Tag Archives: Suman Billa

WTTCII appoints Rajeev Talwar & Ajay Singh as Chairman & Vice Chairman respectively for 2019

After the Annual General Meeting of the World Travel & Tourism Council, India Initiative (WTTCII), the company has appointed many office bearers for the year 2019. Rajeev Talwar, Chief Executive Officer, DLF, has been appointed as the Chairman, WTTCII for the year 2019. Talwar, who served as the Vice Chairman, WTTCII for the year 2018, takes over from Sunder G Advani, Chairman & Managing Director, Advani Hotels & Resorts (India). Ajay Singh, Chairman & Managing Director, SpiceJet, has been unanimously appointed as the Vice Chairman, WTTCII for the year 2019. KJ Alphons, Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge) for Tourism and Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Tourism, along with former officials of Ministry of Tourism, SK Misra and VK Duggal felicitated the new team. On his appointment, Talwar said, “WTTCII has three main asks from the government — firstly, Airline Turbine Fuel – ATF must be included under GST; secondly, the 28 per cent on hotel rooms is hurting – GST should be pegged at 5 per cent for rooms of transaction values of Rs 5,000 and 12 per cent for transaction values of Rs 5,001 to Rs 15,000, along with ITC. Lastly, a tourism board to handle the marketing of Incredible India. Today, destination marketing has to be more deft, sharp, agile and cannot be strapped with bureaucratic procedures. A tourism board with inclusion of public and private stakeholders will make brand India successful. We would also need avenues to open up new markets, take, for instance, China; we are 4-6 hours away from major Chinese cities. China’s huge outbound of 130 million trips is every country’s envy and a prime source market, yet we are unable to tap the Chinese outbound. We need to be connected to …

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‘AdventureNEXT’ opens with 200 attendees in Bhopal

With its focus on adventure tourism by combining marketplace, meetings and networking opportunities, nearly 200 delegates took part at the first-ever ongoing ‘AdventureNEXT’ in Bhopal, also including participants from abroad. Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism; Swadesh Kumar, President, ATOAI and Akshay Kumar, Chairman, AdventureNEXT committee graced the event. The convention was witnessed by global buyers, international/national media representatives, sellers and office bearers of the Adventure Tour Operators Association, hotels, hospitality and tour operators who came to expand their knowledge spectrum and itinerary offerings. Speaking on the occasion, Hari Ranjan Rao (IAS), Principal Secretary — Tourism and Managing Director, Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board, said, “Madhya Pradesh is truly honoured and privileged for being the ever first host of AdventureNEXT in Asia. We thank ATTA and all the international buyers, felicitators, media and national delegates who came together to make this event a grand success. The AdventureNEXT not only brought together the networking sessions, but it also gave a unique definition to the hidden treasures of adventure tourism in India. With this, we focus to promote the adventure travel aspect with full pace in Madhya Pradesh as well”. Shannon Stowell, CEO, AdventureNEXT, Adventure Travel Trade Association, said, “We were honoured and proud to present the world AdventureNEXT’18 with MP tourism. The extraordinary variety of adventure travel Madhya Pradesh preserves is worth experiencing. AdventureNEXT captured India’s religious heritage, mythological, historical, wildlife and beautiful architectural spots clubbed with physical activities and journals for the attendees. This is just the beginning, ATTA also plans to introduce more tours which are adventure-driven panning across the unexplored exploratory destinations of India.”  

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Star Alliance conducts golf tournament for corporate clients

Star Alliance Invitational Golf tournament 2018 was organised for corporate clients at Delhi Golf Club recently. The event was a great opportunity for the 28 Star Alliance member airlines to network with the corporate community and educate them about benefits of Star Alliance. The game of golf was followed up by an awards function in various categories with a gala lunch. The pleasant weather, great food and great sitting at the Delhi Golf Club was a treat to the players. Also seen playing golf was Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. The championship prizes were given away by the Star Alliance members.

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Over 5k meetings at first Rajasthan Domestic Travel Mart in Jaipur

A total of 4,982 meetings were fixed in advance and more were conducted at the recently-concluded Rajasthan Domestic Travel Mart in Jaipur. The chief guest of the ceremony was Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Tourism, Government of India. Also present at the inauguration were Lalit Panwar, former Secretary Tourism; Bhim Singh, President, FHTR; Kuldeep Ranka, Principal Secretary, Department of Tourism, Forest & Environment, Art & Culture, Govt of Rajasthan as well as Gyan Prakash, Secretary General FHTR. Speaking at the ceremony, Billa said, “The mart is a very important step forward because the international end of the business has its way of organising itself. Domestic market and marts like this have the saluted effect of bringing buyers and sellers towards the domestic market. So I think it’s a very good move and that is where most of the meat is going to come from. We have supported this mart because we think that the initiative should come from the states.”  

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PATA India’s Tourism PowerHouse to be held from August 5-6, 2018

PATA India Chapter has announced that it will organise The Tourism PowerHouse from August 5-6, 2018 at The Park New Delhi. The announcement was made at PATA India Chapter’s 7th Update and Outlook Meeting in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism at The Claridges, New Delhi, which saw in attendance, Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Chairman – PATA India Chapter; Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and MP Mall, Chairman and Managing Director, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). The PowerHouse will be presided over by Verma and Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA. Speaking about the PowerHouse, Verma said, “We hope to draw eminent speakers from all over the world to speak on contemporary issues like responsible tourism, sustainable tourism, marketing, digital marketing, etc. Eminent speakers will be invited from various countries who will be sharing global trends, initiatives and the best practices required to emulate in our country. We are hopeful that apart from the industry, state tourism boards, other organisations and stakeholders will also be participating because it is going to be a very useful interaction for us as well as all the stakeholders who have a stake in promoting tourism to this country.”  

