Tag Archives: President

TAAI Convention to be held in Kunming, China from Aug 18-20

The Managing Committee of TAAI has decided Kunming as the venue for the 64th Convention & Exhibition of TAAI, to be held from August 18-20, 2017. Sunil Kumar R, President, TAAI, said, “We are excited to inform you that we are hosted by Yunnan Government, People’s Republic of China. The event is being coordinated by MFITS – Mao Fa International Travel Services, a unit of Service Bureau of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China.” The exhibition and inaugural dinner will be held at the InterContinental Hotel, Kunming. The registration forms will be soon rolled out. The registration will be open by July 5, 2017 and close by July 20, 2017. During 2016, TAAI had organised its convention at Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi.

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MTOA conducts GST seminar for members in Mumbai

Following close on the heels of national travel trade associations, the Maharashtra Tour Organisers Association (MTOA) recently conducted a seminar on the impending GST for its members in Mumbai. It was conducted on June 5, 2017, by noted Service Tax expert Manish Gadia, Partner, GMJ & Co, who conducted similar sessions for TAAI as well as IATO. Sudhir Patil, President, MTOA, says, “We welcome the new GST regime though there is a lot of fear factor attached to it. Complications are expected. But I hope that more seminars will help us make this a smooth transition.” The association also launched its website (www.mtoa.co.in) on the same day.

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Don’t let tourism suffer in Gulf crisis: UFTAA

Universal Federation of Travel Agents Association (UFTAA) has expressed concern over the impact on tourism of Gulf crisis due to Saudi–led grouping of Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE, Yemen and Maldives, cutting diplomatic ties with Qatar. Sunil Kumar, President, UFTAA, said, “UFTAA appeals to the involved countries to not involve Tourism at large and Aviation in specific for political purposes. Tourism is a vehicle for peace and understanding between nationals even if the politicians think otherwise. The right for free movement of people is very basic.” He was speaking on the sidelines of IATA’s Annual General Meeting at Cancun, Mexico.

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High tax on 5-star hotels compromises on security: ATTOI

P. K. Anish Kumar, President, ATTOI, was quite disappointed with the GST announcement. “Most of the foreign travellers have concerns regarding safety, security, cleanliness in India and thus choose 4 or 5 star hotels to stay in. This does not mean they are rich but prefer safe, quality accommodation. Now with 28 per cent tax on hotels and 5 per cent GST to be paid by agents kills the industry as the effective tax to be paid will be 33 per cent. How will we compete with destinations like Hong Kong ,which has no tax on hospitality industry? Earlier tax in Kerala was 19 per cent even on 4 and 5 star hotels and now competitiveness of the industry is thrown off with direct 28 per cent. A houseboat in Kerala costs above Rs. 6000 and the tax will deter the USP of the destination. India will not be seen as a long haul destination any more as packages will become shorter due to the expenses to be incurred by the foreign tourists. Tourism has to be seen as an employment and revenue generator and government’s approach to penalise tourists and earn money from them will ruin the tourism industry overall,” he claimed.

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We’ve got what we wanted: IATO

Claiming that applying of CENVAT credit with 9 per cent service tax was cumbersome, Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO, said, “ GST was awaited for a long time and we were demanding from the government that since there is a lot of multiplicity of taxes in the tourism sector, the taxes should be rationalised and reduced. Thus, we were hoping to be put under the lowest GST slab and get some relief. I am glad that the government has agreed to both of them and has given us the same status what we wanted with 5 per cent GST rate. Also, there is no CENVAT credit on that. We are only concerned about one aspect of hotels, as they have put 28 per cent GST on hotels over Rs. 5000 which should not be more than 18 per cent. However, the hotel industry should come out and take up this issue. The government should encourage more tourists to come and not only look for more taxes. Rather, it should look for more tourists and get a bigger chunk of foreign exchange, which will not only generate revenue but also a lot of employment opportunities in the hospitality industry.”

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Better than applying CENVAT credit: ADTOI

According to the GST Council, there will be 5 per cent GST on tours, said P.P. Khanna, President, ADTOI. However, he added that it is not clear whether this rate is applicable on value addition or gross amount. “In a way, the 5 per cent rate is good as we were already paying 4.5 per cent tax on the packages, and it is only 0.5 per cent more than that, which is tolerable. The service tax amendment of 9 per cent tax was more cumbersome for us, as applying for CENVAT credit was an issue, especially with small tour operators and small hotels not being systematic in generating proper invoices in our country. I think the government has taken special consideration for tour operators, as this process was difficult for us,” he shared.

