Tag Archives: Secretary General

Indian tourist arrivals to Greece increases by 119% in September 2018

As per the statistics released by Greece National Tourist Office (GNTO) and Athens International Airport, 38,046 Indian tourists visited Greece in the nine months vis-à-vis 17,376 Indian tourists during the same period in 2017, which is a whopping increase of 119 per cent. Speaking about the positive growth, Konstantinos Tsegas, Secretary General, Greek National Tourism Organization said, “Greece as a destination has gained momentum over the years and we are glad to witness the rising interest of Indians for Greece as a popular holiday destination across the country. Our approach is to target the captive audience across various age groups simply by appealing to every kind of travel need. We have effectively leveraged diverse platforms, based on specific characteristics of the Indian market. The strategy is to also promote 365-day tourism in Greece and create awareness about lesser known cities of Greece like Thessaloniki, Xanthi or Kavala which have great geophysical, historical and cultural importance along with Athens. We are closely working with our partners in India for growth across segments like families, FITS (first time travelers segment), MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events), destination weddings, honeymoon and films.” The beauty of Greece is a Unique Sales Proposition (USP), by any means. But what truly makes a difference is its people, the authenticity and simplicity of Greek touristic products in combination with an extremely rich historical background. In 2016, Greece National Tourist Office noticed 14.6 million arrivals in total and in 2017, 15.5 million, whereas, the growth percentage of arrivals from India has been around 9.7 per cent each year.

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Vinod Zutshi inaugurates International Conference on Rural Tourism Development in Delhi

Vinod Zutshi, Former Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Nagesh Singh, Former Additional Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, inaugurated the three-day International Conference on Rurality, Ruralism and Rural Tourism – Challenges and Coping Strategies at Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi. Organised by the Department of Tourism & Hospitality Management, Jamia Millia Islamia, the ongoing conference is being attended by delegates from eminent tourism institutes from India and 25 other countries. “Rural tourism is at a nascent stage but there is a lot of scope and potential to promote rural destinations in India. It is an untapped market and we need to identify more and more destinations across the country,” said Zutshi during the conference sponsored by Ministry of Tourism. MP Bezbaruah, Former Secretary, Ministry of Tourism; S K Misra, Chairman, Indian Trust for Rural Heritage and Development and Ex-Secretary, Ministry of Tourism; Sujit Banerjee, Secretary General ,WTTC India attended the event while Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Tourism, Government of Delhi is set to preside over the valedictory function. This conference will help bring various stakeholders on a single platform to discuss future tourism trends, ideas, implications and methodologies, theoretical and practical approaches for rural tourism development. The objective is to discuss the contemporary research in the area of rural tourism. The event will showcase rural life, art, culture, and heritage at rural locations and in villages, which have core competence in art and craft. Handloom, textiles, and also an asset base in the natural environment.

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K J Alphons presides over UNWTO’s Program and Budget Committee meeting

K J Alphons, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism, along with a delegation of senior officials is attending the 109th session of United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Executive Council in Manama, Bahrain. During the opening day of the Executive Council meeting, Alphons chaired the ‘Programme and Budget Committee’ meeting of UNWTO. The three-day session of UNWTO Executive Council began on October 30, 2018. The Executive Council will discuss several topics on the agenda that are related to the development of global tourism sector. In his opening remarks, the Minister highlighted the role of tourism in socio-economic development through job creation, enterprise and environment development and foreign exchange earnings. As the chair of the committee, the Minister informed the session that for the first time, UNWTO had a surplus budget and most of the arrears due have been paid. India will be the chair of Programme and Budget Committee of UNWTO Executive Council till 2021. At the sidelines, the Minister also met Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary General, UNWTO, and discussed on involving UNWTO in developing tourism as a strong agent for the better future of the world and establishing the Global Public Private Partnerships.

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UNWTO chooses India as host country to celebrate World Tourism Day 2019

India has been chosen as the host country to celebrate World Tourism Day 2019 on the theme ‘Tourism and Jobs: A better future for all’. Celebrated every September 27 around the world, the purpose of World Tourism Day is to foster awareness among the international community on the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. The event seeks to address global challenges outlined in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and highlight the contribution the tourism sector can make in reaching these goals. Every year, UNWTO invites people of all ages and backgrounds to hold and take part in WTD celebrations in their respective countries or holiday destinations. Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General, UNWTO issues a message each year to mark the occasion and chairs the official celebrations.  

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IHHA’s annual convention to be held at Bharatpur from September 13-14

The 7th Annual Convention of the Indian Heritage Hotels Association (IHHA) is scheduled to take place at Bharatpur in Rajasthan from September 13-14, 2018 on the theme ‘Revitalizing India as the Heritage Destination’. “We are all here to explore, debate, deliberate and arrive at a definite roadmap for resurrection of this sacred land. We have thus far taken our heritage for granted and been extremely irresponsible to provide the desired care to protect and preserve our invaluable heritage both tangible and intangible,” said Randhir Vikram Singh, Secretary General, IHHA. Several eminent national and international speakers are expected to share their respective nations’ conservation experiences.

