Update on IATO Activities (15th June, Monday to 21st June, Sunday 2020)
27th June, 2020
SUBJECT: Update on IATO Activities (15th June, Monday to 21st June, Sunday 2020)
Please find appended relevant activities of our association for the period (15th June to 21st June 2020)
Heading used are
1. Communication / Letters addressing key issues
2. Webinars/ Panel Discussions/Circulars/Meetings
Request your feedback to further the content of our weekly report.
* Communication / Letters addressing key issues
* IATO approaches Chief Minister of Rajasthan and Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh for full Refund of advance payment made for bookings of Wildlife Safaris in Rajasthan and cancelled due to Covid -19
On the 17th of June IATO wrote to Shri Ashok Gehlot, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Rajasthan drawing his kind attention to the last letter dated 4th June 2020 with regard to the request for full Refund of advance payment made for bookings of Wildlife Safaris in Rajasthan which were cancelled due to Covid -19 and sought his intervention.
Copies of the letter were marked to all concerned authorities in the state and IATO Chapter Chair.
A Similar letter was written to Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh also. Copies of the letter were marked to all concerned authorities in the state and respective IATO Chapter Chairmen for follow up.
* Extension of Airport Entry Passes for the Tour Operators after 31st March 2020
On the17th June 2020 IATO wrote to Mrs. Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation with a request that the guidelines for airport passes may kindly be finalised and to be in place before the International flights are operational and foreign tourists start visiting India.
Copies were marked to authorities in Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India
* Full Refund Request for Palace on Wheels (Luxury Train) by RTDC for Foreign Tourists which were cancelled due to Covid-19
On the 17th of June IATO wrote to Shri Ashok Gehlot, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Rajasthan drawing his kind attention to the last letter dated 5th June 2020 with regard to the request for full Refund of advance payment made for bookings of Palace on Wheels Luxury Train, which were cancelled due to Covid -19 and requested for his intervention and directives to the concerned authorities for full refund.
Copies of the letter were marked to all concerned personnel in the state and our Chapter Chairman in Rajasthan for follow up.
* Representation to DRI, Hyderabad on the Eligibility of Service Exports from India Scheme (SEIS) benefit to Inbound Tour Operators
IATO got requests from some of the members about the query raised by DRI Hyderabad. IATO took a decision to help the members with a common representation and appointed Erns and Young for the job. On the 18th of June IATO wrote to Shri Balesh Kumar, Director General, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Ministry of Finance on issues raised by a Senior
officer of DRI regarding certain concerns on the eligibility of SEIS scrips granted to the tour operators who are members of IATO.
Copies of the letter were sent to all concerned authorities. To Hon’ble Minister of Finance with copy to concerned senior officials in the Ministry of Finance, CBIC, Ministry of Commerce, DGFT and Ministry of Tourism. The matter is also being taken up by our Ministry with DGFT and DRI.
All affected members were given the copy of the representation letter and same is available on our website.
* Regarding our request for full Refund of advance payment made for bookings of Wildlife Safaris in Rajasthan and cancelled due to Covid -1
IATO wrote to Shri Arindam Tomar, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Ministry of Forests, Government of Rajasthan referring the last two letters dated 4th June 2020 and 17th June 2020 addressed to Hon’ble Chief Minister of Rajasthan on the above subject and the subsequent Office Order issued by his office on 18th June 2020 that for the Safari Bookings which were made between 18th March to 30th June 2020, can be used by the same tourists till 30th June 2022 and nothing is mentioned about refund. It was requestedto refund the full amount without any cancellations charges to the concerned tour operators who have made the bookings and the refund to be made for the cancellations from 5th February 2020 onwards.
Copies of the letter were marked to all concerned authorities in Rajasthan and our Chapter Chairman in Rajasthan for follow-up and also to RATO.
2. Webinars/ Panel Discussions/Circulars/Meetings
* ICPB Webinar-Roadmap for recovery of MICE - post lockdown/ COVID19 crisis' at 3:00 pm on 16th June 2020.
* Dekho Apna Desh webinar 19/06/2020 – 1100-1200 hrs. – Yoga &Wellness – An offering for challenging times!
The Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India organised the webinar to celebrate the International Day of Yoga.
* IATO Interactive Fortnightly meeting with DG Tourism and members held on the 19th of June 2020 at 4 pm
An interactive meeting with the members was organised on 19th June 2020 on Zoom. Mrs. Meenakshi Sharma, Director General (Tourism, Govt of India was the Chief Guest. She gave an update to the members and also on two very key points. She said that the MDA Scheme is being liberalised as far as possible and made simpler, which is the need of the hour. The
Liberalised scheme will be there for at least three years, we will have a relook after that. Further with regards to the revision in guidelines for inbound tour operators she said that she was always of the view that we should not have such harsh conditions and gave her assurance that rules will be relaxed. IATO short film was launched by DG on Tourism is ready for visiting India. Post Q&A with DG(Tourism), there ensued a Q&A session with the members and the EC. Minutes of the Meeting to the
members shall follow.
20th June (Saturday)
* Dekho Apna Desh webinar 20/06/2020 – 1100-1200 hrs. – Webinar on Yoga by Ms. Ira Trivedi, Yoga Teacher
* Dekho Apna Desh webinar 20/06/2020 – 1400-1500 hrs. – ‘Bharat: A Cultural Treasure’ - In conversation with the Mystic
The Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India organised the webinars to celebrate the International Day of Yoga.
* Interactive Session on 'Rebooting and revival of Tourism in J&K' with Government of J&K on June 20 (Saturday), 2020 at 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
IATO participated in the above interactive session organised by FICCI and gave its inputs for revival of tourism in Kashmir
* Live session of " Bharat A Cultural Treasures" by Sadhguru of Isha Foundation on 20th June, 2020 from 2-3 pm
21st June (Sunday)
* Dekho Apna Desh webinars Sunday, the 21st June 2020 – 1100-1200 hrs. - India as a Yoga Destination
* Invitation to RTSOI (Responsible Tourism Society of India) webinar on ' Harmonising Tourism in National Parks & Sanctuaries' on Sunday, the 21st June 2020 at 1130 hours.
All the above UPDATES are available on IATO WEBSITE