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Wednesday, 02 August, 2017, 11 : 12 AM [IST]

GPS successfully captures Ahmedabad and Chandigarh markets

In just a year’s time, Global Panorama Showcase (GPS) Ahmedabad and Chandigarh editions have grown significantly. Gaining a high satisfaction rate from delegates, the number of both buyers and suppliers has surged in these towns, thus keeping the quality intact. Needless to say, the trade show rightly addresses the concerns of these secondary markets, report Prasenjit Chakraborty and Akansha Pandey.
The second edition of GPS Ahmedabad took place from July 13- 15 at Courtyard by Marriott. This edition of GPS witnessed the participation of 71 exhibitors who showcased more than 150 travel products. “This edition is much larger compared to our maiden edition of GPS Ahmedabad. Moreover, the topics which we selected for session also received overwhelming response from the audience,” said Harmandeep Singh Anand, Co-founder, GPS. In total, over 1100 delegates attended the event.

A section of audience during the session at GPS Ahmedabad


The first day of the event witnessed day- long seminar and presentations where experts touched upon various issues. Prominent among them were Cyber Security in the tourism sector and GST.

Throwing light on the Cyber Security, Samarth Bhaskar Bhat, Ethical Hacker, Pervoyance Cyber Forensic, said that online services in the tourism industry are not spared by cyber criminals. “The sector is growing and the financial windfall attracts many malicious hackers and competitors. The tourism industry must now ensure that their transactions and customer data are protected from cyber-attacks,” pointed out Bhat.

Anand interacting with audience during the GST session at GPS Ahmedabad


Terming it as a global concern, he urged the tourism industry not to compromise on data security. According to him, currently, out of 10 crimes in India four crimes are cyber related. “It takes only 20 seconds to hack any version of window system. In order to protect the business it is essential to update your system on regular basis,” Bhat pointed out.

GST session was another highlight of the day and continued for several hours. This particular session touched 19 aspects (ticketing, hotel, visa etc) of GST pertaining to the tourism industry. CA Manish Gadia and Anand had answered various questions raised by the audience. This GST session stretched beyond the stipulated time and did not deter the enthusiasm of audience.

Talking about the future plans, he said that they are planning to organise one-day event in places like Surat, Jaipur, Guwahati, Lucknow etc. “I think the Tier-II cities have lot of importance in travel eco-system. A closer look says that everyone is concentrating on Tier-II cities. Compared to last edition I think there is 30% growth in terms of number of delegates which is very encouraging for us. Going forward, I am sure, Ahmedabad will emerge as one of the top cities for GPS,” said Ankush Nijhawan, Managing Director, Nijhawan Group. He also added, “In the next edition, our endeavour will be to get at least 120 exhibitors so that we get more number of buyers.”

Besides, this edition also saw the launch of EDWIN (Educational Destination Workshop International) where selected travel agents will travel to a particular destination and learn more about that. “EDWIN does not mean that it is only outbound and international,” clarified Anand. “It’s a purely workshop not a FAM trip. We will apprise the travel agents about the latest happenings, trend etc of that particular destination and the country,” said Raju Akolkar, CEO, GPS. In this direction GPS has tied up with Ravine Trek which is an adventure & leisure Tour company for the first domestic EDWIN workshop.

“We have joined hand with GPS for educational Fam trip to Leh and Ladak which will take place in the month of September. Around 50 travel agents will participate in this trip and we will show them how journey happens in this difficult region and what precaution they should take while visiting this region,” said Kamlesh Lalan, Owner, Ravine Trek.

GPS also tied up with Gujarat tourism Board. “This is a good B2B platform and we will participate in the rest of the editions to be held in different cities,” said K Biswas, Manager, Marketing, Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Limited.

EXHIBITOR’S FEEDBACK

Vasudha Sondhi, Managing Director, Outbound Marketing
This exhibition is overwhelming in terms of agencies come here and we have the opportunity to meet a good number of them. We have been in the market for a long time and meeting such agencies on our own but in a format like this one is tend to meet many more people. The quality of visitors has increased compared to the last edition.

Manish Synghal, Chairman & MD, DIMAZ Group
The response is good. For the first time we have participated in Ahmedabad and in the first day itself we received more than 125 visitors in our stall. 80% of travellers who booked through us for Russia are Gujarati and Marwari and this is the trend for last 4-5 years. We are immensely benefitted participating in this exhibition


BUYERS’S FEEDBACK

Abhishek Jain, Owner, Trippo
This edition of GPS is better compared to the last edition and ofcourse very informative for us. I hope organizers will get more international suppliers in the next edition here. Over all it is a fantastic experience.

Miral Kania, Owner, Tripframes Holidays
This exhibition is organised well and the seminars on Cyber Tourism and GST were really informative. I requested the organisers to organise one day seminar in Surat next time.


The Global Panorama Showcase recently concluded in Chandigarh at The Lalit Hotel witnessing an overwhelming turnout. This second edition of GPS in the “City Beautiful” was well-accepted not only from the local trade buyers but also by travel trade coming in from Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, etc. It was the largest hosting done outside the home-ground Nagpur till date. During the course of the twoday event, over 200 buyers were hosted along with trade walkins (complimentary) who did result-oriented networking with 72 suppliers showcasing 150 travel products in the city. In total, over 900 delegates attended the Chandigarh edition.

