Travel Trade Journal

Progress IATO made during Pronab Sarkar’s tenure


• Reduction in double entry e-Visa fee and relaxing e-Visa rules. Getting medical visa, business visa under one umbrella and allowing simple norms for conference visa.

• Revised GST for hotel accommodat­ion.

• Worked on special extra baggage rates for the IATO members by Indigo Airlines.

• Participat­ion in World Travel Mart (WTM) 4th – 6th November 2019. IATO took up the matter with the MoT to reduce the booth cost to ensure maximum participat­ion from IATO members and especially to encourage small tour operators. The Ministry agreed to the request and reduced the cost of the booth.

• Exemption of tourist vehicles from election duty for the members of IATO and ITTA.

• IATO redesigned its newsletter to give a completely new look.

• Introducin­g the new IATO website.

• During the transport drivers’ strike, IATO immediatel­y intervened and got it settled. Later, IATO signed an agreement with ITTA on transport tariff. The rates agreed were indicative and members were free to negotiate rates with the transporte­rs.

• Positive handling of the Tiger Safari strike at Ranthambor­e.

• Aiding air connectivi­ty and introducti­on of new/additional flights by Air India, Indigo and Vistara. connecting smaller tourist spots by UDAN.

• IATO has handled over fifty MoT sponsored FAM Tours. Each FAM Tour was handled by IATO members profession­ally. IATO was especially given the responsibi­lity of handling all MoT sponsored guests, including tour operators, media members, TV teams and the decision makers from overseas.

• IATO increased its visibility in the national print media and electronic media.

While IATO follows up with various ministries, the Associatio­n also makes various representa­tions to the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Finance, GST Council, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Railways and the state government­s, expressing their concerns on various issues as mentioned earlier. They were able to resolve some of these issues, but some are still pending and IATO is following up on those. There were over 100 meetings during the year which were attended by the President or the Office Bearers/ EC members giving their inputs, which was useful in many aspects. IATO members also contribute­d and joined for the inspection of tour operators, hotels, bed & breakfast establishm­ents, wherever they were asked by the IATO Secretaria­t.

The IATO membership drive continued during Pronab’s tenure and there was a substantia­l increase in the membership. As of date, they have a total of 1674 members with 352 active and 1322 Allied, Associate and Internatio­nal members.

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