Category Archives: Associations

TAAI, TAFI to conduct joint IATA training in 16 cities

The two biggest travel trade associations in India, the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) and the Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI), in co-ordination with IATA, will be coming together to conduct joint training workshops in 16 cities starting from September 14 and ending on 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. Interested agents are requested to register latest by September 9, 2016 to participate. Registration will  be limited to two representatives per agency. 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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PATA signs MoU with Africa Travel Association

Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Africa Travel Association (ATA), a division of the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), to strengthen the tourism links between Africa and the Asia Pacific region. Both the organisations have agreed to cooperate in a number of areas including market intelligence and proprietary research; conferences and events; advocacy themes and grass-roots development through Chapter networks. ATA will also contribute content for the PATA monthly Visitor Economy Bulletin and for the dedicated PATA website on sustainability. PATA will be seeking to use the good offices of the ATA to strengthen further its presence throughout the continent. The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority recently became the first government member from Africa to join the PATA. Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA said, “I am very pleased that there is shared determination within our organisations to forge this new MoU into a worthwhile partnership that produces tangible and mutually beneficial benefits for ATA, PATA and all our members. The demand from source markets across the Asia Pacific to visit tourist destinations in Africa is unprecedented. We look forward to helping ATA and the nations of Africa as they bid to maintain a balanced and sustainable approach to managing even greater numbers of visitors to some of the world’s most famous attractions and landmarks.” Stephen Hayes, President & CEO, CCA, said, “We believe an active MoU with PATA is important to strengthen tourism to Africa. The potential for tourism in Africa is enormous and it offers very significant opportunities for business as well as environmental awareness. We couldn’t ask for a better partner.”

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PATA-MOT roadshow in Europe from Oct 17-27

PATA India Chapter in cooperation with Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, is conducting its business development roadshows in six European cities from October 17-27, 2016. The roadshow will begin in Helsinki (Finland) on October 17, and move on to Stockholm (Sweden) on October 18, Copenhagen (Denmark) on October 20, Vienna (Austria) on October 24, Prague (Czech Republic) on October 26, and conclude in Warsaw (Poland) on October 27. PATA India Chapter’s Executive Director, Runeep Sangha, said, “PATA looks forward to carrying 15-20 sellers from India including airlines, hotels, special interest groups, and destination management companies.” The meetings aim to promote inbound tourism from these important and emerging source markets for India.

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Maharashtra tops chart in tourism investments: ASSOCHAM

According to a Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) study, Maharashtra has attracted highest investment from private investors in building facilities for tourists and visitors till June 2016. “Maharashtra attracted investments worth over Rs 15,500 crore of the outstanding investments worth over Rs 93,400 crore attracted by the hotel and tourism industry in India as of June 2016,” stated the ‘Domestic Tourism: Tap the Treasure,’ study conducted by ASSOCHAM’s Economic Research Bureau. The study said domestic tourist visits in India can increase from over 143 crore in 2015 to over 227 crore by 2020. While Maharashtra attracted investment proposals worth more than Rs 15,547 crore, Gujarat recorded Rs 13,542 crore, followed by Karnataka (Rs 11,049 crore), Tamil Nadu (Rs 89,26.4 crore) and West Bengal (Rs 8,207 crore) corresponding to 61.3 per cent of the outstanding investments. The remaining 16 states out of the major 21 states received Rs 36,150 crore worth proposals as of June 2016. The report also revealed that these investments would mainly cater to domestic tourists who have multiplied from 6.6 crore in 1991 to 143 crore in 2015. Big tourism projects are expected in the Mumbai-Pune zone, followed by the Konkan, Nashik, Ajanta-Ellora and around tiger reserves in Vidarbha. (Source: Times of India)

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IATO expects surge in South India members

The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) is expecting a surge in its membership, specially from Chennai and other southern cities post its convention. N.S. Rathor, Chairman, Western Region IATO and Regional Chapter Chairman, says, “Chennai ranks third in terms of number of members after New Delhi and Mumbai and I’m sure after this convention a lot of agents in the South will get interested in joining IATO. We have a lot of active members in South India in regions like Kerala and Chennai. Since this is the first time we are going to Chennai, there is a lot of interest among the south Indian agents, specially from Chennai because most of them haven’t been able to attend our convention before. So everyone there is excited.” Rathor relocated to Mumbai from Rajasthan 20 years ago and is the longest uninterrupted member in the Executive Committee. Speaking about the distribution of its membership across India, he says that Western India is number two after Delhi. “We are growing in numbers and our total strength now is over 1,600 of which 350 are active members.”

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Non-members welcome at IATO convention

The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) will allow non-members to attend and participate in all activities at its convention, except the closed-door meetings that are open only for active members. N.S. Rathor, Chairman, Western Region IATO and Regional Chapter Chairman, said, “We are inviting all travel agents and tour operators to attend our convention – whether they are non-members or members of other travel associations – so that they can see the work we are doing and plan to do. We will charge them only Rs 1,500 extra and they can participate in everything that a member can except for the closed-door meetings that is open only for members. They can attend dinners, functions, business sessions, etc. In fact we want them to come and see what we do. We don’t enroll during the convention – that is respective chapter’s issue. But we have noticed a general increase in our memberships after our conventions.” While members will be charged Rs 7,500, non-members will have to pay Rs 9,000.

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IAAI Maharashtra President resigns

Chetan Momaya has resigned from the post of President-Maharashtra state of IATA Agents Association of India (IAAI) due to differences with the Western India Director and the Maharashtra Team. He was elected President in August 2014 and re-elected in August 2015. Proprietor of Mumbai-based Olympia Travels N Tours, Momaya had also resigned within 10 days of the elections which was not accepted by the National Committee. He confirms, “I have resigned as President of IAAI – Maharashtra State on March 5, 2016.”

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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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