Year 2022 can be life-changing

After a gap of 20 months, Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) hosted a physical Members Meet. Everyone appeared positive and expecting increase in international travel and improvement in business in the coming months after the news of borders reopening.

Riaz Munshi, President, OTOAI

Indian market is one of the leading outbound markets of the world. I am confident that it will soon touch 100 million travellers and the main reason for that is the huge underlying demand for travel as people of all age groups, from seven to seventy five are waiting to undertake a holiday soon. Hence, the game is about to begin and we must all prepare ourselves to put our best foot forward. Let’s be innovative and step ahead of our clients to tap this surge that’s going to happen soon.

Himanshu Kesari Patil, Vice President, OTOAI

Travel industry is going through a bad patch. Domestic tourism has already started and we’re hoping that soon international tourism will also start. We are in conversation with the governmentto start scheduled flights, so that at least outbound will start. Some of the European destinations are already open, and with less hassle we’re expecting UK and US to start soon. We are also trying to promote outbound from India because inbound and outbound go hand-in-hand and our aim is to strengthen the association

Shravan Bhalla, General Secretary, OTOAI

We are meeting various airlines, hoteliers, embassies and association members and we are asking the members of OTOAI about the issues they are facing. Today, every country has a different procedure and rules to enter and we are on a continuous chase with the VFS team as well as with embassies to do webinars or physical meetings, so that all the agents should know what exactly they need to prepare before they send the customer to a specific country.

Samina Munshi, Director, N. Chirag

The aviation and hotel industry have gone through a very difficult time, it is the worst affected industry due to the pandemic, but things are changing now as countries are opening up for travel and flights are resuming. People are getting vaccinated, countries are opening, domestically also people have started travelling. We see increase in the frequency of travel from two trips in a year to quarterly trips now.So, we are very positive about the industry and in a span of two months, we will see increase in international travel.

Ashwani Sharma, CEO, Sheraton Travels

COVID has impacted the industry adversely. OTAs have still managed to retain their business and have in fact gained business. However, for offline travel agents, it is a problem. All the associations should focus on creating bigger platforms and getting new members. Though the borders are opening but still there are a lot of restrictions and this holds back a lot of travellers. Hopefully, by next year this will change with vaccinated drive.

Inputs by Janice Alyosius



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