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SATTE charters growth path for Indian travel and tourism industry

SATTE charters growth path for Indian travel and tourism industry (Forimmediaterelease.net) SATTE’s 2015 edition successfully concluded in Delhi with over 650 participants from over 35 countries and 26 Indian States and more than 12 thousand visitors (42% increase over last year) over the three day show. The show was validated as an industry platform with the presence of Chief Guest Mr. Girish Shankar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India amongst eminent ministers from across the globe, ambassadors and high commissioners of participating countries. Supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Incredible India and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), SATTE 2015 was well represented by Indian states and key travel associations from both, the domestic and global industry.

Shri Girish Shankar, Additional Secretary - Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, highlighted that the government would soon be adding newer countries to the TVoA scheme. He also spoke at large about the joint efforts by the government working closely with the Ministry of Civil Aviation for the utilization of idle airstrips while road, rail and international connectivity would be smoothened. Apart from maintenance and beautification of pilgrim centers, the MoT has also been stressing on managing security as well. The Government has launched a 24*7 Infoline-1363 (helpline number) which is currently available in two languages, soon to be accessible in 10 languages for wider reach. Furthermore the government will also be upgrading the India Tourism website in the next six months with a new look and making it more user friendly. This not only strengthens the government’s support to promoting and growing tourism but also reinforces the confidence of the government in its true potential.

Mr. Joji George, MD, UBM India thanked the Ministry of Tourism (MoT), Govt. of India; National Tourist Offices of various countries, State Tourism Boards, airlines, hotels, cruise liners and other private players for their continued support and said that they aspire to come back with SATTE 2016 in a much bigger manner. He also said, “SATTE 2015 has witnessed tremendous appeal with the magnanimous response of the players, the buyers, launches by different tourism boards and the overall increase in visitors this year. Surely, this platform has been one which international and domestic players alike have taken well to. UBM India has successfully been able to play the role of a catalyst in promoting tourism in India”.

Growing tourism market and popularity of SATTE

• SATTE 2015 saw participation from States such as Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Lakshwadeep, Punjab, Chandigarh Tourism, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Odisha amongst others. Moreover, the eight North Eastern states were the part of the India Tourism pavilion. Shri Ashok Chandra Panda, Minister for Tourism&Culture, Govt. of Odisha highlighted International Air Connectivity between Odisha, North-eastern states and South Asia as a key driver to the growth of tourism in the State as well as increased prospects for maritime trade with countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam.

• International Tourism Boards included Abu Dhabi, Bhutan, Brand USA, Cambodia, Egypt, Fiji, Hong Kong, Israel, Macau, Malaysia, Japan, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Mexico, Nepal, Oman, Philippines, Reunion Island, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Seychelles, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, VisitBritain, Gold Coast (Australia), New Zealand, Zagreb and Zambia amongst others. Additionally, travel&hospitality companies, DMCs, OTAs and tourism products/services companies also made their presence at the event.

First Timers and Comeback at SATTE 2015

• This year, international participants like the Philippines, which has recognized the Indian market as one of the most important contributors participated at SATTE for the first time. Mr. Ramon Reyes Jimenez Jr., Tourism Secretary (Minister), Government of Philippines declared the intent of The Department of Tourism of Philippines of 2015 as the “Visit Philippines year” for a boost in tourism of the country which will feature a calendar of events and an exciting mix of activities.

• Other international players like Swedavia-Sweden Airports, Mexico Tourism and Central Asia along with State Tourism boards like Bihar and Chandigarh have deployed SATTE as their platform of choice and have showcased themselves for the first time in the country.

• Rajasthan Tourism as well as Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces have also made a comeback this year further reinforcing SATTE’s growing domestic and international appeal as well as popularity.

• This year also marked VisitBritain’s second stand-alone participation at SATTE along with 14 UK travel trade suppliers; this is testimony to VisitBritiain’s commitment to strengthening links between British and Indian travel and tourism industries.

New Announcements at SATTE 2015

1. Lavasa (India’s first planned hill city):

a. Jetovator: Recently introduced, Jetovator is the world’s latest exciting water sports craze, the ‘Jetovator’ at Lakeshore Watersports in the hill city. The new ‘Jetovator’ that combines the acrobatic aptitudes of an aircraft with the simplicity of riding a motorbike – has been launched for the first time in India

b. Segway: A unique mode of green transportation. Self-balancing mini-bicycle powered by a battery to tourists for personalized, unhindered and thrilling exploration. At Lavasa, tourists can now cover large distances with great ease and discover the lush green trails and scenic pathways

c. A unique gyroscope technology and the lean steer riding way makes Segway, one of the safest and efficient mode of transport to cover large walking distances

2. Google Hotel Finder (Developed by Jindal RHM Interactive P. Ltd):

a. Regarded as leaders in Google’s Hotels Business View and solutions, JIndal RHM Interactive is focused solely on delivering

b. Google Hotel Finder is a new age presentation technology that allow the hotelier to showcase the hotel property and the end users to virtually experience the hotel in the same way he would if he would be there. View it on computers, smart phones or tablets

