Thomas Cook Hosts the Second Edition of India Travel Summit (ITS) 2017

ITS 2017 Logo

“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.

1K1A6916 (661x800)The Summit was a unique event in the Indian Travel Space, because  key opinion leaders from hospitality industries, the Tourism Boards, the Consular Corps and the Technology sector were brought together in a closed-door summit and attendance was by invitation only. The objective was to make this pioneering event an annual business forum where the best brains and the crème de la crème of the travel business could come together to discuss the challenges, and at the same time, share experiences and tap into new opportunities .
1K1A6891 (533x800) The India Travel Summit 2017 provides a successful platform for an interesting exchange of ideas, benefiting the travel and tourism industry. It centered around 4 panels of engaging dialogue on highly relevant topics, which included topics as diverse as – Easing visa processes by consular representatives, tourism boards discussing the new-age Indian traveller, technology partners and strategists debating on the future of the travel eco-system and senior policy makers deliberating on the Indian tourism story -Incredible India 2.0.

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

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

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
Milan Hovorka

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 Pay

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

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

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!