23rd December 2022, New Delhi: The 37th IATO Annual Convention held in Lucknow from 16 -19 December 2022 was a milestone for IATO as the number of delegates crossed 1000 from all over the country. After the convention, five post-convention tours were organized and about 300 delegates and spouses joined the post tour of their interest which concluded on 22nd December 2022.
The biggest attraction of the convention was Hon’ble Yogi Adityanath’s presence as the Chief Guest during the Valedictory Session held on 18th December 2022 at the Centrum Hotel, Lucknow where he addressed over 1000 delegates present there who talked about the UP Government plans about development of tourism and incentives that have been announced by the UP Govt. He gave more emphasis on the Safety and Security of tourists and assured that Uttar Pradesh is today the safest state in India for the tourists. Shri Dayashankar Singh, Hon’ble Minister for Transport, Government of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Arun Kumar Saxena, Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh and Shri Mukesh Kumar Meshram were also present at the Valedictory Session. Shri Mangal Prabhat Lodha, Hon’ble Minister of Tourism, Govt. of Maharashtra through his video message invited all for the 38th IATO Annual Convention scheduled to be held in Aurangabad in September 2023. Mr. Rajiv Mehra, President IATO made a request to Hon’ble Chief Minister to help the industry for a 2 minute halt of Vande Bharat at Tundla Junction which would help the tourism industry to promote pilgrimage tourism to Uttar Pradesh.
Inaugural function of the convention was held on 16th December 2022 with pomp and show at The Centrum Hotel, Lucknow Mr. Ravi Gosain, Vice President & Chairman of the Convention started with the welcome address. Mr. Rajiv Mehra, President – IATO in his presidential speech thanked Yogi Adityanath who could not join for the inaugural function, owing to his busy schedule, for the support being given by his office and giving IATO an opportunity to hold the 37th IATO Annual Convention in Lucknow. He thanked Mr. Arvind Singh, Secretary (Tourism), Government of India for all the support and Mr. Mukesh Kumar Meshram, Principal Secretary & Director General Tourism, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh for all the support and guidance given by him and his team of UP Tourism. Mr. Mukesh Kumar Meshram talked about New Tourism Policy of UP Government and incentives being given to the stakeholders. Shri Arvind Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India talked about G20 Presidency and thanked UP Government for taking the lead. He also thanked Mr. Meshram for hosting the 37th IATO Annual Convention in Uttar Pradesh. Mr. Asim Arun, Hon’ble Minister for Social welfare, Government of Uttar Pradesh addressed the delegates and talked about the new infrastructure development being created in Uttar Pradesh. Shri Ashwini Kumar Patra, Hon’ble Minister of Tourism, Govt. of Odisha talked about tourism infrastructure and development in Odisha. Hall of Fame of Awards were given to Mr. Sunil Gupta, Managing Director, Travel Bureau and Late Shri Badri Bajaj, Managing Director, Perfect Travels & Tours Pvt. Ltd. and Adventure World (India) Pvt. Ltd. for the their contribution to the tourism industry. Mr. Sunil Mishra, Hony. Treasurer and Co-Chairman Convention presented vote of thanks.
On 17th and 18th December 2022, there were deliberations in the business sessions on the following subjects:-
Ø INBOUND TOURISM- What Lies Ahead !
Ø Building Relationship between Hotels and Tour Operators
Ø Special Session on Uttar Pradesh Tourism
Ø OPPORTUNITIES IN UTTAR PRADESH – Spirituality, River Cruise, New circuits, story telling
Ø NEED OF THE HOUR -Tourism Marketing and Promotion
Ø LAST MILE CONNECTIVITY – Air, Rail & Road
Ø EXPLORE THE UNEXPLORED – Rural, Agriculture, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism
Ø SEARCH FOR NEW IDEAS – What next ?
Mr. Rajiv Bansal, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Mr. Rakesh Kumar Verma, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Mr. S.P. Singh, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Govt. of India, Mr. Mukesh Kumar Meshram, Principal Secretary & DG Tourism, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Sheo Shekhar Shukla, Principal Secretary, Tourism, & MD, MP Tourism Board, Mr. Sachin R Jadhav, Director Tourism & MD – Odisha Tourism Development Corporation, Mr. Abhay Sinha, Director General, Service Export Promotion Council were the key government speakers in the business sessions,
During the Valedictory Session on 18th December 2022, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath Released the Coffee Table Book on Budelkhand and IATO Manual 2022-23
Marketing Innovation Competition awards were given to the states by Yogi Aditynanath to the following states.
- Best booth – Uttar Pradesh Tourism
- Best Digital Marketing by State Government – Madhya Pradesh Tourism
- Best Poster by State Government – Manipur Tourism
- Best Brochure by State Government – Maharashtra Tourism
- Best Video CD – Ladakh Tourism
After the Valedictory Functions following awards were given under MARKETING INNOVATION COMPETITION
- Best Digital Marketing by Tour Operator – Travel Bureau
- Best Brochure by Tour Operator – Tourism India Management Enterprises
- Best Digital Marketing by Hotel – ITC Hotels
- Best Brochure by Hotel – Taj Hotels (IHCL)
- Best Travel Media Publication – Travel Turtle
- Best Travel Media Digital – Trav Talk for Breaking News; BOTT; TravelScape and Travel World online
This was followed by Awards to the Winners and Runners up of the IATO Run for Responsible Tourism which was organized on 18th December 2022. Many door prizes were announced during the business sessions and during award presentation ceremony. Mr. Prateek Hira gave vote of thanks.
The 37th IATO Annual Convention was a huge success with over 1000 delegates from all over the country. The convention was supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and Uttar Pradesh was the host state. Besides the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India and Uttar Pradesh there were 17 other states who participated in the convention i.e. Bihar Tourism, Chhattisgarh Tourism, Goa Tourism, Gujarat Tourism, Karnataka Tourism, Jammu & Kashmir Tourism, Kerala Tourism, Ladakh Tourism, Madhya Pradesh Tourism, Maharashtra Tourism, Manipur Tourism, Odisha Tourism, Punjab Tourism, Rajasthan Tourism, Tamil Nadu Tourism, Tripura Tourism, Uttarakhand Tourism.
Delegates enjoyed the evening entertainment programme on all the three days during dinner with Karaoke Singing Competition on 17th December 2022.
On 19th December 2022 delegates checked out and about 300 delegates departed for post-convention tours to various cities which included Ayodhya, Varanasi, Dudhwa, Allahabad & Chitrakoot and Agra & Mathura.
All the arrangements made by The Centrum Hotel Lucknow and the quality of food were excellent and delegates enjoyed the hospitality.
Delegates were very happy and thanked IATO for organizing such a magnificent annual convention.