Category Archives: Associations

Ras Al Khaimah- New PATA member

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) welcomes Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (TDA) as its newest government member. The TDA’s aim is to establish the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah as a destination for leisure and adventure travel whilst maintaining its appeal for sun seekers, beach loving couples and families. PATA CEO Mario Hardy said, “As our newest government member Ras Al Khaimah now has a much better opportunity to achieve their growth target of 2.9m visitors by 2025 by connecting with many of our members and by showcasing their destination to a much broader audience. The emirate also now enjoys access to our insightful research and expertise to assist in them developing a sustainable and responsible tourism industry. This is particularly relevant for the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority in their bid to highlight the many authentic cultural, historical and natural Arabian experiences.” Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah TDA said, “As we continue to work towards our goal of attracting one million visitors by the end of 2018, we are keen to establish partnerships that will enable us to achieve sustainable tourism growth. Asia Pacific, in particular India and China, are fast growing emerging markets where we have recently signed an agreement with Ctrip, China’s largest online travel agency, as well as Cox and Kings in India. Becoming a member of PATA is a key step towards further establishing Ras Al Khaimah as a tourist destination in its own right amongst Asia Pacific travellers and investors.” Ras Al Khaimah TDA was established in May 2011 to develop the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and promote it, both domestically and abroad.  In order to achieve its goals, the …

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TAFI national elections on June 30 in Ahmedabad

After completing all its chapter elections across India, the Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) is now gearing up for its AGM and national elections. This will be held on June 30 in Ahmedabad. Rajat Bagaria, Member, TAFI National Managing Committee, revealed, “All our chapter need to complete their accounts and conduct their AGM before the national team can do our AGM and elections. June 15 is the last date for filing the nominations and June 25 is the last date for withdrawal. The final list of nominees will be out on June 26. If there are more than one persons standing for the same post, then we will have elections. Else the person will be chosen unanimously. So we will decide if we need to have elections on June 26.”

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TAFI Western Chapter elects new team

The Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) has introduced its new team for Western India Chapter for 2016-18. The new team comprises Abbas Moiz (Chairman), Sapna Rateria (Secretary), Jitul Mehta (Treasurer), Vikram Paul (Returning Officer), Suprabh Oza (Committee Member) and Burjis Mehta (Committee Member). Rajat Bagaria, Member, TAFI National Managing Committee, said, “The new committee thanks Darshan Mehta, Outgoing Chairman, for his contribution towards TAFI and the trade. We would also like to thank Vikram Paul, who has consented to be the Returning Officer. We re-iterate our commitment to the improvement of the trade. We shall work hand-in-hand with partner associations where needed to stand united as an industry. We request all members to please bring to us the issues which are being faced. We have been approached by members with their visa issues, ADM and other issues, which we are trying to resolve. We look forward to suggestions and guidance from all our members.”

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ADTOI launches Chhattisgarh chapter

The Chhattisgarh Chapter of ADTOI was launched on June 5, 2016, at Hyatt Raipur. The event was attended by the entire central leadership of ADTOI and all the Executive Council members of the association. Ritesh Mundhra of Choice Holidays is the Chhattisgarh Chapter Chairman while Jaspreet S. Bhatia, Ice Cubes Holidays is the General Secretary. Chairman and Vice Chairman  of Chhattisgarh Tourism Board along with the General Manager were also present during the function. All the newly joined members of the State chapter were duly honoured. A large number of local travel agents were also present during the event. ADTOI members from other cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Jaipur also marked their presence. The members are: Kapil Jain, Kewal Shanti Travels Mahesh Bansal, Star india travels Pankaj Sood, Satguru Holidays Ajeet Dodai, Travel Hawk Sunil Vishwakarma, Indian Holidays Parminder Sahni, Travelwithsmile.com Rohit Dwivedi, Holiday Junction Hardeep Hora, Travel Planners Manoj, Global Travels Ricky Malhotra, Travel Boutique

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NRAI convention from July 17-18 in Mumbai

Announcing the debut of its convention dedicated to India’s nightlife, Riyaaz Amlani, President, National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), revealed that it will be held at St. Regis in Mumbai from July 17-18, 2016. It will be the first platform specifically designed to bring together and recognise the various stakeholders of one of India’s most vibrant and fastest-growing industry – nightlife. The event is a joint initiative of Kickstart Entertainment and NRAI. “The two-day convention will have multiple business sessions with speakers from the sector from across India. This will include three international speakers as well. We are also looking to get attendance from the government, including the Ministry of Tourism, Home and Excise because we don’t fall under any single ministry. We are also inviting someone from the Government of Maharashtra since it is happening in Mumbai. We want them to listen to our problems and see that this is a serious industry.”

