Category Archives: Associations

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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Hospitality plays a vital role, cannot be ignored: FHRAI

Voicing his opinion of the Union Budget, Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Interim President, FHRAI, said, “The industry expectations were high but the Union Budget has neglected us completely and we are disappointed yet again. While the Govt. wants to give impetus to hospitality and tourism and our. PM has envisioned big things for the sector, there is no mention except for the 17 tourist-friendly spots which we welcome. We were expecting reforms in rate slabs of GST, Input Tax Credit and a definitive step to boost the domestic and inbound traffic. Hospitality plays a vital role in the growth of the economy therefore this sector cannot be ignored. It is one of the biggest contributors to GDP, taxes, Foreign Exchange and most importantly in generating employment. The success of Incredible India lies in managing its hospitality and tourism right and requires policy support.”

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Tourism not given its due, industry requests ignored: IATO

Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO, shared that there was again no focus on tourism in Union Budget 2019-20, except that the government re-emphasised on 17 iconic sites being developed into world-class tourist destinations, which has been taken forward from the last Budget. “However, we welcome the mentioning of simplifying of GST process and absorbing of charges on digital transactions, which will encourage digital transactions. We also welcome the government’s plan to restructure the national highways programme to create a network of highways for better connectivity, upgradation of 125,000 km of roads in next 5 years at a cost of 802.5 billion rupee, more focus on Swachh Bharat mission and expansion of Railway suburban networks which will boost tourism as with increased infrastructure, better road connectivity and clean India, foreign tourists will be attracted.” He added, “We have been requesting the Government  for rationalizing of GST on tourism and hospitality, exemption of GST on foreign exchange earnings by the tour operators and treating tourism industry as deemed exporters and extending all benefits to the tourism industry as are being given to physical exports of goods and reduction, in Tourists Visa Fee so that we can compete with our neighbouring countries on foreign tourists arrivals, which will not only help bring in more foreign exchange but also create new jobs. However, this all remains pending and we hope our requests will be considered by the GST Council and Finance Ministry will consider the importance of tourism industry in employment generation and contribution in economic growth of the country.”

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Disappointing for tourism, but good for infrastructure: FAITH

Sharing his views on the Union Budget, Subhash Goyal, Secretary General, FAITH, said, “As far as the Budget is concerned, there are very few things for tourism in it. One thing for the industry is inland waterways, which can also be used for tourism and second is development of iconic sites. Thirdly, the Government has again focused on aviation as well as on tax reduction for SMEs. However, overall there is no indication of any relief. The GST council might do something later, but nothing has been done for taxation on tourism to be five per cent and exemption on foreign exchange earnings. Overall, we are a little disappointed with the Budget. We still have to read the fine print, although from what we have seen, there are certain things regarding water and infrastructure, which are good. If they give infrastructure status to hotels and tour operators, it will be very good. What I don’t understand is to create employment, and the industry which gives the largest employment has not been given anything.”

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35th IATO Convention to be held in Kolkata from 12-15 September

The next convention of the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) is likely to be held in Kolkata from September 12-15, informed Rajesh Mudgill, Hony. Secretary, IATO. He said that further details will be announced in due course of time. “The 35th convention will likely be organised in Kolkata. We had some deliberations regarding the dates but things are almost finalised now. We are looking make this convention much bigger and better,” adds Mudgill. He also said the upcoming monthly luncheon meeting of the association, scheduled on July 10 at The Oberoi, Delhi will be followed by the Executive committee meeting, where the association is expected to discuss more about the preparations for the convention. Apart from working on the new IATO website, Mudgill also informed that the association is also looking to come up with a mobile app to facilitate convenience and more information to its members.

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Tamil Nadu Travel Mart to be held from 19-22 Sept, registrations now open

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with Tamil Nadu Travel Mart Society, supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and Department of Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu is organising the 2nd edition of CII Tamil Nadu Travel Mart to showcase the potential of Tamil Nadu’s tourism on a global platform from 19-22 September in Chennai. The registrations for the same have been opened. The three-day exhibition will witness more than 300 exhibitors showcasing tourism business opportunities in the state along with 1000 domestic and international buyers.

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Time to unlearn, update and upgrade: TAAI

With an intent to focus on supporting its members and foresee the trend and updates of the tourism industry, the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), organised its first of the series ‘Knowledge Conclave’ in Delhi. The conclaves are meant to support TAAI members with a vision for the future and upgrade them with executive education. Sunil Kumar R, President, TAAI, “The objective of these Knowledge Conclaves is to help our members unlearn, update and upgrade their knowledge. Over the two-day conclave, we will have five different sessions on executive education including sessions aviation trend, technology and optimising business opportunities. With 120 members attending the conclave in Delhi, TAAI members can attend Conclave in other cities as well, if they miss out.” After Delhi, the Knowledge Conclave will take place in four other locations across India during June-July 2019. In Mumbai, the conclave is scheduled on 19-20 July. These five conclaves are based on geographical location and members of respective TAAI regions and chapters are invited to attend the conclaves.

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CII to organise Kerala Health Tourism 2019 in Kochi from 3-4 July

The Confederation of Indian Industry is organising the Seventh Edition of Kerala Health Tourism from 3-4 July at Hotel Le Meridien, Kochi. The Kerala Health Tourism will mainly have 3 components – an International Conference, Exclusive Medical Exposition and B2B Meeting. The event will provide an interactive platform during which practitioners and leading experts in the Medical Tourism sector will share, discuss and construct strategies for future growth and innovation. We are expecting to have more than 400 delegates for the conference (national & international) and above 1000 visitors for the exhibition. The Kerala Health Tourism 2019 will deliberate on the Importance of Cultural Competency in International Patient Care; Challenges In Healthcare Insurance & Medical Tourism; Medical Tourism Marketing : New Age Online Marketing / The Power of Public Relations; The Future of Telemedicine and Health; Specialised Treatments in Health Tourism – Sports, Dentistry, Eye care, Geriatrics; Role of Medical Facilitators in Medical Tourism; Using Technology to Power your Healthcare Business etc. There will be a Banquet Session on day 1 on “Health Tourism and way forward” by an eminent personality – apart from Inaugural Sessions and Valedictory sessions of the Summit.

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