Tag Archives: COVID-19

TravTalk Digital Conclave today at 10am

Get ready to listen to the most eminent personalities of the travel industry on various issues arising because of the COVID-19 crisis for the industry at the TravTalk Digital Conclave – India’s first virtual tourism conclave, which will commence today, April 7, from 10 am to 1:30 pm. To register, write to Jaspreet.kaur@ddppl.com or call +919650196532. The conclave, divided into three sessions, is aimed to help the travel trade survive in present times amid the COVID-19 crisis, while also focusing on what the future holds for both inbound and outbound tourism. Three eminent speakers and industry experts will speak on a subject during each of the sessions. Session-1 will focus on ‘When will inbound bounce back? What action can tour operators take in the interim?’ Speakers for this session will be Rupinder Brar (ADG – Ministry of Tourism), Himmat Anand (Founder – Tree of Life Resorts & Hotels) and Homa Mistry (CEO – Trail Blazer Tours). The next session will delve on the subject ‘Outbound tourism: Weathering the storm and gearing up for better days’. Speakers for this session will include 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). Session-3 will cover the topic ‘Coronavirus – A small roadblock or a major disrupter for the tourism industry?’ This session will have 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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India’s first virtual tourism conclave, powered by TravTalk, to be held tomorrow

TravTalk Digital Conclave – India’s first virtual tourism conclave – is all set to take place tomorrow, April 7, from 10 am to 1:30 pm. The conclave will be divided into three sessions, each designed to help the travel trade survive in present times amid the COVID-19 crisis, while also focusing on what the future holds for both inbound and outbound tourism. Three eminent speakers and industry experts will speak on a subject during each of the sessions. Session-1 will focus on ‘When will inbound bounce back? What action can tour operators take in the interim?’ Speakers for this session will be Rupinder Brar (ADG – Ministry of Tourism), Himmat Anand (Founder – Tree of Life Resorts & Hotels) and Homa Mistry (CEO – Trail Blazer Tours). The next session will delve on the subject ‘Outbound tourism: Weathering the storm and gearing up for better days’. Speakers for this session will include 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). Session-3 will cover the topic ‘Coronavirus – A small roadblock or a major disrupter for the tourism industry?’ This session will have 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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International tourist arrivals could fall by 20-30%, 5-7 years’ worth of growth will be lost

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has released its updated assessment of the likely impact of the COVID-19 on international tourism. Considering the unparalleled introduction of travel restrictions across the world, the UN specialised agency for tourism expects that international tourist arrivals will be down by 20% to 30% in 2020 when compared with 2019 figures. However, UNWTO stresses that these numbers are based on the latest developments as the global community faces up to an unprecedented social and economic challenge and should be interpreted with caution in view of the extreme uncertain nature of the current crisis. An expected fall of between 20-30% could translate into a decline in international tourism receipts (exports) of between US$300-450 billion, almost one third of the US$ 1.5 trillion generated in 2019. Taking into account past market trends, this would mean that between five to seven years’ worth of growth will be lost to COVID-19. Putting this into context, UNWTO notes that in 2009, on the back of the global economic crisis, international tourist arrivals declined by 4%, while the SARS outbreak led to a decline of just 0.4% in 2003. Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General, UNWTO said, “Tourism is among the hardest hit of all economic sectors. However, tourism is also united in helping to address this immense health emergency – our first and utmost priority – while working together to mitigate the impact of the crisis, particularly on employment, and to support the wider recovery efforts through providing jobs and driving economic welfare worldwide.”  

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COVID-19 drives growth of virtual meetings: GBTA

According to a recent survey conducted by Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) among its members worldwide, including corporate travel managers and travel suppliers, 75 per cent of the respondents said that their companies were frequently hosting virtual meetings as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. With advances in technology, online meetings have now become the alternative to face-to-face meetings, most of which now stand either cancelled or suspended. This may well be a trend in the near future.

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Branded hotels in India could lose up to $4.1 billion in revenue: HVS ANAROCK

The branded segment is expected to witness a revenue loss of US$ 3.55 billion to US$ 4.1 billion in 2020 and the second quarter of the year will be the worst hit, says Mandeep S Lamba, President – South Asia, HVS ANAROCK. “The overall revenue of the Indian hotel sector, including both organised and unorganised segments, is set to decline by anywhere between US$ 8.85 billion to US$ 10 billion, reflecting an erosion of 39-45 per cent compared to the previous year. Hotels will be unable to drive rates and may even seek to attract business at deep discounts,” he adds. With new confirmed cases being reported daily, the penetration of the COVID-19 virus in India has caused mass hysteria, the reverberations of which are expected to continue well into the second quarter of the calendar year 2020.

