Tag Archives: FAITH

250 regional guides at TGFI Annual National Convention 2018 in Hyderabad

Around 250 regional level guides from different units of India recently attended the Tourist Guides’ Federation of India (TGFI) Annual National Convention in Hyderabad. Representatives from tourism associations like Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) and Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) also marked their presence at the event. The convention held discussions on current tourism policies, tourism promotion, tour guide fee revision, general body elections and cooperation with Ministry of Tourism (MOT) and IATO, etc. Sunita M Bhagwat, IFS, Commissioner, Department of Tourism, Government of Telangana was the chief guest for the inaugural ceremony. Shreevats Sanjay, Regional Director (South), India Tourism; Subhash Goyal, Honorary Secretary, FAITH; K Ranga Reddy, Chairman, IATO Telangana & Andhra Pradesh Chapter; C V Shankar Reddy, Assistant Director, India Tourism were also present at the opening ceremony. TGFI unanimously elected New Executive Body for 2018-2020. Ajay Singh has been elected as the President of the association.

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MOT upbeat to host first India Tourism Mart

The Ministry of Tourism is set to host the first edition of India Tourism Mart from September 16-18, 2018 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, in association with Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH), along with different states and union territories. Speaking at the event, KJ Alphons, Minister of Tourism (I/C) said, “ITM is created to have a dedicated tourism event for India on the lines of WTM London, ITB Berlin, ATM Dubai, etc, which provide a platform for stakeholders in the industry to network for business opportunities with international buyers. The event is going to see over 300 international buyers and around 250 stalls for exhibitors. The buyers will be selected from potential source markets by the international offices of MOT as well as by the participating associations on merit and quality.”

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IATO elects new team for 2018-20

The Indian Association of Tour Operators held its election on April 28, 2018 and announced the new team for the 2018-20 period. The returning officer for the election was Akshay Kumar, Vice Chairman, Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH). Pronab Sarkar has been re-elected as the President unopposed, while Rajiv Mehra was also re-elected as the Vice President unopposed. Ravi Gosain is the new Treasurer and Rajnish Kaistha is the new Joint Secretary, both of whom were elected unopposed too. The voting was conducted for the position of Senior Vice President, Honorary Secretary as well as EC Members in the EC active and allied category. Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO said, “We are glad that the members have chosen us to represent them at IATO. The new team has a few new members and I am sure they will bring new ideas to be implemented to build a better working atmosphere in the association. I congratulate the new team and welcome all of them to work for the members together.”

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Yet no industry status for tourism: Subhash Goyal

Subhash Goyal, Hon. Secretary, FAITH, laments over the Government’s ignorance towards tourism trade’s demand for industry status. “While the government has taken many initiatives to boost business and infrastructure, we’ve got a mixed reaction from the trade on the Budget. Increasing the threshold limit for Corporate Tax from Rs. 50 crore to Rs. 250 crore is a welcome move as it will benefit SMEs. Building international airports around the country, offering Wi-Fi in trains and railway stations is a welcome move as well. Also, encouraging investment in sea plane activities would benefit tour operators in boosting coastal tourism,” he says. However, Goyal adds, “The government failed to meet two of or demands. One was to differentiate tour operators on the basis of FEEs under GST and another was GST to be reduced for five-star hotels from 28 per cent to 18 per cent. We are not happy about the government not giving tourism industry status.”

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FAITH elects new team

The Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) has elected its new team with Nakul Anand, Executive Director, ITC, as the Chairman, who was nominated by Hotel Association of India (HAI). The Vice Chairman is Akshay Kumar, CEO, Mercury Himalayan Explorations, who was nominated by Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI). The association also created an additional position of Vice Chairman, for which they have elected Sunil Kumar R, CEO, Travel World, who was nominated by Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI).  Subhash Goyal, Chairman, STIC Travel Group, who was nominated by Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), is the new Honorary Secretary, while Garish Oberoi, Partner, Hotel Uberoi Anand, has been declared as the Treasurer. Aashish Gupta continues as the Consulting CEO of FAITH. All the above positions have been unanimously elected by the FAITH Board.

