Wednesday, January 19, 2022

IAAI Launches E-Signature Campaign For Reinstatement Of Travel Agency Commission

Covid-19 has wholly disrupted the Travel and Tourism Industry at national and international levels for close to two years. Though transformed by technology and wellness tips, the spread of the Omicron variant forced travel restrictions, and the Industry has lost domestic and international tourists and local visitors. The Omicron waves sidelined the slow recovery that makes our future unpredictable.

Travel business is an economic activity related to continuous and regular buying and selling of travel-related services for satisfying human wants. Travel agents are the primary distribution channels for tourism, interconnected with tour operators, tourist guides, homestays, tourist boats and taxi operators, including the hospitality sector.

The impacts of the pandemic and economic fallout severely hit the travel agents. Past eleven years, the air travel sector has been outstretched with zero (nil) commission and lately with the pandemic. As an unorganized sector, most travel agents and tour operators are out of the MSME ambit, neither benefited from banks nor got any bailouts from the government. The Industry lost sustainability, and many have vacated offices, are jobless, find it hard to pay EMI on home or bank loans, have no savings and swinging for livelihood. No means to support families and gradually become an endangered business profession.

Air ticketing is the primary source of income to travel agents, who consistently contribute over 60-75% of the overall business to the airlines. Agents commission dropped from 9 -7, then 7- 5, later 5- 3, and finally 'NIL (Zero) Commission.

19/01/22 T3

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