On the face of it year 2013 did not reveal any innovations or any intellectually inspiring developments in the travel space. It seemed to be business as usual, though there have been under currents of discussions and debates about the future of the travel agent and what is in store, post the no-commission phase from airlines. It was also brought to notice that a sizeable number of SME agents have given up their IATA certification and there are talks on the sidelines that the business has lost its glorious days.
Interestingly, companies are also being launched in the India market, who believe that the travel business is still lucrative and if done right coupled with in depth research and product knowledge, the customer today is surely asking for more as they surely know more. The mantra for success for these new age companies seems to be simple: complacency is out and creativity is definitely in.
This year also brought with it its share of crises, from the US dollar increase to disturbances that arose due to natural calamities. The cyclones have left their mark and there is a lot that needs to be done in terms of disaster management. On the home front, states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh were appreciated for their timely evacuation efforts, without resulting in a cataclysmic situation or major loss of life . It is always nice to reflect and regain strength from the positives.
It is also necessary to believe in the best of things, than the worst. Our cover story this issue brings with it a lot of goodwill and cheer. While Christmas and New Year is celebrated differently around the world, there are many common elements. We take a look at how some of the countries are enhancing the destination excitement and adding new elements and programmes into the season’s festivities.