Theme:  Importance of Tourism in our National Economy

President and Convention Chairman:  Ram Kohli, Creative Travels Pvt. Ltd.

Chief Guest:  Ashok Gehlot, Minister of State for Tourism

Guest of Honour:  SS Siddhu, Secretary, Tourism & Civil Aviation,Govt. of India

A brief detail:

  • There was NO CONVENTION held in 1984.
  • The 1985 IATO convention’s main agenda was to secure more incentives for the tourism industry and get tourism the status of an industry. Unfortunately, all efforts in this regard have still remained futile. IATO had earlier made several recommendations to the National Development Council and at the convention had again emphasised that the government should recognise the important role played by the private sector in the development of tourism in the country.
  • The convention took place at The Ashok Hotel in New Delhi with the then Minister of State for Tourism & Civil Aviation, Ashok Gehlot as the Chief Guest. Under the leadership of Kohli,the association was led along with professionals from the IATO Committee which had veterans like,Inder Sharma, Adi Katgara, OP Ahuja, and Narinder Sibal, all of whom functioned as IATO think tank.
  • 1985 was an important year for IATO at it contributed towards building ties with other associations, including holding partnerships with various Chambers of Commerce, international tour operators’ associations including those from Pakistan and USA etc.
  • On the Government front, it was during this time that the ‘Association for Development on International Tourism Scheme’ was introduced which proved useful for IATO members to undertake enhanced overseaspromotions and participate in travel fairs like ITB (Berlin) and WTM (London).
  • The late Shyam Poddar of Orient Express played a pioneering role in working out a pre-budget memorandum on behalf of IATO,incorporating its demands for consideration in the central budget, while focusing on special incentives needed in the tourism sector.