The launch edition of BITB, powered by ITB Berlin, concluded on a most enthusiastic note, with 6 power conclaves, 260 exhibiting companies meeting 780 buyers, and big networking platforms.
BITB 2016 was inaugurated by Shri Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (IC) Tourism and Culture, Government of India. Shri Najeeb Jung, Lt Governor, Delhi presided while Ms. Mehbooba Mufti, Chief Minister, Jammu and Kashmir state was the chief guest. Shri Kapil Mishra, Minister of Tourism, Delhi Government was the Guest of Honour.
BITB rolled out its Awards to Iconic Indians who have impacted Global Travel and Tourism. These were Shri PRS Oberoi for hospitality (his son Shri Vikram Oberoi received the award on his behalf); Shri Naresh Goyal for airlines and Shri Sanjay Reddy for airport infrastructure. Shri Rajeev Sethi was awarded for his contribution in promoting Indian heritage while Shri Deep Kalra was recognized for technology. Shri Jose Dominic was awarded for his contribution to experiential tourism and Shri Zubin Karkaria for improving Ease in Travel. ITB and BITB honoured and remembered two Iconic Indians for their support to ITB over the years, the late Capt Krishna Nair and Shri Ram Kohli.
6 Power Conclaves brought some of the best minds in the business. For a first time, these were anchored by six leading associations and leaders in their respective verticals. The Make in India Conclave, another first time for the industry, was supported by DIPP, Ministry of Commerce, Government of India and featured the keynote address by Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog. Others who spoke included Shri V K Duggal, former Governor, Manipur who moderated the session and Shri Atul Chuturvedi, JS, DIPP, Government of India. The Make in India Conclave was anchored by IATO, and the session was anchored by Shri Subhash Goyal, immediate past president, IATO.
Among other leaders were Shri Ashwani Lohani, CMD, Air India; Shri Kapil Chopra, President, Oberoi Hotels; Shri Rajeev Menon, COO-Asia Pacific for Marriott Hotels; Ms. Jaya Jaitley of Dastkari Haat; Shri Lakshyaraj of Udaipur; Mr. Tony Dâ€™Astolfo, Research Analyst, Phocuswright Inc.; Shri Kapil Kaul, CEO, South Asia, CAPA India; Shri Manav Thadani, Chairman, HVS and others dominated the senior discussion groups.
Messe Berlin made a strong presence at the event. ITB Berlin director, Shri David Ruetz, along with Jean Francois Rika, ITB Corporate Social Responsibility, and, Bruno Walter, ITB Advisory, attended the inaugural show with Chairman of Messe Berlin sharing a video message, welcoming BITB to the ITB family.
We made a triumphant return to B2B trade shows for the industry, with serious tourism focus, bringing senior industry participation and business networking opportunities. The look and feel was truly international and both buyers and sellers expressed strong support to the show, a few were willing to sign for the next five years.
BITB 2017 will be held in New Delhi from 21-23 September 2017.
The idea of introducing a comprehensive event which includes traditional and modern businesses with a strong tourism component is most timely for the larger interest of the hospitality industry. BITB will help focus on the outreach of tourism in its inclusive nature as it encompasses our lives every day most significantly.
I am equally delighted to understand that this event will have a diversified buyer base and will provide a more meaningful format for doing business, keeping in mind the changing dynamics of our business including online and technology."
Heartiest congratulations to Navin and his team for bringing glory to India Tourism and best wishes for the success of the Product."
Presently, Chairman Rajasthan Public Service Commission
ITB's track record as a world leader with 50 years in business will be most useful for India and I am confident that both the Indian government and industry will make full use of this opportunity.