Category Archives: Associations

OTOAI postpones Turkey educational tour

The Outbound Tour Operators of India has postponed the Turkey educational tour for its members, which was scheduled in the month of September. Guldeep Singh Sahni, President, OTOAI, confirmed the news saying, “Owing to the present situation in Turkey, we have postponed the tour. We will re-assess the situation and will take the call in some time to see when we can organise it again. There is an emergency in Turkey and we do not want to risk taking our members in unsafe conditions.”

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FAITH seeks amendments in GST law

The Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) has sought amendments to the draft Goods and Services Tax law that include making an exception for tourism and hospitality businesses, and classifying them under 6-8 per cent tax slab. FAITH has asked the GST commissionerate and the revenue secretary to provide an amendment under Section 2 (44)c to the tourism & hospitality industry. According to a letter from FAITH, Section 2(44)c, under the draft GST model law describes an export service as one which is rendered abroad. FAITH has put forwarded the rationale that tourism services to foreign exchange paying tourists can’t be rendered abroad as all our destinations are within India and it is an intangible product & hence an exception needs to be provided in the law itself to the tourism & hospitality industry. Once tourism & hospitality is classified as an export service, FAITH will request the GST council for a 0% rating of GST on tourism & hospitality exports. This will make our tourism industry extremely competitive globally & remove the uncompetitive 18-25% indirect taxation. FAITH will also ask the GST council for a below 10% GST rating on domestic tourism. This is in line with global practices where the introduction of GST has seen tourism GST kept at less than half the standard rate of GST. Implementation of both of these recommendations have the potential to spur our tourism forex earnings to $30-$35 billion from 13-15 million foreign tourists & has our domestic tourism to 1.8- 2 billion domestic visitations. This could double the employment induced by tourism to 9 crore jobs from 4.5 crore jobs. They have also shared their concerns with the …

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IATO hosts members at Orchha Palace & Convention Centre

The Indian Association of Tour Operators took its members for a Fam tour to Orchha Palace and Convention Centre. The new property opened its doors to the IATO members before its formal opening on October 1, 2016, and showcased its various offerings to the tour operators. The two day tour saw the members experiencing the facilities at the property and sightseeing of the historical city of Orccha. The property is owned by Ashok Jain, MD, Orchha Palace and Convention Centre, who also owns Orchha Resort in the same region.

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UFTAA reviews venue for its Golden Jubilee Congress

Sunil Kumar, President, United Federation of Travel Agents Associations (UFTAA), has revealed that the association board is reviewing the venue it had selected for its 50th anniversary celebrations this November. It had selected Istanbul as the destination. However, recent developments have forced the board to review it. While on his way to the airport for his flight to Istanbul last night to attend a meeting with the UFTAA board members, Kumar revealed, “We will review the venue for our Golden Jubilee Congress that is expected to be held anytime after November 22, 2016. The exact dates will also be confirmed at this meeting.” UFTAA will also be getting ready for the Passenger Agency Conference (PAConf) that will take place in September in Singapore, he added.

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TAAI convention in Abu Dhabi from Oct 14-16

The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) has finally frozen on the venue and dates for its 63rd convention. Sunil Kumar, President, TAAI, revealed, “We have decided on Abu Dhabi as the venue for our next convention that will be held from October 14-16, 2016. We are in the process of blocking air seats now. It is one of the strongest destinations in the Middle East region and also an easy place to reach from India. “We want a strong convention this year with a strong focus, for our members as well as our partners. We will focus on both inbound as well as outbound. We are amidst signing contracts for this right now and have blocked rooms and convention space at the grandiose Emirates Palace,” he said. The team is now working on the convention theme, logistics and other details.

