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APAC’s tourism recovery strong post pandemic: PATA

The recovery in tourism in the Asia-Pacific region after the COVID-19 pandemic has been “strong and robust” and the numbers have reached about 80 per cent of 2019’s figures, the chief of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) said on Thursday.

Peter Semone was interacting with reporters during the second day of the 46th edition of the PATA Travel Mart, being hosted here from October 4-6.

Rakesh Kumar Verma, additional secretary in the Union Ministry of Tourism, in response to a query on India’s tourism recovery after the pandemic, said, “The performance this year is around 80 per cent of our pre-pandemic level”.

During the press conference, he also reiterated India’s target on the tourism sector in the long run.
“By 2047, we are looking at 100 million international tourist arrivals and 20 billion domestic visits. And, USD 1 trillion tourism economy. But that is a conservative figure, our industry is striving for USD 3 trillion,” Verma said.
The physical version of the PATA Travel Mart is being held after a gap of three years due to the pandemic.

“Recovery from 2019 numbers … in the Asia-Pacific region, we are running at about 80 per cent. So there is a recovery and I have to say it’s a strong and robust recovery,” Semone said when asked about the recovery made in tourism sector in the Asia-Pacific region.

“The quality of tourism, in terms of lengths of stays, is better. It seems, when people are travelling, they are travelling a little bit more seriously and in a bit more committed way,” he added.

Later, on the sidelines, he also shared some of the factors that have led to this “good recovery”.

“Pent-up demand for travel is one of the main factors, I think, as people have been wanting to travel since the pandemic, when restrictions were imposed,” he told PTI.

Exhibitors from South Korea, Nepal, Malaysia, Taiwan and some of the states from India are also participating in the event.

A lot of travel incentive deals were offered by agencies once borders began to be opened again and people were also yearning to travel to meet their family members in other countries, so these factors also contributed to the recovery in tourism in the region, another senior official of PATA told PTI.

Union Tourism Secretary V Vidyavathi and other senior officials of the Ministry also were present on the occasion.

Vidyavathi said besides promoting the ‘Travel for LiFE’ initiative, the ministry is also focusing on shining light on lesser-known tourism sites, the “hidden gems” of India, to urge tourists to try out new destinations while the lessening burden on existing ones.

The PATA Travel Mart – 2023 is being held at the International Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre at Pragati Maidan. The complex was also the venue for the G20 Summit held from September 9-10.

The G20 theme under India’s presidency has been ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam — One Earth. One Family. One Future’.

Verma, when asked about India’s plan to reach its 2047 target, told reporters, “We have the variety and diversity of Indian (tourism) products … and, I think, we will be able to make inroads in all important markets”.

He said the kind of “transformation in supply side” that is there, it will help in attracting tourists.

Bangkok-based PATA, founded in 1951, is a renowned not-for-profit association recognised internationally for its role as a catalyst in the responsible development of travel and tourism in the Asia-Pacific region.

The event in Delhi brings together tourism professionals and business stakeholders from across the world, offering a unique platform for networking, learning and collaboration, officials said.

Supported and sponsored by the Macao Government Tourism Office since 1995, this year’s awards recognise the achievements of 23 separate organisations and individuals in various categories, including Kerala Tourism, Korea Tourism Organisation, MGM China, Tourism Fiji and SriLankan Airlines, according to the official website of PATA. (Source: PTI)

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