Indian Association of Tour Operators meeting heats up

One would hardly expect the innocent topic of roadshows to raise controversy and take much time at the monthly meeting of the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO).

But this is exactly what happened at the meeting today, July 10, 2019.

In fact, the subject generated so much heat that some members suggested that the roadshows be held by IATO without help from the Ministry of Tourism. Some went on to point out that the lead should be taken by IATO and the Ministry be invited to join.

The main point of contention was the duration and schedule of roadshows, which are meant to promote travel to India from the generating markets, where the shows are held, led by Ministry officials or ministers and where agents take part. But quoting from a recent US trip, it was pointed out that the schedules were so tight that there was no time for follow-up.

IATO top brass expressed its inability to do much in the matter that a limit of 5 days had been set up by the government for foreign trips by ministers or senior officials. The members have been objecting for some time now.

It was also suggested that shows be divided on a geographical basis, so that time is better organized. Another suggestion was that officials posted abroad lead the teams, instead of top brass going from India.

The meeting today also heard clarifications on the GST but many members felt that clarity was still lacking.

It was announced that the annual convention of IATO will be held in Kolkata from September 12 to 15.

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