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IITT 2017 discusses latest industry topics

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The 2017 edition of India International Travel & Tourism (IITT), held at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), witnessed various industry focused conferences, alongside serving as trade and networking platform. The first two days of the three-day event saw panel discussions on topics such as trends in tourism, exploring new destination by tourism industry, impact of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on tourism industry transforming domestic tourism and impact of the demonetisation on travel and tourism sector. Spread across 15,000 square metres, IITT 2017 was participated by over 500 exhibitors and more than 400 hosted buyers.

The panel discussion on transforming domestic tourism highlighted various opportunities, challenges, innovations and techniques in the domestic tourism segment. The panel discussion was moderated by PP Khanna, president of Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI) and the panel included Rajat Sawhney, director, Rave Tours and Travels; Debjit Dutta, director and CEO, Impression Tourism Services India; Abhijeet Patil, director, Raja Rani Travels; Reema Lokesh, editor, Express TravelWorld and Barun Gupta, account director (global sales), SSO South Asia, Marriott International.

Speaking on the current challenge, Sawhney said, “Domestic tourism is the biggest driver of tourism economy in India. However, the proportion of domestic tourism happening through tour operators is a challenge. Most of the domestic tourism activities are transacted online. Andhra Pradesh currently enjoys the largest share of domestic tourists due to religious tourism, which forms a huge part of domestic tourism.” The session also identified the travel technology boom as one of the challenges. Pointing out a solution, Dutta said, “Technology is very important. We must start understanding technology and adopt it our business. It is not a rocket science. It is all about understanding; technology is only here to help us.”

Subsequent session on the impact of demonetisation highlighted that the organised section of the industry remained unaffected, despite small-scale consequences.

Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Neil Patil, director, Veena World, stated, “IITT gets all the people in industry together. It is good that everyone’s coming together and interacting, which leads to more awareness about the industry. If ideas are exchanged, it really helps small scale agents innovate and be prepared accordingly.”

Other sessions at IITT 2017 included workshops by Ark Travels, Spain Tourism, Cruise Professionals, Yatra.com Egypt Tourism etc.

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