Suggest measures such as developing tourism data on visitors, service providers, destination carrying capacity, State Specialist and skilling programme, among others.
Not that Domestic Tourism played any lesser role earlier, but the pandemic brought the industry to look at domestic tourism in a completely different avatar. The domestic market not only sustained the travel, tourism and hospitality industry in the last two and half years but has also helped it grow. There are hotels and hotel companies who have hailed 2021 their best year in revenue and profits. Leisure destinations were sold out. The ARR of hotels and resorts in those destinations were record high. ADTOI has been at the forefront in pushing country’s domestic tourism agenda and playing the role of the catalyst during the pandemic.
Taking travel and tourism and even the events sector, within the overall tourism economy, by storm with the announcement of its annual convention in Kevadiya last February (2021) while the others across the industry sectors were either cancelling their events or indefinitely postponing it, Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI) emerged the first among the industry (Travel & Tourism) bodies to take its annual convention to in-person physical format. The event gave new found confidence to many others and helped put domestic tourism at the forefront of tourism revival in the country.
Speaking at the recently concluded National Conference of State Tourism Ministers at Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh, ADTOI President PP Khanna drew attention to the stellar role that domestic tourism market played in sustaining the industry throughout the last two and half years and exhorted the Governments, Central and State, and industry to provide it with due attention, resources and support that the domestic market segment deserves.
Khanna drew attention to the need of instituting a comprehensive study and data sharing mechanism by all the states about their tourism infrastructure, hotels/resorts/homestays/transport system/attractions etc. as well as its destination carrying-capacity. He also said that the State should consider launching State Specialist Programme for Tour Operators, which shall facilitate the T/O to sell the destination professionally and share the right information to tourists. “It shall help not only the tourists but even stakeholders to promote that destination hassle-free,” he said.
The ADTOI President further stressed the need for skill management programme that should be conducted for locals without charges or at subsidised rate which, apart from training and skilling people, will also help generate employment and livelihood for the locals and the State.
He particularly emphasized the need to showcase heritage, wellness and yoga, spirituality, as India’s top attractions and showcase products along with other attractions of the country to both, Indians as well as the international market, to make India number one tourism destination globally.
Furthermore, Khanna also spoke about the changing trends in travel and stressed the need to be responsible travellers. “Pandemic created a huge change in human activities, which is more on nature based activities. Now the new trend is that travellers are now more responsible towards tourism. The world is literally on fire for sustainability. It is time for ‘responsibility’ to be adopted by all concerned within tourism.”
“As one Nation, ‘Ek Bharat Shresta Bharat’, each State and UT should embark to educate parents and children from grass root level on what lay ahead for the future generations. If timely steps are not taken to be more responsible, life will be nothing but nightmare in a few decades,” he further stressed.