The outbound star to shine bright
With the onset of the outbound tourism season in India, the tourism industry is gearing up for a positive year ahead. India Travel Award winners discuss the trends shaping the outbound travel segment.
Most Enterprising Business Couple— Pankaj Nagpal & Sucheta Nagpal With GST settled, outbound will be better in 2018
The outbound travel segment is expected to perform much better in 2018 than the previous year since the uncertainties regarding GST have now settled to a large extent and many more countries have relaxed the visa norms for Indian travellers, believes Pankaj Nagpal, Managing Director, Travstarz Global Group. He says, “There are many new destinations now available for Indians to explore. The trends are positive so far and with major economic factors settling down, the travel industry will fare better this year. A major boost has been the CENVAT Credit allowed for B2B operators which will end the cascading effect of taxes, thereby making travel cheaper.”
Best Representation Company— Nijhawan Group New segments of outbound travellers on the rise
With more than 20 million Indian nationals now living throughout the world, the volume of outbound travel is set to increase by about 25 per cent a year, informs Priyanka Nijhawan, Director—Representations, Nijhawan Group. She says, “Indians prefer to spend their extended weekends overseas. Short-haul direct international flights are seeing the biggest growth. Solo women travellers, senior citizens and women business travellers are the new segments that have emerged. Food is also becoming very important, especially for the high-end clients.” She further adds that when travelling abroad, the spending power of Indians has been estimated to be four times that of the Chinese and Japanese.
Best Educational Tour Operator— My Travel Box Regulation of travel agents necessary to grow tourism
The outbound tourism segment is expected to grow at more than 15 per cent, feels Rishi Kapoor, Director, My Travel Box. He says, “Good connectivity from Tier-II and Tier-III airports will give boost to outbound travel. Easy access of global inventory through technology has definitely made it easier for newer players to establish their set-ups.” According to Kapoor, the associations of the industry are doing well in growing tourism but a major challenge remains to identify the credentials of agencies. “There is a need to have control over frauds. This brings a bad name to offline agents and becomes one of the reasons for consumers to move over to online travel agency,” he adds.
Best destination management Company— STHI Holidays India Training partners to gain more business
STHI Holidays India is focusing on doubling its targets vis-a-vis last year from this outbound season, informs Gagan Kumar, Director, STHI Holidays India. He says, “Trends are changing and we are capitalising by educating our preferred partners with the requirements in more specific terms wherein we can springboard our strengths to gain business perspective.” Kumar further points out that technological breakthroughs are presenting strong opportunities as well as fair share of challenges. He adds, “The demand shift is driven by generation and demographic pattern across the globe. Our destination showcase presentations at various events at domestic as well as international level have given lots of leads.”
Best Experiential Travel App— Travelexic Technologies Technology to pave way for travel
Technological advancements will define the years ahead for travel, believes VS Chauhan, Co-founder, Travelexic. He elaborates that technologies like Artificial Intelligence will bridge the gap between the choices of a destination to the booking stage by predicting data based the customer profile and past bookings. “Blockchain will bring more transparency in hotel bookings and will allow more benefits to be given to customers. Other emerging trends are the use of chatbots, virtual reality and augmented reality. We are working on enhancing the experience of customers during the journey and providing them with an enriching travel experience,” says Chauhan.
Indians prefer to spend weekends overseas. Solo women travellers, senior citizens and women business travellers are the new segments that have emerged.
We are capitalising by educating our preferred partners with the requirements wherein we can springboard our strengths to gain business perspective.
A major boost has been the CENVAT Credit allowed for B2B operators which will end the cascading effect of taxes, thereby making travel cheaper.
Frauds bring a bad name to offline agents and becomes one of the reasons for consumers to move over to online travel agency.
Blockchain will bring more transparency in hotel bookings and will allow more benefits to be given to customers.