OTM rolls out the red carpet for the best of World Tourism in India

February 18, Mumbai: OTM opened today with the highest attendance ever, with the inauguration by Shri Ram Shankar Shinde, Hon?bleState Tourism Minister of Maharashtra, in the presence ofChief Guest Mrs Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Thailand?s Tourism Minister,and other global thought-leaders of the travel fraternity. OTM is being held at Bombay Exhibition Centre, NSE Complex, Goregaon (E) from February 18 to 20,2016. It is athree-day B2B trade show, where more than a thousand sellers from 50 participating destinations will meet 6,000 buyers on the exhibition floor. Side by side the trade exhibition, there are a host of innovative events to discuss emerging trends in the travel business, e.g. TechForum@OTM, #StartupKnockDown and Shoot at Site@OTMsessions. These have been planned alongside OTM tospecifically address topical agendas that are increasingly catching the industry?s attention. The UAE is leading their participation with all its 7 Emirates, making them the largest destination exhibitor in OTM 2016. They are joined by several global destinations at OTM 2016 with the keenness to carve a piece of India?s projected 50 million outbound pie ? Indonesia, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Thailand, New Zealand, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Macao, Bangladesh, Philippines, Maldives, Oman, Bhutan, Seychelles, Israel, Rwanda, Romania, Fiji and Greece are all in place at India?s biggest travel show. Major Indian destinations are perfectly complementing their international counterparts with Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Jammu & Kashmir, Gujarat, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and many other states, present with large number of sellers from each, to showcase India at its best. Many destinations in India and abroad have targeted Bollywood for film locations, for it is a proven niche segment that generates significant increase in visitor arrivals. For the destinations and film producers to benefit from this opportunity, members of the Film and TV Producers Guild of India; the Indian chapters of the Motion Pictures Association of America; Yash Raj Films; Ernst & Young and the Cinematographer?s Association of India will present a panel discussion titled Shoot at Site@OTM. ?Technology, digital marketing, and social media are more and more enabling travel organisations from Tourist Boards to hotels, tour operators and tourist attractions to market to targeted consumers domestically and globally. In partnership with travel-tech media platform, TravHQ, we have successfully created India?s first and only specialised tourism-based business-technology platform, TechForum@OTM, aimed at connecting technology solution providers with our colleagues in the travel industry,? explained SanjivAgarwal, Chairman and CEO, Fairfest Media Ltd ? the organisers of OTM. Two panel discussions and a unique workshop are being staged alongside OTM:

  • Panel discussions on how to leverage content and online influencer relationships will provide travel organisations greater insights on the power of technology and online marketing in reaching and connecting with consumers all over the world in a momentous way.
  • Judged by the Head of Travel Business at Google India, venture capitalists and a corporate strategist from leading travel company Cox & Kings, the unique workshop on #StartupKnockDown provides promising travel start-ups the ultimate pitch deck to increase awareness and raise funds.
Following the successful launch of India?s Top 100 Travel Producers Award last year, OTM 2016 edition will present similar laurels this year. The award is based on an extensive three-month process of desk researches, industry nominations, voting and pollingfor the final cut of our India?s Top 100 Travel Producers with the highest buying power for outbound and domestic travel products. ?Our continuous pursuit of India?s Top 100 Travel Producers award is to give due recognition to travel producers, big or small, on or offline, from all over India ? to give them the annual opportunity to celebrate their successes, but more importantly, for all of us to acknowledge the important role they have played in contributing to our industry,? explained Agarwal. Hotels are possibly the largest segment of sellers at the OTM 2016, with Taj Group leading with the largest hospitality pavilion. Luxury Hotels Group (LHG) is boosting its presence in India with the company announcing the signing of 20 new hotels at OTM2016. The theme for OTM2016 is Responsibility in Tourism with objectives to promote the industry?s sustainability and responsible practices that contribute to the social development of host communities. A Responsible Tourism stand is provided on the show floor to gather industry feedback for an expanded Responsible Tourism agenda in OTM 2017. OTM was adjudged the biggest travel show in India based on audited number of sellers, by the Exhibition Showcase magazine. It is also the largest show in terms of auditable number of hosted buyers, number of registered buyers, number of participating countries and gross exhibit area. The word is out and the buzz is building up, here is what some of the industry leaders have to say about the OTM: ?OTM is a prominent travel trade event, and I'm delighted to be able to join this year. India is an important market for the region, with growing capacity coming into the country, and very promising growth of outbound travel in the coming year. OTM also provides a great opportunity to make connections for other markets in the APAC region so I am here to meet the local trade and work closely with our India office to make 2016 another record year.? Ms. Amanda Yang, Vice President, Asia Pacific, Discover the World ?All the travel agents, tour operators and hoteliers look forward to participate in OTM Mumbai in a big way. I have come to know that this year?s OTM will have the highest possible attendance and on behalf of the tourism industry, I compliment the organisers for regularly organizing this event for so many years in a very professional and successful manner.? Mr. SubhashGoyal, President, IATO "Outbound travel from India is going strong, and OTM is the best platform for leveraging the potential of this segment. Every year hundreds of sellers from India and many countries congregate at OTM to reach out to high-quality outbound buyers and trade visitors. As the apex body for the outbound sector, OTOAI has been associated with OTM right since its inception, and we are very excited at the networking and business opportunities at OTM 2016." Mr. Guldeep Singh?Sahni, President, OTOAI ?We compliment OTM for bringing in this excellent exhibition. Buyer-Seller network is a huge growing activity and we see much more potential getting realised through such events. Congratulations once again to OTM Mumbai and all the very best.? Mr. Sunil Kumar, President, TAAI "OTM is a great event which the travel trade look forward to every year! It is an event which specialises on outbound market, as Indian outbound travel is growing at a very fast pace and every country is looking to get the pie. It is a platform where lot of business is exchanged. On behalf of TAFI, we would like to wish OTM the very best." Mr. Zakir Ahmed, President, TAFI  


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