OTM 2018 features over 50 countries and 25 states
The three-day travel trade show OTM was recently held at Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai, inaugurated in the presence of chief guest K J Alphons, minister of state for tourism, Government of India and guest of honour, Jaykumar Rawal, minister of tourism, Government of Maharashtra. Speaking at the inauguration, Alphons, remarked, “I am happy to know that OTM has emerged as the leading travel trade show in the Asia Pacific region, India has 5,000 years old civilisation and a huge heritage for the world to explore. The country has innumerable tourist destinations from The Himalaya Mountains in the North to the backwaters in the South. Indian tourism also offers spiritual tourism and cultural heritage with its widely spread civilisation in the sub-continent. I am grateful to the Government of India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for their effective efforts, regular outreach to the world community and the Indian diaspora, which has positively changed the outlook of India for tourism in the country. The Ministry of Tourism is working to bring in confidence building mechanisms to establish India as a peaceful and safe destination”
“OTM is Asia Pacific’s largest travel show. People from across the travel industry participate in this event which helps in promoting the tourism industry. This event has a legacy of 28 years and after Germany and London, OTM Mumbai is one of the largest travel trade shows globally. With the help of this platform, our efforts are to showcase the treasure of tourism that we possess in Mumbai, Maharashtra and the rest of the country,” said Rawal.
OTM 2018 featured over 50 countries and over 25 states. The three-day travel show was focused on B2B transactions between close to 1200 exhibitors and over 15,000 trade visitors and buyers. Cox & Kings also conducted destination workshops as the knowledge Partner. “OTM is the premier show in Western India that is growing faster and it gives us an opportunity to engage with the B2B market,” said Karan Anand, head – relationships, Cox & Kings.
“Turkish exhibitors wait for OTM. Western India is a very promising source market for Turkey, contributing 35 per cent of all Indian arrivals, most of it through the gateway city of Mumbai. This makes our participation in OTM Mumbai all the more important,” commented Ozgur Ayturk, co-ordinator, Asia and Pacific, Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
National tourist organisations of Turkey, Greece, Indonesia, Thailand, Egypt, Nepal, China, Kenya, Maldives, Rwanda, Macao, Bangladesh, Korea, Japan, Bhutan, Tanzania, Romania, Cambodia, Palestine, Cyprus, Croatia, New Zealand, Fiji, Botswana, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania had set up country pavilions, along with their hotels, attractions and operators. “This year we are promoting ourselves as MICE as well as a wedding and film destination and OTM is a right platform for us to do so,” said Demetrios A Theophylactou, high commissioner of Cyprus in Mumbai.
The event also hosted travel technology tracks, with sessions on innovative travel tech solutions, panel discussions with industry’s thought-leaders, innovation showcase, and digital skill development.
Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Dubai, Germany, Hong Kong, Iran, Kazakhstan, Laos, Latvia, Malaysia, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA, Uzbekistan and Vietnam were represented through private operators at OTM 2018.
Among Indian destinations, tourism departments of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Goa, Gujarat, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab, Andaman & Nicobar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chandigarh, Tripura were also present.
“J&K gets the maximum number of domestic tourists from the states of Gujarat followed by Mumbai, both in Western India. Therefore both- the tourism board and the private suppliers in the region eagerly wait for the OTM,” remarked Mahmood Shah, director, Kashmir Tourism.
“Sixty per cent of the travel show is all about India. About 22 million Indians travel abroad, but there is immense scope to boost the inbound travel in India. We should also look forward to bring more tourists from the rest of the world to India and serve this an opportunity to explore the exotic tourists destinations in the country,” said Sanjiv Agarwal, CEO, Fairfest Media.
“For the stakeholders in the travel trade who are looking for serious business and networking opportunities, OTM is a must-visit,” said Mahendra Vakharia, president, Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI).