Tourism Breaking News

Turkish Airlines draws the world’s biggest national flag in the sky to honor the founding of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey

Turkey’s national flag carrier performed one of the most significant flights on April 23, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Grand National Assembly, and National Sovereignty and Children’s Day. The TC-JJF registered Boeing 777-300 (ER) type aircraft, which arrived in Ankara in the morning for this special flight, took off from Esenboğa Airport on April 23 at 09:40, local time. Representing the date 23 April 1920, flight TK1920 lasted approximately two hours and followed a route in which the crescent and star symbols in the Turkish flag were drawn. After the flight, which was followed by many through the live air traffic site Flightradar24 that provides flight tracking data, a crescent-star route emerged and passed into Turkish aviation history. Captain Öner Samyel and First Officer Murat Gülkanat, who made this meaningful flight that left its mark in the heavens, made a special announcement in the sky above the Assembly building itself, which was opened 100 years ago. In the announcement referring to the statement of Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, “Sovereignty unconditionally belongs to the nation“, it was emphasized that Turkish Airlines ensured that his legacy lived on in the skies. Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, M. İlker Aycı said “The inauguration day of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, founded a hundred years ago to represent the will of a nation which went its founder Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk as “April 23, National Sovereignty and Children’s Day”, reflecting the confidence in the next generation in the safekeeping of these sacred values. As our country’s national flag carrier, we dedicate today’s exclusive flight to our children, the guardians of our future.”

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Karnataka government to revive tourism sector in five phases

Tourism Minister of Karnataka, CT Ravi has proposed a five-phase recovery to bring tourism industry back-on-track. One of the most important steps amongst them is promoting local tourism on the lines of Singapore Tourism’s ‘Love Your Local’ campaign. In the detailed proposal sent to the CM, the minister said that five-stage recovery is based on suggestions received from officials and industry representatives. While the first stage involves creating awareness among citizens on the coronavirus, the second one will have local tourism activities – Nodu Baa Nammoora (Come, See Our City), dining out within the city and ‘Love Your Local’ based on the Singapore model. In the third stage, the government will look at the regional or inter-state tourism followed by the fourth stage where preparation will be made to attract domestic and international tourists. The final stage will see staggered tourism activities involving domestic/international tourists. “Consumer mindset, guarantee of safety and hygiene are two things that will have an impact on the revival of the sector,” the minister further said.

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Around 3,500 licensed tourist guides call for relief package from MOT and PMO

In a bid to deal with the impact of COVID-19 on their livelihoods, Tourist Guides’ Federation of India (TGFI), representing around 3,500 regional tourist guides licensed by Government of India across the country, have approached Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of Tourism and Culture (I/C), asking for relief package. They have also approached tour operators and IATO for the release of their payments. Shakeel Wahab Chauhan, Nominated Vice-President, TGFI, has said that because of no business coming their way in this time of lockdown, most of the member associations might lose their entire year’s income and most of them do not have any funds to survive. Hence, they have approached the PMO and MOT for some relief.

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FAITH requests CMs of all Indian states for state specific support package

Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH) has appealed to the Chief Ministers of each state for coming up with a state specific package. FAITH has shared with each state their share of domestic and foreign tourists and how most of those total tourist footfalls will now not be available for 2020-21. A statement released by the association mentioned that almost all of India’s top performing foreign source markets for tourism (USA, Canada, UK, Germany, China, Japan, Singapore, Russia, Italy, Spain), are severely impacted and are not likely to travel before FY 2021 – 22. Owing to this, tourism business has come to a standstill in FY 2020-21. “The interstate domestic season which happens almost 60%+ in the April – July period has collapsed for the year FY 2020 – 21 and will be negligent for the rest of year with stringent travel restrictions and reduced connectivity across Indian states. FAITH has been repeatedly saying to all key Government bodies that the Tourism industry of India first needs to SURVIVE, then needs to REVIVE and then only can it THRIVE,” read the statement. FAITH has appealed to the Chief Ministers of each state for coming up with a state specific package. A complete waiver of all fixed electricity and other utility charges for FY 2020-21 without any penalties. A complete waiver of all excise duties for FY 2020-21 without any penalties. A renewal of all licenses, permits, permissions which were expiring in FY 2020-21 without any financial charges or penalties. A refund of the FY 2019-20 of SGST collected from all travel agents, tourist transporters, hotels, tour operators, restaurants and any other tourism, travel & hospitality enterprises in …

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IATO writes to PMO for formulation of survival plans for tourism industry

The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) has written a letter to PM Narendra Modi for formulating survival and revival plans for the crisis-ridden tourism industry in the country. Fearing a huge impact of COVID-19 on the industry, the association has demanded a sectoral bail-out package. In its recommendations, IATO listed out several immediate relief measures required for survival on both short-term and long-term basis. Along with that, the association also listed out steps to be taken by government for revival of the industry post pandemic. The demands include measures such as enhanced value of SEIS to 10 %; extension of SEPC membership till 31st March 2021; payroll support for salaries; deferment of statutory loans and withdrawal of TCS among others.

