TAAI Tourism Conclave with Gujarat Tourism
The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) recently held a tourism conclave from March 9-12, 2021, organized in collaboration with Gujarat Tourism.
- The event was organized to train members of the travel industry and promote Gujarat as a tourist destination for local and local tourists.
- This initiative aims to ensure members are familiar with the area in order to encourage and revitalize the promotion of tourism.
- TAAI members need to be ready with newer ideas and strategies to ensure that tourism to India is facilitated by them in a smooth manner.
At the TAAI Tourism Conclave, members from 20 regions and chapters across India attended the three-day, four-day event in Kevadia. The event was organized to train members of the travel industry and promote Gujarat as a tourist destination for local and local tourists, said TAAI President Jyoti Mayal. The members of the trade were going through challenging times due to the COVID-19 pandemic and this provided them with an opportunity to adapt to the transformation and the ability to explore, she explained.
Members’ delegates experienced the accommodations and facilities in Tent City 1 and Tent City 2 in Kevadia, as well as an evening dinner cruise along the Narmada River with dinner in 2 groups. The tallest statue in the world has been viewed at the Statue of Unity (SoU), the Jungle Safari, the Sardar Sarovar Dam Project, the Valley of Flowers and the Cactus & Butterfly Garden. The statue of unity depicting the Iron Man of India, Sardar Vallabh bhai Patel, is intended to inspire generations with Sardar Patel’s vision of unity, patriotism, inclusive growth and good governance. The delegates also visited the 5 gardens in Arogya Van (herb garden), which have a wide range of medicinal plants and health-related landscapes. Members also visited the cultural shopping arena at Ekta Mall in the SoU region.
This initiative by TAAI aims to ensure members are familiar with the area in order to promote Dekho Apna Desh and revitalize the promotion of domestic and inbound tourism through skill and personal experience, stated Vice President Jay Bhatia.
A half-day business meeting was organized on March 11, 2021, which was raised by the Hon. Indian Government Minister of Tourism, Shri Prahlad Singh Patel, via video message. He welcomed TAAI’s initiative, which has set a historic example of positivity as times change. He added that TAAI membership encompasses all aspects of tourism professional bodies and that in the coming future, responsibilities and challenges will increase when inbound tourists begin their visits to India. TAAI members need to be ready with newer ideas and strategies to ensure tourism to India is facilitated by them in a smooth manner, he said.
Mr. Jenu Devan, Commissioner for Tourism and MD-Gujarat Tourism, spoke on a live video call to the Conclave, highlighting the government’s initiatives to promote Gujarat to the world and thanking the TAAI Committee for contributing to its members SoU had brought in Gujarat and Gujarat also assured the full support and encouragement of members in promoting Gujarat as a healthy travel destination.
Hon. The Secretary General, Bettaiah Lokesh, outlined the business meetings, stating that the inaugural address was an eye opener and vision for President Jyoti Mayal’s domestic tourism members. In a panel discussion moderated by Vice President Jay Bhatia on Bharat ka Vikas – Strengthening Inland Tourism, panelists such as Dr. Achyut Singh Jt. General Manager – Indian Railways (IRCTC) who spoke about connecting tourists to the Mile List and how TAAI members could promote rail packages to travelers across India. Dr. Singh also gave a presentation where members could register and liaise with the IRCTC. Mr. Ajay Kumar Wadhawan, Sales Director at Air Asia India, attended the panel and cited views on newer airports and air connectivity also for smaller airports in India. Former TAAI President, Mr Balbir Mayal, spoke about the changing dynamics in travel and tourism over the past few decades and how TAAI’s joint initiatives on skills and education are to make India a top travel destination in the world with government tourism associations, airlines, railways, etc.
This was followed by a discussion on “Where Winners Play”, a panel moderated by Ashish Gupta, founder of Strategy Pluto and Consulting CEO of FAITH. A healthy debate with IATA and how it works was had with Mr. Rodney Dcruz, Asst. Director of IATA who presented the views, perceptions and the future of IATA. HSG, Bettaiah Lokesh represented TAAI and vocalized the core issues of membership in IATA and airlines. Mr. Sunil Kumar Rumalla, President of UFTAA, gave a global overview of the challenges agents around the world are facing with IATA and made suggestions to IATA to ensure the survival of the airlines and agents.
A discussion moderated by Mr. Amish Desai, Chair of the TAAI Karnataka Chapter, along with Ms. Parineeta Sethi, Editor-in-Chief and Editor-in-Chief of Pinnacle Connect, a leading wellness and luxury media company, with Ms. Vasdha Sondhi, MD Om Marketing. Ms. Jyoti Mayal, Chair of the Tourism and Hospitality Skill Council (THSC) also attended the panel that discussed customer satisfaction in tourism through technology, marketing and skills. With their expertise in sales, marketing, PR and social media, technology and skills development, the panelist suggested how today’s TAAI members need to evolve and be empowered with all skills but service delivery. She also briefed on the upcoming initiatives by WITT (Women in TAAI and Travel) where TAAI aims to give back to society and empower women to become entrepreneurs by qualifying and working towards making India a safe tourism destination.
In recognition of the efforts and initiative of the Gujarat Government and Gujarat Tourism to invite TAAI and its members to SoU, Hon. TAAI National Treasurer, Mr. Shreeram Patel, emphasized TAAI’s role in the growth and development of the Trade. He thanked the vision of the Hon. Tourism Minister Mr. Jawahar bhai Chavda, who together with the Chief Secretary for Tourism – Gujarat, Ms. Mamta Verma, Commissioner for Tourism and Managing Director of Gujarat Tourism, Mr. Jenu Devan and Mr. Nirav Munshi – Manager Commercial (Travel & Marketing ) along with other officials fully supported TAAI. He also thanks Indigo Airlines, the only airline that has secured delegates from all corners of India connected to Gujarat for this conclave.
More such conclaves across the country are to be organized in the near future in collaboration with government tourism associations to train, qualify and empower the TAAI trade members to promote incredible India, said Ms. Jyoti Mayal.