With IATO elections just a week away, the team led by Lally Mathews, ‘Team for Change’ organised an impressive get-together at Lajpat Rai Bistro 360 Restobar on 27th February. All the contestants seemed confident of their victory, which reflected in their attitude.
Despite the COVID-19 challenge, the team was able to gather 100 plus IATO members, which was quite remarkable, and it also showcased members’ level of confidence, trust, and support for the team. Besides Lally Mathews, who is contesting for the President position, the candidates present were E. M Najeeb contesting as Sr. Vice President, Lajpat Rai as Vice President, Rajesh Mudgil for Secretary, Sanjay Razdan for Joint secretary and Sunil Mishra for the Hony. Treasurer post. Veteran Arun Anand, Tony Marwah, Ravinder Kumar, Harish Mathur, Vishal Yadav, A. Aarif, P. Vijayasarthy are contesting for EC members.
“IATO has lost its identity after becoming the part of FAITH, If elected, I would go solo as IATO to MOT and other bodies,” said Lally Mathews. “I had opposed the idea of joining FAITH even in the beginning, as MOT recogniSed and well heard us,” voiced out Mathews.
Najeeb echoed the same. He pointed out that FAITH represents 10 associations, and each association had 3-4 valid points. FAITH obviously had to submit 30-40 points to Government. They could do nothing even if they wanted to, as it was impossible to fulfill such an extensive list of demands.
Mudgil said that they have no immediate plans to withdraw, however, the new team will ensure a strong representation with firm knowledge of tourism.
Besides tourism revival, taking up issues related to SEIS, amendment of IATO constitution, growing inbound businesses, developing entrepreneurial spirit, bank guarantee, greater transparency, cushions to assist small operators and developing an effective working relationship with various ministries are other promises that ‘Team for Change’ plans to effect, if voted to office.
During the get-together, there were some fiery speeches by the contestants followed by the Q&A. TTJ interacted with contestants and realized that Team for Change is fighting as one unit. There is no interest to win individually. Prominent travel professionals such as Amareesh Tiwari, Capt. Swadesh Kumar, P P Khanna, Sanjay Narula were also present to register their support to Team for Change.