A view from the location of the SATTE Expo in January 2020 (File Image)

SATTE 2021 – South Asia’s leading travel trade show will be held for the 28th time from March 24-26, 2021 at the India Expo Center in Greater Noida, Delhi, NCR. The physical event is a trust-building initiative. The tourism and hospitality industry, which had stalled for a year, is given the opportunity to network and interact. This will fuel the long awaited revival in the industry. Here is an excerpt from an interview with Yogesh Mudras, General Manager of Informa Markets in India, official organizer of SATTE 2021 with Financial Express Online at this year’s fair and what it takes to revive the tourism industry from Covid shock.

How was the experience of organizing a show like SATTE? What can T&T professionals expect from a visit to this coveted industry exhibition?

SATTE, South Asia’s premier travel trade show, is an important milestone in bringing the industry back together and revitalizing business. As the government also recognizes B2B marketplaces as key to stimulating industrial and commercial development, it is encouraging to see widespread interest and support in hosting this event. In the face of constant adversity and fluctuating circumstances, I want to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of everyone involved in making this event a reality and the opportunity to serve the industry in the most memorable ways.

Professionals attending this coveted industry exhibit can look forward to an enriching experience and a great mix of digital and physical solutions, including branding, networking and connection building, business connection generation, marketing intelligence and industry insights, etc. Doubts help drive the impetus that the sector urgently needs.

What are SATTE’s main features this year?

At Informa Markets in India we start our calendar of physical shows with SATTE every year and we are excited to return to the world of physical exhibitions with this popular travel and tourism exhibition. Scheduled for March 24-26, 2021 at India Expo Center in Greater Noida, Delhi (NCR), SATTE will participate in government from industry circles and has received great support from the government’s Ministry of Tourism. of India, Service Export Promotion Council (SEPC) of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Ayush and government tourism associations such as Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir, to name a few few. As Nepal, Maldives, Malaysia and Utah join SATTE in 2021, they are sharing their product profile and strategy to attract international travelers. Private players like TravelBoutiqueOnline, ITC WelcomHeritage, My Value Travel, Destination India, Nix Tours, Hora Tourism and Rayna Tours are also participating in SATTE this year. We continue to receive support from international organizations / associations and Indian travel trade associations.

The SATTE 2021 conference will feature a variety of thought-provoking knowledge sessions and topics such as Domestic Tourism: Exploring the Unexplored; Technology: introduction of SMART tourism; Luxury Tourism: Outbound Alternative ?; International Tourism: Combating the Effects of Pandemics; Religious tourism: untapped potential; Wellness tourism: the great opportunity and women traveling, to name a few.

SATTE is organized with due care, which is further limited by Informa’s AllSecure health and safety standards. As the world’s leading event organizer, Informa has developed a number of detailed measures to ensure the highest levels of hygiene and safety at its events and to give everyone the certainty and confidence to participate in a safe and controlled environment

As a leader in organizing exhibitions, how do you see the recovery in this industry? How much time do you think the industry will take to resume operations before 2020?

While the pandemic dealt a tremendous blow that we were able to handle and adapt well to, we need to think ahead and forecast a recovery, with a double-digit recovery forecast for the next fiscal year. The efficient vaccination campaign will continue to instill confidence and increase the pent-up demand for physical meetings. Throughout the lockdown, we’ve worked tirelessly hard to sail on with over 125 valued digital events that have drawn the industry. In the future we will have a number of hybrid events that combine the best of physical and virtual platforms. I am optimistic about a major recovery in the industry and growth should be more robust in the third and fourth quarters of the year. More importantly, we make sure that growth doesn’t come at the expense of safety and sustainability.

According to WTTC, the contribution of travel and tourism to India’s GDP in 2019 was 6.8% of the economy as a whole, or 194.30 billion, with COVID distorting businesses. What feedback have you received from stakeholders for SATTE 2021 for the further path?

All of the stakeholders we have worked with in the run-up to SATTE 2021 are optimistic about the future and the efforts we will all need to make to revive it. Two common themes are ensuring safe and sustainable growth and making greater use of the latest technology solutions. These can be used to create further niches in demand segments such as the domestic leisure business as well as wellness and health tourism, which will improve Atmanirbharta as envisaged by the government.

We need to make sure the industry is sustainable in order to capitalize on all potential growth opportunities and protect it from all types of crisis situations, including natural disasters and pandemics. The growth prospects of the travel and tourism industries are undisputed and their contribution to total GDP can only increase. Everyone involved also agrees that costs need to be kept under control, especially after experiencing such a body blow during the pandemic. In addition, the industry is very enthusiastic about a hybrid event model in which the best of the physical and digital world can be used for the benefit of everyone involved. There was also a tremendous response to all future events while the government also gave the industry great encouragement.

Do you see the hybrid model of virtual and physical trade fairs side by side in the coming years? How will the hybrid format change trade shows?

Hybrid is certainly the keyword for future trade fairs and to make the future of the exhibition industry fit. The hybrid model will also help the industry attract greater participation from around the world at a lower cost and in an efficient manner. While maintaining the charm of physical events with personal interactions and the beauty of the touch & feel of various products, the increased use of digital solutions ensures that travel or other restrictions do not become obstacles to hosting or participating in exhibitions. The digital solutions will also help provide customers and guests with a much better experience, be it through event-based apps that provide all the information from pre-registration requirements to barcodes for entry and exit to reference material on information about hotels, airlines and rental cars for details about safety and disinfection protocols. The perspectives and elements of experience are endless. New digital tools also offer a tremendous opportunity in planning and organizing events, including visualizing and tracking resources. The pandemic has also taught us to approach any situation with more solidarity, resilience, efficiency and compassion and to work for the good of the community.

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