Category Archives: Associations

WTTCII appoints Rajeev Talwar & Ajay Singh as Chairman & Vice Chairman respectively for 2019

After the Annual General Meeting of the World Travel & Tourism Council, India Initiative (WTTCII), the company has appointed many office bearers for the year 2019. Rajeev Talwar, Chief Executive Officer, DLF, has been appointed as the Chairman, WTTCII for the year 2019. Talwar, who served as the Vice Chairman, WTTCII for the year 2018, takes over from Sunder G Advani, Chairman & Managing Director, Advani Hotels & Resorts (India). Ajay Singh, Chairman & Managing Director, SpiceJet, has been unanimously appointed as the Vice Chairman, WTTCII for the year 2019. KJ Alphons, Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge) for Tourism and Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Tourism, along with former officials of Ministry of Tourism, SK Misra and VK Duggal felicitated the new team. On his appointment, Talwar said, “WTTCII has three main asks from the government — firstly, Airline Turbine Fuel – ATF must be included under GST; secondly, the 28 per cent on hotel rooms is hurting – GST should be pegged at 5 per cent for rooms of transaction values of Rs 5,000 and 12 per cent for transaction values of Rs 5,001 to Rs 15,000, along with ITC. Lastly, a tourism board to handle the marketing of Incredible India. Today, destination marketing has to be more deft, sharp, agile and cannot be strapped with bureaucratic procedures. A tourism board with inclusion of public and private stakeholders will make brand India successful. We would also need avenues to open up new markets, take, for instance, China; we are 4-6 hours away from major Chinese cities. China’s huge outbound of 130 million trips is every country’s envy and a prime source market, yet we are unable to tap the Chinese outbound. We need to be connected to …

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FHRAI meets MakeMyTrip officials to discuss reduction in commission charges by OTAs

The Federation of Hotels & Restaurants Association of India (FHRAI), along with its regional associations, met four representatives from MakeMyTrip to discuss reduction of the commission charged by the OTAs to 15-18 per cent. The meeting was attended by Surendra Jaiswal, President, HRANI and Vice President, FHRAI, along with Garish Oberoi, Immediate Past President, FHRAI and Treasurer, HRANI. Also present at the meeting were Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, President, HRAWI, along with some of the Executive Committee members. Another points discussed in the meeting include ceasing discretionary positioning and self-rating by properties since they have no authority to rate hotels or mention star ratings based on reviews; no predatory pricing and no further discount on rooms without consent of hotels. Apart from it, the association wants that discounting on rooms and its display will be done after the express consent of the hotel and not via the extranet. Several other points raised in the meeting included the service charge on hotel room booking to be rephrased and given a different nomenclature to avoid taxation issues for the hotel, the burden of the loyalty points and discounts passed to their guests to be borne by them from the commission and not to be passed to hotels, a full break-up of pricing in case rate is displayed with full board, commission to be levied on room only and the component of food should not attract any commission, PLBs only with express agreement with hotels not blanket, PLB taxation to be borne by MMT and not the hotel and illegal hotels apartments, B&B to be immediately delisted from the portals — only legal  properties to be listed.

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Tourism is the future of India: Alphons at 14th CII Annual Tourism Summit

Addressing delegates during the inaugural ceremony of 14th CII Annual Tourism Summit in Delhi, KJ Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C) Tourism, said that tourism is the future of India. “Tourism is the future of the country. Foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) have gone up by 14 per cent, while the global figures were at 7 per cent. Approximately, 84 million people are currently employed by the tourism industry across the country,” he said. Suggesting ways to keep tourists for longer in the country, he said, “We are also thinking in terms of further visa reforms. I think Yoga and Ayurveda are the two things that can bring wellness and help us to keep tourists for longer in our country. Tourism is about jobs, money and bringing the world together. We have ambitous targets and we all can achieve them together.”

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FHRAI puts MakeMyTrip and Goibibo on notice to protect the interest of stakeholders

In response to grievances expressed by its members, the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) has put Online Travel Aggregators (OTA), MakeMyTrip and Goibibo on notice. A number of its members had brought to the association’s notice that the OTAs’ business practices which were exploitative, unethical and divisive led to predatory pricing and other market distortions that had the potential to harm both hoteliers and consumers in the long term. FHRAI has written a letter to the OTAs outlining the most critical concerns of the hotel industry which includes the issue of distortion of market price, demand for exorbitant commissions and hosting of illegal and unlicensed bed and breakfast accommodations. “One of the biggest concerns is that after securing discounted rates from a hotel, the OTAs further discount it on their online platforms without the hotel’s consent. This damages the hotel’s reputation, and also simultaneously distorts the market scenario. Ironically, the OTAs have a clause in their agreement that forbids hotels from discounting their own rates but are themselves free to do so. This disparity is not just unfair but is clearly intentional and is done with the objective of market cannibalisation,” says Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President – FHRAI & President – Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI). Hotels have alleged that the OTAs charge commission that range anywhere between 18 and 40 per cent. The exorbitant commissions have been adversely impacting revenues, business and the livelihood of hoteliers. The Federation has written to MMT and Goibibo in the hope that they will understand the ground level situation of hotels. However, based on the previous experience of hoteliers whose attempts at negotiations were neglected …

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‘AdventureNEXT’ opens with 200 attendees in Bhopal

