Bhubaneswar, 07/09/2017 ( Odisha Samachar )- Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), the apex body of travel trade in the country is organising the 33rd IATO Annual Convention from 7th – 10th September 2017 at Bhubaneswar in association with Odisha Tourism. IATO is back to this beautiful city after a gap of 9 years. While Odisha has made rapid growth in many sectors, the pace of development in tourism sector has been manifold. Today the image of Odisha is transforming. The recent successful organisation of Asian Athletic Championship and Bhubaneswar being the first smart city has given new identity to the state.
In the realm of tourism, the state has some of the stunning and attractive destinations which are unexplored. Presently, the growth of tourist arrival to the state is about 9% which is more than the global tourist arrival of 4%. This increasing trend of tourist arrival is a positive sign for the state. The strength of Odisha is basically culturally oriented. But new tourism products like Ethnic tourism, Buddhist tourism, Eco-tourism, MICE tourism, etc has gained the momentum and attracts lot of tourists to the State for this unexplored sector said Dr.Mona Sarma ,Principal Secretary Tourism, Govt of Odisha.
IATO have chosen Bhubaneswar as the host city for Annual Convention in 2017 as Hon’ble Minister of Tourism, Government of Odisha, Shri Ashok Chandra Panda had given the open invitation to IATO during the last year convention held at Chennai in 2016. While extending invitation, he mentioned that lot of new developments have taken place and one must experience these new tourist attractions and the developed infrastructure. Hon’ble Minister had also assured full cooperation of the state government and the whole team of Odisha Tourism. This invitation gave real motivation to come back to Odisha with 33rd Annual Convention.
IATO feel honored that the state government values IATO and the role it plays in promoting the state in global and domestic markets through its members participation in overseas Road Shows, travel trade exhibitions, know India Seminars and sales trips. In all such promotional activities, Odisha will be focused as a key tourist destination. Based on experience gained through past conventions, IATO members put enchanting packages of the destination and recommend their FTO’s and invite them Fam Tours to supplement the knowledge of FTO’s with on hand experience.
IATO with a membership of more than 1600 members has taken a big leap in promoting India as a lucrative destination. In this convention about 1000 members are participating. Our members website, promotional documents reflect Odisha’s rich touristic heritage and educate the staff how best to boost the focused destination. So IATO Convention helps in decision making process and boost destination in a big way.
Post Convention FAM trips are being organised to take the operators to their area of interest and educate them intensely to promote the destination. This helps them to gather knowledge and get first hand information to sell the product. They also develop contact with suppliers from the state and other trade partners that help to have continuous growth of business. Also our Convention is participated by many decision makers from the industry who promote various segment of tourism like MICE, pilgrimage, beach, wellness, ayurveda, tribal, cuisines, handicrafts etc.”, and Odisha has all this potential,” said Mr. Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO.
We feel proud to be back here with honor and good support extended to IATO. We have time, we are discussing with all trade partners and they are all forth coming. Please be with us and we will deliver. One thing we can promise today that we need you all to make our 33rd Annual Convention a big success, said Mr. Rajeev Kohli, Senior Vice President, IATO.
Mr. Rajiv Mehra, Chairman also mentioned, the Stupendous Success of the previous convention has raised the expectations of the members and sponsors. Close to 1000 delegates are expected to attend this 3 day event.
“Concurrently with our convention, there will be Indian Travel Mart. It is an opportunity for exhibitors to showcase exciting and diverse range of destinations, conference and Incentive venues. There has been a tremendous response from the states and we have15 states participating in this years’ convention. This will facilitate discerning buyers from the travel trade and corporate world to reinforce their choice for business travel, incentives etc.” said Mr. Lally Mathews, Hony. Secretary, IATO and Co-chairman of the Convention.
On 8th morning IATO in association with Odisha Tourism and other stakeholders are organising IATO Run for Responsible Tourism at 6 A.Mstarting from Hotel Mayfair Lagoon.
We hope the convention will be a mega success and urge IATO and Odisha Tourism to work jointly to promote Odisha more aggressively.