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Only 4% confirmed meetings impacted by virus outbreak, rest continue as scheduled: ICCA report

According to a recent analysis by International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) on COVID-19’s impact on the meetings industry, 95.9 per cent of the confirmed meetings in Asia Pacific scheduled for 2020 were not affected by the virus outbreak. This accounted for 1,021 of the 1,065 meetings confirmed. The analysis also states that only 44 meetings scheduled for Asia Pacific were affected by COVID-19, accounting for only 4.1 per cent of the total. While 34 of these meetings were postponed, 10 were either relocated or cancelled. Outside Asia Pacific, two meetings in Europe and one in Africa are postponed. “We believe the international meetings industry can play its part in finding a solution to the current COVID-19 outbreak. International meetings represent the best possible vehicle for addressing this and many other global issues. As an industry, we must demonstrate resilience and confidence by maintaining to the greatest extent possible our ongoing schedule of activities – and where this is not possible, by working collaboratively to develop alternatives that help maintain the exchange of information and insights that account for the benefits we believe to result from this kind of engagement,” says ICCA President, James Rees.

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EU suspends ‘slot use’ rules till June 2020

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) welcomed the announcement by the European Commission (EC) granting the temporary suspension until June 2020 of the 80-20 ‘use it or lose it’ rule for airport slots.  The decision reflects the unprecedented situation facing the airline industry. However, granting the suspension only until June is the very minimum the industry needs, and a decision on a full suspension until October will be needed within the next month to allow airlines to plan their schedules. The COVID-19 virus has caused a collapse in global air travel demand. Owing to the requirement to continue to operate an airport slot for at least 80% of the time, airlines have been unable to respond by adjusting their capacity. The suspension of the slot use rules until June will allow airlines to begin putting in place measures to cope with the unprecedented fall in traffic, but it is a shorter period than airlines had requested. Airlines need the suspension to be extended to cover the whole season (to October), as other regulators worldwide have already agreed. The EC will therefore need to review the extension request by April 15. “Airlines are in crisis. The collapse in demand is unprecedented. And airlines are struggling to match capacity to the fast-changing situation. The Commission’s decision to suspend slot use rules until June means that airlines can make these critical decisions immediately—without worrying about the impact on future availability of slots. This is much needed and most welcome. However, given all the uncertainties, it is disappointing that the decision does not cover the full season,” said Rafael Schvartzman, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Europe. The Commission’s decision will benefit airlines, airports and …

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AI cancels Kuwait flights, curtails Europe, S Korea & Sri Lanka operations till 30th Apr

Owing to the coronavirus pandemic, Air India has decided to cancel all its flights to Kuwait till April 30 and curtail services to various other countries, including Spain, France and Sri Lanka. The national carrier currently operates to Kuwait from Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Goa and Mumbai. Under the revised flight schedule, Air India reportedly would operate only two flights on the Delhi-Madrid-Delhi route up to April 30, in place of the existing three. The third flight would remain cancelled between March 17 and April 28. Also, of the seven flights per week between Delhi and Paris now, the carrier has cancelled four services between March 16 and March 30. The other three flights will remain operational up to April 30, he said. The air services to Frankfurt from New Delhi have also been reduced to three per week from seven now between March 16 and April 30 while the Mumbai-Frankfurt services have been restricted to twice a week from March 18 to April 30 from four flights now, according to reports. From March 15, Air India will operate only two flights per week on the Delhi-Tel Aviv-Delhi route as against four services at present. In fact, even these two services on the route will not operate on March 15 and 16.

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Factual state of the travel fraternity!

Modi Ji… have you really understood the problems of our travel industry? Time to dive into the problems and turbulences industry has faced in the last 15 Years. There is no doubt that this government is proactive and quick at decision making, Trying to bring in a positive change but things have certainly gone wrong somewhere for our already suffering travel industry especially for offline players. Perhaps this government hasn’t done deep research on this industry and taken one-sided decisions and damaged it more. You would ask How? Let’s look back and evaluate a bit. Abolishment of IATA commissions by most of the Airlines (2001Onwards) Travel agents were paid 9% commission till 2000. From 2001 the commission was reduced to 7%. In May 2005, the commission was reduced to 5%. In November same year, 16 airlines cut the commission to zero, a move followed by others. In December 2008, the commission was rolled back to 3% by Indian carriers Air India, Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines, which is now defunct. Subsequently, others followed suit, and now airlines have again reduced it to 1%.  This was probably the first a big blow to our tourism industry as these commissions were a major source of their incomes. Information Source: Economic Times http://bit.ly/39ELDtF OTA & Other Intermediaries predatory pricing, w major disruptor (2006 Onwards) Biggest change, biggest disruption. The Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) have been one major disruptor to online distribution but other intermediaries have also come along and have further impacted the industry, such as Google, Facebook, Trip Advisor, metasearch sites and Airbnb. Tourism business which was synonyms to service-oriented experience has now become a commodity. Even the hoteliers are presented with …

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