Tag Archives: TAFI

4th MPTM to be held in Bhopal from Oct 27-29

The 4th edition of Madhya Pradesh Travel Mart (MPTM) will be held from October 27-29, 2017 in Bhopal, informed Hari Ranjan Rao, Secretary, Tourism and Public Service Management and Managing Director, Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation. Over 200 national and international buyers and around 100 exhibitors of distinct Indian markets are expected to participate in the mart.According to Surendra Patwa, State Minister, Tourism and Culture (I/C), Kisan Kalyavan and Agriculture Development, Government of Madhya Pradesh, “I am hopeful that this year’s MPTM will open way for more investment in tourism sector in the state. This event will give us the opportunity to create a new tourism policy, water tourism policy, heritage policy, policy of providing accommodation facility centres and home state schemes.” With the theme, Seek-Discover-Explore, the mart will offer a B2B platform to bring together tourism stakeholders and representatives from heritage hotels, conference venues, tour operators and wildlife parks etc. The mart is supported by various trade organisations, like ADTOI, ATTOI, IATO, FAITH, TAAI and TAFI. Rao informed that this year, the number of attendees to the mart is expected to cross over 9 crore. International participants attending the show include representatives from Singapore, Spain, the UK, the US, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Thailand, Poland, Austria, Australia, France etc. Rao said, “The travel mart is an opportunity in which the tourism aspects of the state and the policies ad schemes are conveyed to the investors. In the last three years of the Travel mart in Bhopal, it has been experienced that through this one-to-one discussion with tourists, tourism, hospitality and participants of the hotel industry, the efforts being made for the expansion of the area are also being …

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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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A disappointing act by Emirates

Disappointed by the latest circular by Emirates to cut down commissions to one per cent, Rajat Bagaria, Committee Member, The Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI), says, “Airlines should be encouraging their travel agency sales force rather than disarming them. Agents always considered EK as an agent-friendly airline, and we rewarded the airline with load factors from all the cities. However, this move brings them at par with other airlines. This comes at a time when the summer season is about to begin, and when we are already reeling under the Service Tax amendment impact. Coupled with the reduced commission, the web disparity, and direct promotions to the frequent fliers and corporates, the margins of the agents will be drastically hit. I hope they have call centres well equipped to handle customer calls and complaints.”

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Malaysia launches 15-day e-visa for Indians

In a move to boost Indian arrivals, Malaysia has launched a 15-day e-visa for travellers on a short visit. This was announced at a press conference in New Delhi by Malaysia’s Minister of Tourism and Culture, Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz. “India and Malaysia share great relations that go a long way back and we want to foster these ties. We decided to launch this e-visa for the benefit of travellers who visit the country for a short while and since it takes only 48 hours for approval, it is also useful for those who require it urgently,” he said. The e-visa includes a single-entry and costs $20. Tourism Malaysia and leaders from TAAI, TAFI and OTOAI also signed a commitment plaque fortifying each other’s commitment to promoting travel from India.With a focus on sustainable tourism, Malaysia is also pushing its special interest packages for premium shopping, luxury travels, sports tourism such as golf, and Malaysia as a wedding and honeymoon destination. India is the sixth top tourist generating market for Malaysia with a total 722,141 Indian visitors recorded in 2015. Last year, from January to October, Malaysia received a total of 540,530 Indian tourists. Malaysia hopes to achieve 1 million arrivals from the India market this year.

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TAFI plans symposium in Mumbai in Feb 2017

The Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) is planning to organise a day-long symposium in Mumbai in the third or fourth week of February 2017. The symposium will focus on issues like e-visas for inbound traffic, visa challenges for outbound traffic from India, GST and other topics that the Union Budget will touch upon. Sharing more details, Pradip Lulla, Vice President, TAFI, said, “We will get experts to address our members who will be not from Mumbai but also from Pune and surrounding areas. We will also invite stakeholders like airlines and consulates. Topics are yet to be firmed up.” TAFI had conducted a similar symposium in New Delhi in October 2016 where it had also launched its new logo. “We want to replicate this in other metro cities as well and discuss topics that are relevant for that particular region,” Lulla added.

