Travel and tourism from India is bouncing back in full vigour after two years of pandemic related disruptions.
TTF Kolkata, India’s oldest travel trade show (est. 1989), is staging a grand post-pandemic rebound of domestic and international travel, with over 200 participants from 3 foreign countries and over 20 Indian states and UTs. After an extremely tough pandemic phase in the last two years, domestic leisure travel is the driving force behind the road to recovery coupled with an increase in business travel as well. Domestic travel is expected to reach record-breaking numbers with 68% of Indians expected to travel domestically in 2022 only, with domestic air passenger traffic nearing pre-pandemic levels with various airlines having ferried 1.14 crore air travellers in May 2022 compared with 1.22 crore in May 2019 - roughly a five-fold increase in volume growth from the last year. International passenger traffic has also seen tremendous growth since flights were resumed fully in the month of March 2022, after two years of restrictions, and reached 72% of the pre-Covid level in May 2022.
Hotel occupancies had fallen below 50% in January 2022 owing to the Omicron impact; however, it hit 65% occupancy level, surpassing pre-pandemic levels and average daily rate (ADR) for three consecutive days during the second week of April. Tapping into this growing demand in the market, TTF - the predecessor of India’s largest travel trade show network in 9 Indian cities annually, branded as TTF, OTM and BLTM - staged the grand revival of travel in the city of Kolkata. TTF Kolkata proved to be especially important, as catalysed the huge rebound of domestic and international travel markets.
200+ participants from 3 countries and 20 Indian states and union territories exhibited at the Biswa Bangla Mela Prangan, the newest 5-star venue in the heart of the city, at the Travel & Tourism Fair, TTF from 1 to 3 July 2022. TTF Kolkata was inaugurated in a grand way in the presence of HE Mr. Eshor Raj Poudel - Consul General of Nepal, HE Mr. Piyapan Atipatya - Deputy Consul-General of Thailand, HE Mr. Ram Krishna Jaiswal - Honorary Consul of the Republic of Maldives, Khun Vachirachai Sirisumpan - Director of Tourism Authority of Thailand, New Delhi Office, Mr. Thendhup N Sherpa - Joint Secretary-Assistant Director of West Bengal Tourism, Mr. Sayak Nandi - Assistant Director of Govt. of India Regional Tourist Office Kolkata, Mr. Pichaya Lapasthamrong - Royal Thai Consulate-General, Kolkata and Mrs. Napacharapat Kulrakampusiri - Royal Thai Consulate-General, Kolkata and other travel association heads and top-level delegates from India and abroad, followed by a panel discussion on the “Outlook for travel markets for India in the very important post-pandemic phase.”.
First-time participation of Maldives as the Partner Country, with a large delegation of tour operators and hoteliers reflected the unabated spirit of Indian travellers that kept thronging the island nation throughout the pandemic, as it remained open with necessary precautions in place. Repeat participation from Thailand as Feature Country and from private exhibitors from Nepal signified that short-haul destinations are becoming accessible faster to the Indian travellers, post pandemic. Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka joined the show as Partner States, with the largest pavilions, followed by Tamil Nadu as Focus State. Feature States include Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Jharkhand and Tripura. Private sector participants from all over India also participated at the show. India Tourism too has a key presence at the show, showcasing all their campaigns and programmes such as ‘Azaadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, ‘Dekho Apna Desh’, ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’.
The show was reserved for travel trade visitors from 1st July to half day of 2nd July, i.e. from 11 am to 2 pm. The second half of 2nd July and the whole of the last day, i.e. 3rd July, was open to all.The travel trade showcased revival and restart in large numbers, with new as well as existing partners. Eager travellers attended the show to get the best deals and travel offers from all over India and abroad. TTF is the oldest and biggest network of travel trade shows in the country, covering 9 cities annually. In addition to Kolkata, it is organised in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Surat and Pune. TTF had the active support of travel associations like ETAA, TAAI, TAFI, ADTOI, IATO, SKAL International Kolkata, IATTE, TAAB, TAHAT, ATSPB, EHTTOA, ABTO, NIMA and HHTDN. TTF in Kolkata could not have had a better timing, taking place when the planning for Durga Puja vacation travel season starts.
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