TMS. How did you land up in the travel industry? Give a brief overview of your background and your role in the organization.
Ravi Gosain. I am passionate traveller and since my school days wanted to roam around the world to know people, their history and cultures. So I carefully chosen my career and did masters in Tourism administration before joining the inbound trade. I was fortunate to get desired success and opportunities to travel all continents with over 86 countries and probably close to 250 cities. Now working in tourism for 26 years and running Erco Travels as a prominent DMC for Indian subcontinent.
My industry friends encouraged me to come forward and work for IATO, which is a leading tour operators association of India. I was elected as EC in 2011 and since then worked on different positions. Contributing to association and for industry is very satisfying despite of the fact that it’s a tiring thankless job. I feel proud that during last decade there is multi fold upswings in IATO’s overall role and stature. Now, IATO becomes the stronger voice for tourism industry in front of Government as well as stakeholders. IATO works closely with Ministry of tourism, govt of India in all policy matters, Indian e-visa, overseas marketing and promotions, skill development, social cause, to name few.
TMS. IATO’s role in serving its members has evolved over time. What has been its greatest contribution?
Ravi Gosain. There are lots of challenges for tourism industry post pandemic and Iato is working closely with MOT, to find solutions. We have pushed government to open borders, facilitate Indian e-visa, open more sectors for airlines, get away with air suvidha form, virtual roadshows, participation at overseas travel trade fairs, overseas promotions etc. All these actions were to create favourable environment for inbound tourism to restart and flourish. We are still struggling to get desired business to meet out our expenses as we know it will take time to revive business compare to 2019. I hope there are no more setbacks and we move forward with positivity and determination.
TMS. Please share with us your experience at the 37th edition of IATO convention? What were the main highlights of show?
Ravi Gosain. We recently concluded 37th IATO Annual convention in Lucknow which broke all records in terms of participation from both states and delegates. Over 1000 people attended the convention which gave wonderful platform for networking and knowledgeable sessions to enrich our business horizon. Industry was happy to meet each other wholeheartedly without any fears and with positive outlook for the future. We invited some excellent speakers for our session from senior government officials as well renowned stakeholders, who’s presence and know enhanced the value of our convention.
TMS. Could you please tell me what your key priorities will be as Vice President of IATO in the coming year?
Ravi Gosain. In future as Vice president of Iato, my priority will be to increase our membership base and bring serious players in our fold as much as possible. Also overseas marketing, promotions and roadshows are something which is urgently required to give boost to our businesses, so that will be also first on Agenda. We have already planned to take representation on this to ministry of tourism at earliest possible. I believe we have to do some great efforts collectively in order to bring back lost inbound business and I hope that we will able to reach 2019 business leves by the beginning of 2024, provided there are no more external threats.
TMS. Please share your hobbies, what keeps you busy when you are away from work?
Ravi Gosain. Personally speaking I love my work more than anything else but I am a big time fitness freak and spend two hours every morning at sports complex doing different activities. I strongly believe we need to charge our batteries regularly if we plan to achieve higher goals, so this is the best way to do that. Apart from this travelling makes me busy but I enjoy it to the core and I consider myself as a traveller rather than a tourist. I just want to tell my fellow colleagues that work is important but we should also enjoy life and do whatever we want or wanted to do in life. Work should complement our interests and trust me it will increase your efficiency to achieve success.