Tourism Breaking News

Revenue Per Available Room expected to decline by 58% in 2020: Mandeep Lamba

As per HVS revised estimates, RevPARs in the organised hotels segment are expected to decline by 58% in 2020 due to COVID-19 shock. Mandeep Lamba, President- South Asia, HVS ANAROCK, says, “The industry has not witnessed such an unprecedented decline in RevPARs in the last two decades, since HVS has been recording this data. We should now use the learning from this disruption and plan for the new realities beyond COVID-19, keeping in mind that we need to better prepare ourselves for future events of a similar or even more vicious impact.”

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TravTalk Salary Survey: 77% of industry takes pay cut, 90% DMCs & B2B agents trim staff salaries

The results of the TravTalk Salary Survey 2020 have revealed that almost 77% of the industry has to opt for pay cuts to deal with the impact of COVID-19 crisis. The survey on staff salaries indicated that 90% of B2B agents and DMCs have effected pay cuts for their staff while only 67% of GSAs have chosen to cut the salaries of their staff. Around 72% of inbound companies have also implemented deductions in salaries of their employees to deal with the adverse impacts of no business in the industry. The survey was conducted anonymously (without recording any detail of the respondents) to assess and discuss the best employment practices in the industry.

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29 lakh jobs in Indian aviation and dependent sectors likely to be hit due to COVID-19: IATA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) in its latest estimation based on a scenario of severe travel restrictions lasting for three months, with a gradual lifting of restrictions in domestic markets, followed by regional and intercontinental predicted that the Indian aviation sector among the Asia Pacific countries would be the worst hit as close to 29.32 lakh jobs are likely to be at risk in the sector during 2020. The report also said that the revenue of the sector in India may fall by $11,221 million this year compared to 2019. Further, passenger demand is likely to fall by 47 per cent in the country. Conrad Clifford, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Asia-Pacific, said that airlines in the region face a liquidity crisis with a $61 billion cash burn in the second quarter of 2020.

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Revenue will come from domestic tourists: Ankur Bhatia, Executive Director, Bird Group

Sharing his views during the 2nd TravTalk Digital Tourism Conclave, Ankur Bhatia, Executive Director, Bird Group which owns Roseate Hotels and Resorts, said, “I don’t think we will be travelling to any international destination any time soon. So the revenue will come from domestic tourists. We need to look at the localised audience rather than a globalised audience. We also need to look at the context of luxury. At this point in time, luxury is getting out of the house and meeting friends and family. The current situation is far beyond pandemic and we really don’t know when travel will resume. There is real fear in the minds of people. But when we do start to open up, we have seen globally that people will get into their cars and drive to the nearest holiday destination. We see the same thing happen in India as well. I think this is what we will see start to happen first.”  

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Government extends deadline for Air India sale bid to 30th June

The government has extended the deadline to submit the bid documents for Air India by two months to 30th June looking at the ongoing nationwide lockdown. This is the second time the government extended the deadline to submit bids for Air India. It had earlier extended the deadline to 30 April from 17 March. The government in January invited preliminary bids to divest its entire stake in Air India, and the airline’s subsidiary Air India Express along with its joint venture Air India SATS Airport Services Private Limited. The successful bidder for Air India will be required to absorb ₹23,286.5 crores of debt after the government transfers Rs63,113 crore of debt from Air India and subsidiary Air India Express ahead of the national carrier’s proposed divestment.

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Sikkim government bans entry of all tourists till October 2020

The Sikkim government has decided to close its borders for all kinds of visiting tourists until October 2020 to control the spread of COVID-19 in the state. As of date, Sikkim is the only Indian state that has not reported any COVID-19 case so far. Making the announcement, Ganga Prasad, Governor, Sikkim said that the state will be closed for all tourists activities for the next 6 months. Reportedly, Sikkim was also the first Indian state to enforce statewide lockdown on 17th March. The state borders are closed since then.

