In the recently held biennial elections of the Indian Association of Tour Operators, E.M Najeeb, Managing Director, ATE Group registered a comfortable victory, taking over the reins of IATO as the Senior Vice President for the coming two years. Speaking exclusively to DI, he shared that he intended to propose to the organization to focus on “new areas”, such as social responsibility activities and digital promotions. He also favoured “earnest involvement of IATO in the tourism industry of various regions” to enhance the relevance of the association. He stressed that the association needed to look into quality issues in the industry and could act as whistle-blowers to bring spotlight on issues affecting the larger tourism industry.

Reacting on being elected in the IATO team, he suggested that he was glad that the members of IATO had reposed their confidence in him. “I contested the election putting forward my earnest intentions to make the association more inclusive, involving members from all parts of the country in the activities of IATO. The organization would become closer to the hearts of the members if it is made more transparent,” he said.

On the way forward, he believed that it was necessary to “equip the organization well to move in pace with the changes and developments” in the tourism industry around the world to remain abreast with changing times.  Batting for concerted efforts, he argued that the association should stand up for the causes of tour operators in the country. “We should also make ourselves fit for the times to be one of the best trade associations in the country. I believe that there is a great pool of experience and knowledge among the valued members which should be brought together for the benefit of the organization,” he said. He noted that larger stakeholders of the tourism industry should view IATO “with great amount of goodwill and appreciation” for their ongoing efforts and achievements.