Tag Archives: President

It is time to re-invent: Massimo Tocchetti, Italian market

As an expert on the Italian market, Massimo Tocchetti, President, AIGO, speaking at the 5th TravTalk Digital Conclave, said, “As the fourth-largest European market for India, Italians are preferring back-to-nature activities and luxury products. With the right communication, the right marketing and the right presence in the market, you can win the battle. This is the time for India to reinvent not just as a destination but also reinvent its relationships.”

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Agents can now book Vande Bharat flights; TAAI thanks authorities

Efforts put in by TAAI have finally borne fruit as the government has now permitted travel agents to book Vande Bharat flights. “We appreciate Air India, MoCA and NITI Aayog for supporting our initiatives, and look forward to more compliances to support the struggling industry,” says Jyoti Mayal, President, TAAI. As of now, flights to USA, Germany (FRA) and France (CDG) have been announced in the coming phase.

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TAAI holds meeting with NITI Aayog; lays focus on protection of agents

Jyoti Mayal, President, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) and Vice Chairperson, FAITH, met Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, on July 2 and discussed the concerns and challenges faced by the members. Some of the major issues discussed in the meeting were airline refunds; challenges faced to retain employees, their salaries and avoid unemployment in the sector; moratoriums and reliefs to trade due to COVID-19 lockdown and loss of business; allowing accredited travel agents to book Vande Bharat flights for Air India and also informing foreign carriers undertaking such flights to permit the same; revival challenges and long-term facilitation for the trade with airlines; protection of the agents from airline defaults and suspension of services; direction from government to airlines on remuneration for promoting the airlines; direction seeking travel agent corporate credit cards to be used for airline ticketing; reduction of credit card merchant fee by banks to below 0.75% so as to promote Digital India for aviation, travel, tourism and hospitality sectors as a whole. Seeking support from the government, Mayal requested Kant to ensure the same and assist in guiding the trade, enable creation of demand for growth, and opportunities for all travel and tourism-related activities.

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Need for proper co-ordination between Centre and State: FHRAI

While certain states like Rajasthan have been allowed to open their hotels and restaurants, those in Mumbai and certain parts of Maharashtra have still not been permitted to open for guests. Commenting on this is Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, President, Hotel & Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) and Vice President of Federation of the Hotels & Restaurants Associations of India (FHRAI), said, “Hotels and restaurants have been ready to serve customers for quite some time and are fully prepared. But there needs to be proper coordination between the Centre and the state governments. As of today, in Mumbai and certain parts of Maharashtra still, hotels and restaurants are not yet allowed to re-open which is strange as it is further pushing this failing industry into oblivion. Putting deadlines of shutting after 9pm and not allowing liquor to be sold are some of the other impediments which will not allow many restaurants to open even after lockdown on them is lifted.” He added that all HRAWI and FHRAI members are fully equipped in ensuring the safety of customers as well as staff and have been updated about the best practices in addition to the MHA guidelines for ensuring guest safety.

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TAAI hopeful for Government support, asks MoCA to set up Aviation Task Force

Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) has written again to the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Finance, regarding concerns of the industry and urging for a stimulus package and schemes of the Government, which was not included in the package announced by the Ministry of Finance. Jyoti Mayal, President, TAAI, also revealed that they have asked MoCA to make an aviation task force which includes the travel agent community, so that they can be put their issues and ideas at the forefront.

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Situation in Kerala expected to be normal by end of lockdown: KTM

Rubbishing rumours that all tourism activity in Kerala has been banned till November 2020, Baby Mathew Somatheeram, President, Kerala Travel Mart (KTM), has said that the situation in Kerala is expected to become normal by the end of the second phase of the lockdown. “The state is now making all preparations to receive tourists once the country becomes COVID-free. Kerala Tourism is drawing up ambitious plans to attract domestic tourists in a big way.” KTM denies reports that all tourism activity in Kerala has been banned till October – November this year in view of COVID-19 outbreak, asserting that the State Government has not come out with any such instruction. “Certain quarters are spreading this false propaganda by misinterpreting the positive suggestion made by State Finance Minister Dr TM Thomas Isaac that efforts to revive tourism in the state should start now itself. It is significant that the Finance Minister has also noted that the experience of the foreign tourists, who have recovered from COVID-19 by receiving effective treatment in Kerala itself will boost the state’s tourism prospects in the coming days,” he added.

