TAAI sharpens IATA focus

With executive education being a priority for TAAI, the association is taking its trainings right to the agents’ door. It is also strengthening its focus on IATA, its ‘GoLite’ agent model being a key driving force.

TT Bureau

Training and education have been at the forefront of TAAI’s (Travel Agents Association of India’s) agenda for the last few months, claims Sunil Kumar, President of the association. “TAAI has been most active in the last few months on the subject of imparting executive education. TAAI conclaves have had a huge impact in terms of a lot of ‘unlearning’ that people had to go through. We are following the concept of push learning, which means that we are taking learning to their homes, rather than asking them to come forward and go through a training process. Those who have been a part of these conclaves, which is around 700 agents, have experienced a positive impact as well. This allowed them to look at their business models and attempt changes. This initiative was launched at a very large cost and this effort has been a blockbuster for TAAI,” he says.

Another initiative of the association has been pushing for the reduction of GST, in collaboration with FAITH. Kumar shares that it wasn’t easy to convince representatives of the GST Council on why this change is a must, and while the push from Ministry of Tourism did help, at a local or regional level, representatives had to be informed. “Like every association, TAAI also had certain challenges in convincing that it must happen, and we are happy for the industry that it has materialised now,” he delightfully adds.

Today, India is at the top with 430-plus agents, which is a major chunk of the total number of GoLite agents across the world

Another initiative of the association has been pushing for the reduction of GST, in collaboration with FAITH. Kumar shares that it wasn’t easy to convince representatives of the GST Council on why this change is a must, and while the push from Ministry of Tourism did help, at a local or regional level, representatives had to be informed. “Like every association, TAAI also had certain challenges in convincing that it must happen, and we are happy for the industry that it has materialised now,” he delightfully adds.

TAAI’s focus on IATA is now widening, and Kumar is all praises for IATA’s latest launch – NewGen ISS, which is unfolding all over the world. “Another big change is introduction of the ‘GoLite’ agent model, where agents are part of IATA without demanding any credit from the air transport association or the airline; they have other forms of credit. Today, India is at the top with 430-plus agents, which is a major chunk of the total number of GoLite agents across the world,” Kumar says, as he anticipates that in a country as large as India, which has more than 50,000 agents and only 3200 of them with IATA, the GoLite model can help boost numbers to a level where TAAI will have to apply a different strategy to educate newcomers.

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