‘Tourism needs to give back’

Ajay Prakash, President, TAFI, recalls initiatives undertaken during the Sarawak convention, which focused not just on rebuilding businesses, but also on how the industry can give back to the environment.

Hazel Jain

Ajay Prakash, President, Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI), says, “We did achieve what we set out to do with the convention in Malaysia.” Analysing the convention, he adds, “We had also set ourselves a target of doing this convention a little differently – in terms of content, in terms of attitude, and in terms of approach. And we did manage to raise a few pertinent questions in our members’ minds to get them thinking about how all of us need to re-orient our thinking and approach to business.”

The idea, he adds, was to bring home the fact that we ought not to be looking at going back to business as usual having come out of the devastation of last two years. “It is important that the tourism industry realises how big an industry it is, with 10% of global GDP, and one in 10 people being employed in this industry. So an industry this size needs to be able to make its voice heard. We have the power to actually influence global events if we come together. This was one of the ideas we wanted to bring out – how resilient our industry is, and how it can be a force for positivity, for growth, for sustainability,” Prakash adds.

Talking the walk
The business sessions were very well-attended, which is always a challenge at conventions, Prakash jokes. The B2B show that Tourism Malaysia organised also went off very well. There were over 120 Malaysian sellers there and it gave TAFI members an opportunity to discover new products and return with a better understanding of Sarawak.

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