A Brief history of ATAB

40 years have been elapsed since ASSOCIATION OF TRAVEL AGENTS OF BANGLADESH (ATAB) came into existence. ATAB is the one of the oldest nationally recognized organization of Govt. approved Travel Agents of Bangladesh, established in the year of 1976 namely “IATA Travel Agent’s Association” at Dhaka Club. The Ministry of Commerce issued “license” to ATAB as a trade organization under section 3(2) C of Trade Organization Ordinance in the year of 1979 and “formalizing” the proposed Association under section 26 of the Companies Act, 1913. ATAB also registered with Joint Stock Company. The first generation Travel Agents of Bangladesh started feeling the necessity of a broad based association of the travel agents of the country to protect their rights and privileges and to ensure the healthy growth of the travel trade in addition to creating a platform for developing fellowship and friendship amongst the travel agents of the country. It is recognized as the main representative body of tourism industry in Bangladesh. A new and modern office of ATAB was set up with modern facilities at VIP Road of Purana Paltan, Dhaka. The office was formally inaugurated on 27th May 2003 by Mir Mohammad Nasiruddin, the Honorable State Minister for Civil Aviation & Tourism. The mission of ATAB is that, the welfare of Travel Agencies (ATAB Members), development of the tourism industry of Bangladesh and sustaining uninterrupted Air trafficking & vision is- introducing tourism sectors of Bangladesh and establishing the country as tourism friendly to the whole world & branding the theme “Bangladesh, the tourism gateway of Asia”. With the vision & mission ATAB is marching towards future with his commitment & performance.

The first generation Travel Agents of Bangladesh started feeling the necessity of a broad based association of the travel agents of the country to protect their rights and privileges and to ensure the healthy growth of the travel trade in addition to creating a platform for developing fellowship and friendship amongst the travel agents of the country. The process of discussion on the subject continued in the year 1974 and 1975.

 

With the above aims and objectives in mind, the first meeting of the travel agents of Bangladesh were held at Dhaka on 22nd October, 1976. In the second meeting held on 11th December, 1976 at 6.00 p.m., an association, namely, “IATA Travel Agent’s Association” were formed at Dhaka Club. Mr. M.A. Talib and Mr. A.N.B. Karim were elected as the Founder-President and Founder-General Secretary respectively of the newly formed association. Other founder-members were Mr. Md. Sarqum Ali, Mr. S. Huda, Mr. M.M. Haque, Mr. S. Rahman, Mr. A. Salam Khan and Mr. Masoodul Haque.

The first Annual General Meeting (AGM) of this unregistered Association were held in Bangkok on 10th April, 1978 while the second AGM were held on 29th June, 1979 at Dhaka Club. The historic amendment of the constitution of the Association were adopted in the second AGM by re-naming the association as “Association of Travel Agents of Bangladesh”, in short, “ATAB”.

There were 2 types of membership in ATAB viz  General Members and Associate Members. The rights & privileges including the voting rights of Associate Members were restricted and limited. They were eligible to become general members only on getting approval from Biman or accredition from IATA. Membership of ATAB by the travel agents of the country were optional.

First Convening Committee of the “IATA Travel Agent’s Association” were as follows:

Sl.No. Position Name Agency
01. President Mr. M. A. Talib Ganges Travels Service, Dhaka
02. Vice President-1 Mr. S. Tasleem Hussain Air Route Service Ltd., Dhaka
03. Vice President-2 Mr. Mabaswir Ali Air Link Int’l., Sylhet
04. Vice President-3 M.A.S. Chaudhury Capco Aziz Ltd. , Chittagong.
05. General Secretary Mr. A.N. B. Karim S.B. Agha & Co., Chittagong
06. Treasurer Mr.Masoodul Huq Karnaphuli Travel Agency Ltd, Dhaka
07. Member Mr. Ekramul Haque Falcom Travels, Dhaka
08. Member Mr. Lutful Kabir Orion Travels Ltd., Dhaka
09. Member Mr. M.M. Haq Desh Bidesh, Dhaka
10. Member Mr. A.R. Khan Olympic Travels Ltd., Dhaka
11. Member Mr. S. Safiqul Hoque Shamim Travels, Sylhet  AND
12. Member Mr. Ajabat Ullah Globe Express Ltd, Chittagong.

On 18th December, 1979, the Convening Committee obtained a “Licence” from the Ministry of Commerce under section 3(2)C of Trade Organization Ordinance, 1961 for forming and “formalizing” the proposed Association under section 26 of the Companies Act, 1913.

ATAB were registered and “incorporated” as an Association with the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies on 28th February, 1980. Available records shows that following persons were the applicant for the registration of ATAB:

Sl.No. Name Agency
01. Mr. M.A. Talib Ganges Travel Service
02. Mr. Md. Sarqum Ali United Traders
03. Mr. S. Huda National Travel Agencies
04. Mr. M.M. Haq Desh-Bidesh
05. Mr. S. Rahman James Finlay Co. Ltd.
06. Mr. A. Salam Khan Paradise Travels Ltd.
07. Mr. ANB. Karim S.B. Agha & Co.
08 Mr. Masoodul Haq Karnaphuli Travel Agency

The temporary office of ATAB convening committee were located at Hotel Purbarag, Motijheel C/A, Dacca. The registered office of ATAB was situated at Karim Chambers, 99 Motijheel C/A, Dacca.

