Category Archives: Associations

Hotels, restaurants to remain open till 5 am on Dec 24, 25, 31

In response to a request made by Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI), the State Excise Department has granted permission to hotels and restaurants for extension of operation timings on December 24, 25 and 31. Dilip Datwani, President, HRAWI, says, “The HRAWI thanks the authorities for obliging. This permission allows liquor serving establishments to continue serving patrons until 5 am in the morning of the indicated days. Having received this clearance, now we await the permission from the police. We have submitted a letter to Satish Mathur, Director General of Police requesting for the same and hope that we receive the police clearances at the earliest.”

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HRAWI hails Maharashtra Govt.’s notification allowing shops to remain open 24*7

Lauding the Maharashtra Government’s notification allowing shops and establishments to remain open 24*7, Dilip Datwani, President, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI), said, “This is a welcome move and a sign of progress. The biggest benefit of this decision will be employment and it holds the potential to increase employment opportunities by 25 per cent in the State. This is a definite boost to tourism and economy and will help the hospitality sector to emerge even stronger. Although, we would have wished for the act to be extended to bars too. HRAWI appeals to the Government to consider allowing bars operational at least up to 3am, if not 24*7.”

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IAAI’s I-Top issues India’s first NDC ticket

The IATA Agents Association of India (IAAI) and the I-Top team has issued the first NDC ticketing in India. Last week, Magellan Travel Services in Chennai issued the first NDC ticket in India on a British Airways flight for the MAA/LON sector through I-Top using the Vertiel Technologies Direct connect platform. It has issued the NDC tickets at a price lower than all OTAs in India. Reservation and NDC ticketing on Lufthansa and Emirates airlines are also ready and 10 agents across the country shall be starting the pilot run by next week through I-Top. The advantage and the specialty of the I-Top powered by TravelShore is that the portal can be used to issue tickets simultaneously through both GDS connectivity (presently Galileo, which will be followed soon by Amadeus and Abacus) and Verteil Direct Connect for NDC ticketing using BSP mode of settlement. A major benefit is that the NDC ticketing will curtail discrepancies and agents will be free from any ADMs. Biji Eapen, President, IAAI, says, “Our experimental trial runs have turned out to be successful and prove that the I-Top users using NDC ticketing can easily avail better prices than any OTA in India. Especially in a country like India, where zero commission prevails, I-Top will serve as a ‘magic lamp’ for agents to generate revenue. Once I-Top becomes fully operational and more members start using, together and consistently, we will negotiate with airline operators for ‘consolidated special deals’ so that the user member shall be substantially remunerated for their services rendered to the airlines. I-Top shall be offered to the common memberships by second week of January as a New year gift.”

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PATA India Chapter unanimously elects team for 2017-19

Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, will lead PATA India Chapter as its Chairperson for the term 2017-19. This was announced during the 47th Annual General Meeting of PATA India Chapter held at The Claridges, New Delhi on December 19. While SanJeet, Director, DDP Publications, was re-elected as the association’s Vice Chairman; J.S. Taneja, MD, Travel Spirit International, will continue to hold the post of Hon. Secretary, and the post of Hon. Treasurer has been re-assigned to Vikram Madhok, MD, Abercrombie & Kent. The association also elected its Executive Committee for the term 2017-19. Under the Active Government Category, Rashmi Verma and Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India will hold the post, while Ravneet Kaur, CMD, ITDC and Sanjiv Garg, Additional Member T&C, Ministry of Railways will be EC members under the Associate Government Category. Pankaj Srivastava, Director-Commercial, Air India, has been elected EC member under the International Carrier category. Under the Domestic Carrier category, Ragini Chopra, VP, Jet Airways and M.P. Mall, CMD, IRCTC have been elected. The four posts for Travel Agents/Tour Operators category have been given to Vikram Madhok, J.S. Taneja, Snirmol Ghosh, Director, Indo Asia Tours and Anoop Kanuga, Director, Bathija Travels. Under the Hotels/ Associate Hotels category, the three members are: Renu Basu, VP, Indian Hotels; Arjun Sharma, MD, Select Holiday Resorts; and Rohit Arora, GM, Apeejay Surendra Park Hotel. SanJeet will be an EC member under the Sustaining Member category.

