Today’s Highlights @ ITB India – Saudi Tops Billing

Saudi Arabia, the first Official Partner Country of ITB India, is ready to become the new tourism force of the region.

The Kingdom has been focusing on opening up to the world, to showcase its great diversity, hidden treasures and natural beauty, highlighting its positioning as the true, authentic home of Arabia. As one of the final frontiers of leisure tourism, Saudi is ready for travellers wanting to discover an unexplored, uncharted destination. Today’s opening keynote address at 10am sees Bedour Alharbi, International Exhibition Manager, Saudi Tourism Authority introducing this amazing Kingdom as “the” new destination of the decade.

Technology will also be in the limelight today, as Renaud Nicolle, Senior Vice President, Business Travel Asia Pacific, Amadeus talks about “What Needs to Be Done for Travel to Recover” in the official conference line-up. Indeed, with 2020 behind us and vaccine distribution on the cards for most countries, we could soon see borders opening up and travel resuming. However, this will happen gradually and entry requirements from one destination to the next will vary. In this session, Renaud Nicolle will share insights from his new research on what the industry needs to do in order to get Indian travellers on the road again, and how technology will play a key role in the recovery and preparation for the new world of business travel.

The question of “Balancing Cost and Safety in Uncertain Times for Business Travel” will see Carl Jones, Vice President, Head of Travel, Asia Pacific & Greater China, SAP Concur exploring what companies can do to balance safety considerations while keeping an eye on the bottom line.

At 11am, the C-Suite Talk is on “Rebooting India’s Air Travel”. Here, Aloke Singh, CEO of Air India Express delves into his three decades of experience to deliver some veritable thought leadership, at a time when the travel industry is searching for up-to-the-minute market insights.

In his much-awaited keynote address at 11.20am, Abraham Alapatt, President & Group Head – Marketing, Service Quality, Value Added Services & Innovation, Thomas Cook India looks at “The Travel Economy in 2022”. You can read more from Mr Alapatt in our exclusive interview today.

Today’s “Buyer’s Talk” at mid-day sees Jyoti Mayal, President, TAAI – Travel Agents Association of India deliver her “Vision for the Future of the Travel Industry: The Winners’ Playground”. She will share her observations on what has changed in the travel landscape, what she expects from travel suppliers and how ultimately the industry can work together to bring travel back.

With the number of high-flying conferences on the schedule today, there are far too many to list in this way. We strongly recommend you take a few minutes to run through the list yourself and puck out a few that may be of particular pertinence to your own situation here

PHOTO – top of page – Al Masjid an Nabawi, Medina Saudi Arabia – Said Alamri / Unsplash