Tag Archives: IATO

MOT formulates guidelines for approval of Online Travel Aggregators

The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) has formulated the guidelines for approval/re-approval of Online Travel Aggregators (OTAs). The scheme is expected to set standards towards accreditation and add value to the dependability and reliability to the aggregators in the online space operating in the organised tourism sector. This is a voluntary scheme open to bonafide online travel aggregators to bring them on a common platform in the organised sector and the guidelines will be rolled out online by year end. There are several players in the OTA segment operating now without any accreditation/validation. One of the risks of letting the market operate unhindered is that unscrupulous players can vitiate the entire market through unethical trade practices. In order to engage with the OTAs constructively, it is imperative that a system is put in place with qualitative benchmarks to accredit them. The paramount concern would be the assurance of quality of service delivery for the customer by the OTA. The major features of the guidelines are: recognition as an approved OTA shall be granted by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, for five years, based on the inspection report/recommendations of a committee comprising the concerned Regional Director (RD), a representative of FHRAI and a representative of IATO, and approval of Competent Authority (Chairman, HRACC); the re-approval shall be granted for five years after inspection conducted by a committee of the same constitution, based upon an application, complete and free from all deficiencies, made by OTA along with the requisite fee/documents on the online platform, at least a clear 6 months prior to the expiry of the previous approval. In case the application is complete in all respects and free from all deficiencies is …

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New Tourism Secretary, Yogendra Tripathi addresses IATO members

Yogendra Tripathi, the newly-appointed Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, marked his presence at the special luncheon organised by Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) to bid farewell to Rashmi Verma, Former Secretary, Tourism on her superannuation from the post. Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO, thanked Verma for her support and welcomed Tripathi on behalf of the association. Addressing the members, Tripathi said that he is aware of the contributions of his predecessor for the industry and is hopeful to take the industry voice to the government in the same manner. “There are always unresolved issues, as well as new problems and agendas for the industry. I believe that the Tourism Secretary is nothing but an advocate for the tourism industry. Apart from what we do indirectly, what we do directly is primarily promotional, which is also supporting the industry one way or the other. It is our job to support the industry, and we will continue to do that,” he added.

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IATO brainstorms on key issues on the first day

With a day stacked with business sessions focusing on imperative issues and state presentations, the audience was treated with intense discussions on day one of the two-day convention in Vishakhapatnam. The day started with the conventional IATO Run for Responsible Tourism in the morning. The first session of the day aimed to highlighted the challenges of touching the ambitious milestone of 20 million foreign tourist arrivals within the next few years. The panelists also touched upon the ways in which this can be achieved. The second session brought together members of key hotel companies face to face with tour operators to discuss what both industries can do to help the other since it is getting harder and harder to do business, whether it is the hotels or the travel trade.  The following session had an all-women panel who spoke about their personal experiences that are evidence that India is a safe country. However, they did present ways in which the safety of women travellers could improve. The final panel discussion, moderated by Rajesh Mudgill, MD, Planet India Travels, deliberated on how to change one’s business to adapt to the changing mindset of today’s travellers. In between the state presentations and panel discussions, the audience also took advantage of individual presentations made by Nakul Anand, Chairman, FAITH; an informative session on how travel agents can use digital marketing by Avijit Arya, Founder, Internet Mogul.  

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IATO’s 34th annual convention inaugurated in Visakhapatnam

The 34th annual convention of one of India’s biggest inbound travel trade associations, the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), started with a grand opening here in Visakhapatnam. Arriving on time for the inauguration, K J Alphons, Minister of State (IC) for Tourism, Govt of India, graced the event that saw an overwhelming attendance from IATO members pan India. The three-day event whose theme aims at 20 million foreign tourists by 2020, will debate on pertinent issues that India currently faces in reaching this milestone. At present, India welcomes approximately 11 million FTAs per year. The evening started with cultural performances local to Andhra Pradesh followed by welcome speeches from the IATO team and keynote addresses from various state dignitaries present. Kerala Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran, whop was present at the event has invited IATO to organise their next convention in the state.

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Kerala trade hopes to be back in business by September 1

After the severe floods in Kerala, the tourism industry in the state is geared to be back in business by September 1, 2018, says Sejoe Jose, Chairman, IATO Kerala Chapter. “The airports are expected to open on August 26, and even if we keep a buffer owing to DGCA permissions, it should be operational by September 1. In fact, the airport management is insisting to resume operations from August 26,” he adds. Jose insists that tourists would be able to visit Kerala starting September. “Kerala would be ready to receive guests from the first week of September. However, nobody is expecting the bookings to start immediately as it is going to take time. There have been cancellations as well. At a recent meeting with KTM Society, we estimated a loss of Rs 1000 crores for the tourism industry, for people directly and indirectly affected. The loss owing to cancellations is estimated to be around Rs 120 crores,” he informs.

