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Travel and Tourism Leaders Focus on India - 5th Global
Travel & Tourism Summit Set for April 8-10, 2005
in New Delhi, India
.
November 10, 2004 - At an event to launch the 5th Global Travel & Tourism Summit, which will take place from April 8-10, 2005 in New Delhi, India, a panel of industry leaders all pointed to the huge potential offered by the industry.

The panel discussion, which took place at the World Travel Market in London, was moderated by television journalist Gwenan Edwards and covered issues ranging from open skies policy to the new dot-travel initiative.

The panel debate was an example of the discussions that will take place on a much larger scale at the 5th Global Travel & Tourism Summit, under the theme ‘Realizing the Potential’, when over 500 of the most influential people in the industry will gather to discuss the major issues confronting Travel & Tourism. 

The panellists were:

  • Renuka Chowdhury, Minister of Tourism, India / Renuka is a vocal supporter of Travel & Tourism in India.
  • Mrs Wang Ping, President, Chamber of Tourism Commerce, China / Mrs Wang Ping has held many major political positions.
  • Stelios Haji-Ioannou, Founder and Chairman of easyGroup / In addition to founding easyJet, Stelios is now considering easyBus, easyCruise and easyHotel, among others.
  • Lalit Suri, Chairman & Managing Director, Bharat Hotels / Lalit is also an MP and Chairman of WTTC’s India Initiative.
  • Peter Wong, Chairman MK Corporation / Peter is a Chinese hotel investor and public company director.
  • Ronald N. Andruff, President & CEO, Tralliance / Ron is the man behind the new ‘.travel’ Internet domain.
Panel Discussion Highlights:

The panel covered the following topics: the potential of Travel & Tourism to create jobs and prosperity, Open Skies, Technology, Infrastructure and topics for discussion next April.  Below are selected quotes and highlights from the panellists on various issues.

Opportunity

Renuka Chowdhury explained that India offers a huge market of over a billion people who all speak English and a democratic environment where the rule of law prevails.  In the long term, she considered that it could employ more people than both agriculture and manufacturing.

Mrs Wang Ping said: “Today private enterprise represents 40 per cent of our economy and in the next few years we expect it to go to 60 per cent.  We see Travel & Tourism as very important part of that and as essential in addressing unemployment.  We follow WTTC forecasts and by 2010, we expect China to welcome more than 100 million visitors and to be a huge origin market.

Stelios Haji-Ioannou said: Travel & Tourism is already a huge industry and most of the world has yet to travel.”

Open Skies

Stelios directly challenged the Indian minister of tourism to 'open her skies', by which he meant having a market where anyone could start an airline and fly from one point to another.  Renuka Chowdhury responded that with 629 chartered flights now servicing India and the government’s investment in building or refurbishing 21 new airports, the country was indeed beginning to open up.  She also went on to say that "...there will be an announcement in India's budget in February that will deliver results [in this regard]".

Technology

All agreed that the travel industry is the big success story on the Internet.  Ron Andruff said that he expected the whole sector to migrate towards ‘.travel’, as its classification systems will greatly assist consumers to search and find what they want on line.  However, the panel has still to be convinced of the impact of mobile technologies on the volume of travel business transacted on the Internet.

Infrastructure

Both India and China are investing heavily in infrastructure. In India, 21 airports are being built or refurbished and China will soon have 50 new airports.  However, Peter Wong stressed the importance of striking a balance between growth and the environment.  Renuka Chowdhury agreed and said that “sustainable development” and “preservation of national cultures and identities” are essential.

Issues for the future Summit

There was a consensus that the challenges facing Travel & Tourism, such as security, must be on the agenda for Delhi, as must the control of disease propagation.

About The World Travel & Tourism Council
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is the forum for global business leaders comprising the presidents, chairs and CEOs of 100 of the world's foremost companies.  It is the only body representing the private sector in all parts of the Travel & Tourism industry worldwide.  Its members are leaders in all sectors of the industry, including accommodation, catering, entertainment, recreation, transportation and other travel-related services.  WTTC's mission is to raise awareness of the full economic impact of the Travel & Tourism industry, employing some 200 million people and generating over 10 per cent of the world’s GDP.  Governments are encouraged to unlock the industry's potential by adopting the Council's policy framework for sustainable tourism development. 

###

Contact:
WTTC
www.wttc.org
Also See: Bharat Hotels Opens Two New InterContinental Hotels in Mumbai and Goa, India / September 2003
Magus Estates and Hotels Private Limited Developing $70 million Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai / October 2003


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