Tripti Mehta

PATA to organise Update & Outlook Meeting with MOT this month

Jatinder Taneja, Vice Chairman, PATA India Chapter, has revealed that they will start holding their EC meeting, webinars and an Update & Outlook Meeting with Ministry of Tourism (MOT) from this month. “PATA India Chapter has already planned and is starting with the EC meeting. We will also hold webinars and an Update & Outlook Meeting with the Ministry of Tourism from this month,” he shared.

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A study by Deep Knowledge Group has ranked Switzerland as the safest country to travel post-COVID-19 in a list of 200 countries

Deep Knowledge Group recently completed a study assessing the Covid-19 condition in 200 countries. Switzerland has been ranked as the safest country in the world, with a total score of 752 points against all 130 parameters under categories of quarantine efficiency, healthcare readiness, risk management among others. Germany emerged as a close second with 749 points. Even though Switzerland was very close to major epicentres of initial COVID-19 spread in Europe, the country has managed to control the virus.  Despite experiencing significant volumes of infection spread and mortality at the early stages of the pandemic, the rates of mortality and new cases now, continue to decline.

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Spain will open its borders to members of the Schengen Zone and the UK on June 21

Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, has announced that the country will open its borders to the Schengen Zone and the UK on June 21, which were originally due to remain closed until July 1. The Portuguese border, however, will remain shut until July 1. It has also been announced that travellers from non-Schengen countries will not need to self-quarantine July 1 onwards, based on the reciprocal agreement on travel.

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BLS Lake Cruise Switzerland begins operations; awaits Indian travellers

Switzerland, currently being regarded as one of the safest countries to travel to, has announced the opening of tourism businesses with cautious optimism. In light of the same, BLS Navigation, that owns and operates boats on Lake Thun and Lake Brienz in the famous Interlaken region of Switzerland, has announced selective resumption of operations for tourists. Represented and promoted by AccessIndiaReps in the Indian market, BLS Lake Cruises in Interlaken have become a favourite for Indians in the past few years. “All boat journeys here are included in the Swiss Travel System Pass free of cost for individual travellers, and we offer great prices for groups,” says Ashish Saran, Founder & CEO, AccessIndiaReps. Kaspar Stettler, Head of Sales, BLS Navigation, adds, “We are happy to resume our Interlaken Lake Cruise operations with necessary precautions and are operating our boats from various locations popular with tourists and local visitors, including restaurant services on the boats. We are positive that cross-border travel will open up from other parts of Europe and the world, and we resume full services soon. We love Indian tourists and have been seeing good numbers in the past years and are extremely hopeful that the Indian market will recover soon and we will see our Indian friends again.”

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Yatra terminates pending merger agreement with Ebix, seeks substantial damages

Online travel company Yatra has announced that it has provided notice of termination of its pending merger agreement with Ebix, Inc. and sought substantial damages from the latter over “breaches of representations, warranties and covenants in the merger agreement and an ancillary extension agreement”. Separately, starting April 2020, Yatra had already implemented cost reduction initiatives, resulting in 58% fixed cost savings in May 2020 vs March 2020, and 70% savings as compared to March 2019.

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New MSME definition includes services sector, shall benefit tourism: Yogendra Tripathi

While the tourism industry was disappointed with the sector not being mentioned in the stimulus package announced by the finance minister, Yogendra Tripathi, Secretary – Tourism, Government of India, has said that the new definition of MSME, which has removed the differentiation between manufacturing and services sector MSMEs, shall benefit tourism as 70-80% of the sector falls under MSME. “Throughout my tenure, I have been hearing from the industry that 70-80 per cent of the stakeholders in tourism fall under the MSME category. The biggest announcement under Atmanirbhar Bharat programme was pertaining to the MSMEs. Hence, we have clarified to the industry that the biggest announcements are there for them as well. The fact that the differentiation of definition between the manufacturing and the services sector MSME, which has been removed and the caps which have been changed for the services sector MSMEs, like tourism sector MSMEs, shall bring benefits. It’s not just the benefits which have been given, but it also further expands the scope of the tourism industry, to be part of the MSME definition and to take the benefits, which are due under the MSME category of Atmanirbhar Bharat announcements. I believe that the industry has started understanding that because they are now bringing out 1-2 difficult areas wherein the tourism industry may not get the kind of benefits it has been expecting. We are bringing up those difficulties to the appropriate authorities to see if we can resolve them, so that more benefits reach out to the MSME tourism industry,” he said.

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4th TravTalk Digital Conclave tomorrow; to focus on re-engineering tourism

The 4th TravTalk Digital Conclave is all set to be held tomorrow, Tuesday, 9th June, with a focus on re-engineering tourism and establishing confidence among travellers. To register, please send an email to jaspreet.kaur@ddppl.com or call +9650196532. The three sessions between 10:00 am and 1:30 pm will cover subjects such as a practical vision for the future, managing customer experience, and reducing fears & establishing confidence.

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UNWTO-led ‘One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme’ provides new vision for global tourism– growing better, stronger, and balancing the needs of people, planet and prosperity

The One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme led by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has announced its new vision for global tourism– growing better, stronger, and balancing the needs of people, planet and prosperity. The One Planet Vision for the responsible recovery of the tourism sector builds on the UNWTO Global Guidelines to Restart Tourism, with the aim to emerge stronger and more sustainable from the COVID-19 crisis. Sustainability must no longer be a niche part of tourism but must be the new norm for every part of the tourism sector, the document states. The programme is structured around six lines of action, namely public health, social inclusion, biodiversity conservation, climate action, circular economy and governance & finance.

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NITI Aayog and MoCA discuss strengthening operations & augmenting recovery with aviation industry

The Empowered Group 6 (EG 6) constituted by Government of India and chaired by Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, held a meeting with business leaders from the aviation industry and Ministry of Civil Aviation to discuss possibilities for strengthening operations and augmenting the recovery of the aviation sector under the new normal. The meeting was also attended by Pradeep Singh Kharola, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation; Secretary, Department of Financial Services (DFS), which covers the functioning of banks, financial institutions, insurance companies and the National Pension System; and representatives of airlines such as IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir, AirAsia, Vistara and Air India.

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WTTC expands ‘Safe Travels’ protocols to M!CE sector

WTTC has unveiled the second phase of measures to rebuild global consumer confidence to encourage the return of travelling. The latest protocols are designed to enable sectors such as tour operators and convention centres, meetings and events to thrive once again. The extended measures follow the ‘Safe Travels’ guidelines that were launched by WTTC on May 12. Detailed discussions took place with key stakeholders and organisations to ensure maximum buy-in, alignment and practical implementation, to set clear expectations of what travellers may experience in the ‘new normal’. Those relating to airports and airlines have been devised following close consultation with WTTC Members IATA and Airports Council International (ACI), to rebuild trust and provide reassurance that airports and airlines will offer safe environments in which to fly once travel restrictions are relaxed.

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