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The Big Picture

Prahlad Singh Patel takes charge of MoT and Culture; focus on showcasing cultural offerings

A four-time Member of Parliament, Prahlad Singh Patel has been named as the Minister of State (Independent charge) of the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Culture. Patel Prahlad is an MP from Damoh in Madhya Pradesh and has been a member of several committees in the previous Narendra Modi government. He was also a member of Executive Council of VV Giri National Labour Institute and member of the Consultative Committee in the Ministry of …

The Big Picture

The Indian traveller is coming of age, suggests the latest Google and Bain& Company report

The Indian traveller has truly come of age. They are travelling to the distant corners of globe and showing a never before tendency of embracing the unknown. This major transformation has changed the landscape of the industry. An interesting dimension in the unfolding growth story of the Indian economy has also been the propensity of Indians to spend on travel and tourism. Travel and tourism consumption has been released by Google and Bain & Company …

The Big Picture

Aviation crisis will impact tourism; Sri Lanka issue may turn travellers to India, says E M Najeeb

Concern looms over the fate of the vacation season as the Indian aviation sector continues to battle serious headwinds. Uncertainty around the revival of Jet Airways, with the airline temporarily stopping its operations and no respite in sight, has caused stress on the available capacity. Add to that, IndiGo’s decision of scaling down its operations with 30 fewer flights each day, initially for a couple of months, now effectively until October, has further spiked concerns. …

The Big Picture

At BITB India Tourism Summit, industry and government outline a game-changing agenda

The big takeaway from BITB India Tourism Summit was that the industry needed to take the lead in driving India’s tourism. Industry stakeholders expected the government to play the role of an enabler, with focus on creating liberal policies and augmenting infrastructure. A: The Big Picture A1.  The industry believes that addressing challenges would require a clear demarcation of responsibilities A2. The government must provide an enabling policy framework and build institutional infrastructure. A3. That …

The Big Picture

Naveen Kundu shows the way; donates INR 10 lakhs to a slain soldier’s family

Naveen Kundu, CEO and Managing Director, Mercury Travels, recently donated a sum of INR ten lakhs to the daughter of a martyred soldier. He was attending an event hosted by a prominent news channel and decided to chip in, admirably in a personal capacity. Speaking exclusively to TF, he said that he had long been donating to the families of slain soldiers and wanted to do more for the grieving families, when asked to comment …

The Big Picture

Asia to drive global growth; Intra-regional travel trending in APAC, PATA report suggests 

PATA Asia Pacific Visitor Forecasts 2019-2023 has been laid out a few weeks ago. The report highlights the momentous growth of tourism in Asia Pacific, which will reach USD 1.1 billion total revenue and close to 900 million international visitor arrivals in 2023. 40 destinations within Asia Pacific have been collectively predicted to show an average growth rate of 5.5 percent each year between 2018 and 2023. What has emerged as an undisputed fact is the rise of Asia as …

The Big Picture

Industry and government converge for the Big Picture at BITB India Tourism Summit

The 3rd edition of India Tourism Summit was a resounding success on several counts. The top echelons of government and industry engaged in a serious dialogue on the road forward for India’s tourism. Industry and government leaders, such as Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog; Ashwani Lohani, CMD, Air India; Yogendra Tripathi, Secretary Tourism, GoI; Sanjeev Sanyal, Principal Economic Advisor, MoF, GOI; Jose Dominic, Founder, CGH Earth; Deep Kalra, Co-founder, MMT; Patu Keswani, CMD, Lemon Tree …

The Big Picture

Vistara and JAL’s codeshare agreement will positively impact SE Asia connect

In what could add more teeth to India’s ‘Act East Policy’, strengthening air connectivity to Tokyo and beyond, Japan Airlines and Vistara have recently signed a codeshare agreement to open more routes between the two regions. Vistara has now become the first Indian carrier to have an MoU in place with the Japanese flag carrier.  The move will benefit Vistara in reaching out to a larger global market, in the process, acquiring a pole-position in …

