Tourism Breaking News

Travel Nevada to host webinar for agents today at 11:30 am

Travel Nevada will host a webinar for travel agents today, 8th April, 2020, starting at 11:30 am. For registration and more details on the event, please contact, Ritesh Ahluwalia at ritesh.ahluwalia@buzzindia.in or +91 9818576755. Over 500 agents from across India are expected to participate. Through this, agents will learn about the key highlights of the destination and will be educated on what makes Nevada an ideal destination for Indian tourists.

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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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IATO Elections postponed; New date to be decided after 30 days

The Returning Officer for IATO Elections 2020, Akshay Kumar in a meeting with IATO EC decided to postpone the association’s election scheduled to take place on April 25 amid ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Starting 6th April, the elections are postponed by 30 days. The IATO EC will meet after 30 days to decide upon new dates. The election should, however, take place within 90 days starting 6th  April 2020. The timelines suggested during the meeting varied from two months to all the way till 2021. In case the election cannot be held within 90 days, the Returning Officer recommended that IATO call for an EGM and allow the house to decide upon the new dates for election. In the interim, the Office Bearers and EC of IATO are hereby allowed to work and lead the association in the best interests of its members and the industry at large.

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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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ETAA to conduct second webinar on technology for members on April 8, 2020

The Enterprising Travel Agent’s Association (ETAA) is preparing to conduct its second webinar for its members on April 8,2020. This time it will be on technology conducted by Karthik Venkataraman, Head of Business Development, GMR Tech Solutions. He will talk about the importance of having a digital presence during such challenging times. The association’s first webinar was conducted on April 6, 2020 where more than 100 ETAA members from across India attended. This webinar focussed on ‘Bonding’ and it was a one hour session conducted by TEDX speaker Bharat Jethani who also helps in community building. The members also suggested some unexplored destinations that can be promoted to domestic tourists once things get back to normal. ETAA plans to conduct more such events in the future to engage its members.

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Hospitality Manufacturers and service providers plead relief from Modi

The Hospitality, F&B and Tourism Industry and sub-sectors have sought Government intervention and made a representation to the Prime Minister of India to offer support to the sector to withstand the challenges posed by the current COVID – 19 crises. Rakesh Kumar, Chairman, India Exposition Mart Ltd. said Hospitality industry supports the travel, tourism, and F&B Industry and contributes Rs. 5 lakh crores in the Indian economy engaging a sizable number of people from MSME sector. The Hospitality, F&B and Tourism industry has been severely hit and is witnessing a massive distress due to the lock down. Adding further he said the Hospitality Industry has submitted a detailed representation to the Prime Minister of India which include the following:- – 6% Interest Subvention to the entire hospitality sub-sector. Moratorium of EMI payments for loans and working capital from Financial Institutions (both banking & non-banking). Deferment of all Statutory Dues such as Advance Tax payments, PF, ESIC, customs duties at the Central Government level or at any state government level, the excise fees, taxes, bank guarantees and security deposits and deferment of all renewals, across the sub-sectors supporting tourism, travel, hospitality and F&B industry. z- Waiving of Electricity and Water Charges for the next 6 months or charged on the basis of actual consumption (not as per load). Wages Compensation for the employees. Speedy GST Refund. Auto-renewal of 70+ licenses which a hotel must acquire/renew for 2 years at no cost. Amendment in clauses relating to EPCG. Waiver of Bar License Fee and reduction in excise duty linked to consumption. – Offering a one-time, mobilisation fund/advance to manufacturing organisations from sub-sectors of hospitality that could re-tool and start producing to meet …

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Exhibition sector has incurred a revenue loss of Rs. 3570 crore in the COVID -19 crisis: IEIA

The exhibition industry has been hit hard with shows being postponed or cancelled. The sector which has been a revenue generator has incurred losses to the tune of Rs. 3570 crore. Raising the concern with the central government, The Indian Exhibition Industry Association(IEIA) urged for support. Exhibitions remain a potent fuel that catalyzes the growth of the overall economy. It represented the sector’s concern to the PMO along with the Ministry of Commerce, DPIIT, Ministry of finance, Govt of India.

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UNWTO calls for shared responsibility among travellers with #TravelTomorrow

“By staying home today, we can travel tomorrow”. The hashtag #TravelTomorrow encapsulates this message of solidarity and hope, through whichthe World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) calls for shared responsibility among travellers and the tourism sector around the world to deal with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. #TravelTomorrow has become the common thread that runs through the World Tourism Organization’s response to the current crisis, highlighting the enduring values of tourism. Historically, tourism has proven itself as a key driver of international recovery, and as early as now, we must begin to prepare in order to build the foundations of the future resilience of tourism,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili. Discovering different cultures, practicing solidarity and respect, caring for the environment, continuing to learn, fostering decent work, development and sustainability, generating new opportunities for all. These are the core values of tourism advocated by the World Tourism Organization and which constitute the main pillars of the #TravelTomorrow campaign.

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MOT holds virtual conference with travel and hospitality associations

The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) held a virtual conference with the tourism and hospitality sector associations of the industry recently, which was led by Yogendra Tripathi, Secretary Tourism, MOT, along with senior officials of the Ministry. The Associations represented through remote conferencing were FAITH, CII, FICCI, PHDCCI and IMAI. The industry put forth a number of ideas and suggestions for tiding over the crisis created by COVID-19 in the sector of tourism and hospitality. The Ministry on its part shared the concerns and assured the associations that the government is very much with them in this grim hour and that they would work towards the suggestions put forth. There would be a lot of thrust on promoting domestic tourism was a common takeaway. MOT is using its social handles to create awareness of the need to stay at home safe in the period of lockdown and prepare to travel once the world opens up. In the meantime, the course modules of the Institutes of Hotel Management are being held online and faculty and students are using technology to remain abreast with their course curriculum.

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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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