Pata India Chapter held its 5th Update & Outlook Meeting with the Ministry of Tourism for its Membership, on 26th December, 2016 at The Claridges, New Delhi.
The Membership was addressed by Secretary Tourism Mr Vinod Zutshi and Mr. Ashwani Lohani Chairman & Managing Director Air India.
Secretary Tourism provided an exhaustive update on the progressive strides made by the Ministry to build on FTAs to India.
FTAs in 2016 were 10.4% higher than the previous year and forex earnings grew by 15.9% for the same period. Tourism growth continued its upward trend and exceeded the world average significantly.
eTV is the game changer for Tourism in India. Several important & impactful changes have been made to derive maximum tourist, medical and business arrivals to India. 161 countries are now part of the approved list. E tourist visa arrivals will also be welcomed at 5 sea ports.
The Ministry of Tourism is working on several fronts to promote Tourism in line with the policies and vision outlined by the Government. Many of these initiatives require inter-ministerial agreement for a seamless implementation and quality customer experience. The calendar of events for 2016-17 was shared with the Membership and is dotted with significant events which will “make a difference” to Tourism arrivals and infrastructure. The Buddhist Conclave was a huge success and India was the partner country at WTM 2016. India emerged as the second most mentioned destination at WTM.
MOT has invested significantly in brand building and has launched appropriate campaign across print, electronic and digital media. The calendar of events for 2017 was shared by the Ministry.
The Secretary, responded to various questions from the Membership and assured Members that they would do whatever it takes to aggressively promote India as a Must Visit Year round destination.
Air India represented by Mr Ashwani Lohani, Mr. Pankaj Srivastava and their team showed the significant stride the Airline had made in recent times.
Covering 70 domestic and 42 international destinations, Air India has broad based its product and services to fulfil and meet customer expectations. Air India has a fleet of 141 aircraft of which 41 are wide bodied and will acquire more in the near future. Air India has embarked on a two pronged strategy of consolidation and expansion, which is working well and 13 new International destinations are being planned for 2017 & 2018.
The concept of a multi segment ‘Garland Flight’ will be launched in 2017. Air India recorded a profit of Rs. 105Cr in 2016, which is quite commendable. Mr. Lohani mentioned that all possible efforts are being made to overcome legacy issues and assumed the trade that Air India was well on its way to regain past glory.
Three former secretaries, MOT Mr. Bezbaruah, Mr. Shilabhadra Banerjee and Mr. Sujit Banerjee attended this important meeting along with the many more prominent members from the industry
PATA will conduct its next Update & Outlook Meeting with Ministry of Tourism in June 2017.