As People Come Out of their COVID Cocoons, Travel is Ultimate Incentive: Lubaina Sheerazi, BRANDit

Industry Watch | March 8, 2021 | Interview

Lubaina Sheerazi BRANDit

The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) recently appointed BRANDit as its official representative in India. BRANDit will handle marketing, sales and Public Relations for the island nation in the Indian subcontinent.

Here, Lubaina Sheerazi, CEO & Co-founder, BRANDit talks about it and also shares insights on the future of incentive travel and the events industry beyond the pandemic, the milestone events executed by BRANDit and plans for the company.

BRANDit has just been appointed by the Seychelles Tourism Board as its official representative in India. How do you view the future of incentive travel and the events industry beyond the pandemic?

As the world is headed towards recovery from COVID-19, revival of incentive travel looks positive in 2021. Sincedestinations like Seychelles have started opening up, consumer faith to plan trips abroad is expected to increase in the coming months. People are emerging out of their COVID cocoons to explore and get back to normalcy, making travel the ultimate incentive. People will still be skeptical, however, the idea of a fully organized, all-expenses paid trip by their company will be more alluring than earlier. Faith in destination management companies and agents will also be higher and booking the properties exclusively for smaller and larger groups may witness a rise in demand. With regard to the event industry, it was one of the first few sectors that adapted to the pandemic early on and moved to online events. Many virtual event platforms offer great experiences and it is seamless to also run multi-city roadshows on them. It is less time-consuming and more cost-effective, allowing greater creativity through virtual avatars, augmented reality and virtual reality content offering a more immersive experience. Moreover, organizing hybrid events will be more doable in the long run as they present a charm of physical presence as well as the convenience of remote participation.

Share some insights on the milestone events or services fromBRANDit in the past few months. What are your future plans?

Although travel was one of the worst hit industries during the pandemic, I am grateful that at BRANDit, we managed to stay positive, be innovative and adapt ourselves to the new normal. We utilised this time and opportunity to do more product development work for both Japan and Thailand. For Japan National Tourist Organization (JNTO), the idea was to build a deeper understanding of the destination among the travel trade fraternity by showcasing offbeat itineraries, encouraging longer stay options with unique destination experiences to broaden the perspective from opting for the typical run-of-the-mill itineraries. During peak COVID in July, we conceptualized and executed India's first ever virtual roadshow for the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)designed exclusively for travel partners across key metro cities in India to touch base with the Thai private sector. The India Luxury Virtual Connect (ILVC) witnessed participation from around 28 Thai luxury sellers along with close to 175 travel agents across East, West, North and South of India. The day-long event marked the commencement of a new remarkable era in the travel trade industry that can be easily connected by the online medium. We aim to continue doing more phygital events and execute some clutter-breaking ideas for all our clients.

Talking to EVENTFAQS Media, LubainaSheerazi, CEO & Co-founder, BRANDittalks of the recent association with Seychelles Tourism Board, future of incentive travel beyond the pandemic, and her plans

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