Category Archives: Associations

PATA India training programme for member on May 5

PATA India has announced a training programme for its members and their employees on May 5, 2017. The programme is titled “Win-Win Negotiations” and is a full day training program. This training program will be conducted by Roshan Suhail, an accomplished Trainer, who had the honour of working with leading organisations like ONGC, NTPC, BHEL, Dhanuka, Shriram Group, UFLEX, YKK, Ashok Leyland, INTEX, HERO Cycles, iEnergizer, Shree Cements, Reliance Securities, and many more. Suhail has also conducted programmes for Govt. organisations and PSUs like Air India, Engineers India Ltd., FIEO, EPCH etc.

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IATO opposes transport tax in Haryana

Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO, has said that the members of IATO are unhappy with the transport tax hike by the Transport Department of Haryana Government in the state. Addressing the monthly luncheon meeting of IATO, he said, “The transport tax in Haryana has been increased by 1700% from April 1, 2017. He said that while the government has increased this tax after four years, but such a steep hike is unacceptable. We will be meeting the Haryana Chief Minister as well as the Union Finance Minister to request them to implement any increase gradually.” Starting April 1, commercial vehicles entering Haryana would have to pay Rs. 3000.

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Jobs at risk as India’s alcohol sale ban harms tourism: WTTC

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has urged the Indian government to co-ordinate a countrywide response to the Supreme Court ruling, which has banned the sale of alcohol within close proximity of highways. David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC, said: “While we acknowledge the importance of implementing policies that address the abuse of alcohol when driving, we call on the Indian Government to reverse or amend the current ruling. I do not believe that this ban was aimed at the travel industry. It is an unbalanced approach that will have negative consequences for the country’s economy, as business and leisure customers cancel their bookings in those establishments affected. The impact of the ban on drunk driving is impossible to measure, as businesses beyond the stipulated 500 meters will still be allowed to sell alcohol. Businesses within the proposed banned distance, including many hotels, restaurants and bars that serve tourists, will lose customers and revenue. This not only means less income but also means that many people will lose their jobs as a direct result.” The unintended consequences of this ban are that it will have a significantly negative effect on hotels and restaurants in this zone, and will curtail future job creating investment in the industry. Scowsill continued: “Travel & Tourism is an extremely important income stream within the country, the sector contributed INR14.1 trillion (USD208.9 billion) or 9.6% of India’s GDP in 2016 and supported over 40.3 million jobs, which is 9.3% of total employment in the country. India’s Travel & Tourism sector is forecast to be the third fastest growing in terms of total GDP over the next decade. WTTC welcomes the commitment to this sector as …

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India tourism climbs 12 places up, ranks 40th from 52nd globally

India has moved 12 places up to 40th position from 52nd in Travel and Tourism Competitive Index (TTCI) of World Economic Forum. Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism & Culture, said, “We are pleased to announce that India’s tourism industry has moved up 12 places since 2015, and now occupies 40th rank globally while countries like Japan, China, US, and Switzerland have improved by less than five positions. The ranking is a witness to the several initiatives that have come into effect, such as the liberalisation of visa, formation of tourist helpline 1363, initiation of welcome kits, among many others. Demonetisation has not had much of an impact as we have observed a six-fold growth after it came into action.” He further elaborated that while tourism’s global growth has been 3.9 per cent in 2016, India alone recorded a 10.7 per cent growth, with a CAGR of about 8.4 per cent. The safety and security ranking has also increased by 15 points since the previous year.

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Sunil Gadhiok is the new President, Skål Delhi

The Skål Delhi chapter has announced the Executive Committee for the term 2017-19 in which Sunil Gadhiok, who was earlier the Vice President, has now been elevated to the post of President. Similarly, the new core committee members include Greesh Bindra, Vice President; Ranjit Vig, Secretary; Ajay Bhatnagar, Treasurer; Sanjay Datta, Immediate past President; Homa Mistry, Member; Ankush Nijhawan, Member (Director Young Skål); Rajinder Rai, Member; Tekla Maira, New Member; Rohit Khosla, New Member, Sunny Sodhi, New Member. Speaking on the focus of the new committee, Sunil Gadhiok said, “With the commencement of the new team, we will continue aiding memberships to the chapter which currently stands at a 200-member strength. Skål Delhi is the second largest Skål chapter globally and our aim is to take it to the top. The Young Skål chapter has also been initiated and we would like to drive memberships to nurture talent and shape them into strong leaders of the future. In terms of club activities, members can expect more team-building activities and events that are in sync with the current happenings, along with expert speakers to give more value for the membership. CSR has always been one of our priorities and the emphasis will continue for the coming term.”

