JyotiMayal, President, TAAI, has said that she is in constant touch with both MoCA and MOT for the resolution of some longstanding industry demands and pandemic-induced concerns, including creation of Special Tourism Zones (STZ).
Constantly working with both Ministry of Tourism (MOT) and Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) on the way forward and for solving existing issues, JyotiMayal says that the meetings have helped eradicate some of the concerns and many airlines have even started giving refunds. “A lot of airlines are paying through the GDS. Another thing we are pursuing is ease of doing business, and that IATA should consider the agents as equal partners,” she shares. Another issue that has been put forth by the Association is the non-acceptance of credit cards by airlines that is causing some concern. “It has been cleared by the PAPJC and IATA, but we are still knocking on every airline’s door. There should be a directive from the government for the same. There should be neutral capping of fares. Also, we are looking at remuneration in a big way. As travel consultants, we should have a right to charge our fee, else our services can be treated as an MRP product so that we are protected. We should be allowed to charge service fee like the hotels are charging 10% fee,” she suggests.
Mayal adds that another ongoing process has been the creation of Special Tourism Zones (STZ) by MOT. “I appreciate that the government is considering it, because it’s the need of the hour. The points we have asked them to consider include connectivity and trade opportunities, including rebates and reliefs. One important thing we have mentioned is to have single-window clearance. Also, it should be time-bound, sustainable and world-class,” she asserts.
GST and TCS have now been longstanding concerns of the industry. Mayal says that MoCA has asked all stakeholders to revert on GST. “Earlier, we did come to a decision, but it wasn’t formulated into a document. For TCS, we’ve had a meeting and we’ve also written individually as associations to the Finance Secretary. We are keeping our fingers crossed and just hope that our hard work pays off.