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Saturday, 20 February, 2016, 11 : 00 AM [IST]

Global Panorama Showcase: Breaking Records & Crossing Boundaries

After a stressful year of business, 2016 welcomed the travel trade with new opportunities at Global Panorama Showcase in Nagpur. While the event pushed the envelope in terms of organisation, the icing on the cake turned out to be back to back intense business negotiations throughout the first two days. Disha Shah Ghosh offers a sneak peek into the maiden trade show of the year that is now ready to move out of the home ground of Nagpur
At the Nagpur edition of Global Panorama Showcase (GPS), Jagsons Travels Pvt. Ltd. recognised the contribution of 8 distinguished individuals who have dedicated their lives to mankind, amidst a full house of exhibitors and buyers. The inauguration of the 3-day event at Hotel Centre Point saw Harmandeep Singh Anand, MD, Jagsons Travels Pvt. Ltd., and Co-founder, GPS, launching Voluntourism and pledging 5% of the gross revenue of the marketplace to the cause.

Besides Voluntourism, GPS Nagpur turned out as the launch pad for 2 other major developments. Jagsons Travels Pvt. Ltd expanded the GPS team by appointing Raju Akolkar as CEO, and getting onboard Tanushka Anand as Executive Director. Additionally, Genting Hong Kong and Star Cruises as Premium Cruise Partners of GPS announced the launch of Genting Dream, which is the first ship of the cruise liner’s newest brand, Dream Cruises. Genting Dream will target the Asian market with its maiden voyage this year.

Naresh Rawal, VP, Sales, Star Cruises announced the launch of Genting Dream in the presence of Pradeep Saboo, Partner, Guideline Travels; Kishan Biyani, MD, Ark Travels; Rajesh Bisht, Club7 Holidays; Joseph J Jose, COO, Travel Tours Pvt Ltd.; Kiran Bhandari, Founder, Cruise Club and Gulshan Pal Singh, Chairman, Jagsons Travels Pvt. Ltd.

Vounteers of ‘Caring Friend'
  • Dr. Kavita Satav & Dr. Ashish Satav,MAHAN Trust, Melghat 
  • Madhukar Dhas DILASA Sanstha, Ghatanji
  • Prof.M.D.Uplenchwar, Vidyarthi Sahayak Samiti, Varora & Hingaghat 
  • Usha Malviya & Rajesh Malviya, Bharatiya Adim Jati Sewak Sangh, Nagpur
  • Varun Shrivastava UPAY (Under-privileged’s Advancement by Youth), Mouda
  • Dr. Avinash Saoji PRAYAS, Amravati
  • Pradnya Raut & Pramod Raut Shri Krishna Shantiniketan Trust, Nagpur
  •  Maitreyi & Yajnavalkya Jichkar, Dr Shrikant Jichkar Foundation, Nagpur

GPS on the Move
Spread over an area of 20,000 sq ft of floor space, GPS Nagpur saw 115 exhibitors, including 12 overseas participants, negotiating business deals with buyers from Central India. The maiden trade show of the year witnessed participation of over 95 hosted buyers from Nagpur, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and the latest addition of Khandesh region, Maharashtra. The first 2 days of the trade show were dedicated to B2B engagements, and the final day was thrown open to general public.

Exhibitors at GPS included state tourism boards, international tourism boards, international & domestic hotels & resorts, DMCs, airlines, cruise liners, tour operators, travel & tourism products, travel technology companies, educational institutes, convention centres and medical & wellness tourism providers.

GPS as the premiere trade show of Central India aims to educate and empower agents based in Tier-II & III cities. This year, GPS is moving out of its home turf of Nagpur to establish its footprint across the Indian market. Therefore, the Nagpur edition was aptly themed, ‘GPS on the Move’.

TravelBiz Monitor was the Knowledge Partner and was the Online Media Partner for GPS 2016.

Addressing delegates at the inaugural on January 8, Harmandeep Singh Anand highlighted, “GPS 2016 is expanding its footprint across Tier-II cities in India. This year, the trade show will make its first foray into the cities of Coimbatore (July 14-15), Kolkata (July 21-22), Chandigarh (July 28-29) and Ahmedabad (August 4-5). Therefore, the event has been themed, ‘GPS on the Move’. Secondly, we are recoginsing the contribution of 8 distinguished individuals associated with ‘Caring Friend’ for dedicating their lives to serving human life.”


