Nagpur: Global Panorama Showcase (GPS), India’s largest travel trade interaction platform for tier II and III cities, kick-started 2019 with the 7th edition of their flagship event in Nagpur at Hotel Centrepoint, Ramdaspeth from January 21 to 22. Featuring over 100 exhibitors and 1100-plus trade buyers from over 90 cities including Vidarbha, Marathwada and Khandesh in Maharashtra and many more from neighbouring Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh in Central India, GPS Nagpur was a record-breaking travel trade event.
“Online pre-registration by trade visitors jumped to 1200 this year and when compared to the 700-plus last year, this has been phenomenal,” said Harmandeep Singh Anand, Managing Director, GPS.
Tan Sri Dato Richard CK Koh, Founder & GMD, Only World Group Holdings, Berhad and Claude Blanc, Portfolio Director – WTM, Reed Travel Exhibitions were the chief guests who were joined by other dignitaries including Sunil Kumar R, President, TAAI; Anil Parashar, President & CEO, ITQ; Vishal Bhatia, Country Manager-India, VisitBritain and Jagat Mehta, President, ETAA to light the traditional lamp.
On January 20, the trade delegates were hosted to a welcome dinner attended by the who’s who from the travel trade nationally. The next day witnessed back-to-back B2B meetings and ended with a gala dinner, fabulous performances and ample opportunities for networking. January 22 had B2B meetings during the first half followed by product presentations and knowledge sessions.
GPS’ new initiative, KIT (Knowledge. Inspiration. Training) Talks was launched at GPS Nagpur. “This is a unique educational seminar cum brand event for travel & tourism players to share pivotal knowledge and critical insights with the trade community,” added Harmandeep. Genting Cruise Lines; Experience England, VisitBritain and UKVI; Rail Europe; Oxxy; ITQ; Reliance Health GForce; Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot; Brand Value Media; and GMJ & Co made presentations as part of KIT Talks.
Oxxy, India’s largest healthcare network conducted a health camp with 10 participating hospitals offering free health check-ups worth Rs. 10,000 each for exhibitors and buyers. “At GPS, we educate, empower and care too,” remarked Harmandeep explaining the rationale behind the tie-up with Oxxy.
Pankaj Gupta, CMD, Oxxy said, “We are reaching out to travel agents in tier II and III cities through GPS to educate them on India’s largest healthcare network of 2,00,000-plus hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centres serving over 7 million patients across 1500 cities. Agents can sell Oxxy packages to their customers and this can become a new revenue stream for them.”
Marketing Manchester was part of the Experience England team and Tim Manley, Marketing Manager, attended GPS for the first time. “Having spent two days in Nagpur, I can vouch that there is tremendous interest in UK amongst tier II and III travel trade, thanks to the GPS EDWIN we hosted last year and also because of the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup matches in England.”
Educational Destination Workshop International (EDWIN) is another innovative initiative by GPS to educate the travel trade on how to optimally sell a destination. “In 2019, we will undertake 6 EDWIN sessions and destinations will be in Europe, Africa and South East Asia (Bali, Philippines). We will do two cruise EDWINS also with Genting,” confirmed Harmandeep.
GPS has grown from strength to strength since inception in 2013 as ‘Showcase Jagsons’ to become India’s premier B2B travel trade event focussed on offering buyers from tier II and III cities the perfect opportunity to network with travel industry giants, be they tourism boards, airlines and cruise lines, DMCs or ancillary service providers, while extending a perfect platform for the exhibitors to optimise their reach across tertiary markets in India.
Nagpur will be followed by travel events in Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Kolkata, Kochi and Pune. “This year, we are adding four more cities under our Eco-connect program launched last year to support start-ups and small businesses with a presence at GPS in order to promote their products,” informed Tanushka Kaur Anand, Executive Director, GPS. “Vizag, Indore, Guwahati and Jaipur will welcome GPS in a one-day format from October to December 2019.”
With a unique format involving informative knowledge sessions, fully vetted exhibitors and buyers, and a 100 per cent paperless show enabled by the GPS app, this is one trade show that continues to create deeper inroads into the untapped tertiary travel markets in India.