Category Archives: Agents

Finance ministry defers implementation of TCS amendments till 1st October

In a statement, the Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) said that the Ministry of Finance has deferred the implementation of the TCS amendments proposed in the Union Budget 2020-21 till 1st October 2020. Making amendments in the Finance Bill 2020 before getting in passed in the Lok Sabha, the Finance Minister decided to defer the implementation of the much talked about TCS provisions to charge 5 per cent income tax on the sale of overseas tour packages and foreign exchange remittances from the buyer by the virtue of Section 206C under the Income Tax Act. OTOAI further said it will continue this dialogue and strive for the complete rollback of TCS altogether by highlighting its adverse impact on Indian outbound operators and how it would render us uncompetitive given the competitive landscape which also includes foreign players. OTOAI will keep addressing various issues concerning overseas travel with the respective ministries for the benefit of the outbound tour operators and its members.

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67% drop in inbound, 52% in outbound tourists in Jan-Feb as compared to 2019

Tourism, hospitality and aviation are among the worst affected sectors that are facing the maximum brunt of the present crisis, revealed a report on impact of COVID-19 on Indian economy by FICCI. The survey suggests that there has been a drop in both inbound and outbound tourism of about 67% and 52% respectively since January to February as compared to the same period last year, owing to large scale cancellation of travel plans by both foreign and domestic tourists. Of all the segments of the hospitality sector, the M!CE segment has been hit the most with the cancellation of major trade events. The tourism industry expects the situation to further deteriorate in March and in the forthcoming summer season i.e. April-June, says the report.

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Letter for Travel Media from TAT India

According to a recent letter by Tourism Authority by Thailand, “TAT would like to take this special opportunity to extend our deepest gratitude and appreciation for your constant support in making Thailand a preferred destination for Indians. We have seen a healthy growth and increase in the number of travellers from India to continue with the success. We are committed to making travel and tourism of Thailand the most economically promising, environmentally sustainable and culturally vibrant in the years to come. You will agree that this year has been the most challenging one for the tourism industry. However, as with previous challenges the tourism industry will prove its resilience by not only overcoming the repercussions of the current pandemic but also emerged stronger than it has ever been. COVID-19 has brought us together as one. In a time of crisis there always opportunities and TAT stands with you to explore all that we can do for travellers and friends now and in the future. We are proud to be a part of such a great community of dedicated people who are patient, compassionate and full of hope for a brighter tomorrow. It is as much our mission as it is yours to bring joy to both travellers and to those we work with. The past six decades has truly been historic and enjoyable for us which would not have been possible without your friendship we look forward to continuing this journey with you as we make Amazing Thailand the preferred destination for everyone.”

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Beautiful Soul Merges Operations with Leading Global Accomodation Provider TravelSync

Beautiful Soul Travel Company merges its travel businesses with Bangalore based global accommodation provider TravelSync. The merger is part of TravelSync efforts to diversify and increase their market share in western and central India. This alliance will allow us to provide hotel accomodation services to an even wider set of travellers & new customer base in western and central India” says Vishwas Subbaiah MD TravelSync. TravelSync was incorporated in 2010 with the sole intent of providing Business travellers the best available accomodation options within their travel budget. Beautiful Soul founded by Hotelier Rajan Kalra in 2018, have innovated and grown to providing bespoke travel solutions to travellers. Vishwas and I saw a great opportunity to join forces and I am excited that this merger enables all of us to continue a great journey together as the leading travel service provider in India” said Kalra    

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New travel advisory won’t affect movement of Nepalis to India, says Indian Embassy

India’s revised travel advisory and visa restrictions related to COVID-19 will not affect the Nepalese movement to India by any means, the Indian mission in Nepal said on Thursday. India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare ‘revised travel advisory’ and ‘visa restrictions related to COVID-19’ announced by India had raised concerns about the movement of Nepali nationals to India as Nepal has been dominantly relying on its southern neighbour for materials of daily consumption as well as employment. In a statement released late on Thursday, the Indian mission in Nepal said, “The current measures are solely for the purposes of managing public health and safety. These measures do not currently have any impact on normal travel of Nepalese nationals to India, either by air or by existing land routes. Existing travel arrangements for Nepalese nationals will, in other words, remain unaffected.” “However, there will be intensified health inspections at all entry points and any traveller, Indian, Nepalese or from third countries presenting COVID-19 symptoms or with recent travel history to one of seven COVID-19 outbreak countries may possibly be subject to quarantine if so required,” the release further said. Keeping in view the ramifications of the current global spread of coronavirus on public health and safety, New Delhi on Wednesday inducted health safety measures for foreign and Indian nationals entering into and exiting from India. The measures included halt in visa issuance for tourists and non-diplomatic staffs as set criteria to mitigate the further spread of coronavirus in the country. ANI

