‘Stakeholders need to work in unison for building the tourism industry’

“The pandemic has taught us to work in cohesion. And the moment for our industry is now,” said Ragini Chopra, Executive Vice-President-Corporate Affairs, Interglobe Enterprises, while speaking at a HICSA session Trial By Fire: Travel & Tourism in Mumbai recently. Talking about the importance of the travel & tourism industry, Chopra asked where would be the hospitality industry if travel & tourism doesn’t happen? She also said the aviation sector also plays an important role for the hospitality industry. She strongly believes that such conferences should be more cross representational. “We should not work in isolation and it is high time to bring tourism on national focus to ensure its full potential,” she exhorted.

Jyoti Mayal, President, TAAI, described the last two years as a struggle and added that the government needs to wake up now if they really want tourism to progress. “During the pandemic we all worked hard. We heard the government and also made them listen to us. Yes, we couldn’t achieve much, but made the government understand that tourism is a very important sector.” Mayal also said that since players in the tourism industry belong to the private sector, therefore the onus is on us to build the industry. “What we want from the government is clarity on policy and industry, and infrastructure status,” she said.

Talking on technology, Mayal said that technology has played an important role during Covid time. She urged people to adopt technology who still are sitting on the fence. “Technology is here to stay,” she said.

Madhavan Menon, MD, Thomas Cook India, said that they looked at the pandemic as an opportunity. “When pandemic started, our immediate focus was to achieve a 50% cut of cost. Once achieved, we concentrated on restructuring the company. The outcome of the entire exercise resulted in excellent team work. In a team work environment we achieved 70 per cent of our goal in difficult times,” pointed out Menon. He also said that the disruption that came with the pandemic must be seen as an opportunity and that will change the tourism industry forever. “There is no going back,” he said.

Vikas Sharma, CEO, Encalm Hospitality, spoke about new initiatives they had undertaken during the pandemic.

The session was moderated by Rattan Keswani, Industry Expert.

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