ABHISHEK CHAKRABORTY – New Delhi
Viva Voyages, a travel representation and marketing company, held an outbound travel thought leadership meet in New Delhi to discuss about the issues plaguing the outbound travel market. Titled ‘Ayanaant’, the event saw industry leaders discussing ideas for innovation in the outbound travel industry.
The event witnessed participation by leaders like Parvez Dewan, secretary, ministry of tourism; Guldeep Singh Sahni, president, Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI); JB Singh, president and CEO, InterGlobe Technology Quotient, also had an extended participation from students, scholars, tourism boards too.
The event also had panel discussions on specific trade verticals like cruise panel, online initiatives, brochure and MICE, where experts came together to share thoughts, ideas and experiences. The event also provided an opportunity for convergence of senior managers and leaders of the outbound travel business in India to discuss strengths, challenges, opportunities and threats to the business in general and to shed light on the way forward. Speaking on the need to do more to increase cruise travel, Ratna Chadha, CEO, Tirun Travel Marketing said, “Though the market for Asian cruises is increasing year on year, a lot needs to be done to make cruising more popular and take it on a global platform. India is far behind the United States and other Western countries when it comes to cruising.”
While urging the government to do more, Keki Master, senior vice-president, JM Baxi & Co said, “Everytime there is a meet, we discuss a lot of issues and then forget about it once the meet is over. This needs to change. We also have to improve the conditions of our ports, especially the ones in Mumbai, and give passengers more priority, only then one can have a better cruising experience.” The meet also conferred outbound awards to Manjula Chaudhary, director, Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management; M Sajnani, director, Amity Institute of Travel and Tourism, and SC Bagri, vice-chancellor, Himgiri Zee University, for their contribution to the outbound travel market.