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State of Qatar suspends travel from 14 countries including India

Under the direction of government authorities of the State of Qatar, entry to Qatar is temporarily suspended as of 9 March 2020 for all those travelling from the following countries: Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria and Thailand. This decision comes as a preventive measure due to the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) worldwide. It affects all individuals intending to enter from these countries, including visas upon arrival, those with a residence or work permit, and temporary visitors. Issue: stopovers The safety, security and good health of our passengers, employees, and the wider community in Qatar is our highest priority. Qatar Airways is working closely with global and national authorities to implement the latest advice and guidance on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and operate our services accordingly. Due to the rise on Coronavirus cases around the world, we are placing a temporary hold on stopover services in Doha for the purpose of connection, booked through our partner and subsidiary, Discover Qatar, or booked directly through qatarairways.com. Passengers with onward connections will not be permitted to leave Hamad International Airport (HIA). It is with regret that we must inform our valued customers that all current stopover bookings will therefore be cancelled. A full refund will be offered, with support offered to make alternative travel plans with Qatar Airways.  

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Factual state of the travel fraternity!

Modi Ji… have you really understood the problems of our travel industry? Time to dive into the problems and turbulences industry has faced in the last 15 Years. There is no doubt that this government is proactive and quick at decision making, Trying to bring in a positive change but things have certainly gone wrong somewhere for our already suffering travel industry especially for offline players. Perhaps this government hasn’t done deep research on this industry and taken one-sided decisions and damaged it more. You would ask How? Let’s look back and evaluate a bit. Abolishment of IATA commissions by most of the Airlines (2001Onwards) Travel agents were paid 9% commission till 2000. From 2001 the commission was reduced to 7%. In May 2005, the commission was reduced to 5%. In November same year, 16 airlines cut the commission to zero, a move followed by others. In December 2008, the commission was rolled back to 3% by Indian carriers Air India, Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines, which is now defunct. Subsequently, others followed suit, and now airlines have again reduced it to 1%.  This was probably the first a big blow to our tourism industry as these commissions were a major source of their incomes. Information Source: Economic Times http://bit.ly/39ELDtF OTA & Other Intermediaries predatory pricing, w major disruptor (2006 Onwards) Biggest change, biggest disruption. The Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) have been one major disruptor to online distribution but other intermediaries have also come along and have further impacted the industry, such as Google, Facebook, Trip Advisor, metasearch sites and Airbnb. Tourism business which was synonyms to service-oriented experience has now become a commodity. Even the hoteliers are presented with …

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Tourism New Zealand to host webinar on destination on March 17, 2020

Tourism New Zealand welcomes Indians with its new campaign creative and announces the expansion of tourism industry partnership for quicker visitor visa application processing. Inspired by the fact that New Zealand is one of the first places to see the sunlight of a new day, Tourism New Zealand, as part of its 100% Pure Welcome – 100% Pure New Zealand, has released a content series with ‘Good Morning World’ messages shared by locals welcoming visitors from their favourite spots across the country. The campaign showcases what makes New Zealand unique as a holiday destination – the warm and friendly people, stunning landscapes and variety of things to do. In order to support this, a trade webinar is being hosted on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 1430hrs to help increase the travel agents’ destination knowledge of New Zealand.

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Travel trade join hands to fight tax #savetravelindustry

A fraction of the travel fraternity has come together to create awareness about the implementation of tax collection at source (TCS) on outbound travel as proposed in the financial bill 2020 being implemented from 1st April. Upset that this proposal will have a negative impact on the agents, the additional tax will be passed on to the clients, thus making packages sold by travel companies in India more expensive. An OTA registered outside India, foreign hotels or tour operators do not levy this tax. Indian travellers will consequently seek to book directly with foreign offices. The industry players are voicing their concern over different social media platforms while industry associations are making representations to the concerned government departments.

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TUI offers benefits worth Rs 4,000 for Maldives

Travel agents can get upto Rs 2000 as commission and Rs 2000 as credits in their TUI B2B portal on a minimum sale of Rs 10,000. Login to TUI travel.in, or email to b2bholiday@tui.in or call 1800111884. The offer is valid for the first 100 customers, terms and conditions apply. TUI offers Maldives for Rs 47,599 per person on twin sharing basis. Al if you register with TUI, you are assured Rs 5000, credits and also a chance to win free ALEXA.

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