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RATO re-elects Khalid Khan as President

Khalid Khan has been re-elected as President of Rajasthan Association of Tour Operators (RATO) while Mahender Singh will continue to hold the post of General Secretary of RATO for the next two years. The members were re-elected unopposed at the annual general meeting of the association. The new Executive Committee (EC) will be selected soon. Thanking the members, Khan assured all members of continuous efforts for betterment of RATO members, their rights and interests and for the promotion of tourism in Rajasthan

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UNWTO supports Indonesia’s free visa policy

UNWTO has expressed its full support to the decision of the Government of Indonesia to grant free visa to citizens from 169 countries. The visa-free policy is valid for a maximum stay of 30 days, has no restriction on the number of visits per year, and is non-extendable nor convertible to any other stay permit. Nationals of visa-free countries can enter Indonesia in any of the 124 immigration check points that the country possesses. “Indonesia is setting an example to the world. UNWTO welcomes the decision of the Government of Indonesia which clearly reflects the commitment of the country with the development of the tourism sector as a driver of economic growth, jobs and well-being for its people” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. The measure looks for attracting international tourism to the country by simplifying travel procedures and follows research by UNWTO and WTTC that shows that visa facilitation in the ASEAN economies could create between 333,000 to 654,000 new jobs in a period of three years. According to the UNWTO/WTTC Report Impact of Visa Facilitation in ASEAN Member States, ASEAN stands to gain 6 to 10 million additional international tourist arrivals from improved visa facilitation. The additional receipts generated by these tourists could reach between US$7 and US$12 billion.

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TAFI-WI urges members to attend meetings

The new Managing Committee of the Travel Agents Federation of India – Western India Chapter, met for the first time in Mumbai after the new committee took charge in June this year to discuss various issues troubling their members and their plan of action for the term. The meeting was followed by a product presentation by EK Holidays, cocktails and dinner. First and foremost on the plan is to get members to attend their meetings and participate. Chapter Chairman Abbas Moiz, said, “My first and last issue is to get as many members into our meetings as possible, listen to their problems and views, to add as much value to our members as possible.” Speaking about the plan devised for this year, he added, “We want to conduct workshops with IATA and have already approached them for this. They will be changing their procedures soon and the entire reporting system will change, so we would like to give a glimpse of it to our members. Currently, the pilot run is going on in Mumbai and Delhi and they will roll it out pan-India by early 2017. IATA has standardized the reporting procedures worldwide.”

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TAFI undertakes pilot run for IATA’s reporting procedure

In anticipation of IATA’s new standardised reporting procedures worldwide, the Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) has agreed to participate in its pilot programme that will start from October this year. Four members (one from Delhi and Ahmedabad each and two from Mumbai) have agreed to be a part of it. Commenting on this, Pradip Lulla, Vice President, TAFI, said, “We are doing a pilot run on enhanced reporting for IATA and the participating agents will give their inputs once it is completed. IATA workshops will be held in different regions when they are introducing it in India where agents can come and understand the new reporting procedures.” He said that the new system of reporting will be simplified and more graphic. Everything else will remain the same. “It will help agents to have a better report, that’s all,” he said. This will be followed by workshops by IATA for its entire member base.

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IATO Convention in Chennai from Sep 18-21

The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) is all set to hold its 32nd annual convention from September 18-21, 2016, at ITC Grand Chola in Chennai. While announcing the decision of the Executive Committee, Pronab Sarkar President, IATO, said, “We were planning to have our convention in Chennai for last couple of years as IATO never had its annual convention in Tamil Nadu earlier. However, this year, it is going to become a dream come true. From the very beginning, we focused to have our convention in Chennai only”. He also mentioned “The stupendous success of the pervious convention has raised the expectations of the members and sponsors. More than 1200 delegates are expected for 3 day event and the IATO convention is eagerly awaited by all. Members look for an enchanting destination. Here Chennai fits in very well as this will be first IATO Convention in Chennai”. The association has been planning for the convention dates for some time and wanted to avoid any clashes with the Incredible India Tourism Investors’ Summit scheduled from September 21-23, in New Delhi. IATO is still in the midst of chalking out the detailed plans and session at the convention, which should be finalised very soon, said Lally Matthews, Honorary Secretary, Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO).

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