1. Global and Indian Scenario
i. The GDP growth of 6.8% during the fiscal 2009-10 may allay to some extent theconcerns of slowdown in demand and a resultant negative impact on the economy. However therising food prices and high level of general inflation continues to be a cause for concernand a subject matter of government and RBTs policies.
ii. When economy expands globally, tourism as an industry develops as there is moremoney in the hands of people and they use it for travelling. India is proving to be one ofthe most robust markets for travels in the world. With a annual GDP growth of 8% plus adomestic movement of over 600 million, India is a dynamic market for travel and tourism.During the period 2002 to 2009, India witnessed an increase in the Foreign TouristArrivals (FTAs) from 2.38 million to 5.11 million. However due to global slowdown,terrorist activities, H1N1 influenza pandemic, etc., growth rate in FTAs during 2009 fellby 3.3 per cent. The year witnessed a contraction in global tourism by 4.3 per cent; thedeceleration in India was, therefore, less than that of the scale of global slowdown.
2 SEGMENT WISE PERFORMANCE
i.Hotel Division (Delhi Hotels)
A. In view of the CWG 2010 event, lot of new capacity addition has been initiated inthe Hotel Industry which is likely to result into more competition in the hospitalitysegment in the coming years.
B. 'The Ashok' was designated as the flagship Hotels of ITDC and Samrat and Janpathwere designated as the Games Family Hotels for the CWG 2010. The Ashok and Samrat havebeen used as the officials hotels while Janpath Hotel has been used by the Press andMedia. In view of CWG 2010, all the abovesaid three hotels have spent major part of theyear being under major renovation and product upgradation. The vision and the broadparameters that have been kept in mind while planning and executing the productupgradation was to use the top of the line products as well as brands. Even in opening ofthe new Food and Beverage outlets, the hotels have aligned with the best of the brands inthe industry. The expected impact which is already being realized is that the products areseen in a new light. The target clientele has also accordingly upgraded as a part of ourlong term objectives.
C. Some of the initiatives taken in Delhi Hotels are :
• At the Ashok, the public areas including the lobby, Tea Lounge and thetransitioin area to the Conventional hall have been totally renovated. A new Wine loungehas also been created to cater to the niche clientele. Exclusive Italian marble 'BotticinoClassico' has been used in the entire renovated public areas.
• Three floors of rooms, including the guest corridors have gone under completerenovation.
• The existing Executive Lounge at the 6th floor has been renovated anda new Lounge at 7 floor has also been launched.
• Hotel Janpath too, has renovated its lobby as well as the shopping arcadecompletely along with most of its rooms, while the remaining rooms had been renovated lastyear. The guest corridors have been covered with tinted glass and the same have beenair-conditioned.
• 2 guest floors of Hotel Samrat have also gone under complete renovation.
• In terms of Food and Beverage, the existing outlets, F-Bar, Capitol, Frontier,Mashrabiya, Sagar Ratna, The Chakras, Cibo and Mismo continued to retain their popularity.Durbar restaurant at The Ashok has been relaunched as 'Outh' in its new avatar.
• Many new outlets have either been opened or are in the process amongst which thefollowing appear prominently :
a) LAP - A high end club at Hotel 'Samrat' being run by the film star Arjun Rampaltogether with A D Singh of 'Olive' fame.
b) China Garden - A very well known chain of Chinese restaurants from the much awardedNelson Wang, has opened its outlet in 'The Ashok'
c) Kumgang - A much awarded 'Korean' restaurant has been relaunched at The Ashok
d) Swagath - Non-Vegetarian Coastal cuisine restaurant - A unique concept in itself hasbeen launched at Hotel Janpath.
D. Many new outlets are already in the pipeline and shall be launched soon, some ofwhich are:
a) International cuisine Resto- Bar at Samrat Hotel
b) Fine Dining Pan Asian restaurant at Hotel Samrat
c) Jain Vegetarian cuisine restaurant at The Ashok
Hotels DivisionlHotels outside Delhi)
E. There are five ITDC owned Hotels located at Mysore, Patna, Jammu, Bhubaneswar andJaipur, two DoT properties and one Restaurant at Agra. Recession coupled with high wagebill due to implementation of 6th Pay Commission's recommendation have severelyaffected the financial performance of the units outside Delhi.