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TAFI plans at least 2 symposiums in 2017

As part of its makeover plan, the Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) has announced that it will be organising at least two symposiums next year. Pradip Lulla, Vice President, TAFI, said, “We will have symposiums starting next year over and above our annual convention. One of our main objectives is to get on a digital platform where we can integrate our members. The Managing Committee is working on the details of the digital platform. We have already identified the platform but basic implementation needs to be firmed up. It will be confirmed by early next year. The symposium will discuss on how to improvise our existing Joint Bank Guarantee program. The convention details will be divulged by March 2017.” He added that TAFI is also looking at new ways of educating its members on how to do business better.

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TAFI launches new logo

The Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) has launched a new logo with a tagline “The Way Forward” at The Ashok New Delhi. The new TAFI logo was unveiled by Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism Govt. of India along with Dr. A.K. Manocha, Chairman & Managing Director, IRCTC, in the presence of TAFI President Praveen Chugh, TAFI Immediate Past President Zakkir Ahmed, Vice President Pradip Lulla, National General Secretary Aditi Bhende, Managing Committee Member and Convention Chairman Bharat Shah and Managing Committee member Teddy Thomas among others.

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TAAI requests for IATA workshop in smaller cities

After the success of its joint initiative with TAFI recently, the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) has requested IATA to conduct workshops on the IBSP billing system in smaller cities as well. Jay Bhatia, Hon. National Treasurer & Chairman Tourism Council, TAAI, said, “We have requested IATA to cover smaller cities like Rajkot, Indore, Bhopal, Srinagar, Jalandhar and Amritsar as well. We are confident that this too shall be soon taken up in case the agents require the same once the system is implemented around mid of October 2016.” The workshop that was conducted in metro cities from September 14 in 16 chapters across India until September 29, 2016 saw more than 1,200 IATA agents sign up. It updated them on the new reports that shall be generated and the process to understand the same. Bhatia added, “We shall have a clearer picture on the same as detailed queries will start only once it is implemented. This round of workshop included only the theory aspect.”

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Praveen Chugh elected as WTAAA Treasurer

Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) President Praveen Chugh has been elected as the Treasurer of World Travel Agents Associations Alliance (WTAAA) of which TAFI is a member. WTAAA held its Annual General Assembly and bi-annual Board meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, recently and elected a new board. The new WTAAA Chairman is Otto de Vries (CEO of Association of Southern African Travel Agents), and Mark Meader (Vice President of Industry Affairs American Society of Travel Agents) is the new Vice Chairman. WTAAA brings together 56 countries and represents more than 80 per cent of the BSP worldwide. WTAAA is a global voice for the travel agency distribution channel and regularly engages with IATA, UNWTO, WHO, Media, GDS, European Union, DOT and other regulators and bodies around the world. The mission of the World Travel Agents Associations Alliance (WTAAA) is to act as the global travel agency voice through the exchange of ideas and information. WTAAA members include the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA), Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA), Association of Brazilian Travel Agents (ABAV), European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Associations (ECTAA), Association of South African Travel Agents (ASATA), Travel Agency Federation of India (TAFI) and Travel Agents’ Association of New Zealand (TAANZ) Spanish Federation of Travel Agents (CEAV), Federation of Asean Travel Agencies (FATA).

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1,200 agents register for IATA workshop in 16 cities

Around 1,200 agents have registered for the IATA workshop on the IBSP billing system that is being jointly conducted by the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) and the Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) in co-ordination with IATA. The workshop which started from Delhi from September 14 will be held in 16 chapters across India until September 29, 2016. This will not just be for its members but for all IATA agents as well. These three-hour sessions aim to improve the participant’s overall understanding about the latest development and impending changes in the billing and settlement reports used in BSP. BSP India is scheduled to migrate its billing software to IATA’s single global software – IBSPs. This joint effort is aimed at getting all IATA-accredited agencies in India to get familiar with the new BSP reports.

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