Tag Archives: Sunil Kumar

TAAI reveals nominee list for national elections

The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) has revealed its final nominee list for its upcoming national elections. Running for presidency are three members – Harmandeep Singh Anand, Marzban Antia, present Vice President of TAAI, and current national president Sunil Kumar. Two nominees for the Vice President position are Jay Bhatia who is currently serving as TAAI’s Honorary Treasurer and Tourism Council Chairman and Sanjay Narula. Running for the position of Honorary Secretary General are two members: Lokesh Bettaiah, current Secretary General, and Jyoti Mayal, Member of the Managing Committee. Two members have signed up as nominees for the position of Honorary Treasurer. One of them is Shreeram Patel, current Co-Chairman, Airline Council, TAAI, and Imtiaz Qureshi, who is a MC member. The national elections will be held on November 28, 2017 at The Lalit Mumbai.

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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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Emirates will lose its lustre

Reacting to the announcement made by Emirates, Sunil Kumar, National President, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) says, “Not only is this an unfair move but also a move that has come at the wrong time. Travel agents have always supported Emirates in a big way by promoting them to their customers. As a result of this move, Emirates will lose its edge as agents will now move to other airlines. After all, why would anyone want to push a product that doesn’t give them any benefit? So, this move will not only hurt the agents but also the airline. The airline has also timed it badly as agents had already committed to a price structure for future bookings beyond April 2017. This abrupt announcement will hurt the agents a lot as the main season starts from April onwards. We were still recovering from demonetisation when this is announced. The team at TAAI is currently discussing what the association’s response to Emirates should be.”

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UFTAA finalises Istanbul as its 50th congress venue

In a show of solidarity to the tourism community, the United Federation of Travel Agents Associations (UFTAA) board has decided to stick to its original decision to have its Golden Jubilee Congress in Istanbul after reviewing the current situation. Sunil Kumar, President, UFTAA, said, “November 25 and 26, 2016, will witness the Golden Jubilee Congress of UFTAA in Istanbul. One of our most prime member associations, TURSAB, will be co-ordinating this event which is being supported by the Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Turkey. The Golden Jubilee Congress is anticipated to give UFTAA a huge push to its next level and since it is held in the most beautiful locales and hotels Turkey has to offer, it is anticipated that this will be a successful event.”  

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UFTAA reviews venue for its Golden Jubilee Congress

Sunil Kumar, President, United Federation of Travel Agents Associations (UFTAA), has revealed that the association board is reviewing the venue it had selected for its 50th anniversary celebrations this November. It had selected Istanbul as the destination. However, recent developments have forced the board to review it. While on his way to the airport for his flight to Istanbul last night to attend a meeting with the UFTAA board members, Kumar revealed, “We will review the venue for our Golden Jubilee Congress that is expected to be held anytime after November 22, 2016. The exact dates will also be confirmed at this meeting.” UFTAA will also be getting ready for the Passenger Agency Conference (PAConf) that will take place in September in Singapore, he added.

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TAAI convention in Abu Dhabi from Oct 14-16

The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) has finally frozen on the venue and dates for its 63rd convention. Sunil Kumar, President, TAAI, revealed, “We have decided on Abu Dhabi as the venue for our next convention that will be held from October 14-16, 2016. We are in the process of blocking air seats now. It is one of the strongest destinations in the Middle East region and also an easy place to reach from India. “We want a strong convention this year with a strong focus, for our members as well as our partners. We will focus on both inbound as well as outbound. We are amidst signing contracts for this right now and have blocked rooms and convention space at the grandiose Emirates Palace,” he said. The team is now working on the convention theme, logistics and other details.

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UFTAA’s 50th Congress from Nov 21-23

Sunil Kumar, President, United Federation of Travel Agents Associations (UFTAA), revealed that UFTAA’ Golden Jubilee Congress will be held on November 21-23, 2016. “The board wants to do it on the same day as the anniversary which is on November 22 and there are no major shows happening around that time. We have also closed on the venue but we will announce it only later as we are still watching the situation there. It will be held outside India,” Kumar said. UFTAA will also be getting ready for the Passenger Agency Conference (PAConf) that will take place in September in Singapore, he added.  

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TAAI proposes ‘India Specialist’ programme to MOT

Sunil Kumar, President of the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) has revealed that the association has met and proposed to the Ministry of Tourism in Delhi to create a specialist programme for India for its inbound and domestic tour operator members. He said, “We have suggested to the MOT to create a programme called ‘India Specialist’ for our members like we have done for other countries like Turkey and South Africa. We have spoken to the Tourism Secretary Vinod Zutshi about this. We will send a detailed white paper proposal to the ministry and expect an agreement and confirmation to follow once the government has approved the programme. Since TAAI is the only travel trade association with 20 regional units with over 2300 members, we will be able to train around 2,000 agents and operators at one go. We want to launch this in a few months as government procedures take time. We have to set up the curriculum for this and invite the MoT to extend their blessings to us and certify this programme.” He added that TAAI will launch this in phases.

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130 agents apply for TAAI’s Joint Bank Guarantee scheme

Four members of the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) Managing Committee met in Mumbai yesterday to review  applications received by the association from its members for the Joint Bank Guarantee (JBG) Scheme. Sunil Kumar, President, TAAI, said, “We have received over 130 applications from members who are keen to join the guarantee.” Among the Office Bearers present were Marzban Antia, TAAI’s Vice President; Lokesh Bettaiah, TAAI’s Secretary General; and Imtiaz Qureshi, TAAI’s MC member who looks after Legal. Bettaiah added, “We are scrutinising each and every application received from 20 regions and chapters across India and the TAAI auditors will come out with a final list by May 20. After that, we will send them to IATA who will conduct their own verifications. We do multi-level checks and follow stringent procedures, which take a lot of time. It’s a huge responsibility on us to pick the right members. We will need to submit these applications to IATA by July 1, 2016. There has been a good response for it this year. TAAI has been successful in managing this scheme earlier as well and lot of members have benefitted from this scheme monetarily as well as for smoother day-to-day business as far as capping issues are concerned. If anyone else is interested to join, they can do so the following year.”

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Tragedy for Tourism to be left behind

Highly dissatisfied with the Union Budget,  Sunil Kumar, President, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), says tourism has been again been put on the back burner. “It is a big tragedy for an industry that has so much to offer many countries of the world. Wonder when India will consider this industry as an important economic success strategy.” Kumar reiterates that the budget does not meet up to the expectations of the industry, which has been projecting innovation with wide reforms and a more dynamic India. “There were expectations on Service Tax reliefs; boost to tourism sector; incentives for foreign exchange earnings, and these appear to have missed out. The income tax relief should have been on most classes, but is only done for lower slabs. The focus on Voluntary Disclosure is not too strategic and may not yield good results. Whatever must happen in the areas of travel, tourism and aviation, will not be dependent on this budget at all. In fact, the new 0.5% cess is going to add liability to all. The new budget has hardly any positive impact on our industry, which is sad,” he says. “For Travel industry to grow, especially during a time when the challenges are too many and the industry does require a boost, government must address the issues concerned, including sustainability. For this industry being a very large employer of people and generator of huge revenues for government in the form of taxes, government’s attention is rather disappointing,” Kumar added. Unless the government firmly reviews the challenges of all stakeholders in this industry, it will not be able to support the growth that is available in plenty. The TAAI President says …

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