F. Measures such as renovation/ refurbishment of product and service are being takenfor improving the performance of the units. Major renovation of rooms at Hotel JaipurAshok was taken up. Extensive renovation of Hotel Jammu Ashok, Hotel Patilputra Ashok andKalinga Ashok commenced and partially completed during the financial year. Renovation of24 guest rooms and two heritage suite at LMPH, Mysore has also been planned.
G. Swot Analysis ( Hotel Division) Strength
• The three Delhi based Hotels have most prime locations as compared to most ofthe competitors.
• Besides, Hotels, complementary businesses providing entire range of tourismexperience in one bouquet such as Travels, Events, Sound & Light shows, Duty freetrade at Airports and Seaports.
• The Ashok has the largest inventory of suites in Delhi. The Ashok has a largenumber of national and international cuisine restaurants and entertainment outlets under asingle roof. The convention facilities at The Ashok and Samrat Hotel are among the largesti.e. from 2000-2500 persons, available among the five star deluxe hotels.
• ITDC has the exclusive task to cater to all the state guests including head ofthe states visiting the country at Hyderabad House, PM residence, Vigyan Bhawan. The Ashokplays a critical role in providing the support to these VVIP venues.
• ITDC also represents India during all the Indian Food Festivals organized abroadby the respective Indian High commission/Embassies.
• Though highly skilled, the manpower is quite aged as compared to thecounterparts in private hotels mainly on account of the HR policies and compulsions.
• ITDC neither have any set up of direct international marketing overseas nor anyrepresentatives/consolidators resulting into fewer bookings as compared to thecompetitors.
• More staff retiring with no recruitments happening, much of the staff is takenon short term contracts. These contractual staff may not be the similar skill level oreven with commitment or motivation that is required in the industry to outshine thecompetition.
• Tourism scenario in India is improving significantly.
• After hosting the CWG 2010 event with grand success, ITDC has once again provedits capabilities in the market. The need from here is to capitalize.
• The presence of the top of the line F&B outlets in ITDC Hotels is making astatement about the company in the market. Through the amalgamation of these brands withITDC as partners, the gains are likely to be mutual and large.
• Growing environmental concern by the governments and environmental organizationsare resulting into high maintenance costs for hotels, thus becoming the deterrent inachieving higher profitability.
• The existing system of functioning in an industry which gives very littlereaction time to meet guest/market demands, is a big deterrent in achieving efficiency.
• Presence of Govt, offices in hotels, on one hand, provide us with consistent,assured and good revenue while on the other hand, the image as 'hotels' is seriouslydented by their presence.
• A large room inventory of rooms as a preparation towards CWG 2010 is likely tocreate an excess post-CWG 2010 which may again impact the business growth.
ii) Ashok Creatives Division
A. The Ashok Creatives continued to play a key role in tourism promotion anddevelopmental projects of the Ministry of Tourism as also for various clients. Since theDivision did not win any of the international and domestic campaigns of the Ministry ofTourism, during the year as partnering with an empanelment ad agency did not materialize,concentration has been given to execute creative jobs which is the Division's forte.
B. Advertising assignments were taken up for various Govt. Agencies such as Directorateof Income Tax, Ministry of Tourism etc. Among the new projects, an exclusive Tourismpromotion/Informative CD was prepared for West Bengal Tourism; a 10 minute exclusiveoverview film on the CWG 2010 Delhi for the Organizing Committee; a 30 second film onpromotion of Rural Tourism for telecast on national and international electronic medianetworks and an 8 minute film produced for the Ministry of Women & Child Development.
C. On the Design and Print production front, the Division designed and produced severaljobs for various Govt. Departments. Besides exclusive menu cards (in various internationallanguages) for The Ashok Group Restaurants at Hotel Ashok, Samrat, Janpath, LMPH etc. havebeen prepared along with graphic items. In terms of thematic, texual and visual contents,the menus display the Division's exceptional creative inputs.
