The out­bound star to shine bright

TravTalk - India - - AWARD TALK -

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.

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