Category Archives: Associations

MOT allows bulk purchase of monument tickets in Agra

Tourism Minister (I/C) Dr. Mahesh Sharma has given directives to allow purchase of monument tickets in Agra in bulk with payments through Demand Draft with immediate effect. The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) had urged the Ministry of Tourism and ASI to suggest alternatives regarding purchase of ASI Monument tickets after December 15, 2016. As for all the other monuments, tickets are available for purchase online, except for some monuments in Agra, especially Fatehpur Sikri, Agra Fort and Itimad-ul-Daula’s Tomb. Also, there will not be any passport details required for bulk purchase, revealed Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO. He added that installation of Debit/Credit Card swipe machines at the monuments are also being explored.

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OTOAI Turkey Educon from March 12-15, 2017

The Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) is conducting the Turkey Mega Educon Programme with Turkish Indian Tourism Council (TITC) from March 12 to 15, 2017, in Istanbul. The pre tour programme will be held from March 9-12 in Turkey. The main Istanbul programme would include the destination training and meetings with local suppliers. March 15 to 18, will be the post tour programme in Turkey. The pre and post tour destinations proposed are a selection from 4 cities – Antalya, Cappadocia, Izmir-Kusadas, Pamukkale, and Bodrum-Marmaris-Fethiye. TITC will also be arranging with the Turkish Embassy and its consulate in India to assist the OTOAI members for their visas ex New Delhi and Mumbai. The deadline for application for OTOAI members is December 19, 2016.

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Ashwani Lohani is new WTTCII Chairman

World Travel & Tourism Council, India Initiative (WTTCII) has appointed Ashwani Lohani, Chairman & Managing Director, Air India, as its Chairman for the year 2017. Lohani, who served as the Vice Chairman of WTTCII for the year 2016, takes over from Kapil Chopra, President, The Oberoi Group, who completed his term at the recently held AGM in Delhi. Sunder G. Advani, Chairman & Managing Director, Advani Hotels & Resorts (India) Limited, has been appointed as the Vice Chairman of WTTCII for the year 2017. This was announced at the Annual General Meeting of the World Travel & Tourism Council, India Initiative (WTTCII) held on 12 December 2016 at New Delhi. Lohani said, “Over the years, WTTCII has been championing convergence between Government of India and States to facilitate tourism in India and we will continue to do so. With the GST in place by next year, the States will have the major onus of implementing smart policies for facilitating tourism on the ground. We will continue to work with the States, with the strength of our Members, to improve access, address infrastructural gaps and 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. The sub sectors of Aviation, Hospitality, Transportation, Railway compliments each other. In a country like India, all the subs sectors of tourism need to be integrated and treated uniformly by the Government in its various policy initiatives to give it a competitive edge vis-à-vis other countries.” Advani said, “We welcome the ground breaking move by Government of India introducing E-visa policy for 158 countries at 16 Airports and 5 Cruise Ports. These …

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TAAI signs MoU with Mumbai’s DY Patil University

The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) has signed an academia-industry partnership MoU with the School of Tourism and Hospitality at DY Patil University in Nerul in Mumbai’s Navi Mumbai region. It was signed on December 2, 2016 between Vandana Mishra Chaturvedi, Director, School of Hospitality and Tourism Studies, DY Patil University and Jay Bhatia on behalf of TAAI at the second International Conference on Tourism and Hospitality held for the students at the university campus. Bhatia shall also be on the advisory board of DY Patil University. Sampat Damani, Chairman Western Region, TAAI, said, “We are continuing with our agenda to educate and mentor Generation Next with relevant training and making the curriculum more to the industry specific. It is a historic day for the industry when two giants the DYPU and TAAI have signed an MoU to ensure students and the future of the tomorrow are so keen to be a part of the tourism and hospitality industry.”

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PATA draws tourism spotlight on the island of Palau

The next edition of PATA New Tourism Frontiers Forum (NTFF) will be held in Palau from November 15-17, 2017. The event, generously hosted by the Palau Visitors Authority, consists of a one-day conference, networking events and a day of on-ground activities embracing a Technical Tour and Tourism Marketing Treasure Hunt. PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy stated, “On behalf of PATA, I would like to thank the Palau Visitors Authority for providing us the opportunity to showcase one of the most beautiful and pristine island paradises in the world.  The event will enable us to present the natural beauty, culture and heritage of this magnificent destination whilst also providing insights into how best to market lesser-known destinations and manage the increase in international visitor arrivals.” Nanae Singeo, Managing Director of Palau Visitors Authority, said, “We are extremely honoured that this important event is taking place next year in Palau. Palau is a small island nation of 20,000 people but known and recognised globally as a conservation leader. As the UNWTO has declared 2017 as the Year of Sustainability we could not ask for a better time to stage this event in Palau.” Palau is an island country located in the western Pacific Ocean. Comprising 586 islands, from the big island of Babeldaob to the smallest rock, approximately seventy-five percent of Palau is covered in native forest and mangrove. The country contains diverse terrain, flora and fauna, and a rich variety of wildlife.

