First ED­WIN con­quers Ladakh

The first Ed­u­ca­tional Des­ti­na­tion Work­shop-In­ter­na­tional (ED­WIN) by Global Panorama Show­case (GPS) con­cluded re­cently in Ladakh. Har­man­deep Singh Anand, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, GPS, shares how the first in­stal­ment of the work­shop went and what are the key take

TravTalk - India - - AGENTS - PRITI KHANNA FROM LADAKH

QHow and when was ED­WIN BY GPS was con­ceived as early as 2009 when it was still a part of Jag­sons Trav­els. At that time, we started tak­ing travel agents as­so­ci­ated with us on ed­u­ca­tional trips so as to give them a first-hand ex­pe­ri­ence of the des­ti­na­tion. Th­ese were small groups of about 10-12 agents. It was then we re­alised that pan In­dia there are many such travel pro­fes­sion­als who need hand-hold­ing and des­ti­na­tion ed­u­ca­tion, en­abling them to be a bet­ter pro­fes­sional seller of a des­ti­na­tion to their clients.

QHow dif­fer­ent is Fam

In ad­di­tion to fa­mil­iaris­ing the agents with the des­ti­na­tion, it also gives an op­por­tu­nity to the lo­cal trade to get ex­posed to the agents from the Tier II and III cities PAN In­dia, where the prod­ucts and ser­vices from a par­tic­u­lar re­gion may not have ac­cess to even though they may visit In­dia for their prod­uct pro­mo­tions. ED­WIN in­cludes a day of B2B in­ter­ac­tion in ad­di­tion to var­i­ous ho­tel in­spec­tions, prod­uct ori­en­ta­tion and ex­pe­ri­ence by the par­tic­i­pat­ing at­ten­dees, who are re­ferred as ED­WIN’S.

QWhat was the

Within 24 hours of open­ing the reg­is­tra­tion for ED­WIN – Ladakh, we re­ceived close to 200 reg­is­tra­tions. It had an over­whelm­ing re­sponse of 800 per cent as we had lim­ited space for about 50 at­ten­dees only for the first edi­tion of ED­WIN to Ladakh.

QAny rea­son to have

Yes. Be­ing in In­dia, we felt that it would be ideal to start off ED­WIN from our home coun­try it­self. This is prob­a­bly one of the most se­cluded and less ex­plored des­ti­na­tions, but one of the most de­sir­able ones in the world. Our part­ners in Ladakh—Tundup Dor­jey from Over­land Es­cape and Kam­lesh Lalan from Ravine Trek, were very keen to get such a large at­ten­dance from var­i­ous parts of In­dia into Ladakh.

QB tar­get tour op­er­a­tors II and Tier III

The pur­pose of GPS is to ed­u­cate and em­power the travel fra­ter­nity par­tic­u­larly from the Tier II and III cities and ED­WIN in due course will cre­ate a level play­ing field for th­ese pro­fes­sion­als. Though the tar­get is agents from Tier II and III cities, but we also take on board se­ri­ous pro­fes­sion­als from the metro cities ex­cep­tion­ally. The main in­tent is to qual­ify agents who have at­tended our GPS events.

QWhat are your fu­ture plans and vi­sion re­gard­ing

We plan to have at least six ED­WIN des­ti­na­tions in a year, and are work­ing closely with var­i­ous en­ti­ties, des­ti­na­tions and agents alike. The in­tent of ED­WIN is to bring the travel fra­ter­nity of pro­fes­sion­als closer and re­move the ter­ri­to­rial bound­aries.

QWhat are the key take­aways from the first

ED­WIN par­tic­i­pants have gath­ered a lot of knowl­edge about des­ti­na­tion Ladakh and some ex­ist­ing myths have been cleared by be­ing there in per­son. All at­ten­dees of ED­WIN-Ladakh are now bet­ter equipped to sell the des­ti­na­tion to their clien­tele, thereby not only sell­ing a pack­age to the client but rather a com­plete ex­pe­ri­ence with a whole lot of in­for­ma­tion on do’s and don’ts, as well as the pre­cau­tions as Ladakh is not like any of our other des­ti­na­tions and needs spe­cial guid­ance and plan­ning.

QH fu­ture des­ti­na­tion you

All ED­WIN’S have pledged to pro­mote Ladakh as a sus­tain­able and re­spon­si­ble tourism des­ti­na­tion, thereby re­tain­ing the seren­ity of the re­gion. We also in­formed and ed­u­cated agents on pro­mot­ing Ladakh as a win­ter des­ti­na­tion in ad­di­tion to the cur­rent sum­mer months, which lasts for only about five months in a year.

QW

We had CA Man­ish Ga­dia (GMJ & Co.) with us on this trip who in­ter­acted with the at­ten­dees on GST mat­ters. We also did a ses­sion with the travel in­dus­try lead­ers, with re­gards to GST and its im­pli­ca­tions to the re­gion of Ladakh as prior to July 8, 2017, there were no taxes ap­pli­ca­ble to the re­gion. We were very well re­ceived by the peo­ple at large in Ladakh, as also the in­dus­try lead­ers of var­i­ous or­gan­i­sa­tions were present to in­ter­act with our at­ten­dees. We plan to do a larger ED­WIN in Ladakh in April 2018 in as­so­ci­a­tion with the com­plete travel trade of the re­gion In the cur­rent edi­tion, we had par­tic­i­pants from about 18 states and 35 cities across In­dia who qual­i­fied as Ed­u­ca­tional Des­ti­na­tion Work­shop In­ter­na­tional Spe­cial­ist (LADAKH).

ED­WIN par­tic­i­pants have gath­ered a lot of knowl­edge about des­ti­na­tion Ladakh and some ex­ist­ing there in per­son.

Har­man­deep Singh Anand In­dia Travel Award win­ner and Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, GPS

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