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Skål International India opens 12th Club: Skål International Srinagar

Skål International India opened its 12th Club under the name of Skål International Srinagar.

Located in the northernmost part of India, Kashmir as the place is known popularly and called ‘Paradise on Earth.’ This club will comprise of members from Jammu and Ladakh as well. Srinagar is in the state of Jammu & Kashmir, the place is known for its unparalleled beauty, warm hospitality, excellent cuisine, great connectivity from all major cities/towns of India. The club was formed with 21 members and the founder President of the club is Mr. Ibrahim Siah with an ever efficient, energetic Secretary Nasir Shah. Chief Guest of the Chapter Night was  Syed Abid Rasheed Shah -District Development Commissioner, Saleem Baig , Mahmood Shah & Mr.Rakesh Gupta were the other dignitaries.

The event was attended by the Skal India National Board & our All India Club Presidents /Representatives & hosted by ITC Fortune Heevan and well covered by the entire top media of the state. Club members consist of hoteliers, travel and tour operators, adventure specialists. The state boasts of great ski slopes, apple orchards, houseboats on the 24 Sq. Km famous Dal Lake and lastly to all Skålleagues worldwide. It is an absolutely safe place to be, we experienced it… All members worldwide are welcome to interact with the Skålleagues of Srinagar.

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ICPB to boost the Indian MICE market

India is aiming to be the next MICE destination, and ICPB is creating more avenues to fulfill this dream, Chander Mansharamani, Vice Chairman, ICPB explains how growth has become a visible feature for all developments in the MICE sector.

How is ICPB facilitating India’s vision of progress?

The vision of ICPB is to make India a professional Convention Destination. We have made a lot of initiative in that direction. Our international roadshow in Europe was a success. About 102 MICE players interacted with our members and got to know about various facilities India has to offer. These interactions are making foreign buyers confident of our professional services.

Will you be adding new conventions in the coming future?

The other initiative ICPB has been working on is towards making India participate in overseas MICE-related tradeshows. Besides regular roadshows, the promotional plan is to participate in more number of MICE-related trade shows also have at least two international trade shows every year. We in ICPB are quite confident because of the overwhelming support from the Ministry of Tourism in recognizing ICPB as a nodal agency for making India a preferred convention destination and achieve the vision we have set for ourselves.

What are ICPB’s promotional plans for 2018?

The growth is visible now as India has improved its ranking from 34 to 25 by International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), which is a world body for conference and convention professionals.

How is India growing as a MICE destination in comparison to other countries?

India always has an edge over other countries. We do have the infrastructure to cater to a majority of conferences and meetings as 86.5% of the conference all over the world has less than 1000 delegates. We are also looking at an add-on to various segments like beaches, adventure, heritage and culture, wellness programs, and golf.

What are the latest developments at ICPB?

We have been appointed as a Professional Research Agency by the Ministry of Tourism, and ICPB will be working on the size of the convention industry. This will have an economic and social impact, which will help the states plan better to create a better MICE infrastructure and make India a MICE destination.

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TAFI 2018: An eye-opener for travel agents

tafi 2018 Abu dhabi

Insightful, informative and interactive — these were a few words that best described the 12th edition of the annual convention hosted by the Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI).

The TAFI convention, hosted at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi from September 25 to September 27, brought together scores of high-performing tour operators and travel agents under one roof. The well-structured event, facilitated by the Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi, focused on the theme, ‘Innovate, Transform, Disrupt: Redefining the Offline Travel World.’

The event brought to light practical solutions to problems faced by the tourism industry. It helped travel agents set objectives, allocate time wisely, and invest in areas that needed improvement.

Praveen Chugh, President of TAFI, said that the objective of the convention is to educate and empower travel agents at a time the tourism industry is reinventing itself to meet the changing expectations and rapid technological advancements.

tafi 2018

HE Saif Saeed Ghobash Undersecretary DCT – Abu Dhabi, HE Sultan Al Mutawa Al Dhaheri, Executive Director DCT – Abu Dhabi with Praveen Chugh, President – TAFI and HE Navdeep Singh Suri, Ambassador of India to the UAE at TAFI Convention 2018 inaugural ceremony. [Photo credit: TAFI]

TAFI 2018 also doled out an impressive bunch of speakers. Otto de Vries, the CEO of ASATA (Association of South African Travel Agents) and the former chairman of WTAAA (World Travel Agents Association Alliance), stressed the need for travel agents to go digital. Shedding light on the potential of online technologies, he chalked out various strategies that might come in handy for an Indian tour operator.

Motivational speaker Dr Pawan Agrawal won the hearts of many when he cited the inspiring case study of the Mumbai Dabbawalas. He explained that when tour operators place customers’ interests at the heart of their business, they will embrace success and profitability.

Dr Vivek Bindra, a thought leader, empowered many tour operators when he shed light on the importance of good leadership. Nithya Shanti, an acclaimed teacher of joyful and conscious living, encouraged delegates to indulge in positive thinking.

Other keynote speakers who spoke about the latest tourism trends are Mark Meader, the incoming chairman of WTAAA; Andrew Bowman, Director, BFT Management; William Boulter, Chief Commercial Officer, InterGlobe Aviation; Aashish Gupta, founder of StrategyPluto, and others.

HE Saif Saeed Ghobash Undersecretary DCT, HE Sultan Al Mutawa Al Dhaheri, Executive Director DCT, HE Navdeep Singh Suri, Ambassador of India to the UAE, inaugurated the convention along with other TAFI delegates.

“Hosting an event of this caliber is a testament to Abu Dhabi’s growing reputation as a world-class destination for high-profile conventions and meetings,” said HE Saif Saeed Ghobash.

tafi 2018

Left to right: Bharat Shah, Chairman, Convention Committee with Mr. Praveen Chugh, President – TAFI and HE Navdeep Singh Suri, Ambassador of India to the UAE, HE Saif Saeed Ghobash Undersecretary DCT – Abu Dhabi, , HE Sultan Al Mutawa Al Dhaheri, Executive Director DCT – Abu Dhabi at TAFI Convention 2018 in Abu Dhabi. [Image credit: TAFI]

“As the UAE continues to further boost its knowledge-based economy, tourism is singled out as one of the leading sectors that guide our vision and strategy for the future. Against this backdrop, we recognize India as one of Abu Dhabi’s top overseas source markets for guests, as it has recorded a remarkable upward trend over the last few years. As such, we are proud to host this prestigious event and invite all attendees to take the time to explore the Emirate’s rich offerings and enjoy unique experiences whilst they are here,” he added.

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