3. The world’s first real-time intelligent distribution platform powered by integrated data strategy: (Developed by RezNext Global Solutions, the world’s only true Real-Time Distribution Technology Company. It empowers hotels to adopt a distribution strategy that simplifies the complex global distribution environment and makes it understandable and manageable. It is integrated with revenue management, operating intelligence and powered with reputation management insights)

a. This will streamline the process of managing online distribution channels through a unified data approach

b. It is built on a unified data strategy that brings all information needed to manage reservations, on one screen – including rates, room type, inventory, availability and blocked out dates. There is no need to work out of multiple screens any more

c. It features an easy-to-use calendar view to manage day-to-day operations efficiently.

d. It is flexible to help you accommodate both real-time distribution and allocation model for better control over yield management

e. This application is device agnostic and offers the same user experience whether you access it from a laptop, tablet or smartphone

4. USA:

Brand USA in its 3rd year of participation at the travel Expo, was joined by the Las Vegas Convention, Visitors Authority and Visit California as co-exhibitors. Las Vegas recorded the highest number of visitors and anticipates a growth in the number of tourists. Utilizing this platform, USA introduced their innovation of maps through Instagram and Google. The service caters to the purpose of online trip planning with thousands of changing photographs constantly set on a geo-target for the international travelers. Visit California announced the launch of a travel trade website- trade.visitcalifornia.in to facilitate queries for travel agents in specific.

5. Thailand:

The tourism board of Thailand launched the ‘Discover Thailand’ campaign at SATTE 2015. The brand participated with 50 co-exhibitors from the hotel and airline sections to ramp up potential outbound travel from India.

6. Oman:

Catering to the demands of destination weddings, the tourism board of Oman is looking forward to creating a niche as a popular wedding destination. In addition to establishing themselves in the wedding market, Oman is also set to begin a series of road trips that are scheduled to commence from April 2015.

Addressing the potential and concerns of the industry

SATTE 2015 conference delved on industry potential, existing concerns and the future by exploring new frontiers. Key sessions were addressed by UNWTO, Ministry of Tourism, Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), FAITH, Creative Travel, Stic Travels, West Bengal Tourism, ,Chhattisgarh Tourism Board, Tourism Finance Corporation of India, Jammu&Kashmir Tourism, IIPTI, Ministry of Tourism , Government of India, Govt. of Maharashtra, ITC Hotels, ITB, Berlin, India Golf Tourism Association, PGTI, DLF Golf Resort, TripAdvisor, TravelBoutiqueOnline, Internet Moguls, Value First, RezNext, Tourism Malaysia, TRAC Representations, Dubai Tourism, Turkish Tourism and Cox&Kings among others.

Key sessions that took place at SATTE 2015 included topics like:

• UNWTO: Indian Tourism growth and Opportunities;

• Integrated approach and unified strategy must to give a major push to tourism;

• Tourism- A Tool for Peace;

• Golf Tourism in India: Challenges and Opportunities;

• Promotional and Marketing strategy- Approach to adapt to changes in the Marketplace; and

• Technology, Digital and Social Media and One Common Marketplace- The changing face of travel in India.

The sessions delved on tourism in India: Issues and possibilities, suggested solutions, new frontiers and potential as summarized below:

• Tourism in India is among the largest in the services industry and industry guesstimates project this to increase to 1 in every 9.6 jobs by 2020.

• Though the country is ranked 41st in terms of inbound tourist arrivals, it is 16th in total tourism receipts as per the UNWTO.

• Over the past decade, India's rank in total earnings from foreign travelers has risen from 36 in 2000 to 16 in 2012.

• A depreciated rupee has also made India an attractive option for foreign tourists. However, hygiene, visa issues, illiteracy, sanitation, safety and security of women travelers have become a deterrent coupled to taxes, visa issues, allowing other airlines to fly within the domestic regions etc. have now started to reflect in the overall revenue earnings capacity of the industry.

• Travel and tourism contributed 2.2 trillion rupees ($36 billion) to India’s $1.9 trillion economy in 2013 as per analyst reports. The World Travel and Tourism Council projects this to rise by 12 percent each year over the next decade.

• With the Modi government starting to drive reforms such as visa on arrival schemes, India is hoping to double the number of tourists visiting the country to 12 million over the next 2-3 years. This is expected to bring the country among the top 10 recipients of tourist earnings.

• Committing safety and building on the ‘Swatch Bharat’ initiative; Rewriting tourism policies, Building Tourism circuits, Tourism enclaves and townships, showcasing new destinations and diversified tourism will certainly prove to boost the potential of the sector in India. India’s move to ease business opportunities in the country are another welcome initiative by the industry as a whole.

• Upcoming sectors such as cruise and golf tourism present a potential for development. Each year 150 ships pass India; this certainly spells well for opportunities such as cruises. India has a huge coastal line but the lack of awareness and utilization of resources is a setback to exploiting the opportunity.

• Medical tourism continues to be a growing sector in India. India's medical tourism sector is expected to experience an annual growth rate of 30%, estimated to grow to about $2 billion by this year.

• Indian Territory covers 75 per cent of the total Himalayan range, 4000 square km of the Sundarbans, 0.2 million square km of deserts and 1000 caves. Yet India ranks at about 110th in adventure tourism at a global level. India also possesses internationally revered and must see heritage sites but ranks 65th in the world rankings for heritage tourism; with all this, the country’s potential to tap visitors is immense.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Rajiv Ranjay Sarkar, +91 95824 85929, rajiv@avian-media.com ; Saumya Bhushan, +91 99103 53007, saumya@avian-media.com ; Anumita Mukherjee, +91 98990 85975, anumita@avian-media.com

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