Making a strong plea for collaborations in the industry, between government and the industry, Anand reiterated the industry’s belief in the strength of the Indian Tourism product. He expressed lucidly some of the main issues that need to be tackled to make India the leading tourism destination.
Anand highlighted that tourism and travel was a common cause for both industry and government, “a cause that has provided livelihood and life to so many. It is our global calling card that truly unites the diversity of our country.”
He reiterated that “Despite its rich treasure trove and high rankings in Natural & Cultural resources coupled with price competitiveness, India – the 5th largest economy in the world could only capture 1.24% of the World’s International Tourist Arrivals in 2019, despite the fact that India ranked 8th on Cultural Resources & Business Travel and 14th on Natural Resources on World Economic Forum Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index 2019 out of 140 countries, we, obviously have not been able to realise the true impact of Tourism and convert our natural advantages into potential economic advantage.
There are decades where nothing happens and there are weeks where decades happen. The Covid pandemic swept through the world and wreaked havoc like never before. It remains the worst crisis to hit the industry, ironically tourism relies on the same mobility that spreads the disease.
Every storm, however, brings with itself seeds of opportunities.
Opportunities are like Sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them.
Uncertain times are the catalysts for reimagination and the opportunity also lies in seeing what everyone sees and imagining what no one has thought.
Archimedes saw the water level in his bathtub rise as he immersed himself.
Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked why.
Gandhi questioned violence
Buddha questioned desire
Christ questioned revenge
And the Wright Brothers questioned gravity.
What has the pandemic changed?
The pandemic triggered consumers to make this the “Year of the Travel Reset”
1. The Great Life Refresh,resulting in drastic personal changes and a collective reboot of values, lifestyle and purpose driven goals.
The future is, travelling slower and more mindfully,
-Embracing regenerative travel,
-Challenging over tourism and correcting under tourism,
-Experience-inclusive destinations rooted in meaningful connections with nature,
-Sustainability (green activism & low carbon lifestyle are here to stay), while putting Purpose first.
2. Travel will be less about where you go and when you go.
More about who you are with & what you can do together from mass travel to meaningful travel. The year ahead will also see the rise of premium travel.
Expedia is calling 2022 the year of the GOAT, or the “Greatest of All Trips.” – The big once in a life time adventure dream trip to loosen the purse strings (go big, spend big)
Experience will be the battleground for differentiation.
The four realms of experience (education, esthetic, escapist & entertainment) can be used to script & stage experiences that are personalized, transformative, travel inspired, food focused & eco-friendly.
Many modern-day concerns arising from the pandemic can thus become the new beacon of light for Tourism India. We need to blend our current tourism assets with our ancient wisdom.
What then, is India’s opportunity?
“In our past lies our future” – While the rest of the world rushes to find solutions, we in India already have our charter crafted and created centuries ago!
We at FAITH believe that we have a great opportunity to make Indian Tourism the mainstream engine of Socio-Economic growth. In our journey to 100th anniversary of India’s Independence in 2047, it is more than possible to achieve 100 million Inbound Tourists and 10 billion Domestic Tourism Visits, with a potential employment of 150 million additional direct and indirect jobs pan India.
At the core of achieving this vision are the strategic pillars;
–Shared National Tourism Vision
-Value Accretive Regulation
These can best be summed up in what we term as
Keeping the “FAITH” in Our TEN to WIN
The top TEN ways to WIN:
- NATIONAL TOURISM COUNCIL- “One India – One Tourism”
- GST amendments- “One Country – One Tax”
- Infrastructure Sector and Industry Status- “Quality brings Quality”
- Export Status “Globally Competitive”-Value & Volume
- Classify Tourism in theConcurrent List
- Domestic Travel Tax Credit- “Extend Benefits to ‘Aas Paas’ Tourism”
- Create Tourism Centresof Excellence
- Sensitisation on importance of Tourism across all states’ officers
- Seamless Tourism Transportation- “Standardise all inter-state road taxes”
- Integrated TourismMarketing Campaign betweenCentre and States
Making India more Incredible is a reality waiting to happen.
Mark Twain said it many years ago…
“India is, the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.”
I, on behalf of our FAITH board would also like to invite all our esteemed tourism ministers to participate at the India Tourism Mart (ITM) to be held next year to reach the best global and domestic tourism buyers. I would also like to take this opportunity to offer our cooperation to states that are looking to develop their tourism policies.