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SATTE GenX plays a catalytical role for tourism revival

SATTE, South Asia’s largest travel and tourism exhibition, recently made a successful virtual debut with the launch of SATTE GenX, first virtual travel exhibition of the region. The inaugural edition witnessed the participation of 122 exhibitors and welcomed over 6600 visitors who got an opportunity to network and conduct business virtually. The inaugural ceremony witnessed the presence of a host of dignitaries from across the global tourism markets and was attended by over 2000 live audience.

Delivering the welcome speech, Yogesh Mudras, MD, Informa Markets India said, “This two-day virtual expo brings together some of the world’s leading destinations and companies, eminent speakers, knowledge forum and some unparalleled networking opportunities. Travel and tourism industry have been the most impacted sectors due to the ongoing pandemic. During these challenging times, SATTE with its new digital initiative, is offering an opportunity to the stakeholders of the industry to conduct business from the location of their choice in order to connect with the target audience. SATTE GenX is the industry’s broader plan to gradually reopen the travel, tourism, and hospitality sector. For SATTE GenX, we have got a strong support from international and Indian exhibitors, buyers, associations especially at a much-needed time and this speaks volumes of how this sector is keen to bounce back.”

Lauding the virtual initiative by Informa Markets in creating a unique platform for the industry stakeholders to connect and revive business, Prahalad Singh Patel, Minister for Tourism (I/C), India, said, “SATTE GenX with a host of international and domestic exhibitors is an attempt to help restart tourism global business. This virtual initiative is a new attempt and an out-of- the-box solution to help the industry. I would like to thank all the international tourism board and domestic companies participating in this exhibition. This is a good step for the revival of the tourism segment.” He opined that this segment has been hit the most and we are facing a major hurdle.

“I have been in touch with all stakeholders to understand various issues and are trying to solve them. Domestic tourism is a solution which should be explored for the revival. Our PM had mentioned that travellers should visit 15 destinations in India. We have successfully promoted each and every aspect of India on ‘Dekho apna desh’ webinar series. we are using digital media to the fullest to educate our tourists and promote destinations. We have arranged for guides in different languages at our monuments. To restart tourism, SOPs and protocols are in place with a focus on safety and security. With the Atma Nirbhar scheme, there has been a keen focus on MSME segment which will surely help the tourism industry players,” Patel informed.

With a core focus to make India a cruise tourism hub, the Ministry of Shipping, Govt. of India partnered with SATTE GenX for a cruise pavilion, where the ministry helped in promoting various ports and cruise liners.

Speaking about the status of cruise tourism in India, Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister for Shipping (I/C), India said, “I am very happy to be a part of SATTE GenX. Since inception of our government, we always had a vision to develop cruise tourism in India. We have tried to bring all the stakeholders like port, immigration, tourism department, post health department, custom department, taxation bodies, tour operators, etc on a common platform. This has helped us to remove the bottleneck in the industry. Due to policy support, the number of calls by cruise has grown from by 120 in 2015-16 to 593 in 2019-20. We are developing world-class cruise infrastructure in Mumbai, Goa, Mangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, and Chennai. Vishakhapatnam and Kolkata have also the same facilities. Guaranteed berth, uniform single rate, online and on-arrival visa, biometric exemption on e-visa for three years, etc have already implemented. We want to put India on the map of global cruise tourism. SATTE GenX will play a vital role in boosting the cruise tourism segment. “

To develop tourism ties between India and Greece, the Minister of Tourism, Greece visited India prior to the pandemic. Greece is keen to tap the Indian outbound potential.

For India and Greece, travel industry is a very important segment which has helped economy grow. The pandemic has forced us to think out of the box and how we can realign practices with the new normal. The health protocols along with training and testing regimes at the borders will surely ensure safety of passengers and citizens. This has been a difficult year for everyone, initiatives like SATTE helps in bringing people together and is a platform to do business. I am glad that recently I visited India and it is a strategic market for us, which we are keen to develop. Greece stands ready as soon as conditions allow to open tourism and we would like to see people from India. We will always stand to help promote tourism between both the countries,.” Harris Theoharis, Minister of Tourism, Greece said.

Tourism being the most priority sector, Maldives has successfully opened up tourism. The destination has also recently welcomed 1000 daily arrivals.  

