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Monday, 21 November, 2016, 17 : 22 PM [IST]

MP Travel Mart 2016 Evolving with Time

Anurag Tiwari
Untitled Document
shivraj
Tapan Bhoumik, Chairman, MPSTDC and Surendra Patwa, Minister of State for
Tourism and Culture, Madhya Pradesh with Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chief Minister,
Government of Madhya Pradesh inaugurating MP Travel Mart 2016.


The Mart saw participation of
around 70 hosted buyers from
28 countries, 175 domestic
buyers from 54 Indian cities
and a total of 61 exhibitors, out
of which 50 were from Madhya
Pradesh.

As the saying goes ‘to sustain longevity, you have to evolve’. One can rightly say that the recently concluded Madhya Pradesh Travel Mart followed this saying in all earnesty. From the number of participants to technological advancements to increased participation from the private players, the Mart reflected striking areas of improvement. If I was to select the prime attraction from the Mart you would find me stuck in a dilemma. I received the proof of the success of the mart during an interaction with an international buyer, Alejandra Boloqui, from Argentina who expressed “India has always been elegant destination and its heart Madhya Pradesh by hosting MP Travel Mart has given us immense opportunity to bring the tourists from Argentina to India to celebrate the culture of this country.”

One of the highlights of the Mart was the M.P. State Tourism Awards Distribution programme. A total of 30 awards were given in 22 categories by Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chief Minister, Government of Madhya Pradesh. These awards are given in order to promote the excellence and encourage the participation of private players in the tourism sector of Madhya Pradesh. Tanvi Sundriyal, I.A.S, Additional Managing Director, Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. (MPSTDC) acknowledged the support that private players in the tourism industry have given them in the recent past. “The government is extending full support to uplift the tourism market of Madhya Pradesh. We want more participation from private sectors in enhancing tourism in the state. We want the Mart should be more successful year on year, but without the support of government.”

The third successful edition of MP Travel Mart held at Hotel Lake View Ashok, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh was officially inaugurated on October 15 by the CM. The Mart saw around 70 hosted buyers from 28 countries, 175 domestic buyers from 54 Indian cities and a total of 61 exhibitors, out of which 50 sellers/exhibitors were from Madhya Pradesh. Surendra Patwa, Minister of State for Tourism and Culture (Independent Charge) and Agriculture Development and Farmers Welfare, Madhya Pradesh and Tapan Bhoumik, Chairman, MPSTDC, were also present to guide the mart towards brilliance. The mart also saw the presence of presidents of major national travel trade associations like IATO, ADTOI, ATOAI and ITTA.

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The Chief Minister applauded the efforts put in by the MPSTDC towards organising the mart. He added that MP Tourism is flourishing handsomely and it needs no proof now. “We want the people from travel fraternity get the best of our tourism market. I invite investors to MP. We are promoting the themes of ‘Sarvajan Hitay Sarvajan Sukay’ and ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ through tourism in Madhya Pradesh.”

The mart saw over 1,900 one-on-one business meetings between buyers and sellers during the two days. A special Training and Development programme was conducted for the sellers and the sales team of MP Tourism to prepare them for handling the hosted buyer meeting experience and to make the overall engagement with the attendees more effective.

Discussions on the scope of tourism industry in the state, how to attract more investment, how to increase the number of tourists and how to encourage international tourism, besides hotels and hospitality in Madhya Pradesh were organised. Hari Ranjan Rao, Secretary - Tourism and MD, MPSTDC, rendered a presentation focusing on efforts being undertaken for enhancing tourism in Madhya Pradesh. “The government of Madhya Pradesh is extending full support to the tourism industry in the state. We have recently launched new tourism policies which include the development of around 300 way side amenities, homestays and also water tourism in the state. The responses I received for the third MP Travel Mart are good and we hope the buyers and exhibitors have received the best returns from the money and time they invested here.”

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MPSTDC members with senior delegates.

Catching up with the technological advancement, for the first time in three years, a live webinar was organised on ‘A chance for Building Partnerships in Madhya Pradesh’ at the Mart. This webinar was organised keeping in mind to benefit the non-attendees of the mart from around the world. The webinar showcased the highlights of MP Tourism in particular the Heritage, Wildlife, Leisure and Pilgrimage segments.

Along with high speed Wi-Fi Internet connectivity, special simultaneous interpretation technology was arranged for translating the live addresses of the dignitaries for the sake of international buyers and media delegates who came in from all across the seven seas.

When there is so much to offer, certainly one can miss out following a planned schedule. Though by using the technology in an effective manner, the organisers rose the level of the mart, but the concern here is that did the selection of buyers and exhibitors actually benefit in gaining good business, and furthermore did the mart benefit in promotion and upliftment of Madhya Pradesh Tourism market.

A general answers by the concerned authority for these concerns can be a ‘Yes’, but the actual answer must be taken and analysed from the buyers and sellers who invested their money and time for the mart.

Towards the end the participants echoed sentiments like ‘It was a satisfactory performance’, ‘Selection of audience could have been better’, ‘Hope next year’s MP Travel Mart gives us more business’. Hints have been given, now it’s for the organisers to evolve further or dissolve, in thou hands lies the decision.

BUYERS’ VIEWS

Regina Kirimi, CEO, Abana Safaris, Kenya
This is my first visit to MP Travel Mart. This event has been a successful one for me in terms of business. I have had more than 10 successful meetings with the sellers at the mart. I feel that the mart would have been more organised in terms of presentation still I am contend with my visit to MP travel Mart. Abana Safaris deal with leisure travel section offering experiential and adventurous tours. India is great destination and we look forward to bring outbound tours to India from Kenya.

Azahar Hussain, Director, Fingerprint Events, United Kingdom
“India has a lot to offer in terms of destination and for tourists Madhya Pradesh is a land of many possibilities. We arrange for MICE tours and experiences and I have gauged positive responses from the MP Travel Mart this year and I look forward towards bringing my clients to explore India at large. This was my first visit to India and I am very pleased by the hospitality I was served here which has motivated me to increase my business to India.”



SELLERS’ FEEDBACK

Warren Leao, Operations Manager, Taj Usha Kiran Palace, Gwalior
From the MP Travel Mart 2016 we have received good enquiries for our property. We received over 100 footfalls at our stall. Taj Usha Kiran Palace is a heritage hotel property for which many potential buyers showed their interest. Though there are scope of improvements still overall, MP Travel Mart 2016 has been a good show and we are looking forward towards participating in this mart next year as well.

Kinshuk Agrawal, CEO, Tathastu Resorts, Pench Tiger Reserve
MP Travel Mart has been quite efficiently organised by the MPSTDC and the selection of buyers specially international buyers must be appreciated. Tathastu Resorts offers many options for relaxation, luxury, sport, adventure, excursion etc. Footfalls received at our stalls are excellent in terms of numbers and I hope these footfalls can be converted into businesses in future. Overall, I am quite satisfied by this year’s mart.

Mohit Kumar Bharti, Regional Manager West Supply & Partnerships, Stayzilla
Stayzilla recently signed MoUs with MPSTDC for developments of homestays in the state. This agreement has helped us in getting excellent business at the MP Travel Mart this year. We signed more than 70 business agreements with the buyers who attended the mart. The mart has been efficiently organised and has been a successful one for Stayzilla and we will be one of the sellers at the next year’s MP Travel Mart for sure.





 
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