity, said Biji Eapen, National President, IAAI National Board in an official release. Eapen affirms that IAAI will go “the whole nine yards” and attempt to get a reversal on this unwarranted action by IATA. On November 15, IAAI has communicated to the IATA Regional Director at Singapore requesting to take suggested actions immediately. The Government of India authorities and Ministry are also being alerted and notified on this subject matter. IAAI has been the only Travel Trade Association that has risen to the occasion on behalf of the IATA-accredited Travel Agents in India – as in the matter of getting the Rs.20 lakhs Minimum Guarantee withdrawn in 2002, in getting the High Court of Kerala and the DGCA to issue Orders mandating Travel Agency commission, in getting IATA to invoke force majeure for the BSP payment by Tamil Nadu Travel Agents during the thunderstorm calamity in Nov/Dec 2015 and, recently, in retaining the Insurance Guarantee system actively as the only alternative to the Joint Bank Guarantee system.

Read More »

Lack of policies stifling potential growth of Indian tourism: WTTC

India’s Travel & Tourism sector has a huge potential, but growth remains largely untapped due to a lack of a co-ordinated approach to tourism policies, said David Scowsill, President & CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). Speaking at the Hotel Investment Forum India in Mumbai, Scowsill highlighted that India’s Travel & Tourism sector has extraordinary potential and is forecast to grow by 7.5% per annum over the next decade. In 2015, Travel & Tourism contributed 6.3% to India’s GDP, which is well below the global average of 10%. Additionally, international arrivals were around 8 million visitors per year, which is substantially lower than other countries. China receives 57 million visitors annually and Thailand 30 million. “Travel & Tourism is growing in India, but it comes from a low base compared to other countries in Asia. With the forecast growth for domestic and international tourism, we now stand at a crossroads. Now is the time for India to take off and fulfil its potential,” Scowsill added. Scowsill stressed six priorities which WTTC believes the Government should address urgently, to boost domestic business and leisure travel and to dramatically increase international arrivals: 1. Put tourism at the heart of its economic agenda: the government must deliver on its 2014 manifesto promise to prioritise the sector as a driver of economic growth. 2. Agree a responsible rate of GST: rather than implement a level of 18% tax, a range of 9-14% would certainly boost the social and economic potential of the sector. 3. Invest more into the ‘Incredible India’ campaign: look at other sources of marketing monies, whether from visa fees or private sector matching funds. 4. Continue the electronic visa programme …

Read More »

PATA appoints Young Tourism Professional Ambassador

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has appointed Jie Cheng Wong as Young Tourism Professional Ambassador effective January 1, 2017. This new role has been created as part of the Association’s continuing commitment to the development of young tourism professionals. In her new role Wong reports to PATA’s Director – Human Capital Development Parita Niemwongse. “The development of human capital is one of our industry’s biggest challenges and it is vitally important that we engage and inspire the next generation of leaders,” said Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA. “JC joined our organisation as an Associate Intern before accepting a full-time position as Communications and Marketing Assistant. She is the perfect candidate to connect with dynamic young industry professionals and I am sure that she will revel in this new role as our Young Tourism Professional Ambassador.” PATA has established a new membership category exclusively for young tourism professionals and Wong’s activities will centre upon the launch and development of a programme of youth-centric activities throughout the year. She will also manage and further develop the network of PATA student chapters, working closely with the Association’s events team to ensure that students and young professionals are given the opportunity to attend and participate at PATA events. “We want tomorrow’s tourism industry leaders to have a platform today to share their views. PATA is committed to providing that platform and we look forward to creating many opportunities for positive engagement with this influential group, “added Dr. Hardy.

Read More »

HRANI advocated for 5% GST for hospitality and tourism sectors

Hotel and Restaurant Association of India (HRANI) has urged the government to classify tourism and hospitality businesses (hotels & resorts, tour operators, travel agents, tourism transport operators, convention centres, destination/ amusement/entertainment infrastructure creation companies) in the lower slab at 5 per cent. They have also asked the government to ensure zero per cent rating for foreign exchange earning tourism, travel & hospitality businesses. A meeting of HRANI Managing Committee was held at Wildflower Hall in Shimla on November 8, 2016, followed by a press meet. A representation on the same was submitted to Shrikant Baldi (IAS) Addl. Chief Secy. (Finance, Planning, Economics & Statistics, Twenty Point Programme). To discuss the same in details Sanjay Sood, President, HRANI and CEO, the Devicos, Shimla; Surendra Jaiswal, Hony Secretary and Garish Oberoi, Treasurer, HRANI and MC members of HRANI met V.C. Pharka, IAS Chief Secretary Tourism & Civil Aviation, Tribal Development, Information & Public Relations. The issues concerning the hospitality fraternity of H.P. were submitted to him and Hon’ble Minister of forest including other concerned officials of Himachal Government. During the briefing, Jaiswal emphasised that in order to boost inbound or outbound tourism, GST should be brought at lowest slab of 5% for hospitality and tourism making India a competitive tourist destination. Oberoi, Treasurer, HRANI, said that GST at lowest slab will attract more investment in the country and will also be conducive to business and growth in the sector.

Read More »