Category Archives: Associations

India bags several PATA Grand and Gold awards in Langkawi

The winners of the 2018 PATA Grand and Gold Awards were felicitated at PATA Travel Mart 2018 on September 14 at the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre in Langkawi, Malaysia.  PATA Gold Award 2018 for Women Empowerment Initiative went to Peak DMC, India, for empowering women through inclusive work and PATA Gold Award 2018 for Heritage was bagged by Sahapedia for India Heritage Walk Festival. SOTC Travel won the award for Marketing Media – Travel Advertisement Broadcast Media while Yalla Kerala campaign of Kerala Tourism, bagged the PATA Gold Award for Marketing Media – Travel Advertisement Print Media. Cox & Kings India won the award for Marketing Media – Travel Brochure, an experiantial showcase of Indian journeys. The Ultimate Travelling Camp (TUTC) won the PATA Gold Award for Marketing Media – Travel Video. Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA, said, “I would like to congratulate the 2018 PATA Grand and Gold Award winners as well as all of this year’s participants for their submissions. This year’s winners exemplify the true values of the association in working towards a more responsible travel and tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region.” Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Director, Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), said, “This year’s PATA Gold Award winners present us with yet another wide array of remarkable accomplishments in different branches of the tourism industry. MGTO is honoured to help facilitate this PATA awards programme in inspiring tourism stakeholders throughout the Asia Pacific region.” This year’s awards attracted 200 entries from 87 organisations and individuals worldwide.

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India is the third largest APAC market growing at 12% YOY: Global Business Travel Association

Discussing best practices across the business travel lifecycle, Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Conference 2018 was hosted at Hotel Pullman New Delhi Aerocity on September 14. Gaurav Sundaram, Regional Director, GBTA India said, “Compared to 2017, in 2018, India is together the seventh largest global market with $38 billion. It is the third largest APAC market with 12 per cent YOY. This is the best time for business professionals. However, these are also times of VUCA, that is, volatility, uncertainty, change and ambiguity. There is a huge disruption potential and inertia by travel business.” The event includes a CXO round-table on creating scalable global travel programmes as well as education sessions on the impact of payment solutions on business travel and duty of care within Indian companies. The forum will feature a trade show highlighting the best-class solution providers within the business travel industry. “With India expected to become the sixth largest business market in the world by the end of 2019, GBTA felt it was crucial to host a series of conferences within this region,” said Sundaram. “Each conference will be unique in its offerings of education sessions, speakers and content and will ultimately help educate the market on global best practices.”  

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PATA Travel Mart 2018 opens in Langkawi to over 1400 delegates

PATA Travel Mart (PTM) 2018, being held at Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre in Langkawi, Malaysia, has opened to more than 1400 delegates. Addressing them, Mario Hardy, Chief Executive Officer, PATA, said, “PATA Travel Mart continues to stand tall in the Asia Pacific as the most value-adding network. The event’s continued success is due to its ability to strike the right balance between quality and quantity when it comes to buyer and seller appointments. So far, PTM has welcomed a total of 389 sellers from 208 organisations and 33 destinations. On the buyer side, we have a total of 252 buyers from 241 organisations and 53 source markets. Overall, there are more than 1400 delegates who have joined us this week.” Speaking at the occasion, YB Tuan Mohamaddin Ketapi, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Malaysia, said, “As the host country of PTM, it is an opportunity for us to promote Malaysia as the ideal leisure and business destination. A key area we are constantly working on is visa facilitation. Improved visa facilities in India and China are making it convenient for more travellers to visit Malaysia. In fact, we are seeing double-digit growth from these two markets due to the positive steps taken to facilitate their travel here, and we hope that this can be expanded to other markets.” PTM 2018 is Asia Pacific’s worldwide travel trade exhibition featuring unparalleled networking and contracting opportunities to help travel trade and tourism organisations access decision makers, meet new clients, expand their network, establish new relationships, and consolidate existing business partnerships.

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Gurbaxish Singh Kohli elected as new president of HRAWI

Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Director, Pritam Hotels has been elected as the President of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) at the 68th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Mumbai. Prior to being elected as the President, Kohli served as Senior Vice President of the association. Prrem Tiwari, former Vice President will now serve as Sr Vice President along with Sherry Bhatia acting as the Vice President and Pradeep Shetty as the Honorary Secretary. Nirav Gandhi will continue in the office as Jt Honorary Secretary with Dilip Kothari as the Honorary Treasurer and Aspi Nallaseth as Secretary General. “The HRAWI has made tremendous progress, and I would like to congratulate my predecessor Dilip Datwani and his team for doing an outstanding job during his term. From here, it is my intent to complement the efforts made so far by the association and maintain the momentum. I also hope to engage with the government, concerned authorities and other trade bodies as best as possible for the benefit of our fraternity. We will focus on resolving issues that are potential hindrances for the industry’s growth and will align efforts to best address and meet our members’ needs,” says Kohli. A second generation hotelier, Kohli is the owner of Dadar’s famous Pritam restaurant and who set up the iconic Pritam da Dhaba and the four-star Hotel Midtown Pritam in the 80s.

