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Tuesday, 22 August, 2017, 16 : 49 PM [IST]

GPS Pune cements its presence as a permanent fixture

Global Panorama Showcase (GPS) 2017 finally concluded in Pune with an encouraging response from the trade fraternity from the debut city. The outcome of this edition in terms of number of registrations and buyer-seller meets clearly indicates that organisers made a wise choice by choosing Pune as one of the event venues. Disha Shah Ghosh reports.

For the travel industry coping with developments like revision in service tax rate in January and subsequent roll out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in July, it was clear that the trade had to be active in understanding the repercussions of this major tax regime and move to a more organised form of business. The seriousness to get an understanding of this tax reform and eventual focus on business was evident at the final leg of the five-city Global Panorama Showcase 2017 in Pune from August 10-12 at the JW Marriott. While the organisers were testing waters with Pune, the second venue in Maharashtra to host GPS after the flagship event of Nagpur, the travel trade in the city and nearby areas managed to show its solidarity towards business despite the city’s ‘laid-back’ approach.

Exhibitor Speak

Manoj Upadhyay, Business Development Manager – India, ClubMed (Mumbai)
Our experience of participating at GPS Pune was great; we could meet new agencies and the city is a potential market and the networking opportunity was beneficial. We participated in all the five cities and except Kochi and Kolkata each city has been very productive. The organisation of the event has been commendable.

Manvinder Singh, GM- Sales & Operations, Sahibji Travels & Tours (Delhi)
We debut at GPS this year and are overwhelmed with the response because of the footfall. We have managed to close nearly 13 bookings from all the five cities, and many more are in the pipeline. GPS has turned out to be a good platform to showcase our products and company, and tap markets that are new. Meetings agents from nearby areas was a boon because it is not easy to make sales calls everytime. We are also exhibiting at GPS Nagpur 2018.

The educational workshops as well as the most attended knowledge session of GST across all venues of the show continued to remain a crowd puller in Pune; however, it was the B2B days that clearly swept the event. With over 1,253 registrations, GPS Pune outperformed the Nagpur edition. In the words of Raju Akolkar, CEO, GPS, “This was the first time we hosted GPS in Pune where we could tap agents from cities like Aurangabad, Ahmednagar, Solapur, Kolhapur, Satara, Sangli and Baramati. The response was unexpected and the exhibitors were happy that they could reach to 1,070 buyers in these areas on the first day and 183 buyers on Day 2. This resulted in an average of 10,000 meetings. It’s a win-win situation for exhibitors and buyers to have brought GPS to Pune. Even the local trade visitors came out in good numbers. We plan to make Pune a fixed structure in our annual calendar.” Some of the exhibitors even managed to get confirmed group bookings for their products as GPS has managed to create a strong foothold in the country, Akolkar said. In Pune, 200 buyers were part of the hosted buyer programme. “Therefore, plans are firm to expand GPS beyond the 6 cities in 2018. We will continue to innovate with our show and its format in 2018,” he said.

According to Harmandeep Singh Anand, Co-Founder, GPS, with an “overwhelming response” for all the editions with registrations and participations crossing the 7,000-mark, in 2018 GPS will be expanded to at least 2 more cities. “Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Kochi and Pune are now a permanent fixture. We are considering adding Lucknow, Jaipur or Hyderabad to our portfolio. However, we are looking at a smaller format of oneday programme in cities like Guwahati, Bhubaneswar and Madurai depending on the response we receive.”

Since Pune was the second city in Maharashtra to host GPS besides Nagpur, a first for the trade marketplace, Anand said that the aim was to cover a larger part of the region. “The Nagpur edition serves as a single-point contact for the trade in Central India. With Pune, we have managed to tap areas that are at a relatively far from Nagpur, because of its close proximity to the prominent cities that generate good business.”
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