Tag Archives: Travel Agents Association of India

Sunil R. Kumar re-elected as TAAI President

Sunil R. Kumar has been re-elected as the president of Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) for the term 2017-19. While Sanjay Narula has been named the vice president, Jyoti Mayal will be the honorary Secretary General. Imitiaz Qureshi has been elected to the post of National Treasurer. “I have been elected for the second term and therefore, the responsibility is greater,” Kumar said, adding, “members have expectations, so we need to work towards getting airlines closer to meeting their expectations. It’s a tough challenge, but I believe we are tougher.”  The announcement was made during the association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on November 28, at The Lalit Mumbai. The seven Members elected to the Managing Committee are: Anoop Kanuga, Gurmeet Singh Vij, Rajan Sehgal, S. Saravanan, Bhagwan Ramnani, Anil Kumar, and Devaki Thiyagarajan.

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TAAI national elections on Nov 28, 2017 in Mumbai

The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) has announced that it will conduct its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on November 28, 2017, in Mumbai at The Lalit Mumbai. This will be followed by its national elections at around 11:30 am at the same venue. Revealing this is Sunil R. Kumar, President, TAAI, who adds, “Currently we are busy with all the statutory processes for the AGM such as reports, financial statements as well as arranging for the election process.” When asked about the annual convention that has been delayed due to various reasons, Kumar says, “We will definitely have our convention, which will happen after our AGM, possibly in January or February 2018. We did the same thing last year as well when we held our annual convention in Abu Dhabi after our AGM.”

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Sameer Karnani elected as Chairman, TAAI Western Region

The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) Western Region Chapter has chosen Sameer Karnani, Director, Arunodaya Travels, and currently serving as the Secretary for the Chapter, as the new Chairman for the Western Region for the new term. Revealing this is Sampat Damani, current Chairman – Western Region, TAAI. “The election for the Western Region was conducted on July 24, 2017. Madhuri Kanga, Treasurer, TAAI – Western Region and myself have stepped down. Sameer Karnani has been elected as the new Chairman and Rajesh Poddar, has taken over as the Secretary. Dharmesh Shah of Dadyson Travels, will be the new Treasurer,” he says. He added that the national elections will be held around the third week of September 2017. He continues to serve as the Chairman of the region until the national elections are held, post which the new team will take over.

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TAAI Northern Region election on July 21

The biennial election for Travel Agents Association of India’s (TAAI) Northern Region will be held on July 21, 2017, at The Claridges, New Delhi. Revealing this was Rajan Sehgal, Chairman Northern Region, Travel Agents Association Of India (TAAI). “The nominations are open till July 18, post which we will come to know the final list of nominees,” he said. Neeraj Malhotra, Hon. Secretary Northern Region, TAAI,also revealed that the elections will take place after the annual general meeting of the association and the new executive committee will be announced on the same day.

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TAAI to sign MoU with Malaysia

TAAI Western Region will sign an MoU with Malaysia Tourism on June 22, 2017 in Mumbai to offer training workshops to its members in the Western Region. The workshop is titled ‘Malaysia – Beyond KL’ and will be offered to frontliners and representatives of tour operators. The association also launched a concise booklet on Malaysia that features 1,001 packages and aims to serve as a ready-reckoner for agents who want to sell the destination. Sampat Damani, Chairman Western Region, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI)adds, “Fourteen states from Malaysia have worked out detailed packages in this booklet along with pricing. Agents just need to look at it.”

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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 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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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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