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...
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