Fo­cus on train­ing and work­shops

The re­gional chap­ters of TAAI are try­ing their best to up­lift mem­bers through work­shops and train­ing pro­grammes along with help­ing them face chal­lenges, both lo­cal and IATA-re­lated. Here's how...

TravTalk - India - - TAAI TALK -

The TAAI Con­ven­tion 2018 in Srina-gar will of­fer a first-hand ex­pe­ri­ence of the des­ti­na­tion to mem­bers and al­low them to pro­mote tourism across seg­ments like do­mes­tic, in­bound, out­bound and MiCE. We had to get PCI DSS com­pli­ance rul­ing as given by IATA which we suc­cess­fully man­aged to ac­quire with sup­port from TAAI. We are con­nect­ing with tourism boards to ed­u­cate mem­bers on des­ti­na­tions and in­crease skill sets to di­ver­sify their prod­uct port­fo­lio.

Our ini­tia­tives will in­clude build­ing re­la­tions be­tween mem­bers and tourism boards, ho­tels and sup­pli­ers. We want to do more road­shows with tourism boards and ed­u­cate mem­bers on other sources for rev­enue. I am happy to re­ceive im­mense sup­port from my team mem­bers. Shrink­ing rev­enue from tick­et­ing and in­creas­ing costs for IATA agents like PCI DSS and NDS are ma­jor chal­lenges of mem­bers. The big­gest chal­lenge I feel is on­line por­tals giv­ing huge dis­counts on ho­tel book­ings, which most of us aren’t able to com­pete with.

We are work­ing closely with the gov­ern­ment, tourism boards, NTOs, DMCs and big tour con­sol­ida­tors/ag­gre­ga­tors for aware­ness of our prod­ucts. Work­shops and road­shows are con­ducted at reg­u­lar in­ter­vals in co­or­di­na­tion with these or­gan­i­sa­tions. As a re­sult of this, in­ter­na­tional tourist ar­rivals in In­dia and in­bound tourism has been show­ing re­mark­able im­prove­ment in re­cent years which has led to a growth trend in FEEs. Due to lack of proper in­fra­struc­ture, hu­man re­sources, ser­vice lev­els, lack of ad­e­quate mar­ket­ing and pro­mo­tion, tax­a­tion, our tourism in­dus­try faces nu­mer­ous chal­lenges.

We are plan­ning to in­crease our mem­ber­ship ex­ten­sively to strengthen the as­so­ci­a­tion. GST and NDC are the new chal­lenges for the mem­bers and we are try­ing to ed­u­cate them about the same. We also in­tend to de­velop tourism among our mem­bers on an all In­dia ba­sis to pro­mote the North East states. The con­ven­tion will be a great plat­form for mem­bers to ex­change views on ways to pro­mote Kash­mir, and dis­cuss is­sues and find so­lu­tions to the prob­lems they are fac­ing in day-to-day busi­ness.

Our fo­cus is to ed­u­cate our mem­bers on how to go be­yond tick­et­ing and be­come travel con­sul­tants. We are try­ing to con­duct train­ing ses­sions at var­i­ous des­ti­na­tions and plan ed­u­ca­tional trips within In­dia and abroad. We are also en­cour­ag­ing our mem­bers to get them­selves reg­is­tered with In­dia Tourism to and in­crease in­bound busi­ness. With is­sues ga­lore, we haven’t yet got­ten over GST and now we have PCI DSS on our plat­ter. The New Gen ISS is be­ing im­ple­mented by IATA soon, which will bring a lot more peo­ple into the busi­ness, thereby squeez­ing mar­gins fur­ther.

The fo­cus of the J&K con­ven­tion is to re­mind mem­bers and the In­dian travel trade of our fore­most re­spon­si­bil­ity. The in­tent is to stand to­gether and send a mes­sage that we will do every­thing pos­si­ble to cre­ate a pos­i­tive im­age to boost tourism in J&K. We are re­spon­si­ble in pro­vid­ing value to our mem­bers to al­low them to pro­mote tourism in a sig­nif­i­cant way. TAAI has been un­for­tu­nately branded as an as­so­ci­a­tion of air tick­et­ing agents and it is im­por­tant to change this per­cep­tion. Such con­ven­tions re­fresh the des­ti­na­tion and en­cour­age the travel in­dus­try.

K Shahul Hameed Chair­man TAAI-South­ern Re­gion

Neeraj Mal­ho­tra Re­gion, TAAI

Gau­rav Do­gra Re­gion, TAAI

Sameer Kar­nani Re­gion, TAAI

Ra­jesh Pod­dar Re­gion, TAAI

Vikas Sarawgi Re­gion, TAAI

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