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100+ ATOAI members attend online members’ meet

Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) concluded its first online members’ meet on March 31, which was attended by close to 100 members from across the country, including Kerala, Assam, Ladakh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. The meeting, moderated by Capt. Swadesh Kumar, President, ATOAI and Vinayak Koul, Hony. Secretary, ATOAI, helped members and the Association share constructive ideas to survive in present times. Members also got a chance to share their experiences. The keynote speaker for the meeting, Nakul Anand, Chairman, FAITH, briefed members on various topics related to the COVID-19 crisis and explained that the strategy going forward should broadly be divided in two phases – phase-I being survival and phase-II being revival. He also informed members about the various efforts of FAITH for the tourism industry.

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OTOAI meets Jt. Secretary, Finance, to revoke TCS implementation

The team of Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI), recently met Kamlesh Varshney, Joint secretary, TPL, Ministry of Finance, to apprise him of situations arising currently on tourism industry because of TCS. In a statement by the association, it was mentioned, “We requested that TCS be not implemented and deferred in present situation. He assured that our request will be positively looked into and they would consider our request of rolling back of the law, and if rollback is not possible then deferment will be considered.” Riaz Munshi, President, OTOAI; Shravan Bhalla, Gen. Secretary; Guldeep Singh Sahni, Former President and Rajeev Sabharwal, Former Treasurer, met the Joint Secretary to voice their concerns.

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5th OTOAI convention in Turkey gets postponed

In the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak across the world, the Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) has decided to postpone its Convention to another date. The Convention was scheduled to take place in Antalya, Turkey from March 15-18, 2020. Once things are back to normal, the OTOAI Convention will take place in Turkey with fresh dates. Riaz Munshi, President, OTOAI shares, “It is unfortunate that we had to postpone the convention, but given the prevailing circumstances, we thought it is best to do so. The decision has been taken keeping the safety of our delegates in mind as we would never do anything that might put their health in jeopardy. I am sure that the effect and spread of Covid-19 will subside with time and once that happens, we will re-announce the convention with a fresh set of dates.” Himanshu Patil, Vice President and Convention Chairman, OTOAI, added, “We would like to thank all the members of the travel trade, media and our partners in Turkey who have been extremely supportive. We look forward to your continued support in the future also and we are confident that as soon as the Covid-19 cases are curbed, we will announce the new dates of the convention.” In a statement, the Destination Turkey said, “Turkey is very eager to host all the delegates and the preparations are still in order. While Turkey has not reported a single confirmed case of COVID-19, the decision has purely been taken keeping the various travel advisories being issued in mind.”

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Job development via adventure tourism neglected: ATOAI

Capt. Swadesh Kumar, President, ATOAI, claims that they had high hopes from the government this time, but budget again disappoints. Nothing in there especially for the tourism industry. From our end, we have been having a lot of meetings with the government, and had also submitted a wishlist, but nothing has come of it. Adventure tourism is the future of job generation in India with many adventure activities possible in all parts of India, may that be the Himalayas, deserts or coastlines. It’s unfortunate that this has not been considered. The impetus on last mile connectivity through building 1.25 lakh kilometers of roads under PM Gram Sadak Yojna is a positive move. The only news in the tourism front stressed on development of 17 iconic tourism sites to be upgraded to world class levels to attract domestic as well as foreign tourists. The Prime Minister had identified that out of the Five pillars (Five Ts), ‘Tourism’ is one of the most important, and, in India, it aims to achieve greater heights and new milestones. But that is missing in this budget.

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