Exhibitors from a record number of 60 countries showcased their destinations at India's largest International Trade Show, OTM 2017 from February 21-23 at the Bombay Convention & Exhibition Centre. This was by far the largest number of countries participating in any trade show in the country.
1134 travel organisations from 60 Countries exhibited at OTM 2017 including National and State Tourism Organisations, Hotels, Airlines, Destination Marketing Companies and other suppliers serving leisure as well as business travel and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Events) markets.
Over 10,000 travel trade visitors attended the show in addition to more than 500 buyers from travel trade and corporate sectors who had qualified for special hosting privileges. International buyers from countries like Kuwait, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia and Thailand were also extended similar hosting hospitality.
Premium Partner Country of OTM 2017, Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism has been participating at OTM for the last seven years with a large number of tour operators. Gülara Alkaçır, Culture & Tourism Officer was extremely satisfied with the event turnout and expects many more tourists from India.
The UAE Ministry of Economy organised a national Visit UAE pavilion for the second year in a row, featuring various tourism departments and agencies from the UAE.
Greece for the first time participated at OTM 2017 with a large delegation including private sector operators and its Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura.
First-time participants at OTM also include Bahrain, Cambodia, Cyprus, Ho Chi Minh City provided variety of experiences to the valued travel trade partners and Indian travelers.
A brand-new addition at OTM 2017 was the co-located BLTM- Business & Luxury Travel Mart, where qualified hosted buyers met the sellers by appointments.
Indian citizens whether travelling abroad or within the country are much coveted and one of the fastest growing markets for leisure as well as business travel segments.
According to the data published by India's Ministry of Tourism, 20.38 million Indians took foreign trips out of India in 2015 (11.1% higher than 2014). The number of domestic trips within India was a whopping 1432 million (11.6% higher than in 2014). In contrast, the number of foreign tourist arrival was 8.03 million (4.05% higher than in 2014). OTM caters to all of these markets.
UNWTO estimates the number of Indian outbound travelers will grow to approximately 50 million in 2020, contributing $28 billion in expenditure.
The two Buyer-Seller Speed Networking sessions were a huge hit, designed to facilitate onsite meeting appointments with the buyers to visit the sellers. Visit UAE Lounge was made available for the speed networking sessions.
In another first, the MICE Club was launched at OTM, with an objective to facilitate networking and education opportunities among the community of buyers and sellers from Business Travel and MICE segments.
Globally, travel trade fairs are considered important annual opportunities for face-to-face meetings and networking among buyers and sellers. Traditionally, visitors at these fairs walk the show and meet the sellers of their interest. The advent of online technologies has not left this field untouched either. Increasingly, the buyers and sellers pre-schedule appointments online for meetings at the show.
OTM 2017 had deployed a state-of-the-art online meeting diary system provided by EventsAir based in Australia. It is an advanced system that facilitated matchmaking and appointments between the Buyers and Sellers, and received over 5000 meeting requests prior to the show.
Destination Weddings is one of the fastest growing segments in tourism. A workshop on 'Destination Indian Weddings' was curated with the help of Globe Hoppers. Some of the leading Wedding Planners from Mumbai and Delhi attended the session along with the tourism boards.
Travel Blogger Speed-Networking Session was conducted during the sidelines of OTM providing a chance to meet top 45 travel bloggers from the country and build on their prominent role in the travel marketing ecosystem.
Sanjiv Agarwal, Chairman & CEO, Fairfest Media Ltd (organiser of OTM), said, "We are excited about the record number of 60 countries participating in OTM 2017, which is the largest ever in any trade show in India. We have seen growth and consolidation of our lead as the largest travel fair in every other parameter including area of exhibition halls rented, number of sellers and buyers. It also shows resilience of travel market despite slowdowns."
OTM 2018 will be held from January 23-25 at the Bombay Exhibition & Convention Centre.
For more information on OTM 2017, visit http://otm.co.in/