Category Archives: Associations

Over 125 delegates at FICCI Digital Summit

FICCI Digital Travel, Hospitality and Innovation Summit opened with over 125 delegates. The attendees from various verticals of the travel and hospitality industry like technology providers, travel management companies, hotels, airlines, online travel agencies, GDS, etc., attended the event. The FICCI-Avalon knowledge paper-Travel 2.0-The Next Generation of Travel, was released at the event which details suggestions on mapping the travel industry better and trends that can offer insight to grow the industry. Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, said, “Travellers are moving away from exploring routes to exploring experiences. Social media is a legitimate research source and reviews are becoming increasingly important. Bloggers as a marketing channel have become important as they turn around niche products and create interest groups. The digital space has opened avenues for not just big players but even the smaller players in the industry can position themselves through digital platforms. Going digital is imperative and we have to see how fast we can become digital and at the same time look into what different we can offer in order to stay relevant in the market. The brick and mortar agencies have to embrace the technology curve and take on the challenge.” Jyotsna Suri, Chairperson, FICCI Tourism Committee and Chairperson and MD, Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, said “Adapting and adopting technology is the need of the hour and at FICCI we are happy to take on this vertical and offer a platform for thoughtful discussions and deliberation on the future of travel.”

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South Asia among top three fastest tourism growing regions

According to WTTC’s Economic Impact Report 2017, South Asia was the second fastest growing region in terms of travel in tourism in 2016, with a growth rate of 7.9 per cent. Southeast Asia (8.3%) was the region with the fastest growing travel and tourism sector in 2016, driven by the expanding Chinese outbound market and the countries own growing markets. Latin America (0.2%) was the slowest growing region. Globally, travel and tourism grew by 3.3 per cent in 2016, generating $7.6 trillion worldwide, which is 10.2 per cent of global GDP when the direct, indirect and induced impacts are taken into account. The sector supported a total of 292 million jobs in 2016, which is 1 in 10 of all jobs in the world. David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC, said, “This is the sixth year in a row that travel & tourism has outpaced the global economy, showing the sector’s resilience, and the eagerness of people to continue to travel and discover new places, despite economic and political challenges across the world.” The sector is expected to grow by 3.8 per cent in 2017, generating $ 7.9 trillion. This growth is slower than previously forecast, as a result of a downgrade to the global economy and a dampening of consumer spending.

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OTOAI’s Turkey Educon from May 3-7

The Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) has revived its Turkey Educational Tour for its members from May 3-7, 2017. Organised in association with Turkish Indian Tourism Council (TITC), the registration for the tour started on March 20, 2017. Riaz Munshi, Vice President, OTOAI, revealed the details saying initially the educon will take members to Mugla.

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Pankaj Nagpal steps down from ETAA post

Pankaj Nagpal – Managing Director, Travstarz Global Group has resigned from his position as the Enterprising Travel Agents Association National Director & Chapter Chairman – North India, after being an Office Bearer for ETAA for over five years. Commenting on the move, he said, “I have served ETAA to the best of my ability during my tenure and have established ETAA in North India Region which had only 13 members when I took over and today stands at over 150 Members. I thank my last Committee for all their contribution and all the Members for their support. My pre-occupation with the business is one of the reasons that I decided to quit ETAA and I am sure the board will find a capable replacement to take ETAA forward and I wish them all the very best for the future specially after the successful 2nd Domestic Convention held recently at Hyderabad.” He had announced the dissolution of the existing North India Committee during the last member’s meet held at Ashoka Hotel in November 2016, and was in the process of forming the new committee but decided to resign himself as well.

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OTOAI promotes Nanjing, China in Delhi

In a bid to educate the travel trade about Nanjing’s diverse tourism offerings, Outbound Tour Operators’ Association of India (OTOAI) organised a workshop in association with Nanjing Municipal Tourism Garden Bureau. Through a series of presentations, the main highlights in the Ming dynasty’s home, such as the ancient philosopher Confucius’ temple, Ming Great Wall, Linggu Temple, to name a few, were shown to the gathering along with other details about the destination. Guldeep Singh Sahni, President, OTOAI said, “We are promoting various regions instead of the whole country in order to give elaborate information on the destination. Nanjing is China’s ancient capital and is replete in history and culture. It can cater to a wide variety of travellers and would make for an ideal break, thanks to the array of products it has to offer.” Additionally, Xia Jun, Deputy Director, Nanjing Municipal Tourism Garden Bureau said, “We received around 10,000 Indians last year and would like to see more Indian tourists visiting the region. Nanjing is best visited during autumn and is famous for its history as well as cuisine. We are hoping for a direct connection between Nanjing and New Delhi to start soon which will definitely give a boost to the numbers,” she commented.

