Tag Archives: Suman Billa

Indian stimulus package follows same trajectory as global ones: Suman Billa

Suman Billa, Director, Technical Cooperation & Silk Route Development, UNWTO, has said that the Indian stimulus package follows the same trajectory as other global stimulus packages, and instead of being disheartened about not having a specific tourism stimulus package, the industry should reach out to the government and share what in the existing package doesn’t work for them. “The industry should pitch for moratorium on interest and lowering of interest rates. They should look at firms which were left out and ensure that everybody should get access to loans. We need to look at the existing package and see what provisions are pinching us and tell the government that it is not catching the sensitivity of the tourism sector. If we can say that, I am sure that the government will be happy to consider the request,” commented Billa while speaking at the ‘Saving Airlines & Allied Industries – Saving Jobs’ webinar. He added that most stimulus packages across the world are sector-agnostic, and that the industry should carefully assess the existing provisions and propose the changes that are specifically required for the tourism sector.

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COVID-19 may cost tourism 7 years of growth: Suman Billa, UNWTO

During the TravTalk Digital Conclave, Suman Billa, Director, Technical Cooperation & Silk Road Development, UNWTO said that it may take almost 7 years for tourism to scale back growth achieved in recent years. According to him, the global tourism demand will not be the same again post-COVID-19 crisis is over. “COVID-19 may cost tourism seven years of growth – that’s seven years of lost jobs and lost opportunities. UNWTO’s recommendations for recovery urge governments to act decisively to protect jobs, protect companies and include tourism in all recovery plans,” the former Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism. In its analysis estimating the global impact, UNWTO predicted a loss of 290-400 million international tourist arrivals globally. 

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Over 300 delegates from 28 countries attend PATA adventure travel in Rishikesh

  Around 300 delegates from 28 countries attended PATA Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart 2019 (PATA ATRTCM) in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand. The event, organised by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and hosted by Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board, brought together international experts at the forefront of the adventure travel industry from both the private and public sectors to discuss issues and opportunities in travel and tourism. Delegates heard from a diverse line-up of speakers at the one-day conference on the theme ‘Rejuvenate Your Soul Through Travel’. The thought leaders, innovators and pioneers, who are shaping the emerging landscape of the adventure travel and responsible tourism industry, examined various conference topics that covered ‘Rejuvenating Your Soul Through Travel’, ‘Storytelling to Sell Travel on Instagram’, ‘Using Sustainability to Future-Proof Our Destination’, ‘Trends to India’, ‘Creating Experiences that are Regenerative’, ‘Marketing to the New Adventure Travellers’, ‘Tourism as a Tool for Rejuvenation’, ‘A Special Story of Indian Rejuvenation’ and ‘Sustaining our Souls: Vision-Driven Leadership in Adventure Tourism’. The conference was opened by Dilip Jawalkar, IAS, Secretary Tourism, Religious Affairs and Culture Department, Government of Uttarakhand; Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism; Yogendra Tripathi, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, and Satpal Maharaj, Minister of Tourism, Uttarakhand. Dr Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA noted, “The event aims to be a catalyst for generating new ideas and improving collaboration between public and private sector organisations. By bringing together such a dynamic and diverse group of speakers, we hoped to highlight the need to discuss, analyse and share various ideas with both the public and private sector in planning, building and promoting a responsible travel and tourism industry.” The B2B mart welcomed 47 seller organisations from 10 destinations and 44 buyer organisations …

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ANA plans direct daily on Tokyo-Chennai route from October

Japan-based All Nippon Airways (ANA) is planning to launch its direct daily flight from Tokyo to Chennai starting from October. Speaking on the reception of 3rd Meeting of India- Japan Tourism Council, Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, says, “We are focused on building the relationship between India and Japan. For this, ANA is planning to launch its operations from Tokyo to Chennai. Though this is the initial phase of discussion, but if it materialises, it will be a daily flight.”

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WTTCII appoints Rajeev Talwar & Ajay Singh as Chairman & Vice Chairman respectively for 2019

After the Annual General Meeting of the World Travel & Tourism Council, India Initiative (WTTCII), the company has appointed many office bearers for the year 2019. Rajeev Talwar, Chief Executive Officer, DLF, has been appointed as the Chairman, WTTCII for the year 2019. Talwar, who served as the Vice Chairman, WTTCII for the year 2018, takes over from Sunder G Advani, Chairman & Managing Director, Advani Hotels & Resorts (India). Ajay Singh, Chairman & Managing Director, SpiceJet, has been unanimously appointed as the Vice Chairman, WTTCII for the year 2019. KJ Alphons, Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge) for Tourism and Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Tourism, along with former officials of Ministry of Tourism, SK Misra and VK Duggal felicitated the new team. On his appointment, Talwar said, “WTTCII has three main asks from the government — firstly, Airline Turbine Fuel – ATF must be included under GST; secondly, the 28 per cent on hotel rooms is hurting – GST should be pegged at 5 per cent for rooms of transaction values of Rs 5,000 and 12 per cent for transaction values of Rs 5,001 to Rs 15,000, along with ITC. Lastly, a tourism board to handle the marketing of Incredible India. Today, destination marketing has to be more deft, sharp, agile and cannot be strapped with bureaucratic procedures. A tourism board with inclusion of public and private stakeholders will make brand India successful. We would also need avenues to open up new markets, take, for instance, China; we are 4-6 hours away from major Chinese cities. China’s huge outbound of 130 million trips is every country’s envy and a prime source market, yet we are unable to tap the Chinese outbound. We need to be connected to …