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A good step ahead: OTOAI

According to Guldeep Singh Sahni, President, OTOAI, the government went two steps back and now they have come one step ahead with the current GST rate. He revealed, “We were giving 4.5 per cent tax before January 22, 2017 and then we had CENVAT available. After January 22, we were under 9 per cent service tax. This step disturbed our summer bookings and there was a major loss of business to international OTAs. The new rates which will be implemented after the GST council’s meeting is 5% on supply of tour operators’ services. We need to clarify the meaning of this. If it is on the profit or add-on, then it’s very good. But if it is on the total amount, then we again stand expensive by 5 per cent than our international suppliers, because if we are taxing international hotels, then we are taxing them again. As input credit is not available it has direct impact on us.”

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ATTOI’s technology conference in Kochi from June 8-10

The Association of Tourism Trade Organizations India (ATTOI) is organising an International Conference on Tourism Technology (ICTT) at the Le Meridien Kochi from June 8 to 10 with support from Kerala Tourism. ATTOI has been pushing for more travel and hospitality industry stakeholders in India to use technology to support and grow their businesses. Anish Kumar P.K, President, ATTOI, says, “Conventional tour operators, especially in India, may think online customer reviews and ratings or being present on the internet is secondary to their business, but they need to realize the impact that digital platforms are having on the decisions Indians make on holiday travel. If your website does not show up in Google searches, if you are not on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, or responding to customer reviews on TripAdvisor and MyTourReview, you may be losing out on large volumes of business.” ATTOI has created a platform exclusively for costumer reviews for tour operators called MyTourReview. Anish Kumar adds, “The ICTT is a chance for travel businesses to learn from the experiences of people who have benefited tremendously from taking the technology route. Your consumers are not just sitting behind computers, they are making their searches on tablets and smartphones, so you need to make your presence felt on all devices.” He said the future of travel is certainly digital, and ATTOI is maximizing its use of technology, for instance in using live streaming as a promotional campaign tool for the upcoming second edition of ICTT. In December last year, ATTOI, as a curtain raiser to an international conference, organised a live streaming of an underwater engagement to showcase beach resorts as a unique offering of Kerala Tourism. Over …

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Philippines will host 6th UNWTO Conference on Tourism Statistics

Policy leaders, statisticians, academicians and private sector will convene in Manila, The Philippines, from June 21-24, 2017, to discuss new methodologies to measure the full impacts of tourism. The 6th edition of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) International Conference on Statistics, an official event of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017, will address the topic of ‘Measuring Sustainable Tourism’. Supported by the United Nations Statistics Division, the UNWTO initiative ‘Towards a Statistical Framework for Measuring Sustainable Tourism’ (MST) underlines the need to measure the full effects of the tourism sector. The UNWTO International Conference to be held in Manila will serve as a platform to discuss the first draft of the MST framework and its future implementation. The Philippines has become a reference in the region with regard to tourism measurement and a role model in the development of effective inter-institutional collaboration to develop tourism statistics. The commitment of the country, shown in the development of the Tourism Satellite Account framework, explains the decision to host the discussion on the MST initiative. A Ministerial Roundtable will inaugurate the Conference in order to align efforts to advocate among governments the relevance of integrated and reliable data to manage and promote a more sustainable tourism sector. Afterwards, a Panel of Statistical Institutes will provide the opportunity to share experiences and practices implemented at global, regional and national level. Other technical sessions will focus on understanding data demands, the link between the economic, the environmental and the social dimensions of sustainable tourism, including job creation, sub-national measurement, Sustainable Development Goals  (SDGs) indicators, and data sources including big data. Besides policy leaders, statistical experts and private sector, representatives from international organizations …

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GITB 2017 opens with 275 foreign buyers and 288 exhibitors

The Great Indian Travel Bazaar opened with 275 foreign buyers and 288 exhibitors at The Lalit Jaipur on April 23. The inbound show committed to boost tourism in India and in Rajasthan was inaugurated by Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, and Krishnendra Kaur, Tourism, Art and Culture Minister, Government of Rajasthan, Jyotsna Suri, Chairperson, Tourism Committee FICCI, Nihal Chand Goel, Additional Chief Secretary (Tourism, Art & Culture), Bhim Singh, President, Federation of Hospitality and Tourism of Rajasthan, and Rahul Chakravarty, Senior Director and Head-Tourism, FICCI. Addressing the show, Billa said, India is truly on a growth path. We have grown at a rapid pace of 11 per cent in 2016 and since January to date we have grown at a staggering rate of 16 per cent, there is nothing in the market to suggest that it will slow down. Domestic tourism forms a key part of Indian tourism. Last year we had 1.7 billion domestic travellers and we are growing at 8-9 per cent Y-o-Y. Admittedly we are growing on a narrow base but the potential of tourism in India is immense. All of you here are at the right place to lay the seeds for what will become a great engagement for a market that has huge potential. He also informed that accordingly to the World Economic Forum report, India improved its tourism competitiveness by 25 places over three years and tourism is the government’s main agenda.

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