The inaugural ceremony of the 37th Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) Annual Convention was held on the evening of December 16 at The Centrum Hotel, Lucknow.
Besides the IATO office Bearers, Mukesh Meshram, Principal Secretary and DG- of UP Tourism, Ashwini Patra, Tourism Minister-Odisha, Arvind Singh, Secretary Tourism- GoI, Asim Arun, Minister of Social Welfare, UP, graced the occasion and shared the dais.
Mukesh Meshram said that the event aims to attract the tourism sector community to invest in Uttar Pradesh as the state government has incentivized business development through a revamped policy framework. He added that post-Covid, the tourism sector has picked up in diverse ways, opening new business avenues in the state.
Ex-IATO President, Late Badri Bajaj of Perfect Travels, and Sunil Gupta of Travel Bureau were honoured with the IATO Hall of Fame Awards for 2022. Raj Bajaj, son of the Late Badri Bajaj, collected the Award on his father’s behalf. After that, mementos were given to the attending dignitaries. Further, Sunil Mishra, the Co-Chairman of the IATO Convention Committee, gave a vote of thanks. The event came to a close with the gala dinner hosted by Uttar Pradesh Tourism.
Though expected at the inaugural ceremony, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, will be present at the valedictory function on December 18.
IATO said that the response to the convention has been overwhelming and registrations have crossed 900 delegates and 20 states were participating in the convention, besides the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India and the host State of Uttar Pradesh. The association also streamed a live telecast of the inaugural ceremony and in the next two days will cover important business sessions on its youtube channel.
In other development, The Centrum Hotel has been declared a five-star hotel during the ongoing IATO Convention. The announcement has been made official in the presence of IAS Prakhar Mishra, Director of UP Tourism, Ravi Gosain, Chairman, IATO convention, and Rajiv Mehra, President, IATO.