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Thomas Cook collapse could hit India’s inbound travel

As per the latest official data, UK’s share into India’s total foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) was 8.01 per cent in August, 2019.

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New Delhi, Sep 23 : With British travel giant Thomas Cook going belly up, India’s inbound travel could be severely hit and hence adverse impact on foreign exchange (forex) earning too in the months to come.

Travel industry sources said that Thomas Cook sends a lot of high-spending tourists to India from countries such as UK, Germany and France. Countries like UK, Germany and Italy where Thomas Cook has good presence are the key source markets for India.

“The shutdown of Thomas Cook would certainly impact inbound travel. The whole travel industry is struggling,” said Harjinder Singh, Director of Delhi-based 24*7 Travels.com.

As per the latest official data, UK’s share into India’s total foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) was 8.01 per cent in August, 2019.

Among the top European source markets, German tourists accounted for 1.85 per cent of the total FTAs in the previous month. The total FTAs in August 2019 were 7,98,587 as compared to 7,86,003 in August 2018 registering a growth of 1.6 per cent.

With global slowdown casting its shadow on travel business, the FTA growth is likely to be tepid in coming months. With one of the world’s top travel firm Thomas Cook going bankrupt, the travel business is certainly going to see tough time.

While Thomas Cook India is a completely separate entity from Thomas Cook UK post acquisition in 2012 by Canada-based Fairfax Financial Holdings, reaching out each wary customer following the recent development would not be easy for the Indian firm.

“With the recent developments relating to the iconic British Travel Company, Thomas Cook PLC, being reported in the media, it is imperative to highlight that Thomas Cook India Group is a completely different entity since August 2012 when it was acquired by Fairfax Financial Holdings (Fairfax), a Canada-based multinational with varied interests across the globe as well as in India,” Thomas Cook India said in a statement allaying fears of its clients and customers.

An industry insider, however, said it is a big task for Thomas Cook India to convince common people that it is not related to the ailing UK travel firm.

He further said that most of the organized players in the travel sector was struggling due to slowdown as travel spend is the first thing people put a break on when going is tough. Besides, the demand has already been low and the same reflects in the FTA data compiled by the government.

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CAI raises cotton export estimates on weak domestic currency

The CAI has also reduced the production estimates of cotton from 354.50 to 330 lakh bales.

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New Delhi, May 26 : The Cotton Association of India (CAI) has increased its estimates of cotton export from 42 lakh bales to 47 lakh bales in the current cotton season 2019-20 (October-September) as weakness in the domestic currency may boost export demand.

Target of Indian cotton exports is increased by 5 lakh bales from 42 lakh bales to 47 lakh bales looking favourable conditions for exports as Indian rupee is depreciated by 8-10 per cent which is lending a big support, said the CAI in a statement on Monday.

The Indian cotton is the cheapest in the world at this time, said the industry body which reduced India’s cotton import estimates by 10 lakh bales from 25 lakh bales to 15 lakh bales due to depreciation in rupee.

The CAI has also reduced the production estimates of cotton from 354.50 to 330 lakh bales.

Mentioning the reasons for lower estimates of cotton production, the industry body said, ‘due to the availability of water, many farmers didn’t not wait for the last picking of cotton and uprooted cotton plants and gone for rabi crop.

Apart from that, ginning factories were completely closed from March 25 to April 30 amid a nationwide lockdown, still they are running with merely 20-30 per cent of their capacities.

Labour shortage in ginning factories due to the lockdown is also a reason for reducing production estimates of cotton, said the industry body.

According to CAI, the domestic consumption of cotton is also estimated 280 lakh bales, down by 51 lakh bales from previous estimates of 331 lakh bales as mills were closed due to lockdown.

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Modi govt insincere towards people, eco package a rude shock: Kharge

He also said that the government lost a big opportunity to provide relief to the crores of migrant workers and the poor on one hand, and the industries on the other.

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Kharge

New Delhi, May 25 : The Congress on Monday hit out at the Narendra Modi-led government over its promise of Rs 20 lakh crore economic package, accusing it of being insincere towards the people, saying the package came as a rude shock for anyone who was expecting some respite.

In a statement, Congress General Secretary Mallikarjun Kharge said that it has been 60 days since the lockdown was imposed and every sector of the Indian economy was facing a grave crisis.

“We needed a sector-wise plan and the government had 60 days of lockdown to plan for this. Sectors like tourism, hospitality, airlines, transport, retail, restaurants and construction needed very specific measures, given that they employ large numbers of people. But, it is clear from the measures announced last week that the government has either no sense of the crisis, or has plainly refused to address it to revive the economy,” he said.

Slamming the Centre, Kharge said that India’s GDP growth has been declining for the last six years, and the crisis was brewing even before the coronavirus pandemic.

“Sudden shock of the lockdown has pushed the economy from a slowdown to a complete shutdown. The government needed to revive the economy by reviving supply, demand and credit cycle with its financial package. Instead, the economic package doesn’t just prove that the government is insincere, but has failed on all fronts,” he said.

