Md Mahbub Ali, State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism, says,

If people's participation is ensured, development is guaranteed

_A Monitor Report16 Apr, 2019 | 892 Views|-+
Dhaka : Association of Travel Agents of Bangladesh (ATAB) addressed various issues of the aviation and tourism industry and proposed possible solutions for the development of the sector to the State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry.

ATAB organised a views exchange and certification programme at ATAB Conference Hall on April 9 where Md Mahbub Ali, State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism, attended the programme as the chief guest.

SN Manzur Murshed, President of ATAB and Abdus Salam Aref, Secretary General of ATAB were present on the occasion along with other ATAB officials, students of ATAB Tourism Training Institute (ATTI) and media representatives.

Among the issues mentioned, some involved airlines not paying the duty on non-refundable tickets, high trade licence fee for tour operators, syndicate in Hajj packages, agencies not getting commissions from the airlines etc.

ATAB proposed the government to disallow airlines to issue advance tickets without names. It also urged the government to allow an elected representative of ATAB to join Biman Bangladesh Airlines' Board of Directors.

To reduce syndicate in Hajj travel, SN Manzur Murshed, President of ATAB requested the minister to direct Hajj pilgrim carrying airlines and other travel agencies not to allocate more than 300 seats against one travel agency licence.

Ticket issuing agencies are to be paid 7pc commission from budget airlines by law. Abdus Salam Aref, Secretary General of ATAB called on the government to ensure this right since budget airlines are in violation of this law.

ATAB also mentioned the necessity to sell tickets through online travel agency (OTA) to prevent money laundering. A monitoring committee to supervise airlines is also essential, claimed ATAB's president.

Lastly, the secretary of ATAB opined setting up of a mobile court which will stop operations of illegal travel agencies.

In response, Md Mahbub Ali, State Minister, said, "I feel that ATAB's scope of activities is the same as the ministry. I have asked for advice from the experts of the industry, journalists and travel associations such as ATAB to help me identify the loopholes in this sector. Due to these loopholes, we are yet to achieve our target."

"Our aviation and tourism industry contains great potential. Every airline wants to set foot in our market because it shows great promise. The existing ones are already expanding their operations. I am optimistic that 'together' we can bring everything in the right track. If people's participation is ensured then development of the country is guaranteed," he added.

The programme concluded with 20 ATTI students of NTVQF - Level 2 course and some other students from another level course receiving certificates from the State Minister.

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