A level-playing field for trade
Despite being realistic about inbound flatlining in the year gone by, industry bigwigs who attended the Great Indian Travel Bazaar give a thumbs-up to the trade fair and appreciate the grand stage it offers to showcase their products.
GITB was much better before this year and the year before. This year we had a team of 11 people from IHG. Inbound tourism is definitely growing and the numbers are getting better. I believe we need more hotels and the infrastructure needs improvement. We need to get more competitive with smaller countries as they are doing much better than us. I think that with the effort from the government as well as hotels and tour operators, we will get there sooner than later.
GITB has been very good for us, considering the fact that we have the largest stall here and thus the number of appointments we have is also big — over 400 odd appointments for 12 hotel partners. This year the agents at GITB have been really good, not only in terms of quality but also in terms of diversity. We’ve always been looking at the UK, France and Germany markets. I think it’s time to move out and concentrate on Australia and the US, which have been growing for us. You can’t put your eggs in one basket anymore.
In the last seven years, nothing has changed at GITB. It’s the same. While the event is not bad, in the last two year, the inbound industry has been going down. After the incident on December 16, 2014, things have changed. We don’t give any comforts to our incoming guests, but give them more stress. There’s something wrong in the marketing and handling people coming into our country. Single woman travellers have stopped coming to India. We hope things will get better in the coming years.
We have been a part of GITB for the last five years and have seen people come back and talk about our property even after the show. There is a good response and the show allows us to build reputation as well as garner business. We have seen a lot of French tourists coming to our properties and Rajasthan as a whole. We are also working with the UK market and targeting the Russia market.
This is the second year we are participating in GITB. We had a fair amount of queries last year. Both our days at GITB were full of appointments this year. And we hope to do good business as well. The trend here and otherwise shows that inbound tourism is growing year by year and it sure will translate into bigger opportunities and employment generation.
We have been associated with GITB from the day it started. This year particularly, the quality of clients is very good. We are very happy. This fair particularly is very good for inbound tourism. Firstly, because it is professionally managed and secondly there are no outsiders and we have great meetings coming. So in a short time you get the opportunity to meet many good quality tour operators.
GITB was good and even business-wise it was profitable. We met a few clients from big companies and a lot of people from Brazil, despite the country not doing quite well currently. At the moment the inbound market is not that good. We are only hoping it is going to be good. Summer looks pretty good. Spain is going to be picking up this summer, which has been pretty slow in the last couple of years.
GITB and such exhibitions are very essential. In a very controlled environment one can meet the right kind of people for the right kind of product. It makes selling and understanding the client and the overall relationship much better. We have been getting the most support from the US and the European market. Other than that there’s a lot of interest coming from Singapore and the Far East market as well.
We cater to a number of inbound markets like Germany, France, Israel and we are working on the Scandinavian market as well. The inbound market has been generally low in the last few years, and we’ve been concentrating more on the domestic market because travel is much higher there. Once you pitch yourself in the domestic market, even the payments are higher. ADRs are much higher compared to what you earn from the inbound market.
We are partner airline for GITB along with Etihad Airways. I think any corporate activity , which is done by a state to promote, attract buyers and br ing them to actually see the product and services that the state has to offer, is a fantastic initiative. A huge number of meetings are planned, and even if a s mall percentage of buyers translate into actual business, it’s going to be good for inbound tourism.
The platform at GITB gives us an e xcellent opportunity to meet FT Os. We h ave received a very good response from all the buyers and hope that it will be a good show. We are majorly focusing on medical tourism as we are in close proximity to the hospitals. We are also targeting the c orporate and M ICE clients for our hotel.
We have been par ticipating in GITB f or the past se ven years, and have seen the show evolving over a period of time. A lot of ne w players are coming into the market. Thus, somewhere, it’s all about creating visibility of the brand. We, specifically as an organisation, have reasonable numbers coming in from Germany, F rance, and Spanish markets.
This is our eighth year at GITB and I think this is a good platform to come and showcase the product and interact with travel agents and know the international travel agents who visit the exhibition. Such meetings are very relevant in the market, although the instant picture is not clear. The results are not immediate, but it helps in the long run.
Nikhil Vahi Senior Vice President, Hospitality Operations & Development, D. S. Group Hospitality
Ragini Chopra Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Public Relations, Jet Airways
Sunil Sikka Head - Marketing & Business Development, WelcomHeritage
Rohit Katyal Head of Sales – Delhi/NCR, Jüsta Hotels & Resorts
Rajnish Sabharwal Chief Operating Officer, TUTC
Homa Mistry CEO Trail Blazer Tours India
Greesh Bindra Area General Manager, North & West India, IHG
Rita Shah Chief Operating Officer, Hans Hotels, New Delhi
Anshul Bhargava Corporate General Manager, The Ananta Udaipur
Jitendra Singh Rathore Chairman, Indian Historical Hospitality
Dhananjay Kumar General Manager, The Suryaa
Sowmya Vijaymohan Partner RARE India
Zacharia George General Manager Ramada, Alleppey