The travel industry has lost a young pioneer in the passing away of Praveen Chugh. He died yesterday after a massive cardiac arrest. Presently, he was the President of Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) and had established himself as one of the principal pillars behind the organisation’s success. In recent years, he played a pivotal role in putting together some of the most admirable TAFI conventions in different parts of the world, most recently in Abu Dhabi 2018. Along with TAFI, he was also serving as Vice Chairman of the World Travel Agents Association Alliance (WTAAA) and COO, Via Agency Sales. (EbixCash, the Financial Exchange Division of Ebix, had acquired Via Agency Sales and appointed him to look into the B2B aspect of the business.)

He was a time-tested organiser. Watching him at close quarters, putting together these conventions, one could see the passion and outreach he mustered in putting together relevant and progressive content for his industry colleagues. He had assumed a more active role in FAITH in the past couple of years and, till the end, remained a very committed believer in the idea of the industry. Whether as an election agent or as a contestant, he made his presence felt in one form or the other. He truly believed in ‘industry first.’

Perhaps in his last appearance at an industry forum, a month ago at BITB India Travel Congress, he yet again had voiced concern on changing industry dynamics, rooting for a more appropriate and equitable distribution of the business pie. He had advocated for a sustainable business model that augured well for all stakeholders, irrespective of their financial prowess or market segmentation. It only reaffirmed his belief in taking the industry forward collectively.

While he spoke vehemently for the lives and livelihood of the traditional tour operator, he equally embraced technology and innovation to carry forward allied travel services. His sudden and untimely demise has left the industry in a state of shock and we extend our deepest condolences, praying for the peace of the departed soul.