In the year 1982, ATAB calendar were published for the first time during the Presidency and General Secretaryship of Mr. M.A. Talib and Mr. A.R. Khan respectively. Mr. Ekramul Haque was the first Convener of ATAB Calendar Sub-Committee.

First ATAB Travel Guide were published in the year 1984 during the Presidency and General Secretaryship of Mr. Rashid Ahmed and Mr. Mustafa Jabbar respectively. ATAB’s own office were established during this period. Training Course for the travel agents and their executives also started during this period.

The post of Secretary General of ATAB was created in place of General Secretary in the year 1984 during the Presidency of Mr. Rashid Ahmed. Dr. H.B.M. Iqbal was the Secretary General of that term.

In the year 1989, during the Presidency of Late Mr. Md. Sarqum Ali, Combined Bank Guarantee System of ATAB was introduced for Biman approvals for the members of ATAB. Mr. A.R. Khan was the Secretary General of ATAB during that period

ATAB Centre Ltd were incorporated on 13th April 1992 with 140 members of ATAB as its shareholders. The land for the “ATAB Centre” were purchased from RAJUK through auction in the year 1992 during the Presidency of Dr. H.B.M. Iqbal. During this term, Mr. Mujibur Rahman was the Secretary General of ATAB.

Elections and AGMs of ATAB were not held for long 8 years from 1996 upto 2002. On 28th December, 2002 General Election were held and Mr. M.A. Muhaimin Saleh were elected as the President of ATAB. Mr. Saleh and his team led ATAB into the 21st century with the following remarkable achievements:

  • A new and modern office of ATAB was set up with web, e-mail, fax, telephones, conference room, public address system etc. at the VIP Road of Purana Paltan. The office was formally inaugurated on 27th May 2003 by Mir Mohammad Nasiruddin, Honourable State Minister for Civil Aviation & Tourism.
  • Later on, Mr. M.A. Muhaimin Saleh along with his team bought one space for ATAB’s office at Sattara Centre (15th Floor), 30/A, Naya Paltan, Dhaka with an area of 3529.20 sft, for Sylhet Zonal office at Galleria Shopping Complex (7th Floor) measuring 1000 sft and for Chittagong Zonal office at 93,Chatteswari Road with an area of 1000 sft respectively and started their own offices there.
  • ATAB’s history were compiled, written and published during this period. Photographs of all the past Presidents and Secretary Generals were collected and displayed in ATAB office permanently. Latest and complete ATAB Travel Trade Directory were published with photographs of all of its members for the first time.
  • Class system of membership was removed by unifying both the ordinary and associate members into General Membership by amending the constitution of ATAB through an EGM held on 22nd February 2003 at Hotel Purbani.
  • Obtained formal Government Order by making the membership of ATAB as mandatory by all the registered Travel Agents of Bangladesh like the membership in BAIRA and BGMEA.
  • Obtained “condonation” from the high court and made the journey of democracy in ATAB as regular, smooth and uninterrupted by holding all the 8+1=9 pending AGMs on 12th October, 2004 at Hotel Purbani.

 

Presidents and Secretary Generals of ATAB & their tenure:

List of the President

Sl.No.

President

Period

01.

Mr. M.A. Talib

11.12.1976-26.04.1984

02.

Mr. Rashid Ahmed

26.04.1984-25.09.1988

03.

Mr.M.A.Kashem (Acting)

25.09.1988-03.11.1988

04.

Mr. Md. Sarqum Ali

03.11.1988-08.03.1990

05.

Dr. H.B.M. Iqbal

08.03.1990-30.12.2002

06.

Mr. M.A. Muhaimin Saleh

30.12.2002-15.07.2009

07.

Mr. Lutful Kabir

15.07.2009-04.07.2011

08.

Mr. M.A. Muhaimin Saleh

04.07.2011-09.07.2013

09.

Mr. S.N. Manzur Murshed (Mahbub)

09.07.2013- Till Now

List of the Secretary General

Sl No

General Secretary

Period

 1.

Mr. A.N.B. Karim

11.12.1976-24.10.1980

 2.

Mr. A.R Khan

24.10.1980-21.08.1982

 3.

Mr. A.R. Khan

21.08.1982-26.04.1984

 4.

Dr. H.B.M. Iqbal

26.04.1984-04.07.1985

 5.

Mr. Mostafa Zabbar

04.07.1985-18.02.1988

 6.

Mr. A.R. Khan

18.02.1988-08.03.1990

 7.

Mr. Mujibur Rahman

08.03.1990-03.03.1994

 8.

Mr. B.H. Haroon

03.03.1994-30.12.2002

 9.

Mr. Ghulam Mustafa

30.12.2002-16.07.2007

 10.

Mr. A.K.M. Bari

16.07.2007-15.07.2009

 11.

Mr. A. R. Khan

15.07.2009-04.07.2011

 12.

Mr. Shaikh Abdullah

04.07.2011-09.07.2013

 13.

Mr. Zinnur Ahmed Chowdhury Dipu

09.07.2013-08.06.2015

 14.

Mr. Aslam Khan

08.06.2015- Till Now

 

 
 

Compiled and written by Mr. Ghulam Mustafa, Managing Director of Prantik Travels & Tourism Ltd. and the Secretary General of ATAB (2002-2004).

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