Home Associations IATO ELECTIONS: A spirited bunch of loyalists

IATO ELECTIONS: A spirited bunch of loyalists

The battle lines are drawn for the IATO elections with two formidable teams contesting and committed to delivering their promise. While TTJ covered the views of some enterprising and passionate leaders contesting for the various post of Office Bearers, TTJ also got the opportunity to speak to some equally energetic and lively team supporters contesting for the Executive Committee Member positions. Read on to know their thoughts!

Ravi Sharma

Arun Anand, Midtown Travels

TEAM FOR CHANGE Contesting for EC Member- Active

TEAM FOR CHANGE has both seniors and youngsters, we have seven new faces in the team who are dedicated and our motto is – MEMBER FIRST.

We need to work for the betterment of the membership especially post COVID and press the Government to give some relief. These could be soft loans with 3 to 4 per cent interest with a moratorium until the end of 2022 or 2023. We will help the members to register under MSME and we can explore getting some benefits from the Ministry of MSME also. We will work as a team with full transparency and each one will be available 24X7 to the membership

As we all are aware that the MOT is running the DEKHO APNA DESH, campaign and we will talk to MOT to run this campaign in all the source markets around the world as the product is already ready. Our Manifesto has outlined various points of action. We will amend our constitution on priority and we will try to increase the membership of the association manifolds. We will work closely with MOT to arrange roadshows in various countries where we will give support to the members from IATO funds. We will talk to International Travel Associations to bring their members to our country on FAM trips, so that those who are not selling India, will be encouraged. This will increase the business for the entire membership,

Tony Marwah, Indian Travel Promotion Company

TEAM FOR CHANGE Contesting for EC Member- Active

First and foremost, most of our team members are small to medium tour operators and fully understand the problems faced by our fraternity. Each of them brings in rich experience in inbound tours and we have in our DNA that, the Association is for and by the members.

Each one of us is aware of the issues being faced in these pandemic times and is committed to addressing them. We aim to work with honesty and full transparency and will be fully accessible to our members.

Our manifesto is out and clearly outlines our course of action. The immediate issues that we aim to achieve are SEIS for our members, find out ways to revive the business, and get out of the fiscal stress that we all are facing. This was also mentioned in our press conference that we would look at an alternate source of revenues like workshops on Domestic Tourism as well as Outbound as these are already showing signs of revival. An annual fee waiver will also be announced. Going forward, we would like to bring in more transparency and inclusiveness in the functioning of IATO and make it more relevant to PAN INDIA. Amendment of the IATO constitution is another priority and giving the status of ACTIVE to those ALLIED members who were relegated for one reason or the other.

Vishal Yadav, Incredible Destination Management Service

TEAM FOR CHANGE Contesting for EC Members – Active

What triggered me to contest the IATO elections was, even though it was mutually discussed during the last IATO meeting at Taj Palace that the different committees would be formed comprising members and will work towards getting the refunds for our members from Hotels, Airlines, Railways, and Safaris, Even after regular following up they were not formed. 

 Secondly, after so many members raising protests that IATO should not charge the annual subscription as there was no revenue and with a huge asset base of FD’s worth 4.5 crores, we were turned down and the only benefit given was that the fees can be submitted till 31st Mar. Apathy was shown.

At the last, when the government did not announce any support for the industry we requested IATO multiple times to be part of a nationwide peaceful campaign at Tourist monuments, where we appeal to the government for the sake of our employees and companies, multiple meetings were called to but finally 4 days before the event it was called off and members were left without any support. Although with certain like-minded members the rally happened and was a huge success.

 Apart from the various agendas that our Team would be working on which are part of our Manifesto, my priorities would be: To highlight and better represent the problems of the Small & Medium Agencies, working on multiple Educational and Knowledge forums, updating new Hotels and Tourism Products for the benefit of the members and working on building bilateral ties with the other countries thereby increasing business for our members.

 I truly believe that one of the reasons that our Industry does not get the Government’s attention is because Tourism does not enjoy an Industry status and strives for it. I along with our Team would be working alongside the Ministry in getting the Industry status for Tourism.

