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HomePeopleInconversationOpen Up Our Tourism to Countries Close to Home, TAAI President

Open Up Our Tourism to Countries Close to Home, TAAI President

Upto 200 Sri Lankan suppliers to network and conduct business with 600 Indian tourism stakeholders at TAAI’s 67th Convention in Colombo, informs Mayal

How’s TAAI gearing up for its 67th Convention?

We are extremely glad & excited about the response we have received for the Convention. We had to close our registration within a week of opening it, as we got an overwhelming number of registrations. We have already reached the capacity of 500 delegates for this Convention in Sri Lanka. People in the tourism sector understand that TAAI Conventions are fun as well as meaningful with the immense power of knowledge & certainly the strongest networking event in the industry, where we try to work on a roadmap for the future. This one is also no different, which is why there is such huge interest to attend it.

What kind of sessions and convention theme have you lined up and with what ideas?

The theme of the 67th TAAI Convention and Exhibition in Colombo, Sri Lanka is – ‘Transcending Borders Transforming Lives.’ I strongly feel that we need to go beyond the usual and long-haul destinations, especially keeping the Visa hassles and high-ticket prices in mind and open up our tourism to countries close to home. These countries have huge tourism potential, and we must strengthen our tourism ties with them, not just for outbound, but also inbound. This is mainly going to be the focus of our Convention in Sri Lanka this year. In our lives we have separate boxes in our minds we need to transcend those to overcome our mindsets & enlighten lives to build a robust Travel & Tourism Industry.

As for sessions and speakers, we have a very prominent line-up but would like to keep the minute information under wraps & let our members be excited to hear them.

What kind of TAAI Convention relevance do you see for your members?

The focus of the Convention this year is completely Futuristic. The pandemic is done and over with. While it was tragic, brutal and truly devastating, the time is now right for us to move forward. When we are talking about Transcending Borders, I am talking about crossing borders as countries because Tourism doesn’t need any borders. Tourism brings prosperity and peace to every country, and it is a highly economic-driven sector, which is the backbone of every country.

But I would like to go beyond Transcending Borders because even in life, you have to transcend all your thoughts and literally break the glass ceiling and this is where tourism is going. Tourism is changing dramatically. People are not interested in the same type of travel. They are looking for new adventures and fresh destinations. So just as you have evolved, your mind needs to evolve too. So, we need to focus on how growth can happen and not live in our past. We need to Transcend minds to Transform lives. Only when we become frontrunners, we can take society with us. Let us forget about the past and let’s focus on the future, which is exactly what we are aiming to do at our Convention, and I am sure that will benefit the members immensely.

How do you think that the annual TAAI convention benefits the host destination?

Sri Lanka will benefit immensely from this Convention as nearly 600 tourism stakeholders are visiting the destination along with 50 media professionals – who will all play a very important role. This is what we believe in. We believe in Synergy, we believe in Collaboration, we believe in Co-ordinations, we believe in working together. We do not want anyone to suffer where tourism is concerned. We don’t want countries to suffer. We want to bring in positivity. And if Sri Lanka is going through challenging times, we certainly need to be a good neighbour & extend all our support and ensure that it revives quickly.

Also, during the Convention, we will have 150-200 tourism stakeholders from Sri Lanka who will interact with Indian Tour Operators and together I am sure they will exchange cards and develop great business relations that will strengthen tourism between the two countries. We, as a TAAI Convention, are going to Sri Lanka after 20 years almost, and in the past, we have seen that wherever we have had a Convention, the footfalls have not doubled, but multiplied.

I, as the President of TAAI truly believe in ‘One Earth One Family.’






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