Post COVID-19, the tour and travel segment of India is expected to witness rapid growth in terms of inbound and outbound traffic said industry executives. “Tourism would contribute $512 billion to India’s GDP by 2028, and would create 53 million jobs by 2029,” said Jyoti Mayal, president, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) at an industry event ‘OTM Mumbai’ currently on at Jio World Convention Centre, BKC.. By that time India would earn foreign exchange of $56 billion from tourist arrivals and 30.5 million foreign arrivals are expected by 2030, she said. “Therefore, tourism needs to evolve, restructure, and reinvent continuously. India needs to invest more in technology, in virtual reality to attract foreign tourists to its destinations,” she said. “There is a need to do a lot towards ease of visas, direct flights, and more connectivity to lower the cost of travel. Skilling is another important aspect which needs focus. We need to ensure correct protocols for health procedures post COVID are circulated across the globe and industry platforms like OTM will support in big way,” she added.
“At this crucial time when there is an armed conflict and economic downturns in major parts of the world and when there is a huge gap left by the Chinese, the Indian travellers are much sought after due to their appetite to travel, within and outside India,” said Sanjiv Agarwal, Chairman & CEO, Fairfest Media, the organisers of OTM. According to the global airlines’ association IATA, India is a key aviation market for the Asia Pacific region as well as the rest of the world and is expected to see robust air travel demand. OTM Mumbai has over 1,250 exhibitors from 50 countries and 30 Indian States/UTs showcasing their destinations. Speaking at the inauguration, Abdulla Mausoom, Tourism Minister, Maldives said, “India is a very important market for Maldives tourism and India has been the top market for Maldives for the last 3 years, from 2020 to 2022. We are hoping that India will continue to be the top market this year as well. We have good connectivity with India with over 50 flights operating every week.”