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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State for Tourism and Culture (IC), Govt of India recently said that the pandemic has deeply impacted the travel industry and opening up of domestic tourism will help in boosting the economy post COVID-19. The need is to have coordinated and concerted efforts from all stakeholders including the Government of India, state governments, various ministries and industry. He added that if we are able to build consumer confidence, domestic tourism will pick up in no time.

Addressing the webinar ‘Tourism E-Conclave: Travel & Hospitality: What’s Next?’, organized by FICCI, Mr Patel said that the travel and hospitality industry is struggling to survive and the government should provide relief to the sector by way of considering reduction in bills and charges for hotels and other such measures. He added that there are barriers in opening up of the sector and urged the industry to share its recommendations to overcome them with the tourism and finance ministries and other departments. 

Alluding to the importance of collaboration and synergy amongst stakeholders, Mr Patel said that he has been writing to Chief Ministers of various states to jointly work towards saving and reviving the tourism sector. He has also written to the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to open the tiger reserves with the requisite road infrastructure.

The Minister said that the need is to identify priority areas in the travel and hospitality sector in tandem with state governments for developing various circuits in the country. He added that with COVID-19, we are facing an unprecedented challenge but the industry has maintained a positive stance and is working towards the survival and revival of the tourism sector.

Mr Vishal Kumar Dev, Commissioner Cum Secretary, Tourism Department and Sports & Youth Services Department, Govt of Odisha said that COVID-19 has provided us with an opportunity to think about new tourism products and new ways of promoting tourism within the country. Domestic tourism will be a priority for us, especially for the next few years. He added that Odisha has finalized the road itinerary between Odisha and major cities of India to give a boost to tourism sector and will start promoting it in September. 

Mr Dev said that the Government of India should work with the state governments to introduce long distance inter-state circuits. Also, luxury river cruises can be another area which can be developed for promoting tourism in the country. He added that it is important that we assure all tourists that our destinations are safe for visitors and to achieve this, all stakeholders need to work together.

The latest edition of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer shows that the near-complete lockdown imposed in response to the pandemic led to a 98 per cent fall in international tourist numbers in May when compared to 2019. The Barometer also shows a 56% year-on-year drop in tourist arrivals between January and May. This translates into a fall of 300 million tourists and US$320 billion lost in international tourism receipts – more than three times the loss during the Global Economic Crisis of 2009.

Governments in every world region have a dual responsibility: to prioritize public health while also protecting jobs and businesses

Dramatic fall in tourism places millions of livelihoods at risk

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “This latest data makes clear the importance of restarting tourism as soon as it is safe to do so. The dramatic fall in international tourism places many millions of livelihoods at risk, including in developing countries. Governments in every world region have a dual responsibility: to prioritize public health while also protecting jobs and businesses. They also need to maintain the spirit of cooperation and solidarity that has defined our response to this shared challenge and refrain from making unilateral decisions that may undermine the trust and confidence we have been working so hard to build.”

Restart underway but confidence low

At the same time, UNWTO also notes signs of a gradual and cautious change in trend, most notably in the Northern Hemisphere and particularly following the opening of borders across the Schengen Zone of the European Union on 1 July.

While tourism is slowly returning in some destinations, the UNWTO Confidence Index has dropped to record lows, both for the evaluation of the period January-April 2020, and the prospects for May-August. Most members of the UNWTO Panel of Tourism Experts expect international tourism to recover by the second half of 2021, followed by those who expect a rebound in the first part of next year.

The group of global experts points to a series of downside risks such as travel restrictions and border shutdowns still in place in most destinations, major outbound markets such as the United States and China being at standstill, safety concerns associated with travel, the resurgence of the virus and risks of new lockdowns or curfews. Furthermore, concerns over a lack of reliable information and a deteriorating economic environment are indicated as factors weighing on consumer confidence.

Accor is all ready to set footprints in Chandigarh with brand Novotel. Novotel Chandigarh Tribune Chowk is being developed in the city centre, approximately 30 minutes by road from Chandigarh International Airport and close to government offices. The hotel will offer 120 rooms, two food and beverage outlets, function rooms of various sizes, a swimming pool, and a gymnasium. This 21st Novotel is scheduled to open by early 2021.

Akshay Grover, Director, KLG Hotels, said, “We are delighted to partner with the Accor Group to bring the Novotel brand to Chandigarh. Our philosophies are in harmony, towards providing seamless guest experience and a brand like Novotel has great potential in Chandigarh. The hotel is being developed keeping in mind the contemporary, yet traditional outlook of the city and we are certain it will suit the needs of well-travelled guests. We are confident that with its unique design and world-class hospitality that we will offer, we will be successful in providing a 'home away from home’ to our guests.”

