The fastest growing economy amongst the larger economies of the world, India is recording double digit growths across all travel segments. Outbound travel from India has surpassed 23 million in 2017 and has continued to growth in double digits in the last few years. Inbound arrival has recorded a robust over 15 per cent growth in 2017. Domestic travel has recorded a staggering 1.8 billion travels and is expected to surpass 3 billion mark by 2025.
And celebrating its Silver Jubilee edition in 2018, SATTE has emerged as the undisputed premier market place in the entire South Asia region for the businesses in travel, tourism and hospitality arena from both, India and overseas, to grow their travel business interest from this phenomenally growing market as the Silver Jubilee edition attracted over 30000 trade visitors to shop at over 1000 suppliers and exhibitors from 50 countries from across the globe and 80 cities in India.
Welcoming the delegates at the 25th edition of SATTE, Michael Duck, Executive Vice President, UBM Asia, hailed SATTE as one of Asia’s leading travel trade shows and India’s most important travel, tourism and hospitality meeting place. “Indian tourism is growing at double - digit growth rate on inbound, outbound and domestic fronts and it has been the constant endeavour of UBM India to offer the best platform to all segments of the industry through SATTE and T3 mediums thus meeting the larger industry needs from India. Being the most important and truly the only composite travel and tourism show in this part of the world, SATTE provides a platform for domestic and international buyers and professionals from across the travel, tourism and hospitality domain.”
Informing that SATTE’s buyer programme is well supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India (MoT, GoI), Duck said, “We are proud to partner with MoT, all major travel and tourism associations in India, State Tourism Boards and NTOs, all sectors of hospitality and travel trade, PATA, Cruise Line International Association (CLIA); SKAL, UFTAA and UNWTO. Together we are poised to raise benchmarks and fuel growth in the travel and tourism industry.”
KJ Alphons, Minister for Tourism (I/C), Govt of India, who graced the occasion as the Chief Guest of SATTE 2018 inaugural function, informed that last year India crossed 10 million mark in foreign arrivals for the first time, which when combined with the number of arrivals of Indians settled abroad totalled approximately 16 million.
He also used the occasion to appeal SATTE and the captains of the industry to pave way for incremental international tourist numbers for the country. Furthermore, he appealed SATTE to focus on growing the domestic tourism market segment as there are many unexplored destinations like India’s North East that people are yet to discover. He drew attention to the fact the a whopping 1.8 billion domestic travels took place last year that can be better harnessed in growing destinations, tourist traffic, employment across different social spectrums all over the country.
Widely recognised as one of most ingenious tourism minds of the country and credited with some of finest tourism slogans like “Incredible India” and “God’s Own Country” marketing campaigns, NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) CEO, Amitabh Kant credited SATTE for developing his tourism insights and learning of the industry during his initial days in the sector while he was with Kerala Tourism many years ago.
“I started my career with travel and tourism industry many-many years back in the state of Kerala. Amongst the first few events that I attended then was SATTE in Delhi. It was a wonderful event because I met so many product owners and I met lots of travel agents and tour operators and with that began my knowledge and learning of the world of travel and tourism. And I went back to Kerala and amongst the many things that we did, we started new products based on experiences that SATTE told me. We moved away from everything that the West did. We started backwaters, traditional martial arts, Ayurveda, houseboats, traditional houses, we did everything that was experiential.”
Furthermore, Kant also revealed that it was SATTE that played a great role in inspiring the idea of Kerala Travel Mart that is today the most successful travel marts organised by a state. “One of the first few things that we did later was collaboration to start a Kerala Travel Mart. Many of you don’t know that Kerala Travel Mart drew on our learning from SATTE. From SATTE we learnt the art of doing this great event Kerala Travel Mart and we built Kerala’s great brand and became a resounding success story,” he revealed.
Also speaking on the occasion, Faiyaz Koya, Fiji’s Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, informed that Fiji has been participating in SATTE each year for the last seven years and has every year seen a significant growth in interests from buyers and travel media resulting in growth of visitor arrivals from this market.
Further, congratulating SATTE on its Silver Jubilee edition and for providing a platform to destinations like Fiji to meet and network with key players from tourism and travel industry and maximise opportunity in order to grow tourist number from this market, Koya said, “India continues to be an important source market for Fiji and we have not only started exploring opportunities in the MICE market but we understand that post an event of this magnitude, the largest tourism and trade show in the region, there is no stopping us to transform the same. We hope to draw from your expertise and take that key learning to assist us in facilitating the MICE market back home.”
