Tag Archives: IATO

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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Non-members welcome at IATO convention

The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) will allow non-members to attend and participate in all activities at its convention, except the closed-door meetings that are open only for active members. N.S. Rathor, Chairman, Western Region IATO and Regional Chapter Chairman, said, “We are inviting all travel agents and tour operators to attend our convention – whether they are non-members or members of other travel associations – so that they can see the work we are doing and plan to do. We will charge them only Rs 1,500 extra and they can participate in everything that a member can except for the closed-door meetings that is open only for members. They can attend dinners, functions, business sessions, etc. In fact we want them to come and see what we do. We don’t enroll during the convention – that is respective chapter’s issue. But we have noticed a general increase in our memberships after our conventions.” While members will be charged Rs 7,500, non-members will have to pay Rs 9,000.

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IATO Convention in Chennai from Sep 18-21

The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) is all set to hold its 32nd annual convention from September 18-21, 2016, at ITC Grand Chola in Chennai. While announcing the decision of the Executive Committee, Pronab Sarkar President, IATO, said, “We were planning to have our convention in Chennai for last couple of years as IATO never had its annual convention in Tamil Nadu earlier. However, this year, it is going to become a dream come true. From the very beginning, we focused to have our convention in Chennai only”. He also mentioned “The stupendous success of the pervious convention has raised the expectations of the members and sponsors. More than 1200 delegates are expected for 3 day event and the IATO convention is eagerly awaited by all. Members look for an enchanting destination. Here Chennai fits in very well as this will be first IATO Convention in Chennai”. The association has been planning for the convention dates for some time and wanted to avoid any clashes with the Incredible India Tourism Investors’ Summit scheduled from September 21-23, in New Delhi. IATO is still in the midst of chalking out the detailed plans and session at the convention, which should be finalised very soon, said Lally Matthews, Honorary Secretary, Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO).

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MOT seeks trade associations’ inputs for Tourism Investors’ Meet

The Ministry of Tourism conducted a joint discussion on July 22 with travel and hospitality associations to seek inputs and suggestions regarding the upcoming Incredible India Tourism Investor’s Summit, to be held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, from September 21-23, 2016. Representatives of IATO, ADTOI, FAITH, PATA India Chapter, WTTC- India initiative, ITTA, ICPB, EIS, IHHA, and ESOI were present at the occasion. Vinod Zutshi, Secretary, Tourism, Government of India, sought support and suggestions of all the trade bodies for the event. He said, “The Incredible India Tourism Investors Meet is aimed at sensitising everyone. Though we are having a very high and tremendous growth in tourism arrivals, this growth needs a supply chain for better infrastructure. The ministry has decided to create an environment for investment and this is one such event, which will be led by MOT and we have Invest India on board and we have also requested the embassies of various countries. We are going to make it an annual event. We have also decided to make an investment cell which is going to continuously monitor everything about the investments. We seek cooperation of all the hospitality and travel associations and suggestions to get the right investors for the summit, right investment opportunities in the country, and also ways to move forward with the summit.”

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SME travel agents protest against OTAs

More than 1000 SME tour operators and travel agents gathered at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi to protest against the unethical practices by online travel agents. The Small and Medium Tourism Action Group comprised of SME travel agents argued that OTAs are killing the small and medium tour operators by selling below the cost because of foreign funding. Subhash Goyal, Immediate Past President, IATO said, “I congratulate the small and medium tour operators for starting the national movement against the unethical practices by foreign funded OTAs who are buying a hotel room for Rs 2000 and selling it for less than Rs 1000. With this type of practice none of the small operators can compete and slowly they are going bankrupt. This is a very serious situation and the government and all travel associations must look into it.” The agents said they are against the e-coupons and cash discounts offered by the OTAs to reduce actual costs and argued that funding received by OTAs are a result of black money flowing into the industry. An association of small and medium tour operators is on the cards to unite voices against the cause. The agents have requested the government to regulate all OTAs which use the dominant position of having access to funds to kill small and medium tour operators. Memorandum to this effect was sent to the Prime Minister and Tourism Ministry and various travel and tourism associations will take up a legal battle with Competition Commission of India under unfair and unethical trade practices.

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‘Incredible India Calling’ on Jan 10, 2017

A national conference is going to be held jointly by IATO, TAAI, TAFI, ATOAI, FHRAI, and ICPB, on January 10, 2017. Subhash Goyal, Immediate Past President, IATO, informed that he has been elected as the Chairman of the Conference which will be called ‘Incredible India Calling’. Goyal also said, “We have requested the honourable Minister of Tourism to write to the Prime Minister to finalise the date. We are expecting around 15,000-20,000 people to attend the conference which will be the mother of all conferences. We hope it to be a grand success.”

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MOT convention for BRIC nations in Khajuraho from Aug 31

The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) will be organsising a convention for BRIC nations in Khajuraho from August 31-September 1.  The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) will be hosting Fam tours for the delegates participating in the convention, revealed Rajiv Mehra, Vice President, IATO, during the IATO Interactive Luncheon Meeting on June 1 at Pride Plaza Hotel, New Delhi. The ministry will be inviting at least 25 foreign operators from these countries. However, a final confirmation from the Ministry of External Affairs is awaited. The meeting was held to discuss the New Exim policy introduced by the Govt. last year, under which tour operators earning foreign exchange are entitled to get SEIS scrip @5 per cent. Sanjeev Gupta, an expert on Exim Policy, made a presentation on SEIS Scheme as to how the scheme would benefit members.

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North East agents register for IATO for free

The Executive Committee of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) has decided to waive off the Rs. 5000/- registration fee for new members from North East India till March 31, 2017. Lally Matthews, Honorary Secretary, IATO, said, “IATO is looking at adding more members now. We would like to increase membership from the North East and have thus waived off the registration fee of Rs. 5000/- for interested tour operators from the region.”

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11 nominations for IATO EC Members

A total of 11 nominations have been filed for active Executive Committee (EC) Members of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO). Also, for the allied EC members, a total of five nominations have been filed. There is also an incomplete nomination. While the IATO elections are scheduled for April 23, 2016, the last date for withdrawal for anybody filing multiple nominations is March 22, 2016 by 3 pm. In case the multiple nominations are not withdrawn before that, the nominations stand invalid.

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