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Goa might open for tourists post lockdown, provided air and rail connectivity returns

Goa might open for tourism after the lockdown gets over on May 17, it was revealed by Pramod Sawant, Chief Minister, Goa, has said that they will welcome tourists, provided the Central Government allows it. Speaking on the same, Nikhil Desai, Managing Director, Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) said, “Just like all the stakeholders, Goa Tourism is also eagerly awaiting normalisation of the current situation. The current priority is to fight COVID 19, However economic livelihood of the people is also extremely important. For a state like Goa, which depends overwhelmingly on tourism, it’s important that situation normalises at the earliest. We are looking forward to early commencement of tourism season.” However, when asked if it would be the first state to bounce back after lockdown, especially with no reported case of COVID-19, Desai, said, “Unfortunately, until and unless the situation in rest of the country stabilises and comes back to normal, Goa alone being COVID free cannot do much. After all we are banking heavily on domestic tourism to see us through this current season. All will depend on how fast the flights and rail connectivity returns to normal and only then we can expect a sizeable flow into Goa.

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Turkish draws world’s biggest flag in sky

Turkey’s national flag carrier operated an important flight on April 23, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Grand National Assembly, and National Sovereignty and Children’s Day. The TC-JJF registered Boeing 777-300 (ER) type aircraft, which arrived in Ankara in the morning for this special flight, took off from Esenboğa Airport on April 23 at 09:40, local time. Representing the date 23 April 1920, flight TK1920 lasted approximately two hours and followed a route in which the crescent and star symbols in the Turkish flag were drawn. After the flight, which was followed by many through the live air traffic site Flightradar24, a crescent-star route emerged and passed into Turkish aviation history. Captain Öner Samyel and First Officer Murat Gülkanat, who made this flight, made a special announcement in the sky above the Assembly building, which was opened 100 years ago. In the announcement referring to the statement of Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, “Sovereignty unconditionally belongs to the nation,” Turkish Airlines ensured that his legacy lived on in the skies. Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, M. İlker Aycı said “The inauguration day of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, founded a hundred years ago to represent the will of a nation which went great lengths to ensure its freedom and independence, was gifted to our children by its founder Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk as “April 23, National Sovereignty and Children’s Day”, reflecting the confidence in the next generation in the safekeeping of these sacred values. As our country’s national flag carrier, we dedicate today’s exclusive flight to our children, the guardians of our future.”

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Hotel occupancy decline lowest in India among 5 key Asian countries: HVS

The recently-released HVS ANAROCK monthly newsletter titled ‘Hotels & Hospitality Overview’ reveals that among five key Asian markets – India, China, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore – India had the lowest y-o-y decline in hotel occupancy for March at 52.9 per cent, while China witnessed the highest at 65.4 per cent. Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore witnessed occupancy declines of 64.7 per cent, 62.6 per cent and 53.6 per cent, respectively, for the said period. The report suggests that occupancies across hotels in key Indian cities witnessed a sharp decline, as travel restrictions intensified and India went into lockdown towards the end of March 2020.

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Domestic tourists aged 18-35 will travel first; short-haul countries to pick up next: WTTC

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has outlined what the ‘new normal’ will look like as countries begin to end their COVID-19 lockdowns and ease travel restrictions. As travel gradually returns to normal over the coming months, WTTC predicts that the first to return will be domestic markets with staycations, then to a country’s nearest neighbours before expanding across regions, and then finally across continents to welcome the return of journeys to long-haul international destinations. WTTC also believes that younger travellers in the 18-35 age group, who appear to be less vulnerable to COVID-19, may also be among the first to begin travelling once again. The tourism council also informs that new protocols and standards are being defined following feedback and multiple conversations with WTTC members, as well as collaboration from associations who represent the different travel sectors.

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Hotels, travel agents can offer value proposition & unique experiences: Kerrie Hannaford

Kerrie Hannaford, Vice President Commercial, Accor (India & South Asia), says that hotels should work along with travel agents as they are experts in packaging the right products, and together they shall strive towards offering a value proposition and unique experiences to customers. Speaking at the 2nd TravTalk Digital Conclave, she said, “What we need to do collectively, with our consultants, is to become absolute experts in offering something unique and bespoke. There must be those ‘surprise & delight’ moments for our customers. The perception of value for money is going to be crucial. It is also important to know what unique experiences we can give to consumers, whether they are from the same city or have travelled from another end of the country. How the travel agent community helps us to establish that uniqueness is important, so that we can sell something to a consumer. As we step towards that level of recovery, that’s what people are going to want. They want to be able to ‘feel’ the value and it doesn’t matter whether it is a $50 hotel or a $100 hotel. They only want to ensure if they are getting that connectedness, that personalisation and as an industry, we need to come together and build that confidence for consumers.”

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