It’s busi­ness as usual at ITB Ber­lin

TravTalk - India - - QUICKBYTES - Kar­ishma Khanna & Har­shal Ashar from Ber­lin

The an­nounce­ment of the in­au­gu­ral ITB In­dia in 2020 in Mum­bai got the bet­ter of travel trade at ITB Ber­lin 2019. In­dia’s strong pres­ence of around 355 ex­hibitors this year re­in­states the im­por­tance of in­ter­na­tional fairs and the grow­ing im­por­tance of the Eu­ro­pean mar­ket for In­dia.

I think we re­ally need to re­con­sider as there are no new buy­ers at all. There are not too many peo­ple this year in ITB. The show looks rel­a­tively slow this time. About 80 per cent of my meet­ings are with part­ners work­ing with us while the rest are the new ones. My main ob­jec­tive is to try and meet atleast 5 to 10 per cent of new clien­tele every year—whether we are able to con­vince them to sell In­dia is sec­ondary. There has to be more par­tic­i­pa­tion of the In­dian travel trade at these ex­hi­bi­tions to re­ceive bet­ter foot­falls at the In­dia stand.

I have been at­tend­ing ITB every shows. Be­ing in the PR, Mar­ket­ing & Rep­re­sen­ta­tion busi­ness, ITB is a show where you meet with cur­rent part­ners and make new in­ter­na­tional trade friends. The show gives one a lot of in­sights into new des­ti­na­tions through dif­fer­ent ed­uca­tive fo­rums. I need to point out that that events such as these are in­creas­ingly be­com­ing an op­por­tu­nity for net­work­ing. We do have cer­tain ob­jec­tives when we come here and we work to­wards it. Ex­cit­ing times for ITB ahead with its in­au­gu­ral show in In­dia in 2020!

This year ITB Ber­lin took place just af­ter the tragic Pul­wama at­tack. In­dian tourism bears the brunt of such at­tacks or un­for­tu­nate in­ci­dents in the coun­try. For­eign tour op­er­a­tors who vis­ited us and se­cu­rity con­cerns in In­dia. All In­dian ex­hibitors and sup­port­ing teams joined hands in show­ing sol­i­dar­ity in these chal­leng­ing times and im­medi ately spread a word of as­sur­ance whilst also ad­dress­ing the lo­cal me­dia. We recorded al­most 37 per cent more vis­i­tors at our Ke­sari in­bound stall as we launched new prod­ucts and off­beat des­tina tions for dis­cern­ing trav­ellers.

The ex­hi­bi­tion helps us to open doors to build new re­la­tion­ships and helps us to work on re­la­tion­ships that are al­ready es­tab­lished. We had a good num­ber of meet­ings at this year’s edi­tion of ITB Ber­lin as well as in­ter­acted with a few new agents. In fact, they are com­ing through prin­ci­pal agents from Delhi only. We are here for cre­at­ing aware­ness about our proper ties. One has to know the fair well to make the most of it. Next year I am plan­ning to come up with my own stall. It’s good to work un­der the Ra­jasthan ban­ner but you don’t re­ally get an ex­ten­sive ex­po­sure. ITB is one of the most im­por­tant travel trde shows that we look for­ward to par­tic­i­pat­ing in every year.

We at­tend ITB Ber­lin with a lot of ex­pec­ta­tions and ev­ery­one wants to have new ac­counts added. It looks like the rep­re­sen­ta­tion ev­ery­where is the par­tic­i­pa­tion of more state tourism boards at these plat­forms. That is ex­actly how des­ti­na­tions get mar­keted — through pres­ence at in­ter­na­tional ex­hi­bi­tions and con­duct­ing road­shows. These shows are al­ways more about re­la­tion­ship man­age­ment where you meet a lot of peo­ple un­der one roof. Since these marts are at­tended by peo­ple com­ing from every nook and cor­ner of the world, plat­forms such as these keep one up­dated on trends that are preva­lent at a par­tic­u­lar time.

Proper plan­ning and right ap­point ments are nec­es­sary to meet po­ten­tial FTOs. The speed net­work­ing ses­sions are ex­tremely use­ful. It to­tally de­pends on us on how to lever­age the strength of ITB. It is like an ele­phant, so you have to train them how to lift the tim­ber other­wise you will just stand. ITB has with tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments and sev­eral work­shops. You can re­ally lis­ten to what is hap­pen­ing around the world. A lot of fo­cus is laid on dif­fer­en­ti­ate our prod­ucts from oth­ers. As a coun­try, we have ev­ery­thing for every type of trav­eller.