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4th MPTM to be held in Bhopal from Oct 27-29

The 4th edition of Madhya Pradesh Travel Mart (MPTM) will be held from October 27-29, 2017 in Bhopal, informed Hari Ranjan Rao, Secretary, Tourism and Public Service Management and Managing Director, Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation. Over 200 national and international buyers and around 100 exhibitors of distinct Indian markets are expected to participate in the mart.According to Surendra Patwa, State Minister, Tourism and Culture (I/C), Kisan Kalyavan and Agriculture Development, Government of Madhya Pradesh, “I am hopeful that this year’s MPTM will open way for more investment in tourism sector in the state. This event will give us the opportunity to create a new tourism policy, water tourism policy, heritage policy, policy of providing accommodation facility centres and home state schemes.” With the theme, Seek-Discover-Explore, the mart will offer a B2B platform to bring together tourism stakeholders and representatives from heritage hotels, conference venues, tour operators and wildlife parks etc. The mart is supported by various trade organisations, like ADTOI, ATTOI, IATO, FAITH, TAAI and TAFI. Rao informed that this year, the number of attendees to the mart is expected to cross over 9 crore. International participants attending the show include representatives from Singapore, Spain, the UK, the US, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Thailand, Poland, Austria, Australia, France etc. Rao said, “The travel mart is an opportunity in which the tourism aspects of the state and the policies ad schemes are conveyed to the investors. In the last three years of the Travel mart in Bhopal, it has been experienced that through this one-to-one discussion with tourists, tourism, hospitality and participants of the hotel industry, the efforts being made for the expansion of the area are also being …

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Government needs to rethink on taxes: FAITH

The 28 per cent tax on hotels is going to affect not only the hotel industry, but other businesses as well, said Sarab Jit Singh, Vice-Chairman, FAITH. He added, “It is a clear way to kill the travel and hospitality industry. Secondly, GST of 5 per cent on tour operators, which was already there. However, the government should look at if they want to promote tourism or their purpose is to earn tax money from tourism instead of generating employment and earn foreign exchange from this sector. They should decide if they want the tourism industry to perish or flourish. We are tired of knee-jerk reactions that we get from the government now and then. I think the government needs to rethink the decisions on taxes. We are having a meeting with FAITH and work on a consolidated approach to talk to the government on this.”

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FAITH recommends 12% GST to Finance Ministry

The Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) has suggested an upper GST rate of 12 per cent for the tourism and hospitality industry and handed its detailed recommendations to the Ministry of Finance. The industry comprises of air travel agents, business exhibition services, hotel and hospitality services, tour operators, rent a cab and vacation ownership. The representation has been made considering strategic forex, employment, economic and GST rationale and rates for tourism, travel and hospitality sector of India. An upper limit of 12 per cent has been suggested for hotels and hospitality and vacation ownership segment. For the air travel agents the recommendation was given to continue presumptive rate on all income and keep GST at 1 per cent or less. For the tour operators, FAITH requested to introduce a presumptive rates mechanism of GST at 1.2 per cent considering difficulty of getting GST input credits from unorganised sector and the burden of compliance of registration with different states. It has been requested to exempt outbound tour operators and business exhibitions selling outbound from India from GST since provision of services are out of India. In the case of rent a car, a GST rate of 5 per cent has been suggested failing which, maximum 12 per cent has been deemed acceptable. FAITH has urged for a special GST exemption on forex income for tour operators, hotels and businesses earning forex if it can be a criteria with MoF for GST. Addressing the adventure tourism industry, FAIH has requested MoF to consider special GST exemption based on J&K and a very high component of local, unorganised labour involved.

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Allocate more funds for commerce ministry

Sarab Jit Singh, Vice-Chairman, FAITH, appreciated the Finance Minister for taking cognizance of FAITH’s recommendations. “The positive in today’s budget is acceptance and announcement by the Finance Minister of creating five special tourism zones, which was FAITH’s recommendation. Secondly, the announcement for Incredible India branding to be relaunched internationally and 35 per cent increase for its allocation is also a positive from our perspective,” he says. He goes on to explain the flip side. “The negative point according to me is the fact that the government is saying that exports are going down. However, tourism is the only industry which can now bring foreign exchange and generate employment, and the only incentives we were getting from were from the Ministry of Commerce, whose total allocation in the budget has now been reduced. Thus, it is a counterproductive feature. If the government wants to increase imports and wants growth, they cannot have lesser allocation for commerce ministry.” He contemplates on the status of tourism industry post this budget and says, “Tourism in the country is not growing for many years. We have lost for decades together; we have lost marketplace completely internationally; as well as we have lost to competing countries. Until the government moves all the aspects together with full force, we will not have results. I agree that the Prime Minister should talk to the industry directly.”

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Some benefit for inbound tour operators likely

Sarab Jit Singh, Vice Chairman, FAITH, says, “While the service tax would increase to 60 per cent, the government has allowed input credit, which might neutralise the effect of service tax. However, I feel that inbound tourism might not be affected much because of this rule. In fact, there might be some benefit for inbound tour operators in the long run. It will be outbound tour operators, which will see the impact of this announcement. I feel that this ruling is part of government’s move towards GST. Such measures would force people to do business legitimately.

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