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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) is an operational scheme and on account of the disruptions caused by the COVID 19 pandemic on hospitality and related sectors, Government has specifically earmarked an amount of Rs. 50,000 crore for enterprises in these sectors. The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has approved the enhancement in the limit of Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) by Rs 50,000 crore from Rs. 4.5 Lakh crore to Rs. 5 Lakh crore, with the additional amount being earmarked exclusively for enterprises in hospitality and related sectors. The increase has been done on account of the severe disruptions caused by COVID-19 pandemic on hospitality and related enterprises.

Shri G Kishan Reddy, the Union Minister for Tourism, Culture and the Development of the Northeastern Region (DoNER) welcomed the decision and said, “The ongoing pandemic has adversely impacted the hospitality and tourism related sectors severely. The enhancement in the limit of Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) by Rs 50,000 crore from Rs 4.5 Lakh crore to Rs 5 Lakh crore has been earmarked exclusively for enterprises in hospitality and related sectors. This decision is timely as the demand for these services is picking up”.

He added, “The Modi Government has been taking immediate actions and doing whatever it takes to restore and reactivate the tourism sector while protecting jobs and businesses. We are planning to support the sustainable recovery of tourism, shifting to eco-tourism and rethinking tourism for the future”.

The enhancement is expected to provide much needed relief to enterprises in these sectors by incentivizing lending institutions to provide additional credit of up to Rs. 50,000 crore at low cost, thereby enabling these business enterprises to meet their operational liabilities and continue their businesses. Loans of about Rs. 3.67 Lakh crore have been sanctioned under ECLGS till 5.8.2022.

Shri G Kishan Reddy also mentioned, “Tourism and hospitality play a pivotal role in economic development and the central government has been actively engaging with industry and other stakeholders to revive the economy. I thank Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji for extending the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme validity till 31.3.2023.”

“With this all business enterprises/MSMEs in the hospitality and related sectors like hotels and restaurants, marriage halls, canteens, travel agents, tour operators, adventure or heritage facilities, leisure and sporting, private bus operators, car repair services, rent a car service providers, event/conference organizers, spa clinics, beauty salons, motor vehicle aggregators, cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditorium, yoga institutes, gymnasiums, other fitness centres, units/persons engaged in catering or cooking and floriculture products, etc will be eligible for borrowing”, he added.

Considering the tremendous passenger traffic growth at the Kolhapur airport, Airports Authority of India has undertaken the work for developing the airport for enhanced capacity. The development project includes construction of a new terminal building, strengthening of existing runway, extension of runway, construction of new apron and isolation bay. Kolhapur Airport has been identified for RCS operations under UDAN scheme and is presently connected to Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai and Tirupati.  Recently Airport Aerodrome license has been upgraded to 24*7 flight operations.

The new terminal building is being constructed in an area of 4000 sqm and will be able to process 300 passengers during peak hours. With 10 check-in counters, the Terminal will be equipped with all modern passenger amenities. The building will be a Four-Star GRIHA rated energy efficient building with sustainability features. The interiors of the terminal building will reflect the art and culture of local culture & heritage. The big archways at the front façade of the new terminal building is influenced and derived from the commonly used arches in the heritage structures like Maharaja Palace, Bhavani Mandap, Panhala Fort of Kolhapur city.

More than 60% of the work for extension of terminal building is complete and the building will be ready by 31st March 2023.  Work of upgrading of the airside facilities is completed. Apart from this, a new Air Traffic Control Tower is also being constructed to cater for future traffic growth. Parking area with capacity for 110 car, 10 buses are also part of the development activities.

The new world-class terminal building of the airport will enhance the connectivity to this industrial city, boosting tourism industry of the region.  The increased connectivity will not only create new employment opportunities for the local community provide access to better educational and medical facilities.

 

The Australian state of Victoria was on show as Visit Victoria held a press conference on 17th August featuring Indian cricketer Rishabh Pant and MasterChef Australia star Sarah Todd. During the event, Mr. Pant recounted his favorite Melbourne moment, announcing a contest that will go live on the official page this weekend to win a chance to experience Melbourne this cricket season.

He encouraged travellers to enter the competition by selecting the Melbourne moment they’d like to experience. To help inspire submissions Visit Victoria unveiled an art installation by Arthat which is a 3D anamorphic pixel art depicting the city’s iconic street locations. The press meet was followed by a special one of its kind cricket inspired three course lunch menu curated by Sarah Todd, runner up of MasterChef Australia 2022.

