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The India Travel Summit discusses the new age of travel

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Thomas Cook India Group hosted its second edition – ‘The India Travel Summit 2017 – The New Age of Travel’ at Le Meridien, New Delhi. The India Travel Summit 2017 provided a platform for an interesting exchange of ideas benefiting the travel and tourism industry. The format centred around four panels of engaging dialogue on relevant topics – Easing visa processes by consular representatives, tourism boards discussing the new-age Indian traveller, technology partners and strategists debating on the future of the travel eco-system and senior policy makers deliberating on the Indian tourism story – Incredible India 2.0.

The summit facilitated exchange of ideas to benefit travel and tourism in India. The panel discussions were moderated by Mahesh Iyer, CEO, Thomas Cook India; Vishal Suri, managing director, SOTC Travel; Amit Madhan, president and group head – information technology and e-business, Thomas Cook India; and Dipak Deva, managing director, Travel Corporation (India). Panelists also included senior government officials, ambassadors and consular chiefs, heads of various tourism boards, hotels and airlines as well as c-suite leaders from strong brands like Facebook, Accenture, Dentsu–Aegis Network, etc.

Addressing the audience, Madhavan Menon, chairman and managing director, Thomas Cook India, said, “The India Travel Summit was conceptualised to offer cutting-edge ideation and dialogue amongst key influencers and decision makers across the travel and tourism eco-system, focusing on both challenges and opportunities for the sector. India’s travel story is one that the world is looking forward to with excitement – a nation that is emerging rapidly as one of the critical markets for tourism; inbound, domestic and outbound.”

Suman Billa, joint secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, said, “For Incredible India 2.0, it’s all about how we are pitching the campaign, how we are going to portray the image of our country and create a mindset among the people that India is a great country to visit. Tourism campaigns should focus on Indian users and connect it with – Incredible India and Make In India.”

Further representation of other state tourism boards and embassies were also present at the event. Chee Pey Chang, assistant chief executive, international group, Singapore Tourism Board, stated, “We have observed a shift in the India market – travellers are going beyond check list holidays, they want authentic, deeper and immersive experiences.”

The sessions highlighted how travel was changing across the world. Panelists threw light on transforming strategies in order to suit dynamics of the changing travel industry. The day concluded with attendees getting deeper insights on factors that will evolve tourism in the coming future.