It is getting bigger and better. The enlarged edition of Great Indian Travel Bazaar (GITB) was kicked off here on 14th of April by Ms. Bina Kak, Tourism Minister of Rajasthan.
“GITB 2013 has emerged as a very productive forum for the travel and trade industry bringing a wide diversity of stakeholders from all over the world on a single platform,” Ms. Kak said.
This is evident from the overwhelming response of foreign tour operators (FTOs) to this year’s GITB. The member of FTOs wishing to do serious business with sellers of Indian tourism products has grown from 265 in 2012 to 273 in 2013. These buyers represent 56 countries, evincing interest in the diversity of tourism products offered by India.
In view of the growing interest amongst foreign tourists to visit India, the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, proposes to expand the scope of Visa-on-Arrival scheme to more airports in India bringing more countries under its ambit. At present the scheme of Visa-on-Arrival is at only four international airports in India for 11 countries.
GITB is an initiative of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan and FICCI, which has been successfully organized in Jaipur since 2008. It is a pan-India international platform for Inbound Tourism. YOY increase in B2B meetings, exhibitors and foreign tour operators from across 56 countries have translated into negotiations and business arrangements between foreign buyers and Indian sellers of tourism products covering diverse segments. Indian Heritage Hotel Association (IHHA), Hotel and Restaurant Association of Rajasthan (HRAR) and Rajasthan Association of Tour Operators have offered the major support to GITB.
Rajasthan is now changing its positioning fro being just a heritage and cultural tourists destination. It has encouraged innovation in product creation like resort tourism, archaeological tours, tribal cultural tours, sports tourism, rural tourism, eco-tourism, adventure tourism to attract more tourists. The government is also acutely conscious of the environmental degradation that tourism can cause and is therefore at the same time taking a number of steps to minimize the threat, says- Bina Kak
Ms. Kak, however, cautioned against any kind of complacency. “ Let us not forget what tourists expect from us. Addressing their requirements of getting efficient and courteous services at a reasonable price should be our concern, first and foremost. The benchmark of success in thisregard is that the guest who has been to the country once should want to repeat the experience soon.”
Earlier, the Minister released a FICCI study on ‘India as a hotspot for inbound tourism’.
Mr. A.K. Gupta, Additional Director General (MR), Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, said, “Under the scheme of ‘Hunar se rozgar tak’, we are enhancing the skills of the youth and imparting training, which enables them to acquire employment. In 2012-13, we trained 60,000 youth and most of them have been able to secure jobs.”
Mr. Rakesh Srivastava, Principal Secretary Tourism, Government of Rajasthan, said, “The share of tourism in global GDP is 11.10%. In India, it is 5.72% of the Indian GDP and internally Rajasthan tourism has made a significant contribution of 13.68% to the state’s GDP, which is higher than any other industrial sector.”
Dr. Jyotsna Suri, Vice President – FICCI, Chairperson – FICCI Tourism Committee and
C&MD, The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, pointed out “In the recent FICCI survey it was remarkable and extremely encouraging to note that over 83% of the respondent viewed that the currentenvironment is safe and secure for the foreign travellers in India and I can assure them of a memorable experience in this vast tourism rich country.”
She also announced the 3rd edition of the Great Indian Domestic Tourism Bazaar, which will be held at The Lalit New Delhi and FICCI from September 27 to 29, 2013.
The other dignitaries who shared their perspectives at the inaugural session were Maharaj Jai Singh, Chairman, FICCI, Rajasthan State Council and Director Rambagh Palace Hotel and Mr. Dipak Deva, Co Chairman, FICCI Tourism Committee and CEO – Destination Management India and South Asia, Kuoni Travel Group, India.