Tag Archives: TAAI

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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TAAI signs agreement with South Africa Tourism to educate agents across India

South Africa Tourism (SAT) and Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) have once again entered into an agreement to offer training to travel agents across India. Learn SA in its seventh edition will hold training programs in over 17 cities in India where TAAI members are situated, starting from July 6-29, 2017. The schedule will cover Tier II and Tier III cities of India starting from Mumbai, Rajkot, Baroda, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Delhi, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Indore,  Nagpur, Pune and Goa. Mumbai and Delhi will host two sessions each. DMCs, hoteliers and other stakeholders of tourism from South Africa shall be a part of the B2B interactions and presentations made by SAT. Detailed presentations on itineraries and attractions in South Africa shall be made during each session. Hon. Secretary General of TAAI, Bettaiah Lokesh, says, “We shall be giving a ‘Certificate of Participation’ to each agent along with study materials.” Jay Bhatia, Hon. National Treasurer, TAAI, adds, “The training shall be open to all travel agents and professionals across the country who are already selling SA or have a potential to promote the destination to tourist. This shall be offered free of cost to the entire trade, so as to promote the destination and also to ensure continuous education and updates on tourism products.” This agreement was undertaken under the Preferred Partner Programme wherein destinations are promoted by TAAI to educate its members and the trade at large.

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TAAI hosts GST session for its members in Mumbai

Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) hosted a session on Goods and Services Tax (GST) for its members in Mumbai. Service Tax expert CA Manish Gadia from GMJ & Co gave an insight on how GST will come into play. TAAI has initiated GST training sessions in cities such as Kolkata, Ahmedabad and now Mumbai. Revealing more is Jay Bhatia, Hon. Treasurer & Tourism Council Chairman, TAAI. “By June 30, we plan to complete these sessions in all the 20 cities across the country where TAAI is present. Subsequently by July-August we will have detailed session as the government gives more clarity on GST. Currently, we are not happy with the GST rates and we will be making representation through FAITH to the government which is definitely going to be reviewed by the government but as of now the current intention of the government is to implement GST from 1st of July. Once it is implemented we have assurance from the government that they will look into the issues faced by agents and take the right steps,” he said. Sampat Damani, Chairman – Western Region, TAAI, commented, “Although we received notifications from the government but still a lot of things are not clear. With GST being very complex we see tourism and hospitality industry getting a big hit. Like demonetisation we may see day to day changes by the government which will be a chaos for the next 6-8 months. We were supposed to go into a paperless scenario but here with 37 returns to be filed annually we are taking a step backward instead of going forward.”

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TAAI starts its pan-India workshops on GST

The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) has started conducting educational workshops on GST for its members across all chapters along with its consultant and Service Tax expert, Manish Gadia, Partner, GMJ & Co. Jay Bhatia, National Treasurer and Chairman (Tourism Council), TAAI, says, “We did a session on GST in Ahmedabad on Saturday, May 27 and are doing another one in Mumbai on June 1. We have planned this pan-India for our chapters and the dates and cities will be announced soon.” The association will conduct another one in Lucknow on June 8. Gadia, who recently conducted a session on the same topic for Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) members in Mumbai says, “The main doubt of the IATO members was whether they have to go for five per cent or 18 per cent, whether they have both options, what will be the place of supply, and how can they get the maximum benefit from GST. Any change will always have some pros and cons. Introduction of GST is one the biggest economic reforms for India. So the tour operators will have to change the way they are doing business today.”  

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Associations rush to conduct GST workshops for members

Various national travel trade associations in the country are rushing to conduct workshops on GST for their members and inform them on how the tax structure will impact their business. The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) has organised a seminar with noted Service Tax expert, Manish Gadia, Partner, GMJ & Co to talk on Service Tax and GST and to reply to member queries. The Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) has also conducted a speaker session on GST. Following close on its heels will be the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI). Revealing this is Jay Bhatia, National Treasurer and Chairman (Tourism Council), TAAI, who said that the association will be doing a series of workshops on Service Tax and GST along with consultant Manish Gadia across the country.

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‘Hotel prices need to be globally competitive’

Rajan Sehgal, Chairman–Northern Region, TAAI, claimed that there is not much difference in air travel apart from the taxes on economy and business class being separate. However, he said, “Since the hotels will be subjected to 28 per cent tax for over Rs 5000 room rate, this will be a huge blow to the industry. We were expecting about 18 per cent, which has been applied, but for hotels in the Rs 2500-5000 range. Our aim is to get more foreign tourists to India, and not just domestic tourists, and by hiking up the main part of travel will not benefit the industry in any way. Our price needs to be competitive in comparison to the European market or other markets in Asia where the rates for such services are much lower.”

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TAAI Western Region calls for nominations

Sampat Damani, Chairman Western Region, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), has urged members from the Western Region Chapter to come forward and file for nominations for the upcoming elections. He said, “The elections will be in July 2017 but the dates are not yet fixed. We will announce the last date for filing the nominations once we firm up the election dates.” Speaking about his term as the Chairmain for the region, Damani added, “I am grateful to my members of the region for the support they extended to me in my tenure. They are keen on me continuing for another term. But its time I moved out and made space for some young blood from our association. My earnest request to all members is to please come forward for the elections. Being part of the MC entails hard work but gives a lot of satisfaction of doing good work. It’s their chance to give something back to the association and the industry at large.” He also said that when his team took charge in 2015, TAAI Western Region had 375 members. “In this term, we added 22 members but also terminated 35 memberships because of inactivity. We now have interested and committed members. TAAI credentials means agents whom travellers can trust,” Damani added.

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AI increases IATA agent’s payout at TAAI’s behest

Air India has led the way towards increasing agents livelihood and recognising their distribution channel. Subsequent to an in-depth interaction with the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) and its suggestions made to the national carrier, the airline has announced a new assured incentive/PLB Scheme for the FY 2017-18. Air India will file additional commission of two per cent with BSP and the same will be deducted by agent as cut and pay as per BSP cycle. This will be apart from the normal IATA commission of one per cent. Jyoti Mayal, TAAI member Managing Committee & Chairperson (Airline Council), says, “We really appreciate Air India’s move to recognise and support each and every IATA agent. After a long time, I feel that our industry is regaining its glory. Under the leadership of CMD Ashwani Lohani, we have seen them work very closely with the travel fraternity – first by bringing in credit cards then web parity and now with a level playing field where every agent gets incentivised on selling each and every ticket on Air India. I would now urge all IATA members to support our national carrier to make it a leading carrier in Indian skies. As an Airline Council Chairperson, I would love to see our national airline regaining its glory and profitability. We at TAAI took this initiative with the airline to set standards in the industry and promote all agents.” The incentives shall be calculated on basic fare for domestic and for international it will be calculated on Basic Fare +YQ. There is no target for the scheme and will be valid for all tickets sold within the territory of India by IATA agents …

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Withdrawing agents’ commission not a good sign

Rajan Sehgal, Chairman, Northern Region, TAAI, says “Emirates is expanding its network fast and already has the largest number of flights, amongst all the international carries, flying to and from India. All this is because of the support of the travel agents. Agents in India have been marketing, selling, bringing customers and giving credit to them and paying the airline in time. Emirates does not understand that this could negatively impact the business. Offering 3 per cent commission on the basic fare is only peanuts for Emirates, but it is still following suit as other international airlines. Withdrawing this commission is not a good sign. However, they would soon realise that travel agents are important for the business. the Indian travel industry, unlike in other nations, is not very strong and has no support from the government. Hence, everybody is cutting the profit of the travel agent, but they will soon realise that travel agents are a major contributor to their business.”

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