Update on IATO Activities (25th May, Monday to 31st May, Sunday 2020)
6th June 2020
To All Members
SUBJECT: Update on IATO Activities (25th May, Monday to 31st May, Sunday 2020)
Please find appended relevant activities of your association for the period (25th May to 31st May 2020)
Heading used are
1. Communication / Letters
2. Webinars/ Panel Discussions/Circulars/Meetings
3. IATO PR Agency
Request your feedback to further the content of your weekly report.
- Communication / Letters
- Update from the President
On 25th May an Update from the President was sent to all members.
It highlighted the daunting activities for the past few months and invited members ‘inputs for further actions. Some of the points are highlighted here and all letters are on our website available for your information, please.
ü IATO efforts to get attention to our problems and relief for our members since February 2020.
ü On emails and telephone calls from members to help their foreign tourists including cruise ships in Mumbai, IATO got in touch with Mrs. Meenakshi Sharma, Director General Tourism, Mrs. Rupinder Brar Additional Director General Tourism and all cases were resolved one to one with the help of our Ministry
ü IATO approached, FHRAI, HAI directly and through FAITH to get refund from the hotel, domestic airlines Air India, IndiGo, Air Vistara, for the refund and following this it approached
Ministry of Civil Aviation/DGCA, Ministry of Tourism, Niti Aayog, etc. Your association approached RTDC, Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Railway Minister, Railway Minister and Niti Aayog for refund of advance paid for the luxury trains
and the State Governments, Tourism Ministry, Niti Aayog for refund of advance paid for the wildlife safaris
The above resulted in some of the hotels refunding payments to the tour operators. Some airlines and hotels Airlines agreed to give credit note but we did not accept the same and asked for refunds. Now some of the Wildlife parks have announced refund from UP and Maharashtra.
ü IATO made consistent Efforts for Survival and Revival of the members by writing to the various authorities in the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Commerce, Niti Aayog, and PMO. The main demands made by IATO were under Immediate Relief required for Survival - Short Term Action Plan and Relief required for Post Covid-19 for Revival - Action Plan. Suggestions were sent directly by IATO to the Hon'ble Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Tourism Minister, Commerce Minister, CEO Niti Aayog, besides the Chambers and FAITH.
ü The above issues were also raised by IATO at various one to one meetings with policy makers and at focused relevant Webinars.
ü IATO also approached various State Governments directly or through our State Chapter Chairmen for some relief at the state level in the form of Road Tax, SGST, Statutory dues, LTA and other areas.
ü In this hour of crisis, our PR Agency M/s. Sambandh PR did an excellent job and almost all National Daily Newspapers raised the issues tourism industry was facing and fighting for existence. IATO’s grievance were covered in more than 60 print media besides coverage on ABP News, North East TV and one Punjabi News Channel.
ü IATO organised specific content driven Webinars with experts that hugely benefitted the members.
Though none of the industry got any direct financial benefit including tourism, IATO efforts will continue and we hope our voice will be heard in the corridor of powers.
- FICCI: Interactive session with Smt. Valsa Nair Singh, Principal Secretary, Enquiry Officer, GAD, Civil Aviation & Excise and Tourism & Cultural Affairs (Additional Charge), Govt. of Maharashtra
IATO joined an interactive session with Smt. Valsa Nair Singh, Principal Secretary, Enquiry Officer, GAD, Civil Aviation & Excise and Tourism & Cultural Affairs (Additional Charge), Govt. of Maharashtra, on the current challenges and way forward for opening up Tourism in the State.
- HON'BLE TOURISM MINISTER MEETING WITH
Submissionof the Memorandum by IATO President to Hon’ble Minister for Tourism, Govt of India, visiting his office at Transport Bhawan. IATO was leading the delegation of Presidents of Adventure Tourism Association, Domestic Tour Operators Association and Outbound Tour Operators Association.
On the 27th of May after meeting for the Hon’ble Minister Tourism, Govt of India, the meeting that was also attended by DG Tourism and JS Tourism, President IATO submitted a memorandum and thanked him for convening the meeting. Key points of the memorandum were:
i) ???????? ?? ??? ??????? ?????? (Financial Bailout package for survival)
ii) ??????? ?? ??? ??????? ????? / ????? ????? ?? (Collateral and interest free loan)
iii) SEIS ??? 7% ?? 10 % ?? ?????? (Increase in SEIS from 7 to 10%) JS informed us that Minister has already recommended to Finance Ministry with his note.
iv) Benefits of MSME to be extended to Tourism Services Sector by making some amendment in the rules.
v) Revision in Marketing Development Assistance (MDA) guidelines.
The Hon’ble Minister also informed that for MSME MoT shall try to remove some clauses to make it possible for the tour operators to be part of MSME benefits like other industries are getting.
Meeting ended with positive note to help the Tourism Industry.
Members were informed of the above on the 28th of May.
