Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality or FAITH, the policy federation of all the national associations representing the complete tourism, travel and hospitality industry of India is holding its India Tourism Mart – ITM a buyer-seller meet in a virtual format from February 18 to 20, 2021.
Tourism Mart Goes Virtual
FAITH which is an umbrella body of ADTOI, ATOAI, FHRAI, HAI, IATO, ICPB, IHHA, ITTA, TAAI, TAFI and cause partner AIRDA is being actively supported by Ministry of Tourism.
The buyer seller meet undertaken by FAITH in 2015 was inaugurated by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. The one in 2018 was inaugurated by Union Minister Piyush Goel and the one in 2019 was inaugurated by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari along with Union Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel.
The India Tourism Mart hopes to be a highly vibrant marketplace. It has seen active attendance from over 250 buyers from over 65 countries having Business2Business interactions from hundreds of tourism exhibitors from India including most of the state governments, hotel companies, tour operators and travel agents and tourist transporters.
India Tourism: Reflecting a Mix
The elite international buyers reflect a strategic mix of target countries which are critical, developed and under developing markets for India. The tourism verticals in which B2B interactions take place reflect a mix between leisure, adventure, mice, heritage and niche tourism sectors.
Due to the pandemic, the format this year has gone virtual and online B2B interactions will be held between Indian tourism exhibitors and an elite group of global buyers who will be carefully selected from over 90 countries.
FAITH on Domestic Focus
Additionally, the domestic focus will figure too prominently in the virtual format this year with domestic tourism buyers who too will be invited reflecting a mix of tourism trade, corporate and institutional tourism buyers. This will be in robust alignment to being more vocal for local and a stronger ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ from tourism.
Another landmark showcase this year will be a very engaging virtual knowledge tourism conclave which will look to bringing the best in tourism and policy makers to discuss how Indian tourism is strategic to India’s socio- economic goals and critical as the country targets post pandemic revival. This will attempt to create strong linkages between India’s $ 5 trillion economy and the goals for India @75.
The India Tourism Mart or the ITM 2021 virtual will also hope to showcase and be a curtain raiser for the actual physical ITM to be held in September 2021 highlighting a tourism ready India once the vaccine is successfully deployed.
The FAITH associations are eagerly anticipating ITM 2021 virtual to be inaugurated by the PM Narendra Modi. This will position Tourism @ Made in India in services in line with the highly successful Make in India in manufacturing.
FAITH has in the past worked with the governments on tourism components of various national strategic policies. These include e-visa, GST strategy , Monuments PPP policy, NITI Aayog vision document, Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20 ( SEIS), of economic surveys, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017& 2018, Udaan policy, Union Budget discussions with Finance Minister for budgets for 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, cruise tourism policy, I respect women badges, tourism negotiations for trade blocs among other national initiatives.
In January 2020, the central government launched the ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ initiative with the objective of creating awareness among the citizens about the rich heritage and culture of the country and encourage citizens to travel within the country.
To create mass awareness, the Ministry has also launched an online Dekho Apna Desh pledge and Quiz on the MyGov.in platform, the Ministry of Tourism said in the statement.
As COVID-19 hit India forcing the suspension of international flights, the Ministry of Tourism set up a portal ‘Stranded in India’ in order to facilitate and extend support to foreign tourists who were stranded in the country on account of cancellation of flights and during the lockdown. The portal helped tourists get information and details of State and UT Tourism Departments and Regional Offices of the Ministry of Tourism.
In order to ensure adherence with the COVID-19 safety and hygiene protocol, the Central government has also undertaken an initiative called System for Assessment, Awareness and Training for Hospitality Industry (SAATHI) in association with the Quality Council of India (QCI) for effective implementation of Guidelines or SOPs issued with reference to COVID-19 and beyond for safe operations of Hotels, Restaurants. As on date, over 6,810 accommodation units have been self-certified on the SAATHI portal, as per the Ministry of Tourism.