Tag Archives: IATO

‘Green Shoots’ new category for MOT recognition of start-ups proposed: Rajesh Mudgill

Rajesh Mudgill, Hony. Secretary, IATO has informed that Ministry of Tourism has proposed a new category called green shoots or stand-ups for granting recognition to start-ups. “Anyone starting a new business will be able to apply for MOT recognition without any specific capital or turnover requirement. This can earn them a provisional recognition valid for 3 years,” he said.

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With moratorium ending, many travel companies might shut

Ravi Gosain, MD, Erco Travels, has said that with moratorium limit ending on 31st August, many travel companies must shut down. “Situation is very unfavourable for tourism industry. On 31st August, moratorium is ending, and most of the people, whether employees or employers took a moratorium and were expecting that something will roll out. However, things haven’t improved. From September onwards, I don’t think companies of any size are able to pay a single bill. Hence, this will be a huge setback. Hence, I am sure there will be many bankruptcies after this moratorium has ended,” he shared.

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Tour operators from India and Azerbaijan to meet virtually

Indian Embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan, and IATO are organising an online interactive meeting on 21st August 2020 at 1130 hours to 1330 hours, where 10 tour operators each from India and Azerbaijan will be participating. From India, only MOT recognised tour operators will be able to participate. Interested members can send their entry to IATO latest by 4 pm, 18th August. If more than 10 names are received, participation will be decided by draw of lot.

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IATO should be consulted for visa policy when tourism starts

Rajiv Mehra, Vice- President, IATO, shares that in the all association meeting with the minister recently, they suggested that once the number of COVID cases come down and the government decides to welcome international tourists, IATO must be consulted to make the policy for e-tourist Visa. “The e-tourist visas should be free until 31st March, 2022 to attract tourism. Then from 1st April 2022 to 31st March 2024, the visa fee should not be more than $10 for a one-year visa and not more than $25 for a five-year visa,” he shared.

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IATO, ATOAI, ADTOI delegation meets Amitabh Kant for support to tourism industry

President & Vice President of IATO along with Presidents of ATOAI and ADTOI met Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog today to seek government’s support for the survival and revival of tour operators and other stakeholders of the industry. During the meeting financial support was sought along with long term loans and a hike in SEIS incentive from 7% to 10%. The NITI Aayog CEO gave a patient hearing and has assured full support. During the meeting, Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO emphasised that Inbound Tour Operators who bring in foreign tourists and earn valuable foreign exchange for the country are on the verge of collapsing due to Covid-19 pandemic and need urgent help to survive as there is zero billing and consequently zero cash flow.  Apart from Sarkar, Rajiv Mehra, Vice President was representing IATO. Capt. Swadesh Kumar, President, Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) and PP Khanna, President, Association of Domestic Tour Operators Association of India (ADTOI) were also present. The delegation sought financial support to tour operators so that tour operators do not close down and continue their business with their experienced staff after the COVID – 19 is controlled and tourism is back to business, under MSME Special Non-collateral and interest-free long term loans (5-10 years) to be provided to the tour operators for the survival of the business and aggressive marketing once tourism is back to business.  In addition, IATO sought an increase in incentive offered in Service Export from India Scheme (SEIS) from 7% to 10 % which will allow them to offer competitive packages vis a vis neighbouring countries. Kant gave a very patient hearing and assured the delegation full support to the tourism …

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‘Open Taj Mahal’: Agra tourism industry appeals

Sunil C Gupta, EC Member and Chairman- Northern Region, IATO, has said that they have appealed to the Minister of Tourism, Prime Minister and ASI to open Taj Mahal, since over two lakh residents of Agra associated with the tourism sector have been living without any activity in Agra for the last 3 months. “When malls, shops, markets and places of religious worship can be opened, surely the Taj can be opened, as it would be a great precursor to start domestic tourism within the region. The opening of the Taj Mahal would send the right signals for international and domestic tourism. The Government do this with teh right SOPs and facilitating online ticketing for the same.”

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MOT to liberalise MDA scheme, make norms easier

Providing major relief to tour operators, Meenakshi Sharma, DG Tourism, MOT, has said that the ministry is liberalising the MDA scheme (both local & international) by giving certain relaxations in the required norms. MOT will soon announce the changes officially. During the virtual IATO members meet, the association also released a promotional video which members can use to market India and restart tourism.

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IATO has requested Ministry of Culture and ASI to reduce entrance fee for foreign nationals at ASI monuments till March 31, 2022

Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) has requested the Ministry of Culture and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to reduce the entrance fee for foreign nationals at ASI monuments, charging them the same as it would charge the nationals of SAARC countries. This, it requests, should be extended till March 31, 2022 and will help inbound tour operators reduce the package cost. The move will also help spread the message to the international travel community that India is more than willing and ready to welcome foreign tourists. The reduced fee and in turn a reduction in the package cost would enable inbound tour operators to start selling trips to India as soon as the country opens for international tourism.

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Travel trade associations meet Tourism Minister seeking support and financial help

A combined united delegation of four travel trade associations (IATO, ADTOI, ATOAI and OTOAI) led by IATO President Pronab Sarkar met the Tourism Minister, Prahlad Singh Patel in Delhi to discuss various grievances faced by tour operators amid ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The minister heard out the delegation at length and also addressed issues individually faced by the associations. The Minister has assured all possible support and said the ministry has already reached out to the Finance Minister for industry-specific relief. Associations representatives felt content after the meeting and expressed gratitude to the Minister for giving them a patient hearing. The Minister has called out for a united stand of the industry to fight the pandemic and overcome all the challenges. Apart from the President, Rajiv Mehra, Vice President represented IATO while, heads of other associations, Captain Swadesh Kumar, PP Khanna and Riaz Munshi represented ATOAI, ADTOI and OTOAI. From the ministry, Rakesh Sharma, Joint Secretary, MOT and Meenakshi Sharma, DG, Tourism were present during the meeting.

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Inbound Tourism is not going to start in 2020 in absence of vaccination: IATO

In a letter to all its members, the President of IATO has said that inbound tourism is not going to start in 2020 in the absence of a vaccination. Pronab Sarkar in the letter also said that the association seeks ideas from members on how they look at survival in individual capacity if there is no support from the Government. For the learning of other members from these ideas, IATO is looking forward to suggestions from everyone. Once inputs are received, IATO will call an all members Zoom meeting for members’ inputs and discuss the way forward. The association will communicate the date and time of members Webinar once it receives inputs and ideas by Wednesday, 27th May 2020 evening.

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