While speaking at the outset of inaugural session of the Rajasthan Domestic Travel Mart Joint Secretary Ministry of Tourism Dr. Suman Billa said: “RDTM focused at domestic tourism segment is the model that our states need to follow.”
“It’s a great model, and as I have said, we need to think on these lines. In today’s scenario all the states are making efforts to woo inbound travellers, however the domestic segment is also growing, and has a tremendous potential. Mart like this will play an incredible role in bringing all the players together and connecting the dots, which ultimately will create the energy in the economy to deliver results quickly,” he added.
While further explaining, Dr. Billa said that the country had 864 million domestic tourist visits in the year 2011, and just after five years (in 2016) the numbers had gone up to the 1.6 billion, which is almost double.
“From year 2017 onwards, we have seen further growth and the number has gone up to the 1.74 billion domestic tourist visits. This is the incredible growth in domestic segment. So anybody who looks at the India story needs to understand that the numbers are growing because of the domestic visits that are happening,” he added.
According to him, every dollar retained in this country is a dollar earned. Look at the outbound numbers that India has; almost 23 million people have gone out of the country for holidays last year. Imagine the amount of spending they would have done; imagine if we can retain a fraction of that amount to stay back in the country.
“We need to create that kind of interest which can attract the outbound travellers to look at India as a destination for their holidays. So I think the more number of people we are going to retain, we don’t need to look at just the inbound tourist to come and spend,” explains Dr Billa.
For promotion of Rajasthan Tourism, Federation of Hospitality and Tourism of Rajasthan (FHTR) has conducted numerous roadshows and invited domestic buyers from across the country. According to Bhim Singh, President, FHTR and Managing Director Rajasthan Tours, RDTM is a first initiative by any state to conduct a domestic tourism roadshow of this magnitude.
With the untiring efforts of stakeholders of this industry the Mart has been achieved in a short span of three months. The support of department of tourism Govt of Rajasthan and Ministry of Tourism has been very valuable and a great force.
“Domestic tourism is the need of the hour. Looking at the importance we need to make it an annual event. FHTR stands to handhold the same and request to the Government of Rajasthan and Government of India to announce the next addition of RDTM in advance,” added Singh.
Gyan Prakash, Secretary General, FHTR said: “Based on the feedback that I have received today our buyers and sellers are content, the show is up to their expectations. The kind of direct interaction and decisions have been taken among them was up to the mark.”
“We have projected more than 6900 meetings in two days of which we had 4982 pre-fixed meetings with the buyers and sellers. However, we had more than 3500 meetings on day one (including on the spot meetings) and we are expected to have more than 7000 B2B meetings in two days, which is great encouragement to our participants.”
According to Prakash, buyers were happy as the owners were present there to take quick decisions, and they already have exchanged business for the upcoming season which is starting from September.
While elaborating on the importance of the Mart PP Khanna, President, Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India said that he is hopeful that it will be huge success and the sellers from Rajasthan will gain out of it. There are some other very important states which need exposure. We have connected to states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and North East to conduct roadshows with domestic tour operators and I hope they come in picture very soon.”
This is the first initiative towards the domestic travel mart which has been taken by any state in India. Apart from the tourist destinations and hotels, two Jewelry Museums, Handicrafts and unique Painting promoters have come to participate under this umbrella for the first time.