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ICTT to be held from June 8-10 to have travel-tech stalwarts

The International Conference on Tourism Technology (ICTT), to be held from June 8-10, 2017, will have  an line-up of technology industry experts from across the globe to deliberate on the paramount role of technology in giving a fillip to the travel and tourism industry through interactive engagements with customers and providing excellent products and services. The three-day event, to be held at Le Meridien Hotel, Kochi, is organised by the Association of Tourism Trade Organisation (ATTOI). “Technology is all around us and the world of travel and tourism is no exception. Through technology, such as social media, tourism operators could engage their customers and enable them to share their experiences. So it is high time to get updated and be adaptable and fluid to the changes in the sector,” said ATTOI President Anish Kumar P.K. The seven experts who will be attending the brainstorming meet this year to share their insights are Andre Chow (Singapore), Billy Taylor (New Zealand), Christopher Tock (Malaysia), Donna Mortiz (Australia), Lauren Cleland (USA), Nicky Kriel (the UK) and Pierre Marechal (Belgium).

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PATA & Equator Learning launch travel agent initiative

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), in conjunction with England-based Equator Learning, is launching a travel agent initiative to support organisations with travel trade marketing efforts. The Asia & Pacific Expert is an online learning tool for travel agents that is applicable for all markets worldwide. It supports and promotes the destination as well as any pre-existing learning platform. Chris May, Managing Director – Equator Learning, says, “Knowledge is power. You have heard that many times before and know it to be 100 percent correct. Travel agents are becoming increasingly time poor and picking up un-qualified knowledge. This can damage a destination and its reputation. The Asia & Pacific Expert is a user-friendly solution for all destinations, providing a clear and reliable source of information for travel agents.” This initiative offers PATA members the opportunity to create a 30-minute learning module that will provide agents with essential information about a destination, empowering them with the ability to sell it correctly. Unlike any existing stand-alone learning platform the Asia & Pacific Expert gives agents all the facts they need to gain confidence while providing a new avenue to promote and link to an organisation’s existing site. In addition, this will offer an agent a friendly portal for all Asia Pacific destinations – providing the first one-stop shop for the region.

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ETAA’s Domestic Convention 2017 sees pan-India participation

Enterprising Travel Agent’s Association (ETAA) took their second Domestic Convention to Hyderabad which was held from Mar 3-5, 2017, at Leonia Holistic Destination. The event gathered over 200 attendees, informed Jagat Mehta, President, ETAA, and added that the edition saw a pan-India participation from different states of the country such as Karnataka, Maharashtra, New Delhi, West Bengal, to name a few. He elaborated, “We were very satisfied with the turnout and the response. While there were a few last minute cancellations, it did nothing to deter the spirit. Our first domestic convention was held back in 2011 with 180 members from Mumbai, Pune and a few from Gujarat so in comparison to that, we’ve managed to bring together a diverse crowd. Yes, business is the main aim but so is forging and strengthening bonds.” The three-day convention involved B2B meetings between buyers and sellers that was effective in connecting travel agents and tour operators from Tier II & III cities to travel suppliers, and also saw a host of team-building activities take place in the sprawling 150-acre property.

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IAAI requests Emirates to reconsider commission cut

Biji Eapen, National President, IATA Agents Association of India (IAAI), has written a letter to Emirates addressed to its Vice President – India & Nepal, Essa Sulaiman Ahmad, requesting him to reconsider the airline’s decision to cut agency commission. The letter reads, ‘…the proposed action clearly contradicts your statement in the opening paragraph of the referred letter – that the travel agents are your “prime strategic distribution channel.” Especially as it is only their market support over the years that has placed Emirates in a dominant position above the national carrier.’ The letter then outlines the hardships that agents go through to sell Emirates, ‘Agents have over the years taken care of your sales and marketing, generating thousands of crores of rupees worth of business by risking huge amounts in the market, maintaining well-manned offices, canvassing for clients and servicing all their travel requirements, obtaining overdrafts to make the airline payments and paying interests at high rates on such borrowings.’

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FICCI-Avalon Knowledge Paper to focus on future of travel

FICCI and Avalon Global Research (AGR) joint publication of the knowledge paper ‘Travel 2.0 – The Next Generation of travel’ is slated to be unveiled at Digital Travel, Hospitality and Innovation Summit on March 22 -23, 2017, at  FICCI, Federation house, New Delhi. The proposed knowledge paper would focus on the evolution of travel, tourism and hospitality industry through digital adaption and the role of new technologies and automation in streamlining the business processes across value chain, highlighting the speed and convenience of the business in this industry from an end-user perspective. “We are in a digital era and travel and hospitality is not an exception. The rampant penetration of smartphone has transformed travel consumption pattern of the end user. The FICCI -Avalon Knowledge report will highlight all these with pointers to the future of travel in India,” informed Rahul Chakravarty, Director and Head–Tourism, FICCI. The report would also emphasize on adaption of big data analytics and the influence of social media on service providers and aggregators to address the challenges such as intensive competition and requirement of direct interaction with the end users. “Technology and  enhanced economic and aspirational activities have impacted how travel is perceived , reviewed , distributed and consumed .Therefore a mature research aspect allows the travel ecosystem to innovate to make itself future proof and ready for Travel 2.0. This report sets out in this direction,” added Ashish Kumar, Member, FICCI Travel Technology Committee.

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