Lokesh Sabharwal, Vice President, Development and Special Projects, Accor India and South Asia, said. “The Indian market has always been opportune for Accor and, we are noticing some very interesting opportunities for growing our midscale and midscale-lifestyle brands. As part of our densification strategy, we continue to have meaningful conversations with existing partners and hotel investors keen to work with Accor who see long-term value in the business. For a market like Chandigarh, which attracts both leisure and corporate, Novotel is the ideal debut brand and we are certain of its success in the city”

People are turning more and more to online entertainment to get through this unprecedented time. Whether it's about re-watching your favourite movie or watching a movie just to beat the lockdown blues, if ever there was a time for a movie marathon, it is now.

Movies filmed in Jamaica provide an exciting escape. Jamaica is the birthplace of James Bond, as Ian Fleming wrote all 13 Bond novels there. Several of the Bond films have been shot on-island, from the very first 007 film, Dr. No in 1962 to the highly-anticipated 25th film in the franchise, No Time to Die.

The landscape and overall beauty of the island sets the ideal ambience for a number of adventures captured only on the silver screen.

Whether you are gearing up for a trip to Jamaica and hope to get inspired or just want to make most of some armchair travel, these movies will capture your imagination.  So, sit back, flop down on your couch and be as wishful as you want. Try to manifest your trip, discover your holiday rhythm and experience the intangible feeling that's loved the world over.

The island provides a breath-taking backdrop that inspires the film makers to encapsulate the beauty through film. The landscape and overall beauty of the island sets a tone of adventure captured only on the silver screen.

Here are some of the best flicks that will transport you to this Caribbean gem right away.

Dr. No

Set primarily in Jamaica, this is the first James Bond movie that was released in 1962. Some of Bond’s debut adventures took place in Kingston, but Dr. No’s secret lair was a composite of several scenic locations, including Dunn’s River Falls near in Ocho Rios. And the famous scene where Ursula Andress sauntered onto this beach wearing her iconic white bathing suit was filmed at the private beach Laughing Waters in Ocho Rios.

Live and Let Die

This 1973 James Bond film starring Roger Moore highlights a part of Jamaica that many do not know exists her underground caves. The movie features memorable scene shot in Jamaica’s Green Grotto Caves. The Green Grotto caves are a curious shade of green from the algae and supplied with pristine waters flowing from its secret depths. The eerie and rustic beauty of these caves makes it a prominent attraction on the island’s north coast.


An 80's classic from Tom Cruise's golden years, the film focuses on Tom Cruise and Bryan Brown pursuing their dreams of owning their own bar. Cruise's on-screen role spends years working at a bar in Jamaica to raise money. A romantic drama set in the beauty and charm of the island, Cocktail filming locations include Dunn’s River Falls, Sandals Royal Plantation, Dragon Bay Beach, and the Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios.

King of the Dancehall

King of the Dancehall is an American drama film that showcases a young Brooklyn man who gets caught up in the Kingston music scene while on a visit to Jamaica. The movie brilliantly interweaves the island's native dance and music culture with a crime plot. Shot in actual Jamaican outdoor dancehall venues, the film's nightlife scenes will instantly transport you to Jamaica.

How Stella Got Her Groove Back

Based on a true story, How Stella Got Her Groove Back is a feel-good romance with some breath-taking scenery shots of Jamaica. The white sandy beaches and the crystal blue waters will leave one captivated. Filmed at Round Hill Hotel and Villas just outside in Montego Bay, this film proves that there is nothing better than a Jamaican getaway that ends in love.

Knight and Day

Jamaica comes alive in the beach scenes of this movie that chronicles the adventures and many romances of Hollywood's hottest screen couple - Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. Filmed at the exotic retreat - Frenchman Cove, the couple can be seen frolicking on the glorious beach.

With idyllic beauty, scrumptious cuisine, pulsating music, dramatic coastlines and unforgettable people, Jamaica continues to be a popular choice for filmmakers from across the world.

Effective 1 August, all travellers flying Etihad Airways from around the world to Abu Dhabi, and those transferring via Abu Dhabi onto other flights, will be required to show a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from a list of approved testing facilities listed on www.etihad.com/destinationguide, alongside their ICA approval if Abu Dhabi is their end destination.

The PCR test must be carried out within 96 hours prior to arrival in Abu Dhabi and a negative COVID-19 PCR test result certificate from one of the approved clinics listed must be shown for approval to board. Children under the age of 12 and people with mild to severe disabilities are currently exempt from this PCR test requirement.

Etihad strongly advises all travellers to visit www.etihad.com/destinationguide for detailed information on country-specific PCR testing requirements, lists of applicable medical testing facilities, and entry regulations.

