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The month of April did bring with it some interesting facets to the business of tourism, both on national and international scenes. The ATOAI conference that concluded in March, stood true to its definition and conducted its annual convention in a unique format — an active conference with rafting experiences and more. The team of adventure tourism stakeholders were forceful and committed to make their voices heard and were keen to set into place very stringent rules and guidelines in adventure tourism for the governments to strongly activate. From the rafting policy to other issues like the importance of carrying capacity of a destination, issues were put into perspective at the convention. Eco-Tourism Society’s annual conference, which was held in Manipur for the first time, once again addressed serious environment concerns and strongly focused on the issue of carrying capacity of a destination and how it can go against the very essence of the place.

On the international front, France tourism conducted its annual showcase RDVF in a unique volcano region and the event highlighted the changing mindset of the Indian outbound traveller who is asking for ‘more’ and for unique experiences and spots. The luxury traveller is looking for subtle and classy breaks and the tour operators were of the opinion that India is slowly moving towards demanding unexplored itineraries in the European region. My recent trip to the WTTC Global Summit in China, in the Sanya region highlighted the robust tourism potential of Chinese domestic travellers. Coming from varied demographies, they are out there travelling to regions within their vast landmass.

India too needs to recognise its domestic tourism strength and promote and develop its domestic destinations urgently. The domestic traveller today is looking for new attractions and our cover story this issue highlights this potent business of the amusement park industry. Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Paris are known for being home to Disneyland. Universal Studios has a strong footing in Singapore, while LegoLand of Malaysia is spinning business into the region. India too is ready to craft its own amusement park story and this will surely be a new option for domestic tour operators to explore.

Reema Lokesh

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