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India’s tourism sector fastest growing among G20 nations

India’s Travel & Tourism sector ranks 7th in the world in terms of its total contribution to the country’s GDP, shows a new report by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). According to the new data, Travel & Tourism generated Rs. 14.1 trillion ($208.9 billion) in 2016, which is the world’s 7th largest in terms of absolute size, the sum is equivalent to 9.6% of India’s GDP. India’s Travel & Tourism sector was also the fastest growing amongst the G20 countries, growing by 8.5% in 2016. A further 6.7% growth is forecast for 2017. India’s strong Travel & Tourism figures are predominantly generated by domestic travel, which accounts for 88% of the sector’s contribution to GDP in 2016. Additionally, the sector supported 40.3 million jobs in 2016, which ranks India 2nd in the world in terms of total employment supported by Travel & Tourism. The sector accounts for 9.3% of the country’s total jobs. Visitor exports, money spent by foreign travellers in India, only represents 12% of tourism revenues and in 2016 totalled Rs. 1.5 trillion ($22.8bn).  This is 5.4% of the country’s total exports, compared to a global average of 6.6%. Data from the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) shows that India received only 9 million international arrivals in 2016, placing it 40th in the world, and a tenth of those received by top-ranking France. Over the past few months India has already starting to address this gap and made significant changes to visa facilitation, which will help to boost international arrivals. WTTC data suggests that visitor exports will grow by 5.4% in 2017. David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC, said, “India is a tremendous Travel & Tourism …

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‘Make it to India’ before ‘Make in India’: Hoteliers to Govt on liquor ban

Travel and hospitality associations came together to analyse the impact of the Supreme Court’s liquor ban judgement and will lay out a future course of action after due deliberations on the issue with the government after a week. “This is a very challenging time for us as an industry. We are going to analyse the judgment in detail and go through how we can still serve guests and how we can manage employment impact,” said Kapil Chopra, President, The Oberoi, during a press conference held in New Delhi. Associations such as WTTC, FHRAI, NRAI, HRAH and IATO participated in the press conference. Chopra said, “We totally respect the Supreme Court’s judgement but the biggest challenge that we foresee is the loss of employment in both the hotel and restaurant sector. Also I don’t know how the government sees it but if it has to be 500 metres, it at least should be motorable distance because when people go out to pick liquor, they go by road. Generally hotels and restaurants do not sell bottles of liquor, you have to sit and consume it; now that sitting and consumption can happen in your home or in your car. So there are lot of issues we need to discuss with the government before we actually make a verdict. “If you look at Prime Minister Narendra’s Modi first five points, tourism is among those and there is a lot of work that’s happening around e-visas but what are we going to do with those e-visas when people will not apply for it. We need to make sure that India is being seen as a welcoming country, with friendly laws, strong compliance and strong focus on …

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IAAI withdraws complete support to Emirates

During its AGM held in Thiruvananthapuram, the members of the IATA Agents Association of India (IAAI) unanimously decided to withdraw their support to Emirates Airlines. Speaking about this move, Biji Eapen, National President, IAAI, says, “In case of non-adherence to regulatory requirements, we have decided not to sell or promote Emirates or any of its ancillary services  from April 1, 2017 onwards.” The association had earlier written a letter to Emirates requesting it to withhold its proposed reduction of commission from April 1, 2017 and retain the present level of commission  at three per cent gross or more till the Kerala High Court verdict. Eapen adds, “Our case WP25752/2013 and WA1136/2015 in the Hon High Court of Kerala for implementation, execution, and enforcement of DGCA Order March 5, 2010 is now scheduled for division bench hearing on May 25, 2017.”

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AI increases IATA agent’s payout at TAAI’s behest

Air India has led the way towards increasing agents livelihood and recognising their distribution channel. Subsequent to an in-depth interaction with the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) and its suggestions made to the national carrier, the airline has announced a new assured incentive/PLB Scheme for the FY 2017-18. Air India will file additional commission of two per cent with BSP and the same will be deducted by agent as cut and pay as per BSP cycle. This will be apart from the normal IATA commission of one per cent. Jyoti Mayal, TAAI member Managing Committee & Chairperson (Airline Council), says, “We really appreciate Air India’s move to recognise and support each and every IATA agent. After a long time, I feel that our industry is regaining its glory. Under the leadership of CMD Ashwani Lohani, we have seen them work very closely with the travel fraternity – first by bringing in credit cards then web parity and now with a level playing field where every agent gets incentivised on selling each and every ticket on Air India. I would now urge all IATA members to support our national carrier to make it a leading carrier in Indian skies. As an Airline Council Chairperson, I would love to see our national airline regaining its glory and profitability. We at TAAI took this initiative with the airline to set standards in the industry and promote all agents.” The incentives shall be calculated on basic fare for domestic and for international it will be calculated on Basic Fare +YQ. There is no target for the scheme and will be valid for all tickets sold within the territory of India by IATA agents …

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FAITH recommends 12% GST to Finance Ministry

The Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) has suggested an upper GST rate of 12 per cent for the tourism and hospitality industry and handed its detailed recommendations to the Ministry of Finance. The industry comprises of air travel agents, business exhibition services, hotel and hospitality services, tour operators, rent a cab and vacation ownership. The representation has been made considering strategic forex, employment, economic and GST rationale and rates for tourism, travel and hospitality sector of India. An upper limit of 12 per cent has been suggested for hotels and hospitality and vacation ownership segment. For the air travel agents the recommendation was given to continue presumptive rate on all income and keep GST at 1 per cent or less. For the tour operators, FAITH requested to introduce a presumptive rates mechanism of GST at 1.2 per cent considering difficulty of getting GST input credits from unorganised sector and the burden of compliance of registration with different states. It has been requested to exempt outbound tour operators and business exhibitions selling outbound from India from GST since provision of services are out of India. In the case of rent a car, a GST rate of 5 per cent has been suggested failing which, maximum 12 per cent has been deemed acceptable. FAITH has urged for a special GST exemption on forex income for tour operators, hotels and businesses earning forex if it can be a criteria with MoF for GST. Addressing the adventure tourism industry, FAIH has requested MoF to consider special GST exemption based on J&K and a very high component of local, unorganised labour involved.

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