The upcoming election of the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) has brought the clear-cut division in the existing committee to the fore. There are two teams, from the existing committee, fighting for the scheduled election on March 6, 2021. These teams are titled as ‘Moving Forward’ and ‘Team for Change’.
The ‘Team Moving Forward’ is led by the Rajiv Mehra of Uday Tours & Travels for President, Sarab Jit Singh of Travelite (India) for Sr Vice President; Ravi Gosain of Erco Travels for Vice President, Rajnish Kaistha of Paradise Holidays India for Hony. Secretary.
The ‘Team for Change’ is led by Lally Mathews of Divine Voyages for President, EM Najeeb of Airtravel Enterprises for Sr Vice President, Lajpat Rai of Lotus Trans Travel for Vice President and Rajesh Mudgill of ’s, Planet India Travel for Hony. Secretary.
Both the teams are claiming to bring radical changes in the functioning of IATO as an association. While Mehra believes there is a need for continuity with change, Mathews is of the opinion that there is a need for total change at IATO.
Speaking to media, Mehra said that IATO has been quick to solve the problems of the industry at many occasions with the proactive support of the Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India. The current team, under the leadership of Pronab Sarkar and Mehra as Vice President as well as Hony. Secretary and Hony. Joint Secretary, understand the burning issues of the industry well and in discussions with governments at various level will augur well for the industry, Mehra said.
Mathews on the other hand, with current Sr Vice President and Hony Secretary in his team, supports the total change for the better working of the association. Both the existing office bearers of the ‘Team for Change’ – Najeeb and Mudgill, expressed that they have not been heard in the existing committee and hence not been able to do much for the industry.
Sarkar was of the opinion that all office bearers of the current committee have been given adequate space to voice out their opinion and decisions were taken as per the governing rule.
Both teams are claiming to bring amendment in IATO’s constitution, greater transparency, better synergy with governments and expanding the membership and geographical representation if they are elected in the forthcoming election.