16th November, 2020

To All Members,

Sub: Update on IATO Activities (Monday, 2nd November to Sunday, 8th November 2020)

 Dear Members

Festival Greetings! 

Please find appended relevant activities of our association for the period (Monday, 2nd November to Sunday, 8th November 2020)

Segments covered are

  1. Communication / Letters that addressed key issues
  2. Webinars/ Panel Discussions/Circulars/Meetings/Chapter news

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  1. Communication / Letters that addressed key issues

Segment 1 update sequence by date:3,November

Tuesday, 3rd November   

  • IATO Requests the Ministry of Tourism to help MoT Recognised Operators having Tourist Coaches/Cars to register on GeM Platform:-  IATO requested Mr. Yogendra Tripathi, Secretary (Tourism) to take up the matter with the Secretary, Ministry of Commerce who is the Chairperson of GeM, that all those operators who are recognised by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India as tour operators, tourist transport operators or travel agents and posses tourist vehicles, clause of Prior Experience of assisting Government department/PSUs should be relaxed and removed and all MoT recognised operators should be eligible to register for Bus or Cab /Taxi Operators under ‘Service Category’ on GeM platform. A copy of the letter was marked to a) Director General (Tourism), b) Additional Director General (Tourism) and c) Joint Secretary Tourism, Government of India. 

2.Webinars/ Panel Discussions/Circulars/Meetings

Segment 2 update sequence by date:2,3,4,5,6,7 November

Monday, 2nd November  

  • Taj Wellness Retreats Master class for IATO Members was organised on Monday, the 2nd November 2020 at 4 pm on Zoom

Tuesday, 3rd November  

  • A circular with power-point presentation on Toy Story of India which was received from the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India was circulated to all members with the request for inclusion in the itineraries. 

Wednesday, 4th November  

  • On the 4th November, IATO President participated in the Physical Meeting called by the Ministry of Tourism at Transport Bhawan to discuss appointment of ‘India Tourism Marketing Representative (ITMR)’ in the Overseas Markets and gave his inputs. 
  • IATO received a legal Notice from Akhil Bhartiya Grahak Panchayat on 28th October 2020 regarding refund of advance amounts paid for services by the each and every complainants/consumers/ aggrieved persons for the tour cancelled during the lockdown due to COVID-19 and after Lock down due to pandemic. IATO along with others have been called upon to take immediate steps, issue appropriate directions, guidelines for refunding the entire amount paid by all consumers /aggrieved persons to respective tour Operators / Tour Agencies/respective Noticees.  The same was referred to our legal advisor Mrs. Anjana Gosain for suitable reply. As per advice from Mrs. Gosain, a circular was sent on 4th October 2020 to all members advising to ensure that the refund of advance payment received on demand from any of their consumers to avoid any legal action is  made. Also members were advised to share if any legal demand has been raised through legal notice,  SMS & WhatsApp for refund of any bookings/services etc. so that reply to legal notice can be dealt effectively. But no such information has been received from any member. Accordingly reply to Akhil Bhartiya Grahak Panchayat is being made by our legal advisor. 
  • New initiative by IRCTC for promoting Domestic Tourism in association with Indian Agents:- Members were informed about email received from IRCTC for promotion of domestic tourism in association with IATO members. A list of 46 names received from the members who  had shown expression of their interest was sent to IRCTC. Further communication will be sent by IRCTC to the concerned 46 members.  

Thursday, 5th November

  • IATO and Trav Talk Webinar on “Re-design your wellness itineraries – Understand the Art of Living – Part 1” was organised on Thursday, the 5th November 2020 at 1130 – 1300 hours. This was organised for large number of members, non-members, Travalk readers and students from various tourism institutes from different states.  

Friday, 6th   November

  • A Meeting on Friday, the 6th November 2020 was held at 1500 hours regarding IATO Elections. All EC Members and Contestants of IATO Elections 2020 were informed on the 26th of October.
  • IATO EC and Regional /State Chapter Chairmen Meeting was held on Friday, the 6th November 2020 at 5 pm on Zoom. All EC Members and IATO State Chapter Chairmen were informed on the 2nd November 2020 
  • IATO Chapter Chair Karnataka met the Hon’ble Chief Minister of the State on the 6th of November and gave the proposal to declare Travel Tourism & Hospitality Sector as an Industry in the State of Karnataka. 

Saturday, 7th November

  • Dekho Apna Desh Webinar series: Episode 63- Stories of Chennai was organized on 7th November 2020, 1100 -1200 Hrs by the Ministry of Tourism Government of India. 
  • SOPs for Re-opening of Museums, Exhibitions and Art Galleries, on preventive measures to contain spread of COVID-19, issued by Ministry of Culture, Government of India was circulated to the members. 

With regards,

Rahul Chakravarty