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Analytics firm VIDEC launches global travel staffing barometer

Boutique advisory and analytics firm VIDEC has launched a Global Travel Staffing Barometer, an online resource to monitor the impact of COVID-19 coronavirus on the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. The free-to-use tracker offers industry insights on the state of terminations, furloughs and pay-cuts, across industry categories and countries, collated from various sources and updated on daily basis. Virendra Jain, Cofounder and CEO, VIDEC, says, “The travel industry is crumbling before our eyes with more than half a million lay-offs in less than a month. Amid the global spread of the pandemic, companies of all shapes and sizes – from the billion-dollar valued to start-ups – are trimming costs, disbanding, and letting go off their most precious asset, the workforce. The Global Travel Staffing Barometer quantifies the discharged staff and aims to become the central hub for tracking the loss of human resources, and in time offer the first glimpses for the road to recovery for the travel industry.” According to this tracker, more than 500,000 workers in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries have been furloughed in the last three weeks.

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Rajasthan to reimburse SGST due and deposited by tour operators and hotels

Taking measures to mitigate COVID-19 impacts on the industry, the Rajasthan Government has extended a helping hand to hotels and tour operators registered in the State. According to an order by the state government, it has been decided to reimburse State Tax due and deposited by hotels and tour operators registered under Rajasthan Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017. The order for a reimbursement of State Tax due and deposited to hotels and tour operators will come into effect from April 1 and will remain in force till June 30. ‘State Tax due and deposited’ means the amount of State Tax (SGST) paid through debit in the electronic cash ledger account maintained by the enterprise after complete utilisation of the available amount of input tax credit of the SGST and Integrated Goods & Services Tax (IGST). This order will be applicable for taxable persons registered under the category of hotels, heritage hotels, resorts and tour operators. However, it will not cover stand-alone restaurants and clubs. Beneficiaries will be entitled for reimbursement of State Tax due and deposited in the operative period in the manner as may be prescribed, provided no reimbursement under this order is available for SGST to be leviable and paid on rental or leasing services, including own or leased non-residential property.

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Element partners with Zenmer

Element has announced a partnership with travel technology company Zenmer to provide its latest advanced booking tool to Travel Management Companies (TMCs) and corporates across the globe. Headquartered in India, Zenmer builds innovative booking solutions for TMCs using the most advanced technologies that connect with all GDSs, NDC, direct airline connects and hotel consolidators and aggregators. This latest product has been developed for corporate travellers that want a leisure experience when using an enterprise corporate booking tool (CBT). Element, which provides cutting-edge travel technology, consultation and support to TMCs across the globe will be adding this CBT to its extensive portfolio. Gavin Smith, Director at Element, says, “We are extremely proud to bring Zenmer out of their home region and make this CBT available to our clients across the world. The team at Zenmer have developed and built a great platform that gives TMCs the CBT they have been looking for” Through its TMC clients Zenmer drives business travel for more than 200 corporates. This flexible platform allows TMCs to self-manage the commercials, suppliers, back-office, and management information while corporates are able to configure the travel policies, approvals, and reporting. Nikunj Agrawal, CEO Zenmer, explains, “There’s a huge synergy between Zenmer and Element in the thoughts, vision and strategy going forward. Gavin and Lizzie Dakin, Element’s director of technology, have the experience needed for this partnership to be successful and we are proud to be associated with their passion. This agreement provides opportunities for both parties, from sales to marketing and technology. We are looking forward to working together to develop time and cost saving technology focused products with the new traveller in mind.” Smith further explains,“Nikunj and his team …

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Spain to conduct destination webinar today at 3pm

It is famous for its tapas, flamenco, fiestas and endless beaches. But Spain is so much more. To participate, please contact Jaspreet Kaur at jaspreet.kaur@ddppl.com or call 9650196532. A country with four official languages, home to 15 UNESCO World Heritage cities, and diverse gastronomy and landscapes, Spain is also home to the most extraordinary architecture and a perfect wedding destination. Its cities are as diverse as the landscapes, but one thing that never changes is the Spanish lifestyle. But all this can wait. #SpainWillWait until the global crisis of COVID-19 is over. For now, the Tourism Office of Spain invites the travel trade to learn more about the destination through its webinar titled ‘The Spanish Travel Experience’ today at 1500 hrs (3 pm)

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