Thursday, September 5, 2019

Our Responsibility as a Tour Operator ...


Mar’19:
We as a tour operators, think that a state chapters National and state Associations has a big role to play in the tourism industry to promote and as well as to help creating jobs for the new comers, associations has to come up with the plan of action to talk with state govt. in developing the Tourism infrastructures and to safe guards the historical places, in an opinion all the associations should come together on one platform to do something for the industry despite of the different views and opinions.
As we see in our country tourism will grow in the years to come, the number of long haul tourists coming to India is significantly low as of now. However, the numbers which shows 10 million in a govt. data is quite a shame, considering the size of the country and potential we have. 

Tourism ministry has to said that India is a so vast that there will be something new for everyone to see and experience in this country with its varied geography, culture, traditions, architectural marvels and Religion, but nothing to be seems on the ground and with the dreams is concerted work of making tourism happen and making it an engine for economic growth has to start robustly.

Our e-visa is a great game changer as of now, because there is no other country in the world which has opened up to as many countries as we have. If all the associations together comes up with the plan of action, the days are not far, it will be a silent revolution waiting to happen and will trigger a lot of tourism activities across the state as well as the country.

On the other hand all the associations should sit back to talk with the govt. in regards of the taxation to fix, the country is perceived to be an expensive destination, despite of the amendment for billing on actual invoice. Firstly we need to get away with the high taxation percent and then bring our taxation regime in line with competing destinations.

On the other side , what the stakeholders should always bear in mind is that growth come with responsibility and always tourism gets affected whenever something goes wrong in the social political or economic front. But the industry has shown amazing resilience and bounced back each time like we have big example is Kerala, but the current threat in other states, that would not be that easy to tackle, it is very serious as reported by concerned. 

Monopoly of One GDS ... ?


Feb’19:  

Industry is concerns on Air India’s Move on Limited Distribution Access.
Effective from 4th Dec’2018, Air India’s inventory access has been limited to those agencies that have access to a particular GDS that is Travel Port Galileo.

Air India’s inventory access was open to all booking agencies irrespective of which GDS they have been associated with. The new policy by Air India which has limited this availability to all, has come up for serious objections from across the industry. It is feared that this initiative will also negatively impact the airlines.

GDS – Global Distribution System offers access to airlines to enable agencies sell their inventory. Agencies always had the option to prefer one of the three existing GDS to sell Air India on. However, this has now changed. It is expected to change further during 2019, with Air India limiting its industry access to select GDS only.

TAAI and TAFI has made the representations along with all the small and arge selling travel companies which includes online travel agencies by highlighting the challenges of this initiative and said cost of the airlines must focus upon, but the inventory access to all travel agencies is what gets the airlines to sell its seats, to Air India and to the Civil Aviation Ministry. Media has been also actively covered the same and expressed the concerns on this decision by the national carrier.
Travel agencies across the country shared their objections on this initiative by Air India. In  these regions like Andhra Pradesh , Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Pune, Eastern Region, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh has visited to Air India offices to represent the cause that this initiative by airlines will also make it very difficult for the travel agencies.
The debate is continuing still across the country, we were hoping in a month or two Air India may reconsider its stand and make it sustainable for the airlines and the industry stakeholders, particularly the travel agencies but its seems nothing is going to change.

Are We Ready to Welcome Tourists .. ?


Dec’18:

Are we ready to welcome?
As everyone says and it’s true also, Tourism, today is the cornerstone and has a very big role to play in the Indian economy, as it is a major source of employment and foreign exchange, and in order to tap the full potential of this sector, industry has to join hands.
Ministry of tourism is also consistently emphasizing on doubling the foreign tourist arrivals from the current percentage. This is indeed a very good ambition of the ministry.  However, the question is that are we equipped to cater to this big numbers ? as we are expecting , are we really have that much good infrastructure ? Could we give that much safety and security to our foreign guests from the goons in the north side?

On the safety front, the ministry is yet to establish a strong PR mechanism to adapt any sort of negative publicity. And, any small incident puts India many steps back in terms of wooing foreign tourists. Coming to cleanliness, the govt. launched the much needed clean India campaign but this has still remained a only a photo opportunity. Our most iconic destinations and historic places been giving harrowing experience to foreign tourists.  

On a current scenario, to begin with, we have witnessed that international air connectivity is growing at very slow pace. In the last couple of years, we have seen that only a few additional routes have been launched by our own carries like Air India and Jet Airways. We also witnessed that few foreign airlines has re-launched and few are in pipe line to re-enter India. Although our own LCCs are expanding their international market but they are not expanding beyond the short haul destinations. There are few carriers that are begging for additional seats but the govt. cannot increase the seat entitlements under the existing bilateral for them. Are these enough ? Many international carriers are not willing to start international services to India and our own full service carriers are utilizing not more than 40 per cent of their bilateral entitlements. Moreover, industry experts feel that most of the foreign carriers are using India as a feeder market which is basically pushing the outbound numbers.
Coming to the hotel industry, the ministry itself has been reiterating that India needs around 2 lakhs additional hotel rooms to cope with the current tourism growth. The current trend suggests that investment in hotel sector has almost dried up. Almost 95 per cent of international hotels chains are not even investing a single dollar in hotel infrastructure but they have their own limitations. Aggregators are bringing properties in their fold but with this also arises the questions of safety and security.

As a human nature, we firmly believe that every problem comes with the solutions and we do have solutions for all the above concerns. We just need to come together as an industry and adopt developing approach to achieve our goals to attract the foreign guests.      

Our Responsibility as a Tour Operator ...

Mar’19: We as a tour operators, think that a state chapters National and state Associations has a big role to play in the tourism ind...