Brendan McClements, CEO, Visit Victoria said, “India is an important market for us. In year ending December 2019, we recorded 178,000 visitors with 47.3 per cent market share making Victoria the most popular Australian state out of India. This year, as visitors return to Australian shores, we are confident we will see a strong rebound in visitor numbers. As host of the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup final, as well as being recently announced and the home of the 2026 Commonwealth Games, Victoria is the place to be for big events. We also offer nature, adventure, creativity, culture and amazing food and hospitality.”

In October, Melbourne will host two significant ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup matches at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) - the India vs Pakistan match on October 23 as well as the final on 13 November 2022. Referring to the same, Indian cricketer Rishabh Pant said, “The MCG is a historic venue that has witnessed some of the best cricket played so far, by legends of the game. Emotions are always high when you play there and more so during the World Cup. It’s a venue that I as a cricketer always look forward to playing at.”

Sarah Todd, MasterChef Australia star spoke about the evolving food culture of the city; “Melbourne is at the heart of the food culture in Australia. It’s all about championing local produce and adding your brand of creativity to it to bring out clean, elegant flavours.  It’s a perfect representation of my own cooking style and I am glad that it has been received so well here in India.”

Shae Keenan, Chief Marketing Officer, Visit Victoria mentioned, “People are approaching travel with renewed enthusiasm post pandemic. They are on the lookout for immersive travel experiences that let them unwind and connect with one other.”

 

 

By Kuhelika Roy Choudhury 

Re-igniting our vision to drive travel consumers post pandemic is the new mantra to ensure domestic and international travelers get back on track. But the dilemma arises that how the country with such a promising inbound and outbound travel base, needs to be positioned in the right manner to influence and retain the globe trotters, said Rupinder Brar, the then Additional Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India shares her perspective on the Indian tourism during a webinar organized by PATA. 

The Road Ahead

Brar says tat Indian tourism is still in the cast of history. “The next few years are going to be extremely critical. There needs to be a realistic evaluation of how we can conduct things differently from things that we have done so far so that we can pace up things in the sector,” she opines.

Reflecting light upon the future of tourism in India, Brar says that now the stakeholders cannot sit back and compete with themselves only but adapt to the global trends and analyze the strengths of India. Talking about retaining the domestic and international tourists, she suggests that the stakeholders and the country’s tourism fraternity must put forward and be aware of a handful number of options with regards to destinations that we have developed and are ready to be explored by the globe.

She says that the moment we express that we are proud of our old civilization, we have ancient music, monuments, textiles, etc, we must be aware that others from around the globe are offering the same things. “If we talk about architecture, we can clearly see that Europe has the same offerings in terms of architecture as well. We are a young country, we have spent just 75 years of independence, we have a young population, and we are driving technology across the world. But we have so much more than just positioning ourselves as the bearers of the ancient civilization as compared to other global destinations. There lies the space where we can start positioning India with innovative ideas and tapping an arena in the future where tourism runs on its best potential. We must be in a position where 1 out of every 3 individuals is employed in tourism,” Brar says.

“Currently, we have so much more to do, in terms of numbers coming to India keeping the global traffic in mind, we clearly have many more milestones to achieve. If we have a look at the domestic tourism numbers, the kind of rush, the numbers and the amount of money we had before covid, the way we are not able to retain our domestic tourists, there are still many challenges which we are still able to figure out and tackle,” she opines.

Analyzing the prime gaps in the post-covid scenario and finding out what and how things need to be done to promote the destination and achieve numbers, depicts our prime step to a game changer. The 3 P’s of tourism - the product, process, and promotion - plays a vital role in planning all segments of the destination, and India has a diverse set of products to showcase to the world as well as the scope of effective processes and promotion.

Offering India’s products at a competitive level to the globe

Brar says: “Clearly, we need to do a lot more in putting forward our travel story as a nation. If we identify 40 UNESCO world heritage sites in India and compare them with the global UNESCO sites, we must make sure that these are ready to compete globally. We have to work on the gap where we can utilize the huge potential each destination has. We must also analyze how to improve, upgrade and upscale the quality of manpower available in and around the destinations that we have in our bucket.”

India is progressing very fast in terms of connectivity and creating several infrastructure components such as airports, cruise terminals, railways, and highways. The growth in the components would emphasize economic growth only when it involves people-centric growth. This emerging growth in infrastructure gives us an opportunity, but alongside the necessity for a world-class workforce in such destinations is also emerging.

