Rituparna Chatterjee – Mumbai
Enterprising Travel Agents Association (ETAA) is hosting its first international convention in Dubai from November 29 – December 2, 2013. ETAA has partnered with Lama Tours, Emirates, Jet Airways and has received a monetary grant from Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), which has enabled them to offer a package of INR 29,900 to its members for attending the convention. Around 300 to 350 delegates are expected to attend the convention. The convention is aimed at being a deviation from the normal convention format which primarily comprises of a theme and a series of business sessions. Instead of business sessions, ETAA will include a tour around the city, desert safaris, dhow cruises to name a few with the aim to familiarise the destination to its members.
Speaking on this, Karl Dantas, Chairman Emeritus, ETAA stated, “The main focus of the convention is definitely Dubai. We don’t want to go to a destination and talk about everything else in the world. We are sponsored by Dubai tourism to study Dubai firsthand and therefore we are doing only a nine to12 session on the second day with a Dubai certified programme.” Moreover, instead of a theme, ETAA has introduced a logo which goes with the tag line ‘Dubai in your palm’. By the end of this convention, ETAA which currently has 436 members is expecting to touch 500 members.
Apart from the first international convention to be held in Dubai, ETAA is looking forward to having its next domestic convention in the first half of 2014 followed by the second international convention in the second half of the same year. “We are going to do a domestic convention in the first half of 2014 followed by the second international convention in the second half hopefully. We are looking at Goa, Gujarat, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal or the North-East. We are looking at the logistics and are seeing as to who will bring in the right kind of partnership. For the international convention, a lot of people from the tourism boards of Europe, the US, North America, Canada, Africa have approached us and will start talking to international partners from January, 2014,” concluded Dantas.