Category Archives: Incentives

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 …

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

Philippines witnesses surge of 37% in Indian arrivals

philippines-logo-new-e1497334705418

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.”

Read More »

TCEB highlights focus areas to enhance MICE

ADB_5541 (002)

The new President of Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has highlighted four focus areas to enhance MICE in the country: growing in parallel with the development of the country, growing in a high potential market, growing with equality and growing strongly. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, President of TCEB, said, “TCEB has the direct duty of developing every aspect of the MICE industry, from considering the needs of the market, the strengths and weaknesses of the country, the problems within the country, and to find ways to overcome those issues, as well as developing every area related to MICE, which is the appropriate role of the public sector.” From statistics over the last 10 years, Thailand has received approximately 150 billion baht of revenue from the MICE industry, both domestic and international, created approximately 164,000 jobs, and gained around 10.5 billion baht of revenue from taxation. Furthermore, in 2016, the International Congress and Convention Association, or ICCA,placed Thailand as having hosted174 events, ranking Thailand 24th, an improvement from 27th in 2015, with Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Pattaya ranking higher than the previous year as well. In terms of exhibitions, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, or UFI, ranked Thailand the number 1 among ASEAN nations in terms of exhibition space sold over the past 5 years (2011-2015). In terms of general exhibition space, Thailand ranked in the top five ASEAN countries. Additionally, Thailand has a total of 256,984 metres squared of exhibition space across nine exhibition centres in Bangkok and other important MICE cities. To build MICE into a key sector in developing the country, therefore requires the use of four directions for enhancing the MICE industry and create …

Read More »

Yatra acquires Air Travel Bureau

Yatra Online, Inc. logo (PRNewsfoto/Yatra Online, Inc.)

Yatra Online, Inc. has announced acquisition of  Air Travel Bureau, India’s largest independent corporate travel services provider, under definitive agreement through its subsidiary, Yatra Online. “This acquisition will allow us to deliver best-in-class experiences to an even wider set of travellers, through our web and mobile app platforms and enhance our reach to cross-sell our entire product suite, including hotels, to this customer base ” said Dhruv Shringi, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Yatra Online, Inc. “ATB has built a very strong presence over the last 30 years in the corporate travel space,” said Sunil Narain, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ATB.

Read More »

BuyForexOnline introduces online remittance for students

buyforexonline-165x165

BuyForexOnline.com has announced the launch of convenient and affordable online remittance services for Indian students planning to study abroad. BuyForexOnline’s wire transfer service allows students to make university payments online at attractive rates. Wire transfer services are available in 26 currencies to 200+ countries worldwide and are executed within 48 hours. “Wire transfers or remittances are a popular method of transferring funds abroad using the SWIFT platform. To remit money one needs to have a sending bank account and a receiving Bank account. The prevailing Forex rate viewed online will be frozen at the time of placing the order, and the sending fee levied by the sending bank and a Beneficiary fee or BEN charges levied by the receiving Bank are also transparently displayed ”said Ananth Reddy, Founder and Managing Director of BuyForexOnline. “So for instance if you are sending US$10,000 abroad through a bank or offline vendors, you might be charged a sending fee of Rs 2,500 and BEN charges of up to US$50, and be offered rates at a margins of up to four per cent, which all could add up to a cost of around Rs 30,000! We are trying to make the process affordable by offering the lowest wire transfer rates and zero sending fee, so a similar remittance transaction online with us would cost the student just about Rs 5,000 or less.’’ “Wire transfers are still an indispensable way to make university payments, especially during the university application and Enrollment phases, though Forex cards are gaining in popularity for making in-person University Fee payments and for maintenance expenses. And to bring-in added convenience we have made documentation much easier by enabling online upload and offering …

Read More »

8.7% hike in air pricing likely in 2018: GBTA & CWT

air ticket

According to the 2018 Global Travel Forecast, airfares in India are forecast to see an 8.7 per cent hike in 2018. The Asia Pacific region will see a 2.8 per cent rise in airfares in 2018, with domestic demand increasing in India and China. The report has been prepared by GBTA Foundation in partnership with Carlson Wagonlit Travel, and with the support of the Carlson Family Foundation. The report suggests that global airfares are expected to rise 3.5 percent in 2018; hotel prices are expected to be 3.7 percent higher; and ground transportation such as taxis, trains and buses are expected to rise only 0.6 percent. Jeanne Liu, Vice President – Research, GBTA Foundation, said, “The most successful programs will have to keep a watchful eye on both geopolitical risks and a rapidly-changing supplier landscape as they re-evaluate strategy often and adapt as necessary.” Kurt Ekert, president and CEO, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, said, “The global numbers from this forecast should be considered strong leading indicators of what 2018 will mean for global businesses, as we anticipate higher spending.”

Read More »

TCEB’s TIME 2017 lures MICE players to Thailand

TCEB

Around 40 buyers from India, comprising corporate buyers and travel agents, participated in Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau’s (TCEB) second edition of TIME (Thailand Incentive and Meeting Exchange) that was held in Bangkok from June 29-30, 2017. This year, TIME had laid its focus on the Indian market; last year, it had highlighted China’s MICE industry. TIME has been initiated and designed as a Knowledge Exchange, Business Exchange and Experience Exchange programme where buyers and sellers have the opportunity to meet and understand market trends and preferences and products of MICE travellers, specifically the meetings and incentives components. Nooch Homrossukhon, Director, Meeting & Incentive, TCEB, informed that 80 per cent of the total MICE traffic from India is for incentives and therefore, the area requires more attention and education. “India is our top MICE source market after China.Thailand understands the culture, behaviour and preferences of Indian customers better than any other destination,” she said while commenting on the reasons for continuing growth and interest in Thailand. TCEB left no stone unturned in ensuring suitable incentives, team-building activities, and gala dinners for MICE participants for the TIME 2017 event. An extended tour to the northern city of Chiang Mai was organised from July 1-4, 2017, to unravel the MICE facilities in the region to these MICE players. Chiang Mai’s KHUM KHAM International Convention Centre also showcased its MICE industry for TIME 2017 through table top sessions where internal players interacted with Indian MICE participants. There were some 24 booths exhibiting their unique offerings to the Indian MICE players.

Read More »

Incheon’s Songdo Convensia to double its size by 2018

Songdo

Songdo Convensia, a landmark of Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ), located in Songdo, South Korea, will be reopened in July, 2018, with a total floor area of 64,000 sqm, double its current size. It will have 900 exhibition booths, premium ballroom that can accommodate up to 2000 people and 41 meeting rooms, fully ready for its grand reopening. In addition, Songdo Convensia is playing its role as the optimal convention centre that aims for sustainable low-carbon meeting venue as Asia’s first LEED-certified convention centre with MICE application platform support for paperless meetings. When the second stage of the construction is completed, it will be one of the best places for MICE with its newly built exhibition, conference, and sales facilities. The international conference room and multipurpose square are expected to attract a variety of exhibitions and events. Lee Yeong-Geun, IFEZ Commissioner, said, “The exhibition and conference industry is critical for Songdo International District to be globally competitive. The second stage of construction of Songdo Convensia will be a backbone of this high value added service industry.”

Read More »