Day 3 highlights: Women leading recovery in tourism

Welcome to day three of ITB India… a day that will see the spotlight turned firmly towards women in this industry. Indeed, kicking off the day’s C-Suite Panel sessions at 10am, six eminent women will be looking at “How Women Can Lead Recovery in Travel & Tourism”.

Globally, women play a significant role in tourism as visitors, hosts, employees and leaders. Overall, women are travel influencers and are increasingly gaining importance in travel consumption. They possess a strong purchasing power and demonstrate a greater intent than their male counterparts to spend more for travel products and services. Women are also sellers of travel, general managers at hospitality companies and founders of travel companies.

Anna Alaman, Founder, Open Eyes; Dr. Barkathunnisha, Director, World Women Tourism, Founder & Principal Consultant, Elevated Consultancy & Training; Dr Catheryn Khoo, Associate Professor, Griffith University; Nilusha Kodithuwakku, Founder & Managing Director, Ayurva Traveller; Rashmi Chadha, CEO & Founder, wovoyage and Zinal Doshi, Founder, The Flapper Life will be demonstrating thought leadership at the highest level in driving the travel and tourism industry towards a more equitable future.

This is a not to be missed session when it comes to the exploration of the motivations, needs and expectations of women as travellers and various potential ways in which focusing on female travellers and female leaders can help us head towards recovery.

Also the following sessions will be highly diverse, attracting interest from a very broad cross section of industry professionals.

The C-Suite Talk: The Coming Shifts in Customer Loyalty at 11am sees Manish Dureja, CEO, InterMiles and Pankaj Tripathi, Founder & CEO, Vernost Marketing Technology on the virtual stage. Just how bad does an experience need to be before a customer leaves? Likewise, just how good do services need to be for them to stay? This session aims at reimagining what a loyalty programme could look like that truly puts the customers first.

Following this, at 11:20am, Neelkanth Pararath, Managing Director, WebCRS talks about Booking, Distribution & Metasearch. Indeed, what does the future of online booking, distribution and metasearch look like? What technologies do we need to embrace even more right now to foster a rebound? How should travel companies diversify their risks of relying too much on search engines and OTAs for distribution? This session asks tough questions, in order to find big ideas and explore new strategies that many hope will help drive a recovery.

At 11:40am ; in the C-Suite Talk: Blurring the Lines between Intelligent Virtual Assistants & Humans, Aakrit Vaish, Co-Founder & CEO, Haptik and Anila Rao, General Manager – Asia Pacific will explain how conversational AI can tackle the new-age challenges in travel and tourism through providing omnichannel and personalised customer assistance. With this talk, businesses can identify ways in which AI can help minimise customer waiting times, produce leads, upsell and cross-sell, as well as improve customer satisfaction.

“The New Business Travel Realities” – at mid-day, sees Mayank Kukreja, CEO, ITILITE Technologies sharing key insights on the cutting-edge skills travel managers will need to manage this crisis and what the travel managers can do to win in the new world.

Product & Delivery Innovations for Travel Recovery, with Varun Gupta, Founder & CEO, MeTripping explores various trends that have emerged from the pandemic as well as the implications of these trends and the unique ways in which travel brands are responding. Most importantly, the session will highlight the actions we all should take now to market travel while putting travellers’ safety, preferences and changing behaviours at the heart of our business.

Finally, at 12:40pm, Joyatri Ray, Director, Equitable Tourism Options and KT Suresh, Secretary, Equitable Tourism Options host “Ethical Tourism: Creating a Framework That Works”. Indeed, social and environmental responsibility is not merely a part of our travel business, it is the core. The speakers will share insights on how all those in the industry can collaborate closely with each other to encourage ethical forms of tourism policies that ensure significant local benefits and take into account the negative impacts of an unbridled growth of tourism.

Photo: Karl Magnuson / Unsplash