Tag Archives: Indian Association of Tour Operators

IATO Convention 2018 in Andhra Pradesh

Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) will be having its 2018 convention in Andhra Pradesh. Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO, said, “The 2018 convention of IATO will be held in Andhra Pradesh. However, the city and the venue for the same has not been decided as yet.” Currently, IATO is geared for its 33rd Convention, which is to be held from September 7-10, 2017 in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, and expected to see members and delegates in big numbers.

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IATO announces Chairman, Co-Chairman for Convention

The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) has finalised the Chairman and Co-chairman of their convention scheduled from September 7-10, 2017 at The Mayfair Convention Centre in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Rajiv Mehra, Vice President, IATO, is the Chairman, while Lally Matthews, Hon. Secretary, IATO, has been designated as the Co-Chairman for the convention. On their planning for the convention, Mehra said, “We are looking forward to an excellent convention, and discuss various issues like GST, role of social media, as well as how to get leads through websites and developing websites. Through sessions, we will be working towards the ultimate aim of telling our members how to grow their business. We are choosing topics through which we can do something for our medium and small sized operators.” Matthews, on the other hand, said, “Right now we are trying to get the registrations started. Also, we are waiting for the GST roll out, so that the hotel rates can be finalised under the new regime.”

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IATO Maharashtra Chapter to convene in Karjat on June 21

The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) has announced that its Maharashtra Chapter will come together once again in Karjat on June 21. IATO’s National Committee along with Chairman of Western Region, N.S. Rathor are expected to present for this. Announcing this is Himanshu Agashiwala, Chairman, Maharashtra Chapter, IATO, who says, “Our Maharashtra chapter conducts at least four to five meetings in a year. One such meeting will be held on June 21 at Hotel Radisson Blu in Karjat. It is a day-long event and we have even invited our executive committee from New Delhi to join us. They might stay overnight. This will be third time that the executive committee from Delhi will be attending a Western Chapter meeting. They normally meet in Delhi itself. One of our members Arika Holidays has managed to get rooms and lunch at the hotel for our members.”

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Mumbai Port to get e-visa facility by Dec 2017

Mumbai Port will soon be among the three Indian ports in the country that will be able to offer e-visa facilities to international cruise passengers. Revealing this, N.S. Rathor, Chairman, Western Region and Regional Chapter Chairman, Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), says, “I was part of the meeting between Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman, Mumbai Port Trust, and the Bureau of Immigration officials who have principally agreed to allow the port to offer e-visa facilities by December 2017. Currently, only Mangalore, Goa and Kochi offer this.” Talks are on to offer this service from Chennai seaport soon. Foreigners will then be able to enter India through five seaports — Mumbai, Kochi, Chennai, Goa and Mangalore — with electronic visa (e-visa), in addition of 16 airports where the facility is available.

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IATO’s GST session gets a full house in Mumbai

The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) recently organised a seminar with noted Service Tax expert Manish Gadia, Partner, GMJ & Co to talk on GST and to reply to member queries. The session mostly touched upon how GST is likely to affect inbound agents. Himanshu Agashiwala, Chairman, Maharashtra Chapter, IATO, said, “Everyone has been discussing about GST and so we decided to conduct this session in Mumbai. We saw a fantastic response with more than 75 members attending the event. We even welcomed a couple of non-members from the trade.” The association also discussed a few state-related issues before the session including the scarcity of guides, transport tax and upcoming events. Agashiwala also urged members to get more active and help out the committee in various tasks, including volunteering for the Hotel Inspection Committee that IATO is a part of.

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IATO convention in Bhubaneswar from Sept 7-10, 2017

The 33rd Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) Convention will be held from September 7-10, 2017 in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Revealing this was N.S. Rathor, Chairman, Western Region IATO and Regional Chapter Chairman, who said, “The Minister Tourism and Culture, Government of Odisha, Ashok Chandra Panda, had attended our previous convention in Chennai and he was very keen for us to have our next convention in Orissa. As soon as he returned to Orissa, he spoke to his CM and they suggested the dates. It will be held either at Hotel Swosti or Mayfair Lagoon. Our team will visit the city soon for a recce. We had done our convention in Orissa in 2008 as well and since then the state has seen tourism grow. So the government is very keen to have the convention again.” He added that the main selling point in Orissa has been its tribal tours which is very niche and will appeal only to a few tourists who are interested. “Moreover, the accommodation available is basic, requires a lot of travelling and accessibility isn’t that great. For us though, it was an eye-opener. The people in Orissa are very nice, very warm. We travelled extensively in the area during our past convention and realised the destination has a lot of potential,” Rathor said.

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IATO educates members on new service tax regime

The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) held an interactive meeting at the Ashok Hotel, New Delhi, for its members on the new legislation for service tax, where they had invited S.C. Kamra, Advocate and expert on service tax. Kamra made a presentation on the service tax on how the new notification will impact the tour operators. The session saw a full house with around 300 members in attendance. The presentation was followed by question and answers, where IATO members put forward their queries and problems regarding the new Service Tax norms.

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MOT allows bulk purchase of monument tickets in Agra

Tourism Minister (I/C) Dr. Mahesh Sharma has given directives to allow purchase of monument tickets in Agra in bulk with payments through Demand Draft with immediate effect. The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) had urged the Ministry of Tourism and ASI to suggest alternatives regarding purchase of ASI Monument tickets after December 15, 2016. As for all the other monuments, tickets are available for purchase online, except for some monuments in Agra, especially Fatehpur Sikri, Agra Fort and Itimad-ul-Daula’s Tomb. Also, there will not be any passport details required for bulk purchase, revealed Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO. He added that installation of Debit/Credit Card swipe machines at the monuments are also being explored.

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TravTalk honoured at IATO Convention

The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) honoured TravTalk with the ‘Best Pre-printed Dailies’ award at its 32nd convention held from September 18-20, 2016, at the ITC Grand Chola, Chennai. The magazine was conferred the honour by Thiru. Pandiarajan K, Minister for School Education and Sports and Youth Welfare (responsible for Archaeology), Govt. of Tamil Nadu. TravTalk is a product of DDP Publications and has been providing the travel industry with news and updates for more than 25 years.

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IATO expects surge in South India members

The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) is expecting a surge in its membership, specially from Chennai and other southern cities post its convention. N.S. Rathor, Chairman, Western Region IATO and Regional Chapter Chairman, says, “Chennai ranks third in terms of number of members after New Delhi and Mumbai and I’m sure after this convention a lot of agents in the South will get interested in joining IATO. We have a lot of active members in South India in regions like Kerala and Chennai. Since this is the first time we are going to Chennai, there is a lot of interest among the south Indian agents, specially from Chennai because most of them haven’t been able to attend our convention before. So everyone there is excited.” Rathor relocated to Mumbai from Rajasthan 20 years ago and is the longest uninterrupted member in the Executive Committee. Speaking about the distribution of its membership across India, he says that Western India is number two after Delhi. “We are growing in numbers and our total strength now is over 1,600 of which 350 are active members.”

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