Category Archives: Agents

Consolidation important, EbixCash will lookout for special interest acquisitions: Naveen Kundu

Analysing the revival plans for the tourism industry post-COVID-19crisis, Naveen Kundu, Managing Director, EbixCash Travel & Holidays has said that there will be a lot of behavioural changes in the industry including a complete price realignment for every tourism product. He said that post-COVID-19 crisis, rationalisation and consolidation will become important they will look at special interest acquisitions going forward when the situation is normalised.  “Ebix has always been bullish about the Indian market. Post COVID-19, there will be a complete paradigm shift in the industry, which will make a consolidation opportunity for us. We will be looking at special interest acquisition and continue the way we have progressed in the Indian market. Among sectors, I believe MiCE industry will be the first one to bounce back,” said Kundu.

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India’s first digital conclave by TravTalk Overwhelming response: 6,000+ attendees

TravTalk Digital Conclave – India’s first virtual tourism conclave got off to a roaring success with over 6000 plus attendees in three sessions that took place yesterday. TravTalk got on board eminent stakeholders in the tourism industry to discuss various issues arising because of the COVID-19 crisis for the industry. Session one focused on ‘When will inbound bounce back? What action can tour operators take in the interim?’ Speakers for this session included Rupinder Brar (ADG – Ministry of Tourism), Himmat Anand (Founder – Tree of Life Resorts & Hotels) and Homa Mistry (CEO – Trail Blazer Tours). The second session was on the subject ‘Outbound tourism: Weathering the storm and gearing up for better days’. Speakers for this session included experts like Tricia Warwick (APMEA Director – VisitBritain), GB Srithar (Regional Director, India, Middle East & South Asia – Singapore Tourism Board) and Deepak Rawat (Senior Vice President, International Markets – MakeMyTrip). The final session covered the topic ‘Coronavirus – A small roadblock or a major disrupter for the tourism industry?’ This session had industry experts Suman Billa (Director, Technical Cooperation and Silk Road Development – UNWTO), Kapil Kaul (CEO, India & ME – CAPA) and Naveen Kundu (Managing Director – EbixCash Travel & Holidays), share their expert advice with the travel trade.

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TAAI urges airlines for cash refunds instead of credit vouchers, waive off cancellation charges

Addressing concerns from member agencies regarding refunds/credits from airlines/ IATA due to the impact of Covid2019 as customers are demanding refunds from travel agents, TAAI has said, “With reference to the unilateral decision of the airlines to give credit notes and no cash refunds, we have made it very clear to all concerned that, cash refunds are required due to the global pandemic situation. It is the right of the passenger to get back his amount paid in stipulated time. Cancellation charges shall not be borne by the traveller due to the cancellation of flights/ lockdown situations/ banning of flights by government of India as well as of other countries, etc.” In an official statement by TAAI to its members, it was written, “We are in daily communications with the Indian Prime Minister’s office(PMO), Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Ministry of Tourism (MOT), Ministry of Finance (MoF), Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI), Niti Aayog, IATA Global Head Quarters, IATA-India, all airlines individually including Low Cost airlines in India. We are working in support with, all associations of travel, tourism & hospitality trade under UFTAA, FAITH, CII and other leading trade bodies. Our concerns have been voiced not only in our communications but also in mainline media being TV channels & newspapers, trade media as well as social media.” The TAAI team urged its members to be patient, claiming that the as Govt. of India, is prioritising the requests of citizens, industries, trade, travellers, etc. and are actioning to the best of their abilities, with timelines. “Their main objective right now is to ensure the health safety of all persons and providing proper medical …

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IATA allows agents to make payment settlements later without penalties

An official statement by IATA has said that travel agents can make payment settlements later without penalties, in the wake of the global crisis of COVID-19. The statement read “For travel agents, we’re allowing settlements to be made a bit later, without penalties. While remittance periods have been kept in accordance with BSP Calendars, we are taking a flexible approach and preliminary figures confirm this, showing that default rates in 2020 are a bit below the year-ago period—despite the stresses on the system in 2020.” In addition, recognising the fact that it may be difficult or impossible to get audited financial statements, or arrange a financial guarantee, “IATA is offering to extend deadlines for these statements by up to a month.”

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India’s first virtual tourism conclave, powered by TravTalk, to be held tomorrow

TravTalk Digital Conclave – India’s first virtual tourism conclave – is all set to take place tomorrow, April 7, from 10 am to 1:30 pm. The conclave will be divided into three sessions, each designed to help the travel trade survive in present times amid the COVID-19 crisis, while also focusing on what the future holds for both inbound and outbound tourism. Three eminent speakers and industry experts will speak on a subject during each of the sessions. Session-1 will focus on ‘When will inbound bounce back? What action can tour operators take in the interim?’ Speakers for this session will be Rupinder Brar (ADG – Ministry of Tourism), Himmat Anand (Founder – Tree of Life Resorts & Hotels) and Homa Mistry (CEO – Trail Blazer Tours). The next session will delve on the subject ‘Outbound tourism: Weathering the storm and gearing up for better days’. Speakers for this session will include experts like Tricia Warwick (APMEA Director – VisitBritain), GB Srithar (Regional Director, India, Middle East & South Asia – Singapore Tourism Board) and Deepak Rawat (Senior Vice President, International Markets – MakeMyTrip). Session-3 will cover the topic ‘Coronavirus – A small roadblock or a major disrupter for the tourism industry?’ This session will have industry experts Suman Billa (Director, Technical Cooperation and Silk Road Development – UNWTO), Kapil Kaul (CEO, India & ME – CAPA) and Naveen Kundu (Managing Director – EbixCash Travel & Holidays), share their expert advice with the travel trade.

