Tag Archives: COVID-19

Tourism likely to undergo radical changes; domestic travel key in driving demand: Amitabh Kant, NITI Aayog

Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog has said that tourism as a product is likely to undergo radical changes and the revival of domestic tourism, with necessary safety protocols, will be key in driving demand for future. Kant made this statement during the Empowered Group 6 meeting with representatives from tourism and travel industry to discuss the immediate challenges posed by the pandemic and way forward for the sector post COVID-19. Along with FAITH, its 10-member association representatives attended the meeting along with WTTC.

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FAITH requests CMs of all Indian states for state specific support package

Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH) has appealed to the Chief Ministers of each state for coming up with a state specific package. FAITH has shared with each state their share of domestic and foreign tourists and how most of those total tourist footfalls will now not be available for 2020-21. A statement released by the association mentioned that almost all of India’s top performing foreign source markets for tourism (USA, Canada, UK, Germany, China, Japan, Singapore, Russia, Italy, Spain), are severely impacted and are not likely to travel before FY 2021 – 22. Owing to this, tourism business has come to a standstill in FY 2020-21. “The interstate domestic season which happens almost 60%+ in the April – July period has collapsed for the year FY 2020 – 21 and will be negligent for the rest of year with stringent travel restrictions and reduced connectivity across Indian states. FAITH has been repeatedly saying to all key Government bodies that the Tourism industry of India first needs to SURVIVE, then needs to REVIVE and then only can it THRIVE,” read the statement. FAITH has appealed to the Chief Ministers of each state for coming up with a state specific package. A complete waiver of all fixed electricity and other utility charges for FY 2020-21 without any penalties. A complete waiver of all excise duties for FY 2020-21 without any penalties. A renewal of all licenses, permits, permissions which were expiring in FY 2020-21 without any financial charges or penalties. A refund of the FY 2019-20 of SGST collected from all travel agents, tourist transporters, hotels, tour operators, restaurants and any other tourism, travel & hospitality enterprises in …

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Domestic tourists aged 18-35 will travel first; short-haul countries to pick up next: WTTC

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has outlined what the ‘new normal’ will look like as countries begin to end their COVID-19 lockdowns and ease travel restrictions. As travel gradually returns to normal over the coming months, WTTC predicts that the first to return will be domestic markets with staycations, then to a country’s nearest neighbours before expanding across regions, and then finally across continents to welcome the return of journeys to long-haul international destinations. WTTC also believes that younger travellers in the 18-35 age group, who appear to be less vulnerable to COVID-19, may also be among the first to begin travelling once again. The tourism council also informs that new protocols and standards are being defined following feedback and multiple conversations with WTTC members, as well as collaboration from associations who represent the different travel sectors.

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MOT constitutes ‘National Tourism Task Force’ for revival of the sector impacted by Covid 19

The outbreak of COVID 19 has had a major impact on the tourism sector and its revival is of paramount importance, it’s the major contributor of employment as well as GDP. National Tourism Task Force constituted by MOT will meet the challenge posted by the outbreak of Covid 19 and make appropriate recommendations for the revival of the tourism sector in the country. The task force will be headed by Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State for Tourism and Culture (IC), and it will include: State Tourism Ministers; Joint Secretary level officers of the concerned central ministries; Industry associations, CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM, WTTC, etc and the heads of Tourism and Hospitality Associations. Ministry of Tourism will hold the first meeting of the National Tourism task Force shortly in all probability through video call.

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Foreign arrivals in South Asia likely to reduce by 31% this year: PATA

Under the newly updated forecasts from the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), the most likely scenario for international visitor arrivals into South Asia in 2020 is that visitor numbers are likely to reduce by 31% year-on-year. That effectively takes visitor volume back to levels last seen in 2012. At this stage, growth is expected to resume in 2021, returning to forecast levels by 2023. Much of course, depends on how quickly and completely the COVID-19 pandemic is contained and controlled. South Asia is also expected to suffer a loss of US$13.3 billion.

