Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) held a year-end meeting of its National Joint Council to review the year gone by and to formulate strategy for the year ahead. The National MC and all the Chapter Chairmen participated in the meeting.
Ajay Prakash, President, TAFI, said that an association derives its strength not from its leaders but its members and exhorted the Chairs of the various committees to continue the good work and to engage regularly with the membership. He praised the efforts of the membership committee which has significantly increased the TAFI membership by almost 100 in the last few months.
Prakash also briefed the Joint Council on the meetings he, along with other office bearers, has had recently with the Civil Aviation Minister, the Tourism Secretary, the Additional Secretary and the Addl. DG Tourism.
TAFI has urged the Tourism Ministry to liberalise the rules for Ministry of Tourism (MoT) recognition as that would bring more members under the umbrella and make them eligible for assistance under the schemes of the government. This would also give the government a more accurate picture of the scope and scale of the trade since, at present, a scant 1000 travel agents/tour operators are registered with the MoT.
The pernicious issue of “Ticket Capping” by airlines has been strongly taken up at the APJC and a series of meetings have been held with VFS to streamline the visa process once airline operations resume normalcy.
Similarly, the issue of acceptance of agency credit cards by airlines remains a pain point for members which are being addressed with individual airlines. TAFI is also working on an insurance scheme to protect passengers and agents alike in case of Airline Bankruptcy. These will be thrust areas in 2022 according to Prakash.