DG Tourism Speaks on Inbound Tourism at Outlook & Update PATA Meeting

The Indian chapter of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) successfully organised an Update & Outlook Meeting with Manisha Saxena on June 19, 2024. Manisha Saxena is the director general, Tourism, Ministry of Tourism, India.

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By Mrinal
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Manisha Saxena with the Executive Committee of PATA India

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The Indian chapter of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) successfully organised an Update & Outlook Meeting with Manisha Saxena on June 19, 2024. Manisha Saxena is the director general, Tourism, Ministry of Tourism, India. The event was held at the Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi.

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DG Tourism addresses the audience

17th Update & Outlook Meeting

The event saw in attendance various established names from the tourism industry including Sudeshna Ramkumar (assistant director general, Ministry of Tourism, India), Runeep Sangha (executive director, PATA), Rakesh Mathur (president, Responsible Tourism Society of India), Jatinder S. Taneja (managing director, Travel Spirit International Pvt. Ltd.), Harish Mathur (president, Concord Travels and Tours), Rohit Arora (VP-North and Goa Operations & head, Leisure Sales, Apeejay Sureendra Park Hotels Limited), R. Parthiban (founder and director, Swagatam Tours Private Limited), Ajay Rautela (advertising account manager, Taboola India) amongst others.

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Established names in the tourism industry were seen in attendance

Points of Discussion

The event highlighted the need to revitalise ‘Incredible India’, focusing on destination and product development, as well as international marketing, promotions, and cooperation to benefit inbound tourism in India. The attendees raised varied important discussion points like the lack of marketing of India as a tourist destination in the international scene, lack of international tourism for the Himalaya region, little to no stress on responsible tourism, lack of representatives for Indian tourism in other countries, insufficient funds for Indian tourism promotion, India still struggling to bounce back from COVID-19 aftermath, the resources required to aid inbound tourism, and the lack of visibility of India in terms of MICE trips, roadshows, and exhibitions.

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The event highlighted the need to revitalise the 'Incredible India' campaign

DG Speaks

Addressing the concerns of the industry, Manisha Saxena talked about how India has “almost reached the 2019 level of tourism, but the Indian tourism sector needs more. We need to create new destinations and we need to rediscover hidden gems to divert traction from overcrowded places and to truly appreciate the beauty of India.”

She also stressed how travel, in today’s world and age, is no longer about a place but about the overall experience of the trip. “Tourism is no longer about just the destination, but rather about the experience. Thankfully, India has everything to offer to its tourists – religious sites, wonders of the world, wildlife beauty, flora and fauna and so much more. However, the biggest front where India lacks and what we need to work together on to improve is India’s presence as a brand, especially a brand that appeals to the younger sector of the global society. India has so much to offer, but people, internationally, are not aware of it. That is what we need to change.”

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"India has everything to offer to tourists", says DG Tourism

Adding on, she mentioned how almost every site in India has a beautiful story behind it, many of which are not even told to the world. “Special efforts need to be taken by the people and the government to bring interesting history of such spots around us to the forefront to give Indian tourist spots the admiration they deserve.” Plans for the complete digitalisation of the Incredible India campaign were also mentioned along with an appeal to state governments to create more accommodations.

PATA India

PATA India was established in 1974 and currently has 245 members. The organisation includes state tourism boards, carriers, hotels, travel agents, tour operators, service providers etc.

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