In a first, the India Tourism Mart 2021 will be held on a virtual platform with buyer-seller meetings slated from February 18 to February 20, the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH) said on Monday.
FAITH is the policy federation of all national associations representing the tourism, travel and hospitality industry of India.
The first such buyer-seller meet undertaken by FAITH in 2015 was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Christened Tourism Mart' in 2018, the event is supported by the Ministry of Tourism and has emerged as a highly vibrant marketplace.
The event has seen active attendance from over 250 buyers from 65 countries having B2B (business-to-business) interactions from hundreds of tourism exhibitors from India, including most of the state governments, hotel companies, tour operators, travel agents and tourist transporters.
"The elite international buyers reflect a strategic mix of target countries which are critical, developed and under developing markets for India. The tourism verticals in which B2B interactions take place reflect a mix between leisure, adventure, MICE, heritage and niche tourism sectors," a statement from FAITH said.
Due to Covid-19 pandemic, the format of the event this year has gone virtual and online B2B interactions will be held between Indian tourism exhibitors and an elite group of global buyers who will be carefully selected from over 90 countries, it said.
"Additionally, the domestic focus will figure prominently in the virtual format this year as domestic tourism buyers will be invited, reflecting a mix of tourism trade, corporate and institutional tourism buyers. This will be in robust alignment to being more vocal for local and a stronger 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' from tourism," the statement said.
Another landmark showcase this year will be an engaging virtual knowledge tourism conclave to bring the best in tourism, and for policymakers to discuss how Indian tourism is strategic to the country's socio-economic goals. It is critical as the country targets post-pandemic revival. This will attempt to create strong linkages between India's USD 5 trillion economy and the goals for India @75.
"The India Tourism Mart or ITM 2021 virtual will also hope to showcase and be a curtain-raiser for the actual physical ITM to be held in September 2021 highlighting a tourism ready India once the vaccine is successfully deployed, it said.
The FAITH associations are eagerly anticipating ITM 2021 virtual to be inaugurated by the PM of India. This will position Tourism@Made in India in services in line with the highly successful Make in India in manufacturing," it added.