Eid Nawafleh, MD, Jordan Tours
This is my first year of particiiatpion in GPS and I realised for the maiden time for Jordan. I met people many buyers, and I have had some promising meetings. I am looking forward to follow up and correspond with them. Most of the buyers wanted to know about promoting Jordan as a solo destination, showing their keenness.

Vikas Sharma, Assistant VP – Sales Travel Trade, The Oberoi Group
2013 was the first time I participated at GPS and since then I have been regular. Tier-II and III cities have never been our focus areas, but we cultivated partners good partners at GPS and they have given us very good business in 3 years. GPS gives me a perfect platform to enhance my reach and distribution. People are coming from in and around Nagpur from multiple districts. The execution of GPS has been better than the previous editions.

Paramjit Bawa, Country Head, India, Destination New South Wales
This was my 2nd time participation at GPS and it is much better organised than last year. We don’t normally participate in trade events like this year because we have a calender of Tier-II cities where we conduct roadshows every year. This time instead of organising a roadshow, the organisers of GPS persuaded me to participate and they assured me of interactions with new buyers. I met many new buyers. It needs to be seen which of them will be able to sell NSW and with that angle I am happy.

Rajiv Duggal, CEO, Lavasa Corporation
This is our 2nd consecutive year of paritipation at GPS and the 3rd in total. This year the format has become changed drrastically and very good. I am happy they have understood us as exhibitors and made changes as per our suggestions last year. The quality of meetings has been superlative. The more they undrstand exhibitors the better will be the output of GPS. The organisers have managed to put forth a very good show.

Neha Kusoorkar, Senior Sales Account Manager Leisure, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts
This is our maiden participation at GPS. It is a great platform to connect and meet agents from Nagpur, Indore, Raipur and other Tier-II cities. This is the first time we are trying to reach buyers from the area. A great job by Jagsons.

Naresh Rawal, VP, Sales, Star Cruises
We have been associated with GPS since its inception. Central India is a prominent market for us, especially for the contemporary Star Cruises brand, because many passengers originate from this region. This year we also took the opportunity to launch Dream Cruises at GPS because of the prominence of the market and secondly GPS being the first trade show of the year.

Product Showcase
As a prelude to GPS, presentations and workshops were organised to educate the delegates about an array of tourism products. On January 7, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Tourism Malaysia, Tourism Canada, Tourism Philippines, Singapore Tourism Board and York University organised workshops, while TrawellTag Cover-More and Jordan Tours conducted presentations on the second day of the event.

Throwing light on Genting Dream, which is currently being built in Germany, Rawal said, “Genting Dream will make its first run from Germany to Guangzhou in China, where it will be home ported. On its maiden voyage, the ship will make a port of call in Mumbai in November this year. It will be 150,000 tonnes ship with a capacity to accommodate 3,000 passengers and 2,000 crew members. It will boast of 70% of its inventory in cabin and balconies. The ship will have 35 restaurants and bars, and will offer an array of outdoor adventure activities.”

As part of the marketplace, pre- and post-event Familiaristaion tours to Central India were organised for select travel trade and media. Tathastu Resorts at Pench Tiger Reserve, Club Mahindra at Kanha National Park, Irai Safari Retreat and Jharna JungleLodge at Tadoba Tiger Reserve, and Tuli Suites at Navegaon Nagzira hosted the delegates.

Breaking Record
The fourth edition of GPS in Nagpur created a record with participation of 700 buyers over the first 2 days of the trade show, which is double compared to the 350 buyers at last year’s event. Anand said, “At the 2014 edition, we welcomed 70 exhibitors, while in 2015, 100 exhibitors participated in GPS. This year, we have witnessed a tremendous response. We were expecting close to 450 buyers, and have crossed 700 buyers over the first 2 days. On the first day itself, we witnessed attendance of over 370 buyers. The pre-event presentations saw close to 150 delegates in attendance.”

Talking about the sailing GPS across India, Raju Akolkar, newly appointed CEO said, “We have received an overwhelming response from the delegates. At the end of the first day, business negotiations were still going on. This year GPS is on the move; travelling to destinations like Chandigarh, Coimbatore, Kolkata and Ahmedabad. We are targeting Tier-II and III cities across India, because agents in these cities have apprehensions to meet suppliers from metros. Therefore, we are moving ahead and bringing the trade fraternity to their doorstep.” Akolkar shared that exhibitors at Nagpur gave a thumbs up to the show.

