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The Big Picture

Travel to Start next week, we expect, Signalling the Road Forward

It is around 55 days of national lockdown, with the entire nation united in our fight against the virus. Of course, there are the usual black sheep; there are also images of our underbelly exposed like we had not ourselves realized. It is now balancing our lives with a livelihood. We cannot remain for long with our hands tied, confined to our homes. Life has to move on.  Opening the economy is round the corner; …

The Big Picture

Air Traffic to resume sooner than later, says Minister Hardeep Puri

India’s Minister for Civil Aviation, in an interview with Times Now, broadcast this afternoon, said the Air India sale was only delayed by two months. Invitation for EOI had been postponed to end-June, in view of the Coronovirus concerns. Not selling the middle seat on board aircraft was not any solution, he said, as it did not create the required social distance of one metre. Read on… Plans for sell-off of Air India, have only …

The Big Picture

Covid-19 Impact and Revival of Travel and Tourism

By Ashwini Kakkar, former Vice Chairman, Mercury Travels; former President Travel Agents Association of India, and former President of the Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry. This article first appeared in Business World. Coronavirus has emerged as a major black swan event and dealt a crippling blow to the entire Travel and Tourism industry, not only in India, but in the entire world. The disruptions that it has caused are across the entire value chain …

The Big Picture

Supporting Jobs and Economies Through Travel & Tourism

UNWTO has released an extensive analysis on the way forward for governments and destination promotion agencies. It reinforces the need to first take stock of the damage to every critical sector in the value chain, strengthen it with support, and then plan for a marketing strategy that invokes confidence among the travelling public. An important guide for us in India, for both the state governments and all the central government agencies.         

The Big Picture

Winds of Change are Here to Stay and How, say Industry Insiders

That COVID 19 is impacting travel and tourism like no other episode in recorded history is now understood by all. Now is the time to look ahead, post COVID times, and here the consensus is that change will become the new norm, that travel and tourism will adorn new clothes. Here are some specialist views, experts in inbound, outbound, and international travel and aviation and we get a ringside view on shape of things to …

The Big Picture

In current dark clouds, there is a silver lining and Indian tourism will bounce back, for sure!

So it’s back. Another crisis that will directly impact the Hospitality and Tourism Sector. But this is not the first time!! In my lifetime in the Hospitality Industry in India, it happened in 1994 as an aftermath of the Mumbai blasts. It happened due to the plague in Surat. The incident of 9/11 in New York was a defining moment on a global scale.  The Corona virus is Global on a much larger scale. Its …

The Big Picture

HAI makes a Pitch to Central Government, pushes for sharing industry’s best practices to cater to the new normal.

Industry has been caught in a midst of a storm, that is raging across the economy. Tourism is invariably the first to get affected and the last to recover. There is stress across aviation, hospitality and tourism sectors.Various representations have been made by industry bodies. Hotels Association of India (HAI), represented by its Executive Committee, comprising of senior members of the country’s hospitality industry, including Priya Paul, Patu Keswani, Nakul Anand, Jyotsana Suri, Sanjay Sethi, J K Mohanty and others, have been …

The Big Picture

Tourism Cares: adopt a Shared Mission, give individual efforts an industry face, too!

The last few weeks, every sector of the economy has come under acute stress. Undoubtedly, the travel, tourism and hospitality vertical has been more hit than others, being in the front end, with all transport closed, effectively closing all streams of businesses possible to this sector. Social media, WhatsApp group chats, print, and every other communication channel is replete with suggestions to government. These have followed a similar pattern, that this sector has remained ignored …

The Big Picture

Travel and Tourism industry gasping for breath, say industry leaders in a CNBC-TV18 discussion initiated by CII.

With Shereen Bhan as moderator, a senior panel comprising Dipak Haksar, till recently COO of ITC Hotels; Deep Kalra, Founder, MakeMyTrip; Arjun Sharma, Chairman, Select Group; Ritesh Aggarwal, Founder OYO; and Rohit Khosla, area VP-North, Taj Group of Hotels discussed the big issues confronting the very survival of the industry, caught in an unprecedented situation where business had come to a complete standstill, and recovery would be slow and painful. Much of the US$ 28 …

The Big Picture

From Desh Videsh, tourism will shift to Aas-Paas, says Ashwani Lohani

Amidst lockdown, TourismFirst caught up with Ashwani Lohani, whom the industry saw most recently as CMD of Air India. There have been news reports that he has joined as Chairman of Andhra Tourism, in the rank of cabinet minister? Lohani confirmed the order but said there had been some clarity lapse in the matter. He remains most obliged to the Andhra CM, and indeed he had confirmed his willingness to join the state, but only …

The Big Picture

Much Catching Up To Do for Goa, But CM Strikes Positive Note

From ensuring price competitiveness, offering an equally superlative experience as by competing destinations, to keeping its beaches clean, Goa’s travel and tourism industry is beset with challenges, but Chief Minister Pramod Sawant remains confident that these are surmountable, and he will personally interact with industry to ensure the success of tourism in the state. (This interaction took place before the lockdown happened in Goa and throughout the country. It is pause button for now, for …

The Big Picture

It’s Time to Walk the Talk, Says Veteran Hotelier Habib Rehman

Having spent more than four decades in the travel and tourism sector, S.S.H. Rehman knows very well that the many stakeholders have to come out of their silos and act with a unity of purpose to be able to harness the country’s missed tourism potential. This interview was conducted before the lockdown and before we knew any of what was coming! What Rehman has to say deserves even more urgent attention because when the recovery begins, …

The Big Picture

In Times Like These, Travel and Tourism has a Long Wait ahead!

March 26, 2020 | Navin Berry | The Big Picture It’s easily for the first time when we are getting the sense of being a global economy and a global village. Till this time, possibly nothing really so global had ever happened, and indeed its ramifications are spanning across the continents, in some places more, and less in others. But the impact is truly global and for once our understanding that we are global has …

The Big Picture

Travel and Tourism in Turmoil: industry awaits stimulus

WITH the arterial nodes of the country in a state of total lockdown, the travel and tourism sector is not only being mauled in the short term, but will also experience the ripple effects of the Covid-19 pandemic much after the present panic subsides. That’s seriously bad news for a nation struggling to get its travel and tourism act together. It is also an alarming signal to the government to consider a bailout package especially for these most afflicted …

The Big Picture

Trumps in India: The New Mascots for Incredible India

The Trumps, at home in India, say Howdy to the World: Those 36 hours were literaly playing as Brand Ambassadors for Indian tourism globally, creating an opportunity to market India! As President Trump addressed the largest-ever gathering of his political career at the yet to be entirely constructed Motera Stadium, he fumbled to get the Indian names right. He gazed at his teleprompter, and then laughed sheepishly in self-admission of getting the pronunciations wrong. We …