Travel agents bid goodbye to 2017

TT BUREAU

Sandeep Dwivedi, Chief Operating Officer, InterGlobe Technology Quotient, India Travel Award winner

The last few years have redefined our approach as a travel technology company. Our matchless offering from 400+ airlines, 670,000+ hotel properties, 35,000 car rental locations, 61 cruise and tour operators, and 12 rail booking providers has gone a step ahead. GST has redefined the entire taxation module of the country. The advent of digitalisation, mobile wallets and rise in disposable income of the middle class have created huge opportunities for technology players.

Rishi Puri, Vice President, Lords Hotels & Resorts

For Lords Hotels & Resorts as a chain, the year was relatively better than 2016 with a marginal rise in ARR. But the RevPAR grew by almost an average 8-12 per cent depending on the hotel location and topography. We added four new properties to our portfolio in 2017 which is a good sign for business and the brand. The properties are in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Karnataka in India and one property in Kathmandu, Nepal.

EM Najeeb, Chairman & Managing Director, Air Travel Enterprises Group of Companies (ATE), India Travel Award winner

Air Travel Enterprises and the Great India Tour Company are also moving along with the growth of this industry. Despite challenges, we could focus on corrections, changes and streamlining of activities during 2017. The year was comparatively inhibiting due to the economic reforms in the market. As spending has reduced, leisure and travel received a lower priority and reflected that on the business. There had been a visible downfall in the number of domestic tourist movement too.

Vivek Pathiyan, General Manager, Chances Resort & Casino

Chances Resort & Casino has been in operation for 23 years but this year has been a year of changes. There have been major changes in terms of government rules and taxes, etc. Even then, we have been seeing a positive trend in the business, which is very inspiring as we have sailed through despite all these hurdles.

Ajith Nair, Director of Sales & Marketing, Novotel Imagica Khopoli

In 2017, has been a good year for us. We achieved a year-to-date occupancy of 78 per cent from MICE and weddings segments during the weekdays and FITs on weekends. Despite demonetisation and GST being a blow to the luxury segment, our resort still saw a growth in occupancy by 3.82 per cent. The average room rate also rose by 5.54 per cent. Our breakthrough was managing to tap an alternate revenue channel which was the non-qualified mix.

Amanpreet Singh Sandhu, Director of Sales & Marketing, Eros Hotel New Delhi Nehru Place

It has been a steady year for us after a robust 2016. Despite external factors such as demonetisation and additional inventory coming into Delhi-NCR, we have succeeded improving in all KPI’s. Like any well-oiled machinery, Eros Hotel Nehru Place has delivered results year after year. Implementation of GST has demanded involvement from everyone in the Q2 of the current year. However, it is now easier with all stakeholders getting used to the new tax regime.

Subhash Goyal, India Travel Award winner, Chairman of STIC Travel Group and Hony. Secretary, FAITH

The year 2017 was a very good time for our company, both for inbound and outbound tourism. During the year we also increased our representation as GSA for three major products—A-Rosa Cruises, Alamo Rent a Car and TA Centre, which is a B2B seamless booking portal for travel agents. However, instead of a year of ease of doing business, it was a year of lot of challenges including demonetisation as well as introduction of Goods and Services Tax.

Sarab Jit Singh, India Travel Award winner, Managing Director, Travelite (India)

This year was quite a good year for both of our companies, Travelite (India) as well as, KTC (India). The sales have shown quite a steep rise. Ease of doing business is a challenge in India, despite Government’s claim, be it getting new tourist vehicles registered or getting the permits and fitness renewal. The enforcement agencies and border check posts stop the vehicles for no rhyme or reason. Imposition of unreasonable five per cent GST on tour operators by Government of India has created havoc for the inbound and domestic tour operators.

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