India dazzles at WTM

Arvind Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, leads the Indian delegation at World Travel Market 2022, alongside Rakesh Verma, Additional Secretary, MOT. The officials promote country as a year-round destination with sustainability and huge investment opportunities.

TT Bureau

Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, put up its best foot forward at World Travel Market (WTM) 2022, held from 7-9 November in London. This year’s theme of WTM was ‘The Future of Travel Starts Now’. With over 20 participants, the Indian Pavilion was inaugurated by Arvind Singh, Secretary, Tourism, and Vikram Doraiswami, High Commissioner of India to UK, in the presence of Tourism Ministers of Kerala, Odisha, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu. A number of cultural performances, yoga sessions, heena and Bollywood dance performance happened at the pavilion.

Sessions galore

Singh attended the session on ‘Growing Consumer Demand for Responsible Tourism’ held at Future Stage and ‘Preparing for the next crisis: Reaching for long term sustainability’, which was held at Sustainability Stage, WTM venue. He also attended Ministers’ Summit at WTM, in association with UNWTO and WTTC – Rethinking Tourism, as well as WTTC’s Annual Reception. Singh participated in International Tourism & Investment Conference (ITIC) Panel on Strengthening Cooperation within Commonwealth to boost trade and investment in the travel and tourism sector.

Rakesh Kumar Verma, Additional Secretary, Tourism, was also present at the event. Both Singh and Verma held discussions with officials of ABTA to promote tourism between two countries. Verma also held meetings with travel trade and media and informed about the measures taken by MOT to promote tourism post pandemic.

India evening

There was an India Evening organised at Copper Chimney, West Field Mall, as part of WTM participation, which saw in attendance members of Travel Trade from India and UK and Indian Diaspora. There were also many tourism ministers and secretaries of various State Governments. It offered a platform for interaction and discussion to promote India as a multi-product and round-the-year destination with sustainability. Singh delivered the welcome remarks and said that the priorities and objective of Ministry of Tourism is to showcase the diverse tourism products and services, including medical value travel and wellness, luxury trains and the gamut of tourism products to the international business community.

Sustainability and G20 in focus

Verma, while addressing the media, said that the Indian delegation is showcasing the varied tourism offerings of India to the global tourism industry stakeholders such as tour operators, travel agents and media at WTM 2022. “India is focusing on promoting sustainable tourism, digitalization of tourism sector, development of tourism MSMEs and skills. Tourism sector was hugely impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, tourism is one sector which has great resilience, and it has bounced back from various adversities and crisis. In India, tourism is recovering well with domestic tourism contributing significantly. Under the strong leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has achieved unprecedented success in vaccinating our people. Approx. 2.19 billion doses have been administered showing that India as a tourist destination is safer and more resilient to tackle the threat posed by the current pandemic,” he explained.

He added that India is also gearing up for the G20 Presidency. “Under its Presidency, the country is expected to host over 200 meetings across 55 cities in the country.

PATA meeting

Singh, alongside Verma, had a meeting with Liz Ortiguera, CEO, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), to discuss in depth engagement between PATA and India including possibility to hold next annual summit in India, PATA travel mart and participation in other G20 side events. The Indian delegation also met Andy Burwell, International Director, Confederation of Business Industry (CBI) and discussed the possibility of business/ investment opportunities and how India is an attractive investment destination. Apart from that, they met Kevin McCole, Managing Director, UK India Business Council (UKIBC), to invite their participation in the forthcoming Tourism Investor Summit.



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