“The New Age of Travel”
- A valuable platform to bring together leading experts and policy makers from across the industry
- The Summit aimed at providing a common platform for the exchange of ideas benefiting the travel and tourism sector in India
“The India Travel Summit 2016” was such a resounding success that The Thomas Cook (India) Group hosted its second edition – “The India Travel Summit 2017 – The New Age of Travel” on 26th September 2017, at Le Meridien, New Delhi.
The response from the industry was overwhelming with over 200 senior travel professionals from across the eco-system attending the Summit. The panel discussions were moderated by Mahesh Iyer, Chief Operating Officer, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., Vishal Suri, Managing Director, SOTC Travel, Amit Madhan, President & Group Head Information Technology & E-business, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd, and Dipak Deva, Managing Director, Travel Corporation (India) Ltd. Panelists also included senior government officials, ambassadors and consular chiefs, heads of various tourism boards, hotels and airlines as well as CXOs from renowned brands viz. Facebook, Accenture, Dentsu–Aegis Network, etc.
In his welcome address, Madhavan Menon – Chairman & Managing Director, Thomas Cook (India) Limited, said, “The India Travel Summit was conceptualized to offer cutting-edge ideation and dialogue among key stakeholders and critical decision makers across the travel and tourism eco-system – focusing on both challenges and opportunities for the sector. India’s travel story is something the world is looking forward to with excitement—a nation that is emerging rapidly as one of the critical markets for tourism – inbound, domestic and outbound. The event has been organized with a strategic aim to provide a common and candid discussion platform for critical stakeholders and decision-makers in the travel and tourism industry.”
Suman Billa, IAS, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, said “For Incredible India 2.0, it’s all about how we pitch the campaign; how we portray the image of our country and create a mindset among people that India is a great country to visit. Tourism campaigns should focus on Indian Users and connect it with – Incredible India and Make In India”.
Michael Hayes, CIU Chief, U.S. Embassy, New Delhi said, “In 2005, there were 400,000 Indians travelling to the US and last year there have been more than one million. Every year this number is growing and we are extremely proud of this growth. We have the interview waiver program and the 10 year multi entry visa that facilitates ease of travel to the US.”
Milan Hovorka, Ambassado- Czech Republic said, “Tourism has helped so many nations share each other’s cultures and business. We have been extremely lucky to have a substantial increase in figures. 65,000 people have visited the Czech Republic from India in the past few years.”
Chee Pey, Assistant Chief Executive, International Group- Singapore Tourism Board said, “We have observed a shift in the Indian market – travellers are going beyond the check list holidays, they want more authentic, deeper and immersive experiences”.
Bansari Vyas, Business Head – Travel, Banking & Financial Services, Facebook said, “We are increasingly living in a connected world. There’s data to say that 41% in the last 15 years have shifted to work. That impacts travel and mobility. We consume news from international publications more often; this is because of mobile connectivity. Added to that, our shrinking attention span also impacts people’s purchasing decisions. All of this impacts travel.”
Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer, Vistara (Tata – Singapore Airlines) “For Incredible India 2.0 we need to create a safe environment where anyone can roam around freely anywhere in India, without any hesitation. I think until we fix all these problems, it’s going to be difficult for us to leave a good impression among the Tourists coming to India. We need to create an environment in India where people feel safe and comfortable.”
The success of this event in the industry, resulting in such fruitful discussions, makes one feel that, perhaps, the Summit will reach yet another peak next year!