The Big Picture

Top industry, government stakeholders to come together for the 3rd edition of BITB India Tourism Summit

The 3rd edition of BITB India Tourism Summit will be a grander affair, bringing together 50 speakers from the top echelons of government and industry for a half-day analysis on all things tourism. Emerging themes, challenges and possibilities in tourism and its diverse segments will be deliberated by decision makers in back-to-back sessions. A star-studded line up of speakers includes Jammu & Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik; Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog; Yogendra Tripathi, Secretary …

The Big Picture

Thomas Cook India acquires Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging

Acquisition is PAT and free cash accretive from day one Marks Thomas Cook India Group’s entry into an adjacent sector, complementary to its travel & travel related services portfolio. Thomas Cook India Group has acquired a 51% stake in Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging (DEI), one of the world’s leading imaging solutions and services providers at an enterprise value of US $40.6 Million (INR 289 crores). The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. …

The Big Picture

Lufthansa appoints George Ettiyil as Senior Director Sales, South Asia

Lufthansa Group Airlines has appointed George Ettiyil as its new Senior Director Sales South Asia. Effective February 2019, he will be responsible for all commercial activities of the Lufthansa Group Airlines, including Lufthansa German Airlines, SWISS, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines, in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. George Ettiyil has held several key positions within the Lufthansa Group for more than 20 years. For the last few years he served as Head of Global …

The Big Picture

From Air India to MoCA: Kharola keeps his tryst with aviation

Pradeep Singh Kharola, CMD, Air India has been appointed as the Civil Aviation secretary in what has been dubbed as a minor top-level bureaucratic reshuffle. He takes charge in place of Rajiv Nayan Choubey, who superannuated on January 31 and took charge as a member of UPSC. He assumes the position at a challenging time when the aviation infrastructure is under considerable stress, hard-pressed by a rapid growth in the passenger count. The domestic aviation …

The Big Picture

Rural tourism answer to India’s quest for growth, employment in the hinterland, suggest segment biggies

The inaugural edition of Rural Tourism Day brought together champions of the segment, who suggested implementing Gandhi’s ideals of village sufficiency in full earnest. They insisted on harnessing the innate potential of rural India in arts and crafts, cultural uniqueness, and authenticity to provide the populace with tangible gains on economic and social fronts. Rural tourism was a sure shot way of achieving these aspirations, the general sense indicated. Excerpts from the discussion chaired by …

The Big Picture

Localised content, rise in first-time flyers big takeaways from 2018, says Aloke Bajpai

With growth increasingly being driven by secondary and tertiary markets, localised content and regional languages are gaining prominence, says Aloke Bajpai, CEO and Co-Founder, ixigo. He believes that artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and speech recognition will simplify the way people travel and holiday. His take on big developments impacting travel and tourism in 2018. Rise in first time flyers 2018 has seen a substantial increase in first-time flyers. Leading airlines have deployed new local routes …

The Big Picture

Tourism gains more prominence in NITI Aayog’s vision for ‘New India@75’ 

NITI Aayog has come up with a comprehensive document, more a vision statement for India when it will celebrate its 75th year of independence in 2022. The document has been prepared after extensive consultation among government and other stakeholders. The apex policy think tank has recognised tourism as a major source of employment generation and national growth and has outlined key challenges that need to be systematically addressed. In its report titled ‘Strategy for New …

The Big Picture

Expect cruise tourism to go big in 2 years; niche market set to grow, notes Neelu Singh

Tourism is in for heady days, believes Neelu Singh, CEO, Ezeego1.com. The focus on infrastructure, success of RCS-UDAN in adding new destinations on the aviation map, and improving port infra are equally expected to contribute to a well-rounded growth in travel and tourism in 2019 and beyond. She writes on the big trends in the market right now. With a prediction of becoming the third largest aviation market by 2025, India is set to surpass …