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The Road Ahead ...POST COVID19 - Paradigm Shift?

A vibrant sector suddenly becomes silent , which is definitely affecting a large number of stakeholders both external and internal. A hustle and bustle industry environment was never prepared for a gateway to such a structural collapse.

What we started with, where we sulked at conditions of our sector seemed different as interdependence on each other surfaced out and effects of the same on all major industries are being read with quantitative data in most magazines and newspapers each day. Importance of the unorganized sector is understood well during such crises .

Wishing for a magic ball, where one could foresee the right date and time to recover from this is the ultimate goal , the experts are churning figues and perspectives of the outcome which this pandemic will bring , But we are still looking at a future which is unpredictable. One thing is sure , things will be normal in the near future, but WHEN ! Wait and Watch .

Over the years working with corporate and associations , aligned with skilled and unskilled workers , cross functional areas and multi nationalities at various levels,I feel a tectonic shift towards the new operational outlook in the meetings and events industry . What these changes look like or should look like , will be again over a time which will be under trials and errors in many ways. Couple of the changes on conducting events are imminent .

Getting organised and recognised first is an important step initially . Many may come under Micro segments in MSME and some may not be even visible. Unskilled workers or technicians in MICE may be temp staff for many and may not be even registered. How do we channelise this and get more organized till we are classified as an industry ? Duplicity of laws and making way around them tempt business owners to save on cost hence keeping at bay from getting them self disciplined in business functions . This functionality needs to be broken . Task force should be constituted to focus primarily on business ethics and operations .

National bodies like Convention Bureaus, Promotion Bureaus are advised to be kept independent with well equipped stalwarts from the industry to be empowered to take decisions for the good of trade and sector. These convention and promotion bureaus are to be suggested state wise under the mother body for upliftment of state tourism and marketing its destinations with offering subventions to attract global association businesses . Lists of all state stakeholders actively enrolled with the chapter to form up an ecosystem within to grow together and have SOPs delivery and profitability attaining triple bottom lines (people, planet and profit)

Travel Agencies PCO PEOs, hotels and venues and players in the market have to define a fine line between competition and bloodbath. The pie available as business is as important for all and as players are we ready to pick up business ? and At what cost? . High time we start certification of players and diligently approved by the government to operate within a scope of business. Our teams are well skilled and educated in the same fields and certified , trained to do jobs meant for trade. Standardization and parity in terms of minimum pricing to sustain have to be maintained to keep it simple and to avoid undercutting bloodbaths .

Ease of doing business literally has to be with ease. Taxations, or tax payment mechanisms , permissions , approvals , refunds and red tapism takes a toll and gives birth to arm twisting and corruption . In a cascading effect where margins are lesser forcing businesses to look for other ways to earn and thus engaging in unethical ways and being incompetent . Keep it simple with taxes , straight forward invoicing and payments cycle to keep engines running with happy law abiding business owners.

Safety and hygiene standards are to be revisited and remade. Indian hotels are better off to at least scan luggages at entry where the rest of the world still doesn't have the same practice. Smaller to bigger hotels, all classifications are to be mandatory by independent bodies , with 3 step approval mechanism and timelines to improve for checks . Since They make the venue safe , and boosts confidence in participants to attend the same, post pandemic mass gathering should be termed and stated as ORGANISED gatherings by the MICE and hotel or venues .Strict measures on hygiene are to be implemented too, in terms of room sanitization and housekeeping . Minimisation and less wastages leads to sustainable measures getting implemented and thus a win win for the community.

As newer processes and standards are made to redevelop the MICE and Tourism we should not forget to keep it simple and easy. Procedures look fantastic on paper but most of the time are so tough to implement as many do not want to adapt to these changes and discourage the teams to be a part of the same.. Changes are to be repeatedly tried and experimented , test flexible methods to cause no harm and unease to the most important customer -that is the guest.

A robust marketing and sentiment building plan among the population has to be developed that promotes India and travel safe . It is indeed interlinked to overall consumption and disposable income but at no point should we give up marketing the safest destination and advantages to travel with government support on upliftment and marketing drive for the population to get moving . New Behaviour may be seen, less group travel and more individual travel or FIT, late booking trends call it last minute bookings, assurance of health and hygiene of the traveller and destination with agility and ability to deliver!

More and more people are looking online or searching for next holiday or travel , longing for TRAVEL. We are in Phase 01 of the post covid era.

Phase 1: PAUSE (right now)

Trade cannot work in isolation and sooner we join hands it will be better to rise together to regain confidence in the market and tourism sector.


#Charter Incentives , to be in air !

Incentive travel or group travel for corporate are unparalleled experiences to the teams and participants of the company. Group travel primary aims to enhance the productivity within teams for a common goal of the organisation .Incentive group travel can be luxurious and high-end, or it can be adventurous and authentic. there are endless destinations offering unique experiences to fit almost any budget, and with all programmes being completely tailor-made and adapted to suit your company’s needs.

Feature an Charter aircraft and that's a sure value add for a big group travel to a destination of choice. To get above the value chain and to offer a solution for all team to travel with ease and in one go - Aircraft Charter is in.

Having said that, it is still not an easy task to hire and fly an aircraft for a group travel. A lot of back and forth with brainstorming is required to be offered to stakeholders while negotiating the terms for an aircraft charter. Chartering requires certain information which needs to be clarified in terms of advantages and disadvantages to customer at the start.Some of the biggest advantages for chartering an aircraft is Travelling Together as one , areas which may have limited or no flight options can be approached too as destinations . It gives a feel of WOW to participants that an organization has made an effort for them as exclusive plane for travel. Customised menu in flight and time of departure and dates can be customised as per the schedule of the organisation. Many at times, the corporate do not want to travel due to high season for them and not ready to take advantage of low season of the destination. Nonetheless, they get an advantage of lean dates if they plan of charter flights. Other advantages of utilising all seats in charter saves an overall cost for the company. Not to miss the advantage of branding, announcements and glimpse of photo ops with crew and cockpit may be arranged for the kids on board.

With the ying , comes the yang too, the charter flights are solely dependent on the availability of aircraft of that size available to cater the needs of a customer, aircrafts may come in capacity of 150 plus to 300 seats available to charter with in India and for outbound operations . The place of origin depends on getting permit for landing the size of the aircraft along with immigration facility at that airport too. One of the biggest challenges in flight operations is the entertainment system compared to commercial flights which have a lots to offer. Looking at the option of Netflix and Amazon like apps these can be countered too to help passengers get the entertainment on board for a flight.

Challenges like landing permits and time slots become the most important factor while choosing the charter flights. DGCA grants the same with ease if the paperwork is completed and well organised.

Some of the factors which may be challenging to operate on are- airport operations which can be outsourced to companies like Celebi, who are well accustomed to handle any type of charter ops from passenger handling to ramp handling for airline. Meals can be customised as per choices of your participants and gives again a personal touch with service of liquor on board for the guests.

Indeed an upcoming experience with corporates to let team fly together . It is not limited only to corporates, but special interest groups and weddings can avail the facility of charter operations as well. A growing market which is having an exclusivity benefit for the stakeholders.