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Tuesday, 07 August, 2018, 12 : 07 PM [IST]

GPS empowers travel agents in Ahmedabad & Lucknow

Crossing over 1,200 footfalls in Ahmedabad and over 750 participants in Lucknow, Global Panorama Showcase (GPS) received overwhelming response from both the cities. The GPS app adaption rate was also over 70% in these markets which gave organisers a firm reason to believe that format of the show meets the expectations of attendees and is able to establish a benchmark in the industry. Prasenjit Chakraborty and Anurag Tiwari present highlights of the events.

The third Ahmedabad edition of Global Panorama Showcase which took place from July 12 to 14, 2018 at Courtyard by Marriott met with tremendous success. “In 2016 we decided to take GPS outside our flagship city Nagpur. And to select a venue we had a brainstorming session among our team members and after that zeroed in Ahmedabad. Thus, Ahmedabad becomes the first city to host GPS event outside Nagpur. I must say this was the best decision of our team,” said Harmandeep Singh Anand, Co-founder, GPS.

The inauguration ceremony witnessed the presence of Bijal Patel, Mayor of Ahmedabad (who was also the chief guest), Mahendra Vakharia, President, OTOAI (Outbound Tour Operators Association of India), and other eminent personalities from the industry. Speaking on the occasion Patel said that tourism sector contributes significantly in our economy. “We are happy to see that the sector is registering healthy growth. India has rich history and heritage that needs to be seen,” she exhorted. Vakharia in his speech underlined the need of adoption of technology by the industry. “It is imperative to embrace technology to ensure growth. If not, we will miss the bus,” he cautioned. Anand in his speech said that Ahmedabad had shown the path how to go paperless in any exhibition.

The first day also saw interesting discussions and presentations by several companies viz-TravelPort, Saraaj Enterprises, TrawellTag, etc. Session on GST during the post lunch session also attracted several people.

Around 70 exhibitors from different sectors of tourism had participated in the exhibition. Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, WTM London & Arabian Travel Market, Reed Travel Exhibitions, was the chief- guest on the day two. While speaking exclusively to TravelBiz Monitor, Press described GPS as a brilliant platform for the travel industry. “GPS is doing an excellent job by introducing brands to regional markets and at the same time making SMEs aware about the new taxes through their educational seminars,” he said. Buyers from cities like Surat, Vadodara, Navsari, Valsad, etc, had visited the exhibition. There is no doubt that each edition of Ahmedabad is getting stronger and people are increasingly embracing technology. Commenting on this Ankush Nijhawan, Executive Director, GPS, said that from the technology point of view the app is far more robust and efficient this time. “I believe people are using this app more compared to the last year. As far as footfall of buyers is concerned, it is 10-15% more when compared to the last edition. I think we have to add more exhibitors in the next edition,” he opined.

Testing waters of Uttar Pradesh for the first time, Global Panorama Showcase organised its fifth exhibition of the year in the city of Nawabs i.e. Lucknow. Organised from July 19 to 21, GPS Lucknow witnessed over 750 footfalls during the course of the exhibition and saw travel agents and tour operators travelling from neighbouring cities like Kanpur, Gorakhpur, Allahabad, Varanasi, Meerut, etc., to attend the three-day affair.

According to Rishiraj Singh Anand, Co-Founder, GPS, Lucknow and Hyderabad were two cities chosen this year as the new entrants in the GPS Calendar as these cities are large and cash rich markets in terms of tourism and also due to the lucrative travel demand arising from these cities especially in terms of outbound travel. “Lucknow did meet our expectations as we recorded over 650 pre-registrations and buyers were present here even before the exhibitors for the meetings and sessions on all three days,” he added.

The day one of GPS Lucknow witnessed interactive sessions on on topics like travel products, Goods and Services Tax, e-commerce and artificial intelligence. Sessions on artificial intelligence and e-commerce were the highlight of the Lucknow edition as these were the newly added subjects to the agenda of the show and received an overwhelming response from the attendees. “Today, with the advent of the internet, a person sitting in a Tier-III market is equally accessible to any piece of information as is a person sitting in any Tier-I or II market. Through GPS sessions, we try to empower these travel agents on how to use technology efficiently which can help in the enhancement of their business in future,” stated Harmandeep.

Interestingly, the first Lucknow edition witnessed over 70% GPS app adaption rate among the buyers which was higher than few Tier-II cities. “This proves that travel fraternity of Lucknow liked the concept of GPS and has shown tremendous support in making GPS a paperless exhibition,” expressed Harmandeep.

Considering the overwhelming response received in Lucknow, Harmandeep ambitiously stated that GPS will look to close 2018 with over 8,000 footfalls in total across all its editions which would be highest among all the tradeshows happening across the country. “Withstanding firm on our motto of empowering the travel agents and tour operators in smaller cities of India, GPS has been able to fulfill its commitments over the course of three years travelling across the country and numbers this year shall speak our journey and would be the testimony of our success,” he concluded.
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