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Saturday, 25 August, 2018, 12 : 09 PM [IST]

India Tourism Mart will be true test of Public-Private Partnership: Suman Billa

Nearly 300 International Buyers to participate in the maiden Travel Mart
Briefing the preparations for the maiden travel mart – India Tourism Mart (ITM) – which is scheduled in Delhi between September 16 to 18, 2018, Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India said that ITM will be true test of Private-Public Partnership in the tourism sector in the country. Organised by Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH) with the active support and guidance of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, ITM is the culmination of years of back and forth consultations between the Indian tourism industry and Ministry of Tourism. 

Speaking at the media briefing, Billa said that while the Indian travel trade has been going overseas to attend various travel shows like WTM, ITB, etc. and meet the buyers, the need was felt for a B2B show for India to ensure the “principle of equity.” He said that it is important that the platform proved successful to showcase a true model of public-private partnership. The government wants the travel and tourism industry to own it up and run it on their own in the lines of Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) in the years to come. 

For the maiden Mart, Billa said that the focus is more on quality of buyers rather than the quantity. 

Around 280 international buyers have confirmed their participation as hosted buyers for the maiden travel show, said Subhash Goyal, General Secretary of FAITH. He said that buyers from countries like Iran, Iceland and South American countries will be participating in Mart for the first time in a travel event in India at ITM. The process of the travel mart was started five months ago and all the industry associations which are part of FAITH have been working overtime to make the event a success.  

Goyal said that it took 16 years after the launch of Incredible India marketing campaign for India tourism to touch the 10 million inbound mark. The target is to double it in the next two years’ time and ITM will pave the path towards that goal.

Nakul Anand, President of FAITH, while briefing the achievements of the umbrella body representing the industry associations in the travel, tourism and hospitality verticals in India, said that the Federation has been able to “raise the voice” of the industry unitedly and make it heard ever since it was came into being five years ago. He said that the Federation played a key role in getting the e-visa regime implemented, creating policies for Mega Tourism Zones, recommending PPP model for Monuments, reducing and rationalising the GST burden, formulating PR & Marketing Strategies for Indiatourism, framing Tourism Policies at State level, etc. He said that the FAITH has been able to change the notion that tourism is an elitist activity and make the policy makers at different levels understand that tourism is an economic activity. 

Punjab and Gujarat are Partner states at the ITM, where 17 states will have active participation. There will be around 200 booths of exhibitors and sellers which will include State tourism boards, tour companies, hotels, resorts, etc.
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