Exclusive: TAFI aims to rebuild Tourism more Responsibly and Sustainably

TAFI (Travel Agents Federation of India) was established 36 years ago in 1986 with the idea to bring the travel trade together to talk about ideas, think, raise issues with the relevant authorities, and seek appropriate solutions.

Currently, TAFI boasts 1500+ members across the country which includes IATA agents, Non-IATA agents, and travel services providers like visa facilitators, transporters, tourism boards, and airlines. They have 12 chapters across the country with the most recent chapter being J&K which was established in August 2022.

Setting themselves apart – 
With multiple associations in India, what sets TAFI apart? TAFI and TAAI have a certain amount of common membership and they work together on issues that impact the entire travel industry. In 2012, TAFI was one of the founding members of FAITH – Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality. Over the last 2 years, they have observed that there is a need to revamp the way their members are doing business. The consumers have changed radically and hence trade and its practitioners also need to adapt to the ‘new normal’. Things are changing very quickly and therefore our industry needs to up-skill and reorient its approach to business. It’s also very evident that going forward ‘sustainability’ is going to be a key. The new consumer is much more aware of the environmental impact of travel and therefore travel companies also need to factor this in because if you’re not ‘with it’ you’re going to be left behind hence these are some of the initiatives that TAFI undertakes to upgrade its member’s skills, and product portfolios.

TAFI to host its 13th Convention at Kuching in Sarawak, Malaysia –
The renowned TAFI convention is to be held on 20–23rd September 2022 at Kuching in Sarawak, Malaysia with the theme “Build Back Better”. The convention which is taking place after a 4-year hiatus aims to rebuild Tourism in a more responsible and sustainable manner.

Commenting on the choice of destination, Ajay Prakash, National President, TAFI said, “The destination, Kuching in Sarawak, Malaysia is relatively unexplored by the Indian traveler and is not on the radar however it is a fabulous and beautiful destination which is being promoted for eco-tourism as it has a phenomenal rain forest experience. It is also a great destination for weddings and family holidays and we are taking our members there to experience this unknown destination for themselves”.  The package will be inclusive of a 3 Night Pre or Post Convention Tour to beautiful places within Malaysia.

The 2022 TAFI convention will have speakers from across the world that are going to be talking about topics like building their brands back after the pandemic, and the new niche avenues for revenue generation which helps agents look beyond Airlines and Leisure travel. The convention will provide a platform for B2B networking where approximately 200 travel service providers from Malaysia will interact with members of TAFI to explore the possibilities of collaboration in both directions.

“This business is all about the people and it’s important for us as TAFI members to connect with each other and share new ideas and avenues when we interact”, he added.

The convention will be held at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) which is the first International purpose-built Convention Centre in Kuching Sarawak and has state-of-the-art facilities and equipment and can host up to 5000 guests. TAFI expects over 750 delegates to travel to Malaysia to participate.

Strengthening ties between the two nations –
Tourism Malaysia is looking at India as a major source market and they have been very proactive in helping put the convention together. At the event, they will welcome the Federal Tourism Minister, the Director General of Tourism; and of course the senior team from the official airline partner Malaysia Airlines. The guest of honor will be the Indian ambassador to Malaysia.

“People to people connection is the most important for sustainable and long-lasting relationship development of two countries. Yes, government to government is what makes it possible but when we meet people in their homes and eat their food and observe their customs, we realize that no matter what the color of our skin or our religion is, at the end of the day there is more in common between us than there is to divide us and that’s the true power of tourism and that’s what we as an organization hope to achieve“ Ajay Prakash concludes.


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