Category Archives: Agents

FHRAI meets MakeMyTrip officials to discuss reduction in commission charges by OTAs

The Federation of Hotels & Restaurants Association of India (FHRAI), along with its regional associations, met four representatives from MakeMyTrip to discuss reduction of the commission charged by the OTAs to 15-18 per cent. The meeting was attended by Surendra Jaiswal, President, HRANI and Vice President, FHRAI, along with Garish Oberoi, Immediate Past President, FHRAI and Treasurer, HRANI. Also present at the meeting were Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, President, HRAWI, along with some of the Executive Committee members. Another points discussed in the meeting include ceasing discretionary positioning and self-rating by properties since they have no authority to rate hotels or mention star ratings based on reviews; no predatory pricing and no further discount on rooms without consent of hotels. Apart from it, the association wants that discounting on rooms and its display will be done after the express consent of the hotel and not via the extranet. Several other points raised in the meeting included the service charge on hotel room booking to be rephrased and given a different nomenclature to avoid taxation issues for the hotel, the burden of the loyalty points and discounts passed to their guests to be borne by them from the commission and not to be passed to hotels, a full break-up of pricing in case rate is displayed with full board, commission to be levied on room only and the component of food should not attract any commission, PLBs only with express agreement with hotels not blanket, PLB taxation to be borne by MMT and not the hotel and illegal hotels apartments, B&B to be immediately delisted from the portals — only legal  properties to be listed.

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MOT formulates guidelines for approval of Online Travel Aggregators

The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) has formulated the guidelines for approval/re-approval of Online Travel Aggregators (OTAs). The scheme is expected to set standards towards accreditation and add value to the dependability and reliability to the aggregators in the online space operating in the organised tourism sector. This is a voluntary scheme open to bonafide online travel aggregators to bring them on a common platform in the organised sector and the guidelines will be rolled out online by year end. There are several players in the OTA segment operating now without any accreditation/validation. One of the risks of letting the market operate unhindered is that unscrupulous players can vitiate the entire market through unethical trade practices. In order to engage with the OTAs constructively, it is imperative that a system is put in place with qualitative benchmarks to accredit them. The paramount concern would be the assurance of quality of service delivery for the customer by the OTA. The major features of the guidelines are: recognition as an approved OTA shall be granted by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, for five years, based on the inspection report/recommendations of a committee comprising the concerned Regional Director (RD), a representative of FHRAI and a representative of IATO, and approval of Competent Authority (Chairman, HRACC); the re-approval shall be granted for five years after inspection conducted by a committee of the same constitution, based upon an application, complete and free from all deficiencies, made by OTA along with the requisite fee/documents on the online platform, at least a clear 6 months prior to the expiry of the previous approval. In case the application is complete in all respects and free from all deficiencies is …

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Vistara extends longstanding distribution agreement with Amadeus

Vistara and Amadeus have renewed a multi-year distribution agreement that guarantees Vistara’s travel agency partners’ continued access to the airline’s full range of fares and prices through Amadeus. Amadeus Airline Fare Families supports Vistara in making its branded fares, called Vistara Freedom Fares, available through the Amadeus distribution channel. Amadeus Fare Families will empower travel agents with clear, structured information they need to advise their customers and proactively upsell from one fare family to the other based on each traveller’s needs and preferences. Vistara will also be looking at integrating ancillary services in the future as part of their product offerings. This partnership will enable Vistara to further grow its customer base by continuing to connect to travellers globally through the world’s largest community of travel sellers and buyers. By connecting to Amadeus’ innovative travel platform, Vistara is able to define and deliver enhanced offers, including rich content, to travel agents and travellers. The airline is also now able to differentiate its travel offers beyond just price, while ensuring that agencies and travellers have all the information at hand in order to make the right purchasing decisions. Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara, commented, “We are pleased to continue our successful partnership with Amadeus. Travel agencies are a key part of our strategy to serve our customers through the channel of their choice, both in India and internationally. With the new agreement, we will have access to Amadeus’ global travel agency network which has the widest reach of travellers globally and this is a significant agreement in our growth strategy.” Cyril Tetaz, Executive Vice President — Airlines, Amadeus, Asia Pacific, said, “We’re very proud to be able to …

