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Wednesday, 07 January, 2015, 16 : 00 PM [IST]

Vision 2015: Travel and Tourism - Associations

The year 2014 saw the Indian government, which is pro-tourism, take a few measures to boost the industry. The most significant one was the launch of Visa-on-Arrival enabled by Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA). While the Centre's initiatives have given a renewed sense of optimism to the industry, there is a lot more to be done in the year ahead. That is the popular opinion among players from the industry. TravelBiz Monitor speaks to experts from travel associations to know what the past year was like and their vision for 2015

The year 2014 was a landmark year for the travel and tourism industry. Some of the impending demands of the associations were met, for instance Visa-on-Arrival enabled by ETA. These have been among the many causes that travel trade associations have been rallying for, for many years. Let's look at the achievements of these associations last year and plans for 2015

subhash_goyal_id.jpgSubhash Goyal, President, IATO

Our achievements last year include Hospitality Scheme of the Ministry of Tourism—handling of FAM tours of the Ministry by IATO members, Executive Development Training Programme for Chinese language, lead generation/queries coming from MoT website, tourist police, and web-based public delivery system.

In 2015, we envisage showcasing India’s tourism potential through roadshows and trade shows in collaboration with India Tourism offices overseas, increased participation in global travel trade shows to increase our visibility in the market, and such direct interaction creates confidence in the market. We also plan to organise ‘Know India’ seminars to educate the counter staff at overseas offices so they can push India to their clients with confidence.
jyoti_kapur_id.jpgJyoti Kapur, President, ADTOI

Our plans for the year ahead include organising the ADTOI convention outside Delhi. The proposed venues for the same are Hyderabad, Guwahati, Jaipur, and Chandigarh. We also plan to organise roadshows with the support of state tourism boards besides opening ADTOI State Chapters in Rajasthan, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.
akshay_kumar_id.jpgAkshay Kumar, President, ATOAI

The past year has undoubtedly been one of the milestone years for ATOAI. The tour operators recognised by the Association will now be able to use satellite phones, hopefully from April 2015 onwards, which is the next trekking season. The security clearance has been given and the ban has been officially lifted. The process still has to come into place, but undoubtedly this is a big move.

In 2015, ATOAI, which recently completed 20 years, is looking forward to roping in the globally renowned Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) to hold their 2016 convention in India (ATTA Convention 2015 in Chile).
guldeep_singh_sahni_id.jpgGuldeep Singh Sahni, President, OTOAI

OTOAI has indeed had an eventful 2014. Our key achievements have been the complete revamp and upgradation of, along with a member’s sign-in protocol that will shortly be activated, and which allows members to access the entire data-base along with information, learning, and development.

OTOAI has also introduced an active member’s segmentation process, which gives us key data about our outbound agents, their focal business points, and destinations of interest and development. We have signed many key MoUs in the past year with various destinations towards mutual benefit, support inter-destination promotion, and exchange best practices and destination knowledge. Noteworthy were the MoUs signed with Guangdong district in China, HATTA in Greece, and with ETOA in London towards promotion and participation of the March Marketplace – MAMA 15.

In 2015, OTOAI will focus on streamlining membership, learning and development, CSR, completion of outbound-focused White Paper for the government, and re-launching our e-newsletter, along with our regular initiatives.
jagat_mehta_id.jpgJagat Mehta, President, ETAA

A big achievement last year was the renewal of our ties with IATA Agents Association Of India (IAAI), whereby all our members will be given affiliate membership of IAAI and vice versa. Over the year, ETAA continued to disseminate information from the tourism boards for the benefit of its members. We have also revamped our website to make it more user-friendly and ensure ease of access for all members.

For our members, we organised activities like workshops and seminars. Ezeego1 conducted roadshows for ETAA members in Mumbai, Pune, and Thane, while Trafalgar conducted a product training programme for our Pune Chapter Members. TrawellTag Cover-More conducted a joint training workshop for ETAA and IAAI members. Among the seminars, ETAA Pune conducted a seminar on ‘Sales Challenges for Travel Industry Entrepreneurs in 2014’, while the Karnataka Chapter organised a seminar on ‘Your Presentability and Personality Matter’ for its members.

This year, ETAA is trying to bring all possible new tools with which members will be able to increase their business with newer ideas from various sources of the travel trade. We will conduct more educative events in Tier-II and III cities along with IAAI and have planned some more workshops in association with TrawellTag Cover-More. We also plan to form various working committees within the Chapters to ensure smooth growth. We are aiming an increase in membership in new regions like West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
praveen_chugh_id.jpgPraveen Chugh, Vice President, TAFI

During 2014, a Pre-Budget Memorandum was given to the Ministry of Finance and issues pertaining to Credit Card Pass Through  and Service Tax were taken up with them. A few Service Tax seminars were conducted in some big cities and more such seminars are to follow in other cities in the near future. TAFI also made a Representation to the Revenue Department requesting redressal by way of removal of ambiguity in Service Tax matters. The issue of Joint Fixed Deposit, and Joint Bank Guarantee Scheme (JBGS) was also taken up by TAFI in the APJC Forum. It is hoped that JBGS will soon be available to our members.

Elections were held on August 2, 2014 and the new Managing Committee took over the reins of TAFI. The travel industry is fortunate that our new PM has been proactive and has brought in some good measures so as to promote tourism such as Visa on Arrival and Service Tax reduction on foreign tourists, among others. TAFI has submitted a Memorandum to the PM, enumerating our difficulties, and he has been very supportive to the same.

As we ring in the New Year 2015, all our attention is focused on planning and execution of our forthcoming Convention, which is scheduled to be held in Jerusalem in Israel from February 22-25. About 750 delegates are expected to attend this Convention. As in the past, it will be our endeavour to ensure compliance with the rules and regulations set by the consulates, government authorities, and airlines, and safeguard the interests of travellers against exploitation by unreliable elements.

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