The country members drawn from 24 countries influence their respective governments about the nature and direction which tourism should take in major industrial countries.
One of important publications of OECD is the report “Tourism Policy and International Tourism in OECD Member countries” which is published every year and reviews current tourism issues and trends in tourism activity for each country. The review is done on a yearly basis and serves as an important document for policy makers.
European Travel Commission (ETC):
European Travel Commission (ETC) was established in the year 1948 as a non-profit-making body the national tourism organisation (NTOs) of various European Countries. It has 26 member countries. The objectives of the European Travel Commission (ETC) are:
i. To foster international tourism co-operation in Europe
ii. To exchange information on tourism development projects and marketing techniques.
iii. To undertake/commission appropriate travel research concerning various issues related to travel and tourism.
iv. To promote tourism within, and to, Europe, from other parts of the world particularly from North America and Europe.
The commission’s functions include research, marketing and a range of allied tourism policy issues. The activities of the European Travel Commission are supported by the European commission, which considers tourism as an industry of great potential and of great economic and social significance within the community.
Indian Ocean Tourism Organisation (IOTO):
Founded in the year 1995 the Indian Ocean Tourism Organization’s mission is to enhance regional co-operation and understanding through sustainable tourism.
IOTO in its vision statement has stated that every country in the Indian Ocean Region has its own unique tourism product, image, strategies and structure and that there are tourism issues of common interest and mutual benefit within the region. The vision for the region is that every country around the Indian Ocean Rim will optimize its own potential in a sustainable manner for the benefit of its entire people.
The approach of IOTO is to complement and add value to the strategies and activities of public and private sector touristic organisations around the Indian Ocean Rim.
The UFTAA has formed a national-level travel agency association from more than 84 countries of the world. This travel agency association represents, in turn, more than 20,000 travel agencies of the world. The Federation has been divided into 9 distinct regions. Each region has a group of nations.
The headquarters of the UFTAA are located at Brussels, Belgium. Some of the achievements of the UFTAA are as follows:-
The UFTAA protects the commercial and other interests of those travel agents who are associated with it. In the times to come, this Federation would find more travel agents joining its fold. So, it would emerge as the “savior organisation” of the travel agents around the globe.
The TAAI Travel Agents Association of India is one of the most respected organisations of India in the field of tourism and travel. After independence, the industries of India started organising and reorganising themselves.
The tourist industry was one such industry. Many travel agents started forming their own companies after 1947. In 1952, an All India Travel Agents Association was formed. In 1954, the Government of India also recognised the need for developing tourism facilities and promoting travel agents.
The officials of the government were aware of the fact that some spurious travel agents rob foreign tourists of their precious money, belongings etc. In December, 2002, a case has been brought to light in Goa. The travel agent hid booked seats for tourists and fun freaks for taking them aboard a ship.
They were supposed to celebrate the New Year eve (December 31, 2002) aboard the ship. But when the travellers and tourists arrived at the beach on the last day of 2002, they did not find any such ship to board. There are many spurious travel agents spread across the globe who take money from innocent travellers and vanish into thin year.
The TAAI decided to grant recognition to travel agents. It also expected the tourists to contact only those travel agents that were recognised by it. Consequently, the Government of India also defined a set of rules in this context. This set of rules is as follows:-
1. No firm shall be granted recognition unless it has been engaged actively in handling tourist traffic for at least one year before the date of submission of its application.
2. Recognised firms shall be entitled to such rights/privileges as may be granted by the government from time to time and shall abide by the terms and conditions specified in the recognition document.
3. Recognised firms would be required to operate a full time office, under the charge of full time staff. Such staff would issue rail tickets to their customers, give them information regarding transport and accommodation, help them in customs clearance formalities and assist them in the issues related to travel.
4. The recognition may be given for operations in the entire country or limited to a particular region.
5. The recognised firms shall appoint only those guides that have been approved by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
6. All the recognised firms shall furnish yearly statements of their activities and other vital sets of information in respect of tourist traffic handled by them and all such matters as are related to travel/tourism.
7. The decision of the government in the matter of recognition of a firm shall be deemed final. Further, the government also reserves the right to cancel or withdraw the recognition given by it to a firm.
8. Recognition granted by the government shall not entitle the firms to be appointed as sales agents for the sale of railway tickets by the Ministry of Railways (Railway Board). The recognised firms would be required to apply separately, if they are keen to sell railway tickets.
9. The firms desirous of seeking recognition would have a minimum paid-up capital of Rs 1,00,000.
10.” Applications for the grant of recognition by the Ministry of Tourism (Government of India) would be considered only if the firm:
(i) Is approved by the IATA;
(ii) Has a license to book foreign passages issued by the RBI:
(iii) Has the approval of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to handle travel documents and deal with passport offices; and
(iv) Is registered under the local shops and Establishments Act.