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Cox & Kings introduces culinary tours in India crafted by food experts

‘Tour to Feast’, powered by Cox & Kings has been launched to introduce travellers to unique handcrafted delicious journeys across India’s most popular culinary destinations, with a slice of history. Each of these journeys is designed and accompanied by hand-picked experts who will take travellers through the evolution of the indigenous cuisines of each region. To begin with, ‘Tour to Feast’ will offer journeys across the most popular culinary destinations in India like Mumbai, Delhi, Lucknow, Varanasi, Jaipur, Agra and Goa. Travellers can choose from an array of customised culinary holidays. Speaking at the launch, Debolin Sen, Head, Tour to Feast said, “Our distinctly crafted tours take travellers beyond just restaurant tastings, give a taste of a region’s culture through its cuisine. Whether you want to taste food through bazaars, food walks or home dining experiences, cook like a local or just curious to know about the origins of the most celebrated cuisines, we have all that covered under Tour to Feast which promises to offer authentic culinary experiences like no one else.” Karan Anand, Head, Relationships, Cox & Kings said, “We see a substantial increase in the number of tourists integrating culinary tours as part of their travel experiences. In India, each state has unique flavours, delectable cuisines and such amazing stories of bygone eras and their influence on food – the richness of these experiences needs to be presented in a very unique way and through a niche offering like Tour to Feast.”    

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HRA Gujarat choses Yatra.com as its preferred partner for online bookings

Yatra Online been chosen as the preferred online booking partner for reservations by the Hotels and Restaurant Association (HRA) of Gujarat. In a meeting held in Ahmedabad recently, the association headed by Narendra Somani, President, HRA Gujarat, announced that Yatra.com would be their preferred online booking partner and all bookings coming through it will be honoured. The association has assured travellers that they can make their bookings through Yatra.com and continue to enjoy their stay in Gujarat. Commenting on the announcement, Dhruv Shringi, CEO & Co – Founder, Yatra.com said, “We are humbled by the HRA’s trust in us. We share a long standing business relationship with our hotel partners in Gujarat and will continue to work closely with them to help with online bookings of hotels in the state in order to ensure that no inconvenience is caused to any of the customers making hotel reservations in the state.”  

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STB partners with Ola to offer passengers a chance to visit Singapore

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has announced a partnership with Ola to run a campaign from December 1 to 15, 2018 across 19 cities in West and Central India for its customers to win a trip to Singapore. Ola users will have to take a minimum of three rides and enter the promocode “SINGAPORE” to participate in the contest. Three pairs of winners will be selected and will be notified via email by December 31, 2018. GB Srithar, Regional Director – South Asia, Middle East & Africa (SAMEA), STB, said, “Ola is an integral part of the Indian consumers’ everyday lives. This partnership is one of our innovative marketing efforts to engage with the Indian consumers and entice them to visit Singapore and experience our diverse offerings. India’s millennials, for instance, consider the digital space an extension of their social circle, their friends and relationships. They are increasingly defined by shared hobbies and passions, rather than physical proximity or other formal connections. Our tie-up with Ola presents an exceptional opportunity for Singapore to showcase experiences targeted at these different ‘Passion Tribes’”. Shekhar Datta, Business Head, Ola said, “We take immense pride in building great ride experiences for our customers. We are pleased to engage with the Singapore Tourism Board, offering our customers a chance to appreciate and immerse themselves in the culture, cuisine and varied offerings that Singapore brings to global travellers.”

