Sri Lanka crisis: TAAI postpones 66th Convention

TAAI says new dates to be announced shortly
2022-04-07
/
/ New Delhi
Sri Lanka crisis: TAAI postpones 66th Convention

TAAI says it is in constant touch with the stakeholder partners and the hosts in Sri Lanka who continue to assuring their fullest support to hold the 66th Convention

In view of the ongoing economic and political crisis in Sri Lanka, the 66th Annual Convention of TAAI, India’s largest travel trade body, has been postponed indefinitely.
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In a setback to revival of tourism to Sri Lanka, that had been going on for the past six months, the 66th Convention of Travel Agents Association of India, (TAAI) has been postponed in view of the economic and political unrest that has gripped the island nation for the past two weeks.

Faced with severe fuel and food shortages, Sri Lanka has been seen daily protests against the government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his family, with calls for Rajapaksa’s resignation.

In a press release, TAAI says that the conference that was slated to be held from April 19-22 2022, in Colombo has been postponed. “We had an overwhelming response to the convention registrations which had crossed the 500-registration mark. Sri Lankan Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) and Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO), along with Sri Lankan Airlines and, the Hotels in Colombo, were eager to host us for the convention, as was TAAI,” says Jyoti Mayal, president, TAAI.

“The current economic and political situation in the island nation, whereby there is a shortage of fuel, power, gas, the daily consumer needs along with the political unrest and treason in parts of the country, has compelled us to postpone the convention in Colombo. Tourism is always the first to be hit at the outset of any crisis, but we continue to stand strong & committed to our counterparts in Sri Lanka to revive tourism as soon as the opportunity arises by rescheduling the convention,’’ she adds.

“We had received numerous calls, and communications from our member delegates, invitees & stakeholders that the sentiment to travel to Sri Lanka at this time would not only burden our Sri Lankan friends but also on the uncertainty on the hosting of the convention in Colombo,” says Jay Bhatia, vice president, TAAI.

TAAI says it is in constant touch with the stakeholder partners and the hosts in Sri Lanka who continue to assuring their fullest support to hold the 66th Convention. The fresh dates are yet to be announced, but some reports suggest that the convention could be moved to July.

“As per the feedback and suggestions received, the managing committee of TAAI has decided to postpone the 66th Convention to a future date, which shall be communicated to all in due course, once the situation in Sri Lanka regularises,” says Bettaiah Lokesh, secretary general, TAAI.

“We have always maintained that tourism is a catalyst that bridges the gap between nations and economies, and we assure you all that as soon as the situation in Sri Lanka comes back to normal, new dates for a grander convention shall be announced in association with SLTPB and SLAITO,’’ adds Shreeram Patel, national treasurer of TAAI.

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