D. The Ashok Creatives is pioneer in mounting of Sound & Light Shows (SEL) atdifferent locations of the country. The shows at Sarnath (UP), Mehrauli (Delhi),Kanyakumari (Tamilnadu), Talatal Ghar (Assam), Deoghar (Jharkhand), Hampi (Karnataka) andLudhiana (Punjab) are at various stages of development. The Show at Madurai has beencommissioned and handed over to the Tamil Nadu Authorities for operation. The Show atKumbalgarh (Rajasthan) has also been commissioned and handed over to Rajasthan Tourism.The show at Jalianwalan at Amritsar has been commissioned and is in operation. The Show atPurana Quila and upgradation of SEL Show at Red Fort, Delhi as sanctioned by the Ministryof Tourism, are also at advanced stage of implementation. The Shows at Ross Island andupgradation of SEL Show at Cellular Jail, Port Blair are sanctioned by Andaman &Nicobar Authorities.
E. With a view to strengthen its commercial base, Ashok Creatives is putting inaggressive efforts for empanelment as a Government Advertising Agency with a similarmandate. To bring in new clients as well as to retain the existing clients, individualpanels are being formed for various genres of creative work ranging from designers, textwriters, website and portal developers, online applicators, 3 D Animation, walk throughanimation, OOH digital printers, typesetters, etc. with an objective of i) using theirexpertise for jobs received by Ashok Creatives and ii) partnering them wherever they cansource business for Ashok Creatives to secure assignments in various Governmentorganizations on the basis of public-private partnership as initiated in the recent past.
F. Swot Analysis Strength:
• Multifarious activities consisting of design and print production, advertisingservices and business development, mounting and operation of Sound & Light Shows,production of films, TV commercials, etc.
• Manpower not exposed to the latest developments in their respective fieldsthrough workshops, seminars, etc. held in India and aborad.
• Viewed in the large perspective of creative field, there are several avenues andopportunities for promotion of business if we are fully equipped with the latestfacilities.
• Present competition with Govt. Agencies like DAVP and NFDC who are releasinggovernment advertisements at 85% and foregoing the standard 15% agency commission.
iii) Ashok International Trade Division
A. Through AIT Division, ITDC offers duty free shopping facilities to internationaltravellers.
B. With all the major airport retail operations in India having been bagged by majorinternational player, ITDC is aiming for second rung airports many of which are now inline for getting international status. The Division has been successful in securing rightto operate duty free shops in seaports of Chennai, Kolkatta and Haldia. The Shop atChennai Seaport has already started giving profits from a very early stage of itsoperations. Kolkatta and Haldia when these get into full swing are also expected to dowell. Two more shops at Vishakhapatnam and Kakinada are expected to go on stream in next2-3 months. The division is now spreading its net wider for more such seaport shops. Theports of Mumbai and JNPT, Nhava Sheva are the next targets and the talks with these portsare progressing well. A positive outcome is expected from these ports.
C. The advent of private duty free operators in India is set to change the ground rulesof business in India compared to what these were when ITDC was the sole operator. The bigvolumes and fierce competition will come into play, and to stay in competition will needto raise its volume appreciably which can only be done by venturing into other alliedareas.
D. Through ITDC Aldeasa Pvt. Ltd. a joint venture company between ITDC and AldeasaS.A., it is planned to bid for Duty Free shops at the upcoming International Airports.
E. Swot Analysis Strength:
• AIT Division has the unique experience of running operations in multiplelocations which comes from having operated duty free shops at all the internationalairports in India for more than forty years till these were taken over by privateoperators.
• In addition to traditional merchandise that is retailed through duty free shops,AIT Division has acquired a rich experience of sourcing indigenous merchandise such astea, handicrafts, organic spices etc. which it can profitably exploit in times to come.
• Because of low volume of business, ITDC is losing its attractiveness as a viableJoint Venture business partner for prospective international operators whom we need to beable to bid for future airport concession rights and go to the next level.
• Because of limited space at Goa and Coimbatore airports, our efforts to upgradeshops have been thwarted by airport authorities.
• There are big opportunities emerging in allied areas such as seaports, AITdivision is tapping the opportunities in a big way.
• Diversification into seaports offers best opportunity for redeeming AITD at theearliest.
• As a shrinking entity, ITDC will not only not have economy of scale, it may alsolose its leverage with business partners which enabled it to get good commercial terms andother forms of promotional support over the years to help sustain its business growth.
• Because of its reduced size, ITDC may no more remain a viable partner for aprospective international business partner in a future Travel Retail venture.
iv) Ashok Travel and Tours Division
A. Ashok Travels & Tours - an in house Travel agency of the India TourismDevelopment Corporation provides all travel related services like Air ticketing/ carrentals/ hotel Bookings/ Package Tours etc. to various Ministries, Govt. Departments,Corporate and also to general public.