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Spain to conduct destination webinar on Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Tourism Office of Spain invites the travel trade to learn more about the destination through its webinar titled ‘The Spanish Travel Experience’ on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 at 1500 hrs. To participate, please contact Jaspreet Kaur at jaspreet.kaur@ddppl.com or call 9650196532. Spain is famous for its tapas, flamenco, fiestas and endless beaches, but it is so much more. A country with four official languages, home to 15 UNESCO World Heritage cities, and diverse gastronomy and landscapes, Spain is also home to the most extraordinary architecture and a perfect wedding destination. Its cities are as diverse as the landscapes, but one thing that never changes is the Spanish lifestyle. But all this can wait. #SpainWillWait until the global crisis of COVID-19 is over.  

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Firm action required by governments to support tourism recovery: UNWTO

UNWTO has urged members to increase pressure on world leaders to rethink tax and employment policies related to tourism and help businesses survive and drive wider recovery efforts. UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said, “This crisis has shown the strength of solidarity across borders. But nice words and gestures will not protect jobs or help the many millions of people whose lives are dependent on a thriving tourism sector. Governments have an opportunity to recognize tourism’s unique ability to not only provide employment but to drive equality and inclusivity. Our sector has proven its ability to bounce back and help societies recover. We ask that tourism is now given the right support to once again lead recovery efforts.”

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France makes carrying travel certificates mandatory

The French authorities have declared that every traveller is requested, from April 8, 2020, 12 AM, to fill out and carry one of the following travel certificates according to their situation. This comes in line with the French Government’s measures to prevent and slow the spread of Covid-19 for the tourism sector and inbound tourists into France. The official statement released by Atout France stated that once the containment and confinement system is lifted, certain restrictions will remain. “As announced by the President, French international borders will remain closed until further notice. In the context of the implementation of the state of health emergency in France, access restrictions to Mainland France and to French Overseas territories are in effect. Every traveller is requested, from April 8, 2020, 12 AM, to fill out and carry one of the following travel certificates according to their situation, whether it is for a trip from mainland France to French overseas territories, for international travel from abroad to mainland France, or for international travel from abroad to French overseas territories. The document is to be presented to transportation companies before boarding, as well as to the border control authorities,” the statement said. The France president has also announced specific economic measures in order to help the tourism sector. These measures will be announced in May 2020.

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India’s first digital conclave by TravTalk Overwhelming response: 6,000+ attendees

TravTalk Digital Conclave – India’s first virtual tourism conclave got off to a roaring success with over 6000 plus attendees in three sessions that took place yesterday. TravTalk got on board eminent stakeholders in the tourism industry to discuss various issues arising because of the COVID-19 crisis for the industry. Session one focused on ‘When will inbound bounce back? What action can tour operators take in the interim?’ Speakers for this session included Rupinder Brar (ADG – Ministry of Tourism), Himmat Anand (Founder – Tree of Life Resorts & Hotels) and Homa Mistry (CEO – Trail Blazer Tours). The second session was on the subject ‘Outbound tourism: Weathering the storm and gearing up for better days’. Speakers for this session included experts like Tricia Warwick (APMEA Director – VisitBritain), GB Srithar (Regional Director, India, Middle East & South Asia – Singapore Tourism Board) and Deepak Rawat (Senior Vice President, International Markets – MakeMyTrip). The final session covered the topic ‘Coronavirus – A small roadblock or a major disrupter for the tourism industry?’ This session had industry experts Suman Billa (Director, Technical Cooperation and Silk Road Development – UNWTO), Kapil Kaul (CEO, India & ME – CAPA) and Naveen Kundu (Managing Director – EbixCash Travel & Holidays), share their expert advice with the travel trade.

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IATA allows agents to make payment settlements later without penalties

An official statement by IATA has said that travel agents can make payment settlements later without penalties, in the wake of the global crisis of COVID-19. The statement read “For travel agents, we’re allowing settlements to be made a bit later, without penalties. While remittance periods have been kept in accordance with BSP Calendars, we are taking a flexible approach and preliminary figures confirm this, showing that default rates in 2020 are a bit below the year-ago period—despite the stresses on the system in 2020.” In addition, recognising the fact that it may be difficult or impossible to get audited financial statements, or arrange a financial guarantee, “IATA is offering to extend deadlines for these statements by up to a month.”

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