Category Archives: Associations

ADTOI to open two new chapters in Madhya Pradesh & Tamil Nadu

The Association of Domestic Tour Operators (ADTOI) has recently opened its Northeast Chapter in Guwahati. Rajesh Arya, Vice President, ADTOI, says, “Recently we opened our 10th chapter in the Northeast. Further, we are likely to open two more chapters shortly after the elections- Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The timeline we are looking at is, July-August. Also, the convention is due this year, which we will conduct in August or September, most likely.

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ADTOI to open its 10th chapter in Guwahati on Apr 6

The Association of Domestic Tour Operators (ADTOI) is all set to open its Northeast Chapter in Guwahati on April 6, 2019 at Vivanta by Taj, Guwahati and will coincide with Rongali Festival. PP Khanna, President, ADTOI, shared the news saying that it will be the Association’s 10th chapter. “The inauguration ceremony of the chapter will be graced by the presence of the Principal Secretary, Tourism, Government of Assam, tour operators and hoteliers. The Chairman of the Northeast chapter of ADTOI will be Arijit Purkayastha, MD, Koyeli Tours. The launch event will be followed by B2B meetings between ADTOI members and the local agents in Guwahati.” Arijit Purkayastha, MD, Koyeli Tours, who will be the Chairman for Northeast Chapter, ADTOI, said that his main aim would be to connect the tour operators based in various parts of India to those in the Northeast. “We would want everyone in India to know about the Northeast region, since many tour operators from Meghalaya and Assam are not participating in travel shows in other parts of India. Also, people and even tour operators living in other parts of India are sceptical about the safety and connectivity in the region. Our main agenda is to make people aware of the safety in the Northeast region.”  

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Praveen Chugh, industry veteran, passes away

Travel industry veteran, Praveen Chugh, passed away in Delhi on March 26, 2019 after suffering a massive heart attack. He was serving as the President of Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) and was also the Chairman of World Travel Agents Association Alliance (WTAAA). Born on October 16, 1955, Chugh recently became the COO of Agency Sales for Via.com by EbixCash, which acquired his company Business Travels Private Limited. He is survived by two daughters. Known for his guidance and expertise in ticketing, Service Tax and GST, he has represented Indian travel industry at various international forums time and again. Subhash Goyal, Secretary General, FAITH, said, “My relationship with Praveen Chugh started ever since he joined TAFI, and he took it to great heights with time. He started his company Travel Services International (TSI) from scratch and made it one of the most successful companies in India. He was one of the finest people I know and was a pillar of strength, not only for TAFI, but for FAITH as well. He was always enthusiastic about new things and had a positive attitude. He was of great help for the India Tourism Mart (ITM), and even sent his staff for the ticketing. He contributed a lot to the industry, especially with Service Tax and GST matters, which he was very clear of. He educated and guided the industry in case of any issues on the same as well as worked on agent commissions along with TAAI and other industry organisations. He has been representing India on various international platforms as well. It is a very sad moment for the entire industry and a personal loss for me as he was …

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5.4 million more Indians to visit Asia Pacific by 2023: PATA

India is set to generate an incremental increase of 5.4 million visitor arrivals between 2018 and 2023, according to a latest report by PATA’s Asia Pacific Visitor Forecasts 2019-2023. Of the 210 million additional foreign arrivals into Asia Pacific generated between 2018 and 2023, 73.7 per cent will come from Asian origin markets. The strongest Asian generators of additional visitor arrivals between 2018 and 2023 will be led by China and Hong Kong SAR with respective increases of 49.2 million and 30.8 million. These markets will be supported by Korea (ROK), Malaysia and India. The Asian Average Annual Growth Rate for tourism receipts between 2018 and 2023 is expected to be around 9.1 per cent, with Northeast and Southeast Asia showing even stronger average growth. “The growth momentum of Asia Pacific as both a receiver and a generator of international visitors – not just into Asia Pacific but globally – and the receipts that they both receive and generate, is set to continue to at least 2023,” said Dr Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA. “As is always the case, growth in international arrivals across Asia Pacific and indeed globally, is often unequal, with subtle changes and shifts occurring as travellers tune into new experiences and the destinations that offer them,” he said.

