At the elections held last week for Travel Agents Association of India's (TAAI) Western Region Committee, for 2013-15, Sampat Damani (Partner, Disha Travel) was elected as Chairman. He replaces Jay Bhatia (Director, Tulsidas Khimji Holidays). Col (Retd) P Shashidharan VSM (Chief Relationship Officer, Orbitz Corporate & Leisure Travels) retained his position as Secretary, while Sameer Karnani (Director, Arunoday Travels) took charge as Treasurer. Karnani takes over from Anaita Punjabi (Partner, Vijay Travels).The newly appointed Committee will be active from September, following TAAI's Managing Committee elections.
Damani said, “Our objective this year will be to foster unity among our members. We wish to present all Regions/Chapters of TAAI as a united front so as to ensure survival and growth of travel agents amid obstacles such as the commission issue.”
Elaborating on the plan of action this year, Col Shashidharan said, “We will lay emphasis on some pressing issues. We will continue our protests against weekly payments, which we were very actively protesting against last year. We will work with associations like TAFI (Travel Agents Federation of India), following a multi-level approach to get commission for travel agents reinstated."
The Western Region Committee will this year conduct a series of trainings for frontline and mid-level staff to educate them on scale upgradation, so as to establish a multi-scale travel fraternity, the Secretary informed. "Joining hands with consul generals and tourism boards will be a priority to facilitate interaction and provide travel agents access to information on destinations. We will also conduct educational programmes to teach travel agents how to survive in this competitive industry.”