She reveals that as any destination or infrastructure creates opportunity, it also creates challenges in its own way and we all must need to work together. The stakeholders and the Ministry together must ensure that the workforce training is done at the competitive level, as the visitors cannot reach a destination to understand the lack of quality stays and the best manpower around. “The growth in infrastructure cannot be just simply made in terms of numbers, but people need to be at its heart for long-term growth as tourism is a sector that runs by the people and for the people,” she suggests.

So, the utmost need of the hour with regard to short, mid, and long-term goals in the tourism sector, is that we must make sure we strategize certain destinations, where connectivity is already available with a scope of quality manpower training, when we identify tangible and intangible heritage. If we just look at India in one go and try and offer everything in one go, it is definitely an impossible task to perform. But if we strategically move forward from the traditional circles, when we are experiencing growth in infrastructure, India has much more in terms of hospitality, connectivity, experiences, etc.

Pitching India story

According to her, the industry must plan the communication strategy and understand what our story would be when we try to influence the global guests. “For ones who are visiting India for the first time, we must identify the business prospect out there. In the short term, we can pitch places with great infrastructure, which have well connectivity around and resources for a great experience. For mid and long-term goals, we can strategize the components and gradually proceed from the tag of being an ancient civilization to a country with modern and innovative tourism ideas.”

For instance, we don’t even look at potential of spiritual tourism from a vertical of business prospect. Global data suggests that 27% of the world’s travel happens around religion and spirituality. “But the question arising why we are not leveraging that in a country that is blessed with four different religions and a massive population around each one of them. We can utilize the prospect as vital magnets to draw numbers in our country alongside other potential factors. And, we have so many magnets already in our country, like Kashi Vishwanath, Dwarka, Mathura, Badrinath, Kedarnath, and so many more, along with Sufi saints, Gurudwaras, etc. And in India where spirituality goes beyond religiosity, we can’t be more amazed to witness the immense numbers we have for Krishna followers, Shiva followers, and so many other traditions. Here lies a very important product for India which can be used as a centrifuge around which we can build wonderful business ideas to draw that traffic for our country,” she adds.

For short-term goals considering the post-covid awareness, Brar reveals that the rise of interest in wellness tourism has been experiencing multiple folds in terms of adopting veganism, art of yoga, traditional methods of treatments, etc. She suggests that leveraging that part of Ayurveda and uplifting spiritual tourism is another strong business prospect for India, not just in short-term but long term as well.

“We are ready with the resources and have dedicated human force and it acts as a magnet in tourism prospect. If we look at the policy level, we have AYUSH as a ministry now and soon we are going to have AYUSH as a visa apart from the medical visa. And we must seize this as an opportunity where we have institutions offering courses, and packages for wellness tourism. We need to leverage on the points that are unique to us, as there is no point in competing on those fronts where our competition is certainly going stiff. As a part of this vast country, we must identify which are the magnets that are good to go to drive traffic, are unique to our country and are ready to be pitched with a little bit of work and help us position our country as a sharp and not as a diffused one like ancient civilization,” she suggests.

To strengthen the idea of India’s new travel story, she mentions, “If we look at the world’s psychological depression data, depression is denoted as the largest killer of the human race. And, look at our strengths, we have so much more to contribute to the global prospect. We must start identifying the challenges that the globe is confronting and understanding if we, as a country, can we answer the larger questions of humanity. If we wish to make tourism a revolutionary element, we have to change the narrative of how tourism is defined in India. We have to develop the face of Indian tourism, and spiritual tourism in particular, in such a way that the globe looks at us and get amazed at the concept.”

OYO has rolled out a 40% discount on select luxurious OYO Homes in Dubai during India-Pakistan matches, and a 25% discount during the entirety of the tournament. The tournament is slated to begin on August 27 and conclude on September 11, with teams like India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan participating.

As always, the most highly anticipated clash of the tournament is the India-Pakistan match which will be played on August 28. It has already generated waves among cricket lovers, with the first batch of tickets selling out within a few minutes and the official website crashing due to heavy traffic of more than 7 lakh frenzied fans.

Commenting on this offer, OYO Global Chief Business Officer and CEO - Southeast Asia & Middle East (SEAME), Ankit Tandon said, “In India, the mere mention of the word ‘cricket’ stirs up a deluge of emotions. Cricket is not just a sport in India but a religion that binds people together. India and Pakistan are two cricket-crazy nations and whenever these two teams clash, the emotions and excitement are at the very peak. Offering discounts during the tournament is our humble way of honouring the sport and providing a world-class hospitality experience to all the cricket fans visiting Dubai for the tournament. OYO Homes across Dubai are equipped with all the modern amenities and located within close vicinity of the stadium. We are excited to see how the tournament unfolds and revel in the joy of our customers.”

