24th annual edition of South Asia Travel & Tourism Exchange (SATTE), South Asia’s largest B2B travel and tourism exhibition, kicked off in Delhi with official inaugural and the maiden SATTE Awards night. Dr Mahesh Sharma, Union Tourism Minister, inaugurated the event in the presence of Dato Seri Mohammed Nazri, Minister of Tourism & Culture, Malaysia, Junichi Kumada, Senior Officer, Regional Programme for Asia Pacific, UNWTO, Vinod Zutshi, Secretary – Tourism, Government of India.
Around 870 exhibitors from 40 countries of the world including India will exhibit their destinations and products in the three-day B2B exhibition. These include 28 State Tourism Boards from India.
Inaugurating the exhibition and awards, Dr Sharma said that India is poised for big leap forward in tourism with lot of favourable measures from the government on the policy front as well as in the infrastructure front to support that growth. Talking about the e-Tourism Visa regime which is now extended to more than 160 countries, Minister said that that shows the commitment of the current government.
Vinod Zutshi, Tourism Secretary said that India’s growth in tourism has surpassed the global growth in the last couple of years. While international average in terms of growth was less than 4% in 2016, India registered a growth of 11% in international tourist arrivals. India offers most liberalised e-Visa regime in the world today, he added. He asked the private industry to get together and work with the government to achieve future targets.
In his welcome speech, Yogesh Mudras, MD of UBM India, the organisers of SATTE, said that they have been able to present a bigger show this year with the support of both international and national industry associations. Speaking on the maiden awards, Mudras said that they have received overwhelming response from the industry at the maiden awards with more than 270 entries for 18 categories, and will try to present it better in coming years.