Tag Archives: President

Record number of registrations for TAAI Convention 2018

TAAI’s limited edition convention in Srinagar has gathered keen interest from the trade. “Within 24 hours of opening registration, we received over 100 forms. Registrations for the TAAI Convention opened on February 19 and more than 200 delegates have already confirmed their participation. The hotels are in huge demand,” confirms Sunil R. Kumar, President, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI). Set to be held from March 27-30, 2018, the TAAI Convention is being organised in association with the Ministry of Tourism, Jammu & Kashmir with a view to promote a more visible J&K and its outstanding attributes that extensively support tourism and culture.

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Thomas Cook India inks contract with Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports

Thomas Cook (India) has partnered with the Government of India for the Khelo India School Games, a part of the Khelo India Programme initiative of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to create a sports ecosystem and revive sports culture at a grassroot level in India. Thomas Cook India was selected as Hospitality Partner for the Khelo India School Games, held from January 31-February 8, 2018 in New Delhi, where India’s Under-17 athletes were invited to participate across 16 disciplines. Thomas Cook India had set up a dedicated team of 160 members during the Khelo India School Games to project drive this strategic initiative. The team has successfully executed the partnership by providing both accommodation and meals for an approximately 5000-strong contingent for a duration of 10 nights. Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head- Leisure Travel, MICE, Thomas Cook (India), said, “The Khelo India programme is inspirational in its aim to scout young talent from schools in various disciplines, groom them as future champions and thereby, serve to catalyse the sporting culture of the nation. It is hence, truly an honour for us at Thomas Cook India to have been selected to partner with the Government of India for this unique initiative.”

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A mixed bag for hospitality: Garish Oberoi

Garish Oberoi, President, FHRAI, says the hospitality industry has been repeatedly asking for infrastructure status which hasn’t been mentioned this year as well. “Among the positives in the Budget is the Rs. 500 crore allocation for ‘Operation Green’ to promote Farmer Producers Organisations (FPOs), agri-logistics, processing facilities and professional management,” Oberoi adds. He notes that focus on technology is very relevant in this digital age. “The Budget allocated to the Railways to the tune of Rs. 148, 528 crore to build infrastructure, laying tracks, Wi-Fi and CCTVs will help improve them. In tourism 10 prominent tourist sites will be made into national tourist sites. New Greenfield Airports are in the offing and building airport capacities to handle 1 billion trips can give a boost to connectivity. Post demonetisation and GST many hotels have become Non-Performing Assets (NPAs). We still await measures by the government to deal with NPAs. In totality, the Budget is more for the ease of living and not so much the ease of doing business. While the focus on healthcare and education is commendable, the biggest challenges to growth and employment generation are low credit offtake and ease of doing business, neither have been supported by the Budget,” Oberoi says.

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No end to GST woes in Budget: PP Khanna

PP Khanna, President, ADTOI, said they had been looking forward to some GST relief in the Budget. “There has been no relief in GST in the Union Budget 2018-19, we had been looking forward to it. However, the budget offers some SOPs to tourism sector by announcing 10 prominent tourist sites to be developed into iconic ones and enhancing visitor experience in 110 Adarsh monuments under the ASI, with railways to have Wi-Fi and CCTV cameras on all trains and stations. Enhancement of sea plane activities and boosting aviation sector with the present 124 airports, the government plans to take this up five times to accommodate one billion trips per year. Focus on infrastructure, education, healthcare, creation of jobs has been highlighted in the budget, which is a good move.”

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Trade unhappy, no relief from double taxation: Pronab Sarkar

Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO, expresses his discontent over the Union Budget 2018, saying there was nothing in it for tourism. “The Union Budget 2018 has nothing to offer to the tourism industry. We are not happy as there was no relief from double taxation in GST which was our major concern. Even after focusing on job creation, the government has ignored that tourism could be a major facilitator for job creation. Under GST Goods and services should be under the same purview. Since there is no respite from cascading taxation, India would remain a costlier destination than its neighbouring countries for tourists. The only positive is the focus on infrastructure, wherein they have introduced sea planes, 99 smart cities, 10 new destinations, enhanced experience at 110 Adarsh monuments, airport expansion, etc. Also, Corporate Tax of 25 per cent is extended to companies with turnover up to Rs. 250 crore in financial year 2016-17. Earlier, this was for companies with turnover of Rs. 50 crore. Even road and rail transport have got an increased budget. However, businesswise there is no change,” Sarkar said.