Coinciding with the 75th anniversary celebration of India’s independence, Royals Club International, one of India’s fastest growing vacation ownership companies in the country, is celebrating the completion of five very successful years of offering exciting domestic and exotic vacations.

Royals Club International, established in 2017, has emerged as a key go to company for the Indian holiday makers in the timeshare or vacation ownership space and is now eyeing to be one of the top three vacation ownership companies in India within the next few years.

Royals Club International was founded by Arvind Singh, the company’s CMD and a timeshare veteran of over two decades. Singh started the company small with little manpower and resources. And the company has since grown to over thousands of members and a national footprint with members from every corner of the country and every walk of life, over 15 workshop studio locations operating in different parts of the country and a few overseas offices in the pipeline.  

Commenting on the journey of the past five years, Singh, said, “This is a momentous occasion for us. We celebrate the completion of five eventful years of journey in the timeshare vacation ownership space along with the celebration of the yearlong Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav for the country. Membership growth and our financial performance have been impressive and the long-term forecast also remain strong. Despite the far-reaching impacts that Covid-19 have had on businesses, Royals Club International has witnessed strong revenue performance even in the fiscal year 2021-22. In revenue terms, we recorded almost 12-fold growth in the first three years of operation, before the Covid-19 pandemic struck. However, as Covid has waned and market opened we have seen great response for the Royals Club’s timeshare products.”  

The robust growth and business performance was made possible despite the strong headwinds because of the pandemic, public fear to travel, loss of savings and jobs and lately the inflation. “We are in for long haul and seriously committed to travel and tourism. The financial result is testimony of the public trust and goodwill that Royals Club has assiduously built over the last five years. We would like to profusely thank our members across the country and promise to bring greater transparency and value to their holidays and vacation experiences.”  

“We have started our journey only five years ago. We have long term plan and vision ahead of us. And with the highly professional and dedicated team that we have, we are confident that Royals Club International will be one of top three players in the timeshare – vacation ownership space within the next five to six years. There is huge untapped opportunity in the timeshare segment for serious players with long term vision and strategic business clarity,” said Singh while outlining company’s growth plan over the next few years.

Today, Royals Club International boasts of tie-ups with over 80 hotel and resorts properties across the country that includes some of the top Indian hotels and resorts brands. Similarly, international tie-ups include top international hotel brands as well as leading exchange companies that gives Royals Club International strong global footprint too

Travel start-up and India’s most promising entrant into B2B wholesale marketplace, Elan Experiences announces the opening of its head office in the Mumbai suburb of Andheri East. The new office marks a critical step forward in the company’s future growth plan as the facility will not only act as Elan’s corporate head office but also the incubator of future ideas and innovation that will drive the company towards its vision and mission in the coming months and years.

Since it began operation in December 2021, Elan Experiences has recorded consecutive growth in revenue, months after months, and therefore, the new office will strengthen its position as a serious player with long-term plans of mutual growth, of the company and its partners and associates. It will also help accommodate its demand for professionals as its hires and grows from strength to strength.

According to Ami Parekh, Director, Elan Experiences, “We are absolutely thrilled to announce the opening of our head office in the country’s financial capital - Mumbai. This is an important step towards our effort to expand and grow and a testament of Elan’s strong commitment to travel business, industry and growth for our travel partners and ourselves as we prepare for our journey of the coming years and decades in the burgeoning travel business marketplace.”

“In operation for about eight months now, Elan has achieved some staggering months-on-months revenue growth thanks to our very committed team and our equally supportive suppliers and trade partners who have known team Elan for decades through their previous roles in the industry. A full-fledged head office was the need of the hour as we need to expand, hire and spread our footprints, both nationally and in the overseas markets,” She further added.

Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) in cooperation with several government and private agencies and institutions in the emirate has launched a regulatory framework – the Sharjah Tourism’s ‘Holiday Homes Project’ – which aims to offer an official framework of facilitation and control to Sharjah residents who wish to rent out places they own as holiday homes to tourists and visitors.

According to the terms and standards approved by SCTDA as stipulated by the Holiday Homes Project, the residential units can be rented out on a rotational basis, regularly.

