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The Big Picture

The PM’s Challenge: How Should Industry Respond?

The Prime Minister has set the pace with not only emphasising the importance of domestic tourism but also giving good reasons for doing so. We bring you a selection of senior leadership sharing their roadmap. Vinod Duggal, former DG Tourism and Governor of Manipur, stresses the need for states to become pro-active. During my tenure as DG Tourism in the Government of India, it was post 9/11 that we were all involved in the branding …

The Big Picture

Mumbai 24×7: The City Never Slept, New Decision Only Formalises the City’s USP

The decision to make Mumbai go 24×7 is only a ratification of the fact that the city never slept. We see it as a precursor to other metro towns going the same way, perhaps to begin with, in selected zones around the cities. We welcome the new Maha Government’s decision to make Mumbai city go 24×7. It’s not a day too soon, that the city government, regardless of the party in power, has gone ahead …

The Big Picture

Hardeep Puri: on Air India, Smart Cities, CAA and Delhi Politics

Seeking holistic development for India’s tourism, which we believe is increasingly all embracing, stretching across sectors of the economy and society, Tourism First interviews Hardeep Puri, who is presently holding independent charge of two critical ministries – Urban Development and Civil Aviation. Never before has any union minister held this combination. Cities are the lifeline to our tourism effort and civil aviation provides the essential transport connect. Following are the excerpts:  Those familiar with college rivalries …

The Big Picture

BITB garnering requisite industry traction; next phase is a more extensive outreach, says Navin Berry

With BITB gearing up to host its 16th conclave in Hotelscapes 2019, Navin Berry, Founder and CEO, BITB, reflects on the learning curve, challenges and the road ahead for the thought leadership industry platform. There are quite a few events in the industry. What is different about BITB? There will always be a question of too many, given India’s size and diversity. We are a democracy and the freedom of choice is paramount. Anyone can …

The Big Picture

A politically empowered minister, stronger private sector outreach, will piece the tourism puzzle 

‘Joining the Dots’ in industry and government for holistic and all-embracing development of the tourism sector has long been the big puzzle for stakeholders. The subject was under scrutiny at the recently held BITB Paryatan se Parivartan as industry leaders brainstormed on piecing together the effort, asking the private sector to take the lead, also putting forth some out-of-the-box solutions to challenges facing the industry. Extracts from the session:  The government needed to set up …

The Big Picture

MoT introduces Tourist Facilitator Certification Program to boost tourist experience

Ministry of Tourism has recently launched The Incredible India Tourist Facilitator Certification (IITFC). The program aims to create an online platform to provide training and certification to new-age tourist facilitators available anytime, anywhere, any device and self-paced. Enabling Indian citizens to develop and enhance the skills associated with tourism, it is a digital initiative where one can incorporate knowledge about facilitating tourists across the country. The certification program comprises of basic and advance self-paced courses …

The Big Picture

Uniformity in policies and ease of business emerge as core concerns at BITB Paryatan se Parivartan

In its 15th conclave in the past 30 months, under the BITB banner, Paryatan se Parivartan brought together 40+ senior leaders, across verticals, from industry and government, to moot the way forward for tourism. In five engrossing sessions and two keynotes, the senior leadership of the industry, across verticals, determined the road ahead for the sector. They discussed subjects of ‘Tackling an elitist image and how’, ‘Special Tourism Zones, Why and How’, ‘Connectivity, Skillsets, Heritage …

The Big Picture

Prahlad Singh Patel takes charge of MoT and Culture; focus on showcasing cultural offerings

A four-time Member of Parliament, Prahlad Singh Patel has been named as the Minister of State (Independent charge) of the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Culture. Patel Prahlad is an MP from Damoh in Madhya Pradesh and has been a member of several committees in the previous Narendra Modi government. He was also a member of Executive Council of VV Giri National Labour Institute and member of the Consultative Committee in the Ministry of …

