Mice Breaking News

MICE crisis in hotels post GST: HRAWI

H RA Western India logo (002)

Post the Goods & Services Tax (GST) roll out earlier this month, the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) related activities have been hit hard. One of the anomalies that emerged post GST roll-out was that MICE activities and other events held in hotels outside of home state are not eligible for Input Tax Credit (ITC). This has been leading to cancellations and postponements for pre booked events. Given the emergence of MICE Tourism as one of the fastest growing segments, and its potential to disrupt growth, the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) has appealed to the Government to revisit this particular aspect of the GST. “There is an overall reduction in MICE bookings across hotels in India as compared to the same period last year. Advance bookings are being cancelled and new bookings are not happening. Most companies are considering holding events in the same State where they are registered under GST. Businesses may still have digested the high GST, but without ITC, it just becomes unviable. MICE tourism is too important a segment for the nation to overlook,” says Dilip Datwani, President, HRAWI. Talking about the GST slabs for the industry he adds, “The 28 per cent GST rate for rooms with tariff of Rs. 7500/- and above is one of the highest in the world and will seriously affect cash flow. Moreover, the tax percentage will be determined based on the published or declared rate which is creating a lot of hardship for the industry. The association has appealed the Government to remove this condition and determine the tax percentage based on the actual transaction value and has also requested to review the ITC …

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Pacific World unveils new venues for MICE

pacific world

Pacific World has introduced its new selection of event venues and immersion experiences for its guests. “We are continuously looking for new venues that are not just cool and stunning, but will achieve our clients’ meetings and events goals,” said Patricia Silvio, Global Marketing Manager of Pacific World. “2017 events are now well under way, and our teams around the globe have been selecting and sharing their findings and choices. We have found that most of the spaces selected answer to the latest industry trends. Clients are craving for immersive experiences to engage with the local destination, culture and tradition. Each of these venues inspire planners to think outside of the box on many levels, and they are the basis to creating unforgettable experiences for years to come.” Pacific World has identified a growing interest in private residences, natural outdoor locations and conceptual venues that highlight culture and gastronomy for meetings and events. In Paris, France, a private luxury apartment located at a bespoke address nestled in the heart of the Right Bank, Marais neighborhood await guests to explore more. In Barcelona, Spain at the Opera Samfaina – a new venue concept combining fine cuisine and cutting-edge technology guests can enjoy standout dishes while immersed in stunning sounds, projections and animations.  For a fully immersive cultural experience in Asia,  Pacific World has created a wholly immersive experience in the village of Mengwi, Bali that utilises the town’s sights, sounds, tastes and residents. It can accommodate up to 200 guests.

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Thailand Golf Travel Mart 2017 showcases unique golfing experience for 150 buyers

TGTM 2017 (002)

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) hosted Thailand Golf Travel Mart (TGTM) 2017 from July 25-28  in the stunning environs of Khao Yai in Nakhon Ratchasima, where golf tour operators and buyers from key international markets met with suppliers and golf course owners from across Thailand. TGTM 2017 showcased Thailand as a world-class golf destination, with its amazing courses that show beautiful scenery while offering world-class amenities and famously friendly Thai caddies. The event helped to create new opportunities for Thai golf business operators allowing them to promote their services to vital foreign markets. It is hoped the TGTM will increase the numbers of golfers coming to Thailand to play golf and so help raise revenue in all parts of the country. To ensure the best exposure for sellers and give them the chance to meet a wide array of buyers, the TGTM 2017 hosted pre-scheduled appointment matching programme. Soraya Homchuen, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand in Mumbai, commented, “Golf is big business in Thailand as the country has some of the best class golf courses. TGTM 2017 was a great opportunity for Thailand’s golf industry to show the world why Thailand is such an amazing golf destination while attracting new golfers to play and enjoy the legendary Thai hospitality and unique local experiences. We hope that evolved Indian travellers will come to Thailand to enjoy the Amazing Golfing experience.” More than 150 buyers from 32 countries signed up to attend the TGTM 2017 with the majority being from Asia (65 buyers) and the ASEAN region (48 buyers). These make up the largest golf markets due to the proximity of Thailand and the kingdom’s excellent reputation for offering world-class …

