Chairman’s Note

The highlight of the period was my attendance at Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE 17) event in Sydney from 18-25 May at the revamped International Convention Centre at Darling Harbor. Its Tourism Australia’s biggest annual showbiz which was attended by more than 2,500 delegates, including 800 travel wholesalers and retailers (buyers) from 548 companies from more than 30 countries, and 555 Australian tourism businesses (sellers), meeting in 50,000 business appointments for generating future tourism business opportunities. I was very happy to find India, alongside China, being considered largely as two big potential markets for Australian tourism businesses.

Representation of buyers and from India were strong. They were highly impressed with Australia’s diverse range of tourism product offerings which has the potential to draw attention of the large market in India. Prior to the start of the actual event there was a separate itinerary for the media which was also attended by many representing Indian media. The media program included pre and post familiarization tours, presentation by all state and territory tourisms and most importantly a Media Marketplace that connected the media with the Australian tourism products. Organised by TravMedia it was a very effective channel of ‘media to business’ communication, benefitting both sides.

While interacting with various stakeholders, product suppliers and Indian buyers during ATE, I noted with pride that AITTC is now being considered as a key influencer in the industry. This achievement inspires us to do more to impact the growth in bilateral travel. I am open for suggestions from our members and contacts on how we can handle this effectively.

I recently participated through an interview for a research project on Indian travellers, conducted by Tourism Research Australia, which sits within the Tourism Division of Austrade .It will be interesting to see the final outcome of this project as it will provide an insight into the characteristics, needs and expectations of Indians travelling down under.

To inspire more numbers from India, the Australian High Commission in New Delhi and Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection are pleased to announce that all Indian nationals will be able to lodge visitor visa applications for Australia online from 1 July 2017. It’s a very positive move from the Australian side for the growth of bilateral travel. Indian government has already instituted e- visa for Australians travelling to India.

Sydney Airport is currently going through a major infrastructure upgrade program around the international terminal. It’s understandable that mammoth works of this magnitude can cause traffic disruptions resulting above average delays to reach airport. So I alert all passengers, particularly from overseas, to allow more time to reach airport and if possible to use the train to avoid road network.

Lastly I take this opportunity to congratulate AITTC members who have moved to finals of 2017 AFTA National Travel Industry Awards. They are Intrepid Travel( Best Wholesaler), Insight Vacations( Best International Tour Operator), Wendy Wu ( Best Specialty Wholesaler) Accor Hotels, our Corporate Sponsor ( Best Hotels Group) and Phillip Boniface, our Co-Chairman ( Best Retail Travel Agency Manager, Helloworld Carlingford – Single Location). I wish them our best wishes for the awards to be announced and presented at a gala dinner function on Saturday 22 July, 2017 at the International Convention Centre, Sydney.


Sandip Hor


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