From the desk of Phillip Boniface – Co-Chairman & Treasurer AITTC

Another year comes to end with travel slowly and steadily emerging from the post Covid period that brought travelling to a literal standstill. The downtime has given thought to food to realize the shortfalls and to put in new plans for the future. It is good to once again see the planes, ships in the oceans and rivers, hotels and motels opening up, and trains and automobiles moving at the same time.

Domestic tourism in each country has made people realize there is so much to see, do and enjoy in their own backyards and make the most of it.

The gurus predict that 2023 will take travel and tourism from boom to gloom to resurrection. Steady growth in forward bookings is looking positive, with anticipation that prices will make it affordable to get back to normal standards, without compromising on quality and service. There will be new innovative trends, and new initiatives with a wide range of products in the market, so travel will see a big change. Travelers will need to research, adapt, experience, be open-minded and tread with cautious footsteps. Suppliers and principals will once again and even more need to provide security and create a guarantee of service, resulting in consumer confidence moving forward. Promotional awareness and exposure with respect to opening boundaries of all forms of travel. Tourism bodies will need to treat and give this sector priority and recognise that tourism is a major financial contributor and offer incentives for success.

At AITTC we have continued to work behind the scenes – researching. having dialogues, holding webinars, publishing our newsletter and informing our readers on updates of the industry, interacting with government and tourism bodies, getting new members, and maintaining awareness that we have always been there.

Our recent participation in the Australia India Business Summit, holding a travel and tourism session was highly attended. It was good to once interact with industry colleagues and others. The podium had top tour operators from Wildlife Safaris, Adventure World, Tikka Tours and Taj Hotels giving their views on the status of their products and the way to the future.

AITTC appreciated the continued support of our industry partners for participating in our various events. AITTC looks forward to hosting more events with our partners in the coming year, so watch this space.

A word of thanks to the AITTC Executive Committee for their input.

NEW MEMBER – VINOD GAJJAR

Vinod Gajjar is the head of  Popcorn Tours Pty Ltd connected to Faro Duniya (A Unit of V World)” based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat – India. The Group V WORLD was established by well-travelled, vast experienced and knowledgeable promoter Vinod Gajjar who has 15 years experience in the trade with a professional team headed by Pinky Kishanchandani on the International side and Ms Sharmin Mirza on Domestic, besides other well-appointed professional staff to handle the other departments.

Vinod Gajjar is also conferred with certificates of Aussie Specialist Agent, South Africa Specialist and Canada Specialist Accreditation.

NEW MEMBER: ANIL RODRICKS

Anil Rodricks is Director Strategy at The Walshe Group which represents India’s Premium airline, Vistara in Australia & New Zealand. He also leads Lufthansa Group Airlines which includes Lufthansa, Swiss International Airlines, Austrians and others in the Lufthansa Group portfolio. He has over 25 years’ experience in senior roles in the Aviation industry. Vistara currently is jointly owned by Tata and Singapore Airlines and is ramping up its presence now that travel demand has increased substantially since travel restrictions due to Covid were lifted. The Australia-India air traffic is growing steadily and we want to participate in that growth.

Vistara spread its wings for the first time on January 9, 2015. The airline has 52 Aircrafts , 32 Domestic & 10 International destinations , Indian market share of 8.1% in May’22 ,over 30M pax carried, lowest customer complaints, cancellations, and denied boarding rates in India, • 230+ departures and 35,000 passengers a day , best on-time rate amongst full-service airlines and in Top 2 or 3, despite high DEL presence, won all major, recognized Best Airlines awards in India for the last 5 years. More info at www.airvistara.com

India G20 President for 2023

India assumed the G20 Presidency on the 1st of December 2022 from Indonesia and will convene the G20 Leaders’ Summit for the first time in the country in 2023.The G20 summit offers the best opportunity for India to showcase its culture, history and tourism potential and to position itself as a major tourist destination in the world. Between now and November 2023, India will host over 200 meetings across 55 cities and it’s hoped tourism into India from the member countries, which includes Australia will expand.

Some of the G20 meetings proposed to be held in several states of north east India which will act as a catalyst to promote the tourism gems from that region.

Ministry of Tourism, Government of India proposes National Tourism Board

Recently Arvind Singh, secretary Ministry of Tourism, India has announced that a National Tourism Board will be established soon to manage all overseas marketing and promotions while the National Tourism Policy currently going through the phase of consultation with key stakeholders.

 

The new Board, to be chaired by the union Minister of Tourism will review the implementation of the tourism related policies. To be managed by a CEO, the Board with coordinate promotional activities with overseas missions.

Top travel trends and curiosities of the Indian traveler for 2023

The KAYAK research recently conducted by YouGov, surveyed over 1,900 Indian travelers, and found that travel restrictions resulting from the pandemic have contributed to the current surge in travel appetite, with three-quarters (78%) of respondents being excited to go back travelling in 2023. Exploring the world (62%) was mentioned as the main reason for the regained Indian travel desire, followed by living their dreams (61%), seeking thrills (55%), finding themselves (48%) and escaping their worries (43%).

