AITO to hold annual conference in Cochin

The Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) is to hold this year’s conference in Cochin, India.

Chairman Derek Moore said the city in Kerala, one of India’s southern-most states, had been chosen to “confound the cautious”.

He added the conference will be held from November 18 to 22, while the association is confident that choosing a long-haul destination will send a positive message to the trade. “As operators, we are optimists, so we decided to hold our conference somewhere exotic and different, somewhere exciting and in a place where AITO has not been before.

“We decided to confound the cautious and go long haul. In a year that has taxed us all – in more ways than one – and tested our nerves, we decided on something exciting: so we are heading for Cochin.

“With the help of our friends at Kerala Tourism, I am sure this will be a conference to remember, and a perfect antidote to a difficult year for all of us.”

Conference sessions and evening events will take place around the bay while delegates attending the conference will stay in three properties, the Taj Gateway in the city centre, the Taj Malabar on Willingdon Island and the Bolgatty Palace.

Secretary at Kerala’s department of tourism Dr Venu Vasudevan added: “I am delighted that the AITO 2009 conference will be in Cochin. On behalf of Kerala Tourism and the government of Kerala, I welcome all the distinguished members to Kerala, our beautiful state.

“We are honoured to host them, and we will do our best to see that all delegates have a meaningful and enjoyable time in Kerala.”

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