Digitally enabled practices for travel, tourism & preserving culture & heritage
The following session was aimed at discussing the best ICT practices in the travel and tourism industry and preserving local culture and heritage. The session was chaired by Mr. Desi S. Velli, ED & COO – Net 4 India and co-chaired and moderated by Mr. Asif Syed, Editor – Current Newspaper. Both of them introduced themselves briefly and proceeded with the session.

First speaker on the dice was Mr. Ruchit Patel from Amitech Business Solutions, Gujarat. He initiated by sharing how he and his cofounder started-up. He shared that initially they attended events and seminars to enhance their networking. But soon they realized that the number of events that were actually happening in the city were higher than the number of events that they attended. Thus they thought of a platform where each and every event happening in the city could be put forward. And they incepted All Events. He added that All Events is one of the largest event portal that gives you the details of events happening in the city form a small meet up to a big corporate discussion, a small performance to big music concerts all at one platform. It has got event organizers, event enthusiast all under one roof. All Events has till date registered over 3.8 million events so far from across 12000 cities worldwide. Once you use the app, it automatically detects your location and suggests you events nearby you or in your nearby city. With the features like inbuilt maps, event calendar and live photo sharing features under its belt, All Events is a party animal’s paradise.

The following speaker was Mr. Sandeep Sandhar from Roads Less Travelled. He shared that their company connects the local travel operators, who are doing some fantastic work in their local areas with the mainstream travel markets. The packages offered range from adventure, culture, rejuvenation, village travel etc. They operate basically in the Himalayas and there products can be accessed via The target market for RLT is the top class executives who love to travel. But eventually they are now fed up of the regular holiday destinations and seek some more experiential travelling. Such people are now bored of the traditional site seeing. They want to indulge into experiencing things and in fact into some hobbies such as adventure sports etc. He explained various products that they offer ranging from spiritual trips, cycling drives, stay with the local people as well as the Maharajas etc. On being asked as to how digitization has helped them, he shared that majority of the bookings and offerings are made through websites while they have a very active community of travelers in social networking sites such as Facebook.

Mr. Kingshuk Biswas from Official Tourism Website of Gujarat was the next presenter. The presenter shared that tourism was more about experience and the website was mere extension of their marketing wing. Gujarat being a family tourist destination, offers a large variety of products and it was very difficult to accumulate all of them on one site but still with the help of ICT tools they were able to achieve it. He then told how he overcame these challenges and the number of accolades that their tourism board has one recently. Also he told the importance of good and authentic content, which will act as natural crowd puller. A round of feedback by the chair and the moderator followed this.

Mr. Desi Valli then invited the next presenter Ms. Chitra Gurnani from Thrillophilia Adventure to present their product. The presenter shared that “Love with adventure” is the meaning of the company’s name and they seek to simplify activity travel for their consumers. She then demonstrated some numbers to show the vast possibilities of adventure travel in India. In the absence of any big player, this market offers ample opportunity for early startups. He added that the main issue that they feel is the absence of organized information about thus sector. This is where Thrillophilia steps in. they have organized the options of activity travel in India and across globe for those who are planning such trips. Also they offer unique products to suit your desire of thrill. Their USP is the fact that they personally visit and check the quality of the service provider they work with and in fact the itinerary is also personally checked. With ICT tools like their website, Facebook page and they are trying to make an online community of travelers where you can get all information about adventure trips you want and that too from credible resources.

The next presenter was Mr. Himjyoti Talukdar from, one of its kind monthly bilingual magazines published from Assam and aims at familiarizing its readers with the local culture of Assam. It was launched in April 2010 from Guwahati. He added that they operate as a monthly updated website. They also seek to translate the Assamese literature into the English language for their global reader community. This is done through the ‘Project Lipyontor’ which means translating one from into another. They offer detailed information of the art & culture, wildlife, folk culture, natural beauties and literature of Assam. For the first time in the history of Assamese literature, has introduced the concept of e-library. Not only this, but they have also created an online database for Assamese songs and books. In the two years of its operation, they have established themselves as pioneer in the field of e-magazine in Assam. They have received lots of positive reviews and appreciation for their work. They are certainly doing a very novel job by protecting and promoting the culture of a geographically landlocked place in the contemporary world.

Last presenter Dr. Dinesh Katre was from The Interactive museum, CDAC (Pune). They were here to demonstrate their project of interactive museum which they had implemented in the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum, the erstwhile Prince of Whales Museum in Mumbai. The presenter mentioned as to how this museum was acting as a pioneer in interactive learning by setting up kiosks to promote history. The museum has several galleries in which they have setup games and puzzles that are very interactive and tries to satisfy the curiosity of a museum visitor. He added that usually in a museum, people are not allowed to touch the artifacts while they want to touch and get a 3 dimensional view of the artifacts. Also they seek to learn as much as they can about that particular thing. This is being done in a nice way by the interactive kiosks. They have setup 10 interactive touch screen objects in various galleries of the museum which help you learn more and more about the rich heritage of the country. He then showcased a video to show how this is helping increase the response of the museum visitors and also their knowledge. Indeed this is a pioneering use of technology and ICT by a pioneer museum of the country.

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