Travel Trade Journal
Sanjay Razdan Hony. Joint Secretary- IATO
The 36th IATO Convention’s main highlight is in its theme, “BRAND INDIA – The road to Recovery”. We are all waiting to revive tourism and what we are looking at is the recovery now.
I feel the participation in this convention will be higher than seen in the past conventions. There are two main reasons. First is everyone is looking to meet friends in the trade after almost 20 months. Secondly, the past 20 months have been quite difficult for all of us and we would love to hear from experts in the industry how to proceed and what would be the new norm of doing business post the pandemic.
As known, most IATO members are into Inbound Tourism, but I agree that with Inbound Tourism coming to a standstill since March 2020, many of us tried to work in the Domestic Tourism segment. However, some succeeded, some failed. However, Domestic Tourism is already a game-changer. The size of a country, the spending power of a common Indian, the kind of population and the variety of tourism destinations within India, there is a huge market for tourism within the country and it’s growing by the day. I believe Inbound and Domestic are different branches of tourism and need separate expertise.
I do believe the convention will bring out some important issues and as we have some important dignitaries and officials from the Ministry of Tourism Government of India and Government of Gujarat. We have some important sessions lined up during the course of the convention, and it’s a great platform to request different ministries for help.
As I conclude, regarding inbound travel, praying that all goes well, and in my opinion, we should have good business coming in from October 2022. Also, when we speak about the Government’s initiative of five lakh free visas by March 2022, though, it’s a very small offering but will surely help attract tourists. Hoping the Government of India comes forward with more help to the much ailing Tourism Industry.