Mr. Rajiv Mehra, President, Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) expressed his disappointment on the decision taken by Ministry of Civil Aviation/DGCA to extend the suspension of international flight operation till 30th September 2021 and e-Tourist Visa.
He mentioned that our members are very much depressed and disheartened by this decision taken by the Government. It is time for the Government to help the tourism industry by reviving inbound tourism to India for which we have made the following requests to the Government.
- To open e-Tourist Visa for all those foreign tourists who have been vaccinated and wish to come to India. Let foreign tourists decide whether they want to travel to India or not. We should not restrict them to travel to India when other countries have opened their doors for tourists.
- Similarly, normal international flight operation should be resumed and Let the airlines decide whether they want to operate or not if there is any constraint of load factor. But the government should allow resuming flights.
All other sectors have revived their business with support from the Government and it is only the travel and tourism industry that is struggling for survival for the last 18 months but there is no relief at all. Government should support the tourism industry especially the inbound tour operators who have had zero business since March 2020.
Can’t agree more!
The morale and the financial health of an SME Indian Travel Agent/Tour Operator/Transporter is very depressing and the constant suspension of commercial flights from and to India, without any reasoning, discussion with stakeholders and or advise by any think-tank is absolutely baseless & unwarranted.
At one side, we are constantly criticising the Canada’s and the America’s for not allowing our students to travel nonstop and paying hefty ticket prices, whereas we ourselves are setting up a wrong example by not opening up our skies to scheduled flights. This will not only create further inconvenience to millions of students, businessmen and VFR travellers but also jeopardise the commendable work done by the Govt with regards to vaccination. When our COVID protocols & SOP’s, including a very efficient “airsuvidha” portal is already in place for over a year, what’s stopping us to open up our skies to commercial international flights ?
I think, it’s high time that all associations drop their ego’s, individual approach and work together to make a very strong, collective representation to the PMO as well as MOCA, MOT to allow commercial flights to and from India.
On one hand they are suspending international flights operation-tourist visa and on the other hand they are allotting medical visa where foreign nationals are arriving for Ayurveda treatment without getting vaccination although all other western countries made vaccination a compulsory requirement to land there. Dual policy will kill the tourism.
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