Lamenting at the government over the economic package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his special address to nation earlier this month, Kharge said that announcements by the Prime Minister of the country should be made with a lot of deliberation and seriousness, especially during such an unprecedented crisis.

“The so called Rs 20 lakh crore economic package has now been analysed by the experts, and its total cost works out to less than one per cent of the GDP. It has come as a rude shock for anyone who was expecting some respite,” the Congress leader said.

Kharge said that the Prime Minister only “intends” to make grand headline news without taking his colleagues into confidence.

“That is perhaps why Finance Ministry was unprepared and put together such a shoddy package,” he said, adding that on May 5, the Chief Economic Advisor had specifically warned against a stimulus measure as large as Rs 20 lakh crore or 10 per cent of the GDP, saying India cannot afford it.

Kharge said that probably he was not aware that the Prime Minister was going to announce a Rs 20 lakh crore package a week later.

“In any case, it turned out that the package is worth less than one per cent of the GDP, but it shows how the government functions,” he said.

Taking a dig at the government, he further said that the economic package had no “immediate relief” for the agriculture sector, except for talking about reforms.

Today, the agriculture sector is the only bright spot which is expected to grow at 3 per cent when the GDP for the second quarter is expected to fall drastically, he said.

He further said that even top industrialists have asked direct cash transfer of Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,500 per month to the poor to boost demand.

“This would also ensure economic freedom for the poor and prevent at least 20 crore people from falling back into poverty. The government simply does not want to provide any direct relief to the poor, because it would mean endorsing the NYAY scheme that Rahul Gandhi had proposed,” Kharge said.

He also said that the government lost a big opportunity to provide relief to the crores of migrant workers and the poor on one hand, and the industries on the other.

“The relief package and the press conferences have not only exposed the apathy of the government towards the migrant workers, but also its arrogance and hypocrisy,” Kharge added.

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Zomato’s food delivery CEO Mohit Gupta made co-founder

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New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) Foodtech unicorn Zomato has promoted its CEO for Food Delivery, Mohit Gupta, to the position of Co-Founder. The announcement was made by Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal in an internal email to employees.

New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) Foodtech unicorn Zomato has promoted its CEO for Food Delivery, Mohit Gupta, to the position of Co-Founder. The announcement was made by Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal in an internal email to employees.

“While the foundation of Zomato was built before MG joined us, he has been instrumental in significantly strengthening it over the last two years. What he and his team has built is a very large part of our business, and our DNA today,” Goyal wrote in the email on Sunday, a copy of which has been seen by IANS.

“I’m happy to share that starting today, we are going to call MG a Founder at Zomato,” he said.

Zomato, which will mark 12 years in the industry this year, now has two other co-founders besides Goyal and Gupta — Gunjan Patidar and Guarav Gupta.

Zomato announced a Founders Program a year ago. The proramme was designed to recognise people who have contributed to Zomato deeply; have built/scaled businesses, and have consistently demonstrated a founder’s mindset for a reasonable period of time; and are acknowledged for their passion, commitment and perseverance.

“When I introduced the Founders Program a little over a year ago, I outlined a few qualities that all founders must exhibit. These qualities include trustworthiness, commitment and resilience among other things. MG checks all these boxes and more,” Goyal said.

Guarav Gupta was also made a founder of the company last year under this programme.

Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Zomato recently announced the decision to lay off nearly 13 per cent of its workforce — over 600 employees.

“While we continue to build a more focused Zomato, we do not foresee having enough work for all our employees. We owe all our colleagues a challenging work environment, but we won’t be able to offer that to 13 per cent of our workforce going forward,” Goyal said in a statement this month.

“While the foundation of Zomato was built before MG joined us, he has been instrumental in significantly strengthening it over the last two years. What he and his team has built is a very large part of our business, and our DNA today,” Goyal wrote in the email on Sunday, a copy of which has been seen by IANS.

“I’m happy to share that starting today, we are going to call MG a Founder at Zomato,” he said.

Zomato, which will mark 12 years in the industry this year, now has two other co-founders besides Goyal and Gupta — Gunjan Patidar and Guarav Gupta.

Zomato announced a Founders Program a year ago. The proramme was designed to recognise people who have contributed to Zomato deeply; have built/scaled businesses, and have consistently demonstrated a founder’s mindset for a reasonable period of time; and are acknowledged for their passion, commitment and perseverance.

“When I introduced the Founders Program a little over a year ago, I outlined a few qualities that all founders must exhibit. These qualities include trustworthiness, commitment and resilience among other things. MG checks all these boxes and more,” Goyal said.

Guarav Gupta was also made a founder of the company last year under this programme.

Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Zomato recently announced the decision to lay off nearly 13 per cent of its workforce — over 600 employees.

“While we continue to build a more focused Zomato, we do not foresee having enough work for all our employees. We owe all our colleagues a challenging work environment, but we won’t be able to offer that to 13 per cent of our workforce going forward,” Goyal said in a statement this month.

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