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IATO updates members on convention and activities

In its monthly luncheon meeting held at The Metropolitan Hotel and Spa, New Delhi, the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) updated its members about its upcoming convention and participation in various roadshows with the Ministry as well as in the India Tourism Mart. Chairing the meeting was Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO; EM Najeeb, Senior Vice President, IATO and Rajesh Mudgill, Honorary Secretary, IATO. They attended to the queries of the members and solved their concerns regarding GST. The IATO Managing Committee also felicitated Ajeet Bajaj and his daughter Diya Bajaj for accomplishing the feat of climbing Mount Everest recently.  

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‘Mission 20 Million Tourists: Challenges & Possibilities’ is theme for IATO convention

The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) has recently announced the theme for its 34th Annual Convention as ’20 Million Tourists: Challenges & Possibilities’, to be held in Visakhapatnam from September 6-9, 2018. While announcing the theme, Rajiv Mehra, Vice President, IATO said, “The theme has been finalised after consideration from the Ministry of Tourism. We will hold discussions on it and will try to look how we can achieve this target. A session will be held on hotels and airlines during the convention. The theme has been finalised by the Executive Committee.” The association has already announced the governing body for the convention. While Rajiv Mehra has been appointed as the Chairman, Rajesh Mudgil, Hony Secretary, IATO has been appointed as Co-Chairman. Amaresh Tiwari has been named as Convener for IATO Run for Responsible Tourism. The venue of the convention is Hotel Novotel Visakhapatnam Varun Beach. Talking about IATO’s activities in last one month, Mehra said, Mehra said, “We conducted a roadshow to the US with Ministry of Tourism where 25 active members of IATO participated. We also concluded IATO’s Chapter Meeting in Mumbai, attended by Hony Secretary Rajesh Mudgil.”

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HRAO to organise workshop on tourism development in western Odisha on June 20

The Hotel & Restaurant Association of Odisha (HRAO) is set to organise a state-level workshop on the development of tourism in western Odisha on June 20. The workshop, scheduled to be held at Hotel The Grand Siba in Sambalpur, will be attended by hoteliers, tour operators, travel agents and other stakeholders. Important decision makers, government officials, media and political leaders have also been invited to give their inputs for giving a boost to the tourism growth of Western Odisha. With the addition of Jharsuguda, Rourkela and Jeypore airports in the state, the association now wants to make Odisha a 21-night destination. “With the benefits of the new tourism policy, the HRAO is now willing to spread out with additional 5000 rooms in all tourist locations of the state, specially Western Odisha. Currently, we have the lowest number of star hotels (10 hotels) and classified rooms (670 rooms) in Odisha,” said J K Mohanty, Chairman – HRAO & IATO, Eastern Region.

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Meet the new Executive Committee members of IATO

The IATO elections, held at The Ashok, New Delhi, saw both new and old members being elected for its Executive Committee. The EC allied members are Zia Siddiqui of Alliance Hotels & Resorts, Sunil Gupta of Travel Bureau and P Vijayasarathi of Benchmark Hotels. The active EC members are Raj Bajaj of Adventure World India, Tony Marwah of India Travel Promotion Company, PS Duggal of Minar Travels India, Deepak Bhatnagar of Aamantaran Travel Company and Viney Tyagi of Uni Crystal Holidays.

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EM Najeeb is the new Senior Vice President, Rajesh Mudgill is Honorary Secretary

EM Najeeb, Managing Director, Air Travel Enterprises has been elected as the Senior Vice President at the IATO elections. Another new entrant in the core committee of IATO is Rajesh Mudgill, Managing Director, Planet India Travel, who has been elected as the Honorary Secretary. Thanking everyone for the victory, Najeeb said, “It’s a great honour and pleasure for me to have been elected as the senior VP of a prestigious association such as IATO. I want to assure my wholehearted commitment and support for serving this organisation with my team members by work together to reach newer heights.” Confirming his earlier membership with IATO, Mudgill said, “I would like to thank the IATO members for their support. I have worked with many members of this team in the past and want to reassure everybody that we will now work together. I am confident I will be able to take my members’ voices to my team and resolve their issues.”          

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