The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has launched its first initiative towards promoting the digital drive in the Indian travel and tourism industry.

As a part of its mandate, FICCI has launched a ‘Travel Tech Launchpad’ that aims to boost innovation and growth of travel startups during the second edition of FICCI’s flagship event ‘Digital Travel, Hospitality and Innovation Summit.’ The event is scheduled to be held on March 22-23, 2017 in New Delhi.

Commenting on the development, Rahul Chakravarty, Director and Head – Tourism, FICCI in a statement said, “FICCI is launching The Travel Tech Launchpad with an objective to encourage entrepreneurship and technology innovation in the field of Travel & Hospitality.”

As per an official statement, the Summit will be an opportunity for travel startups to learn from experts in the field of travel, exhibit their business ideas, and display their products and services, in addition to providing a unique opportunity to connect with the right set of ecosystem partners.

The event is expected to be participated by investment bodies such as Sequoia Capital, Inventus Capital, and Kae Capital among others. Several angel investors and venture capital firms are also expected to participate in the event.

The contribution of the travel and tourism industry to India’s GDP is expected to grow by 7.2% per annum during 2015–25, as per IBEF. The tourism sector has witnessed investments worth $42.9 Bn in 2015 and is expected to attract $132.9 Bn by 2025, as per a report by the Indian Express.

Earlier in 2014, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) partnered with Travel Capitalist Ventures, a travel-focussed investment firm, to create the NDC Innovation Fund which will be investing in startups working in B2B or B2C travel space. In the same year, online travel firm, MakeMyTrip launched a $15-Mn innovation fund to invest in startups working in the travel-related technology space.