January, 2019

Prateek Hira speaks to Wonderlook Magazine about the past year 2018 and his expectations from the New Year 2019

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-Prateek Hira (President & CEO – Tornos & Gastroutes)

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Tourism is one industry that lives in hope for better year each year, and how optimistic we are, that even if the past year fails us, we still are excited for the next. 2018 was not a year to remember much, as most of businesses did not do well as projected earlier in 2017. This was due to many reasons, negative perceptions in foreign markets, government’s budgetary allocation, governments lack of interest in tourism, high GST on hotel rooms and many other tourism intermediaries, overall economic slowdown in international markets and so many more issues. Having said that, we as tourism professionals are inherently optimistic, thus we see a turnaround in 2019. After the elections tourism bodies will approach the new government to have a robust tourism policy, enhanced budget allocation and consistent publicity campaign to set things right for the next few years. As businesses, we will reinvent and re-engineer to suit the current and future demands, work on market development and extensions to better position ourselves in this highly competitive market. 

I have personally thought of a few resolutions for myself and I really wish tour operators take clues from these and have some resolutions in place for 2019 :-

  • Make knowledge core competency
  • Embrace new technology and bring it in use for day to day functioning
  • Make each staff member learn a new task and convert the workforce as a multi-tasked work force from which business can benefit
  • Introduce at least 3 new experiential products this year to develop and extend the market
  • Attend as many trade-shows as possible, so as to put across a welcoming message to tourists, both domestic and inbound
  • Involve myself more with tourism educational institutions, not only to give back, but also to encourage tourism students to join the industry and to imbibe what is required of them as tourism professionals of today
  • Take up a new research on any tourism related subject that could be a thought provoking study for betterment of tourism in general and could help others