B. Despite the major fall in tourist traffic in the year 2009-10 because of flue,economic melt down in the west and austerity measures introduced by the Govt, on thetravel, ATT division is poised for the major growth this year and have taken newinitiatives to reach the target of 100 crores in the next two years :
a. On the way to launch the online Travel Portal - which is the need of the hour.
b. Purchasing new fleet of 30 vehicles.
c. Establishing the full fledged tour division - both Domestic and Inbound. ATT isalready handling the series of in bound tours from Bangkok for Buddhist sector andKashmir.
d. New Domestic packages for Kerala, Shimla, Manali, Kashmir and North East.
e. Developing the various choices for the L.T.C. seekers particularly for Govt.Employees.
C. Over all, ATT is reviving and exploring the new avenues for the growth andconsolidation of the divison.
D. Swot Analysis
a. The various strengths of the Division include :
• Good image as Transport Service Provider having excellent network.
• Influence being a government enterprise.
b. There are certain weaknesses including dependency on empanelled operators, poorbrand perception, cumbersome decision making and less credibility with suppliers for delayof payments.
c. The opportunity includes launch of ATT portal, the Division being the majortransport supplier, there is vast need of transport in Ministries/Government Departmentsand PSUs. The threat perception before the Division includes IRCTC is going in a big wayfor inbound Tours and Hotel Bookings, Direct sale by Air India and tourist service portalsby private agencies.
v) Ashok Institute of Hospitality & Tourism Management
A. The Ashok Institute of Hospitality & Tourism Management, an ISO 9001: 2000certified institute run by ITDC in New Delhi has been undertaking Education and Trainingrelated activities as a Strategic Business Unit of ITDC.
B. The AIH & TM has been conducting 4 years Bachelor in International HospitalityBusiness Management course affiliated to the Kurukshetra University (Haryana) and from thelast academic yesar AIH & TM has started the 3 years BBA in International Hospitalityaffiliated to the IP University, Delhi.
C. Ministry of Tourism, Govt, of India has entrusted 'Capacity Building Training forService Providers to the AIH&TM as one of its implementing agencies which includestraining of stake holders for the forthcoming CWG 2010 under which the training has beenimparted to the CISF jawans, Auto Rickshaw drivers, Unclassified Hotels and the staff ofState Emporiums.
D. AIH & TM is doing the training programme in Hospitality skills for BHELf NTPC,IFS Academy, ITBP, IRCTC, CAG and many more. It is also giving industrial exposuretraining to Hotel Management students of Govt, and private colleges.
E. AIH&TM has also launched franchising of its courses in the following areas :
a) Bachelors in International Hospitality Business Management.
b) Diploma in Air Hostess, Travel & Hospitality Management.
c) Certificate Courses in Hotel Operational Departments.
F. Under the above franchising arrangements, Agreements have been signed withInstitutes in Mumbai, Kolkata and Goa. In addition, a Strategic Alliance Agreement hasbeen signed with the Institute of Learning & Advanced Development (INLEAD), Gurgaon.AIH&TM and INLEAD have jointly launched ASHOK INLEAD SCHOOL OF HOSPITALITY (AISH).AISH has started PG Diploma programmes in Facilities Management: Event Management &PR; Hospitality Operations Management w.e.f. 1,1, 2010.
G. Plan is underway to initiate AIH&TM to affiliate with a prestigiousinternational institute like Cornell University (USA)/ Florida International University(USA)/ Model University (Vienna) to run hospitality management programmes at newresidential institute at Kosi, (Delhi - Agra Midway tourist facility on National Highway)and also to set up an Ashok Tourism Security Academy at Kosi, to fill up a huge gapbetween demand and supply.
H. Swot Analsis Strength:
• HRD Division of ITDC under Ministry of Tourism, Govt, of India
• An ISO 9001-2000 Certified Institution
• ITDC Hotels for training and development of the trainees
• Strategic tie-ups with Kurukshetra University, IP university and Board ofTechnical Education, Delhi
• Lack of adequate infrastructure conforming to AICTE guidelines
• Limited ITDC Faculty strength
• Absence of modern training aids
• Ashok Alliance Hotels Staff Training
• Capacity Building training on behalf of Ministry of Tourism, Govt, of India
• Training assignments from State tourism/ Social welfare/ Backward Class/Ministry of DONER.
