World Travel India (WTI) 2004, India’s largest international travel event, organised by uk-based Kinex Log International in association with Express Travel & Tourism- an Indian Express publication, has been launched…
World Travel India (WTI) 2004, India’s largest international travel event, organised by uk-based Kinex Log International in association with Express Travel & Tourism– an Indian Express publication, has been launched.
The launch events took place on two consecutive days, July 31 and August 1, in New Delhi and Mumbai respectively, to showcase WTI 2004 to industry. The first edition, WTI 2004 will be held from February 5-8, 2004 at the Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai.
Both events were well attended by decision makers from the hospitatlity and tourism industries. In New Delhi, the guest of honour was Amitabh Kant, Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, while in Mumbai, it was Gour Kanjilal, Regional Director, West, Indiatourism
Speaking at the New Delhi launch, Dina MacDonald, Managing Director, Kinex Log International, said, “The WTI platform targets exhibitors interested in the fast growing Indian travel market, both inbound and outbound. It is a major international travel and tourism event which will respond to the needs of the industry and engage all aspects of travel, tourism and hospitality – inbound, outbound and domestic”. MacDonald continued “WTI will present major new business opportunities through a host of activities including a hosted buyer programme, which will bring to India leading buyers from around the globe to meet with the sellers in the Indian marketplace and will include the traditional markets of Europe, including Eastern Europe, Africa, the Americas and of course Asia”.
Pledging the Indian Government’s support to WTI 2004, Kant said, “The organisers had one a commendable job in conceiving such an event. It needs a great amount of vision to create an international show. The Union Government will act as facilitator, a catalyst, in making WTI 2004 a success. And once you succeed, the whole industry will rally behind you.”
An important aspect to the WTI platform is the industry support it has received. All major hospitality and travel-related associations, such as the FHRAI, HAI, TAAI, TAFI, IATO and ADTOI have offered their support for the event. Expressing his view at the Mumbai launch event, Jenhangir Katgara, President, TAAI and Director, TCI said, “India has several travel marts, but what it requires is an international travel event. Besides, the concerned event should be able to attract the right audience. There should be new buyers, as there is no point in getting the same old people. This would also help new destinations to explore India.”
Kanjilal in his speech at the Mumbai launch said, “I am glad to be associated with an event of such magnitude. Gaining support from a leading media house would definitely give strength to the event. WTI 2004 will prove to be a positive platform to showcase the tourism wealth India has to offer. Most of the travel events and exhibitions to date have been focused and held in New Delhi. Hosting such a mega travel event in Mumbai is a good idea. We, as members of the trade need to work as a team to promote the country with vigour at the international level.”
While speaking at the Delhi event, Shyam Suri, Secretary General, FHRAI, said he is of the opinion that there is need for an event focused solely on inbound as it offers the opportunity to address India’s poor performance in the inbound segment. However, acknowledging the initiative, he said, “I do hope this show has a major focus on the inbound sector. India has some very good hotels with world-class facilities, but the average occupancy is around 55 per cent. Hence, we need more inbound to improve the occupancy rate. We must take this opportunity to showcase our country to the international hosted buyers. “India’s tourism will only benefit if more and more international buyers are brought to the country. And if such events are organised in different metros then we can hope to attract more such buyers. We will support WTI as it will showcase India to the world and promote inbound tourism”.
In reply to Sita Inbound COO, Himmant Anad’s question on whether WTI will focus on short haul since it is the growing trend, MacDonald said, ”Short haul and long haul, our reach will go globally. The event will bring buyers to sellers and sellers to buyers.”
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.