The 20th edition of South Asia’s leading B2B travel and tourism trade exhibition SATTE, held from 16-18 January, 2013 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, achieved immense success and saw the presence of the who’s who of both Indian and global travel and tourism industries, including the Presidents of all the Indian tourism associations, representatives from the UNWTO and various National Tourist Offices, Ambassadors and High Commissioners of various countries as well as travel agents and tour operators from the industry. Industry leaders were unanimous that SATTE has been a great platform for the sector. The exhibition was inaugurated by Union Tourism Secretary, Parvez Dewan . “Today, the situation is that the ratio between inbound tourism into India and outbound tourism out of India is 1:2.5, and the gap is not narrowing, it is widening. SATTE has become an institution; a well founded one within India and its neighboring countries,” he said in his inaugural speech. He further added that, over the last 20 years, SATTE has been promoting India’s tourism and it has evolved as a truly global exhibition in this part of the world.
During the inauguration ceremony Alla Peressolova, Head of the Silk Road Programme and Fairs Programme, UNWTO read out a special message by Taleb Rifai , Secretary-General, UNWTO, “In the last two decades, SATTE has grown from strength to strength becoming one of the leading networking forums for the tourism sector in South Asia. With the contribution of more participants than ever before, I am confident that SATTE will maintain its reputation. I look forward to UNWTO’s continued collaboration with SATTE.” Peressolova further added, “SATTE has been always been working as a catalyst for the Indian travel and tourism sector. We have collaborated with SATTE to promote tourism in this region.” UNWTO also released their report on domestic tourism in Asia and the Pacific at SATTE, a first on an Indian platform.
Addressing the entire delegation at the inauguration Sajid Desai , Group Director, UBM India revealed, “With 590 exhibitors from 35 overseas countries and 23 Indian states; buyers from over 43 countries and 74 cities of India SATTE 2013 has seen the participation of many new countries as their launch platform to showcase their diverse tourism profile to Indian travel trade. In addition to long-time supporters, countries like USA, Bulgaria, Ethiopia and Seychelles are participating for the first time at SATTE.” SATTE 2013 witnessed hectic B2B meetings, business transactions and networking between buyers and sellers, as well as thought provoking and insightful conference sessions.
Nancy Powell , US Ambassador to India, graced the inaugural dinner of SATTE at The Ashok. Addressing the audience, Powell said that more and more Indians are travelling to the United States. This is not just because of America’s welcoming atmosphere and outstanding sights. It is also because Indians and Americans are finding more in common. “Our personal and cultural ties are increasing dramatically and trade between our two countries is following the same trajectory. Travel and tourism to the U.S. is an important way for us to expand our cultural and commercial ties and increase trade growth between our countries. But the most important aspect of travel and tourism is not the dollar figures, but the person-to-person relationships that are cultivated.”
Praising SATTE’s efforts for tourism promotion she opined that SATTE is one of the important platforms to do tourism business in India. She stated that Brand USA is participating in SATTE 2013 to promote US tourism products in India. In 2011, the United States welcomed over 660,000 visitors from India - a new record. India is now poised to leap into our top 10 sources of visitors and to cross the 1 million visitor mark by 2015.
Extending his support to the exhibition, Subhash Goyal , President, Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) stated, “Over the last 20 years, SATTE has continued to promote the tourism industry massively in India. It has become an iconic show that cannot be missed by the travel and tourism fraternity. We have and will continue to look forward to a great and a successful show every year.”