BY DEBAJYOTI CHAKRABORTY
KOLKATA, 15 DECEMBER 2022
“ There is huge scope for travel agents in the not so exploited sector like medical tourism. TAFI is now planning to tie up with doctors, hospitals and health care units which will benefit all the stakeholders including the aged persons and patients and their relatives,” said Mr. Anil Punjabi, Chairman ( East) of Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI).
The patients have no idea which doctor or hospital will be best for them and the travel agents can play a big role in doing the value added services like providing these facilities and will take care of the travel and hospitality part of the patients and their relatives, Mr. Anil Punjabi explained.
The first bi monthly meeting post covid -19 outbreak of Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI), Eastern India chapter took place at Gardenia Hall of Hotel Kenilworth in Kolkata today afternoon.
The agendas of today’s meeting were joint bank guarantee scheme for discussion of TAFI members, FAM trip to Guwahati, industry issues, visa issues, airlines issues etc.
“ During the covid -19 days , the travel agents have done yeoman’s service by providing services to the aged and handicapped persons. The pandemic has redefined the role of the travel agents in the society,”said Mr. Bilolaksha Das, secretary of TAFI ( East).
Even from Bangladesh and other SAARC countries, a lot of patients come to this part of the world for medical tourism, he added.
Mr. Anil Punjabi further added that covid has taught a lesson that when borders were closed, the inland tourism provided daily bread and butter to the travel agents and urged the members to not only concentrate on international tourism but also on Incredible India.
He has also warned the members to be careful about online frauds going on at present and said that very recently a meeting was held with the city police. He has urged the members to provide documents and receipts to all clients to avoid such situations.
Some agents also suggested charging fees for making itineraries, which has been a regular practice in states like Gujarat for a long time.
A large number of members were present in the meeting today including- Mr. Abhijeet Dhar, Director of ALPS Tourist Services Private Limited, P.K.Khemka, General Manager Trident Travel Private Limited etc.
Mr. Sajid Ahmed Khan, regional head of Thai Airways announcing the good news of the return back of the star alliance partner airlines to the City of Joy from next January and gave a powerpoint presentation to the audience.
The representatives of the Kolkata office of VFS also apprised the members about the latest updates on VISA for countries like USA, UK, Canada and Scenzen countries and gave a detailed powerpoint presentation on each country. Getting Visa on time has been a major issue for most of the travel agents.
Mr. Jayanta Bhattacharya, senior AGM of Air India and officials of Thai Smile were also present.
At the end of the programme a cake mixing ceremony was also organised at the garden in which Mr. Khemraj Bhatt, executive chef of Kenilworth Hotel, also participated. Priya Duggal, deputy sales manager was also present. It was the most colorful event of the day and all the participants enjoyed the cake mixing ceremony. The event ended with a buffet lunch.