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‘AdventureNEXT’ opens with 200 attendees in Bhopal

With its focus on adventure tourism by combining marketplace, meetings and networking opportunities, nearly 200 delegates took part at the first-ever ongoing ‘AdventureNEXT’ in Bhopal, also including participants from abroad. Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism; Swadesh Kumar, President, ATOAI and Akshay Kumar, Chairman, AdventureNEXT committee graced the event. The convention was witnessed by global buyers, international/national media representatives, sellers and office bearers of the Adventure Tour Operators Association, hotels, hospitality and tour operators who came to expand their knowledge spectrum and itinerary offerings. Speaking on the occasion, Hari Ranjan Rao (IAS), Principal Secretary — Tourism and Managing Director, Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board, said, “Madhya Pradesh is truly honoured and privileged for being the ever first host of AdventureNEXT in Asia. We thank ATTA and all the international buyers, felicitators, media and national delegates who came together to make this event a grand success. The AdventureNEXT not only brought together the networking sessions, but it also gave a unique definition to the hidden treasures of adventure tourism in India. With this, we focus to promote the adventure travel aspect with full pace in Madhya Pradesh as well”. Shannon Stowell, CEO, AdventureNEXT, Adventure Travel Trade Association, said, “We were honoured and proud to present the world AdventureNEXT’18 with MP tourism. The extraordinary variety of adventure travel Madhya Pradesh preserves is worth experiencing. AdventureNEXT captured India’s religious heritage, mythological, historical, wildlife and beautiful architectural spots clubbed with physical activities and journals for the attendees. This is just the beginning, ATTA also plans to introduce more tours which are adventure-driven panning across the unexplored exploratory destinations of India.”  

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Star Alliance conducts golf tournament for corporate clients

Star Alliance Invitational Golf tournament 2018 was organised for corporate clients at Delhi Golf Club recently. The event was a great opportunity for the 28 Star Alliance member airlines to network with the corporate community and educate them about benefits of Star Alliance. The game of golf was followed up by an awards function in various categories with a gala lunch. The pleasant weather, great food and great sitting at the Delhi Golf Club was a treat to the players. Also seen playing golf was Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. The championship prizes were given away by the Star Alliance members.

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Over 5k meetings at first Rajasthan Domestic Travel Mart in Jaipur

A total of 4,982 meetings were fixed in advance and more were conducted at the recently-concluded Rajasthan Domestic Travel Mart in Jaipur. The chief guest of the ceremony was Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Tourism, Government of India. Also present at the inauguration were Lalit Panwar, former Secretary Tourism; Bhim Singh, President, FHTR; Kuldeep Ranka, Principal Secretary, Department of Tourism, Forest & Environment, Art & Culture, Govt of Rajasthan as well as Gyan Prakash, Secretary General FHTR. Speaking at the ceremony, Billa said, “The mart is a very important step forward because the international end of the business has its way of organising itself. Domestic market and marts like this have the saluted effect of bringing buyers and sellers towards the domestic market. So I think it’s a very good move and that is where most of the meat is going to come from. We have supported this mart because we think that the initiative should come from the states.”  

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PATA India’s Tourism PowerHouse to be held from August 5-6, 2018

PATA India Chapter has announced that it will organise The Tourism PowerHouse from August 5-6, 2018 at The Park New Delhi. The announcement was made at PATA India Chapter’s 7th Update and Outlook Meeting in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism at The Claridges, New Delhi, which saw in attendance, Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Chairman – PATA India Chapter; Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and MP Mall, Chairman and Managing Director, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). The PowerHouse will be presided over by Verma and Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA. Speaking about the PowerHouse, Verma said, “We hope to draw eminent speakers from all over the world to speak on contemporary issues like responsible tourism, sustainable tourism, marketing, digital marketing, etc. Eminent speakers will be invited from various countries who will be sharing global trends, initiatives and the best practices required to emulate in our country. We are hopeful that apart from the industry, state tourism boards, other organisations and stakeholders will also be participating because it is going to be a very useful interaction for us as well as all the stakeholders who have a stake in promoting tourism to this country.”  

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K J Alphons to attend ‘Incredible India roadshows’ in the US from June 18-22

With an aim to project India as a ‘must visit’ tourist destination, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism, K J Alphons will attend a series of ‘Incredible India roadshows’ in the US, from June 18-22,  2018. The roadshows will be held in several major cities of US including New York, Chicago & Houston. The Incredible India roadshows will hold B2B interactions, presentations and press briefings by the Indian delegation. The key note addresses will be delivered by the Tourism Minister and Incredible India presentation will be made by Joint Secretary Ministry of Tourism Suman Billa. The roadshows will include cultural performances also. USA is one among the top three source countries in the percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India. During April 2018, the US was the second highest source country with 11.21 per cent share of total FTAs.

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