Category Archives: Associations

ICTT to be held from June 8-10 to have travel-tech stalwarts

The International Conference on Tourism Technology (ICTT), to be held from June 8-10, 2017, will have  an line-up of technology industry experts from across the globe to deliberate on the paramount role of technology in giving a fillip to the travel and tourism industry through interactive engagements with customers and providing excellent products and services. The three-day event, to be held at Le Meridien Hotel, Kochi, is organised by the Association of Tourism Trade Organisation (ATTOI). “Technology is all around us and the world of travel and tourism is no exception. Through technology, such as social media, tourism operators could engage their customers and enable them to share their experiences. So it is high time to get updated and be adaptable and fluid to the changes in the sector,” said ATTOI President Anish Kumar P.K. The seven experts who will be attending the brainstorming meet this year to share their insights are Andre Chow (Singapore), Billy Taylor (New Zealand), Christopher Tock (Malaysia), Donna Mortiz (Australia), Lauren Cleland (USA), Nicky Kriel (the UK) and Pierre Marechal (Belgium).

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PATA & Equator Learning launch travel agent initiative

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), in conjunction with England-based Equator Learning, is launching a travel agent initiative to support organisations with travel trade marketing efforts. The Asia & Pacific Expert is an online learning tool for travel agents that is applicable for all markets worldwide. It supports and promotes the destination as well as any pre-existing learning platform. Chris May, Managing Director – Equator Learning, says, “Knowledge is power. You have heard that many times before and know it to be 100 percent correct. Travel agents are becoming increasingly time poor and picking up un-qualified knowledge. This can damage a destination and its reputation. The Asia & Pacific Expert is a user-friendly solution for all destinations, providing a clear and reliable source of information for travel agents.” This initiative offers PATA members the opportunity to create a 30-minute learning module that will provide agents with essential information about a destination, empowering them with the ability to sell it correctly. Unlike any existing stand-alone learning platform the Asia & Pacific Expert gives agents all the facts they need to gain confidence while providing a new avenue to promote and link to an organisation’s existing site. In addition, this will offer an agent a friendly portal for all Asia Pacific destinations – providing the first one-stop shop for the region.

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ETAA’s Domestic Convention 2017 sees pan-India participation

Enterprising Travel Agent’s Association (ETAA) took their second Domestic Convention to Hyderabad which was held from Mar 3-5, 2017, at Leonia Holistic Destination. The event gathered over 200 attendees, informed Jagat Mehta, President, ETAA, and added that the edition saw a pan-India participation from different states of the country such as Karnataka, Maharashtra, New Delhi, West Bengal, to name a few. He elaborated, “We were very satisfied with the turnout and the response. While there were a few last minute cancellations, it did nothing to deter the spirit. Our first domestic convention was held back in 2011 with 180 members from Mumbai, Pune and a few from Gujarat so in comparison to that, we’ve managed to bring together a diverse crowd. Yes, business is the main aim but so is forging and strengthening bonds.” The three-day convention involved B2B meetings between buyers and sellers that was effective in connecting travel agents and tour operators from Tier II & III cities to travel suppliers, and also saw a host of team-building activities take place in the sprawling 150-acre property.

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IAAI requests Emirates to reconsider commission cut

Biji Eapen, National President, IATA Agents Association of India (IAAI), has written a letter to Emirates addressed to its Vice President – India & Nepal, Essa Sulaiman Ahmad, requesting him to reconsider the airline’s decision to cut agency commission. The letter reads, ‘…the proposed action clearly contradicts your statement in the opening paragraph of the referred letter – that the travel agents are your “prime strategic distribution channel.” Especially as it is only their market support over the years that has placed Emirates in a dominant position above the national carrier.’ The letter then outlines the hardships that agents go through to sell Emirates, ‘Agents have over the years taken care of your sales and marketing, generating thousands of crores of rupees worth of business by risking huge amounts in the market, maintaining well-manned offices, canvassing for clients and servicing all their travel requirements, obtaining overdrafts to make the airline payments and paying interests at high rates on such borrowings.’

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FICCI-Avalon Knowledge Paper to focus on future of travel

FICCI and Avalon Global Research (AGR) joint publication of the knowledge paper ‘Travel 2.0 – The Next Generation of travel’ is slated to be unveiled at Digital Travel, Hospitality and Innovation Summit on March 22 -23, 2017, at  FICCI, Federation house, New Delhi. The proposed knowledge paper would focus on the evolution of travel, tourism and hospitality industry through digital adaption and the role of new technologies and automation in streamlining the business processes across value chain, highlighting the speed and convenience of the business in this industry from an end-user perspective. “We are in a digital era and travel and hospitality is not an exception. The rampant penetration of smartphone has transformed travel consumption pattern of the end user. The FICCI -Avalon Knowledge report will highlight all these with pointers to the future of travel in India,” informed Rahul Chakravarty, Director and Head–Tourism, FICCI. The report would also emphasize on adaption of big data analytics and the influence of social media on service providers and aggregators to address the challenges such as intensive competition and requirement of direct interaction with the end users. “Technology and  enhanced economic and aspirational activities have impacted how travel is perceived , reviewed , distributed and consumed .Therefore a mature research aspect allows the travel ecosystem to innovate to make itself future proof and ready for Travel 2.0. This report sets out in this direction,” added Ashish Kumar, Member, FICCI Travel Technology Committee.

