IATO Elections: Major work to amend IATO’s constitution for empowering regional chapters already done: Rajiv Mehra  

IATO Elections: Major work to amend IATO’s constitution for empowering regional chapters already done: Rajiv Mehra  

IATO’s elections to elect its national office bearers and the EC members will be held on 6th March 2021, when ‘The Team for Change’ led by Lally Mathews will take on ‘Team Moving Forward’ led by Rajiv Mehra.  

Rajiv Mehra, outgoing Vice President of IATO, is contesting the forthcoming IATO election for the post of president. Mehra of Uday Travels & Tours is leading the ‘Team Moving Forward’  which include Sarab Jit Singh of Travelite (India) for Sr Vice President; Ravi Gosain of Erco Travels for Vice President, Rajnish Kaistha of Paradise Holidays India for Hony. Secretary. In the run-up to the elections, TnH spoke to him to know what would be his and his team’s priorities if they are elected. He also clarified some issues the rival team is raising.

‘The Team for Change’ led by its presidential candidate Lally Mathews of Divine Voyages has pledged that if their team wins IATO elections, they will amend the constitution of the association to empower its regional chapters. On this promise of his rival group, Mehra said, “We have already done the major work for amending the constitution of IATO to empower its regional chapters. We agree that our regional chapters, which have more members, need to be empowered.” He added that a number of other things also needed to be amended in the constitution to deal with the issues emerging out of the pandemic.

The team of Change’s pledge to act individually when it comes to the interest of our members, instead of always acting in tandem with FAITH, Mehra said, “A wrong rumour has been spread in the market and I will like to clarify that IATO has always been functioning individually, writing to various ministries and working on other issues. A number of times FAITH has also incorporated our points.”

Mehra asserted that IATO has individually been approached by various departments of the Government. I want to reiterate that IATO always functions individually with all concerned departments and on all issues.”

As regards priorities, Mehra says, if elected his team’s first priority will be to get the lower limit of Rs. 2 crores for availing MDA scheme reduced to Rs. 25 lacs and the upper limit of Rs. 25 crores increased to at least Rs. 50 crores.

Mehra’s team will also work to get SEIS dues of 2019 – 2020 cleared as soon as possible. He says his team will also seek the release of the new SEIS for 2021 – 2025 as soon as possible. Moreover, his team has promised to ensure that E-Visa and international flights are resumed soon.

Early resumption of inbound tourism activities is a must to ensure the survival of inbound tour operators. Mehra says that for the survival of IATO members and the revival of inbound tourism, his team will convince the Ministry of Tourism to start overseas promotion as soon as E-Visa and international flights are announced.

Mehra enumerated some of the achievements of IATO during his tenure as Vice President. He said that during demonetization, we ensured that within 20 hours entrance tickets for monuments were added to the list of the essential commodities so that old currency notes could be used. It was a big relief for IATO members, says Mehra.

During his tenure, IATO obtained special baggage allowance for foreigner clients of its members from Indigo Airlines. In other achievements, “We solved the guide problems. We also solved strike by the transporters and drivers,” said Mehra. IATO got flights of various airlines introduced into and out of Aurangabad including Udaipur, Aurangabad and Udaipur connection. “We helped a number of our members to get refunds from hotels and airlines during the month of February 2020,” said Mehra. “We got refunds for our members from Indigo airlines and Spice Jet and from Wild Safari including Rajasthan and Maharaja Express Train.” Mehra along with Pronab Sarkar, the association’s president played an important role in reducing E-Visa charges.

Regarding the need to restart inbound tourism, Mehra said, “We will prevail upon the Ministry of Tourism to conduct a number of roadshow and fam trips, as soon as possible, in our source markets including China and also link the MoT with IATO’s website for more business. There should also be digital marketing and promotion overseas by the MoT.” Mehra said that IATO will endeavour to get maximum subsidised rates for overseas travel marts.

 

 

 

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