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PATA Annual Summit slated for Sri Lanka in May 2017

The next edition of the PATA Annual Summit (PAS) 2017 will take place in Negombo, Sri Lanka from May 18 -21, 2017. The PATA Annual Summit 2016 was held in Guam and welcomed 640 delegates from 206 organisations representing 33 countries to the four day event.  PATA CEO Mario Hardy stressed on the issue of climate change and stated, “We understand that the Pacific Islands are at a critical junction in its future development economically, socially and environmentally, especially with the growing effects of climate change. We hope that bringing together high level speakers, we can highlight these issues as well as analyse and share ideas on how to create a more sustainable and responsible travel and tourism industry,” he added. The four day event witnessed several high-level industry leaders give talks on various tourism-related topics like ‘Driving Solo or Following the Pack’, ‘Mastering the Skill of Future Trend Forecast’; ‘Defy the Norms to Create ‘Same Same But Different’; ‘The New Edge – Foreseeing New Travel Patterns’ &‘Reversing the Brain Drain by Mixing the Borders’, while delegates gained additional insights about the latest travel and tourism industry trends during PATA Marketplace. Other highlights of the four-day event included the PATA Awards Presentation, the election of the new PATA Executive Board and the presentation of the Silver-level Sustainability Certification by EarthCheck.

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‘Incredible India Calling’ on Jan 10, 2017

A national conference is going to be held jointly by IATO, TAAI, TAFI, ATOAI, FHRAI, and ICPB, on January 10, 2017. Subhash Goyal, Immediate Past President, IATO, informed that he has been elected as the Chairman of the Conference which will be called ‘Incredible India Calling’. Goyal also said, “We have requested the honourable Minister of Tourism to write to the Prime Minister to finalise the date. We are expecting around 15,000-20,000 people to attend the conference which will be the mother of all conferences. We hope it to be a grand success.”

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0.5% Krishi Kalyan Cess leviable from June 1

A new tax called Krishi Kalyan Cess (KKC) will be levied at 0.5% on all taxable value of services with effect from June 1, 2016. Just like Swachh Bharat Cess (SBC), KKC shall be chargeable on the value of services and not on service tax. This means that along with 0.5% of KKC the effective service tax rate will become 15% on taxable service. The Krishi Kalyan Cess will not be leviable on services which are exempt from levy of Service tax as well as on services on which service tax is not leviable. In case there is any abatement or partial exemption available to a service, KKC shall be leviable on such amount which is arrived after deduction of said abatement or partial exemption. Service tax, SBC and KKC will have to be shown separately on the invoice. Separate accounting codes for payment of KKC will be released The central government seeks to levy and recover KKC @0.5% on value of outstanding amounts as on June 1, 2016. TAAI has advised all its members to collect their outstanding dues from their clients at the earliest and latest by May 31, 2016 to avoid recovery of additional 0.5% of KKC.

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India engages with Australian trade

A horde of travel agents and tour operators from across Australia, keen on knowing more about India, attended the ‘Know India Better’ event held in Sydney on May 24. A joint initiative of India Tourism and Australia India Travel & Tourism Council (AITTC), this was the final of a series of sessions launched last year, aimed to educate the industry with updated travel information on India covering flights, hotels, infrastructure developments, visa, tours and safety awareness. According to Sandip Hor, Chairman AITTC, this project has immensely aided the industry allowing agents and tour operators to excite potential travellers on India. “Australia has moved from ninth to the seventh position in the list of foreign tourists arriving India”, said Kanchan Kukreja, Acting Director India Tourism Sydney. Attendess heard about this exotic destination from various presentors – India Tourism, Intrepid Travel and Air India and on India’s various touristy drawcards , including some of the economic and technological developments. Madhu Mathen, Manager Air India emphasised how the direct flights between Sydney/ Melbourne and Delhi are contributing to the growth in bilateral travel. While Kukreja in her presentation engaged the audience through various showstopping scenes of India, Sandip Hor expressed thoughts of initiating similar program in India to update market with more information on Australia, AITTC objective being to promote bilateral tourism. Representatives from Air India, Accor Hotels, Intrepid Travel, Insight Vacations, Far Horizon, Taj Hotels, Grace Hotel, Special Holidays Travel were also present.

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Andrew Jones: New Chairman of PATA Executive Board

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has announced the election of Andrew Jones, Guardian, Sanctuary Resorts, Hong Kong SAR, as Chairman of the Association’s Executive Board. He replaces Kevin B Murphy who was elected Chairman in April 2015 and who remains a member of the Executive Board as Immediate Past Chairman. Over the past 45 years he has worked in numerous senior management and corporate positions for prestigious hotels, resorts and management companies in London, Bermuda, Canada, Hong Kong SAR and across Asia. In 1996 he founded and became the Guardian of Sanctuary Resorts, a resort management company creating responsible and sustainable tourism experiences where people can balance their body, mind and spirit in an environmentally friendly space. A Certified Hotel Administrator of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, and a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, Andrew was previously a member of the Board of the Indian Ocean Tourism Organization and Director, Asia Pacific Affairs for the International Hotel and Restaurant Association. Andrew Jones said, “It is especially meaningful to me to be elected to the position of Chairman of PATA during this 65th anniversary year of the Association. During this time, after a long career in hospitality, I also celebrate my 65th year on the planet. In leading and guiding PATA in the coming year, my focus will be on the continual and future enhancement of the Association. In taking on this role I commit to pro-actively working with the Executive Board, management team and our members to continue the good work of PATA. I want us to deliver on our promised advocacy themes, especially Human Capital Development, and to encourage membership development and involvement while supporting the …

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