The show started off at a slow pace but we were suc­cess­ful in con­clud­ing our meet­ings dur­ing the show. New play­ers in the mar­ket at­tract us to­wards this ITB Ber­lin but it’s more about meet ing our ex­ist­ing part­ners who we get to meet here every year. Get­ting the right au­di­ence at such shows is ex­tremely im­por­tant. That is what is miss­ing cur rently as a re­sult of which it has be­come op­por­tu­nity but some­body who spe­cialises in tech­nol­ogy is look ing for larger cus­tomers or cus­tomers who are real in the mar­ket

Ber­lin, I found the travel trade show well or­gan­ised. Ev­ery­thing was thought of and pre­pared for which makes at­ten­dees at the event be at ease and be able to ex­plore and ex­pe­ri­ence the dif­fer­ent show­cases the event had to of­fer. As an ex­hibitor, I was glad to present JA Mana­faru Mal­dives to not just the peo­ple of Ber­lin but to peo­ple from across the world. The ex­hi­bi­tion also gave me an op­por­tu­nity to meet with our ex­ist­ing part­ners with whom we have long­stand­ing and fruit­ful re­la­tion­ships. I also had the chance to meet with new part­ner­ships in the fu­ture.

ITB was at least 3x for us this year ver­sus 2017 & 2018 for a sim­ple rea son of our ex­pan­sion in Europe. To­day we are cov­er­ing coun­tries start­ing right from Rus­sia to the CIS and right up to the UK. This demon­strates our com­mit ment to this mar­ket and our pre­oc­cupa tion with both our sup­ply as well as our de­mand in this mar­ket. The foot­fall was far higher this year be­cause I think we are gaining pop­u­lar­ity here now. The brand is be­ing known to peo­ple so they are look­ing for us now rather than us stand­ing and wait­ing for peo­ple to come. ITB Ber­lin is a fab­u­lous show. The weather has been kind and I hope the ex­hi­bi­tion be­comes big­ger next year too.

ITB Ber­lin is a golden op­por­tu­nity for us to meet our cus­tomers in the Eu­ro­pean mar­ket. Apart from that, sev­eral in­no­va­tive com­pa­nies mark their pres­ence here to rep­re­sent their so­lu­tions, thereby giv­ing us an op por­tu­nity to ex­plore the trends in travel tech­nol­ogy. The meet­ings have been more pro­duc­tive this year. A lot of new ex­hibitors show­cased their prod­ucts at the ex­hi­bi­tion. We are con­stantly adding new part­ners, new sup pli­ers, new ho­tels as well as new cus­tomers, es­pe­cially be­cause Europe is a new mar­ket for us. It is a good op­por­tu­nity to meet all of them at one place.

The ex­pe­ri­ence this year at ITB has been phe­nom­e­nal. We re­ceived an ex­cel­lent re­sponse for our con­tent so­lu­tions and plat­form. We got cus­tomers and prospects from across the globe that was not just re­stricted to Europe. A lot of ex­ist­ing as well as new leads have been gen­er­ated at this edi­tion of ITB Ber­lin. We now aim to con­vert all the new prospects into good busi­ness from ex­ist­ing as well as new clients. Not only our cur­rent clients but also new prospects vis­it­ing us es­pe­cially from APAC mar­kets has been very en­cour­ag­ing.

ITB is with­out doubt the largest and most rel­e­vant in­ter­na­tional travel trade event. The main ob­jec­tive for me is al­ways to meet with my ex­ist­ing part­ners and net­work with po­ten­tial new ones not only from Ger many and West­ern Europe but also for es­tab­lish­ing re­la­tion­ships from east­ern, Cen­tral Eu­ro­pean and other emerg­ing mar­kets. To that end, ITB this year de­liv­ered splen­didly. I also be­lieve there was wider par­tic­i­pa­tion from in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies this year, giv­ing ac­cess to a larger au­di­ence and there­fore jus­ti­fy­ing our at­ten­dance.

Savio Pereira Di­rec­tor, Bench­mark Travel Rep­re­sen­ta­tions

Naresh Arora Founder & CEO, Tru­lyy In­dia Ho­tels & Resorts

Alexan­der Kharabadze Di­rec­tor of Sales & Mar­ket­ing, JA Mana­faru

Dileep Ku­mar P I Gen­eral Man­ager The Leela Raviz Ko­valam

Satya­jit De­sai Head—In­bound & Do­mes­tic, Ke­sari Tours

Karthik Venka­tra­man Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent Ezeego1

Debasish Bhowmick Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent Ho­tel Clarks Shi­raz

Gau­rav Chiri­pal Quad­labs

Deepak Bhat­na­gar Manag­ing Di­rec­tor Aa­mantran Trav­els

Pranav Ka­pa­dia Founder & Di­rec­tor Global Des­ti­na­tions

Gau­rav Bhat­na­gar Co-Founder TBO Group

Ankush Ni­jhawan Manag­ing Di­rec­tor Ni­jhawan Group

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