Abdulla Mausoom, Minister for Tourism, Maldives said, “It is a great pleasure to be a part of SATTE GenX. SATTE has been one of the most important exhibitions for us. We need to work together to overcome these challenging times. Even though virtually, this exhibition is very encouraging. We need to use such stronger virtual tools for networking for more efficiency. Maldives has a lot of challenges as our economy is dependent on tourism. We don’t have a domestic economy, so we had to figure our new ways. We have restarted tourism with the cooperation of industry stakeholders. We have made some progress in the last two and half months, many hotels, resorts are operational. Out of 51,000 beds in Maldives, 25,000 are operational. We have reached 1000 daily arrival target on October 2nd and this is a celebration for us. Exhibitions like SATTE will take us to the next level. We are not very sure of the path ahead, but this is an opportunity for us to do business in a new way.”

For the inaugural edition, Services Export Promotional Council (SEPC), an advisory body of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, had partnered with SATTE GenX for an exclusive pavilion facilitating the participation of private players.

Maneck Dawar, Chairman, SEPC said, We are indeed honoured to partner with Informa for SATTE GenX. In SEPC, we are committed to supporting the domestic services and our main focus is on the travel and tourism industry. We all know that it will take a very long time for this industry to come back. From SEPC, we have been representing for the tourism industry, the government has not done as much as should have done. We have created a pavilion at SATTE GenX and have provided platform for 75 exhibitors to promote themselves. While there are green shoots visible with people travelling and hotels opening up, there is lots to be done. It will take six to eight quarters for the industry to get back to pre-covid level. I assure all support from SEPC to the industry in promoting tourism.”

SATTE, with its new digital approach, created an opportunity to the stakeholders of the industry to conduct business from location of their choice and connect with the target audience.

MP Bezbaruah, Secretary General, Hotel Association of India and Former Tourism Secretary, Govt. of India, said, “SATTE GenX is taking place in a very unusual time, but SATTE will play a very significant role in reinstating the industry. This will lay the foundation for the new journey which we will be taking ahead. There is no doubt that tourism will bounce back as it did after 9/11, SARS and Tsunami. It has been pointed out that the revival will be stimulated by the domestic tourism. There is no doubt that the small and medium players in the industry will play a vital role, but they are still struggling for survival. The MoT’s draft tourism policy has an ambitious plan of 3.6 billion domestic tourists in next 5 years. We need to create sustainable destinations and should promote tourism beyond the metropolis. We can create 1000’s of new destinations within no time which will create a different experience. We will need a lot of tourism infrastructure development and last mile connectivity. SATTE plays a big role in the promotion of regional tourism.”

Being a part of SATTE since its inception, Subhash Goyal, Hony. Secretary, FAITH said, “I am happy that what started as a small organization is today South Asia’s largest travel show and the most successful buyer-seller meet. Next, we want SATTE to be the world’s largest travel exhibition in the coming years. India is the center of South Asia, Australia, Europe and America and should be the Centre for trade exhibition. I am sure government will surely support in our revival process. The travel bubble agreements are also quite encouraging, and I am sure soon tourism will restart. We must learn to live with this disease. We have requested all states to have a uniform quarantine policy for a free movement. I feel proud that SATTE has become a force to reckon with and is playing a key role in reviving the Indian tourism sector.”

Speaking about the crisis Jyoti Mayal, Vice Chairman, FAITH said, “SATTE GenX with over 122 exhibitors from across the globe will certainly be a great opportunity for the travel trade fraternity to network and restart business and to overcome this crisis. A crisis which has made us think and restructure ourselves. I would like to reinforce that we have asked the government to support us by giving moratorium, rebates, reliefs, refunds from airlines, incentivise tourism, and all issues that are damaging us right now. The industry is in despair and is grappling to survive, and it is across the globe. Indian tourism and hospitality industry is staring at a Rs. 15 lakh crore loss and a potential job loss of around 3.8 crores. The government has not helped or supported to revive, but we are resilient, and we need to collectively see to it that each one of us survive.”

SATTE 2021 is now scheduled to take place from March 24-26, 2021 at India Expo Mart, Greater Noida. Delivering the vote of thanks, Pallavi Mehra, Group Director & Publisher, Informa Markets India, said, “On behalf of SATTE GenX, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks and I am extremely grateful for Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Shipping, SEPC, National Tourism Organisations of various countries and all exhibitors and visitors for supporting us. Also, I would like to announce that we have rescheduled our physical show SATTE 2021 to March 24-26, 2021 in Greater Noida.”

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