TAFI to hold annual convention at Macau from Nov 22: Ajay Prakash
By Deepak Arora
NEW DELHI: The Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) will be holding its annual convention at the opulent Venetian Macau from November 22. Nearly 1,000 delegates are expected to be joining in, to experience the destination and deliberate during the business sessions which will be revolving and centering on the well thought of theme "Addressing Change--Rebrand-Reposition-Reinvent", according to Ajay Prakash, President TAFI.
Explaining the choice of destination, Ajay Prakash said “Macau has stormed the Indian tourists' consciousness and the numbers have seen an exponential growth over the last couple of years. It is amazing what's been packed into a total area of 29.5 sq. kilometers – equal to something like Haji Ali to Cuffe Parade in Mumbai!”
He said Macau was also an ideal family destination with something for all ages and the Venetian, where the four-day convention is being held, has almost become synonymous with Macau in the Indian travellers' lexicon and the MGTO has been most proactive.
Elaborating on the theme, Prakash remarked: “The respect and the position traditionally enjoyed by travel agents – with the airlines as well as the travellers – has apparently been eroded, with most agents being reduced to mere 'order takers.' It's time to change that attitude and that perception, and that change has to come from within - because today if you're not at the table, you're likely to be on the menu!”
Though 85 per cent of all international air tickets and over to 50 per cent of all travel products are sold through the agency route, the President said many agents face the real threat of being marginalized by airlines, ignored by hotels, dismissed by younger travellers and overwhelmed by the internet.
Yet, he said as true blue entrepreneurs, they have the capacity to reposition themselves, rebrand the services they offer and reinvent the business model. New markets, new segments, new technologies await the embrace of the Indian travel professional. The TAFI Convention 2011 will explore these avenues.
Chitra Bhatia, one of the Chairs of the Convention and Joint Treasurer, TAFI, said “the Convention provides a robust opportunity for delegates to bond, network, exchange ideas and thus take back something meaningful to enhance and forge their businesses further. It is my belief that even though we would be many in body, we would still be one in spirit - looking to make the best of this opportunity.
Chitra said “it is rare to find a place in the whole wide world which has a rich cultural and historical past as Macau. Different beliefs, smell, costumes, and habits are visible everywhere and it has been like this for centuries. It is a blend of two major communities – the Chinese and the Portuguese who live together harmoniously and call themselves Mackenese !!
So, she said Macau does have a unique universal charm!! Yes it has plenty to offer - right from opulent hotel accommodation to huge convention centers, spectacular shows and theaters , relaxing spa , museums, adventure sports, excellent cuisine and not to forget the pulsating night clubs and the hum of casino's which keep Macau buzzing with activity.
Another unique feature of the TAFI Convention 2011 is that, unlike past Conventions, there is no single Convention Chair. Four dynamic ladies from within the TAFI management have been entrusted the execution of this Convention. Chitra Bhatia from Delhi, Aditi Bhende from Pune, Rani Bachani from Kochi and Vasuki Sundaram from Mumbai form the core team of TAFI Convention 2011 and will oversee the entire event.
“We are blessed that we have these wonderfully competent and inspired ladies as part of our team and the TAFI Convention 2011 will be very different - with woman power to the fore,” adds Prakash.
TAFI Conventions over the last few years have distinguished themselves with the quality of their content. Anita Mendiratta, author of “Come Closer – How tourism is shaping the future of nations”, a book intended for tourism professionals and tourism leaders and endorsed by the UNWTO, has already confirmed her participation.
Other interesting and exciting Speakers are being lined up and the TAFI Convention 2011 promises to be intellectually exciting as well as fun with Gala Dinners and the spectacular "Zaia" show by the world famous Cirque du Soleil.
Venetian Macau Resort-Hotel to play host to TAFI Convention 2011
By Deepak Arora
NEW DELHI, Nov 15: Being a world-class city that it is, Macau has once again justified itself as one of the most preferred destinations for any major event.
Scheduled from November 22-25, the city of Macau welcomes the Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) delegates for their annual convention at the luxurious Venetian Macau Resort-Hotel.
Making it a historical moment indeed, TAFI, a professionally managed trade organisation that tends to regulate the Indian travel business, has chosen Macau as the destination for its annual convention.
This decision could be attributed to the fact that Macau has a rich history and unique society influenced from both the East and the West. Moreover, it is growing in size, with more buildings on re-claimed land and the diverse attractions.
The convention is also expected to have a mini buyer-seller meet on November 23, 2011 in the afternoon where approximately 40 tables will be provided for sellers from Hong Kong, Macau and Southern China to establish a network with the Indian agents.
Also, at the Convention, there will be an exchange of ideas from internationally renowned speakers that promise to stimulate travel agents’ intellect, benefit their business and conclude with a memorable experience.
Macau besides being a fun destination, promises astounding shows and unforgettable experiences. Frequently hosting international events, Macau has become a global player in tourism. Not to mention the 58th Macau Grand Prix scheduled from November 17-20, 2011 preceding the TAFI Convention.
Macau as a destination offers huge opportunities for corporate travellers- from theme based events to team building activities, from high adventures like bungee jumping to participating in compelling dragon boat races and from experiencing a touch of culture to leisurely shopping and much more.
Macau has stormed into the consciousness of Indian tourists which is evident from the numbers that depict an exponential growth over the last couple of years. It has undoubtedly become every traveller’s dream destination. In addition, it has also registered a growth rate of 17.8% in total visitor arrivals in September 2011 vis-à-vis 2010.
