The 33rd IATO Annual Convention will commence from September 7 till September 10, 2017, at Mayfair Convention Centre, Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The B2B event will focus on re-inventing tourism sector in India with the theme being “Indian Tourism – Time to reinvent ourselves.”
Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) Honorary Secretary and Co- Chairman of IATO Convention, Lally Mathews expects more than 1,200 delegates to attend the convention being held in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
— IATO (@Official_IATO) September 5, 2017
Ashok Chandra Panda, Minister of Tourism and Culture, Government of Odisha, stated, “We will offer all support to IATO to make their convention a success. There has been a lot of development on the tourism front in Odisha from the last time when IATO held its convention in Bhubaneswar in 2008 and we hope to showcase the state’s various tourism circuits to the delegates through the post familiarisation tours.”
Following the theme of the convention, Mathews laid emphasis on the tourism aspect of Odisha and its holistic approach by tapping the potentials of its beaches, pilgrimage centres, hill station, wildlife, shopping, Ayurveda and wellness tourism citing it as a primary reason to host the convention in Odisha.
IATO President, Pronab Sarkar stated that alongside the theme “Indian Tourism – Time to reinvent ourselves,” the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and its impact on tourism will also be discussed upon. “The past few years have seen the Indian tourism industry go through tremendous stress. An aged destination brand, low traveller demand, constant assaults from taxation and policy changes, changing distribution systems – so much has gone on and changing in our industry. The time has come to take a deep look at how we have been running our industry and businesses,” stated Pronab Sarkar.
Odisha and Tourism
The primary motive of Odisha Tourism is to ‘create adequate infrastructure within the state, attract more tourists and lengthen their stay in Odisha and promote and market its products in the source markets as a preferred destinations.’
The post-convention tour of the 33rd IATO Convention will focus on promoting Odisha as a tourist destination wherein delegates will be taken for different category of tours, from sightseeing to shopping to highlight the different aspects of Odisha. Delegates are also scheduled to be taken to the wildlife sanctuaries such as Bhitarkanika National Park and Satkosia Tiger Reserve.