Mumbai: The 34th Annual Convention of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) will be held at Novotel in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, from September 6 to 9, 2018.

The Annual Convention will be held under the patronage of the Chief Minister N Chandra Babu Naidu. The previous two conventions were held in Hyderabad in 1997 and 2003. Both were inaugurated by the Chief Minister himself.

Rajiv Mehra, Vice President, IATO, said, “We want to make this convention one of the best that IATO has organised as we have full support from the State Government. This year’s convention theme – Mission 20 Million Tourists: Challenges & Possibilities – is inspired by the challenges our industry is facing to meet the target of 20 million tourists by 2020 as set by our Ministry of Tourism.”

While declaring the decision of the Executive Committee, Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO, said, “Visakhapatnam was announced as the venue during our last convention in September 2017 by Himanshu Shukla, CEO, AP Tourism Authority and MD, AP Tourism Development Corporation.”

This convention is expected to further increase international and domestic tourist arrivals to Andhra Pradesh, boost economic growth and create new jobs. “This is a new destination which we want to promote especially for MICE as it has a lot to offer. After the convention, there will be post-convention tours for the members.”

The inauguration will be on the evening of September 6 and the last session ends on September 8 followed by a valedictory dinner. There will be an exclusive half- day session for tour operators and travel agents on September 6 in the forenoon.

Post-convention tours will start from September 9, all terminating at Visakhapatnam airport by 4 pm respectively. IATO is one of the largest tourism associations with over 1700 leading tour operators, travel agents and hoteliers as members.

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