 So, I appeal to the members to let’s work together and let me be their voice for a change, which is necessary. Thus, looking forward to the members’ support to enable me to bridge the prevailing gap between the members and the association. I will be instrumental in raising their voice to the concerned authorities and the corridors of ministry through a proper channel and to have a better future for all of us.  I hereby request them to give their complete support for “Team for Change” and enable us to walk together.

Manoj Matta, Oriental Vacations and Journeys

TEAM MOVING FORWARD Contesting for EC Member Active

I believe Team Moving Forward is well experienced not only as tourism professionals but also in terms of maintaining cordial relations with various government agencies which is the need of the hour. We all have faced the worst time ever due to this pandemic and it’s high time we keep on banging the government’s door to get some sort of support for the industry. I do understand that currently, the government’s priority is healthcare and vaccination however, I am very much optimistic that IATO’s year-long efforts shall bring fruits, and as soon as the inbound business starts picking up, the government shall offer some relief to tour operators. Therefore the continuity of the existing team which is working day and night coordinating with the government must continue.

All contestants in Team Moving Forward are well educated, well experienced and comprise of small, micro and medium scale tour operators thus, they very well understand the pain of their colleagues in the industry or I would like to put it this way that they best represent the inbound industry. Each member in Team Moving Forward wishes to give back to the industry as they don’t have any vested interests and would like to work for the betterment of the fraternity.

As MOT has already relaxed guidelines of approval, I will try and maximize the strength of active members of IATO by convincing non – members and allied members to be MOT approved, because in the future any benefits being given by the government shall be limited to its approved agents only, just like the benefits of MSME are extended only to the registered enterprises. In the past, I have been associated with IATO in its Outbound Committee, Media and PR Committee, etc., and shall be happy to take any role in the functionality of IATO for the benefits of its members in particular and travel trade in general. As I am a go-getter, hardworking, humble, sincere and honest, I am flexible to take any responsibility being assigned to me by Office Bearers which could take IATO to newer heights.

I urge members to vote cautiously keeping in mind that it’s time to revive and rebuild, as almost each one of us will have to start from scratch. Therefore, we all have to rise above personal egos, personal interests, and instead of doing mudslinging, think positive and work collectively ensuring cohesiveness among members for the betterment of the industry. In the 2018 election, I lost by one vote yet worked tirelessly for the betterment of our members as a subcommittee member and as a result, IATO first-ever appointed a PR agency which became very crucial during the pandemic. The kind of media coverage IATO got in the last year is far beyond the collective coverage in the last 30 years. Thus, hoping members will vote for continuity and Team Moving Forward shall emerge as a winner.

Deepak Gupta, Tour Express

TEAM MOVING FORWARD Contesting for EC Member- Active

The inner strength of our TEAM MOVING FORWARD is its value system of honesty and ethics. All the team members are extremely hardworking, dedicated and resilient. It is also important to note that all the members are inbound tour operators which ensures that everyone relates and understands the association’s goals.

If elected, I along with the team will try my best to achieve industry status for the tourism sector. The mission to revive our businesses post-pandemic also stays on top of my list. I wish to achieve the same through organising events and interactions between buyers and our members. I am indebted to our beloved industry as it has made me what I am today. Now, it’s time to give back to my fraternity and also it is my first time contesting IATO elections.

Deepak Bhatnagar, Aamantaran Travel Company

TEAM MOVING FORWARD Contesting for EC Member-Active

Team Moving Forward is a team which 100 per cent committed to the welfare of the membership and for the industry as a whole. We are a team of very well-experienced members with immense understanding about the working of association which gives us an edge over the other team.

We wish to work closely with industry and ministry to revive the tourism at the earliest and bring it to the level of March 2020 and also assist all Office Bearers in their association work.

My humble request to all Allied members is to take full advantage of Ministry’s new guidelines to get Ministry approval and eventually become IATO active member. By doing so, they will have two benefits, one they could enjoy all benefits extended by the Ministry of Tourism like MDA, participation in Ministry and IATO organized roadshows, participate in various international tourism fairs across various source markets at very discounted rates. Secondly, being IATO active members they could make the association strong and participate in association affairs more effectively.