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Ticket refunds could amount to $35 billion for airline industry: IATA

According to the latest data provided by International Air Transport Association (IATA), the airline industry could be staring at an estimated $35 billion of ticket refunds. This, clubbed with significant fixed and semi-fixed costs of which many cannot be avoided over a short period of time, can amount to the airline industry using up to $61 billion from its cash reserve in the second quarter (Q2) of 2020. This comes after IATA’s impact assessment released earlier, which showed that the industry was looking at a net loss of $39 billion in Q2 2020.

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ITQ aiding agents with swift refunds and reissue through handy online tools

Sandeep Dwivedi, COO, InterGlobe Technology Quotient (ITQ), has said that they have been helping agents with online tools that aid in swift cancellations, reissue and refunds. “ITQ is doing what we have always done i.e. be a responsible intermediary between airlines and travel agents, communicating all developments, especially those related to GDS (Global Distribution System) and flight bookings; even more in these tough times. Further, teams at ITQ are providing 24*7 support to travel agents for reissue and cancellation of flight bookings, and even helping install system online for agents to work smoothly from home. In addition, following these sudden developments, we are providing handy Travelport Smartpoint hacks such as refunds using linear entry to make transacting easier and swifter for our agents. We are on the edge, serving agents by resolving queries and recording apprehensions and issues for future in order to accommodate the same in our system, if adversity worsens or for when it smoothens out. On priority, we are taking all necessary actions to prepare ourselves and our system for managing any probable or unexpected requirements smoothly,” he said.  

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FAITH decides to approach MOT to use its unutilised funds for industry relief as grants

Subhash Goyal, Secretary General, FAITH, has revealed that in the wake of the impact of COVID-19 outbreak on travel and tourism industry, they will be approaching Ministry of Tourism (MOT) and urge them to use their unutilised funds for immediate relief of the industry. “2020 should be declared a tourism draught year because we are sure that in the entire year, tourism is not going to be revived. All the airlines would remain grounded, and we know that all visas have been cancelled. Hence, our revenues have totally dried up. We had a meeting through video conferencing of the FAITH board members, which consists of all the presidents of all the associations, and it has unanimously decided to approach our parent ministry—MOT—to utilise its unutilised funds of the MOT for immediate relief for the tour operators, travel agents and particularly the small and medium operators. We do not have money to pay the salaries and the various statutory obligation. Hence, it is very important that at least Rs. 1,500 crores from the old budget of the tourism ministry and the new budget should be given as immediate relief. The TCS, which has been extended at the moratorium of loans and interest, should be extended for at least one year and TCS should be completely scrapped because it will kill the outbound tourism of the country.”

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MOT provides support to foreign tourists stranded in India

Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, with an aim to extend support to the foreign tourists who are stranded in our country because of the COVID-19 pandemic, has set up a portal to disseminate information regarding the services that can be availed by them. The portal is titled ‘Stranded in India’. And it is also hosted on Incredible India website also. The portal will help tourists get information/details of State Tourism departments and Regional offices of Ministry of tourism to help you to stay safe and healthy while in India. It will also help you find information on ways of getting back to your home country. Please visit strandedinindia.com or incredibleindia.org for further details.

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Expo 2020 postponed; new date to be announced soon

Expo 2020 Dubai has been postponed, and will now take place next year. The event’s Steering Committee convened a second virtual meeting, with representatives of the countries taking part in the event, as part of ongoing consultations that the impact of COVID-19 will have on global preparations of Expo 2020 Dubai. The Committee collectively agreed to explore with the BIE, the World Expo governing body, the possibility of a one-year delay to the opening of Expo 2020. The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), will now work with its Member States and Expo 2020 Dubai organisers to establish a change in dates. A final decision on postponement can only be made by the BIE’s Executive Committee and the General Assembly. Article 28 of the BIE Convention stipulates that, a change of dates requires a two-thirds majority vote from Member States of the Organisation. Participating countries briefed the Steering Committee on the global precautionary measures that have to be taken to ensure the health and safety of all those involved in the preparation of this mega event. The Steering Committee reviewed with grave concern the major impact that the spread of COVID-19 is having on global public, social, and economic health. The members reaffirmed their solidarity with the international community as it navigates through the ramifications that have resulted from this unprecedented global crisis. Expo 2020 organisers reaffirmed the United Arab Emirates commitment to working hand in hand with its international partners to deliver a World Expo which holds true to its founding purpose: providing an inclusive global platform to address shared challenges, and seek solutions in the spirit of international cooperation and global solidarity. The global platform that Expo 2020 will …

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