34th IATO Annual Convention, 6th to 9th September 2018, Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
The 34th IATO Annual Convention of IATO was held in Vishakhapatnam from 6th to 9th September 2018 at Novotel Hotel Vishakhapatnam. Three-day event whose theme was 'Mission 20 Million tourists - Challenges and Possibilities, debated on pertinent issues that India currently faces in reaching this milestone. Mr. Rajiv Mehra and Mr. Rajesh Mudgill were the Chairman and Co- Chairman of the convention respectively.
The convention kick started with a grand opening at Novotel Hotel in Vishakhapatnam. The Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism, Government of India Shri K J Alphons inaugurated the convention along other dignitaries, Ms. Bhuma Akhila Priya, Minister of Tourism, Government of Andhra Pradesh; Mr. Kadakampally Surendran, Tourism Minister of Kerala; Mrs. Rashmi Verma, Secretary (Tourism, Government of India, Mr. Mukesh Kumar ,Meena, Secretary Tourism, Andhra Pradesh and Mr. Himanshu Shukla, CEO, Andhra Pradesh Tourism Authority on the dais. Hall of Fame was given to Mr. Ajeet Bajaj, Managing Director, Snow Leopard Adventures Pvt. Ltd. for conquering the World's Highest Peak, Mount Everest and for other achievements and making IATO proud. IATO Manual was released by Mr. K.J. Alphons and other dignitaries during the inaugural function.
The inaugural function saw an overwhelming attendance from IATO members, non-members, travel media, senior officials from centre and various state governments and other tourism professional’s pan India.
The three-day event debated on pertinent issues that India is currently facing in achieving our target of 20 million tourists. Presentations were made by all the 12 participating State Governments, updating
the members with the developed infrastructure and the new circuits that have been developed. During the convention, India Tourism Mart was organized where besides the Ministry of Tourism and the Host State Andhra Pradesh, all the other states exhibited their products. IATO Run was organized on September 2018, where over 350 delegates participated.
During the Valedictory Session, Mr. Satyajeet Rajan, Director General (Tourism), Ministry of Tourism, Government of India was the Chief Guest. After the convention, various post tours were organized on different sectors and were attended by large number of our members.
The IATO team thanks Andhra Pradesh Government under the leadership of Hon'ble Shri N. Chandrababu Naidu for all the support. We would also like to place on records our sincere thanks to the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and all the State Governments who supported us i.e. Bihar, Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal. Thanks to Novotel Hotel and all the hotels who supported us. Thanks to Air India and IndiGo for the special fare and door prizes. Thanks to all in the organizing committee for their hard work and excellent work done for the convention. Thanks to press and media for the excellent coverage given to IATO for the convention. Last and not the least thanks to members for their support to the association and participating in this grand event. The team at the association hope that it will continue to receive such overwhelming response from its members, the government as well as its sponsors every year.