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DDP wins 2 awards at 34th IATO Convention in Visakhapatnam

In yet another display of excellence in journalism, Team DDP collected two awards for outstanding reportage presented by the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) at its recently-concluded 34th annual convention held in Visakhapatnam. The team was awarded for Tourism Breaking News as best online media as well as for IATO Manual. TravTalk magazine brought out two special daily issues during the three-day convention, highlighting key issues that the event was focusing on. The team thanks IATO for recognising its efforts and hopes that it continues to break boundaries in covering pertinent issues that plague the travel industry.

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IATO brainstorms on key issues on the first day

With a day stacked with business sessions focusing on imperative issues and state presentations, the audience was treated with intense discussions on day one of the two-day convention in Vishakhapatnam. The day started with the conventional IATO Run for Responsible Tourism in the morning. The first session of the day aimed to highlighted the challenges of touching the ambitious milestone of 20 million foreign tourist arrivals within the next few years. The panelists also touched upon the ways in which this can be achieved. The second session brought together members of key hotel companies face to face with tour operators to discuss what both industries can do to help the other since it is getting harder and harder to do business, whether it is the hotels or the travel trade.  The following session had an all-women panel who spoke about their personal experiences that are evidence that India is a safe country. However, they did present ways in which the safety of women travellers could improve. The final panel discussion, moderated by Rajesh Mudgill, MD, Planet India Travels, deliberated on how to change one’s business to adapt to the changing mindset of today’s travellers. In between the state presentations and panel discussions, the audience also took advantage of individual presentations made by Nakul Anand, Chairman, FAITH; an informative session on how travel agents can use digital marketing by Avijit Arya, Founder, Internet Mogul.  

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IATO’s 34th annual convention inaugurated in Visakhapatnam

The 34th annual convention of one of India’s biggest inbound travel trade associations, the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), started with a grand opening here in Visakhapatnam. Arriving on time for the inauguration, K J Alphons, Minister of State (IC) for Tourism, Govt of India, graced the event that saw an overwhelming attendance from IATO members pan India. The three-day event whose theme aims at 20 million foreign tourists by 2020, will debate on pertinent issues that India currently faces in reaching this milestone. At present, India welcomes approximately 11 million FTAs per year. The evening started with cultural performances local to Andhra Pradesh followed by welcome speeches from the IATO team and keynote addresses from various state dignitaries present. Kerala Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran, whop was present at the event has invited IATO to organise their next convention in the state.

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Vistara becomes British Airways’ only codeshare partner in India

Vistara and British Airways have signed a codeshare agreement, further deepening their already existing interline partnership. Under the agreement, British Airways will add its ‘BA’ designator code to approximately 60 Vistara-operated flights each day covering 13 Indian cities, including eight new virtual British Airways destinations, namely Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Goa, Kolkata, Kochi, and Pune. Additionally, the BA code will also be put on Vistara flights between Mumbai and Amritsar, and Chennai and Kolkata. Sales under the codeshare agreement are open on all channels and major GDS systems for flights starting September 27, 2018. Commenting on this milestone partnership, Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara said, “We are delighted to extend our existing interline and through check-in partnership with British Airways to a codeshare agreement. This partnership reaffirms our commitment to taking India’s finest airline brand beyond Indian borders, and it gives us the opportunity of welcoming travellers from around the world to experience the ‘new feeling of flying’ in India with Vistara. We share a lot in common with British Airways, key among which is our focus on delighting customers. We are confident that our respective customers will truly enjoy the reciprocal benefits of this collaboration.” Rishi Kapoor, Head of Alliances, British Airways said, “We have been flying to India for more than 90 years, so it is incredibly exciting for us to be able announce this partnership with such a well-respected carrier.”  

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IHHA’s annual convention to be held at Bharatpur from September 13-14

The 7th Annual Convention of the Indian Heritage Hotels Association (IHHA) is scheduled to take place at Bharatpur in Rajasthan from September 13-14, 2018 on the theme ‘Revitalizing India as the Heritage Destination’. “We are all here to explore, debate, deliberate and arrive at a definite roadmap for resurrection of this sacred land. We have thus far taken our heritage for granted and been extremely irresponsible to provide the desired care to protect and preserve our invaluable heritage both tangible and intangible,” said Randhir Vikram Singh, Secretary General, IHHA. Several eminent national and international speakers are expected to share their respective nations’ conservation experiences.

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