Category Archives: Associations

Tourism will bounce back: IATO

Rajiv Mehra, Vice President, IATO, says, “I am quite hopeful that situation should normalise soon with the change in the scenario as tourism is the main bread and butter of the people of Kashmir. Although the number of tourists has gone down recently, I think that by September, the situation should become normal and tourists will start going back to Jammu & Kashmir. Once things start settling down, we will plan a roadshow in association with our state chapter to promote the destination again among FTOs and DMCs. I think tourism will grow now with more international hotel chains coming into the region. With Ladakh being a separate union territory, the development of the area will take place and again it will become a friendly tourist destination.”

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ADTOI to start Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu chapters post convention

Association of Domestic Tour Operators (ADTOI) is all set to open two new chapters in Madhya Pradesh (MP) and Tamil Nadu after its convention, revealed PP Khanna, President, (ADTOI). “Once we are free from the convention, we are planning to start two more chapters, which are almost ready, which will be in MP and Tamil Nadu. By September-October, we will have new entrants in the ADTOI family,” he adds.

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Neeraj Malhotra re-elected as TAAI-Northern Region Chairman

Neeraj Malhotra, Co-founder and CEO, Ganpati Travels has been re-elected as the Chairman, Northern Region, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI). Gaurav Dogra, Founder, Plan Your Holiday was re-elected as the Hony. Secretary uncontested. Manish Saxena, Executive Director, Century Travels is the new Hony. Treasurer. The election was conducted at Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel, New Delhi. On being declared the Chairman, Malhotra said, “I am thankful for the members in the region to come in big numbers and vote for me. I am truly overwhelmed and I will be continuing my pursuit to educate the members of the region, and bring technology to them to boost their businesses.”  

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‘TAFI’s online marketplace’ now live

The Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) has launched its online marketplace for members—TAFI Connect. Ashwani Sharma, Chapter Chairman, TAFI-North, said “TAFI Connect would be the online tool for members to conduct their business online with a huge inventory of hotels and packages. It would also allow them to do business with each other,” he added. Pranita Baveja, Founder & CEO, Traviate.com, showcased the features of TAFI Connect and even gave them a demo of the product. Members can now enroll themselves and be live on TAFI Connect to use its services and grow their businesses.  

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MoT bags PATA Gold Award for Marketing – Primary Government Destination

Winners of the 2019 PATA Grand and Gold Awards were recently revealed by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). It has been announced that Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, will be presented the PATA Gold Award 2019 for Marketing – Primary Government Destination for its ‘Find the Incredible You’ campaign. The awards will be handed over at the 2019 PATA Gold Awards Dinner and Award Presentation in Nur-Sultan (Astana), Kazakhstan, during PATA Travel Mart 2019. This year’s awards attracted 197 entries from 78 organisations and individuals worldwide, and winners were selected by an independent judging committee. Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA, said, “On behalf of PATA, I would like to extend our warmest congratulations to all the 2019 Grand and Gold Award winners, as well as all of this year’s participants for their submissions. I look forward to celebrating the accomplishment of this year’s winners who truly represent the values of the Association in working towards a more responsible travel and tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region.”

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Job development via adventure tourism neglected: ATOAI

Capt. Swadesh Kumar, President, ATOAI, claims that they had high hopes from the government this time, but budget again disappoints. Nothing in there especially for the tourism industry. From our end, we have been having a lot of meetings with the government, and had also submitted a wishlist, but nothing has come of it. Adventure tourism is the future of job generation in India with many adventure activities possible in all parts of India, may that be the Himalayas, deserts or coastlines. It’s unfortunate that this has not been considered. The impetus on last mile connectivity through building 1.25 lakh kilometers of roads under PM Gram Sadak Yojna is a positive move. The only news in the tourism front stressed on development of 17 iconic tourism sites to be upgraded to world class levels to attract domestic as well as foreign tourists. The Prime Minister had identified that out of the Five pillars (Five Ts), ‘Tourism’ is one of the most important, and, in India, it aims to achieve greater heights and new milestones. But that is missing in this budget.

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Need relief from taxation:TAAI

Complementing the Finance Minister for her maiden budget, Sanjay Narula, Vice President, TAAI, says that more has been outlaid for infrastructure. “I appreciate the fact that FDI has been relaxed for aviation and surface transport has got impetus because if you don’t have good roads, the tourism doesn’t get a boost. In terms of tourism we expected more. On taxation there should have been some relief for the industry, which has not come,” he says.

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Taxation remains ambiguous: ADTOI

PP Khanna, President, ADTOI, says that while a lot of focus has been given to infrastructure in the Budget, not much has been done on tourism apart from development of 17 iconic sites. At the same time, I must appreciate the focus on railways which connects most of India domestically and that should really help boost domestic tourism, especially with the involvement of private players. Even the progress in Swachch Bharat Abhiyan is commendable and initiatives there are appreciated. The last mile connectivity gets a further boost with the upgradation of roads with an investment of 802.5 billion rupees. However, the safety part of adventure tourism for domestic tourists should have been looked into and enhancement of such facilities should happen. Taxation also needs to be looked into since not much clarity has been given to GST.

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GST still remains an issue: TAFI

Pradip Lulla, Acting President and VP, TAFI, believes that there are no sops in this year’s Budget to boost the travel industry. “I hope that GST on services provided by travel agents at 18 per cent will be reviewed. Further, corporate tax reduction to 25 percentage is only on turnover of Rs 400 crore which excludes most of us! Also, double taxation on our tour pricing has been having a cascading on our costs making us uncompetitive. I hope that the industry receives some relief from the GST Council in future,” he said.

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Tourism’s potential disregarded once again: OTOAI

Mahendra Vakharia, President, OTOAI, is disappointed with the Budget. He says, “It is very disappointing that this year’s Budget has not looked at the tourism industry in any area in spite of it being a subject very dear to the heart of our Prime Minister and in spite of the fact that the tourism industry is among the top five industries/sectors that contributes to the growth of the country’s GDP, creates employment, and generates foreign exchange. Truly, very sad and disappointing.”

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