Guldeep Singh Sahni, president, OTOAI elucidates why it was worth entering into an MoU with ETOA for MAMA 2015
What was the driving force to partner with ETOA for MAMA 2015?
One of the intentions to work with ETOA was to bring our members on a common platform to enhance their quality and volume of business. The driving force was to bring together quality suppliers to our members who have fulfilled a stringent criteria to exhibit their potential as a tour operator.
What according to you is the potential of selling that part of the world to the Indian audience keeping in view the emergence of newer and upcoming destinations?
UK and rest of Europe are and will always remain a choice for Indian travellers for various reasons. Be it because of Bollywood, culture, history, VFR, etc. Since there are lots of unexplored areas that can be offered to the traveller from India and Indian food is now available in abundance, there is huge potential of selling that part of the world to the Indian audience. Our MOU with ETOA was intended to explore new products in that area.
What is it that you wish from the overseas government to improve their inbound business from India?
To woo Indian business, overseas governments need to rethink their strategy from our cultural and social norms. Indians prefer travelling with their families so visa cost adds up to their budgets. All the countries where either visa is gratis or cheaper are seeing the surge in numbers and that attracts Indians. Faster visa processes add to the numbers. Another factor that enhances business is investing in advertising in India and creating awareness about the destination as Indians have a habit of travelling to a destination they keep hearing about.
What is the selection criteria of OTOAI for its members to be invited on such exclusive tourism missions?
OTOAI sends it’s entire members’ list with their profile to the organisation that is organising such events. It is totally their prerogative to invite whom they feel will benefit. It is not necessary that only those members are picked up who give business to their destination but even those who don’t send clients to that country or region are considered as potentials as their clients are always asking for newer destinations.
Is there a message you wish to convey regarding OTOAI’s work on building partnerships with new and established regions across the globe?
OTOAI is always looking out for meaningful alliances and partnerships which evolve into visible results. We do not want MOUs just to be signed and which do not have specific results. Return on investments, be it financial or time must show up.