Macau is basking in the spotlight thanks to the opening of multi-billion dollar resorts and luxury hotels. A Special Administrative Region of China, the 29.7 sq km territory has metamorphosed into a family entertainment centre. More deluxe resorts are going to make their debut, shifting the focus from roulette to razzmatazz, convention tourism and family entertainment.
Modern buildings rub shoulders with restored colonial edifices, Portuguese churches, Chinese gardens and temples.... Plug into Macau's Chinese-Portuguese heart.
Apart from the nightlife and the glittering shows, young adventurers can get an adrenaline rush at the Macau Tower by plunging down the world's highest commercial bungy jump (233 m), sky jumping or by embarking on a sky walk along the tower's outer rim.
Memories of a rollicking holiday in Macau will stay with you even when the photographs start to fade.
Delhi Kite Festival a big hit
NEW DELHI, Nov 13: The first kite flying festival organised by Delhi Tourism in association with Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation Ltd and Department of Art and Culture Govt of Delhi was a big hit. It concluded here on Sunday at a well attended closing ceremony where Chairman Delhi Tourism Manish Chatrath presented the cash prizes to the winning participants of the kite cutting competition of professionals where 32 teams from different states of Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Chandigarh and Gujarat vied with each other and had a lot of fun in cutting each others kites.
The first prize amounting Rs 15000 was won by Mohd. Imran (Sathi Kite Club). The second prize amounting Rs 10000 was won by Babu (Jai Bharat Kite Club). The third prize amounting Rs 5000 was won by Salman (Shehanshi Kite Club). There was another competition on the concluding day for ladies wherein prizes amounting Rs 5000, Rs 3000 and Rs 2000 were won by Ms Sofia Aggarwal, Ms Ritika Goel and Ms Shakira Begum respectively.
In children's category competition prizes were won by Master Nabeeg Ahmed, Mohd. Tousif, Mohd. Faisal amounting to Rs 5000, 3000 and 2000 respectively.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had declared the Kite festival open on Saturday by symbolically flying a string of colourfull kites.
The two day long festival gave the city’s populace a glimpse of this fading sport.The festival witnessed more than 40000 footfalls on both the days.
The kite flying festival had a lot of fun and entertainment.There were stalls set up displaying kites of different sizes from one square inch to 70 square inch kites made of tissue paper,elastic paper,bamboo,cloth etc.,colourfull spindles suspended from tree branches,display of massive demo kites,theme pavilion showcasing history of kite flying ,cultural programmes etc.
The kite festival saw a lot of flying enthusiasts trying their hand at some of the rare kites available.A string with 100 kites was one of the attractions of the festival.There was a huge 20 ft. Kite from Jodhpur with a 40 metre long tail and an intricately designed Ganesha.There were kites seen spreading awareness messages like Save Environment and say no to crackers.
Delhi Tourism plans to promote more of these old fading traditions and will feature this festival in its regular extravaganza.Delhi Tourism’s month long Festival of India is currently on at Dilli Haat.A Mushaira and Qawali festival is scheduled on 18,19 and 20 at Garden of Five Senses.
India Wins Best Destination Award at World Travel Awards
LONDON, Nov 8: India's Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai has received two prestigious awards ‘Best Destination’ and ‘Best Marketing Campaign’ from Graham Cooke, Chairman, World Travel Awards here.
Speaking on the occasion, Sahai said, “this is a privilege for India being conferred ‘Best Destination’ and ‘Best Marketing Campaign’ from World Travel Awards and for me it is a great honor to receive these awards on behalf of India”.
The Indian Minister said these awards will boost the government of India’s efforts to brand India as a global tourist destination. The Tourism Minister announced his plans to double tourist numbers visiting India by 2016.
He said Tourism in India is already on the rise with the country seeing the number of visitors increasing by 10 per cent between January and October this year alone.
But the country has much grander plans and hopes to ensure that 1 per cent of all global tourists are in India by the end of 2016.
The Tourism Minister was of the opinion that country will require an additional 400,000 hotel rooms to meet the demand which it proposes to do through a range of Public Private Partnerships offering massive opportunities to would be partners. He said the increase in tourism will create an additional 25 million jobs in the country – focusing on developing human resources, travel and hospitality and education.
Sahai also announced that India will hold its first ‘Global Travel Mart’ on December 12, 2012. He said this reinforces India’s commitment to become a major player in world tourism.
Subodh Kant Sahai also inaugurated the India Pavilion at World Travel Mart 2011.
Chhagan Bhujpal, Tourism Minister of Maharashtra, Nawang Rigzin, Tourism Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Anil Kumar, Tourism minister of Kerala, Vasant Kumar Vatti, Tourism Minister of Andhra Pradesh and P Rajavelu, Tourism Minister of Pondicherry were also present on the occasion.
Sahai also met Israeli Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov at the Travel Mart. Both the leaders discussed visa issues, connectivity and agreed on the formation of a joint working group (JWG). The first meeting of JWG will be held in Tel Aviv in February 2012.
Speaking at the award presentation ceremony, Graham Cooke, Chairman, World Travel Awards, said, “Currently India lies as one of the most favoured destinations for tourists from around the world. But with investment over the next two years it hopes to drive to 'year-round' tourism, including eco, wildlife, health and cruising will seem them break into the top 10 for the first time, surpassing the likes of Australia, Switzerland and South Africa in the process”.
Cooke further added that International community is looking forward to ‘Global Travel Mart’ being hosted by India next year.