IATA agents association of India (IAAI) is an association for the travel agents formed by the agents. IAAI‘s mission is to protect and promote the interests of small and medium sized travel agents in India. In the recent AGM of Maharashtra state held on 19th Dec 2016 in Mumbai saw the launch of an exclusive portal titled I-TOP that will enable each of its members to work individually or as a consolidator.
I-TOP which stands for ‘Indian Travel Agents Own Portal’ is an effort to safeguard the interests of its members from the prevailing challenging market conditions and present them with a new revenue model.
In a presentation by Manish Synghal, Jt. Secretary MH & Chairman IAAI, I-Top Committee said “Presently, IAAI has taken a initiative to launch a portal exclusively for its members. I-Top will provide a platform to all our active members or travel agents who are IATA members. I-Top will provide the best deals for almost all types of travel services like air ticketing, Hotel Accommodation, Holiday Packages for FIT and GIT, MICE, Cruises, Visas, Tickets for other modes of transportation domestic as well as International, along with best deals for FOREX, Travel Insurance, Rent A Car. Gradually, I-Top will be available for non IATA associate members too and they also can also do business among themselves and get benefits to enjoy best possible deals from the airlines directly”.
Manish added “IAAI members having huge volume of business provide an excellent ground for best negotiations directly with suppliers including Airlines, DMCs, Hotels, Cruises, Insurance Companies, FOREX etc. Here, all members of IAAI will be benefited. They will have better profit margins as our association being a non profit organization will pass all benefits to its members. Best deals will be available for online payments through cards, transfers, payment gateways etc with cash back offers and discounts. I-Top will also provide facility to its members to use it as their own portal in their brand name for their B2C business”.
Biji Eapen, National President, IAAI National Board, said, “It is a first portal of its kind in the history of the aviation world created solely for the agents, by the agents. It has sophisticated technology and enhanced innovative processing modules. It has been enriched with facilities for the user to work as an individual or a consolidator and operate through GDS platforms and also the internet to meet the present challenges and competitions in the Industry with B2B, B2C and B2D facilities including the new NDC process.”
While the gathering was well attended, other activities included speeches, reports and presentations from sponsors along with lucky draws from Oman Air over cocktails and dinner.
IAAI was founded in 2001 under challenging circumstances. IAAI’s is still pursuing its relentless struggle in various forums to restore the fundamental rights and aspirations of small and medium sized Travel Agents in India and strive for orderly and mutually beneficial co-existence of Principal Airlines, GDS and the vibrant Travel Agent community .
With the changing face of the industry in the recent past, IAAI also opened its membership to Non-IATA Travel agents, Tour Operators, State Tourism Boards in India and National Tourism Boards of various countries, Hotels and other stake holders of travel and tourism industry, thus making IAAI a true and comprehensive representation of the travel and tourism industry in India, with an all-encompassing vision, outlook and perspective.