Digitalisation takes centre stage

The Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) is set to organise its fourth annual convention in Cape Town, South Africa from August 11-14, 2018 on the theme ‘Digitalisation – The Way Forward’.

Amrita Ghosh & Simranjeet Singh Arora

The Exceutive Committee of OTOAI led by its President Mahendra Vakharia signed an MoU with Bunny Bhoola, Director, African Link Travel, for its South Africa convention at a press conference held in New Delhi. The association’s conventions till date have been primarily held in Asia and the Middle East – Manila, Bali and Ras Al Khaimah respectively.

Explaining the core theme of the convention, Vakharia said, “To understand digitalisation in totality, it is important to understand how we can leverage that to our day-to-day business and profit liability. Interestingly, there is a line-up of esteemed speakers whom we are already in touch with and are excited to introduce them as guest speakers to our Indian outbound industry.”

To understand digitalisation in totality, it is important to understand how we can leverage that to our profit liability”,  Mahendra Vakharia, President, OTOAI

“Cape Town is a stunning city with table mountain as the backdrop. A lot of excitement is generated since the time we have made convention annoucements as a slow teaser. We have been receiving calls and enquiries from members about packages and commencement of bookings. What better year to hold a convention in South Africa when the country is celebrating the 100th birth centenary of  iconic leader Nelson Mandela. I am confident that it’s going to be big sell-out,” he exclaimed.

Alpa Jani, Manager Trade Relations, South African Tourism, who was also present at the event, said, “The OTOAI convention is an excellent platform that will help us in giving a first-hand experience on the destination to the travel trade through pre and post familiarisation tours.” Hoping to cross the 100,000 mark in 2018, Jani mentioned that last year, the arrival numbers from India to South Africa were closed at 98000 in 2017.

“The pre and post Fams will include attractions like Garden Route, Kruger National Park, Sun City and Johannesburg”, Himanshu Patil, Vice President and Chairman-Convention, OTOAI

Himanshu Patil, Vice President and Chairman-Convention, OTOAI, said, “We are expecting a participation of over 200 members and have already received more than 75 registrations. The pre and post Fams will include attractions like Garden Route, Kruger National Park, Sun City and Johannesburg.”

Clearing myths about the water scarcity issue in Cape Town, Vakharia said, “Everybody in the city is extremely conscious of how they are going to conserve and consume water. The way people have tackled the concern is incredible. Cape Town aims to cut down the usage of water to 50 litres per person within the next few months. With taps running in full swing, Cape Town is ready and alive to welcome any number of tourists.”

Prime Agenda

  • The objective of the convention is to develop partnerships, increase networks, get support of niche experiences, meet local suppliers, and experience and learn about the culture of both the countries

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