IATA agents suggest measures for tourism revival in Kerala

V.Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on June 03, 2021

Fishermen engaged in fishing in Kochi backwaters during rain   -  The Hindu

IAAI requested the govt to allow IATA accredited travel agencies to open offices with 50% employees

To revive and rebuild tourism in God’s Own Country, IATA Agents Association of India (IAAI) has suggested forming a Tourism Taskforce under the Kerala government with proper representation of industry stakeholders including associations.

IAAI requested the government to allow IATA accredited travel agencies to open offices with 50 per cent employees for offering services to NRI’s as international travel formalities, which are health-related and complex, requiring professional assistance and support.

“IATA travel agents are the firsthand consultants to passengers, especially for non-residents Keralites where vaccinations/RT-PCR test and prior regulatory approvals, quarantine exceptions are mandatory,” it said.

The association also urged the government to include IATA travel agency employees in the priority list for Covid-19 vaccination as accredited agents are directly involved with the travelling public.

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In a memorandum submitted to the government, Biji Eapen, IAAI national president said formation of a Welfare Board for tourism service sector would be appreciated since the industry is largely unorganised. This would help bring in the entire service sector under one umbrella, which proactively supports stability and stimulates economic growth in travel tourism, aviation, and hospitality.

There are approximately 218 IATA accredited travel agents in in Kerala, potentially servicing passengers travelling through the four international airports at Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Kozhikode, and Kannur. Around 8000 sub-agents (non-IATA) from city to rural villages depend on these accredited channels for ticket distribution and livelihood, he said.

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IATA accredited travel agents play a significant role in providing travel-related services to the public and boosting tourism growth across the globe. They agents are the direct sales agents for international and domestic airlines, sell tickets from the airline inventory. Tour operators, hotels and the travelling public, including corporates, depends on and coordinate with IATA agents for ticket reservations, date changes, re-issue, re-routing, cancellation or refund, he added.

Published on June 03, 2021

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