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WTTC, UNWTO urge UK govt to lift air ban to Sharm el Sheikh

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) call on the UK government to lift the current ban on UK-based airlines flying to Sharm el Sheikh. In a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May, David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC, and Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General, UNWTO, stressed the importance of resuming operations to the Egyptian coastal resort as the current travel advisory is having devastating effects on the country’s economy and social stability. The ban has been in place since a Metrojet airline flying from Sharm el Sheikh to St Petersburg crashed in the Sinai Desert in October 2015. They said, “Travel & Tourism is vital to Egypt’s economy and social peace, contributing 11% of the country’s GDP and 2.6 million in jobs in 2015. The reduction of visitors has created huge employment losses. The country’s biggest concern is how the lack of employment opportunities, especially for young men and women, has instilled a desperate disposition and thus vulnerability to radicalisation or to fleeing on a refugee boat.” Egyptian authorities have taken significant measures to step up the level of security not only in the airport but in the surrounding area as well. These improvements now meet the safety standards as indicated by the UK Department for Transport. All other countries, including Germany and Russia, have allowed their airlines to start flying to Sharm el Sheikh again. They concluded, “It is devastating to see the impact the current UK travel advisory has on Egypt and on the young workforce in particular. We call on the UK government to review the advisory and allow commercial aircraft to fly to Sharm el Sheikh and thereby help restore the …

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FAITH proposes ‘Holiday in India’

At a recent pre-budget meeting with the Finance Ministry, FAITH proposed a tourism strategy — Holiday in India — on the lines of ‘Make in India’. FAITH has done a scenario analysis, which shows that under this strategy, Indian tourism can impact up to an estimated 12-16 crore jobs directly or indirectly from the current levels of approximately 4-5 crores. The tourism GDP can get impacted directly or indirectly up to 40 lakh crores from the current levels of around 7- 8 lakh crores. In a document released to its industry members, FAITH has said that the objective behind ‘Holiday in India’ is to make India a multi- season, multi-product, highly preferred tourist / business / conference destination for both the global and domestic tourists.

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ADTOI to start Rajasthan Chapter from Dec 10

Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI) will inaugurate its Rajasthan Chapter in Jaipur on December 10. Mahender Singh, Director, K K Holidays N Vacations, has been appointed the Chairperson, informed P. P. Khanna, President, ADTOI at the General House Meeting of the association. He said, “This is being coordinated with India Travel Mart-Jaipur 2016 which is being held from December 9-11. The ADTOI website is under construction and we will be launching the same around next month in order to improve connectivity between association members, the Ministry of Tourism and state tourism bodies. We are also in talks with various state tourism bodies to organise specialised programs for the members and are trying to reach out to the remotest corners of places like Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand to introduce our members to newer destinations and allow them to sell the products better.” Akshay Kumar, President, Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) was also present at the meeting. Khanna informed, “We are trying to collaborate with various associations in order to explore sectors that have not been focused upon till now like adventure travel”. He also added that that the association was joined with 30 members during Sept-Nov and more members are being enlisted in the organisation.

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Sunil Kumar re-elected as UFTAA President at 50th Congress

Sunil R. Kumar has been re-elected as the President of United Federation of Travel Agents’ Association (UFTAA) for the term 2016-17, at the association’s golden jubilee congress. UFTAA members gathered  in Istanbul on November 25 for the event. Welcoming the attendees at the congress, Kumar thanked TURSAB to invite them to the destination and arranging the event in Istanbul and assured that it would help boost inbound in the country. The theme of the congress is ‘Celebrate the Connect’. Kumar said that its necessary for different associations around the world to connect with each other and grow together. UFTAA also plans to have its global office in Doha, Qatar.

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Regional & State-level guides allowed at centrally protected monuments

All guides with licences issued by ASI and Additional Director General, Tourism, are valid and can enter all the Centrally Protected Monuments including Fatehpur Sikri, till fresh licences are issued under the new Policy, informs Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO quoting Supreme Courts’ order on IATO’s writ petition. IATO had sought clarification on the restricted entry of Regional Level Guides and State Level Guides at Fatehpur Sikri, where only local guides were being allowed to work. This was causing financial burden on IATO members as they had to pay guide fee to their Regional/State Level Guide and the local guide.

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