Today, the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) had a virtual interaction with the Honourable Chief Minister of Goa, Dr. Pramod Pandurang Sawant.
Thanking the Honourable Chief Minister, at the outset, for sparing time, Jyoti Mayal, President, TAAI initiated the discussions. She deliberated upon the major issues of concern hampering the growth of the tourism sector in the state and the travel agent’s fraternity. Mrs. Mayal highlighted that most of the travel fraternity members are registered under the Directorate of Tourism, Government of Goa for which the license is renewed every year.
Till last year, the Fee, specifically to Travel Agents, was around Rs.1250/- only. However, this year, the same has been increased to more than Rs. 5000/-. As the Tourism sector is going through its worst time, and have been facing losses and NPA’s our request is to withdraw the increased Fee.
Mayal emphasised on the need of giving concessions to the travel trade, be it reduction of ATF, reduction in airport taxes, statutory taxes such as Corporation/Municipal/ Trade Licence which comes under the purview of the state government.
TAAI should be given due representation and included in the various Task Force of the Government of Goa in promoting travel, tourism and hospitality, she added.
Responding to requests made by TAAI, the Hon’ble Chief Minister said that the matter of licences fee has already been taken into consideration, and assured of a favourable decision soon. With regards to other concessions, CM said that the discussions within the government are on and expect an early solution to it. CM most graciously accepted the request to include TAAI in the various task force of the government.
TAAI made suggestions on enhancing Tourism vide promotions and educating the trade by conducting webinars and roadshows with TAAI on Goa and how special MDA schemes and other incentivisation to trade across all states in India should be commenced which shall help tourism growth exponentially.
Also, present during the interaction were Menino D’Souza, Director – Department of Tourism, Goa; Commander Prasad Padhye (Retd.), OSD to Chief Minister of Goa. From TAAI, Jay Bhatia, Vice President; Bettaiah Lokesh, Hon. Secretary General; Shreeram Patel, Hon. National Treasurer; Anoop Kanuga, Chairman – Tourism Services Council; Sainath Dharwatkar, Chairman (Goa Chapter); Valigno Dias, Hon. Secretary (Goa Chapter) and Dr. Himanshu Talwar, Executive Director, TAAI.