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Promote sustainable tourism: Kannanthanam

Emphasising on the importance of sustainable tourism at CII’s Annual Tourism Summit, Alphons Kannanthanam, Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism, said that it is important for tourism to boom in India and be sustainable at the same time. Citizens need to keep their country clean, so that tourists get to explore a habitable environment, he added. The summit, held at ITC Maurya, New Delhi, focused its agenda on the year 2017 being the International Year of Sustainability. Other dignitaries present at the summit included Deep Kalra, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, MakeMy Trip; H.E., Jozef Drofenik, Ambassador, Embassy of Slovenia; Arjun Sharma, Co-Chairman, CII National Committee on Tourism & Hospitality and Managing Director, Select Group; and Mandip Singh Soin, Founder & Managing Director, Ibex Expeditions and Honorary Founding President, Ecotourism Society of India (ESOI).

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IATO mulling over starting educational workshop on Northeast

The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) is keen to conduct an educational seminar on the Northeast for its members. The association feels that there is a need for its members to learn about the Northeastern destinations and know about the ground realities of the same, to be able to sell it to their clients. Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO, said, “We are willing to organise the educational seminar for our members around India with the help of local members in Northeast, so that they are well aware of the region’s destinations. We are waiting for our members to show interest for the same to take forward the idea soon.”

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WTTCII announces new office bearers for 2018

The Annual General Meeting of the World Travel & Tourism Council, India Initiative (WTTCII) held at New Delhi on December 12 saw new appointments for the year 2018. Sunder G. Advani, Chairman & Managing Director, Advani Hotels & Resorts (India) Limited has been appointed as board’s Chairman while Rajeev Talwar, Chief Executive Officer, DLF has been named as the Vice Chairman of WTTCII. Advani said, “As WTTCII members facilitate the movement of millions of people around India every year,  we see the growth of tourism in generating economic opportunity, social cohesion and pride. While GST has been a welcome move, we urge the government to reconsider the GST on hospitality and bring it at par with India’s competing destinations like Sri Lanka, Thailand, etc.” Talwar said, “WTTCII has been championing convergence between Government of India and states to facilitate tourism in India. Our role will be to encourage the state governments – the political leadership and bureaucracy – to take a more favourable stance towards the tourism sector. We will continue to work with the states to improve access, address infrastructural gaps and remove policy bottlenecks for tourism to flourish, and most importantly create jobs, employment and provide a vigorous boost to tourism’s contribution to the state’s GDP.”

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Dec 27 is last date for filing & revision of TRAN-I form

The Ministry of Finance announced December 27, 2017 as the late date for filing the TRAN-1 form under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to avail input tax credit. The Ministry, in a release, informed that a taxpayer could file Form TRAN-1 and avail input tax credit on the basis of closing balance of the input tax credit declared in the last return under the pre GST regime. In keeping with the philosophy of voluntary compliance, revision of Form TRAN-1 has also been provided. The last date for revision of TRAN-1 is also December 27. The Ministry noted that some taxpayers have availed extraordinarily high transitional credit of CGST. Such behaviour leads to breach of trust between the taxpayer and the tax-administration, the release said. Taxpayers who have claimed transitional credit erroneously are advised to avail of the opportunity to revise Form TRAN-1 within the deadline, failing which the tax administration would be constrained to initiate audit and enforcement action against the identified units, the release mentioned.

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ETAA organises weekend programme for Mumbai members

The Enterprising Travel Agents Association (ETAA) recently organised a two-day weekend programme for its members in and around Mumbai held at RMP foundation- UTTAN. The rejuvenating weekend was attended by 40 travel agents. ETAA organised team-bonding activities with the support of Adventure Holidays, followed by a knowledge session to help agents improve their business skill by renowned business coach R Muthye. Apart from music and dance, members also participated in a yoga session.  

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October passenger demand bounces back after weather-hit September

Passenger demand in airlines rose 7.2 per cent in October compared to the same month last year, according to global passenger traffic results by International Air Transport Association (IATA). The capacity grew 6.2 per cent and load factor climbed 0.8 percentage points to 80.8 per cent, a record for the month. October’s performance was a strong rebound after the hurricane-related disruptions in September. Domestic and international travel growth largely was in balance. “As expected, the recent severe weather in the American region had only a temporary impact on the healthy travel demand we have seen this year, and we remain on course for another year of above-trend growth,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. For Asia-Pacific carriers, the large markets in India, China and Japan mean that domestic travel accounts for 45 per cent of the region’s operations. Asia-Pacific airlines led all regions with traffic growth of 10.3 per cent compared to the year-ago period, which was up from an 8.7 per cent rise in September. Capacity climbed 8.4 per cent and load factor rose 1.3 percentage points to 78.0 per cent.

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