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Capt. Swadesh Kumar re-elected as ATOAI President

Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) has elected Captain Swadesh Kumar, Managing Director, Shikhar Travels India, as President for 2019-2021. Sanjay Basu, Managing Director, Far Horizon Tours, has been elected as the Senior Vice President; Tejbir Singh Anand, Managing Director, Holiday Moods Adventures is the Vice President; Vaibhav Kala, Founder, Aquaterra Adventures, is the Treasurer and Vinayak Koul, Director, Snow Lion Expeditions is the new Secretary. The elected Executive Committee members are Akshay Kumar, CEO, Mercury Himalayan Exploration; Ajeet Bajaj, Managing Director, Snow Leopard Adventures; Rajesh Ojha, Co-founder, Banjara Camps and Retreats; Ravi S Kalra, Managing Director, Travel Inn; Vishwas Makhija, Founder & CEO, India Insight Tours; CDR Sam Samuel, Managing Director, Kalypso Adventures and Pradeep Murthy, Founder and Director, Muddy Boots Vacations. Speaking on his re-election, Kumar says, “The focus this term as President is to bring as many adventure tour operators as possible into the fold of the Association, since there are many tour operators in the unorganised sector. There are over 15,000 adventure tour operators in India. I want them to be a part of the Association and ensure that they all function within limits of safety. The second focus is to bring adventure tourism into the limelight and mainstream, instead of being limited to as just niche experiences and keep in focus the sustainable aspects of the eco-adventure destinations.”

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Women account for 12% of travel and tourism’s employment in India: WTTC

The female share of employment in tourism in India accounts for 12.1 per cent, according to a latest report by World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) titled ‘Travel & Tourism: Driving Women’s Success.’ There could be an 11 per cent increase in global GDP if every country achieved the fastest rate of progress in its region on closing the three key gender gaps of workforce participation, the report states. Travel and tourism can provide women with more opportunities for workforce participation, leadership, entrepreneurship and empowerment than many other sectors, particularly in developing countries and as such it can have a tremendous effect on poverty reduction in rural communities. At the macro level, a stronger representation of women in travel and tourism relative to other areas of economy is due to the sector’s unique characteristics: often less emphasis on formal education and training, greater emphasis on personal and hospitality skills, flexible working opportunities, and increased options for entrepreneurship that do not require heavy start-up financing. While there are wide variations in gender equality by region, socio-economic class, ethnicity and age, women’s labour force participation rates are gradually approaching those of men in many developed countries, supported by public policies including family support, rights to paid leave, and affordable childcare services for working mothers. Women also have some of the highest rates of participation in developing countries, reflecting economic necessity.

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Industry stalwart Alwin Zecha passes away, tributes pour in

Tourism industry veteran and founder of Pacific Leisure Group (PLG) Alwin Zecha passed away after suffering a cardic arrest on March 12 in Bangkok. Born in Sukabumi West Java, Indonesia on April 4, 1936, Zecha contributed enormously to the ASEAN travel & tourism industry through his close involvement with PATA, and helping to bring numerous PATA events such as the PATA Travel Mart and Annual Conference to Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand. In his career spanning over 50 years, Zecha founded PLG in 1961 and bulit up network offices across the globe and quickly gained a reputation as one of the leading DMCs worldwide. Extending his tribute, Eckard Kremer, Group Managing Director. PLG said, “We lost a friend, mentor and our PLG father today. His legacy will live on.” Al Merschen, Managing Director, Myriad Travel Marketing said, “To a man with zest of life, and a life well lived. Rest in peace my fellow AL.” San Jeet, Honorary Vice Chairman, PATA India Chapter said, “A big loss for me personally and all of us here in India. The travel industry has lost an eminent statesman who guided us and more importantly held us all together. He will be missed, but his legacy of great work will stay in our hearts forever.” Vikram Madhok, Honorary Treasurer, PATA India Chapter commented, “Sorry to see a true industry leader go. Alwin was an inspiration to many of us and I have lost a friend of more than 20 years since I became involved with PATA. When he spoke, people stopped to listen, such was his charm and persona.” Narzalina Lim, Former Secretary, Department of Tourism (DoT) Philippines, said, “Alwin gave us …

