Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), the oldest and largest association of travel trade industry in India, says that will be holding its 67th Convention and Exhibition in Colombo, Sri Lanka from July 6 – 9.
TAAI says that the convention is being held on the invitation from the Sri Lankan Tourism Promotion Board (SLTPB) and in association with Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO).
In a press statement TAAI says itwas supposed to host its Convention in Sri Lanka last year and it is sticking to its commitment and taking a good-size delegation to the island country, which is recovering well from its economic crisis experienced last year.
The Convention, will have post tours, offering people a good chance to experience all that Sri Lanka has to offer.
“We have been waiting for almost a year to host our Convention in Sri Lanka and we are really glad that this is finally happening. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country, and we are positive that our members will create good synergy with the local tour operators in Sri Lanka and collectively we will be able to increase the tourist traffic between the two countries that are already bound by the spiritual thread,” says Jyoti Mayal, President, of TAAI.
“SLTPB wants India Tourism Industry to be part of its growth story and witness the revival of the island country. Sri Lanka has already welcomed around 75,000 Indian visitors this year up to April 30, making India its biggest source market. They are excited to roll out the red carpet for around 500 Indian delegates, including media, who would be attending the Convention. With the focus to formulate a Vision Plan for the future of TAAI, the Convention will witness meaningful discussions and debates that will help our members become stronger in their business area,” Mayal adds.
Amish Desai, Mananging Committee Member, TAAI says the theme of the convention is ‘Transcending Borders – Transforming Lives’.
Jay Bhatia, Vice President, TAAI outlined the schedule of the convention.
“As per the tentative schedule, delegates will arrive in Colombo on July 6 and there will be a media briefing between 3 – 5 pm for the local as well as Indian media. The opening ceremony will take place at 7 pm at BMICH. On July 7 and 8, there will be Business Sessions and Knowledge Discussions from 10am – 1pm. From 2 – 5pm, there will be B2B Meetings for around 200 delegates while the balance of delegates will go on city tour and sightseeing on both days. A theme Dinner is planned for July 7 at Temple Trees, the official residence of the PM of Sri Lanka and on July 8, a Gala evening is planned at the Heritance Negombo Hotel, which is a beautiful property, where delegates will be able to enjoy a fun evening on the beach. On July 9 the delegates can opt for day excursions from Colombo to Bentota / Kandy / Galle. They can also go for an overnight tour to the said places. 50 delegates per excursion/ post tours shall be accommodated on first-cum-fist basis. More details on Speakers and Sessions will be shared as and when will be decided,” says Bhatia.
Lokesh Bettaiah, Honorary Secretary General, TAAI says it is mandatory for all delegates to register online for this Convention. “We have made the process extremely user-friendly with all details regarding hotels and airlines clearly listed on the website along with all payment gateways. The Online Registrations will start from May 28 (Sunday) and we encourage you all to register in good numbers,” he said.
The statement adds that Paras Lakhia, Mananging Committee Member, TAAI will be handling the airline’s bookings and shared that they have negotiated the pricing with four partner airlines, namely Sri Lankan Airlines, Air India, IndiGo and Vistara.
“There is no convention hotel as such this time. The Inauguration is at BMICH, Day 2 Sessions are at Cinnamon Grand and Day 3 Sessions are at Shangri – La, followed by the B2B sessions in the respective hotels. Sri Lankan Tourism Ministry along with TAAI has made a request to the President of Sri Lanka for Free Visa for all Convention delegates and further going for all Indian Tourists. We are awaiting confirmation on the same,” says Mayal, adding, that she has seen a heart-warming dedication and commitment by the young and dynamic Sri Lankan Tourism Minister Harin Fernando along with the very committed & hospitable team of SLAITO to host TAAI for a successful convention. “Meanwhile, let’s not disclose all details and let there be some surprise elements for the delegates also,” she adds.