Priyanka Saxena Ray
The very announcement of the 66th TAAI Cruising Convention had stirred many feathers in the tourism industry as no one was expecting to get back on a Cruise so soon in the post pandemic era, especially keeping in mind the horror stories many of us had heard of people staying locked up in cruise ships for days in case one of them was detected positive. But TAAI has always been known as an association that do things differently. Its cabins were booked within 48 hours and on the day of the arrival, an excited bunch of 320 delegates queued up to board the Spectrum of the Seas – the latest ship to set sail in Asian waters. Like me, there were many who were taking the first ever Cruise trip and thanking the association in their hearts for giving this wonderful opportunity. It truly takes guts to host a Cruise Convention, especially post Covid where the paperwork alone is exhausting.
Once onboard the Spectrum of the Seas, the 320 TAAI delegates were in for a treat as the ship has many unique features to offer and TAAI gave ample time to its delegates to experience it all. The association had arrange for an early check-in and lunch followed by a brief welcome address in the evening. The following two days of the Convention too gave enough time to the delegates to experience the ship offerings and did not hold delegates up in long business sessions. While there were some who definitely felt that the association could have given more time to its business sessions, especially keeping the quality of speakers in mind who were outstanding, a majority of the delegates were happy to be left on their own for exploration. The delegates were also taken to the Angsana Teluk Bahang, Penang, where the ship had docked for an evening and were offered a taste of Malaysian hospitality as well. A special mention here for Ms. Ratna Chadha, CEO, Tirun Travel Marketing who accompanied the TAAI delegation throughout the convention and heal in creasing out any issues, ensuring that the delegates have a memorable vacation.
We will share more details about the business sessions, informal evenings, president’s message and what the industry people who attended the convention has to say about it in the second part of our coverage.