Travellers leaving the UAE from Abu Dhabi to any country in the European Union, the United Kingdom, or to any country where it is mandatory by the authorities at the destination, a negative COVID-19 PCR test result will be required within 96 hours prior to departure. To help facilitate this process, Etihad Airways is collaborating with Mediclinic Middle East to offer departing travellers the option of convenient PRC testing, for a fee, at their home, or at Mediclinic facilities in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and Dubai prior to their travel.

The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL)announced the signing of a binding agreement for the acquisition of the balance 14.28 per cent equity interest in ELEL Hotels and Investments Limited (ELEL) from the Nanda family. This will make IHCL the 100 per cent leasehold owner of the landmark Sea Rock hotel site by 31st December 2021.

“The visionary redevelopment of Sea Rock promises to be not only another defining landmark in India’s commercial capital of Mumbai but also an opportunity to build an iconic sea front hotel in South Asia,” Puneet Chhatwal, MD &CEO, IHCL said.

IHCL’s board of directors on November 11, 2019 approved the terms for the settlement to acquire 14.28 per cent shareholding. The payment will be structured through multiple instalments staggered over a period, with full buyout by December 31, 2021. This settlement will ensure 100 per cent control of shareholding.

Governments have a duty to put the wellbeing of their citizens first. At the same time, they also have a responsibility to protect livelihoods and businesse, says Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

This goes hand-in-hand with a responsibility to preserve the spirit of international solidarity that has characterized our response to this shared crisis, a response that has included international institutions, the civil society at large and individual citizens.

Unilateral actions can cause confusion and produce unnecessary consequences. More importantly, they can undermine public trust and confidence – precious commodities we have worked so hard to build up over these difficult few months.

To be clear, finding the right balance between public health concerns and supporting a sector upon which millions of people depend will not be easy. This is uncharted territory for us all. However, it can be done, as many places are now demonstrating.

On an official visit to the Canary Islands, UNWTO witnessed first-hand how the restart of tourism can be managed responsibly. During this week’s visit to the Balearic Islands we are also seeing how the enforcement of strict health and hygiene protocols are the right partners for the reopening of tourist destinations.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, UNWTO has been calling for governments to work together and with the private sector to get tourism moving again. Now as the summer season is opening in many European countries, where tourism accounts for 27 million jobs and supports many businesses both big and small, we reiterate our call.

Destinations, the tourism sector and its millions of employees have been preparing over the past months to welcome visitors. Public authorities have also made significant advances in prevention, detection and tracing. The challenges we were confronted with early this year persist, but we have learned important lessons and now more prepared. This is especially true for tourism, probably one of the safest environments right now due to its strong focus on people and their wellbeing.

It is not too late to ensure that the economic and social benefits tourism has a long history of delivering return before the end of the high season. For this, however, we need even greater cooperation and for both individual and joint actions to be considered and proportionate.

Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality, the policy federation of all the national associations representing the complete tourism, travel and hospitality industry of India (ADTOI, ATOAI, FHRAI, HAI, IATO, ICPB, IHHA, ITTA, TAAI, TAFI) & cause partner AIRDA has further revised upwards it’s value at risk to Indian tourism to ₹ 15 lakh crores.  

FAITH’s first guidance which was calculated and was shared with the Government in March 2020 had put tourism’s economic value at risk at ₹ 5 lakh crores from this pandemic.  FAITH revised this further during the quarter as the situation deteriorated and the value at risk was put at ₹ 10 lakh crores. This has been revised again to touch a value at risk of upto ₹ 15 lakh crores in terms of the economic output of tourism in India.

Given the way the virus is progressing, tourism supply chains have  broken down in India across all its key inbound, domestic & outbound markets and is not expected to recover for the next  5 months too making the total impact to a minimum of 9 months starting from March this year.

The direct and indirect economic impact of Tourism industry in India is approximately estimated at ~ 10% of India’s GDP.  This roughly puts the full year economic multiplier value of tourism in India at ~ ₹ 20 lakh crores. Minimum three quarters of tourism will be fully impacted

This value covers the whole tourism value chain from airlines, travel agents, hotels, tour operators, tourism destinations restaurants, tourist transportation, tourist guides. Each of these segments of tourism is non - performing or under performing and will stay that way for many months of this year.

This is evident across all segments of tourism. Pending refunds for travel agents,  shut down or vacant  hotels & restaurants,  empty or locked down conventions and meeting or wedding halls, no order pipelines for tour operators, tourist transport lying locked in parking lots, laid off or leave without pay staff , managers, the summer domestic and outbound holiday season gone,  no visible bookings for the peak October - March season, meetings shifted to virtual apps , non - essential travel closed and so on.  