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K J Alphons to attend ‘Incredible India roadshows’ in the US from June 18-22

With an aim to project India as a ‘must visit’ tourist destination, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism, K J Alphons will attend a series of ‘Incredible India roadshows’ in the US, from June 18-22,  2018. The roadshows will be held in several major cities of US including New York, Chicago & Houston. The Incredible India roadshows will hold B2B interactions, presentations and press briefings by the Indian delegation. The key note addresses will be delivered by the Tourism Minister and Incredible India presentation will be made by Joint Secretary Ministry of Tourism Suman Billa. The roadshows will include cultural performances also. USA is one among the top three source countries in the percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India. During April 2018, the US was the second highest source country with 11.21 per cent share of total FTAs.

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India highlights immense tourism potential at ITB Berlin 2018

The Indian delegation led by KJ Alphons, Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism, Government of India, highlighted the country’s tremendous tourism potential at the 52nd ITB Berlin as it kicked off at the Messe Berlin fairgrounds on March 7. Addressing the media, Alphons spoke about the country’s 5000 year-old civilisation, beautiful beaches, backwaters, desserts, coastline, Himalayas, and immense possibilities for millennials who are looking for adventure. The minister also apprised the audience about the growing yoga and ayurveda related activities and centres in the country, exploring the North East and the great potential of religious tourism, with emphasis on Buddhist tourism. “In terms of general numbers, India has done considerably well last year. 2017 was fantastic! We recorded 15.6 per cent, when the global numbers went up by 5 per cent. Our international tourists arrivals were 16.5 million last year. Are we happy with the numbers? No. We have so much to offer and we want to double the numbers in three years or less, double the revenues in three years or less. India’s tourism contributes about 8 per cent to the GDP of India. We have 14 million people employed in the tourism industry,” Alphons said. In terms of domestic tourism, close to 24 million Indians travelled last year. “In 2017, 1.8 million trips were made by Indians within the country and which will go up to 2 million in 2018 and we want this number to increase dramtically, its not just about international arrivals but also Indians visting India,” he said. The minister also stressed on the growing use of new technologies and methodologies in tourism, specially social media. Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of …

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1st Adventure Sports Expo Asia from Jan 27-29 in New Delhi

The first ever Adventure Sports Expo Asia is going to be held in New Delhi from January 27-29 at Four Points by Sheraton. As many as 15000 visitors and sports enthusiasts are expected to attend the show. Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, informed that the government has declared 2018 as the Year of Adventure and the ministry is going all out to promote the country as an important hub for adventure tourism. Ajeet Bajaj, Senior Vice President, Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) and the Managing Director of Snow Leopard Adventures, said, “The mission behind the Expo is bringing together all stakeholders to make India an adventure powerhouse while keeping risk management, sustainability and responsible tourism at the forefront. ATOAI is the backbone as far this industry is concerned in India and our aim is to make India a global hub for adventure tourism. Internationally, the adventure sports industry is a $400 billion industry. According to industry estimates, the Indian inbound industry for adventure tourism in growing by 5-7 per cent annually and domestic tourism for this segment is on an upswing, growing by 20-25 per cent annually.” The expo will host many sessions addressing the various issues of the adventure sports industry with luminaries from across the globe. Commenting on the Expo, Rishi Narain, Founder and Managing Director, RN Sports Marketing, said, “India already has huge potential as an adventure sports destination with so much diversity from mountains to rivers and desserts. ASEA 2018 will market India as an iconic destination for adventure to the world with the support of ATOAI. The event will also recognise individuals/groups and companies in the field of adventure on the …

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ITDC to transfer Hotel Jaipur Ashok to Rajasthan Govt.

The India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) has signed a transfer agreement with Rajasthan government on December 9 to transfer Hotel Jaipur Ashok to the state government. As per the agreement, Hotel Jaipur Ashok located at Collectorate Circle would now be operated and managed by the Rajasthan State Hotel Corporation Ltd, with new identity ‘Hotel Jaipur’. The agreement was signed by Piyush Tiwari, Director – Commercial & Marketing, ITDC and Nihal Chand Goel, Additional Chief Secretary – Tourism, State government in the presence of Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Minister of Tourism, Govt of India; Ravneet Kaur, Chairperson and Managing Director (CMD), ITDC; Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India and other dignitaries. ITDC executed transfer documents for transferring the hotel to the Rajasthan government at a negotiated price of Rs 14 crore. Earlier on September 5, a tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) was executed among ITDC, Ministry of Tourism and Government of Rajasthan for transfer of Hotel Jaipur Ashok to the state government at a negotiated value of Rs 14 crore without any liabilities and encumbrances.  

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Korea Festival celebrated in Gurugram

Ambience Mall, Gurugram played host to a two-day Korea Festival showcasing South Korea’s art, culture and heritage for the visitors to the mall. Organised by (KTO), the event was targeted to the consumers and had a separate stall where travel partners for KTO also showcased their itineraries and travel products to people. The event was inaugurated by Min Hong Min, Executive Vice President, KTO and Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. The event also saw high energy B-boying performances and Nanta performance by professionals flown in from South Korea, especially for the event.

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