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Sujit Banerjee is Legend in Public Service

Sujit Banerjee, Secretary General, WTTC, India Initiative, has been honoured with the Legend in Public Service award. He retired as Union Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Tourism. Banerjee has served the Government of India in various capacities in his distinguished career as an Officer of the Indian Administrative Service. In his career, he has served as Secretary, Central Vigilance Commission; Secretary and Chairperson of National Authority, Chemical Weapons Convention. He also headed a committee constituted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests to formulate guidelines for forest and wildlife ecotourism in the country. He has served as Member on the Ethics Committee of Standing Conference of Public Enterprises; as Chairman, Advisory Committee on World Heritage Matters, Ministry of Culture; as a part-time non-official Director on the Board of SAIL and as Chairman, Committee for National Heritage Sites, Ministry of Culture.

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Maintain web parity to ensure level playing field for all: Jyoti Mayal

Opposing the move, Jyoti Mayal, Honorary Secretary General, TAAI, said, “We, as TAAI, are against the move that Jet Airways has slashed the one per cent commission for the agents effective January 1, 2018. Regarding the transaction fee, we are requesting them that they fix the rate of this transaction fee between 3.5-5 per cent for everyone and also maintain web parity so that there is a level playing field for everyone. We are meeting Jet Airways in a couple of days to take this further and also discuss procedural changes related to the same and are hopeful that Jet airways will understand our thought process and support our fraternity.”

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Rahul Lall appointed Secretary General for FHRAI

Rahul Lall has been appointed as the Secretary General for FHRAI (Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India). He completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Hotel Management from The Oberoi School of Hotel Management, New Delhi. He is from the Management Trainee batch(1985-1987). Prior to this he did his Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from Delhi University. He is an alumnus of St. Xavier’s Collegiate School, Kolkata and Don Bosco School, Chennai. He brings with him over 30 years of progressive hotel experience spanning renowned hotel chains across the country. He has extensive operational, administrative and bottom line management experience. Coupled with a strong leadership and financial skill sets, he is ideally suited to take on the responsibilities of running the day-to-day administration of FHRAI. A Professional hotelier, he has worked with the Oberoi Group of Hotels for 15 years and thereafter with Sarovar Hotels. He has been in various capacities as General Manager, Area Director and Vice President Operations. He has over seen pre-opening and successful openings of various hotels. Prior to joining FHRAI he held the role of the Vice President Operations for the Dangayach Group of Hotels (Marriott Jaipur, Ramada Jaipur, Chomu Palace Hotel Jaipur, Four Points by Sheraton Agra and Park Plaza, Jaipur).

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Greece makes aggressive entry into India

The Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) has made a foray into the Indian market starting 2017 to tap the increasing Indian outbound travel segment. The tourism board recently participated in a travel show in Mumbai to jumpstart its three-year-strategic plan. GNTO’s target is to create increased destination awareness about lesser-known cities of great geophysical, historical and cultural importance and to position Greece in the top five list of European destinations, for Indian tourists. Elena Kountoura, Honourable Minister of Tourism of Greece, says, “With the entry of Greek Tourism in the Indian market we aim to associate with the travel trade industry and offer our audience a customized product. Our strategy aims to promote 365 days tourism in Greece and we are confident that we will see a positive boost in the number of Indian arrivals to Greece with our initiatives. India is a promising market for us and this year we plan to reach out to affluent Indians through a well planned marketing and advertising campaign. GNTO is looking at promoting Greece as an ideal destination for film tourism, destination weddings and celebrations, apart from the existing popular segments like honeymoons, MICE and FITS.” Dimitrios Tryfonopoulos, Secretary General, Greek National Tourism Organization, adds, “Establishing a GNTO Office in India is the ultimate aim. Until then we will associate with our Indian counterpart to bring out the dynamic perspectives of Greek Tourism in the market of India. We are in talks with representatives of large air carriers such as Emirates, Qatar, Etihad and Jet Airways to improve the connectivity to Athens from India.” Greek Tourism recorded a double digit growth in 2016 from India. It is currently represented in India by …

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5-7% decline in hotel bookings for New Year celebrations

According to a survey by ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation, bookings received by star-rated hotels in metros have registered a decline of about 5-7 per cent due to demonetisation and the consequent cash crunch. The survey informed that many hotels had not revised rates of New Year packages and had in fact, lowered the rates by about 2-3 per cent; bundled various offers, promotions, deals and discounts on services in one package at a bargain price. The ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation had interacted with about 50 star-rated hotels in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow and Mumbai during the course of past midnight to ascertain how top hotels in metros are gearing up for annual New Year’s Eve parties. Simultaneously, the chamber representatives also interacted with about 250 youngsters to gauge how people in urban centres are planning to bid farewell to 2016 whereby most said they plan to usher in the New Year in a cost-effective way by opting to party indoors.  “New Year’s Eve is the perfect occasion especially for the youth to unwind and soak in the festivities with their friends and family, though with ever-growing per-capita incomes people do not mind indulging in some extravagance but cash crunch in wake of demonetisation seems to an impact on their plans this time,” said D.S. Rawat, Secretary General, ASSOCHAM. He further informed  that despite this being a good season for the hotel industry, many star-rated hotels seem to be reeling under the impact of demonetisation and are being forced to scale down their New Year’s Eve activities as they are not able to draw many people.

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