Travel Trade Journal
Lucknow plays host to the 37th IATO Annual Convention
The IATO convention this year was well attended by over 1000 delegates from across the country. Hon’ble Yogi Adityanath, the Chief Minister of the Host State of Uttar Pradesh, was the Chief Guest of the Valedictory Session held on December 18, 2022.
IATO (Indian Association of Tour Operators) held its 37th Annual Convention in Lucknow from December 16-19, 2022. The Convention was inaugurated on December 16, 2022, at The Centrum Hotel, Lucknow. The welcome address by the Convention Chairman, Ravi Gosain, set the pace, followed by addresses by other eminent dignitaries.
Speaking at the Inauguration, Rajiv Mehra, President of IATO, thanked the Uttar Pradesh Government under the Leadership of Yogi Adityanath for the total support given by his office and for enabling IATO to hold their 37th IATO Annual Convention in Lucknow. He also thanked Arvind Singh, Secretary Tourism, Government of India, and Mukesh Kumar Meshram, Principal Secretary and Director General Tourism, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh, for their support.
Mukesh Meshram explained the new tourism policy of the UP Government and the incentives being offered to the stakeholders. Arvind Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India, talked about G20 Presidency and thanked the UP Government for taking the lead and hosting the 37th IATO Annual Convention in Uttar Pradesh. Asim Arun, Minister for Social welfare, Government of Uttar Pradesh, addressed the delegates and talked about the new infrastructure development being created in Uttar Pradesh.
Sunil Gupta, Managing Director, Travel Bureau, and Late Badrinath Bajaj, Managing Director, Perfect Travels and Tours, were honoured with the “Hall of Fame” awards for their contribution to the tourism industry. Sunil Mishra, Treasurer, Co-Chairman, IATO Convention, presented a vote of thanks.
OnDecember17thand18th,2022,business sessions and deliberations were organised
on the subjects like Inbound Tourism- What Lies Ahead, building relationships between Hotels and Tour Operators, Tourism and opportunities in Uttar Pradesh, Spirituality, River Cruise, New Circuits, Need of The Hour -Tourism Marketing and Promotion, Last Mile Connectivity – Air, Rail, and Road, Explore the Unexplored - Rural, Agriculture, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism, Search for New Ideas! - What next?
Rajiv Bansal, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Rakesh Kumar Verma, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, SP Singh, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Govt. of India, Mukesh Kumar Meshram, Principal Secretary and DG Tourism, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh, Sheo Shekhar Shukla, Principal Secretary, Tourism and MD, MP Tourism Board, Sachin R Jadhav, Director Tourism and MD, Odisha Tourism Development Corporation, Abhay Sinha, Director General, Service Export Promotion Council were the key government speakers in the business session.
Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, was also the Chief Guest during the Valedictory Session, where he addressed the over 1000 delegates present. He elaborated on the UP Government’s plans for tourism development and incentives announced by his administration.
Yogi Adityanath emphasised the importance of the safety and security of tourists and assured that Uttar Pradesh today is the safest Indian state for tourists. At the venue, he also released a Coffee Table Book on Bundelkhand and the IATO Manual 2022-23.
Yogi Adityanath gave the Marketing Innovation Competition awards to the following states.
Best booth – Uttar Pradesh Tourism
Best Digital Marketing by State Government – Madhya Pradesh Tourism
Best Poster by State Government – Manipur Tourism
Best Brochure by State Government – Maharashtra Tourism
Best Video CD – Ladakh Tourism
Dayashankar Singh, Hon’ble Minister for Transport, Government of Uttar Pradesh, Arun Kumar Saxena, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh, and Mukesh Kumar Meshram were also present at the Valedictory Session. Shri Mangal Prabhat Lodha, Hon’ble Minister of Tourism, Govt. of Maharashtra, through his video message, invited all to the 38th IATO Annual Convention scheduled to be held in Aurangabad in September 2023. Prateek Hira then gave the vote of thanks.
The 37th IATO Annual Convention had 1000 delegates from all over the country. The Convention was supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, with Uttar Pradesh being the host state. Other states’ tourism boards that participated in the Convention were namely Bihar Tourism, Chhattisgarh Tourism, Goa Tourism, Gujarat Tourism, Karnataka Tourism, Jammu and Kashmir Tourism, Kerala Tourism, Ladakh Tourism, Madhya Pradesh Tourism, Maharashtra Tourism, Manipur Tourism, Odisha Tourism, Punjab Tourism, Rajasthan Tourism, Tamil Nadu Tourism, Tripura Tourism, Uttarakhand Tourism.
The Convention concluded on December 19, 2022, and about 300 delegates departed for post-convention tours to various cities, which included Ayodhya, Varanasi, Dudhwa, Allahabad and Chitrakoot, and Agra and Mathura.