Amidst the Covid-19 outbreak, where the travel trade is going through an extremely challenging phase, ICPB advocated the need to take necessary steps that would help overcome the prevailing challenging scenario. In a recently concluded second interactive luncheon meeting, held at Taj Mansingh New Delhi for the travel trade and media, ICPB discussed ways and means to form a roadmap for the future and their strategy to hold India prominently on the MICE map of India. Here are the highlights of the event.
Addressing the trade and media, Mr. Girish Kwatra, Hony. Secretary, ICPB, said, “We are elated to welcome Mr. RK Verma as the ICPB Chairman. We presently have 130 members as should soon be touching 150. There are numerous events planned for the new financial year such as launch of MICE planner, domestic roadshows, training programs, Convention India Conclave and international roadshows, which we hope to carry on with without ant glitch. And, as far as Coronavirus outbreak is concerned, rather than pressing the panic button, we can think of better options and focus on relocations and postponing.”
Commenting on the occasion, Mr. Amaresh Tiwari, Vice Chairman, ICPB, said, “We all are facing this sorry plight with the Covid-19 epidemic. Crisis communications can be either reactive or proactive, therefore, comprehending the given circumstances, we need to raise awareness and act proactively. China is a strong market and they will definitely bounce back. I wish for the speedy recovery from this outbreak.”
He went on to stress that going by the experiences of previous major viral epidemics, it is pertinent to have a strategic and robust recovery plan for India to make up for lost ground, lap up the pent-up demand and lure people who are itching to travel. “There is no doubt that our competition will go to market with amazing prices, proposals and offers. Destinations such as Singapore, Thailand and others are already preparing recovery plans. So if India does not have its act together, we are going to be left looking at the party from the outside. We need to have a marketing strategy in place, a price discussion and a pitch on why India should be the first point of call when travel comes back. This is where the travel trade Industry and Ministry of Tourism can play a vital role by being a facilitator and primary funder of this process,” elaborated the dynamic VC.
Talking to the audience, Mr. Rakesh Kumar Verma (IAS), Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Chairman ICPB said, “These are the times when we are facing a crisis situation – how do you deal, face the problem, get down to business is the talk of the hour. ICPB is a wonderful format that keeps both the ministry and the industry on the same platform. With futuristic approach, the Bureau and the ministry would develop partnership over a period of time. My suggestion to the bureau is to figure out long term goals that are realistic and aspirational and whatever the case may be, support from the ministry would always be there. Most importantly, we need to think on the infrastructure roadmap for MICE tourism, Incentives to encourage more and more people, output of roadshows and promotions for the growth of industry.”
Motivating the trade and media, Mr. Rajeev Kohli, JMD, Creative Travels who was the keynote speaker on the occasion said, “What we need to understand is that MICE is business – not tourism and it generates huge revenue for the country. India is the perfect hub – mainly because of the experience we offer. We do a damn good job in making people happy. We have some really good spaces and venues and offer cultural experiences like no other. No other tourism industry has the skill and know how like India does. It’s time to have each other’s back and figure out what kind of assistance we need. We need to figure out how to get our business back – we need to collectively work on a deal that no one else offers – no other country and I am sure once we have that, we will bounce back!”