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PATA India’s USA and Canada roadshow from May 30 to June 8

PATA India Chapter is conducting roadshow to USA and Canada, in partnership with India Tourism from May 30 to June 8, 2017. Runeep Sangha, Executive Director, PATA India Chapter, said, “We are pleased to inform you that we have received necessary approvals to conduct Roadshow to  USA and Canada, in partnership with India Tourism. More details will be communicated in the coming week.” The roadshow will begin in Toronto (Canada) on May 30, then move to the US with Boston on May 31, Chicago on June 1, Houston on June 6, New York on June 7 and 8. Participants must confirm their participation by March 3.

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IATO welcomes new batch of guides in Mumbai

After a long spell of dearth of good quality guides in Maharashtra authorised by India Tourism, the Western Chapter of the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) is happy to welcome the new batch of guides who have just graduated. N.S. Rathor, Chairman, Western Region IATO and Regional Chapter Chairman, shared, “The good news is that we now have a new batch of guides after their course got over. About eight of them will get their licenses by around middle of February 2017. However, the trouble is the students from western India were made to sit with those from the north. So they have only studied monuments in north India. We have now requested the Ministry of Tourism, Regional Director, Vikas Rustagi, to give them an orientation here once they graduate and get their licenses. We also want them to interact with the older, more experienced guides so they also understand and learn how to converse with the foreign tourists when they ask questions about India, its economy, culture, etc. Many times, the foreign travellers, specially Europeans have more knowledge about India than us.”

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HRAWI organises seminar on direct taxes for members

The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) recently organised a seminar on direct taxes for its members in Mumbai. Addressed by Anil Harish, an expert in tax matters, the seminar enabled the hoteliers and restaurateurs to understand implications of the Union Budget, introduction of new policies, and the taxes levied among others. The seminar also specified the Government’s investment plans for allied sectors such as infrastructure, agriculture, education, and tourism, and discussed concerns regarding overlapping taxes. Dilip Datwani, President, HRAWI says, “Taxes form an important and integral part of any establishment. The seminar was conducted in order to brief our members and clarify their doubts on the proposed taxes in the Union Budget 2017-18 and its impact on the hospitality sector. Besides this, there were a lot of queries from the food and beverage operators regarding GST. The seminar in many ways proved to be an eye-opener for the attendees. We are glad to get such positive response from the members and plan to conduct more such seminars frequently in future.”

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ETAA conducts first agent meet in Hyderabad

Enterprising Travel Agents Association (ETAA) organised its first travel agent meet in Hyderabad on February 10, 2017, at Hotel Royalton. The event received an overwhelming response from its members and others from the travel trade. The event was attended by Carl Dantas, Chairman Emeritus, ETAA; Jagat Mehta, President, ETAA; Abhijit Khadilkar, National General Secretary, ETAA; Dipti Thakoor, National Jt. Secretary; Dharmesh Advani, Treasurer, ETAA, and M P Joy, South India Chapter Chairman. More than 70 travel agents from various associations attended the event from Hyderabad and other surrounding cities. There was a brief knowledge session by TrawellTag Cover-More conducted by renowned trainer Aman Koushik. The ETAA National Board and Regional Chapters are all gearing up to welcome members to its upcoming ETAA Convention at Leonia Resorts, Hyderabad from March 3-5, 2017.

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Domestic traffic growth undeterred by demonetisation: ICRA

According to ICRA, domestic air passenger traffic has been undeterred by demonetisation with a robust YoY growth of 24 per cent in December 2016. The growth was propelled by peak season demand along with prevalent low airfares due to intense competition. The traffic growth on international routes was however impacted slightly, with the industry reporting 7.7 per cent YoY growth during the month. Nevertheless, performance of Indian carriers on international routes was better than the industry, with 16.1 per cent growth in traffic. Domestic passenger traffic growth was healthy at 22.9 per cent during 9m FY2017. Anand Kulkarni, AVP and Associate Head, Corporate Sector Ratings, ICRA Limited, “ICRA has been emphasising on pressure on profitability of airlines operating in the country due to competitive environment and increasing aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices in the current fiscal and the same has been reflected in decline in profitability of the listed airlines in Q3 FY2017. As per ICRA estimates, the fuel cost per ASKM (CASK) of the domestic aviation industry increased to Rs. 1.08 in December 2016 from a low of Rs. 0.82 in February 2016 and the same is expected to increase further in Q4 FY2017. Going forward, the profitability of the airlines would be negatively impacted in Q4 FY2017 as the airline yields continue to remain under pressure and the ATF prices maintain the uptrend. The ATF prices in February 2017 are ~50 per cent higher on YoY basis. Further, the capacity addition in the industry is expected to continue at a healthy pace given the proposed fleet expansion plans of various airlines.”

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