Category Archives: Associations

Skål International India launches Srinagar Club

Skål International India has opened its 12th club under the name Skål International Srinagar that will comprise 21 members from Srinagar as well as Ladakh. Ibrahim Siah is the Founder President of the club, while Nasir Shah is its Secretary. The chief guest for the Chapter night was Syed Abid Rasheed Shah, District Development Commissioner, along with other eminent dignitaries. Hosted by Fortune Resort Heevan, the event was well-attended by the Skål India National Board and All India Club Presidents/Representatives. Ranjini Nambiar, President, Skål International India, informed, “Club members consist of hoteliers, travel agents, tour operators and adventure specialists. The state boasts of great ski slopes, apple orchards, houseboats on the 24 sqkm famous Dal lake and is an absolute safe place to be. All members worldwide are welcome to interact with the Skålleagues of Srinagar.”

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PATA Destination Marketing Forum 2018 opens in Khon Kaen with 300 delegates

The PATA Destination Marketing Forum (PDMF), themed on ‘Growth with Goals’, welcomed 290 delegates from 25 destinations. The event, hosted by Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), with the support of Khon Kaen Province, brought together delegates from the public and private sectors for insightful discussions on some of the major issues in marketing and managing tourism growth to lesser-known destinations. Dr Mario Hardy, PATA, CEO said, “This event stems from the need to help secondary and tertiary areas grow and develop into widely recognised, bucket-listed tourism destinations. Aligning with our advocacy theme of tourism dispersal, the forum shines the spotlight on new and emerging destinations, introducing delegates to lesser-known yet attractive corners of the world. It is designed to assist communities economically in these destinations by encouraging dispersion of tourists to new frontiers.” Delegates will hear from experienced industry professionals during the conference on major topics like ‘Status of Destination Management Around the World’, ‘Role of Local Experiences in Destination Marketing’, ‘Managing the Disconnect between Destination Organisations and Communities’, ‘Transborder Marketing. Case Studies of GMS’, ‘Fighting Undertourism Through Innovative Storytelling’, ‘Calculating our Impact as Destinations’ and ‘Leveraging Technology to Revolutionise the Travel Space’.

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TAAI and Yunnan sign MoU for tourism development

The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Yunnan Provincial Department of Tourism and Culture on the second day of the ongoing 65th TAAI Annual Convention in Kunming, China. The objective was to promote tourism between India and Yunnan. Both the regions will work towards developing a framework for cooperation, acknowledging the success which resulted in the convention being organised in Yunnan province.

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TAAI Convention opens in Kunming, China with 500 attendees

Delegates at the 65th Travel Agents Association of India’s convention and exhibition were warmly welcomed in Kunming, China. The three-day convention highlighted the theme ‘Tourism Beyond Boundaries’ and hopes to further strengthen tourism ties between India and China. Located in the Yunnan province of China, Kunming is an ideal golf destination and the TAAI Convention started with a golf tournament with players participating from both the countries. Known for popularising unknown destinations, TAAI has brought Kunming on the tourism map.

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Tourism likely to contribute 3.5 per cent to India’s GDP by 2027

The direct contribution of travel and tourism sector — which reflects the net value of output generated by hotels, airlines, travel agents, other passenger transportation services (excluding commuter services), and restaurants and leisure industries directly supported by tourists — was expected to rise 6.9 per cent YoY in 2017, suggests a FICCI-KPMG report. This accounts for 3.3 per cent of the country’s GDP, and is expected to form 3.5 per cent of it by 2027. In accordance with its GDP contribution, the sector contributes significantly to job creation. The sector directly accounts for 5.8 per cent of the total employment in India. Further, the Indian travel and tourism sector is expected to have attracted capital investment of Rs 2,387.7 billion (USD35.2 billion) in 2017 — accounting for 5.7 per cent of the total national investment.

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Satyajeet Rajan launches ‘Association for Rural Tourism in India’

In an attempt to bring  all organisations and individuals engaged in the rural tourism space under one umbrella, the Association for Rural Tourism in India (ARTI) has been unveiled during the International Conference on Rural Tourism Development held at Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi. Satyajeet Rajan, Founding Member and Director General (Tourism), Government of India, launched the association amidst stalwarts and pioneers of rural tourism world over. On the occasion, Steve Borgia, Founding member and CMD, INDeco Hotels said that ARTI will unite all hoteliers, NGOs and individuals working in the space of rural tourism. “As a task long due, this association is not only meant to hand-hold the tourism initiative, but also share and sustain the efforts. It is also now very important  that we influence our governments at both the centre and the state along with NGOs to use rural tourism as a tool to mend the ailing backbone of our villages,” he said. Other founding members present at the occasion include SK Misra, Chairman, Indian Trust for Rural Heritage and Development and Former Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister of India; Sujit Banarjee, Secretary General, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC); MP Bezbaruah, Former Secretary, Ministry for Tourism and Honorary Permanent Representative, UNWTO; Jose Dominic ,CEO, CGH Earth Group; Supratim Raj Basu, Founder & Director, Help Tourism.  

