The new team of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), which is the dream team of re-elected President Rajiv Mehra, is excited to put up an equally better performance in its second innings. The focus of the association remains on international promotions and Service Exports from India Scheme (SEIS) of the government.
Most members in IATO’s team have been re-elected, which speaks a lot about the faith of the members in the office-bearers and executive committee. Now, the team is all geared to make sure that they deliver their promises.
Restarting roadshows, marts
Rajnish Kaistha, Senior Vice President, IATO, says that they will continue from where they left and would like to accomplish much more in the next two years. “Ours has been the most beleaguered industry as far as tourism, particularly leisure inbound, is concerned. Since the government has shut down all their Indian offices abroad, we have asked the embassies that all tourism officers who will be joining there, should train with us before going for postings abroad. Secondly, physical roadshows must start immediately, because that is the need of the hour. While we have attended some tourism exhibitions and international marts like ITB and WTM, we want to go for many more on a regular basis with the help of MOT,” he claims.
Apart from that, he informs, “Budget for overseas marketing is being worked out and is in pipeline. The Indian tourism website is being revamped as a holistic website that should be soon ready. SEIS and other schemes are gone, and hence government should come up with something new for tourism—any incentive to our industry by way of direct and indirect support, so that not only do we bring tourism, but also foreign exchange.”
Ravi Gosain, Vice President, IATO, insists that getting re-elected is not just a prize, but an achievement of what we have done in the past. “We will leave no stone unturned in future to make IATO members proud. The first thing we must do is to revive our businesses. Hence, we are working closely with MOT to go with overseas promotions. Thus, as soon as possible, we need a lot of visibility for India,” he adds.
Ready for new regime
Sanjay Razdan, Hony. Secretary, IATO, claims that they hope to further the agendas of the last two years. “We have tried to fulfil all the aspirations of our members to the best of our capabilities. Now we must continue the requests and demands we have made with the government in the last two years, including tourism promotion. I think the government is listening to us. After the closing of India tourism offices abroad, new regime is taking place. After that we would know how government is going to promote India. We are after the government to tell us the roadmap and we are giving them our suggestions. In fact, IATO has succeeded in bringing back the MDA scheme, which was stopped for some time. We are now trying for SEIS to come back,” he says.
Global media campaign
Viney Tyagi, Hony. Treasurer, IATO, says there is tough time ahead for inbound. “Overseas marketing is one issue. We are going to pursue MOT to build up the tempo about the same, so that we have more clients in the next season,” he adds.