AITTC Chairman’s note

IMG_8631To inspire further growth of bilateral travel, almost all attendees at the Round Table Conference on Opportunities & Challenges for Bilateral Travel held in August, recommended initiatives to increase destination knowledge and make the market aware of products beyond the traditional offerings.

Responding to this, we in partnership with India Tourism and Taj Hotels re- launched our highly successful “Know India Better” program on 25 September introducing River Cruising in India. The keynote speaker was AITTC member, Sanjay Basu, Chairman of Far Horizons Group of companies in India who operates MV Mahabaahu, India’s first luxury river boat cruising the mighty Brahmaputra since 2012.

As river cruising is becoming increasingly popular among discerned travelers, this event was significant to advise the market where India currently stand with river voyages. Cruising the backwater of Kerala has been successfully going for quite some time, but what’s drawing global attention is sailing along the mighty Ganges and Brahmaputra, two of the nation’s most idyllic and holy waterways.

As cruising options are available both in India and Australia, need for a suitable strategy for updating the bilateral market on cruising opportunities in both destinations triggers my mind. So I am open for suggestions and advice on way forward for this.

It makes me feel proud, when an AITTC member, corporate or individual, receives an award. Recently our Board Member Thushara Liyanarachchi, Director Global Sales – Australia & New Zealand, Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris received at the recently concluded Taj Global Sales Conference in India the honour of  “Outstanding Contribution International GSO” , while

Far Horizon Tours receiving the ‘Best Adventure Tour Operator- Inbound’ award at the National Tourism Awards. My heartiest congratulations to both of them.

Great news with increase in our membership numbers. This period we have one new member and I take this opportunity to welcome Katrina Hall Public Relations & Social Media Manager at Multi Connections, to our organization. Katrina is passionate about experiencing the world, she has traveled to more than 50 countries.

Finally its Diwali time now. This festival of lights is celebrated widely in India with extraordinary pomp and grandeur, drawing large number of visitors from round the world. It has now a

great fanfare in other countries as well, including Australia where the Indian diaspora has introduced this fiesta to the locals. While it’s worth visiting India around Diwali to experience its famous festival hospitality, it’s perhaps equally worth touching down under to get a taste of its well-known multiculturalism when Diwali is celebrated at various cities through community carnivals and fairs

Sandip Hor


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