The 30th lATO Annual Convention was held from 4th to 7th September 20l4 at Kempinski, Ambience Hotel, Delhi. The theme of the convention was "New Beginnings I Fresh ldeas I Vibrant Future". Mr. Rajeev Kohli was the Chairman of the convention along with Mr. Amaresh Tiwari as the Co Chairman.
Dr. Subramaniam Swamy, Senior BJP leader, Member of Parliament and former UnionCabinet Minister inaugurated the convention in the presence of Mr. Ashok Chandra Panda -Tourism Minister of Odisha, Major Vijay Singh Mankotia - Vice Chairman of HP TourismDevelopment Board, Mr. Parvez Dewan - Secretary (Tourism) Govt. of India, Mrs. Usha Sharma - Additional Director General (Tourism), Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of lndia. Host of senior officials from the Centre and State governments from various ministries were also present. The convention was attended by more than 1200 delegates, which included senior Government officials from various states, tourism professional, tours operators, travel agents, hoteliers, airlines, media members and invited guests. On this occasion lATO's Hall of Fame Award was bestowed upon Mr. Rajvir Singh, Founder, Dunlod Castle for his valuable contribution in the field of heritage concept of tourism through palaces, forts and havelis.
Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Mr. 0.P Ahuja - Past President of lATO and CMD Holiday Makers (l) Pvt. Ltd. Coinciding with the convention lndia Travel Mart was organized wherein most of the State Tourism Boards participated. The inaugural event was followed by a very colourful Bhangra showcasing Punjab Cultural Heritage followed by Kawwali programme by famous Ehsaan Bharti Ghughroowala at Kempinski Ambience Hotel.
On 5th September 2014 special session "The lndian Skies - Looking into the Future" was organized where Shri Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Hon'ble Union Minister for Civil Aviation was the Chief Guest. During the "Valedictory Session" on 6th September, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik, Hon'ble Minister of State for Tourism and Culture (Independent Charge), Govt. of lndia was the Chief Guest. Shri Naik appreciated the efforts and pivotal role being played by lATO for promotion ol inbound tourism to the country.
Interesting business sessions were organized during the three day convention, which were very educative for the members.
The main topics for discussions included were:-
• lndian Tourism, Responsible Reporting and its effects.
• The lndian Skies - Looking into the future.
• lndustry Partnerships - Working together for the greater good
• Marketing Brand lndia - Changing Paradigms
• Manpower & lnbound Tour Operator- Managing needs, quality and budget
• The power of high touch
• Tourism and the New Government - Making the lndian Experience better
• Why brand positioning is so important
• How to make content marketing work for you .
• Revisited -Tour Operators, Hotels and Airlines - Bridging the gap
• The business of incentives -The part of MlCE we can understand
• The National Museum-An insight by a friend
• The past will be the business of the future
• Family business or Partnerships - Balancing needs and succession of planning
• lndia for the Senses – Selling the Indian Experience
• Our health is more important than our work – Bring back the balance
• lATO Chill Out Zone
Main speakers were:
• Girish Shankar - Additional Secretary Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of lndia,
• Smt. Usha Sharma - Additional Director General (Tourism), Ministry of
• Tourism, Govt. of lndia,
• Shri R.H. Khwaja - Former Secretary Tourism, Govt. of lndia,
• Dr. Lalit K. Panwar, Secretary Ministry of Minority Affairs, Govt. of lndia
• Dr. V. Venu, Director General National Museum & Former Secretary Tourism Kerala,
• Shri Subhash Goyal, President lATO ,Chairman& Stic Group
• Sarab Jit Singh, Sr. Vice President lATO and MD, Travelite (lndia),
• Rajeev Kohli, Jt. Managing Director, Creative Travel Pvt. Ltd. and Vice President lAT0,
• Pronab Sarkar, Managing Director Swagatam Tours Pvt. Ltd. and Hony. Secretary lATO
• Shri Amaresh Tiwari- Hony. Treasurer lATO and Managing Director AT Seasons Vacations
• Mr. SanjeevJoshi - Director TIME and EC Member lATO
• Ms. Reema Lokesh - Express Traveller
• Ms. Priti Zafar Khan - Associated Press
• Ms. Neha Dixit - Freelance Reporter Outlook Al Jazeera
• Mr. Sanjay Mazumdar - BBC lndia
• Mr. Ashish Gupta - CEO FAITH
• Mr. Preneet Bindra - Regional Head for Asia, British Airways
• Mr. Samit Mehrotra, Vice President, Future Brand
• Ms. Mariellen Ward - Canadian Travel Writer
• Mr. Homa Mistry - CEO Trail Blazer Tours lndia
• Mr. Raj Kumar, CCO, Jet Airways
• Mr. Hemant Mediratta - Vice President Oberoi Hotels Resorts
• Ms. Delna Jassomoney, GM Sales Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces
• Mr. Abinash Manghani- Head Travel Industry ITC Hotels
• Mr. Sandeep Kapur- Vice President Creative Travel PW. Ltd
• Mr. Anup Nair - lncentive Destination,
• Mr. Saurav Bhargava - GM Sales, Taj Hotels,
• Mr. Steve Borgia - CMD lndeco Leisure Hotels
• Mr. SY Quraishi - former Chief Election Commissioner & Trustee Delhi Heritage Foundation Trust
• Prof. Parimal Merchant - Director, SP Jain lnstitute of Management Mumbai, Ms. Shoba Mohan - Rare Destination
• Dr. Pramod Tripathi - Corporate Health Consultant & Founder i-health Pune.
