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World drawn to India

January 29, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

India’s growing travel and tourism market was evident at Outbound Travel Mart (OTM), India’s largest travel trade fair that drew trade representatives from 50 countries at its annual event held last week in Mumbai.

K J Alphons, Minister of State for Tourism, Government of India, said: “I am happy to know that OTM has emerged as the leading trade show in the Asia Pacific region. Thanks to the efforts taken by our government and Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi, regular outreach to the world community and Indian Diaspora has created a positive outlook abut India. We are working on confidence building mechanisms to establish India as a peaceful and safe destination.”

OTM rented out most area at the event to be the largest travel trade show in Asia Pacific region. Huge space was hired by National Tourism Organisation (NTO) representations to include respective attractions, DMCs, airlines and hotels at their stalls.

Tanzania sellers at OTM Mumbai

Countries like Finland, Japan, Tanzania, Botswana, Croatia, Rwanda, Cyprus, Fiji, Lithuania, Romania and Estonia offered as emerging and new alternatives to Indian frequent travellers.  Iran drew parallels with Indian hospitality and traditions.

“We are promoting MICE, Weddings and as a Film destination” said Demetrios A Theophylactou, High Commissioner of Cyprus, Mumbai. Cyprus offers 35 percent cash rebate and a host of other benefits to producers shooting in Cyprus.

Tanzania sellers at OTM Mumbai

Majed Ishaq, Representative, State of Palestine said: “68000 Indians visited the country last year, making it the fourth largest market for us. Visitors can come via Jordan, Egypt, and through Ben Gurion Airport in Israel. Holyland tours are very popular with places like Bethlehem. Ramalla, the city of culture and leisure, Hebron, Gaza, Nablus and Jenin are other attractions.” He affirmed of safe travel with affordable accommodation in the region. Shashat’s Women’s Film Festival is the longest running women’s film festival in the Arab World. It’s held in multiple cities across the country.

Karnataka Tourism displayed Gomateshwara. Mega monollithic staute is scheduled for its once in 12 year wholistic cleansing ritual

Rinzin Jamtsho, Chief Tourism Officer, Infrastructure & Product Development, Tourism Council of Bhutan said: “We are seeing a good growth of tourists from India and are ready to showcase less explored Eastern parts that now have with decent resorts.

Irfan Dhuka, Sales Manager, Korean Air, said: “Korea still remains an unexplored destination by the Indian traveller and has a lot of potential. A 17 member vegetarian group that flew to Korea recently was happy with special arrangements made available at hotels.” Korean Air has flights out of Mumbai and Delhi with three class configuration in seating.

UTA team at OTM

Himachal Tourism had the highest presence at OTM with 88 stalls. Anil Taneja, Asst., General Manager, Himachal Tourism, said: “Some are even sharing stalls due to lack of space. In all, there are 121 sellers. We’re targeting worldwide travellers to come to our all season Himalayan region to experience natural beauty. We recently hosted an international group for adventure activities like skiing, para-dropping, river rafting and mountain biking, We took help of Indian Air Force to arrange these unique experiences. Booking early helps in reserving state properties in best of locations and to have a control over budget.” Himachal Tourism runs 57 hotels and resorts that are upgraded to provide 3 star facilities.

“Western India is the strongest market for adventure tour operators and OTM is a good place to connect with partners” said Captain Swadesh Kumar, President, Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI).

Travel Shastri representatives

North East State of Tripura highlighted its prehistoric temples, traditions and the good chances of sighting the special spectacled monkey. Travel Shastri, a newly established tour company specialises in packaging authentic epic and pilgrim tours with expert insights.

Representatives of 17 participating Indian State Tourism departments were also part of 1200 exhibitors who showcased their products to 15,000+ buyers and visitors during the three day B2B show held at Mumbai Exhibition Centre.

United Travel Agents (UTA), a group of young, upcoming travel agencies was offered complimentary Business Bay pavilion at a prime location at OTM. Satyaprakash Gupta, Owner Vista Travels and founder member of UTA said: “We’re encouraged to have received 800 footfalls at our pavilion that had 9 agents selling different products from across Asia. Some key suppliers at OTM like Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and CIS countries also made presentations to UTA members at the conference room.

Indians take 22 million trips abroad and more than a billion within the country. Mumbai is the largest source market for both outbound and domestic leisure, business, MICE and weddings.

Written by Anand & Madhura Katti

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