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Dr Jyotsna Suri: FICCI’s second edition of Travel, Tourism & Hospitality e-conclave to create a roadmap for recovery

Dr. Suri, Past President, FICCI, Chairperson, FICCI Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Committee and CMD, The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group on offering industry stakeholders a platform that will help create a roadmap for the future.

The travel, tourism and hospitality industries have been hit rather drastically by the flip-flop policies that have kept restaurants shut most of the time, hotels struggling to attract guests, and destinations experimenting with new ideas about opening safely.

And yet, the three industries have proven to be extremely resilient in the face of the unprecedented global crisis. FICCI’s second virtual edition of Travel, Tourism & Hospitality E Conclave: The Road to Recovery & Resilience, to be hosted on August 5 and 6, 2021 is an interactive virtual knowledge forum for brainstorming, knowledge sharing and meaningful dialogues between all the stakeholders: policymakers and industry leaders from both, the government and the private sector.

The talking points: what should the road to recovery look like and what shape will the industry take in the future? The conclave will track the lessons learnt, the evolution of the industries and the strategies to rebuild the sectors, besides offering a crucial platform for leaders to reconnect.

Among the various sessions is one to be hosted by Deepali Nandwani, Editor, TravelDine on August 5. COVID Preparedness & Vaccination for Travel, Tourism & Hospitality will look at how the world is weathering pandemic through vaccination and capacity building, what measures the central and state government, as well as industry and international destinations are taking to ensure safety, building trust and confidence travellers.  

Ideas for the future
Dr Jyotsna Suri, Past President, FICCI, Chairperson, FICCI Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Committee, and CMD, The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group.

In an interview, Dr Jyotsna Suri, Past President, FICCI, Chairperson, FICCI Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Committee, and CMD, The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group speaks about the key sessions and discussion points and how the conclave will draw up a roadmap for the future.

What are the key sessions and discussion points of the second virtual edition of Travel, Tourism & Hospitality E-Conclave: Resilience & The Road to Recovery? 

We have selected topics that are very relevant in today’s scenario. As the theme suggests at the ‘Resilience & the Road to Recovery’ e-conclave, the sessions and discussions will deliberate on the best ways to counter the crisis and ensures tourism bounces back. On day 1, the first session, ‘Redefining the Travel, Tourism & Hospitality landscape of India’, has a great mix of policymakers and industry leaders who will discuss the strategies, policies and synergies between the government and policymakers on the road to recovery. 

The second session ‘COVID Preparedness & Vaccination for Travel, Tourism & Hospitality’ will discuss what measures the central and state governments, the industry and international destinations are taking to ensure safety and rebuilding of trust and confidence among travellers. 

We have a wonderful panel for ‘The Road to Recovery – Travel, Tourism & Hospitality’, which comprises tourism secretaries of different states. They will discuss the various initiatives they are taking to reopen travel by not only managing safety and security but also the key policy reforms that will help the tourism industry to move “beyond recovery”. 

Day 2 is equally interesting. We have sessions on marketing a destination as well as sessions on the role technology will play in redefining the global tourism ecosystem and engaging with travellers in a post-pandemic world. 

We have a focused session on Ayurveda & Wellness Tourism with a panel comprising domestic and international speakers. Day 2 ends with the closing session, for which we have invited tourism ministers of states of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and several more to address the audience about the various initiatives their governments have taken to promote tourism in their states. 

What is the role that the e-conclave will play in creating a roadmap for recovery? 

The objective of the conclave is to collate the pointers from the various discussions taking place and prepare a comprehensive report, which can act as policy recommendations. We intend to prepare a post-event report and submit it to various tourism authorities, ministries, etc.

What were the takeaways from the 2020 e-conclave and how did it help the industry to create an effective revival plan? 

The 2020 e-conclave was organised during the time of lockdown last year. Several recommendations were submitted, including the way forward on unlocking in a phased manner and opening up tourist destinations with restrictions, offering moratorium, creating travel bubbles between India and some countries, etc, which were implemented by the government. 

The last year and a half have been tough for the hospitality and travel industry. Given your insights, what would your outlook be for the industry over the next year? 

We need to promote domestic tourism in the country aggressively. Also, we have requested the government to help the Industry by resolving the liquidity crisis by extension of the moratorium, extension of re-structuring, Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS), The Service Exports from India Scheme (SEIS) scrips, etc.

How is FICCI helping the industry deal with the fall-out of the pandemic and lockdowns in terms of advice, strategy, consultancy and help? 

FICCI has been championing the cause of the travel and tourism industries for over two decades. During this unprecedented crisis, FICCI has been working very closely with central and state governments to normalise the tourism situation in the country. 

Under the aegis of the FICCI National Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Committee, we have created several task forces focusing on the various sub-sectors of tourism such as domestic tourism, inbound tourism, Ayurveda & wellness, corporate & MICE tourism, etc. These task forces are led by industry leaders specialising in their fields. We are regularly interacting with central and state governments to charter the best possible ways on reviving tourism in the country.

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