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Dubai auditing trade conference next year


The 2018 Institute of Internal Auditors International Conference, to be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is set to attract 3500 delegates from 110 countries, next May. The conference will take place at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, part of the Dubai World Trade Centre complex, from May 6-9, 2018. Dubai Business Events (DBE), the city’s official convention bureau, collaborated with Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) and the UAE Internal Auditors Association (IAA) to successfully bid for the event. Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “As we work to strengthen Dubai’s reputation as an ideal destination to host business events, and most importantly, a global knowledge hub, business events such as the IIA International Conference further fuel our journey towards achieving our goal.” Themed ‘Connecting the World Through Innovation’, the conference will lay emphasis on innovation and ways to tackle current technology issues affecting internal audit.

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International aviation conference underway in Guwahati


The Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, and the International Chamber for Service Industry (ICSI) have jointly organised an International Conference on Strengthening Aviation Network between North East Indian Region and Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (BCLMV countries) at Radisson Blu Hotel Guwahati in Assam, which is underway. The mega event aims to bring nations closer by augmenting and improving travel, trade and people to people contacts through a stronger aviation network. It will be attended by dignitaries from the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Airports Authority of India, as well as Indian and international carriers and other leading aviation business entities. Over the past few years India’s trade with the BCLMV countries has grown exponentially with the total trade with CLMV countries growing seven-fold from $1.4 billion in 2005 to $10.3 billion in 2015 and current trade volume with Bangladesh at about $6.6 billion. The key points of deliberation at the conference were the need of direct connectivity of airlines between NER and BCLMV countries, infrastructure development and capacity building along with the liberalisation of ASEAN open sky policy for NER (I).

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Tamarind Global signs joint venture with Indonesian event company

tamarind global

With Bali constituting a major chunk of their destination wedding business, Tamarind Global has entered into a joint venture with Innaz Communique, a reputed wedding management company in Indonesia. This partnership is expected to boost cross-tourism as Innaz will also promote India as a prospect for weddings destination to Indonesians. Mahesh Shirodkar, Managing Director of Tamarind Global, says, “This strategic partnership will open up opportunities for our clients in India to explore Indonesia, which is perfectly suited to Indian weddings, along with social events like landmark birthdays and anniversaries. With destination weddings becoming bigger, more demanding   and elaborate than they were in the past, we feel that the incredible choice of  venues in Bali  have a lot to offer. The island has some amazing hotels, great hospitality, and value for money and some fabulous outdoor venues. Added to this, the local on ground expertise and experience that Innayat and his team will bring to the table is a huge asset in every way.” Tamarind Global had 700 guests flown from India to Bali for a destination wedding last year with Innaz Communique as its local partner. Jakarta-based Innayat Khubchandani, owner, Innaz Communique, says, “Bali as a destination is ideal for an Indian wedding. The culture, food and exotic locales all lend a very unique yet comforting environment, which has a lot of similarities with Indian traditions and values. With this JV with Tamarind Global, we hope to create awareness of what Bali has to offer to host weddings and events from venues, hotels, food, entertainment, hospitality and great value for money. I am excited to join forces with Tamarind to work together to open up some fabulous untapped opportunities.”

