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IATO to hold annual convention in Kochi this year

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Subhash Goyal

The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) will organise its 29th annual convention from September 8-11, 2013 at Le Meridien, Kochi (Kerala). The theme of the convention is ‘Tourism – Innovations & Partnerships’. The subjects for the business sessions are being finalised. Arun Anand is the chairman and Lally Mathews and EM Najeeb are the co-chairmen for this year’s convention.

“Kerala has set an unprecedented growth in tourism. Due to the initiatives taken by the Kerala government under the dynamic leadership of Oommen Chandy, chief minister, Kerala. With IATO’s support most of the states where we had our earlier conventions have achieved development. We usher the state into a future of progress and prosperity. This has been a reality in Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra where we had our previous conventions,” said Subhash Goyal, president, IATO.

Anand added, “Every year, we try to promote a new state and work for an integrated growth. We have also earlier been to Kerala and this year, Kerala was in our mind from the very beginning for our annual convention due to sea change in the tourism scene in Kerala. In view of the overwhelming response and support from the state government and also from the travel industry, we had no hesitation to opt for Kerala. The state with its infrastructural developments holds lot of prospects and potential for inbound tourism.”

Mathews, co-chairman convention & hony. secretary of IATO mentioned that “Our objective is innovating and re-innovating to build our members’ trust, consumers’ interest in the destination being focused, establish connection with decision makers in the state and promote new destination products, to draw-out special strategies to attract customers with value additions, launching new products which offer unique experiences of the state and create job opportunities for locals. Thus the partnership which we form with the state government can go beyond our convention period.”