Echoing similar sentiments, Rishiraj Singh Anand, Jt. MD, Jagsons Travels Pvt. Ltd. & Co-Founder, GPS, said that the response has been encouraging and exhibitors are satisfied with the arrangements. “We wanted to educate agents in Central India by organising roadshows and workshops. This gave birth to Showcase Jagsons, which was rechristened to GPS. This year we could improve the professional standard of GPS by forming a dedicated team. The major challenge was to get quality buyers, and we made the registration process along with flight ticket booking, online. Eventually, we are looking at offering appointment booking online,” Anand said.


Harraj Singh Siddhu, MD, Sidhu Travels (Chandigarh)
This was my first time participation at GPS. I never expected Central India to be in such great focus. The trade show is at par with SATTE or any other tourism fest. I met some old suppliers and a few new exhibitors. I had a great experience and the meetings have been fruitful.

Manoj Phulphagar, Owner, High-Fly Travel & Trade (Pune)
This is my maiden year of participation at GPS. The expreince is intersting to see city like Nagpur with such varied exhibitors. I have attended other trade shows, but GPS turned out to be more friendlier. I had detailed interactions with the new exhibitiors and we will start working together. Overall, the event is well organised.

Neeraj Gupta, Director, Peekay Holidays (Chennai)
The experience is good because exhibitors are here from across the world. I met different exhibitors with whom I negotiated business deals depending on the product. The event continued to maintain its dedicated focus.

Abha Bhosekar & Anuprita Marathe, Founders & Partners, Leisuroutes (Pune)
The event is well organised. I have been to SATTE last year, but I got more time with exhibitors at GPS because of being a small event. It was a good opportunity to get to know the exhibitors. Being a small event, chaos was avoided and we could easily with exhibitors, as well as buyers and media.

The aim this year was to position GPS as a premiere platform for trade interaction in Tier-II and III cities of India. Harmandeep Singh Anand shared, “We gave a cubicle of 2x2 mtr to all the exhibitors. We did away with standees and created a backdrop display for all exhibitors. The Nagpur event has surpassed our expectations. We started the price port system, wherein after meeting buyers through the day, exhibitors would stamp the price port.” At other editions of GPS, the organizers are looking at hosting buyers from nearby cities.

Sharing her experience of being involved with the show, Tanushka Anand, Executive Director, GPS, said that she had observed the past 3 editions and therefore was involved from day one. “I was part of the creative team and the event has surpassed my expectations. This year, we had a strong team and with better coordination, we made sure the event was a huge success. The
challenge now is to sustain the momentum at other editions this year,” she stated.

Three years ago, GPS appointed EntReps Solutions as Marketing Partner of GPS and since then the event has evolved in ways more than one. Throwing light on the GPS journey, Madhu Saliankar, Director, EntReps Solutions, and Executive Director, GPS, said, “The challenge this year was to get quality buyers. We focused our marketing activities with regular communication through edms, hoardings, brochures and boardings every week. Our target was to achieve 450 buyers and this year the response was overwhelming. We organised presentations a day prior to the event, which were well attended.”

GPS Nagpur 2017
The 2017 edition of GPS in Nagpur will be held on January 6 and 7. Throwing light on the same, Harmandeep Singh Anand said, “We plan to do away with the B2C day. Exhibitors are keen on working with customers on the B2B level. We will try to workout something fruitful for the B2C delegates as well next year.”

The focus on business at GPS was clearly evident with meetings underway even during the last 30 minutes of the show on each day. This year, GPS revamped its logo and every exhibitor was given a uniform backdrop branding. “Clearly, GPS has grown in terms of footfall. The local buyers have realised that GPS is a serious trade show. The buyers in Tier-II cities are now open to meeting exhibitors, and in Nagpur, we had a paid category for buyers which received a good response. Being the first event of the year has worked in our advantage. We want to replicate the same in other cities,” Saliankar said.

Overall, GPS Nagpur was well-organised, and exhibitors received many inquires.  While the table-top format offered good opportunities for business engagements, the challenge is now to sustain the momentum in the editions scheduled for the year ahead, and make GPS 2017 a better showcase.
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