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Philippines witnesses surge of 37% in Indian arrivals


The Philippines has recorded a whopping growth of 37 per cent in Indian arrivals in the month of May, 2017, in comparison to the same period last year, as per a release shared by the Department of Tourism (DOT) Philippines. The city of Manila, Pagsanjan, the heritage city of Cebu, Boracay, and Bohol are some of the most popular places among Indian travellers visiting the Philippines. India is currently the 11th source market for the island nation in terms of foreign tourist arrivals and DOT is aiming for double-digit growth this year through aggressive marketing initiatives. Commenting on the growth of arrivals, SanJeet, Tourism Attaché, Philippines Tourism Marketing Office India, said, “We are pleased to announce such a ground breaking growth rate in Indian arrivals to the Philippines. DOT engages travel trade partners in various awareness programmes and travel shows in order to maintain and sustain tourist traffic from the Indian market. In 2017, we aim to achieve the mark of 100,000 visitors to the Philippines from India.”

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Czech Republic visa application centre steps into Gurugram


To ease the visa application process for potential travellers from the surrounding regions of Delhi/NCR, the Embassy of the Czech Republic and VFS Global have opened a Visa Application Centre in Gurugram. Earlier this month, visa applications centres were also opened for the Czech Republic in Chandigarh and Jalandhar. H.E. Milan Hovorka, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to India, said, “The Gurugram centre marks the launch of another important location within Delhi & NCR where people can submit their Schengen visa applications for travel to the Czech Republic via VFS Global. We thus continue to deliver on our promises. This is not the end of our endeavours, as we will soon announce the opening of additional Czech Visa Applications Centres in the market.” Since VFS Global first launched visa application centres for the Czech Republic in India around two years ago, the company has opened centres across several cities in the country, including Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Puducherry, Thiruvananthapuram, Pune, Jalandhar and Chandigarh. The newest centre in Gurugram highlights the destination’s growing popularity among Indian travel enthusiasts. Vinay Malhotra, Chief Operating Officer – Middle East and South Asia, VFS Global, said, “It is our privilege to be the trusted partner of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in India. The extension of our association with this esteemed client across the region reflects their faith in our ability to provide services to enhance the visa application experience for travellers. In view of the increase in travel to the Czech Republic, we are confident our efforts will make the travel experience seamless and smooth.” In addition to visa services, VFS Global was selected as the official …

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AAI signs MoU with Uttarakhand to elevate aviation development


Airports Authority of India (AAI) has signed an MoU with Government of Uttarakhand and collaborated with Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Development Authority (UCADA) to develop the civil aviation sector in the state. The MoU aims to identify relevant factors influencing the development of civil aviation infrastructure in Uttarakhand; assessing commercial potential of various airports of the state; identifying technical considerations for airport operations in the state; evaluating site related technical and engineering parameters for development of projects, making estimate of the capital outlay for the future projects and development of master plan for existing and future civil aviation infrastructure in the state. AAI will also assist UCADA in obtaining necessary clearances for airport operations starting with the upgraded airport at Pithoragarh and later at Chiniyalisaur. The MoU was signed by S. Ramaswamy, Chief Secretary, Government of Uttarakhand and Anil Gupta, General Manager (Business Development). Ramaswamy said that the Government of Uttarakhand is determined to fulfil the long pending requirement of operational airports within the state. The new airports would also be part of the Regional Connectivity Scheme and will boost tourism and air connectivity for the local public.

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ITDC, AI join hands to train Air India staff on hospitality skills


India Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. (ITDC), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Air India to upgrade the skills and knowledge base of the national airline’s senior executive & cabin crew in hospitality and service industry. The MoU was signed in the presence of Ashwani Lohani, Chairman and Managing Director, Air India and Sudha Chandra, Principal, Ashok Institute of Hospitality & Tourism Management (AIHTM) and General Manager, HRD ITDC at Air India Head Quarters, New Delhi on May 29, 2017. In line with the MoU, AIHTM conducted a 5-Day training program on Leadership Excellence from July 11-15, 2017 for the first batch of senior executives of Air India at Hotel Samrat, Delhi. Speaking at the Valedictory function held at Hotel Samrat on July 15, 2017, Piyush Tiwari, Officiating Chairman & Managing Director and Director Commercial & Marketing, ITDC, said, “We are going to plan more programmes in the coming quarters for enforcing strength and leadership quality in other organisations as well.”

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