Mumbai: After going back and forth with the idea of organising a national travel mart for India for over six years, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, has finally decided to hold it this year. The Global Travel Mart India (GTMI) will now be held between September 16 and 18 in New Delhi.

Discussions over the conduct of the event started way back in 2012 and the Ministry had announced many dates in the past before cancelling them midway.

Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Tourism, Government of India, said “The first edition of the Mart is being organised owing to persistent demand from the tourism industry. The event will be held in partnership with FAITH, the umbrella body representing all the industry associations in the country.”

Explaining the format of the Mart, the Secretary said that it will have components like B2B meetings on the first day, Investors Meet and workshops on consecutive days. “The plan is to bring 200 potential international buyers to the show. India Tourism’s overseas offices will identify the right buyers and opinion makers, and the industry partners will host them as well as organise the familiarisation trips for them.”

About the objectives, she said that GMTI is conceived as a platform to give opportunities for small and medium business in the industry to showcase their products before the international buyers. “While big travel companies have the wherewithal to participate in global shows like WTM, ITB, etc., small and medium players don’t get the exposure required.”

On overseas marketing strategies, she said, “The Incredible India 2.0 campaign has been successfully rolled out in major markets. New films showcasing niche markets like Ayurveda, Yoga, Luxury, Cuisine, etc. are ready and these will be rolled out soon in overseas markets. Earlier campaigns were for a short window of period focusing on the winter season, but current campaigns will run throughout the year to promote India as a 365-day destination.”

She said that India Tourism has eight restructured offices abroad and currently the government has appointed PR agencies at all these places. “India Tourism Marketing Representatives (ITMRs) will be appointed in identified destinations, especially, where offices have been closed down. ITMRs will also be appointed in some of the emerging markets like Korea.”

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