INDIA: Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH), the policy federation of all the national associations representing the complete tourism, travel, and hospitality industry of India (ADTOI, ATOAI, FHRAI, HAI, IATO, ICPB, IHHA, ITTA, TAAI, TAFI) & cause partner AIRDA in association with the Ministry of Tourism and KPMG as its Knowledge Partner, started its annual India Tourism Mart (ITM) with a physical inauguration.
India Tourism Mart (ITM), a buyer-seller meet is taking place in a virtual format from 18th to 20th Feb 2021. In the inaugural address, Subhash Goyal, Chairman–ITM 2021 and Hony. Secretary, FAITH emphasized how the year gone by was the darkest in the history of mankind and tourism was the worst hit where the travel fraternity was literally left hanging from a thread. He urged the industry to come together and consolidate their efforts for the revival of tourism in India.
“For us to revive the tourism industry and save millions of jobs, we look forward three key actions from our policymakers re-starting of e-tourist visas; reinstatement of scheduled international flights, at least to those countries with which India has air-bubble arrangements, with the precautions on safety to allow willing travelers the opportunity to travel again and modification of policies to help subsidize or reduce the financial burden on the sector.”
Reiterating Goyal’s viewpoint, Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Government of India said, “We have already started issuing medical visas and we are planning to soon restart E-Tourist Visas and schedule International flights in a timed manner. The Ministry of health is fully supporting the Ministry of Tourism’s efforts in reviving International tourism to India.”
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Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Ayog, said that the revival of tourism is integral for India to regain the GDP growth of 9 to 10 per cent sooner than later. He also reiterated that there remains no doubt regarding the recovery of the tourism sector and he is “confident” of its bouncing back. Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of Tourism, Government of India, who couldn’t be present physically, addressed the gathering and delegates virtually, assuring Government’s complete cooperation to the tourism sector and stating the numerous Government policies & initiatives and how they are providing relief and benefit to the tourism sector.
Nakul Anand, Chairman, FAITH in his address shared all that FAITH has successfully achieved in the past few years. “We have closely worked with Governments on tourism components and various strategic national and international policies, such as E-Visa, GST, Strategy on monuments, PPP policy, Tourism Vision Document, Foreign Trade, Udan policy, Union Budget discussion, economic surveys, cruise tourism policy, I Respect Women badges and more. We are excited to bring to you ITM 2021 – Virtual, which is a great marketplace for Indian tourism to showcase its products and services to the global audience. As an extra feature this year, domestic buyers too were invited,” he emphasized.
Amaresh Tiwari, Co-Chairman, applauded by all for not just burning the midnight oil in putting together a prominent event along with extremely insightful and knowledgeable panelists together for the Leadership Conclave. “During these 3 days, there will be 12 Knowledge Sessions with 73 Speakers. At ITM 2021 – Virtual, we have 73 countries taking part along with 316 International Buyers, 240 Domestic Buyer and over 1200 delegates joining in virtually,” he shared.
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Arvind Singh, Secretary Tourism, Government of India; Rakesh Verma, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and Meenakshi Sharma, DG Tourism, Government of India in their respective addresses applauded the efforts of FAITH in organizing the event virtually and assured complete cooperation of the government in strengthening the tourism sector in India. Rupinder Brar, ADG, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India concluded the event. Amidst the road ahead vision document prepared by FAITH & KPMG was also released on the occasion.