Hailing SATTE as the most prestigious event in the region and the biggest tourism fair in India that has continued to offer platform to destination like Indonesia to showcase itself in all its hues to the Indian trade buyers, I Gde Pitana, Deputy Minister for International Marketing Development, Indonesia Tourism, drew attention to the fact that his country, beyond just Bali, offers an incredible range of destinations and products to cater to every kind of travellers.
Furthermore, he said, “India is an important to Indonesia, especially in tourism ties. Indonesia is rich in tourism resources, both in nature and cultural fronts. Besides, we have shared centuries of cultural ties between our two countries.” He also informed that close to half a million Indians visited Indonesia last year.
Also speaking on the occasion, Bo Keun Choi, Senior Officer, Regional Programme for Asia and the Pacific, UNWTO, highlighted the consecutive year-on-year growth that international and Indian tourism has record in the past years. Furthermore, he said, “I am truly appreciative of the pledge campaign for sustainable tourism that SATTE is conducting this year and I have no doubt this will be a valuable addition towards the better future of international tourism. Together, UNWTO and India can play a key role in making sure tourism achieves its global responsibility for social, environmental and economic development. And I have every confidence that we will witness the continued growth of tourism in South Asia and SATTE will put into act as a landmark of tourism along with the Incredible India campaign.”
SATTE was established way back in 1994. Navin Berry, who established the show 25 years ago, while offering a glimpse of how the idea of the show was born those many years ago, further added, “Over the 18 years that I was running the show we hosted 4500 international tour operators. That’s the kind of legacy we gave over those years. And I am proud to say that that legacy has continued. Good 25,000 square meters of exhibition space at the event, it’s a very proud moment. I think there isn’t a comparable number two event in the country today and currently its one of the biggest shows in Asia.
Furthermore, in reference to the growing travel and tourism industry and businesses like travel exhibitions, he said that in India we have only starting to scratch the surface of travel and tourism industry. “The road is so vast. This industry is going to grow phenomenally. And I see SATTE doubling up in the next few years. I would like to see SATTE as the Davos for the travel and tourism industry in this part of the world,” Berry said.
Subhash Goyal, Member, National Tourism Advisory Council, who has attended every edition of SATTE and whose association with the event dates back to the time when the idea about the event was beginning to take shape, while recalling some of the challenges in the initial days, said, “This (SATTE) is an idea that created a revolution and I congratulate UBM for giving it the dimension and the vision which was needed and the support that was needed to make it a truly international Indian event.”
Earlier, while expressing his delight on Silver Jubilee edition of SATTE, Yogesh Mudras, Managing Director, UBM India said, “We are proud to organise the 25th edition of SATTE supported by MoT, Govt of India, all major Indian travel and tourism associations, the State Tourism Boards as well as the NTOs from across the world, hotels, airlines, cruise liners, theme parks and UNWTO of course.”
Mudras pointed that SATTE in the last 25 years has truly evolved as an institution playing the role of a catalyst in facilitating travel and tourism business for the global and India travel industries. “It is a comprehensive show in the tourism industry with participation from states, international tourism boards, hospitality companies, DMCs, OTAs, start-ups and other tourism products as well as exhibitors who are attending the event for the first time this year. This year we are glad to host the biggest SATTE ever with over 1000 exhibitors from over 35 countries. SATTE 2018 will provide domestic and international buyers excellent opportunity to do business. Altogether we have exhibitors and buyers from over 50 countries and 80 cities in India,” he informed.
He also informed that keeping the interest of industry in mind SATTE 2018 again provides a platform to start-ups and has come up with a start-up pavilion for new businesses in the travel and tourism industry. In her vote of thanks, Pallavi Mehra, Group Director, UBM India thanked the travel and tourism fraternity from across the globe for their overwhelming response and interest in SATTE 2018.
The event also witnessed participation of several leading captains of the industry that included Pronab Sarkar, President, Indian Association of Tour Operators; Sunil Kumar, President, Travel Agents association of India; PP Khanna, President, Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India; Praveen Chugh, President, Travel Agents Federation of India; Peter Koller, Head of International Training & Development, Cruise Line International Association; Julian Thomas, Founder, TOFT Tigers; Capt. Swadesh Kumar, President, Adventure Tour Operators Association of India; Jagat Mehta, President, Enterprising Travel Agent's Association; Biji Eapen, President, IATA Agents Association of India; Rajan Sehgal, President, India Golf Tourism Association; Mahendra Vakharia, President, Outbound Tour Operators Association of India; Mandip Singh Soin, Founder President, Ecotourism Society of India, among many others luminaries and captains of travel and tourism industry from India and abroad.