Session I - Global Economic Scenario and Tourism trends
With the uncertainly in global economy due to recession fears in the large part of Europe and the US, Brexit, collapse of Thomas Cook and ongoing geo-political situation, the global travel and tourism industry is forecasted to witness a subdued growth. This subdued growth will not only slow down the pace of travel and tourism growth, but it will also have a serious impact on employment and job markets. The World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) research reveals that the sector accounted for 10.4% of global GDP and 319 million jobs, or 10 per cent of total employment in 2018. Although there is no clear cut communication from the thought leaders of the travel and tourism industry, but if the recession steps in, the industry as well as the job market will see a negative impact.
The situation in India is a bit more alarming due to the prevailing regional situation, collapse of Jet Airways and Cox & Kings etc. The session will discuss the currents of the industry and seek the possible solutions to bring the growth normalcy back.
Session II - Adventure tourism: unlocking new avenues
Despite having 70 per cent of the Himalayas, around 7000 kms of coastline, India being among one of the three countries in the world with both hot and cold deserts, ranks 10th in total area under forest cover and 6th in terms of number of recognised UNESCO Natural Heritage sites, a varied flora and fauna, Indian adventure tourism is yet at a nascent stage but charting its own growth path. India being one of the unique destinations across the globe which can offer an exhaustive list of adventure activities, just welcomes over 3.4 mn adventure traveller from the pool of over a billion adrenalin junkies.
Some of the major challenges for this low numbers being lack of awareness, negligible amount of promotions, topped up with lack of safety guidelines. The session will discuss the current scenario of adventure tourism, opportunities and new avenues.
Session III - Small Screen, big impact
With the rising popularity of TV series culture throughout the globe, cinema tourism has gone a step further. Today destinations are not only tapping big budget films, but also looking at ad commercials and TV series to consider their destination while filming. With a strategic approach, today most of the destinations look at incentivising and providing technical assistance to attract this segment.
Some of the major case studies in this segment has been the increasing popularity of Spain post ‘Zindagi na milegi doobara’; Ireland and Croatia witnessing increase after ‘The Game of Thrones’, or on the domestic front people looking to visit the Lake Pangong after the filming of ‘3 Idiots’.
The session will discuss about the opportunities in the film tourism segment, availability of infrastructure and technical assistance, incentives and the way forward.
Session IV- Mid-market hotels: best bet in current hospitality scenario?
In the recent years, there has been a rather conducive environment for the hospitality industry to flourish in India. Today, global hospitality players are eying not only the major metros in India, but the smaller tier II & III cities as well. India being one of the fastest growing economies globally, with people having more disposable income and an aspiration to travel than ever before, hotel chains are looking to tap the fullest potential of this market.
With a robust pipeline of new hotels coming up in the nation, mid-market players are the one who are enjoying the majority growth. Real estate prices in India is one of the most expensive compared to other nations. Nevertheless, mid-market segment are the ones who are churning out profits despite high operational costs.
This session will discuss about the performance of mid-market segment and operational challenges keeping the service in mind as India is a high touch market. The panel will also touch upon various challenges that the mid-market segment is currently facing.
Session V- Incentivising visa for tourism growth
The foreign tourist arrival numbers of any destination majorly depends on the ease of visa facilitation. Historically, we have seen that nations having stricter visa regime do lose out on tourism numbers. Various think tanks suggest that there is a need to advance travel facilitation as a means to promote tourism development and multiply its socio-economic benefits. In the last couple of years, international destinations are looking seriously at the India market and are also relaxing their visa regime to further attract travellers.
Some of the destinations have gone a step further to either provide complimentary visa or incentivise visa to tap the might of Indian outbound. How has this impacted the tourism growth? Is incentivising visa a temporary phase or a sustainable model?
The session will speak about the ease in visa procedures over the years, trends, incentives