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Friday, 19 July, 2019, 15 : 36 PM [IST]

GPS Hyderabad & Ahmedabad 2019- A Step Ahead

The Hyderabad edition of GPS was held on June 26 and 27, 2019, at Hyderabad Marriott Hotel & Convention Centre. This time the organisers have tweaked the format of the show. “Earlier, first day was fully dedicated to educational training which is also known as KIT Talks (Knowledge, Inspiration and Training). Now, the KIT Talks will be held from 10 am to 2 pm in every city followed by lunch and half day B2B,” said Harmandeep Singh Anand, Co-founder, GPS. June 27 witnessed full day B2B session.

In the morning several prominent companies like Rail Europe, Oman Air, TrawellTag Cover-More, etc., made presentations. Besides this, there was a GST session where Manish Gadia, CA, answered several tricky questions raised by the audience.

The inaugural day of the event also witnessed GPS signing MoU with Meetings Mean Business, India. Anand on behalf of GPS and Nitin Sachdeva, Co-Chair, Meetings Mean Business, India, signed the MoU. Speaking on this, Anand said, “There is a huge opportunity in the MICE sector in India. The objective is to enhance each other’s market in India. We are connected with 40,000-45,000 travel professionals in India with various platforms on social media which will facilitate to choose agents who are into the MICE business. Sachdeva said that this is the first MoU they signed in India. “The aim is to get top leaders in the MICE segment and face-to-face meetings are our top priority,” he said.

GPS has also introduced Eco Connect from this year. “Eco Connect is a smaller version of GPS which will follow one day format. Under this,events will be held in cities like Vizag, Indore, Jaipur and Guwahati. These events will be conducted between October-November this year,” revealed Raju Akolkar, CEO, GPS.

For GPS, the thrust is always to educate and empower regional players so that they contribute more and more in the overall growth of the tourism industry in India. Throwing light on this, Anand said that the number of regional players in the tourism industry across India is growing rapidly. “Unless you focus on regional players the industry will not prosper at the desired level. Being a regional player I understand the exact needs of them,” he pointed out. Anand categorically stated that their aim is not to increase the number of audience every year. “We are looking at empowering the regional players and making them understand their potential. There are many visitors who came from far flung areas of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and these regional players were neglected so far,” he said.

Sunil Kumar, President, TAAI, visited the exhibition on the last day. Speaking to TravelBiz Monitor, he said that it’s good that GPS is being held in Hyderabad, hence offering more opportunities to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to connect with suppliers. “The B2B format is a good platform to educate people. I sincerely believe that GPS will bring perceptible change in the travel industry of these two states,” said Kumar.

Besides Kumar, other prominent personalities from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Tourism also visited the exhibition. More than 60 exhibitors from different arenas of tourism industry had exhibited their products. The Hyderabad edition had registered more than 1,000 buyers which is a very encouraging sign.

Exhibitors’ Speak

S Sriram, Territory Head for South India, Jalesh Cruises
The response from visitors in terms of our product is very good. People are pretty excited about the product and asking many questions which is quite interesting. We are happy with the way the event is organised.

Jilesh Babla, Director, Zanzibar Tourism Promotion Centre
The exhibition is very good for me as I received plethora enquiries about my destination. Most of the agents whom I met have no idea about Zanzibar and Tanzania, so I informed them using this platform. This year we are doing Edwin Zanzibar exclusively with GPS.

Buyer Speak

MI Omer, Asst Manager, Aerowings Holidays Pvt Ltd
This exhibition brings in different types of suppliers under one roof which is very helpful for travel agents, especially from remote parts of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. I wish more and more tourism boards participate in the future.

     The seventh edition of Global Panorama Showcase (GPS) in Ahmedabad from July 3 to 4 concluded with an exceptional response from the exhibitors and buyers. The first half of Day 1 was dedicated to the Knowledge, Inspiration and Training (KIT talks) along with a few product trainings followed by the B2B session. July 4 was a full day B2B session. The event hosted around 180 buyers, including few first timers from Ahmedabad and the surrounding cities to meet with their peers and suppliers exhibiting at the event from different parts of the country on a single dais.

According to Harmandeep Singh Anand, Co-Founder, GPS, Ahmedabad has always been cordial towards GPS. “It’s our 4th year in Ahmedabad. The response in this city has always been overwhelmed. We have got close to 200 buyers from surrounding cities. Recording more than 1,200 registrations GPS has moved far beyond the numbers. The GPS app being user-friendly and its effectiveness in connecting the industry through a single point of network have gained considerable recognition.”

The format of GPS was proposed as a two-day event rather than a three days format. Raju Akolkar, CEO, GPS said that, this slight makeover for GPS is because of a lot of research and analysis. “Earlier, we had one whole day of the knowledge sessions and presentations and one and half day for B-2-B. So technically, we have not cut down on any activity of GPS, but just reformulated it in a crisp and efficient manner.”

Today, GPS is recognised and well accepted in 8 cities starting from Nagpur, Hyderabad, Ahemdabad, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Kochi, Kolkata and Pune. “This year, we have launched the GPS EcoConnect which will be a one-day event in 4 cities viz. Vishakhapatnam, Jaipur, Indore and Guwahati in October after the phase one of GPS is completed,” Akolkar said.

Talking about their presence globally, Anand said that GPS is already a global player with the EDWIN (Education Destination Workshop-International) programme. “We plan to conduct at least 4 EDWIN programmes in 2019. We have various verticals like the GPS, EcoConnect, exclusive club these are our exhibitor partners. Other than that we have Eduex, TenX memberships with more than 1,000 members,” he said.

In 2020, GPS plans to overhaul the complete format since they would have completed a circle of the set targets. Anand said, “We plan to schedule our calendar for our further developments. We have signed an MoU with Meetings Mean Business, an organisation that takes care of MICE business. This will help us strengthen and build new partnerships and tie-ups with players of MICE across the country and beyond.”

GPS has recorded more than 1,200 registrations from the Tier-II and III cities. “GPS has witnessed good numbers in terms of registrations but, we are no longer looking at the numbers. We are looking for active participation where we expect the attendees to understand our goals and excel in the fraternity which enforces them to adapt to the changes that come with time,” concluded Anand.
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