The project is successfully developing an official facilitation framework in line with international best practices for the operation of holiday homes, and to register them under a unified umbrella and database. The project will also empower prospective users with a new source of income recognised by the Government of Sharjah, offering them official guidance on operating requirements, classification criteria, violations and other mechanisms.

Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA, said: “With Sharjah Tourism’s Holiday Homes project, the emirate’s aspirations to continue advancing this sector has crossed a meaningful milestone, as the initiative not only introduces an innovative new service to the tourism landscape but also puts Sharjah’s homeowners at the forefront of benefiting from a drive that is poised to drive more visitors from around the world to the emirate.”

“Through the Sharjah Tourism’s Holiday Homes Project, we seek to maximise visitor experience by ensuring high-quality classification standards and offering additional staycation options across the emirate of Sharjah. It will further strengthen cooperation between the Authority and the providers of holiday homes by developing a system of legislation and regulations. This will contribute to diversifying the sources of growth for the hospitality sector.”

According to estimates there are currently over 300 holiday homes in Sharjah. The first year of the project will see the registration and licensing of 150 holiday homes. About 15 operating companies will be involved in the process, and the holiday homeowners will be given three months to complete the documentation process. The first phase of the project includes organising field visits and inspection campaigns, as well as electronic or digital follow-up of holiday homes, their operators, and owners.

The Authority is also working on strengthening cooperation and coordination with several government agencies in Sharjah for developing regulatory procedures for holiday homes. These entities include the Department of Economic Development, Sharjah Municipality, Department of Planning and Survey in Sharjah, General Directorate of Civil Defence in Sharjah, and Sharjah Police.

Akasa Air received its third aircraft in Delhi yesterday, which will be put into operation on the Mumbai-Bengaluru sector shortly.

“We will continue to grow our fleet by adding one new aircraft every two weeks. While these are gratifying moments in our journey, we at Akasa Air continue to mourn the passing of Mr. Jhunjhunwala. For those of us at Akasa that got to know him and whose lives he has touched, this is a deep personal loss,” Vinay Dube, Founder and CEO, Akasa Air, said.

Thanks in no small part to Mr. Jhunjhunwala, for which we will always be grateful, Akasa Air is a well-capitalized airline with the financial means to induct 72 aircraft over the next five years. In fact, our financial platform is strong enough to allow Akasa to place an aircraft order in the next 18 months that will be significantly larger than our first. In simple terms, our growth is secure, Dube said.  

He further expressed his gratitude to Mr. Jhunjhunwala for recruiting some of the best aviation talent in the country. “He wanted us to have a top-notch leadership team that made all day-to-day decisions at the airline without having to fall back on him or any other investor. Anyone that saw him on our inaugural flight on August 7th knows how proud he was of each Akasa employee and partner. On our part, we couldn’t be prouder and more fortunate to have known him,” Dube added.

Jhunjhunwala recognised India’s potential as one of the fastest-growing aviation markets in the world with an unparalleled potential and decades of progress ahead of us. He was a true believer in India’s potential and saw Akasa Air serving our nation by building the transportation links that will support India’s ongoing economic transformation.  

Akasa Air will honour Mr. Jhunjhunwala’s legacy, values, and belief in us by striving to run an extraordinary airline, Dube said.

The construction of a new Terminal 1 is planned at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). Once completed, the New Terminal One (NTO) will serve LOT Polish Airlines as its hub at the biggest commercial airport in the New York metropolitan area.

Lot Polish  and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the airport's operator, have agreed on this after two years of negotiations. Along with Etihad Airways and Air France, Star Alliance member LOT Polish Airlines will be one of three anchor airlines of the new terminal.

The new terminal is designed exclusively for international flights and will feature 23 gates. Construction of the 220,000 sqm NTO is scheduled to begin this summer. The construction, which will take place in several phases – the first is a new arrivals and departures hall – is estimated to cost about 9.5 billion USD.

The costs are borne by a private consortium with numerous well-known companies, including Ferrovial, Carlyle, JLC Infrastructure and Ullico. Upon completion, scheduled for 2030, the NTO will be the largest terminal at JFK Airport.

Guests will appreciate that LOT Polish Airlines will have its own two-storey flagship LOT Business Lounge in the NTO, offering direct access to the aircraft.

“We are very pleased to be part of this great and in many ways groundbreaking terminal,” said Rafał Milczarski, CEO and President of the Management Board LOT Polish Airlines. “We also see this as recognition of our partnership with John F. Kennedy International Airport, which now spans almost 50 years.”

 

 

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