The Man Behind the Mission
In the last one decade, Andaman and Nicobar Islands has emerged as a preferred holiday destination for vacation seekers in India and abroad giving tough competition to domestic destinations and several international destinations. But who are the people behind this huge industry who ensure that the tourism of the islands runs smoothly like well-oiled machinery? Ask any island stakeholder and the one name that stands out is that of the famously dynamic Shri M Vinod.
Shri M Vinod is a son of the soil of the Andaman Islands having been born and raised there. After completing his education, instead of chasing the corporate dream in mainland India or abroad for that matter, Shri Vinod started his own travel agency with a vision to transform the islands into a tourism paradise. What makes it remarkable is the fact that a rare few dared to take this road back in the days when tourism had not boomed in the islands. He achieved success in his travel agency yet his dreams could not be confined by the walls of his office. His dream for Andamans needed him to do more for the industry than run a business. Without a thought, with a few industry friends, he spearheaded the formation of Andaman Association of Tour Operators, famously known by its acronym AATO, the premier tourism representative of Andamans today. AATO, with Shri Vinod’s guidance, has worked in tandem with IATO, TAAI, IATTE to name a few tourism bodies and participates annually in all leading tourism events including OTM, SATTE and TTF.
Shri Vinod having a strong understanding and experience in the field of tourism at the grass-root level has time and again echoed the voices of the many small stakeholders that often cannot reach the offices of the high in command. From cab drivers to hoteliers, Shri Vinod has heard and represented every vertical of the tourism industry in the islands with officers of the Andaman and Nicobar Administration as well as at the Ministries in New Delhi and resolved innumerable day to day issues. Not one to be reluctant to spread his wings for the greater good of the tourism of the islands, Shri Vinod did not stop at the borders of India but showcased brand Andamans at major international tourism fairs such as ITB, Berlin and WTM, Germany.
With a vision to enable tourism opportunities not only for the generations of today but for the several generations of tomorrow, Shri Vinod has staunchly supported sustainable tourism in the islands with special focus on eco-friendly tourism projects. Through awareness programs, time to time, the spirit to drive business towards sustainable methods has been professed by Shri Vinod with the hope that the islanders of the future prosper from the same soil.
The man’s contribution to the development of tourism in the Andamans and his efforts for the welfare of the stakeholders stands priceless. The government has time and again bestowed him with several awards and accolades including Commendation Certificate by Hon’ble Lt. Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands on 15th August 2015.
Shri Vinod continues to catapult Andaman tourism to new heights each day with his selfless work for the people of Andamans. It would not be an overstatement to call Shri M Vinod the prime pillar of the tourism industry of the islands. A pillar, strong and resilient, ready to shoulder the Andaman tourism industry expecting nothing in return, come what may. The man Andaman tourism needs, the man Andaman tourism looks up to.