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Over 300 delegates from 28 countries attend PATA adventure travel in Rishikesh

  Around 300 delegates from 28 countries attended PATA Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart 2019 (PATA ATRTCM) in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand. The event, organised by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and hosted by Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board, brought together international experts at the forefront of the adventure travel industry from both the private and public sectors to discuss issues and opportunities in travel and tourism. Delegates heard from a diverse line-up of speakers at the one-day conference on the theme ‘Rejuvenate Your Soul Through Travel’. The thought leaders, innovators and pioneers, who are shaping the emerging landscape of the adventure travel and responsible tourism industry, examined various conference topics that covered ‘Rejuvenating Your Soul Through Travel’, ‘Storytelling to Sell Travel on Instagram’, ‘Using Sustainability to Future-Proof Our Destination’, ‘Trends to India’, ‘Creating Experiences that are Regenerative’, ‘Marketing to the New Adventure Travellers’, ‘Tourism as a Tool for Rejuvenation’, ‘A Special Story of Indian Rejuvenation’ and ‘Sustaining our Souls: Vision-Driven Leadership in Adventure Tourism’. The conference was opened by Dilip Jawalkar, IAS, Secretary Tourism, Religious Affairs and Culture Department, Government of Uttarakhand; Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism; Yogendra Tripathi, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, and Satpal Maharaj, Minister of Tourism, Uttarakhand. Dr Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA noted, “The event aims to be a catalyst for generating new ideas and improving collaboration between public and private sector organisations. By bringing together such a dynamic and diverse group of speakers, we hoped to highlight the need to discuss, analyse and share various ideas with both the public and private sector in planning, building and promoting a responsible travel and tourism industry.” The B2B mart welcomed 47 seller organisations from 10 destinations and 44 buyer organisations …

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International tourist arrivals hit 1.4 billion in 2018, two years ahead of forecast: UNWTO

International tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) worldwide increased 6 per cent in 2018 to 1.4 billion, based on data reported by destinations around the world, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Given the remarkable growth of international arrivals in recent years, the 1.4 billion mark has been reached two years ahead of UNWTO’s long term forecast issued in 2010. 2018 consolidates the very strong results of 2017 (+7%) and is the second strongest year since 2010. Middle East (+10%) and Africa (+7%) led growth, while arrivals to Asia and the Pacific and Europe (both +6%) increased in line with the world average. The Americas saw growth of 3%. Overall results were driven by a favourable economic environment and strong outbound demand from major source markets. Based on current trends, economic prospects and the UNWTO Confidence Index, UNWTO forecasts a growth of 3% to 4% in international tourist arrivals worldwide in 2019, more in line with the historical growth trends.  

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India becomes fastest growing domestic aviation market 4th year in a row: IATA

The domestic aviation market in India has registered the fastest growth for the fourth year in a row in 2018, according to a recent report by International Air Transport Association (IATA). The year-end aviation data analysis by IATA revealed, “The India domestic market recorded the fastest full-year domestic growth rate for the fourth year in a row (18.6 per cent), followed by China (11.7 per cent).” In fact, India recorded its 50th consecutive month of double-digit annual growth in October. Other than India and China, Russia (9 per cent), USA (5.1 per cent) and Brazil (4.8 per cent) were among the top five fastest growing domestic air travel markets. According to the IATA report, globally, revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose by 6.5 per cent in 2018, slower than the 8 per cent growth registered in 2017.  

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