TAAI-NR undertakes series of member-friendly initiatives

Members are visiting Sri Lanka from July 8 to 11.

Since their reelection in August last year,  the office bearers of Travel Agents Association  of India, Northern Region (TAAI-NR)  have been working hard for their members.  They are tirelessly raising the issues of their  members and striving to enhance the potentials  and productivity of their business. They  have been organizing workshop/seminars to  update their members of new opportunities.  The last year TAAI- NR had taken a delegation  of their 50 members to Dubai. The visit  was well-appreciated by its members.

Continuing their efforts to bring new business  opportunities to their members, a delegation  of TAAI-NR is going to Colombo, the  capital city of Sri Lanka from July 8 to 11,  2016. The next monthly meeting of the TAAI,  NR will be held in Colombo. The delegation  will compromise approximately 60 members.

“During the visit, our visiting members will  have opportunity to interact with representatives  of the Sri Lanka Tourism Board, Sri-  Lankan Airlines, Sri Lankan travel trade,  Destination Management Companies (DMCs)  and hotels. The visit will provide a perfect  opportunity for the visiting members to gain  insights of tourism potential of Sri Lanka, understand  the destination closely and establish  relationship with the local trade and  hotels,” informed Rajan Sehgal, Chairman,  TAAI-NR. He added that Sri Lanka is fast  emerging as an attractive tourist destination  that offers a golden business opportunity for  agents.

Talking about the visit, Neeraj Malhotra,  Honorary Secretary, TAAI-NR said, “It is a  meeting-cum-education tour for our members.  Through this visit we want to educate  our members about new destination and  products and help them discover new avenues  of business. Sri Lanka is a beautiful  country emerging as a favorite destination  among global discerning travelers. The island  nation is our neighboring country and has  strong historical and cultural relations with  us. Indians would love to visit the island nation  if we promote it properly.”

With few airlines paying commission to  travel agents on the sale of tickets, ticketing  business has lost its sheen among agents.  Now it is important for agents to diversify  their business. Promoting destinations and  selling holiday packages could be one important  way to diversify their business.  Sehgal further informed that SriLankan airlines  has offered special airfare to the visiting  members. The members will have opportunity  to see tourist attractions and facilities in  and around Colombo. During the visit, representatives  of Sri Lanka Tourism Board and  SriLankan Airlines will hold meeting with the  visiting members and make presentation to  them.

TAAI-NR is continuously taking up the issues  of agents with the government. When  others have given up, TAAI-NR is still fighting  for the restoration of commission and  credits to travel agents and has sought the  intervention of the Government and formulation  of policies and laws by it requiring domestic  and foreign airlines operating in India  to pay commission. “It is our right to get commission  for the services we provide to airlines,  but they long ago stopped giving  commission to us. We request the Government  of India, particularly, Ministry of Civil  Aviation to address our long-standing issue  of commission through legislation as the governments  of our neighboring countries such  as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan and  also the governments of countries like Israel  have told airlines to pay the rightful due of  the travel agents by giving them their Commission,”  said Malhotra.

In another important initiative, TAAI-NR  is planning to organize a regional meet for  the benefits of its members, most likely in the  month of November this year. According to  Sehgal, this will be a one-and-half day event  to be held in Delhi. This will be a landmark  initiative in the history of the Indian travel  trade because so far no regional chapter of  any Indian travel trade association has organized  such meet. Sehgal also informed that  TAAI-NR is also planning to join hands with  Industry bodies like FICCI, PHD Chamber of  Commerce & Industry, and the organizer of  India’s Vintage Car Rally to host next Heritage  Tourism Conclave and Vintage Car Rally  together, which will enhance the value  proposition of the both events.

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