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Wednesday, 30 December, 2015, 12 : 00 PM [IST]

GPS 2016: Expanding Domestic Footprint

It is that time of the year, when travel trade from Tier-II and III cities of Central India will congregate in Nagpur for knowledge sharing and business engagements. Disha Shah Ghosh offers a glimpse into GPS 2016, that is set to push the envelope for business of travel agents based across India
Global Panorama Showcase (GPS) is an annual event organised by Nagpur-based Jagsons Travels Pvt. Ltd, one of the largest travel consolidators in Central India. The main focus of GPS is to empower and offer networking opportunities for agents from Tier-II and III cities in the region, and give them a greater exposure to available products and services to cater to their clientele in a much more professional and organised manner. Moving ahead with this vision of reaching out to the agent community in the interior parts of India, the 2016 edition of GPS is set to expand its geographical reach by going beyond the home turf of Nagpur. The trade show this year 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’.

The B2B  marketplace is the brainchild of Harmandeep Singh Anand, MD, Jagsons Travels Pvt. Ltd, and Rishiraj Singh Anand, Jt. MD, Jagsons Travels Pvt. Ltd. Conceptualised in 2007, the event was launched in 2013 as Showcase Jagsons, and rechristined in 2014 as GPS.

The core idea behind organising GPS is to empower and educate smaller brick and mortar agents, who don’t get an opportunity to participate in trade shows organised in metro cities. “When these members of the travel trade meet their counterparts within their region, it serves as a confidence booster. It works to their advantage as they gain knowledge about tourist products across the country and in international homeground. Therefore, our focus is to make sure agents get an opportunity to meet the right kind of exhibitors at GPS,”said Harmandeep Singh Anand.

Showcase at GPS
The annual trade show that will begin the year 2016 in Nagpur on January 8 at Hotel Centre Point Ramdaspeth, will also witness the launch of a global cruise liner. For the first time, the city of Nagpur will witness a global brand announcing its cruise ship that will be double the size of SuperStar Virgo, with 1,800 cabins and having a capacity to accomodate 3,600 passengers.

The 3-day event in Nagpur will throw the spotlight on Central India, with close to 115 exhibitors showcasing their range of offerings. These exhibitors will include DMCs, representation companies, domestic and international tourism boards, hotels, visa facilitation and foreign exchange providers, airlines, car rental companies, OTAs, international roaming SIM card brands,  etc.

Talking about the maiden trade show of the year, Anand said, “The event will see participation of travel agents and tour operators from Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Bhilai, Bilaspur, Nagpur, Bhopal, Indore, Satara, Sangli, a few cities from Southern India and Gujarat besides Sikkim, Patna and Bhubaneshwar. 80% of the participants will be from Madhya Pradesh, Vidharbha, Chattisgarh and Khandesh.” The Nagpur event of GPS is looking at attracting between 100 and 150 hosted buyers from Aurangabad, Nasik, Jalgaon, Pune, Khandesh, etc.

The event will see exhibitors and buyers negotiating business deals over a table-top format. The first 2 days of the marketplace will be open for B2B dealings and the third day of the event will be open for visitors. “GPS won’t follow the pre-fixed appointments format. The Indian market is yet to mature to that level. Maybe in the coming years we may incorporate the format. We are contemplating to include educational and business sessions in the future editions,” Anand stated. The event will be spread over an area of 20,000 sq ft of floor space.

The 2015 edition of GPS witnessed a growth of 50% in exhibitor and buyer attendance, over the previous year. “At GPS 2016, we are looking at maintaining the growth, but focus is on showcasing newer products and services. We are expecting close to 400 delegates during the first two days of the show, which are scheduled for business meetings. This 4th year of GPS will see 75% of repeat exhibitors. There will be no standees, but flex backdrop for exhibitors. Additionally, the highlight of GPS Nagpur will be the launch of NGO Tourism, for the first time in the world. It is a unique concept. People have dedicated themselves to save human lives, and that will be the centre of our focus,” Anand shared.

GPS will also see international tourism boards making their presence felt. “We are expecting close to 8-10 international tourism boards at GPS in Nagpur. Canada, Philippines, Singapore have confirmed their presence and we are in talks with the tourism boards of Thailand,  Egypt and Turkey,” Anand said.

Event Support
Like last year, Tourism Malaysia  is the Country Partner for GPS 2016, while Starwood Hotels & Resorts is the Hotel Partner. TravelBiz Monitor magazine is the Knowledge Partner of GPS 2016, while is the Online Media Partner. w

Other partners of GPS include EntReps Solutions as the Marketing Partner, IndiGo as the Airline Partner, Lavasa as the Smart City Partner, InterGlobe Technology Quotient as Technology Partner, Genting Hong Kong and Star Cruises as Cruise Partner and TravellTag as Travel Insurance Partner. “Discussions are underway with some state governments in India to come onboard as State Partners,” said Anand.

Connecting the Dots
The return of Qatar Airways to Nagpur after a gap of 6 years, will be a shot in the arm for GPS 2016. “Most international delegates will fly to GPS on Qatar Airways that offers connections to 150 destinations beyond Doha to Nagpur, and many more with interline agreements with other airlines,” Anand said. This added advantage is set to be a major boost for Central India and the Vidarbha region with Nagpur as its base.

Besides the 3 days of the show, GPS 2016 will also offer delegates a glimpse of Tiger Tourism of Central India thorugh pre and post event tours. GPS has tied up with hospitality providers like Safari, Irai Safari Treat, Jharna Jungle Lodge Tadoba, Tatasthtu in Pench, Tulisuites in Madgrah Malegaon, Club Mahindra in Kanha to showcase the wildlife attractions that the region is known the world over
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