During the lATO Chill Out Zone, members enjoyed with two leading stand-up comics Jeeveshu Ahluwalia & Manas Tayalas.
Educative & ultra -dynamic presentations were made by the senior officials from the various State Governments, which included Andaman, Bihar, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.
Members were highly benefited with their expertise and thoughtful insights.
Participation in large numbers by the delegates in the business sessions made the deliberations very meaningful. Attractive door prizes were on offer in each session which included tablets, mobile phones, air tickets, holiday packages etc.
Mr. Amaresh Tiwari organized the Run for Responsible Tourism, where in over 250 delegates took part. Also on this occasion, lATO organized the Silent Auction for raising funds for a charity in Kerala and Uttarakhand, which was a big success. This was coordinated by Mr. Ravi Gosain.
Coinciding with the lATO Convention, lndia Travel Mart was also organized wherein most of the states participated. This provided them a good platform to showcase their products and have interaction with the delegates.
Award ceremony during the valedictory session recognized the support from the State Governments and honoured the winners of the Marketing lnnovation Competition and lATO Run.
After the convention, interesting post-convention tours were organized covering Delhi- Agra-Delhi and Delhi-Agra-Jaipur-Delhi. Special Thanks to Mansingh Group of Hotel and Clarks Shiraz,Agra who provided us complimentary rooms for the post tours in Agra and Jaipur.
This convention in Delhi was a big success with a presence of over 1200 delegates pan lndia, which included Senior Government Officials, Tour operators, Travel Agents, Hoteliers, and members of Press and Travel Media.
There was tremendous support from the Kempinski Ambience Hotel Delhi for making the convention a grand success. They not only gave us very reasonable room rates but also hosted a dinner on 05th September 20l4.
The dinner on 6th September was hosted by Hyatt Hotels lndia at Hyatt Regency New Delhi.
We would like to place on record our gratitude to the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of lndia and all the State Governments i.e. Andaman, Bihar, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, TamilNadu, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal for their whole hearted support in making the convention a grand success. IATO sincerely thanks Jet Airways, Spice Jet, lndiGo and Air, lndia for their generous support.
IATO would like to thank all the sponsors i.e. Kempinski Ambience Hotel Delhi, Hyatt Hotels lndia, Taj Group, ITC Hotels, Mansingh Group of Hotels, Clarkz Shiraz Agra, Alliance Hotels & Resorts, Andaman Beach Holidays, Travel Bureau Agra, TTJ, Accor Hotels, Travel Scapes, Hotel lbis Airport Delhi, Sphere Media, lndia Travel Mart, Kingdom of Dreams, Wonderlust, MountainTrail, Chryslid & many more, thanks to all the media members for attending and giving wide coverage. Thanks to all the members for attending in large numbers.
Our special thanks to Mr. Rajeev Kohli Convention Chairman and Mr. Amaresh Tiwari Co- Chairman, Mr. Mr. Rajiv Mehra & Sanjeev Joshi who were looking after registration part and spent lot of time at the lATO, Mr. Ravi Gosain, Mr. Sunil Gupta and Mr. Ramesh Wattal for smoothly handling the transport office for making this convention a grand success.
Our special thanks to all the other Organizing Committee Members Mr. Subhash Goyal, Mr. Sarab Jit Singh, Mr. Raj Bajaj, Mr. Rajnish Kaistha, Mr. N.S. Rathor and Mr.Zia Siddiqui for the excellent work and support extended during the convention. Thanks to the staff at the lATO Secretariat for the hard work put in by them for the30Th IATO annual convention, Delhi.