TEN of India's leading travel trade associations officially joined hands in mid-May to form the Federation of Associations of Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH), a new organisation that purports to address industry issues and demands.
Some of the issues the new organisation plans to look into immediately include industry status for the sector, extending India’s visa-on-arrival scheme to more countries and simplifying the tax regime.
Discussions for the formation of FAITH started a year ago, but some members of the Indian Association of Tour Operators had expressed concerns that joining FAITH would dilute the relevance of their association, before finally taking the plunge, said sources.
The nine other members are Travel Agents Association of India, Adventure Tour Operators Association of India, Travel Agents Federation of India, Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India, Indian Tourist Transporters Association, Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India, India Convention Promotion Bureau, Indian Heritage Hotels Association and Hotel Association of India (HAI).
Parvez Diwan, secretary, Ministry of Tourism, said: “It is a great initiative by all the associations who have decided to come together to take up the challenges that concern the industry. I, on behalf of the tourism ministry, extend all our support to FAITH.”
Nakul Anand, chairman, FAITH and president, HAI, said: “We are keen to work closely with different Indian states to find solutions to various issues. Indian states needs to realise the economic benefits of tourism.”
Sarabjit Singh has been appointed vice chairman of FAITH, Subhash Verma appointed Secretary and Tejbir Singh Anand, treasurer. Aashish Gupta is consultant CEO.