Getting tourism ready, an event aimed to bring together all stakeholders together on one common platform, was organized by Uttar Pradesh & Bihar chapters of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) on 21st January at Hotel Taj Ganges
Chaired by Chapter Chairmen of IATO, Mr. Prateek Hira of Tornos and Mr. Susheel Kumar Singh of Jatak Travels, the meeting was attended by 35 tour companies apart from IATO members.
The event was supported by the Ministry of Tourism. Mr. Amit Gupta, Assistant Director of India Tourism informed the industry about the new marketing initiatives and support schemes that are now being extended for the domestic roadshows. Mr. Gupta informed that India Tourism Varanasi will be organizing two roadshows in Bangalore and Hyderabad to start within February along with IATO and will then extend to other cities in India.
IATO’s Uttar Pradesh and Uttrakhand Chapter Chairman, Mr. Prateek Hira said, “It is time that all travel trade associations bring their members together and gear up for tourism which will start soon and be ‘Tourism Ready’ so that when tourists start coming in, we are not caught unaware and are prepared to welcome them and show them a better India”. He added that Ministry of Tourism, Government of India is leaving no stone unturned and has been really active even during the lockdown through its outreach programme, ‘Dekho Apna Desh’.
Prateek Hira who has coined this term, “Getting Tourism Ready” said that being without business is no excuse to be lethargic, it is rather an opportunity to better equip ourselves with knowledge, plan businesses, reestablish, refocus and expand business horizons to enhance revenue when tourism returns. Governments too need to be in this ready mode and work for the betterment of the destinations and the industry.
Bihar’s Chapter Chairman, Mr. Susheel Kumar Singh spoke about the importance of Buddhist tourism and was of the opinion that this might open up sooner than other markets. He emphasised how state government in Uttar Pradesh should be more forthcoming to handhold tour operators, especially after the worst time that the travel industry has experienced.
Prateek Hira has informed that similar outreach is being planned in different cities of Uttar Pradesh involving local travel trade. He informed that a white paper will be prepared on issues plaguing the industry and then a meeting with the Principal Secretary will be fixed to discuss these issues and address all addressable issues in a time-bound manner to be ‘tourism ready’. Prateek also said, “It is important to give government departments solutions and work along with them than to just give them a list of problems and leave It to them to find solutions”.