The glittering inauguration of the event was graced by Chief Guest Mr. KJ Alphons, Minister for Tourism (I/C), Govt. of India, along with Mr. T.S. Rawat, Chief Minister, Uttarakhand; Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog; Mr. Faiyaz Koya, Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Fiji; Mr. I Gde Pitana Dy. Tourism Minister, Indonesia; Mr. Bo Keun Choi, Senior Officer, Regional Programme for Asia and the Pacific, UNWTO; Mr. Subhash Goyal, Member, National Tourism Advisory Committee; Mr. Navin Berry, Founder, SATTE; Mr. Michael Duck, Executive Vice President, UBM Asia and Mr. Yogesh Mudras, Managing Director, UBM India.
SATTE provides a comprehensive platform to domestic and international buyers and professionals from across the travel, tourism and hospitality industry along with National and State Tourism Boards (NTOs and STOs) to congregate and conduct business, provide innovations, and promote inbound, outbound and domestic tourism in India. This most favoured industry platform is also well-supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Govt. of India.
Over a span of three days, SATTE 2018 witnessed several exciting partnerships and announcements that augured in new trends in the industry. Visitors at the signature expo witnessed a number of features including a special pavilion of 10 start-ups, as well as a live show at ‘Colors of SATTE’ apart from other captivating engagements. This year, SATTE was also happy to engage its exhibitors and visitors to pledge for sustainable tourism under the unique I-Pledge initiative where they pledged to conserve natural reserve; respect and save wildlife; say no to plastic; dispose waste smartly and travel responsibly. Over 32,000 pledges were registered. Adding to its celebration, this year, the show hosted two glamorous networking evenings in association with Feature Destination — Mauritius and Feature Attraction — Madame Tussauds.
Acknowledging SATTE’s growing stature on the global tourism arena, KJ Alphons, Minister for Tourism (I/C), Govt. of India said, “It is a pleasure to attend a platform such as SATTE that brings the entire industry together. 2017 has been amazing for India from the tourism perspective, with a growth of 15.2% in terms of foreign tourist arrivals. When it comes to domestic tourism, we had 1.8 billion travels (not travelers) in the country. In three years from now, we aim to double the amount of international tourists arrival in India, increase the contribution of the tourism industry to a GDP of 10% from the current 6.8% and double the employment contribution. Tourism is the best weapon against terrorism anywhere in the world, apart from its other obvious advantages.”
Speaking on the industry at the inauguration of SATTE, Bo Keun Choi, Senior Officer, Regional Programme for Asia and the Pacific, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) said, “Globally, we crossed the mark of 1.3 billion travellers this year. The growth rate to be expected in the upcoming years for the travel and tourism industry is around 7%. India is one of the leading countries with almost 16% contribution to the industry. I appreciate SATTE’s contribution over the years in getting the industry together, and also its campaign I-Pledge, that promotes the cause of sustainable tourism, thereby giving us the opportunity to pledge for, and promote sustainable tourism and create a better world to live in.”
Speaking on the success of SATTE, Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog said, “Statistics show that India is a long haul destination. 97.2% people come to India with an average stay of 14-20 days — one of the highest duration for travelers around the world. Therefore, India’s earnings from tourists are greater than many of the other countries. It is up to us to make this duration extremely attractive and rich in experiences. And that’s where an exhibition like SATTE comes to the fore with its reserves of ideas and thought leadership.”
“I am proud of my association with SATTE as I remember attending the first edition of the show and learning a lot from it. SATTE taught me sound strategies that helped a lot in conducting business and ensuring maximum customer satisfaction,” he further added.
Speaking at the successful conclusion of SATTE 2018, Mr. Yogesh Mudras, Managing Director, UBM India said, “SATTE 2018 was one of the most successful trade engagements for us. It has carved a unique place as the most comprehensive industry platform in the country and has emerged as the subcontinent’s largest, foremost and the only international travel show wherein both the exhibitors and buyers from across the world participate to showcase as well as shop for diverse global travel & tourism products and services. This year we witnessed a historic growth of 37 % in our unique visitor footfall by putting in our best efforts, making the already favoured show even more promising than ever before.”
“The recently announced Union Budget 2018 also holds out quite a lot for the proliferating T&T industry and is expected to boost the sector. Measures such as raising the airport capacity by 5 times under the UDAN scheme, improving rail networks in Mumbai and Bengaluru, addressing the critical air pollution situation in Delhi/NCR, developing and marketing untapped tourist spots will increase India’s attractiveness to tourists within India & abroad. With this, we look forward to another fruitful year in tourism and we’re certain that SATTE has helped equip the industry with solutions and innovations that are shaping our sector,” he further added.
The expo saw a record participation from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Goa & Odisha and Himachal Pradesh to Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab, Uttrakhand, Delhi, Jharkhand, Andaman and West Bengal and featured an array of State Tourism Boards, with many of them increasing their presence at the 25th edition. The eight North Eastern states have participated in the Incredible India Pavilion of the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India.
As far as NTOs are concerned, Spain, Peru, Czech Republic, Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, Turkey, Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Fiji, New Zealand, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Israel, Sharjah, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, Mauritius, Indonesia, Abu Dhabi, Visit Russia, Visit Florida and Las Vegas and Oman, amongst others showcased their destination and launches. SATTE 2018 witnessed the return of Taiwan, Mauritius, Bangladesh, Philippines on the floor. While Turkey, Thailand, Srilanka and Dubai were Partner countries, Mauritius and Madame Tussauds were feature destination and feature attraction respectively. Similarly, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Goa, Odisha and Jammu & Kashmir were Partner States for this year with the show being supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India.
In its 25th edition, the expo also witnessed an increase in participation from an array of hospitality players and products such as — Movenpick, Neemrana, Treebo, Sterling Resorts, Minor Hotels, Dusit, Melia Hotels International, Shangri -La Hotels and Resorts, DS Group, Choice Hotels, Abad Hotels, Lords Hotels, Alcon Victor Goa, Zen and Singge Palace from Ladakh, Grand Imperial Agra, Somatheeram, Ramada Kerala, Ananta Resorts, Venetian Cotai, Ayana Resorts Bali, Marasa Africa, Banyan Tree, Disneyworld Paris, EuropeCar, The Ultimate Travelling Camp and many more.
One of the key features of SATTE 2018 was the conference programme on all three days of the expo that held industry discussions and shared new insights pertaining to the sector and industry best practices. SATTE hosted six panel discussions that brought together stakeholders of the industry on a single platform, allowing exchange of ideas that will add value to Indian tourism at large. The sessions of the conference touched on topics such as – ‘How to realize effective collaboration between stakeholders for sustainable tourism?’, ‘How can we achieve the successful journey to 2030?’; ‘Visa Reforms & Tourism Growth’; Travel Technology; MICE, Cruise Tourism and Niche Tourism, to name a few. The three day conference also saw destination presentations by tourism boards such as — Czech Tourism, Egypt, Dubai, Ho Chi Minh City, West Bengal; a product presentation by Tragly and a Workshop and a panel discussion on Skill Development in the Hospitality Sector.
As a pre-cursor to the expo, UBM India hosted the second edition of the SATTE Awards. The awards was an endeavour to recognize and celebrate the excellence, achievements and innovations of key stakeholders in the Travel and Tourism industry and was based on transparent, authentic and genuine parameters. The awards night also included networking opportunities, presentations and other features. The 23 categories of awards covered various segments of the travel and tourism industry including tour operators, hotels, destinations, online travel portals, to name just a few. In just its second year, the Awards received an overwhelming response from the industry.