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Rudra Marketing conducts Fam to Kenya

Rudra Marketing, along with the support of African Eden DMC, East Africa recently concluded a limited-edition Familiarisation trip to Kenya for seven nights, covering Nairobi, Amboseli, Lake Naivasha and Masai Mara. Nikita Rawtani, Founder, Rudra Marketing and Rajiv Chadha, Managing Director, African Eden, were a part of the trip, along with five agents from Mumbai, Pune, Surat and Bengaluru. The exclusive trip was targeted at travel agents who sell luxury and experiential travel with an inclination to learn and sell a destination known for adventure and wildlife. The hotels were carefully shortlisted specially, Chui Lodge, Naivasha which topped the list. It is set in the heart of a private 18,000-acre wildlife sanctuary and is nestled in an indigenous forest overlooking the Mau escarpment. Other hotel visits included Tamarind Tree, Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge, Amboseli Satao Elerai, Mara Simba Lodge, LOYK Mara Camp, and the Windsor Golf & Country Club. Highlighting the experience, Rawtani said, “Chui Lodge is Naivasha’s best-kept secret. This all-inclusive lodge has everything one can ask for and the food is a gastronomic delight. The morning and evening game drives, sun-downers, flower farm visit, bush breakfast and the boat ride arranged by Chui Lodge was an experience that will last for a lifetime. We plan to create many such enriching experiences for the travel agents by conducting subsidised Fam trips and give them hands-on-experience about the destination.” The agents also visited the Giraffe Centre and David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage followed by an orientation and shopping tour in Nairobi. Besides, there were several game drives and hotel inspections throughout the tour.

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Skål International India launches Srinagar Club

Skål International India has opened its 12th club under the name Skål International Srinagar that will comprise 21 members from Srinagar as well as Ladakh. Ibrahim Siah is the Founder President of the club, while Nasir Shah is its Secretary. The chief guest for the Chapter night was Syed Abid Rasheed Shah, District Development Commissioner, along with other eminent dignitaries. Hosted by Fortune Resort Heevan, the event was well-attended by the Skål India National Board and All India Club Presidents/Representatives. Ranjini Nambiar, President, Skål International India, informed, “Club members consist of hoteliers, travel agents, tour operators and adventure specialists. The state boasts of great ski slopes, apple orchards, houseboats on the 24 sqkm famous Dal lake and is an absolute safe place to be. All members worldwide are welcome to interact with the Skålleagues of Srinagar.”

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5th edition of Travel Business Show begins today in Hyderabad

The 5th edition of Travel Business Show, an exclusive MiCE B2B show, is all set to take place on Dec 1 and 2, 2018 at the Hyderabad Marriott Hotel. The two-day event will see networking and business meetings between approximately 30 exhibitors and 60 buyers from across the country. With an expected 1700 pre-scheduled meetings within two days, the event is aimed to provide the perfect platform for service providers, destinations and hotels to connect with selected MiCE operators and agents participating in the event.

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Cox & Kings India promotes Qatar as its new preferred destination

Cox & Kings India is now promoting Qatar as the group’s new preferred destination. The marketing and promotion campaign comes as part of a strategic partnership with Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) aimed at boosting the destination’s profile to attract luxury, business and independent travellers to visit Qatar. Rashed AlQurese, Chief Marketing and Promotion Officer, QNTC, commented, “We are pleased to be partnering with Cox & Kings group for the destination’s first-ever integrated campaign in India. Qatar is an easily accessible destination within a few hours from most Indian cities making it an attractive destination for travellers looking for short city getaways or a convenient stopover when heading further West.” In Qatar, Cox & Kings group is offering visits to tourism hotspots and activities that explore both the traditional and contemporary sides of the destination. Karan Anand, Head-Relationships, Cox & Kings said, “Qatar is an easily accessible destination within a few hours from most Indian cities. Every week, there are 176 flights connecting Indian cities to Doha offered by Qatar Airways as well as IndiGo, Jet Airways and Air India Express. Since January this year, Qatar has welcomed more than 335,922 Indian visitors till October, representing a 25 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.” Every week, there are 176 flights connecting Indian cities to Doha offered by Qatar Airways as well as Indigo, Jet Airways and Air India Express. Since January this year, Qatar has welcomed more than 335,922 Indian visitors till October, representing a 25 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.

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