• Competition from private and Govt. Institutes
• Absence of regularization of the land in favour of ITDC by L&DO, Govt, ofIndia vi) Ashok Consultancy & Engineering Division
A. The Ashok Consultancy & Engineering Division of ITDC works mainly in thefollowing three fields:
a) Execution of Tourism infrastructure projects.
b) Consultancy Services to Ministry of Tourism and State Tourism Departments forEngineering related projects.
c) Maintenance, upkeep, renovation, up-gradation and expansion of ITDC owned and jointventure Hotels.
B. The Engineering Division continued to prepare Detailed Project Reports for thedevelopment of major tourist circuits/destinations in various states of the country.During the CWG 2010, the Division is involved in big way to renovate hotels mainly TheAshok, Samrat and Janpath and furnishing of additional alternative accommodation at GamesVillage Akshardham and Vasant Kunj, a CWG project.
C. The Engineering Division is also executing tourist infrastructure projects funded byMinistry of Tourism/ various State Governments in the states of UP, Bihar, Delhi,Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Imphal, Punjab, Puducherry and Guwahati.
D. The Division has also been entrusted with the task of illumination works ofprestigious monuments in Delhi for night tourism during the CWG 2010.
E. Swot Analysis Strength:
• The Engineering Division has taken up and successfully completed projects inextreme and remote areas of the country in different geographical and weather conditions.
• The Division has carried out major renovation of its properties with the lateststate of the art technology.
• Being a government organization, strict and lengthy procedures are to befollowed for award and execution of projects.
• With project scattered all oyer the country, the Cost of manpower is high asnumber of people need to be deputed for individual projects.
• Most of the far flung states of the country having tremendous tourism potentialare still lagging even for the basic facilities to tourists. Infrastructure needs to bedeveloped at faster pace, for which, the division can be a Nodal agency of the Ministry ofTourism.
• Many new entrants are entering in the market in private sector, who providesolutions at a much cheaper cost due to less procedures being followed.
vii) Event Division
A. The Event Division manages, conferences and exhibitions both within the country andabroad and has established itself as a leader in the field of Event Management.
B. The Event Management Division has handled more than 80 events during the year2009-10 including AARDO Conference, CABE Conference, National Tourism Awards, MinisterialMeeting on Re-engineering Doha, Golden Jubilee Celebrations of IOC, Regional conference ofState Tourism Ministers, SAARC, CWG Security Meeting, Delhi High Level conference onClimate Change. The Grand Prix Award conferred on the Incredible Award and Televisioncommercial produced in 2008, UNWTO- Japanese Symposium on Encouraging Tourism Exchange inIndia, NAREGA Mela 2010 etc. The Division also designed and fabricated various exhibitionslike the SARAS Pavilion at IITF etc.
C. Through its Event Management activity, the Division also acts as a definite catalystin the generation of business for other divisions of the Company like Ashok Group ofHotels, Ashok Travels & Tours, Ashok Creatives etc.
D. Swot Analysis Strength
• Being a Government Company, it enjoys the confidence of ministries/departments/PSUs of the Govt, of India.
• As a government organization, all codal formalities are complied with and thusthere is transparency, which also finds favors with the government organizations.
• Though working in the present business scenario which calls for immediatefulfillment of client's needs & aspirations, time consuming approval process negatesthe prompt deliverance & also involves lot of paper work.
• Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has signed a MoU with ITDC - ARMS asbeing their preferred and only event management company. This gives impetus to the statusof ITDC - ARMS as being Government of India's preferred event managers.