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Trafalgar partners with four NTOs to host educational sessions for agents

Trafalgar will host its inaugural Trafalgar Europe Britain Day as part of its efforts to provide agents a way to learn about travel destinations in Europe and Britain like an insider. It will partner with four European tourism offices in this first-of-its kind showcase exclusively for the trade in India. Atout France, Tourism Ireland, Tourism Office of Spain and Switzerland Tourism together with Trafalgar will present the iconic sites of the respective countries. Trafalgar’s ‘Insider Sessions’ will take place on February 7 in Mumbai and on February 9 in Bengaluru. Nicholas Lim, President, Trafalgar, Asia, says, “We want to help agents to grow their business by showcasing the diversity of Europe and the opportunities around it. We’re delighted to launch our Insider Sessions and in 2018, it’s time to travel to Europe with Trafalgar and live The Good Life. Agents who participate in these sessions will be eligible to win a grand prize of a nine-day ‘Spanish Experience’ holiday sponsored by Trafalgar. There will be two grand prizes given away – one for each city.”

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Insight Vacations launches 2018 Europe tours

Insight Vacations, brought in India by Signature Tours, has launched its new 2018 Europe Premium Escorted Journeys collection featuring 70 Insight Experiences, 100 guided vacations, and four styles of distinctive journeys. Included are eight new European Discovery Journeys as well as Regional Journeys, Country Roads and Easy Pace, different travel styles to match varying preferences. Evon Ler, President, Insight Vacations, Asia says, “Guests who have travelled with Insight Vacations know about our outstanding Insight Difference since it has been our personal mission for 40 years to create magical experiences for travellers. We are proud of our team of passionate travel directors and colleagues who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure we deliver authentic experiences that make holidays memorable. Our Insight Experiences are a curated collection of memories-in-the-making by connecting our guests with locals, unique activities and expert insights to bring each destination to life.” Ler was in India recently to launch the new itineraries. The eight new 2018 European Discoveries range from 9 to 19 days, each offering experiences to Europe’s popular destinations. These itineraries visit 12 countries.

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KTM Society to make Kerala a sustainable destination

‘Agenda 9’, Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) Society’s new comprehensive nine-point charter, focuses on making Kerala a sustainable destination. It mainly calls for measures to tackle waste management, promote organic farming, efficient use of energy and extensive use of local produce and products. Other key areas which will come up for deliberations are rainwater harvesting, reducing the use of plastics and improving greenery. KTM 2018, to be inaugurated in Kochi on September 27, coincides with World Tourism Day. The opening ceremony will be followed by three days of business-to-business meetings. KTM has already received nearly 600 registrations in just five days after its pre-registration got underway. From the domestic buyers alone, KTM received 485 applications and 105 registrations from international buyers. July 28 is the closing date for the registration. Baby Mathew, President, Kerala Travel Mart Society, said the huge initial response from buyers is a clear indication of a larger number of tourism stakeholders getting attracted to the stellar tourism gathering over the years. “Nearly 600 applications in five days is very encouraging. We are expecting a record number of registrations for this year’s edition,” he added.    

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Country Inns & Suites By Carlson rebranded as Country Inn & Suites by Radisson

Country Inns & Suites By Carlson has announced that it has renamed itself to Country Inn & Suites by Radisson. This strategic name change will allow the brand and individual hotels to leverage the global recognition and strength of the Radisson brand. Changes will include a new visual identity, updated logo and refreshed marketing and hotel collateral. Country Inn & Suites by Radisson is a part of Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, which also includes Quorvus Collection, Radisson Blu, Radisson, Radisson RED, Park Plaza and Park Inn by Radisson. The consumer-facing changes will be made in stages throughout the first half of 2018. Katerina Giannouka, President, Asia Pacific, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, “We are delighted that our Country Inn & Suites brand will be taking on a new name to leverage on the strength of the Radisson brand, drive awareness and increase marketing efficiency. Country Inn & Suites hotels deliver modern country warmth and heartfelt experiences, through inviting design, products and services.” “Country Inn & Suites is a market leader in the mid-scale segment in India. Identification with our core brand Radisson will lend further strength to its brand identity and appeal to investors and promoters in the fast growing mid-scale segment”, added Raj Rana, Chief Executive Officer, South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.  

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Thomas Cook unveils new store at Connaught Place, New Delhi

Thomas Cook (India) strengthened its presence in North India with the inauguration of a flagship store at Connaught Place by Vijay Kumar,  Brand Ambassador, Thomas Cook India. This expansion augments Thomas Cook India’s total number of outlets to 16 consumer access centres with six owned branches and 10 Gold Circle Partner (franchise) outlets in Delhi. Thomas Cook’s new store will offer travellers a range of holiday products (domestic and international tickets, and hotels, cruises, individual and group tours, luxury vacations), foreign exchange, visa services and insurance. Rajeev Kale, ‎President, Country Head–Leisure Travel and MICE, Thomas Cook (India) said, “North India is delivering a strong growth of 20 per cent YoY for our leisure travel business and Delhi has been identified as a prime growth driver as part of our strategic plan. Our new branch at Connaught Place is at a prime location, thus giving our consumers convenient access to a range of holiday products, travel and foreign exchange services.”  

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