Date : 19th March 2014

Date & Day: Wednesday 19th March, 2014

Timings: 10:00 am – 5: 00 pm

Topic: “Think Tourism, Think India”

Venue: Hotel ITC Maurya

Inaugural Session

The Inaugural Address was delivered by Mr. Parvez Dewan who is the Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism. He spoke at length about some of the innovations which have been planned for the coming months & which will truly spiral India’s inbound tourism market upwards. He spoke about the concept of virtual visas i.e. visas which foreigners can access from the comfort of their homes / laptops so travelling within country for bureaucratic reasons may be minimized.

This session also involved a talk by Mr. Li Qianguo who is the Deputy Director of China National Tourism. He spoke about how the strengthening of ties between the powers- India & China- was extremely crucial & is as yet a potential hardly touched upon. Even the concept of Visa on Arrival for Indians travelling to China has been mooted.

A Knowledge Report developed by ASSOCHAM in association with YES Bank on tourism was then released. It is a comprehensive report aimed at providing holistic information about the industry.

A whiff of fresh air was provided by the presence of Mr. Radu Octavian from the Embassy of Romania. The country of Romania does not usually form part of the tourist circuit & thus it was informative to hear about that country & watch the video of the country’s tourist features.


Panel Discussion 1- Inclusive Tourism: Driving the Socio- Economic Enabler

The panel discussed on the burning issue of inclusive tourism & how tourism can lift certain populations out of the mire of poverty & misery. The concept focuses on conducting tourism with local people as part of the decision making process. It was analyzed during this discussion that while this concept has gained ground, it still has long strides to make. Dr. Manjula Chaudhary who is Director at Indian Institute of Travel & Tourism Management, spoke about how her institute has compiled a report chronicling all the inclusive tourism & its related forms which are taking place in the country presently. She spoke about how keenly the students of the institute lapped up this project as the concept touches all corners.]


Panel Discussion 2- Challenges & Issues in Online & International Tourism

Mr. Vinay Gupta who is the founder & CEO of Trip Factory explained in great detail the kind of work his organization does. His organization creates personalized packaged tours for its customers. He spoke about how the travel agent is on the verge of extinction as online portals will take over. The youth of today wants to do all research & finalize trips from the comfort of home. However, to give another side of the picture, Mr. Rajesh Sethi, MD, Carnation Travels spoke about the fact that a large proportion of the country is still not computer or internet savvy to totally shun the tour operator route.

The day’s proceedings ended with a Valedictory ceremony presided by Mr. Manav Thadani, Chairman HSV Asia Pacific.

Aritro Dasgupta

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