ITM 2021 packs a virtual punch

The third India Tourism Mart, to be held from February 18-20, will be quite different from its previous editions, besides being a virtual affair. Subhash Goyal, Honorary Secretary General, Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH), shares details.

Nisha Verma

Preparations for the first Virtual ITM are in full swing, reveals Subhash Goyal, adding, “The inaugural session will start on February 18 at 10:20 am and post that, B2B meetings will take place. We already have more than 220 international buyers, around 150 domestic buyers, and over 570 visitors, both international and domestic.

Also, this is the first time that apart from the buyer-seller meets, we also have a knowledge conclave with various sessions, each of them to be chaired by the head of one of the 10 member associations of FAITH. There is a session on adventure tourism, which will see President of an international association of adventure tour operators. There is also a session on M!CE, which will have World MICE Congress Chairman. I will be chairing a session on medical tourism, where Dr. Naresh Trehan from Medanta will give a keynote address and it will also have Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, along with the chiefs of Max and Dr. Lal PathLabs. There will be other similar sessions on various topics, which will be open to everyone.”

Goyal shares that unlike the previous two ITMs, the matching of buyers and sellers will not be done by a computer software. “This year, information will be provided on the ITM website— — and exhibitors will select the buyers. Those who will not be selected will be matched with the help of computer software. We still have some buyers in the waiting list, but we are keeping it in proportion to the number of sellers. I am hopeful that it will be a successful event,” he says.

Claiming that this is the right time to do the event, he adds, “The world’s largest vaccination programme is going on in India, and this is the first international event which is jointly being organised by Ministry of Tourism (MOT)and FAITH. This event will be a curtain raiser to the whole world. We already have confirmation from more than 60 countries and it was an unexpected response within a short span of 1.5 months.” The inauguration of ITM may be a hybrid ceremony with a limited gathering of association heads and office bearers among others.


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