Exhibitor-Buyer interactions at GPS Chandigarh


Terming it as a global concern, he urged the tourism industry not to The biggest highlight at this edition was that the GPS Organisers managed to convince Clear Tax, a leading software used for tax filing to provide the software which as an MRP of INR 10,000 free of cost to all the registered GPS delegates until March 2018 for up to 5000 invoices, informed Harmandeep Singh Anand, Co-founder, GPS while speaking to TravelBiz Monitor.

Ribbon cutting ceremony at GPS Chandigarh


Addressing the delegates during the presentations, he added that even today, majority agents focus on selling tickets while in the dynamic scenario at present, ancillary sales is something which can fetch better revenue and make clients repeat and loyal. By selling ancillary products, the travel trade will not only widen their gamut of products and services, they will not have to worry about the commissions.

During the GST session, Anand emphasised that travel trade needs to have a better understanding of GST in order to extract the maximum benefit. “We need to know our rights in the first place and not blindly follow the unethical rat race. With GST in action, we should maintain transparency in our balance sheets,” he stressed. Together with CA Manish Gadia, Anand cleared numerous doubts of travel agents regarding GST and also explained how credit input will help in making the goods and services cheaper in B2B transactions.

EXHIBITOR’S FEEDBACK

Nitya Mehra, Manager – Sales & Marketing, Island Group
Island Group has been participating at all the editions of GPS since inception. Chandigarh is a potential market with serious buyers coming in to capitalise on the product knowledge. With GPS, we have been successful in tapping the demand and educating agents. We received queries for Eurasia, Eastern Europe, Jordan, etc. The travellers are discerning from this market and are now looking out for new and offbeat destinations. Undoubtedly, we’ll be back next year as well. Also, we would like to meet MICE planners and event management companies as well.

Lisha Krishnan, Trade Manager, Tourism Office of Spain – Mumbai
Spain Tourism aims to reach out to newer potential Tier-II and III cities and GPS was an easy way out. We are exhibiting at GPS Chandigarh for the first time. Punjab is very interested in Spain as a travel destination and the Indian travellers coming back from Spain have been giving quite good feedback. I met 30 serious buyers on the first day of B2B meets from Amritsar, Ludhiana, etc. and avidly promoted the Spain 360 Specialist training programme. I conveyed the GPS organisers to cover Lucknow and Jaipur cities too.


BUYERS’S FEEDBACK

Harraj S Sidhu, Managing Director, Sidhu Travels
GPS is one of its kind platform and the best trade fair in India which is effectively educating and empowering the small town agents. This has indeed enabled the agents to upgrade their businesses and enhance their product knowledge to a great extent. From technology, to forex and cruise products, GPS has widened the horizon of agents and informed them about the ancillary sales options. We did contracting with few suppliers on the first day of the B2B meet in Chandigarh. I would suggest them to have an overseas edition as well where we can meet the foreign suppliers directly.

Babanpreet Singh, Manager, Gurasees Travels
This is my second time at the GPS’ Chandigarh edition and plan to be a regular buyer every year. It is not just value for money but an amazing trade show for the newcomers in this industry. There are other large format trade fairs where one just ends up exchanging business cards. The best thing about GPS is that we get to meet and talk at length with the exhibitors. Even their mailers are very informative and well managed. Also, GPS being scheduled on working days goes on to show that only serious buyers come down for the same. All in all, it is a bang on ten on ten!


Talking about the response to the GPS Mobile application, Tanushka Kaur Anand, Executive Director, GPS exclaimed, “The app has been well-received by the attendees with 800+ downloads (excluding the GPS Organising Committee) and they also appreciated the hassle-free registration process. This year onwards, there is no more stamping format for the buyers but they are supposed to click selfies with the suppliers they meet. Going forward, we aim to make GPS an e-event and enable virtual meetings, etc. A lot is being done on those lines.”


It’s time to tap the tier-II & III markets: Ankush Nijhawan

The tier-II and III cities are getting all the more important leaving behind Delhi and Mumbai. With tremendous response to GPS across cities, each one of us can actually feel the pulse of the market. Travelling from one city to the other, we were amazed to see the growing demand for travel and the brand recall. With event such as GPS, the return on investment is way quicker.

Covering key towns this year, we too received an overwhelming response to the newly launched Travel Boutique Online (TBO) Destination Management Company (DMC) at GPS. Instead of the run of the mill destinations, we are eyeing destination which will take the centrestage in the next 3-5 years. We will be promoting emerging destinations of Bulgaria, South America, Vietnam, Cambodia, etc.

Harmandeep Singh Anand is a like-minded person which inturn pushed me to be a part of GPS. As a value addition, I have brought my rich B2B network, experience and entrepreneurship onboard.


prasenjit.chakraborty@saffronsynergies.in
akansha.pandey@saffronsynergies.in
 
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