Amidst a house full of delegates and special guest of honours, ADTOI’s (Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India) 7th convention started with a full swing on April 9, 2016 at Hotel Ramada in Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh.
Based on the theme – “Domestic Tourism: Billion+ Opportunities” – the convention gave valuable insights and was focused on improving the tourism in Khajuraho. Asking for support from the local tour operators and the media alike, Guest of Honour, Nagendra Singh, Member of Parliament, Khajuraho said “Around Khajuraho, there are many places that can be developed and we need all of you.” “Sometimes when I see dirty sites, I feel why are we even showing this to our visitors, better we don’t show anything,” added Singh showing his concern for cleaner sites and developing good hotels. Many speakers from across the industry were invited for panel discussions where topics such as ethical business practices and strategy startups were discussed.
Vinod Zutshi, Secretary Tourism, Govt of India reminded the gathering of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal of taking photographs of Indian sites and posting it on social media with #IncredibleIndia. “Domestic Tourism in India is on an upswing and needs the required push. There are many places, which are still devoid of air connectivity and that needs to be improved in order to break away from the idea that travelling via air is only for the riches,” said Zutshi speaking about how regional connectivity will boost the domestic tourism. He also talked about launching a mega travel show in India something on the lines of WTM in London and ITB in Berlin. Keeping the same thought, Hari Ranjan Rao, Secretary to Chief Minister & Public Service Management, Government of Madhya Pradesh, who was also a guest of honour at the convention, raised an important issue about the missing link in the communication system. “We need to communicate in regional languages, for example, the tag line – “MP ajab hai, sabse gajab hai” (MP is different, is really awesome) is in Hindi but still written with English words, which for many people is difficult to catch while reading it, they get to know the actual meaning only when they listen the jingle on the radio. That’s where we go wrong,” explained Rao. Audience present at the convention couldn’t agree more with the words of Rao.
Khajuraho and its hidden treasures
What Khajuraho has to offer, was a job brilliantly executed by Tanvi Sundriyal, Addl. Managing Director, MPRDC (Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation Ltd) with her presentation on tourism in Khajuraho that brought to the forefront many places people can visit other than the famous Khaujraho temples such as Pandva Falls, Raneh Falls, Mastani Mahal and many other interesting sites. To give a fair idea about all these places, sightseeing tours were also organised for the delegates who were staying either at Hotel Chandela or Hotel Ramada in Khajuraho. All these places were indeed a delight and made the delegates aware of what their ow country has to offer. The transfers were well taken care of by deluxe coaches provided by Uttar Pradesh-based Travel Bureau, ADTOI’s ground handling partners.
Speaking about the convention, Jyoti Kapur, President ADTOI, said, “The convention has been executed in a short span of 40 days and still has come out well. Khajuraho temples’ architecture is one of the best in the world and with this convention we want to reinvent it as a tourist destination.” All in all, the convention has struck the right chord and will definitely boost tourism in Khajuraho.