Port Blair, July 09: Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) is a national apex body of tourism having over 1600 members. Established in 1982, it has international acceptance and linkages, having close connections with tourism associations in the US, Nepal, Indonesia IATO interacts closely with the government regarding all issues relating to the industry and acts as a common medium between the decision-makers and the industry.
Recently Mr Rajiv Mehra of Uday tours and Travels (Delhi), has taken over as the President and Mr Najeeb of Air Travel Enterprise (Kerala) and Mr Raveen Ghosain of Erco Travels (Delhi) as Vice Presidents.
In a first, IATO recognised the importance of Andaman & Nicobar Islands on the tourism map of India. While Mr Sejoe Jose of Marvel Tours (Kerala) has been appointed as Chairman of Southern region, Mr Pandian of South Tourism (Trichy) has been elected as the Chairman looking after Tamil Nadu, Andaman & Nicobar and Puducherry Chapter, assisted by Mr Mohamed Jadwet of MAK logistics (Andaman), who has been appointed Co-Chairman for A&N islands.
IATO has approx. 10 members from the trade in the islands, and as the first Co-Chairman appointed for the A&N islands, Mr Jadwet would aim to increase IATO membership and presence In the islands from amongst local tourism stakeholders, increase number of MoT recognised tour operators and escalate issues affecting tourism not only with the local administration but also at the central level through IATO, to ensure growth of industry and protection of rights of the stakeholders.
The first meeting of the Andaman Chapter was attended by the Regional, State Chair and Co-Chairman was held on Tuesday, 6th July, wherein discussions regarding the challenges and the way forward to the reopening of tourism in the Islands, were held.