World Travel & Tourism Council, India Initiative appoints new officers

The Annual General Meeting of the World Travel & Tourism Council, India Initiative (WTTCII) was held on 11 December 2018 at New Delhi. During the AGM, the following people have been appointed as Office Bearers of WTTCII for the year 2019:

Rajeev Talwar, Chief Executive Officer, DLF has been appointed as the Chairman of WTTCII for the year 2019.Mr Talwar, who served as the Vice Chairman of WTTCII for the year 2018, takes over from Mr. Sunder G. Advani, Chairman & Managing Director, Advani Hotels & Resorts (India) Limited who completed his term at the recently held AGM in Delhi.

Ajay Singh, Chairman & Managing Director, Spicejet Ltd has been unanimously appointed as the Vice Chairman of WTTCII for the year 2019.

KJ Alphons, Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge) for Tourism and Mr Suman Billa, Joint Secretary Tourism along with former officials of Ministry of Tourism, Mr SK Misra and Mr VK Duggal felicitated the new team.

Rajeev Talwarsaid: “WTTCII has three main asks from the Government- Firstly, Airline Turbine Fuel – ATF must be included under GST. Secondly, the 28% on hotel rooms is hurting – GST should be pegged at 5% for Rooms of transaction values of INR 5000 and 12% for transaction values of INR 5001 to INR 15000 along with ITC. And thirdly a Tourism Board to handle the marketing of Incredible India. Today destination marketing has to be more deft, sharp, agile and cannot be strapped with bureaucratic procedures. A tourism board with inclusion of public and private stakeholders will make Brand India successful. We would also need avenues to open up new markets, take for instance China; we are 4-6 hours away from major Chinese cities. China’s huge outbound of 130 million trips is every countries envy and a prime source market, yet we are unable to tap the Chinese outbound. We need to be connected to major source markets like ASEAN – Japan, South Korea, China if we need to increase our tourism numbers qualitatively and quantitatively.”

Ajay Singh said: “I am delighted to take over as Vice Chairman of WTTCI. India’s culture and diversity make it a land of unlimited opportunities. Our travel and tourism industry has enormous potential but it faces numerous challenges, of which the most critical is lack of appropriate infrastructure. Launch of several branding and marketing initiatives by the Government such as Incredible India 2.0 and e-Tourist Visa on Arrival for 163 countries have provided a focused impetus to growth and we look forward to closely working with the Government to realize India’s tourism potential.”