The second day of the Indian Travel Industry Exhibition SATTE 2014, (scheduled till January 31st at Pragati Maidan) reflected the primary focus of UBM India for SATTE – to establish India as one of the most sought after tourism destinations on the global tourism map by bringing all the stakeholders across the globe under one roof. The enhanced buyer programme for SATTE 2014 offered an incentivised Pre-Scheduled Appointments (PSAs) system that allowed buyers to schedule appointments ensuring opportunities for international and regional senior level buyers to source new destinations, travel products and services on the show floor.
In accordance with the UK Government’s agenda for India as a priority market, VisitBritain today announced at SATTE 2014 a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between UK and Indian Trade Associations (ETOA, TAAI, TAFI, OTOA, UKinbound, OTOAI). This is the first MoU between UK and Indian trade associations to enable a positive business environment for mutual national travel industries and establish a framework to create programmes and address issues.
The SATTE India Conference featured industry leaders from the sector address critical issues of regulatory framework and policy in focused discussions, with themes including ‘Tourism for National Development’ and ‘Inventing new approaches to forge a stronger partnership within the industry’. Destination briefings on Maharashtra and West Bengal were held along with discussions on ‘Developing Innovative Partnership Model for Tourism in 2020’ and ‘Evaluating India as an emerging MICE destination and factors driving the corporate to host events in India’. Industry experts voiced opinions on the need to evolve the industry ecosystem for increased profitability. Trends emphasised included the proliferation of technological advances, the rise of India and China as the biggest tourist source markets globally, popularity of low cost carriers, and growing awareness and demand for responsible and sustainable tourism. The event also served as a platform to beseech policymakers to address industry issues that require government participation.
During his address, as part of the Buyer Briefing, Dr. Edward P. Dramberger, Destination Dr Consulting, New York spoke of the buyer-seller dynamic, including aspects and factors of business interactions that govern sales. He also presented important marketing models for both buyers and sellers to understand and amplify sales and market reach, and concluded with role-playing exercises between buyers and sellers.
During his Opening Remarks, Dilip Puri, MD, India and Regional VP South Asia, Starwood Asia Pacific addressed the need for better technology in the industry, and technology’s role in upgrading India’s undersupplied and underutilised MICE sector. He also spoke about the government’s need to address the strategic importance of the tourism industry in creating jobs and overall economic development. In the panel discussion that followed, Ajay Bakaya, Executive Director, Sarovar Hotels & Resorts echoed the common industry sentiment for the government to acknowledge and work towards showcasing national beauty through better infrastructure and long-term tourism development. Rahul Pandit, CEO, Lemon Tree Hotels spoke about the need to promoting inclusive growth among stakeholders.
Interested buyers made their way to vibrant stalls to browse destination offerings. Colourful booths of Tourism Malaysia, Visit Britain, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Turkish Tourism and Culture, States such as Odisha, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, among others, showcased the essence of their offerings, coupled with their rich culture and heritage.