TAFI plans symposium in Mumbai

TAFI is planning a day-long symposium in Mumbai in February which will focus on issues like e-visas for India, visa challenges for outbound, GST, etc.

The Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) is planning a day-long symposium in Mumbai in the third or fourth week of February 2017. The symposium will focus on issues like e-visas for inbound traffic, visa challenges for outbound traffic from India, GST and other topics that the Union Budget will touch upon.

Sharing more details, Pradip Lulla, Vice President, TAFI, said, “We will get experts to address our members who will be not from Mumbai but also from Pune and surrounding areas. We will also invite stakeholders like airlines and consulates. Topics are yet to be firmed up.” The association will at a later stage start a discussion on GST. “We have taken opinion from two to three big consultants and we have also formulated a white paper on it which we have presented to the Ministry through FAITH. Once it is implemented, we will have workshops for our members with the concerned authorities where people can ask their questions,” Lulla added.

The Managing Committee of TAFI has also been scouting for a venue for its next convention that is likely to be held in August-September of 2017. Lulla adds, “We have visited a few destinations for a recce including Rwanda and recently Russia and continue to consider other places as well since we need to look into the logistics part of it. We hope to finalise the destination by February 2017.” Lulla joins many of his industry peers in expressing his disappointment with the Budget. “There is nothing positive for the travel industry in the budget with the exception of proposed 5 tourism zones in the country. In fact the Jan 22 amendment to the increased 9 per cent CENVET service tax charged on tour packages and hotels will kill the outbound tour industry as this will inflate the tour packages and no CENVAT adjustment,” he says. Lulla did appreciate the direct reduction in income taxes. “The reduction in taxes on individual and companies will indirectly boost disposable income and help tourism,” he adds.

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