Category Archives: Associations

Death knell for tourism

Expressing disappointment over the General Budget 2016-17, Sarabjit Singh, Vice Chairman, FAITH, said, “It is disappointing to see that the Union Budget has overlooked the suggestions made by tourism and hospitality sector. The Government has looked at debt and dying sectors and it seems tourism industry will be considered only when the sector is dead. This sector  has been dying for the last one year and the Government’s negligence shows that it is not an important sector. The benefits given to the start up companies shows that we, the tour operators/travel agencies may have to wind up their businesses and set up new companies to avail benefits of the start-up sector if we need any kind of government support to grow the revenue from tourism. During the last one year, the industry has met all concerned in the Government policies and most of them have agreed that tourism needs extra flip and support like Export Sector in order to increase revenue in foreign exchange, but seems all efforts gone down the drain. Tourism export is the only segment where all State & Central Taxes are imposed.”

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ADTOI Convention in Khajuraho from Apr 8-11

The Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI) is going to have its convention in Khajuraho from April 8-11, 2016, in partnership with Madhya Pradesh Tourism. Jyoti Kapur, President, ADTOI, says  that the curtain raiser for the convention will happen on March 2, 2016. Sanjay Aggarwal, VP, ADTOI, says that the theme of the convention, sessions and number of delegates will be announced on the same day. It was further revealed that the approximate cost for the package for 3N/4D trip is 7000/- which includes train travel from Delhi to Jhansi by Shatabdi Express; travel by road to Khajuraho; stay and sightseeing.  

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Rwanda signs MoU with TAAI & TAFI

Rwanda Development Board has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) and Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) to promote the destination in India. It signed an MoU with TAAI on February 18 during OTM Mumbai in the presence of Marzban Antia, Vice President, TAAI; H.E. Ernest Rwamucyo, High Commissioner of Rwanda, New Delhi; and Jay Bhatia,Treasurer and Tourism Council Chairman, TAAI. Rwanda also signed an MoU with TAFI that evening at its event ‘Remarkable Rwanda’ in the presence of TAFI National President Zakkir Ahmed and Linda Mutesi, Tourism Marketing Division Manager, Rwanda Development Board. The Rwandian visa processing takes 24 hours. Through the East African tourism visa – a multiple entry visa valid for 3 months could be availed.  Travellers can explore Rwanda along with Kenya and Uganda.

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Bodh Gaya to host Buddhist Conclave- March 29-31

The Buddhist Conclave will be held at Bodh Gaya from March 29-31, 2016. The conference is being organised by Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) in collaboration with Ministry of Commerce (MOC) and Ministry of Tourism (MOT) with a view to develop the Buddhist Circuit especially in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar in India and Nepal and also look forward to foreign investments in the segment. Sarab Jit Singh, Vice Chairman, FAITH, said that it is important to understand the ground realities and deliberate on the requirements to stimulate the tourist arrivals which is hovering about 1 million foreign tourist arrivals annually to its true potential of minimum 10 million every year. The association has proposed participation of Union Ministries, state governments, religious Buddhist bodies, ambassadors of different countries to India, IRCTC, DGCA, Airports Authority of India along with stakeholders from the private sector, such as hotels, restaurants, tour operators etc. The major issues to be deliberated are international connectivity to Gaya; upgrading of Gaya International Airport; road and railway connectivity to the region; improvement of issuance of visas and facilitation at arrival and departure; aesthetic development of the area; development of proper accommodation facilities; training of local guides in various languages along with other issues. An estimate total of 250 people are expected to attend this conference. 

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‘Experiessential’ packages for Kerala inbound tourists

Association of Tourism Trade Organisations India (ATTOI), a consortium of tour operators in Kerala, have launched a 9-day experiential package ‘Navaratana Experiessential Holidays’, for inbound tourists which would include 500 new packages for visitors in the first phase.  The highlight of the packages will be an insight into village life, community interactions and promotion of sustainable tourism practices. Local interactions, tradition of Ayurveda, full body massages, jungle boat safari, backwater cruises on houseboats, tea factory visits, tour of Kerala’s trade and cultural ties with the rest of the world. The first phase of the packages by the consortium, targets foreign tourists and is uploaded on ATTOI website. Packages for domestic tourists will be launched in the next phase. “The Navaratana ‘Experiessential’ Holidays is going to redefine the way we see Kerala with 99 unique experiences in nine days,” said Anish Kumar P K, President, ATTOI. The finer elements of the industry consortium by ATTOI involves collaboration of hotels, tour operators and vendors at each destination. A P Anil Kumar, Tourism Minister, Kerala, said, “The state government’s plan allocation to the tourism fund has been increased from Rs 100 Crores to Rs 225 Crores in the course of five years. This will be further increased in the coming budget session.”

