The three day travel trade show SATTE 2015, held at Pragati Maidan was graced by some of the eminent ministers from across the globe, ambassadors and high commissioners of participating countries and key people from leading travel associations from both India and abroad.
Held in association with UNWTO and supported by Ministry of Tourism, South Asia Travel and Tourism Exchange, now in its 22ndedition, is a platform for domestic and international buyers and professionals from across the travel, tourism and hospitality industry along with National & State tourism boards to congregate and conduct business.
Joji George, MD, UBM India, the organizer of the event said, “SATTE showcases the true potential of tourism for India and other countries, all under one roof. With Government’s provisions in place to promote tourism in India, we are happy to see SATTE 2015’s stance being further reinforced. The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India as well as UNWTO’s support further validates SATTE as an industry platform for the industry."
Among the key speakers were Lalit Panwar, Secretary (Tourism), Govt of India, John Bell, International broadcasting expert and tourism consultant, Expert, UNWTO Silk Road Task Force Jonathan Karkut, UNWTO Silk Road Programme, Subhash Goyal, President, IATO, Aashish Gupta, Consulting CEO, FAITH etc. A number of panel discussions were also a part of the event which focussed on approaches to adapt to changes in the marketplace and the changing face of travel in India with the intervention of Technology, Digital and Social Media in travelspace.
SATTE witnessed participation from a plethora of destinations including Abu Dhabi, Argentina, Bhutan, Brand USA, Dubai, Egypt, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Jordan, Macau, Malaysia, Israel, The Maldives, Swedavia, Japan, Korea, Mauritius, Oman, Fiji, Philippines, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, VisitBritain, Maldives, New Zealand, The Venetian Macao amongst others.
While Philippines, Swedavia-Sweden Airports, Mexico Tourism and Central Asia harnessed this platform and ventured into India for the first time, there was no participation from emerging destinations like Vietnam, Cambodia etc. and a number of European countries like France, Czech Republic, Poland, Austria etc.
Participating national tourism organization unanimously hailed India as a strong source market for outbound tourism and used the platform to kick start their promotion program for the year. For instance, Department of Tourism, Philippines launched Visit the Philippines Year 2015 on the first day of the travel trade show.
On the launch, Benito C. Bengzon, Jr, Undersecretary for Tourism Development, Philippines stated, “2015 will be celebrated as ‘Visit the Philippines Year’; it is an invitation to all to partake the enduring promise of MORE FUN in the Philippines, 2015. It features a calendar of events and activities that are an exciting mix of parades, concerts, feasts and sports tournaments. India’s growing outbound tourist markets are an important source of visitors to the Philippines. We will convert all the opportunities to leverage our tourism product and leave no stone unturned.”
Additionally, Bengzon also informed the media that there have been discussions going on to review connectivity between India and Philippines and that a group of delegates will be in talks with Air India to restart its flight to Manila.
Importantly, it was also announced that a special consumer promotion activity will be launched with taxis branded with pictures of the Philippines by the Tourism Secretary.
VisitBritain India, on the other hand, launched a unique travel supplement with the CondeNast Traveller India magazine, titled ‘Great Britain-The Ultimate Indian Family Vacation’.
Unveiled by James Bevan KCMG, British High Commissioner to India at VisitBritain’s stand in SATTE, this 36 page special travel supplement showcases memorable experiences, key UK suppliers and travel providers for an unforgettable family holiday in Britain.
VisitBritain’s Head of Commercial and Retail was also present at the launch and is in India to be a part of our SATTE participation.
From the Brand USA pavilion which was inaugurated by The Ambassador of United States of America, H.E. Richard Verma, Visit California announced the launch of its travel trade website - trade.visitcalifornia.in.
Tom Garzilli, Senior Vice President, Global Partner Marketing, Brand USA, said: “Our presence in SATTE is a great way for various U.S. delegates to be able to sell the USA as the finest holiday destination in the world. We are very optimistic that the flow of tourism from India will increase tremendously in the near future.”
The travel trade show witnessed the participation of State of Alaska for the first time.
Disclosing the statistics of Indian tourist arrivals in Turkey, which is gradually gaining importance as a favoured destination, Ozgur Ayturk, coordinator at the ministry's promotion division said, “We have seen impressive growth in leisure tourists from India over the past few years. The number of Indians visiting Turkey grew 25 per cent to 120,000 last year.”
The growing travel business online made a mark on SATTE too with the event providing a platform to GDSs, online travel agencies and online travel marketing companies to showcase their products and services.
Abacus India used the platform to offer trade delegates SIM cards to share with their customers, pre-loaded with talk-time credits for any destination during the event.
“For travel agents, it is great to be able to add extra value with a service like this. They will know when to offer the pre-paid SIM, maybe to a client working overseas for a period of time or to a guest in town,” said Jeet Sawhney, MD, Abacus India. “The agency can issue their e-tickets and now include a card to make calls.”
RezNext Global Solutions, known for its real-time enterprise distribution technology, gave a presentation covering why hotel distribution needs to be a data dependent business, what can hoteliers do to distribute inventory intelligently and how can real time actionable analytics help.
RezNext launched world’s first real-time intelligent distribution platform powered by integrated data strategy during the event.
JIndal RHM Interactive P. Ltd, on the other hand, launched Google Hotel Finder, a new age presentation technology that will allow hoteliers to showcase hotel property and end users to virtually experience the hotel.
The panel discussions which ran parallel with the trade show focused on the changing face of travel and tourism space, and the need to adapt marketing and promotional strategies accordingly.
While Tourism Malaysia emphasized on its positioning of the destination as a value for money alternate as the major reason for surge in footfalls, Charson Advisory which represents Dubai in India talked about how social media was increasingly becoming an important and convenient tool for promotion and marketing.
A major chunk of the discussion focused on the need for relevant and contextual content to fare well in a market like India which is increasingly becoming tech-savvy.
SATTE’s 2015 edition successfully concluded in Delhi with over 650 participants from over 35 countries and 26 Indian States and more than 12 thousand visitors (42% increase over last year) over the three day show.