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Thursday, 06 December, 2018, 13 : 00 PM [IST]

Differences surface in IATO over its role in FAITH

To call a General House soon to discuss matters related to FAITH
Differences have surfaced in the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) leadership vis-à-vis its relationship and role in the travel and hospitality industry’s umbrella body, Federation of Associations of Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH). A fraction of the IATO leadership led by its Hony.  Secretary, Rajesh Mudgill is peeved the way FAITH is ignoring issues raised by IATO on certain matters related to the grievances of IATO members related to the organisation of Indian Tourism Mart (ITM).  The issue came up prominently at the monthly meeting of IATO  where differences within the leadership came to the fore evidently. 

The issue seems to have its origin with FAITH ignoring the letters written by IATO Hony. Secretary seeking resolution of grievances of IATO members who participated in the recent India Tourism Mart (ITM) organised by FAITH for and on behalf of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India in Delhi.  The reason given for not entertaining the letters is that the IATO Secretary has no ‘locus standi’ to write directly to FAITH.  This has irked a faction of IATO especially since an IATO nominee adorns the General Secretary’s Chair in FAITH.  The EC meeting of IATO held this week in Delhi also had heated exchanges on the matter and the Hony Secretary had even staged a walk out from the EC.

When approached for his comments on the matter, Mudgill stated that “all is not well within FAITH” and few individuals are running the organisation as their individual fiefdom. “If they cannot listen to an elected Secretary of an Association which is key constituent of FAITH, then what is the use of having such a body?” asked Mudgill. He said that when asked about the matter, the response from FAITH Secretary was that IATO Secretary has “no locus standi” to write and raise issues with FAITH directly. “Although Subash Goyal is the nominee of IATO in FAITH, he doesn’t carry the sentiments of the house anymore,” Mudgill said. He alleged that constitutional amendments are made without being discussed in various associations which makes up FAITH which is unheard of in democratic set up. He conceded that there is disagreements within IATO EC on the issue and that is the reason why the issue got spilled over the to the general house meeting as well.  Mudgill said that a full house of IATO will be convened soon to discuss the issue threadbare.

When contacted by TravelBiz Monitor for his reaction to the allegations, Goyal said that since the Presidents of 10 travel, tourism and hospitality associations make up the Board of FAITH it is a practice that only they can represent matters in the Federation.  All communications should be channelled through the President to be qualified for a response. “It is not ethical to undermine the authority of the President of any organisation. Nobody can nominate himself,” he said.  Goyal also observed that it will be practically impossible for FAITH to communicate with all the office-bearers of all the constituent associations.   

Number of members attended the IATO monthly meeting raised issues related to India Tourism Mart (ITM) and said that IATO should interfere to get refunds from FAITH since the organiser failed in delivering the promises to exhibitors. TravelBiz Monitor had reported earlier about the disappointment of Indian exhibitors on the last minute venue change and the quality of interntional buyers.

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