Engaging the millennials

The Outbound Tour Operators Association of India’s convention to be held from March 15-18 in Antalya, Turkey, will focus on ways to capture and cater to the growing segment of millennial travellers that lists travel as a priority experience.

Hazel Jain

The Outbound Tour Opera- tors Association of India (OTOAI) will organise its fifth convention in Antalya, Turkey, from March 15-18, 2020 at Titanic Mardan Palace hotel, which is located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and where all members will be staying. Sharing more details of the event is Himanshu Patil, Vice President, OTOAI & Convention Chairman, who says, “The theme of this convention is ‘Creating Travel Synergies for the New Millennials’. As we all know, millennials are the new decision-makers and are one of the fastest growing segments for the industry. They travel a lot and we need to figure ways in which we can attract them. The discussions during the convention will focus on how they are using technology to book their travel. We have invited a lot of Indian as well as international speakers to attend and deliver keynote speeches.” For now, it has received around 120 registrations and expects more to come in. “We are looking to close at 200 or 220 registrations, so members need to book promptly,” he adds.

Millennials are one of the fastest growing segments for the industry. They travel a lot and we need to figure ways in which we can attract them

The pre-convention tour will be organised from March 12-15, 2020 while the post-tour will take place from March 18-21, 2020. “For these tours, we have finalised Istanbul, Izmir, and Cappadocia. We are getting very good response for this. However, we will need to stop registrations soon. We already have 116 registrations so far and a few are waiting for the final itinerary and other details. Once we have that, I think it will be difficult to accommodate all of them. Turkish Airlines is our travel partner, and Turkey Tourism is involved with us as well. It is a joint effort,” Patil adds. The hotels and detailed itineraries will be announced soon.

Speaking about other things that have kept the team busy, Riaz Munshi, President, OTOAI, says, “Preparations are going on in full swing for our convention. Apart from the pre and post-tours, we are also in the midst of finalising flight travel arrangements and sessions of the convention. Other than that, we are focusing on increasing our membership. We have a very conservative approach because we believe in quality and not quantity. Ever since I have taken over, I wanted to drive this agenda because an association’s strength lies in its members. We believe that without diluting our norms, we will continue to do membership drives and increase our numbers on a pan-India basis.”

Munshi adds, “We are also talking to ministries and sharing more information with them about what we do and about outbound tourism. What we feel is that the ministry is only focusing on inbound and is not aware about the revenue out- bound generates for them.”

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