Niharika Shukla – New Delhi
The third edition of Great Domestic Tourism Bazaar (GDTB) recently held in the capital had sports and wellness tourism segments being taken up as key issues of discussion within domestic tourism. The event was organised by ministry of tourism, Government of India and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) supported by Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI). Parvez Dewan, secretary tourism, Government of India in his inaugural address threw light upon how domestic tourism plays a major role in developing the economy of a country. He laid emphasis on Jammu & Kashmir and north eastern as potential tourist destinations having lot to offer tourists. According to him, Tawang will be the next Ladakh where a major festival will be held in October to attract more tourists.
The session on sports and wellness tourism had panelists such as Rajan Sehgal, president, India Golf Tourism Association; Abhimanyu Singh Rajawat, president, Club Golf 27 and Hemant Mendiratta, vice president, sales – travel trade, Oberoi Hotels and Resorts discussing how the two segments are developing as a new demand among domestic travellers.
When asked about the emergence of sports tourism as a popular choice by tourists Sehgal said, “Today sports tourism has become a popular choice of tourists in the tourism sector. One of the reasons is the impact of IPL matches which have encouraged people to travel from different places to watch it. Another sport which has led to this change is golf. Last year ten international golf tournaments were organised wherein around 120-140 top golfers from European and Asian countries participated. What India requires is proper marketing for sports tourism to become one of the top choices of the traveller.”
GG Saxena, managing director and CEO, Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation; Vivek Mathur, general manager, Madhya Pradesh Tourism; Jyotsna Suri, VP – FICCI, chairperson – FICCI Tourism Committee and MD and chairperson, Lalit Suri Hospitality Group; Soman S Pathy, liaison and nodal officer, Gujarat Tourism; Sarabjit Singh, chairman-cum honorary secretary, ITTA and Subash Verma, president, ADTOI were some of the panelists who addressed the session on strategies, effective implementation and benefits to the industry.
Each panelist representing their state brought out main features of attraction and the issues faced by their states regarding tourism such as access and connectivity, safety, infrastructure along with discussing the state governments and their initiatives for getting domestic tourism its share.