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Empowering Central India

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From Showcase Jagsons in 2013 with about 27 participants the growth into GLOBAL PANORAMA SHOWCASE (GPS-2014) has been phenomenal. The company involved Madhu Saliankar of Entreps Solutions as marketing partner for GPS-2014 and also roped in Tourism Malaysia as the partner country. GPS 2014 witnessed participation from several tourism boards like Bulgaria, Indonesia, Gold Coast Tourism, Destination New South Wales, TCEB, Reunion Island Tourism alongside both domestic airlines like IndiGo and GoAir and international airlines like Emirates, Oman Air and Malindo Air participating at the event. Other participants included Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Taj Hotels, Fairmont Hotels, Jumeirah Maldives, Viceroy Maldives, Sun International, Accor, Rotana, London & Partners, Rail Europe, Star Cruises, MSC Cruises, Island Holidays, Ark Travels, Akquasun, Neotrav from Maldives, Tour Oman from Oman, visa facilitators, Roam1 Mobile, Adventure biking Tours and Trawelltag Cover-More (overseas insurance provider).

The three-day event, from January 24-26, 2014, received buyers from Raipur, Bhopal, Indore, Bilaspur, Jalna, Nasik, Amravati, Akola, Chandrapur, Bhandara, Bhilai, Gondia, Aurangabad, Mumbai, Pune, Latur, Chindwara and many other neighbouring cities. The suppliers at the event comprised of hoteliers, airlines, tourism boards, visa facilitation companies, travel insurance players, foreign exchange currency providers, tour operators, international roaming SIM card brands, cruise companies, event management companies, online booking engines, white label solutions, etc. “Our focus was on outbound tourism, most suppliers were international apart from a few local suppliers. GPS-2014 was a platform to bring the overseas suppliers to the heart of India and get them exposed to the tier two and tier three markets which was much required by these products and we were successful in achieving the goal,” said Harmandeep Singh Anand, managing director, Jagsons Travels. The first two days of the event were dedicated to the travel trade and the last day was open for end consumers. The event is a platform offering all kinds of travel and tourism services and products for the travel trade. This year’s event had a table-top format and had a hosted-buyer programme. Exhibitors at the event had an opportunity to undertake some serious B2B business discussions and to create awareness of their products among the fraternity members of central India on a one to one basis. The event was well received by both buyers and exhibitors alike. The format of the event was unique and different from the regular events that take place across India in the same sphere as it gave opportunity not only to the owners but also the frontline staff, travel consultants and also students pursuing travel as a career option to interact with members of the trade. “We also honoured our partners at the gala evening awards night and on the second gala evening we launched the prestigious coffee table book titled ‘The Explorer’ in honour of our founder chairman late Jagat Singh Anand, which was brought out by Express TravelWorld from The Indian Express Group,” added Rishiraj Singh Anand, joint managing director, Jagsons Travels.

There were close to 60 hosted buyers from Vidarbha , Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. There were a total of 60 exhibitors with more than 100 products. Also 3500 B2B meetings were held over the three days and probable business generation of over Rs 1.5 crore due to the event. The footfall for the three days was well over 2,500 including close to 400 travels agents, travel professionals and final year students pursuing tourism related courses (students attended almost all the 18 sessions over two days of the workshop).

Workshops at the event

Product presentations and educational workshops of 45 minutes to an hour were undertaken on two days presented by the participating exhibitors. In total 18 such sessions were held over the two days. The most successful one was the Travel Agents Engagement programme by Trawelltag-Cover More by Aman Kaushik and Dev Karwat. Malaysia Tourism certification programme which was conducted in four modules was completed by almost 40 participants doing all four modules and was attended by over 280 participants. Star Cruises and MSC certification session also saw a good attendance of over 70 participants each. All sessions were well appreciated by the participants as also the exhibition. The event also gave first hand opportunity to travel professionals and students under the same roof to gain knowledge about various products.

In Conversation

Reema Lokesh in conversation with Harmandeep Singh Anand MD and Rishiraj Singh Anand, joint MD, Jagsons Travels, gets a detailed view on the event and its vision

Harmandeep Singh Anand
Rishiraj Singh Anand

On the vision and motivation behind setting up Global Panorama Showcase (GPS)

Following the success in 2013 we felt that there is a definite need in the market especially in tier two and tier three cites to meet and experience products as this market is open to explore. Most tour operators and agents in these regions have felt left out though there is immense potential in these regions due to higher net disposable income. The vision of Global Panorama Showcase (GPS) was conceived with the intention of educating the buyers from central India who normally do not get the much needed information. With the project we are trying to bring global players to participate in the heart of India and explore the potential by showcasing and educating the agents and consultants in this market and equip and educate the local players so that they are at par with their counterparts from metros and other major cities.

Focus areas of the GPS 2014

Main focus areas are particularly the destinations that are keen to capture the potential of central India. All travel related services and products which are essential for a traveller while travelling domestic or overseas, be it insurance, visa support, global phone cards and other related services will be part of the showcase event.

Challenges faced while implementing GPS 2014

The project was conceptualised by both of us in early 2007. It actually took us almost six years to bring it to life. One of the major challenges was to convince suppliers to be a part of this event and the exposure and benefit they will gain as delegates. Through good relations within the travel fraternity we were able to overcome these challenges and convince people to participate with the help of few of our close associates and industry friends.

Buyer feedback

The buyers who were primarily from India’s tier two and tier three cites, have regarded the event as a confidence booster. Raju Akolkar – Destination Travel and Vacation Planners, Nagpur and Raja Gariba – Rising Sun Travels, Nagpur and Ankush Deshmukh – Ankush Travels, Nagpur firmly felt that the event gave them an opportunity to interact with suppliers who were new and suitable for their clientele. They were also proud that this event has given Nagpur a position of recognition. Abhishek Kothari of Bhgawati Travels Nagpur and Madhuri Deo – Soma Travels and TAAI Chapter chairperson Nagpur also shared similar views and are looking forward to be bigger event in 2015. Manohar Roy, Consultant for Jagsons Travels, Nagpur, has plans in place to scale up the event for 2015. Kishore Bagdia of Somesh Travco, Jalna and Mukesh Agrawal – Lakshya Holidays from Gondia, were glad to have attended the event and are confident to market the products in their region. Irshad Mehdi of Ideal Tours and Travels, Nagpur went home striking some deals on the ground itself.

Future expectations educating the fraternity in central India and equipping them with as much information and tools to cater to the needs of the clientele is definitely the way forward. “We are expecting to host the next edition of the event in 2015 on a much larger scale. While this year we had focused on central India, with a major participation of suppliers from international tourism boards and products, plans are underway to incorporate a large number of domestic suppliers, focus on metro cities, tier two and tier three cities and witness participation of hosted international buyers in 2015. We would like to showcase what Nagpur and its surrounds has to offer to buyers in India and also buyers from overseas as the Tiger Capital,” mentioned Harmandeep Singh Anand. The main thrust would be to showcase local talent and promote the same to the global exhibitors and buyers. “We would try to be different by engaging not only the owners and managers but also the frontline and students pursuing courses in the field of tourism in central India. Further, we plan to have food festival, GPS campus interviews for placements of travel pursuing students and professionals, showcase local talent, art exhibition in addition to the workshops and educational programmes and also have a B2B meeting platform which would be the heart of GPS-2015 and the same would be held around similar dates in 2015,” informed Rishiraj Singh Anand. He added that 10 per cent of the revenues from GPS-2015 will be dedicated to CSR initiatives in Nagpur.

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