Be it leisure ( inbound, outbound, domestic) corporate travel, heritage, adventure, meetings incentives, exhibitions & events religious, spiritual and in upcoming high value niche tourism products such as sea & river cruises, camping, rafting, golf  film tourism, jungle tourism, agri tourism and many more across all states, this will the worst performing year for tourism in a century.  

Tourism has one of the largest economic multipliers and FAITH based upon its industry estimates believes that each rupee spent on tourism could have an economic multiplier of upwards of  3- 4 times more for India given its most globally unique natural and cultural heritage spread across the Indian hinterlands. The cumulative job losses for the full year both in organised & unorganised category of tourism could go as high as 4 crores.  

FAITH has been requesting over the past 5 months that for revival of any demand in tourism, it is first important that the survival of tourism businesses in India has to first remain intact.  

The following are immediately critical to maintaining the survival of tourism businesses 


- A Tourism fund which can be used by tourism enterprises in India for taking care of their employees.

- A multi-year moratorium by RBI on principal and interest payments by tourism, travel & hospitalty businesses.

- An immediate full year waiver of all central and state statutory liabilities be it PF , ESi, income taxes, GST , fixed power and utilities tariffs, property , excise , inter-state tourist transportation taxes and license fees, all without any accumulated or penal interest has to be done immediately.

- Robust booking payments refund mechanism for travel agents & tour operators from airlines, railways, state tourism parks and other suppliers.  

Skyscanner is launching a data visualisation tool at the aviation sector continues to recover from the Covid-19 shutdown. The new tool – part of the company’s Travel Insight offering – combines Skyscanner’s extensive global flight search data with key Covid-19 events and announcements from governments in multiple countries.

It aims to help businesses in the travel and tourism sector identify trends and make strategic decisions for the future. Flight search data is visualised in a simple and intuitive interface showing the volume of 2020 searches over time.

Searches are indexed against the highest volume from a particular time period and can be easily benchmarked against 2019 volumes. Compared to other sources of aviation data, flight search data can provide an unrivalled insight into early intent and changing traveller behaviours.

Michael Docherty, Data Partnerships Lead, Skyscanner, said, “As the travel landscape fundamentally changes, collaboration and innovation have never been more important to ensure a sustainable route to recovery. That is what we are bringing to market with this new tool, the latest in our suite of Travel Insight products. Understanding demand trends and being able to plan accordingly will undoubtedly help airlines and other organisations execute their recovery strategies with greater effect and efficiency. We continue to invest in data innovation and aim to introduce even more products to help our partners later this year.”

Travel Insight provides a comprehensive view of current aviation market performance, trends and insights into how organisations can optimise versus their competitors.

It analyses the behaviour of millions of Skyscanner users to reveal where people are looking to travel in the next 12 months, allowing airlines and other businesses to rapidly respond to market changes, understand emerging trends and optimise or plan new routes.

RCI, the global leader in holiday exchange and part of the Wyndham Worldwide family of brands, welcomed a brand-new affiliation, Sanskruti Suites & Resort to its existing 4,300 resorts base. With this new addition, RCI’s India portfolio has reached to 214 resorts in the country.

Located equidistant from Pune and Mumbai in Karjat, the resort makes for a perfect Weekend holiday. The resort offers 30 luxury villas, featuring a living room, kitchenette, one master bedroom and one children’s room on the attic floor. It has 36 Studio Suites, featuring a small living room area, well equipped kitchenette and a king size bed and 6 Studio Suites, featuring a small living room area, well equipped kitchenette, a king size bed and a large terrace. Additionally, the resort is a pet friendly property.

Rishi Verma, BD Head, Indian Sub-continent, RCI said, “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Sanskruti Suites & Resort into the world’s largest vacation exchange network and we look forward to working closely with them to build new and innovative programs that will provide increased flexibility, benefits and opportunities for their owners and our members. At RCI, we believe in creating family holidays with unforgettable memories, and our partnership with Sanskruti Suites & Resort will complement this vision.”

The resort offers a pure vegetarian multi cuisine restaurant, a 24/7 Coffee Shop, a sports bar, a large Banquet Lawn admeasuring 45,000 sq. ft and in room dining. It also offers a Swimming Pool, an open air jacuzzi and massage rooms. Several cultural activities take place at the resort such as pot making, bullock cart rides, puppet shows, rangoli and bangle making etc.

Shrikant Ashok Chopda, Partner, Sanskruti Suites & Resort, said, “We look forward to working with RCI to provide our Resort Owners with global exchange options. Timeshare exchange is a great vacation selection for travelers worldwide and we are confident that working with RCI will make Sanskruti Suites & Resort a popular vacation destination for those looking to enjoy a weekend getaway in Karjat.”



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