The Big Picture

GST rate cut, infra tag and long-term policies top industry’s wish list from Modi government 2.0

The industry has a long list of expectations from the new government, as it hits the ground running with a bigger mandate. Exorbitant GST slab rate emerged as the number one pain-point for industry leaders who voiced concern on its impact in eroding India’s competitive advantage. They urged the government to take a favourable view of the issue, bringing it down to 18 per cent from 28 per cent. The popular mood suggested that the …

The Big Picture

The Indian traveller is coming of age, suggests the latest Google and Bain& Company report

The Indian traveller has truly come of age. They are travelling to the distant corners of globe and showing a never before tendency of embracing the unknown. This major transformation has changed the landscape of the industry. An interesting dimension in the unfolding growth story of the Indian economy has also been the propensity of Indians to spend on travel and tourism. Travel and tourism consumption has been released by Google and Bain & Company …

The Big Picture

Aviation crisis will impact tourism; Sri Lanka issue may turn travellers to India, says E M Najeeb

Concern looms over the fate of the vacation season as the Indian aviation sector continues to battle serious headwinds. Uncertainty around the revival of Jet Airways, with the airline temporarily stopping its operations and no respite in sight, has caused stress on the available capacity. Add to that, IndiGo’s decision of scaling down its operations with 30 fewer flights each day, initially for a couple of months, now effectively until October, has further spiked concerns. …

The Big Picture

At BITB India Tourism Summit, industry and government outline a game-changing agenda

The big takeaway from BITB India Tourism Summit was that the industry needed to take the lead in driving India’s tourism. Industry stakeholders expected the government to play the role of an enabler, with focus on creating liberal policies and augmenting infrastructure. A: The Big Picture A1.  The industry believes that addressing challenges would require a clear demarcation of responsibilities A2. The government must provide an enabling policy framework and build institutional infrastructure. A3. That …

The Big Picture

Asia to drive global growth; Intra-regional travel trending in APAC, PATA report suggests 

PATA Asia Pacific Visitor Forecasts 2019-2023 has been laid out a few weeks ago. The report highlights the momentous growth of tourism in Asia Pacific, which will reach USD 1.1 billion total revenue and close to 900 million international visitor arrivals in 2023. 40 destinations within Asia Pacific have been collectively predicted to show an average growth rate of 5.5 percent each year between 2018 and 2023. What has emerged as an undisputed fact is the rise of Asia as …

The Big Picture

Industry and government converge for the Big Picture at BITB India Tourism Summit

The 3rd edition of India Tourism Summit was a resounding success on several counts. The top echelons of government and industry engaged in a serious dialogue on the road forward for India’s tourism. Industry and government leaders, such as Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog; Ashwani Lohani, CMD, Air India; Yogendra Tripathi, Secretary Tourism, GoI; Sanjeev Sanyal, Principal Economic Advisor, MoF, GOI; Jose Dominic, Founder, CGH Earth; Deep Kalra, Co-founder, MMT; Patu Keswani, CMD, Lemon Tree …

The Big Picture

Vistara and JAL’s codeshare agreement will positively impact SE Asia connect

In what could add more teeth to India’s ‘Act East Policy’, strengthening air connectivity to Tokyo and beyond, Japan Airlines and Vistara have recently signed a codeshare agreement to open more routes between the two regions. Vistara has now become the first Indian carrier to have an MoU in place with the Japanese flag carrier.  The move will benefit Vistara in reaching out to a larger global market, in the process, acquiring a pole-position in …

The Big Picture

Top industry, government stakeholders to come together for the 3rd edition of BITB India Tourism Summit

The 3rd edition of BITB India Tourism Summit will be a grander affair, bringing together 50 speakers from the top echelons of government and industry for a half-day analysis on all things tourism. Emerging themes, challenges and possibilities in tourism and its diverse segments will be deliberated by decision makers in back-to-back sessions. A star-studded line up of speakers includes Jammu & Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik; Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog; Yogendra Tripathi, Secretary …