The Indian Association of Tour Operators’ (IATO) recently called on Nara Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister, Andhra Pradesh to address road tax related issues in the state. At the meeting, Naidu expressed his keen interest in hosting the annual convention of IATO in the coming year. As the association is already in talks with Government of Odisha for organising IATO’s 33rd Convention next year, Visakhapatnam will most probably be hosting the 2018 IATO Convention.
Speaking at IATO monthly meeting Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO said, “Me and Rajiv Mehra, Vice President, IATO recently met the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister to get the road tax issues resolved in the state and ask for ‘Tourist Darshan’ facility at Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple, Tirupati in Chittoor district. With CM being very proactive on the tourism development front, he has welcomed the association to host its convention in the coming time. Andhra Pradesh Government has also taken IATO onboard as the knowledge partner for tourism development in the state.”
IATO President also informed that IATO’s Memorandum of Association is being amended post which the Chapter Chairmen will have a tenure. The association will also be conducting a survey among its members by month end to analyse the inbound tourism business observed this year. Sarkar highlighted that the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) has started off with its global media campaign from October onwards with a budget of INR 300 crore.
Thanking MoT on the visa relaxations announced recently, Sarkar exclaimed that IATO has been following up on this since 1.5 years. “The revision in E-Tourist Visa regime will now enable dual entries for tourism and business purposes and three for medical treatment. The duration of ETV has been extended from 30 to 60 days. Tourists can now apply for visa 120 days in advance from 30 days earlier. Niger, Republic of Cyprus, Republic Cameroon, British Subject and Colo, Mali, Republic of Burundi, Republic of Sierra Leone and Slovak Republic have been added to the ETV list, taking the number to 158 countries.