60% of those surveyed consider themselves curious travelers. Curiosity also makes for more enriching experiences, as 75% of respondents also quenched their curiosity by usually exploring new and offbeat destinations.  73% mentioned that they discovered new food experiences when travelling, and 70% met new people and made friends from different cultures during previous trips.

With travel topping the 2023 to-do lists for a majority of Indian travelers surveyed, 77% have noticed more people posting their holiday pictures on social media in the past 12 months. Interestingly, ‘me time’ is becoming a consideration for Indian travelers, with 38% saying they prefer to travel alone rather than in a group in 2023. Greater control, freedom, and flexibility in planning holiday itineraries could be major factors that drive solo trips.

The survey reports that costs and sustainability are a key consideration for Indian travelers

A step closer to digital India: IndiGo pioneers the launch ‘Digital e-logbook’ for pilots

IndiGo is amongst the fastest growing low-cost carriers in the world. In its effort to contribute to Digital India, India’s leading carrier, has become the first Indian airline to launch ‘Digital e-logbook’ for the pilots. In collaboration with DGCA, the e-logbook will provide direct flight data transfer service to pilots from IndiGo systems to eGCA logbooks, effective December 01, 2022.

Owing to this automated process, the flying hours entered in eGCA e-logbook will have consistency of data and format for all the stakeholders, which will increase more safety and efficiency in operations. This will also offer real time availability of flying hours data for pilots in compliance with rule 67A of Aircraft rules, and enable data accuracy and timely submission of issuance, renewals, and endorsement of licenses by removal of multilayer data validation.

This process will allow pilots to devote more time towards their skill enhancement and improve quality of life by freeing up time required for work manual log filling.

SYDNEY EVENTS TO TURN UP THE HEAT THIS SUMMER

Sydney is calling locals and visitors to feel the Sydney Side of Summer as the city gears up to host its hottest summer ever with a jam-packed schedule of major music, art, culture, and sporting events.

The city will come alive with concerts, sporting matches, blockbuster musicals and museum openings, all set against the backdrop of Sydney’s golden beaches, glittering harbor, thriving dining scene and abundant national parks.

Minister for Tourism and the Arts Ben Franklin said this summer season is set to be Sydney’s biggest and best yet.

“The program of major events coming to Sydney this summer is unrivalled, from opera performances on the harbor and major international sporting events such as Aus Sail GP, to the Art Gallery of NSW Opening Festival, New Year’s Eve and Sydney World Pride, Sydney is the ultimate summer playground,” Mr Franklin said.

“We are committed to delivering fantastic events that not only provide fun and entertainment for Sydneysiders but also attract visitors from all over the world to experience the Sydney side of summer and position NSW as the major events capital of the Asia Pacific.”

Major events taking place in Sydney through to 2023 include the famous News Tears Eve Fire Works, Sydney to Hobart Boat Race, United Cup Tennis Tournament and the grand Sydney Festival from 5-29 Jan.

MEGA INFLUENCER FAMILY FOR THE ICC T20 WORLD CUP HELPS BUILD AUSTRALIA’S APPEAL IN INDIA

To celebrate the launch of the ‘Come and Say G’Day’ campaign and to leverage the opportunity of the ICC T20 Men’s World Cup, Tourism Australia hosted a group of influential Indian stars and content creators on a series of trips around Australia, to showcase the very best the country has to offer. A cheer contingent of 12 prominent influencers and celebrities including

Barkha Singh, Shweta Tripathi Sharma, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Zaid Darbar,Ranveer Allahbadia amongst others, attended a special screening of the short film G’day at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne/Narrm, where they were joined by cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle and Friend of Australia and celebrity chef, Sarah Todd. Following the screening guests were hosted at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to be part of the over 90,000 strong crowd and experience the electric atmosphere at the T20.

MELBOURNE ONCE AGAIN PROVED TO BE AUSTRALIA’S SPORTS CAPITAL

With over 90000 cricket fans in attendance at the highly hyped India-Pakistan ICC Men’s T20 World Cup match at the MCG in November, Victoria’s capital city once again lived up to its reputation as the nation’s sporting capital. The sell-out crowd comprising of a large number from the local and interstate Indian and Pakistani diaspora enjoyed a carnival of cricket which included live entertainment, cricket activities and food trucks across a Fan Zone outside stadium. The mood was exhilarating with both Indian and Pakistani supporters dancing to the high-energy drum beats. The atmosphere inside was equally electrifying with the thunderous roars of supporters on a boundary or a wicket fall being heard miles away.

The bumper crowd also included many fans from overseas as well who loved not only the cricket bonanza but also the city’s many touristy attractions including its famous food scenes.

Visit Victoria hosted a group of influential content creators from India for the crucial match and to showcase them the very best Melbourne and the state has to offer.

This year, the cricket tournament has been the biggest global sporting event held in Australia and Victoria was the only state with the honours of two host cities. Geelong and Melbourne each hosted six matches, with Melbourne also hosting the Final on Sunday 13 November at the MCG.

The Victorian Government was a proud supporter of this competition with the months ahead packed with even more sporting events including Boxing Day Test Cricket and the Australian Open.