• Government owned PSU's viz IRCTC, Balmer Lawrie & Co are now entering theforay of event management services and could at a later date pose a threat to ITDC - ARMS.
viii) Corporate Marketing Division
The Corporate Marketing Division has been handling promotion and marketing of ITDCHotels and the reservation of ITDC Hotels is undertaken by its Centralized ReservationService.
ix) Furnishing of DDA flats at Common Wealth Games Village at Akshardham and VasantKunj
A. ITDC has been entrusted with the task of supplying & installation of furniture& furnishing of 1101 flats at Common Wealth Games Village at Akshardham and 2709 DDAflats at Vasant Kunj. Accordingly MOUs were entered into between ITDC and DDA by whichITDC shall procure, supply, install and fix the furniture/fixtures as per standardsprescribed by DDA and DDA shall pay the full awarded amount of supply/ work as per supply/ work order issued by ITDC to the suppliers and contractors. It was also agreed that DDAshall pay 10% Departmental charges over and above the full awarded amount of supply/ workorder. However DDA could not be able to complete the construction and handover the entire2709 flats at Vasant Kunj to ITDC. Accordingly, it was proposed that ITDC would only befurnishing 1087 flats handed over to it in different categories in Vasant Kunj.
B. ITDC completed the furnishing of 1101 flats spread over in 34 Towers at AkshardhamGames Village and 1087 flats at Vasant Kunj and handed over to Organizing Committee(CWG)/DDA. Besides as a part of CWG project, ITDC also managed operations in the flatsfurnished at Vasant Kunj as regular hotels during the Games period for CWG officials.
i. Tourism has been a major social phenomenon of societies all over the world. It is alarge service industry globally in terms of gross revenue as well as foreign exchangeearnings. Tourism has the potential to grow at a high rate and ensure consequentialdevelopment of the infrastructure of the destinations. It has the capacity to capitalizeon the country's success in the services sector and provide sustainable models of growth.
ii. The creation of niche tourism products like heliport tourism, medical tourism,wellness tourism, adventure tourism, cruise tourism and caravan tourism has served towiden the network of this sector. A major step has been the issuing of guidelines forfive-year tax holiday has been obtained to promote the growth of new hotels.
iii. Due to CWG 2010 with the completion of major renovation/upgradation and latesttechnological advancement of our flagship hotels in Delhi and outside Delhi, it isexpected that the Corporation would achieve significant growth in coming years.
4. Risk and Concerns
i. Tourism is a sensitive product. It is very much affected by internal and externalfactors like global recession, terrorist activities, pandemics etc. Further post CWG, thehotels in Delhi may be oversaturated with rooms which may affect the business growth.
ii. The implementation of the 6th Pay Commission's recommendations has enormously hikedthe wage cost which is in no way comparable with the existing standards prevalent in theprivate sector. Further ITDC is also facing the problem of unskilled and aged manpowercoupled with more staff retiring in the Senior Management Category with no recruitmenthappening. Much of the staff is taken on short term contracts. These contractual staff maynot be the simlar skill level or even with commitment or motivation that is required inthe industry to outshine the competition.
5. Internal Control
i. The Corporation has adequate internal control system commensurate with its needs. Aninternal audit team headed by the Chief Internal Auditor periodically reviews all controlsystems and assists in monitoring and upgrading the effectiveness of control system.Further in order to strengthen internal control system and internal checks in theorganization, an internal audit cell at Corporate Headquarter has been established.
ii. The Corporation has introduced a Internal Audit Manual which has been prepared bythe Institute of Public Auditors of India. The Internal Auditors have been advised tofollow the Internal Audit Manual.
6. Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations
i. The total number of employees in the Corporation was 2407 as on 31.3.2009 and 2244as on 31.3.2010 (Excluding 85 employees as Direct Contract as on 31.3.2010). Out of 2244employees, 659 employees belongs to Scheduled Castes (SCs), 51 belongs to Scheudled Tribes(STs) and 98 to other Backward Classes (OBCs). 41 employees were recruited during thefinancial year 2009-10, out of which 05 employees belongs to Scheduled Castes (SCs), 01belongs to Scheduled Tribes (STs) and 11 to Other Backward Classes. However 82 employeeswere promoted, out of which 15 employees belongs to Scheduled Castes (SCs), 02 employeesbelongs to Scheduled Tribes (STs) and 03 to Other Bakcward Classes. Further there are 302Women employees working in ITDC as on 31.3.2010 constituting 13.45% of the total workforceof the Corporation. Of these 74 are at Executive level and 228 are atnon-executives level.
ii. The overall industrial relations situation in ITDC continued to be cordial andgood.
Statement in the Management Discussion and Analysis describing the Company's objective,projections and estimates are forward looking statement and progressive within the meaningof applicable security laws and regulations. Actual results may vary from those expressedor implied, depending upon economic conditions Government policies and other incidentalfactors.