"Very soon Maldives is all set to become the first country to initiate Vaccine Tourism called as 3V- Visit, Vaccinate and Vacation.”
Alongside the expo, the SATTE 2021 conference is presenting a host of brainstorming sessions.
South Asia Trade and Travel Exhibition or SATTE 2021, Indian subcontinent’s leading travel expo, has commenced its 28th edition at Greater Noida’s India Expo Mart on Wednesday. SATTE 2021 is the first physical-cum-hybrid event organised by Informa Markets in India amidst the pandemic following all Covid -19 guidelines and with a comprehensive line of best practices and safety protocols. As the world came to halt due to lockdowns imposed by various nations, travel and tourism industry was the first one to face its brunt and its is still reeling under its impact. While green-shoots of recovery are visible here and there, SATTE 2021 has given the industry an opportunity to sit together and brainstorm the ways to arrest the sector’s downslide and start its recovery. SATTE 2021, the much awaited event for travel industry was inaugurated by Arvind Singh, Secretary – Tourism, Govt. of India along with other key dignitaries including Dr. Abdulla Mausoom, Minister of Tourism, Maldives; M P Bezbaruah, Former Secretary – Tourism, Govt. of India and Secretary General, Hotel Association of India; Maneck E. Davar, Chairman, Service Export Promotion Council, and Jyoti Mayal, Vice-Chairperson, FAITH, Mr. Yogesh Mudras, Managing Director, Informa Markets in India and Ms. Pallavi Mehra, Group Director, Informa Markets In India.
The three day expo, being organized between 24th to 26th March 2021 is witnessing participation the who’s who of the industry and has support from the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India, Service Export Promotion Council (SEPC) of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Ayush and State/UT Tourism Boards such as Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Lakshadweep, Odisha, Kerala, Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, to name a few. Uttar Pradesh is the ‘Host State’ for SATTE 2021. International participants include Nepal, Maldives, Malaysia, US state of Utah and Expo2020 Dubai which are showcasing their product profile and preparedness to attract Indian travelers. Many private players have also participated this year.
To facilitate those who are not able to attend the event physically SATTE 2021 has created a unique features called SATTE Virtual Zone, and the T3 Studio. This enables travel exhibitors to display their services and products effectively to the buyers.
Congratulating the organizers of SATTE 2021 for sending out a strong message of resurgence to the travel and tourism industry Arvind Singh, Secretary – Tourism, Govt. of India said that travel and tourism is the leading service industry of India and as per WTTC. “The industry contributed 6.8% of the total economy amounting to Rs 16,681 billion. It generated 39,82,18,000 jobs which translates to 8.0% of the total employment of the Indian economy,” Singh said, adding that India is emerging as a nation to look up to for several countries in terms of health infrastructure, and we have already vaccinated 32 million people and would be continuing our efficient drive.
“Coming to strengthen the foundation of travel and tourism industry, the Ministry has launched ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ campaign which has already organized more than 80 webinars. The website of ‘Incredible India’ has also been updated in multiple languages like Chinese and Arabic to facilitate a smooth flow of communication across multiple countries. Initiatives like SATHI (System of Awareness Training for Hospitality Industry), SWADESH and the Incredible India Tourist Facilitator (IITF) Certification Programme have been launched. The programmes aim at enhancing the overall experience of tourists by creating a pool of talented and skilled individuals in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. We are positioning India as a centre of Ayurveda, Yoga, Sidha, Naturopathy which will be boosting the Wellness Tourism, the guidelines have already been drafted by the Ministry. Schemes have also been extended to wellness tourism service providers,” Singh concluded.
Yogesh Mudras, SATTE 2021’s organizer and Managing Director, Informa Markets in India, while welcoming the guests and exhibitors said that since the travel industry is feeling the see-saw effect in terms of the economy, exhibitions like SATTE will help in delivering a positive tone to the associated stakeholders and industry players. “It will also strategically strengthen ‘Atmanirbharta’ as envisaged by the Government. We are upbeat about the future and about the efforts we all need to put together for the revival. Two common themes that have emerged are ensuring safe and sustainable growth and greater use of the latest technology solutions. These can be leveraged to build further inroads into niche, in-demand segments like Domestic leisure business, and wellness and health tourism that we are also promoting at SATTE,” Mudras added.
Jyoti Mayal, Vice Chairperson, FAITH mentioned that the key need is to make Indian travel agents globally competent and boost novel ideas like rural tourism and river cruises. “We are supporting our members to reboot and reinvent but also support is needed from govt. to build a resilient industry and focus more on reforming taxes, permissions, NOCs, sanctions and licenses, support in marketing to build more travel destinations, ease of business, protection of our finances and incentivization. True public private partnership model for the industry will also bring in a new wave of growth. In current times some states like J&K, Uttarakhand, Kerala and Goa have seen multifold rebound, which has boosted our morale this shows we are a resilient industry. We as an industry drive 9.2% of the GDP and 10% of the overall employment let us use our numbers to become strong and get united to exhibit our strength. Events like SATTE help us look around the positivity which is still very prevalent to build a stronger and more sustainable industry for future even if it means starting from ground zero,” she said.
With the current international air travel restrictions, SATTE reoriented its strategy that is mainly focused on the domestic market along with select International destinations that have opened doors for tourists post the lockdown lift.
Addressing the gathering, Dr. Abdulla Mausoom, Minister of Tourism, Maldives, said, “SATTE 2021 is a crucial way forward to move past the crisis, which will echo across the globe.” He also thanked Indian Govt. for their support, Indian tourists for visiting Maldives and playing an important role in making it the next door travel destination. By the end of this year, more than 3,00,000 Indian tourists are expected to visit Maldives which is a highest recorded number for any country. Dr. Mausoom added “Indians are hard-working individuals, be it IT professionals, doctors or executive class – they all need a vacation break, and we are working to kickstart our North airport which will cut the travel time by 45 minutes for Indian tourists. Very soon Maldives is all set to become the first country to initiate Vaccine Tourism called as “3V”- “Visit, Vaccinate and Vacation”; it will give travelers the option to get vaccinated against Covid-19 in the Maldives and promote it as a safe destination for tourists.”
Alongside the expo, the SATTE 2021 conference is presenting a host of brainstorming sessions. Day 1 of the conference saw panel discussions on topics such as Domestic tourism: Exploring unexplored, International tourism: Tackling pandemic impact, A destination Showcase by Gujarat and panel discussion on Technology: Adopting SMART tourism. Day 2 witnessed panel discussions on Religious Tourism, Wellness Tourism and Women in Travel along with Destination showcases by Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Lakshadweep.