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Travel News

Tourism author delivers inspirational keynote address to TAFI

Come Closer advantagemagazine co za
Written by editor

As the world continues to work through one of the most paralyzing periods of economic crisis, one economic sector is actually gaining wide-scale appreciation for its ability to generate employment, re

As the world continues to work through one of the most paralyzing periods of economic crisis, one economic sector is actually gaining wide-scale appreciation for its ability to generate employment, revenues, and investment and unity: the global tourism sector. Fueling growth of the sector is the growing hunger for travel within, and to, the BRICS nations (Brasil, Russia, China, India, South Africa).

India, one of the world’s largest out-bound travel nations and most exciting inbound destinations, continues to fuel worldwide travel activity. Under this premise, and with the poignant theme, “Addressing Change – Rebrand, Reposition, Reinvent,” the Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) held its annual convention in Macao, China, from November 22-25, 2011. The convention was a calling together of over 1,200 of India’s travel business leaders and agency owners from Air India and Kingfisher Airlines to Nomad Tours and Cox and Kings. With an agenda focused on essential strategies and tools for business growth, including the role of the agent, business development strategies and partnerships, adoption of technology, evolving media, and CRM, the 2011 TAFI Convention was undoubtedly one of India’s most important travel conventions of 2011.

To set the scene of the conference, and the current global reality of the sector, international tourism strategist and author, Anita Mendiratta, was invited to deliver the keynote address. Based in South Africa, another of the BRICS nations and host of the 2012 TAFI Convention, Mendiratta has become a leading voice of the invaluable impact of the tourism industry on nations, building national identity, socio-economic stability, and competitiveness. This message was passed on, clearly, in her TAFI keynote address.

As stated by Ajay Prakash, President of TAFI, “Anita’s hallmark is her extraordinary ability to connect abstruse concepts with immediate everyday human reality. Emphasizing, and re-emphasizing, the inevitability of change – the fact that it comes whether you want it or not, whether you are ready for it or not, or whether you’re happy about it or not, and that it happens in a split second – she very aptly illustrated by her references to the royal engagement in the UK, the Rugby World Cup win by New Zealand, the earthquake in Japan, and the Arab spring – each one of these events transformed those involved and even those who were mere spectators, immediately rebranding and repositioning the players.

“Over and above successfully aligning the minds of the 1,000+ delegates, Mendiratta successfully aligned their sense of confidence in, and passion for, the industry. Prakash continued: “The most important thing that Anita said during her address was ‘In addition to rebranding, repositioning and reinventing, you also need to reinspire – bring the joy back into what you do.’ Which is exactly what she does – her passion for the business of tourism is truly inspiring.”

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