With its focus on adventure tourism by combining marketplace, meetings and networking opportunities, nearly 200 delegates took part at the first-ever ongoing ‘AdventureNEXT’ in Bhopal, also including participants from abroad. Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism; Swadesh Kumar, President, ATOAI and Akshay Kumar, Chairman, AdventureNEXT committee graced the event. The convention was witnessed by global buyers, international/national media representatives, sellers and office bearers of the Adventure Tour Operators Association, hotels, hospitality and tour operators who came to expand their knowledge spectrum and itinerary offerings. Speaking on the occasion, Hari Ranjan Rao (IAS), Principal Secretary — Tourism and Managing Director, Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board, said, “Madhya Pradesh is truly honoured and privileged for being the ever first host of AdventureNEXT in Asia. We thank ATTA and all the international buyers, felicitators, media and national delegates who came together to make this event a grand success. The AdventureNEXT not only brought together the networking sessions, but it also gave a unique definition to the hidden treasures of adventure tourism in India. With this, we focus to promote the adventure travel aspect with full pace in Madhya Pradesh as well”. Shannon Stowell, CEO, AdventureNEXT, Adventure Travel Trade Association, said, “We were honoured and proud to present the world AdventureNEXT’18 with MP tourism. The extraordinary variety of adventure travel Madhya Pradesh preserves is worth experiencing. AdventureNEXT captured India’s religious heritage, mythological, historical, wildlife and beautiful architectural spots clubbed with physical activities and journals for the attendees. This is just the beginning, ATTA also plans to introduce more tours which are adventure-driven panning across the unexplored exploratory destinations of India.”  

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HRA Gujarat choses Yatra.com as its preferred partner for online bookings

Yatra Online been chosen as the preferred online booking partner for reservations by the Hotels and Restaurant Association (HRA) of Gujarat. In a meeting held in Ahmedabad recently, the association headed by Narendra Somani, President, HRA Gujarat, announced that Yatra.com would be their preferred online booking partner and all bookings coming through it will be honoured. The association has assured travellers that they can make their bookings through Yatra.com and continue to enjoy their stay in Gujarat. Commenting on the announcement, Dhruv Shringi, CEO & Co – Founder, Yatra.com said, “We are humbled by the HRA’s trust in us. We share a long standing business relationship with our hotel partners in Gujarat and will continue to work closely with them to help with online bookings of hotels in the state in order to ensure that no inconvenience is caused to any of the customers making hotel reservations in the state.”  

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Skål International India launches Srinagar Club

Skål International India has opened its 12th club under the name Skål International Srinagar that will comprise 21 members from Srinagar as well as Ladakh. Ibrahim Siah is the Founder President of the club, while Nasir Shah is its Secretary. The chief guest for the Chapter night was Syed Abid Rasheed Shah, District Development Commissioner, along with other eminent dignitaries. Hosted by Fortune Resort Heevan, the event was well-attended by the Skål India National Board and All India Club Presidents/Representatives. Ranjini Nambiar, President, Skål International India, informed, “Club members consist of hoteliers, travel agents, tour operators and adventure specialists. The state boasts of great ski slopes, apple orchards, houseboats on the 24 sqkm famous Dal lake and is an absolute safe place to be. All members worldwide are welcome to interact with the Skålleagues of Srinagar.”

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PATA Destination Marketing Forum 2018 opens in Khon Kaen with 300 delegates

The PATA Destination Marketing Forum (PDMF), themed on ‘Growth with Goals’, welcomed 290 delegates from 25 destinations. The event, hosted by Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), with the support of Khon Kaen Province, brought together delegates from the public and private sectors for insightful discussions on some of the major issues in marketing and managing tourism growth to lesser-known destinations. Dr Mario Hardy, PATA, CEO said, “This event stems from the need to help secondary and tertiary areas grow and develop into widely recognised, bucket-listed tourism destinations. Aligning with our advocacy theme of tourism dispersal, the forum shines the spotlight on new and emerging destinations, introducing delegates to lesser-known yet attractive corners of the world. It is designed to assist communities economically in these destinations by encouraging dispersion of tourists to new frontiers.” Delegates will hear from experienced industry professionals during the conference on major topics like ‘Status of Destination Management Around the World’, ‘Role of Local Experiences in Destination Marketing’, ‘Managing the Disconnect between Destination Organisations and Communities’, ‘Transborder Marketing. Case Studies of GMS’, ‘Fighting Undertourism Through Innovative Storytelling’, ‘Calculating our Impact as Destinations’ and ‘Leveraging Technology to Revolutionise the Travel Space’.

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TAAI and Yunnan sign MoU for tourism development

The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Yunnan Provincial Department of Tourism and Culture on the second day of the ongoing 65th TAAI Annual Convention in Kunming, China. The objective was to promote tourism between India and Yunnan. Both the regions will work towards developing a framework for cooperation, acknowledging the success which resulted in the convention being organised in Yunnan province.

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TAAI Convention opens in Kunming, China with 500 attendees

Delegates at the 65th Travel Agents Association of India’s convention and exhibition were warmly welcomed in Kunming, China. The three-day convention highlighted the theme ‘Tourism Beyond Boundaries’ and hopes to further strengthen tourism ties between India and China. Located in the Yunnan province of China, Kunming is an ideal golf destination and the TAAI Convention started with a golf tournament with players participating from both the countries. Known for popularising unknown destinations, TAAI has brought Kunming on the tourism map.

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