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IATO election on April 23

The biennial election of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) is slated for April 23, shared Pronob Sarkar, Hony Secretary, IATO, at the inaugural day of the ‘Destination North East 2016’ mega event. Sarkar added that the IATO Convention would take place sometime in September this year. Elections will be held as per Article 11 of the Memorandum of Association for the offices of President, Senior Vice President, Vice President, Secretary, Joint Secretary, Treasurer, Executive Committee Members (Active) and Executive Members (Allied) to be elected by the active members of the association. Speaking at the event, he highlighted the need to spread awareness about the Northeastern region’s tourism products and that public private partnership (PPP) mode would be instrumental in promoting growth in the region.

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5th India Heritage Tourism Conclave begins

The fifth India Heritage Tourism Conclave “Making Incredible India – Swachh, Sundar & Sashakt Bharat,” was held at Rambagh Palace in Jaipur (Rajasthan). The one-day conclave, was organised by PHD Chamber and supported by the Ministry of Tourism (MOT). Special addresses were given by H.E. Sabit Subasic, Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Ajay Data, Chairman, Rajasthan Chapter, PHD Chamber; Vijay Goel, Member of Parliament, and special guest Parvez Dewan, Advisor to the Governor, Jammu and Kashmir Government. An Extensive Study on Tourism was also launched at the event. The first technical session saw discussions on “Opportunities and Challenges- Making Incredible India: Swachh, Sundar, Sashakt Bharat,” followed by a second session on “Importance of Start-ups in contributing to the restoration of Indian heritage and hospitality” and “Role of Royal families of India in preserving Indian heritage for across all generations” was discussed in the last session of the day.

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PATA CEO’s seminar in Delhi on April 5

PATA CEO Mario Hardy and John Koldowski, Member Tourism Action Group, Thamassat University Thailand, will deliver a seminar on April 5, 2016 at The Park New Delhi, to help prepare tourism stakeholders for future growth, opportunities and challenges. Together with luminaries from UNWTO, WTTC, IATA, ICAO and World Economic Forum amongst others, PATA is engaged in building Tourism Advocacy across the world to ensure that Tourism is at the forefront of strengthening the global Visitor Economy. While Hardy is optimistic about the growing role and contribution of tourism in world economies, he will focus on how markets can get their fair share of this growth as well as address, both present day and futuristic challenges and opportunties. Hardy leads PATA’s charge at the Global Travel Association Coalition. John Koldowski, former Deputy CEO of PATA, is regarded as one of the leading analysts of the travel & tourism sector. He specialises in analysis and interpretation of information regarding movements and trends in the tourism sector based on emerging consumer preferences and destination development. Koldowski will share his in depth knowledge of the impact of global trends on Asia Pacific tourism.

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OTOAI packages for Bali convention

Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) offers early bird discount of Rs 3500 + GST till Feb 20. Packages for Active Members – Rs 39,900 ++ Allied Members – Rs 49,900 ++ Non Members – Rs 59,900 ++ On spot registration for local delegates – USD 100 OTOAI has released its registration form for their 2nd Mega Convention scheduled from March 17–21, 2016, at Bali, Indonesia. “All registrations fees are waived for early bird registrations till February 20, 2016 by 1700 hours,” informed Riaz Munshi, Vice President and Convention Chairman, OTOAI. Registration charges under Package A for OTOAI Active Members is Rs 3,500 (plus GST), with cost per person on twin sharing is Rs 39,900 (plus GST) and single occupancy is Rs 49,900 (plus GST). Registration charges under Package B for Allied Members is Rs 3,500 (plus GST), with cost per person on twin sharing is Rs 49,900 and for single occupancy is Rs 59,900 exclusive of GST. Registration cost for Package C for Non Members is Rs 3500 (plus GST), with cost per person on twin sharing is Rs 59,900 and for single occupancy is Rs 69,900 exclusive of GST. Under Package D for local delegates without hotel stay and air tickets registration cost per person is USD 100. For Media Members under Package E for Media Package, cost per person on twin sharing is Rs 24,900 and single occupancy is Rs 34,900 excluding GST. Detailed information on the packages is mentioned in the registration form.

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ASI defers monument entry hike till April

The entry fee for all Grade I monuments all over India will be increased from Rs 250 to Rs 750 and from Rs 100 to Rs 250 from April 1, 2016 for all foreign visitors. N.S. Rathore, Chairman (Western Region), Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), says, “We have approached the tourism minister who fortunately is also in-charge of ASI. We have requested ASI in New Delhi and they have deferred it till April. But if they implement this it will be a huge problem for agents. We have suggested that instead of increasing Rs 500 in one shot, do it piecemeal – Rs 250 in this year and Rs 250 in the following year. Business has anyway been bad. Cancellations will only happen when this is implemented. Some of our agents from Germany have said that if this is implemented they may cancel all their departures to India.

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