Convention from Sep 7-10

The 33rd IATO Annual Convention will be held in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, from September 7-10, 2017, and the formal announcement about it will be made, along with the announcement of 2018 convention, very soon.

lally mathewThe Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) held its Luncheon meeting recently at the Le Méridien, New Delhi, where they organized a joint session with Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI), and invited Bipin Sapra, Partner, Tax & Regulatory Services, Ernst & Young for giving a presentation to its members on the recent abatement in service tax, Union Budget and GST. Sapra informed the members regarding the effect of all these laws and changes in taxation on both inbound and outbound tour operators. The members had also put forward their queries to Sapra, and sought a solution to their problems related to taxation.

Speaking at the event, Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO, said that the association has taken up these issues with the Ministry of Tourism as well. “We had a meeting with the Secretary, Tourism, regarding the issues with service tax and other pending matters, and he has forwarded our request to the Ministry of Finance and other departments. We have been assured that our issues will be sorted.

“MOT has already revised the MDA guidelines, which will be shared with our members shortly. Apart from that they will take necessary actions regarding partial hospitality scheme as well as the new policy on guides, which is now under Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), instead of MOT. Another issue is regarding the e-visa website, where the new changes have not been implemented, and MOT is currently working on revising the software, and the updated website should be active in February.” Lally Matthews, Hony. Secretary, IATO, said that service tax is an important issue. “We had a good response and the house was full, which shows that the members wanted such a session.”

When asked about IATO Convention, Matthews informed, “We will have an official statement by IATO President regarding the convention. The dates for the same are fixed — September 7-10. In fact, we also have finalized our convention for 2018 and it will be for the first time that we will be announcing two conventions together.” IATO has already announced that their 2017 convention will be held in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

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