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PATA Travel Mart 2019 to be held in Astana, Kazakhstan

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is set to organise PATA Travel Mart 2019 in Astana, Kazakhstan in September. The event will be hosted by the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Kazakh Tourism National Company JSC. “As the destination stands at the crossroads between Asia and Europe, it is the perfect venue to organise the association’s signature travel trade exhibition in a uniquely transformational city that blends various cultures and heritages of both the East and West,” said Dr Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA. Yerlan Kozhagapanov, Vice Minister of Culture And Sport, Republic of Kazakhstan, said, “We are honoured to be the bid winner and are grateful for the opportunity to host PATA Travel Mart 2019. We are positioning Astana as a MiCE hub for Central Asia and looking forward to welcoming PATA members, hosted buyers and visitors at PATA Travel Mart 2019.” According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Kazakhstan received a total of over 7.7 million total visitors in 2017. Special discounts are available for sellers located within Central Asia, while early bird discounts are available for those registering before December 31, 2018.  

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TAAI and TAFI urge Air India to review its decision on single GDS

After Air India announced offering its inventory solely through its select GDS,  Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) along with Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) has urged the airline to review its decision. In a joint statement, the two associations said, “For these agencies including those which do not have access or frequently sell the airline seats on the GDS preferred by Air India, it is quite evident that selling Air India would not be an easy proposition and thus thay may opt for other airlines for their customers. For several established agencies, usage of GDS is governed by global agreements they have entered into and thus switching over or training their staff to get used to this limited GDS access will be a difficult option to cope with.’ On November 5, both the associations had a detailed discussion with the Air India Senior Management and conveyed that this decision of going exclusive on a GDS would be detrimental to the airline and this must be urgently reviewed. The associations are keen that Air India must not suffer any losses that would further damage the health of the airline. The senior management promised to revert in a day and on November 6, the associations received a phone call from them to inform that there will be no change in Air India’s stand. The joint statement goes on to add, “Air India has been reeling under tremendous financial challenges and instead of finding ways to increase its seat sales via an easy access through GDS channels, this move by the national carrier is shocking. The response given by Air India is that this would save its distribution costs. It is a …

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K J Alphons presides over UNWTO’s Program and Budget Committee meeting

K J Alphons, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism, along with a delegation of senior officials is attending the 109th session of United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Executive Council in Manama, Bahrain. During the opening day of the Executive Council meeting, Alphons chaired the ‘Programme and Budget Committee’ meeting of UNWTO. The three-day session of UNWTO Executive Council began on October 30, 2018. The Executive Council will discuss several topics on the agenda that are related to the development of global tourism sector. In his opening remarks, the Minister highlighted the role of tourism in socio-economic development through job creation, enterprise and environment development and foreign exchange earnings. As the chair of the committee, the Minister informed the session that for the first time, UNWTO had a surplus budget and most of the arrears due have been paid. India will be the chair of Programme and Budget Committee of UNWTO Executive Council till 2021. At the sidelines, the Minister also met Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary General, UNWTO, and discussed on involving UNWTO in developing tourism as a strong agent for the better future of the world and establishing the Global Public Private Partnerships.

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Delhi, Mumbai among world’s top 10 cities in job creation through tourism: WTTC

The world’s top ten cities in terms of job creation through tourism are Jakarta, Beijing, Mexico City, Shanghai, Bangkok, Chongqing, Delhi, Mumbai, Ho Chi Minh City, Shenzhen, according to World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Annual Cities Report released recently at the WTTC Asia Leaders Forum in Macau. The world’s top ten cities in terms of tourism market size are: Shanghai (US$35bn), Beijing ($32.5bn), Paris ($28bn), Orlando ($24.8bn), New York ($24.8bn), Tokyo ($21.7bn), Bangkok ($21.3bn), Mexico City ($19.7bn), Las Vegas ($19.5bn) and Shenzhen ($19bn). The report covers 72 of the world’s most important tourism cities, which together generated over $625bn contribution to GDP last year (24.3% of global travel and tourism GDP). Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, WTTC commented, “With 54 per cent of the world’s population living in urban areas, cities have become global economic hubs, driving growth and innovation. They attract huge quantities of people who travel to experience their culture, do business and live. This growth has also resulted in a rise in city tourism – a trend which is forecast to maintain momentum. Our report highlights the crucial importance of cities to travel and tourism worldwide, and likewise how vital this sector is to the economy. Over half a billion trips are made to cities annually representing 45 per cent of global international travel.” Of particular note, Chinese cities have matured rapidly over the past decade, and are forecast to continue dominating the growth charts between 2017 and 2027. Shanghai, for example, went from being the eighth largest city in terms of travel and tourism GDP in 2007 to become the largest in 2017 – a position it is expected to maintain until 2027.

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