Regarding Discontinuation of Airport Entry Passes for the Tour Operators.
27th August 2019
To All Members,
Sub: Regarding Discontinuation of Airport Entry Passes for the Tour Operators.
As you are aware, airport entry passes for the tour operators who are members of IATO and recognised by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India were being issued for entry at the airports all over the country.
However, it has been informed by Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) that as per AEP Guideline 2019, commercial AEPs shall not be issued and BCAS is allowing renewal of Airport Entry Passes up to 31-12-2019 only considering transition period.
For this transition period, monthly based pro rata fees will be charged from the applicant by DIAL. However, full amount of fees will be charged month wise if printing date starts from that particular month.
For the Tour Operators/Travel Agents monthly prorate fee will be as per following:-
Basic Rate = Rs. 4957.16 GST @18% = 892.29 TOTAL = Rs. 5849.45
IATO has immediately taken up this matter with the highest authorities in the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and Ministry of Tourism. A copy of letter written to Hon’ble Minister of Civil Aviation is placed below.
Shall keep you update once anything positive comes out.
23rd August 2019
Shri Hardeep S Puri
Hon'ble Minister for Civil Aviation
Ministry of Civil Aviation
Government of India
Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan
Hon’ble Minister Sir,
Sub: Regarding Withdrawal of facility of Airport Entry Passes for the Representative of Tour Operators for Entry at the Airports.
Sir, The purpose of this letter is to apprise you, the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) is India's National Apex Body of Tour Operators with membership of over 1600 across the country. Our membership consists of the nation’s inbound tour operators, travel agents, hotel chains, airlines and other stake holders in the tourism & hospitality industry. All our Active Members are recognized by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India who are doing inbound tourist to India. The Membership of IATO controls over 90% of all inbound tourism into India and 80 % of the foreign exchange earnings earned through tourism is by our members.
For last 25 years our tour operator members who are recognized by the Ministry of Tourism Government of India are being issued Airport Entry Passes who are permitted to go inside the arrival hall to receive their foreign guests at the airport. This facility to the Ministry of Tourism Government of India recognized tour operators and members of IATO was provided to ensure that foreign tourists coming from different countries are given personalized services and also to ensure that they are not being cheated/hijacked at the airport by the touts or any third party at the airport.
We now understand that this facility of Airport Entry Passes to the tour operators is being withdrawn by the Government.
India is a soft target in international media that India is not a safe country and they repeatedly make negative reports about foreign/woman travelers. For this the facility of Airport Passes is must for the Ministry of Tourism Government of India recognized tour operators to provide the safe and personalised services and receive them at the airport to ensure safety of foreign tourists and also to ensure that they do not become victims of being hijacked by the Lapkas/cheaters at the airport. If this facility is withdrawn, there would be no difference between the Ministry of Tourism Government of India recognized tour operators and the Lapkas. This will benefit the unorganized tour operators operating near the international airports in our country who do not pay even the taxes to the government. This will be a very big setback for the tourism industry as foreign tourists will lose confidence to come to our country and they will choose other neighboring countries instead of India.
It is a worldwide practice to meet and greet the foreign tourists at the airport and provide them the best available services so that they go back to their country with happy memories, which give mouth to mouth publicity and help to promote tourism to any country. If any foreign tourist go back with bad memories, it gives very negative impact on the tourism industry resulting negative growth of foreign tourist arrivals, which will in turn have very negative impact on foreign exchange earnings, economic growth of our country and loss of employment in tourism, hospitality and other associated services like restaurants, handicraft, wildlife safaris, transport, airlines, etc.
Recently, Honble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi has also emphasized from the ramparts of the Red Fort on Independence Day Celebration that India should multiply in Tourism growth and more and more foreign and domestic tourists should travel to India.
In view of the above, may I request to kindly do not withdraw the facility of Airport Passes for the tour operators and this facility should continue as it is without any change in the policy.
Sir, if you want, we can come and meet you to explain the above in detail as per date and time convenient to you.
Looking forward to a favourable response on the above.
With best regards,