- Members of IATO Maharashtra Chapter, Data to support waiver of electricity charges and property tax
On the 27th of May a request letter was sent to all Members of IATO Maharashtra Chapter from Vasuki Sundaram, Chairperson -IATO Maharashtra, to fill a survey form and submit immediately
This was subsequent to the talks with Principal Secretary Maharashtra Tourism, Smt Valsa Nair Singh and their team where IATO had requested among other points, waiver of property tax, and electricity bills.
- Refund of Participation fee in the India Pavilion at ITB 2020 (Refund to first Batch of 34 co-exhibitors
After vigorous follow up with DG Tourism, Ministry of Tourism, IATO received a mail from P. RANGARAJAN [Rajan], Asst. Director General - (OM & SM), Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India enclosing a sanction order that has been sent to the Pay & Accounts Section of the Ministry of Tourism for refunding the participation fee paid by 34 co-exhibitors for participation at ITB 2020.
Ministry asked for the bank details of the participants and the circular was sent to all participating members.
Refund of participation fee to those agencies, whose bank details were received late, will be done in the next lot of payment. Refund of participation will be done by way of e-payment into the account of the agencies concerned.
2. Webinars/ Panel Discussions/Circulars/ Meetings
- Business Choices for a post Covid19 world through Responsible Tourism”
The Responsible Tourism Society of India organized a Webinar on the subject: “ Business Choices for a post Covid19 world through Responsible Tourism” on Monday, May 25, 2020 from11:30 am to 1:00 pm.
Members were informed on the 23rd & 24th of May
- Forthcoming webinars under the Dekho Apna Desh
On the 25th of May, a Circular was sent all members on the Forthcoming webinars under the Dekho Apna Desh Webinar series - From May 26-30, 2020
Tuesday, the 26th May 2020 – 1100-1200 hrs.
Subject: Culture & Tourism – Two sides of Goan economy
Registration Link: https://bit.ly/CultureTourism
Thursday, the 28th May 2020 – 1100-1200 hrs.
Subject: Northeast India for the Immersive Traveller
Registration Link: https://bit.ly/NorthEastDAD
Saturday, the 30th May 2020 – 1100-1200 hrs.
Subject: The Tenacity of Survival - Inspirational story of Kutch.
Registration link: https://bit.ly/KutchDAD
- ICPB webinar on ‘Reinventing Meetings - the NEW Normal' from 11:00 am - 12:30 pm on 26th May 2020.
ICPB organised a webinar on ‘Reinventing Meetings - the NEW Normal' from 11:00 am - 12:30 pm on 26th May 2020.
The objective of the webinar was to discuss with the Exhibitions and Hotels associations and hotels the new norms for implementation by hotels and convention / exhibition centres for ensuring safe meetings experience.
- Meeting on 28th May 2020 at 3.30 pm regarding evaluation of bids for action plan to attract more tourists from Russia and Canada
A meeting was held on the 28th May 2020 at 3.30 pm regarding evaluation of bids for action plan to attract more tourists from Russia and Canada. IATO attended the meeting in New Delhi.
- Arabian Travel Mart Virtual Event from 1-3 June 2020
Members were informed that Reeds Travel Exhibitions is organising Arabian Travel Mart Virtual Event from 1-3 June 2020 on a virtual platform designed to bring the ATM live experience online at a time when face to face is simply not possible. The virtual meet will offer solutions, expand knowledge and support the ATM community and wider travel and tourism industry in rebounding as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The link to register as well as a link to a short video on how to access the portal was given.
For any further information/clarification, members were asked to contact Ms. Rupali Narasimhan, Reed Travel Exhibitions India on Mobile: +919810799322, Tel: +911166056323, Rupali.Narasimhan@reedexpo.co.uk
- Webinar under Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat (EBSB)
A Webinar under Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat (EBSB) scheme by India Tourism Delhi was held on the 29th May 2020 at 12 noon
- REFUSAL FOR REFUND BY HOTELS
The refund of our members from many hotels is still pending and some of the hotels have totally refused to make the refund. The matter is being taken up again with the FHRAI/HAI through FAITH along with the list of all such hotels who have refused to make refund
On the 30th of May a Circular was sent to members to provide the details of such FITS/GIT details as per following format to IATO Office by Monday, the 1st June 2020 evening on email id email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
- Notice received by our members from DRI Hyderabad regarding SEIS Claims
On the 30th of May members were informed that some of them have received notice from Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Zonal Unit Hyderabad, seeking certain information with regard to SEIS Claimed in previous years. At the request of some of our members IATO got in touch with M/s. Ernst & Young to make an interim reply for the members to send to DRI.
Circular was sent to members dated 30th May to get the response on the above subject.
Those members who have received such notice from DRI, and need help from IATO may get in touch with IATO office for making an interim reply to DRI. Also we would assess as to how many members have received such notice from DRI and accordingly IATO will take a decision of making a representation through Ernst & Young to DRI on behalf of the members.
All are requested to send identical reply to DRI as of now enable later IATO shall represent the case on behalf of our entire membership and there is no confusion created at any office. We shall seek help from E&Y to prepare a professional presentation for DRI to resolve the matter
3. IATO PR Agency
- Links of the stories carried in different platforms on meeting of IATO delegation with the Tourism minister.