India is a coveted outbound market, currently with 12 million Indians travelling overseas annually, and a growth rate of 12-13% per year projected till 2015. This is reflected in the increase in number of countries represented at TTF&OTM Mumbai, from 27 in 2010 to 34 this year. The domestic sector, the backbone of the Indian tourism industry, also has a much larger presence, with participation from 26 states, up from 21 last year.
Travel and Tourism is a key driver of economic growth globally. According to World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Country Report for India, this industry contributes 8.6% to GDP, which is expected to increase to 9% by 2020. The Travel and Tourism sector currently employs 4.9 crore people, or 1 in every 10 jobs, and this is projected to increase to 5.8 crores or 1 in every 9.6 jobs by 2020.
The importance of the sector and the strong growth is reflected in the healthy 27% increase in the number of participants at TTF&OTM Mumbai as compared to last year. This also a clear indicator that the Indian tourism industry is on a path of steady growth.
Belgium, Croatia, Hungary, Israel, Philippines, Seychelles, and Uzbekistan are represented for the first time in TTF&OTM Mumbai. Canada, China, Egypt, Thailand, Israel and Nepal have a big presence as Partner Countries, while the Feature Countries are Macau, Turkey, Indonesia, Bhutan, Kenya, Korea and Philippines. The other overseas participants are from Argentina, Chile, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Maldives, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and the United Kingdom.
From India, Partner States like Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal, Gujarat and Kerala are participating with large private delegations of 50 plus each. Karnataka, West Bengal and Punjab are the Feature States this time, while Maharashtra is the Host State.
The other states represented include Andhra Pradesh, Andaman, Assam, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Delhi, Goa, Haryana, Jharkhand, Lakshadweep, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Orissa, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.
TTF&OTM is an ideal forum for tourism organizations to aggressively launch their travel trade and consumer marketing campaigns in the New Year for a good summer season ahead.
Most of the destinations, international as well as domestic, are making an aggressive pitch for the Indian Tourist with attractive displays and eye-catching exhibits showcasing their attractions. Culture, nature, adventure, cuisine, history, antiquities, shopping, events etc. are all showcased here.
Besides doing up their stalls attractively, participants are also organizing marketing and cultural presentations to add value to their participation, and give visitors a feel of their destinations.
Continuing the trend of public-private partnership in destination promotion, many of the countries and states are participating along with private operators. Prominent among these are the large contingents from Thailand, Nepal, China, Philippines, Macau, Canada, Bhutan, Kenya, Turkey, and Indonesia. Even first-timers like Israel, Seychelles and Philippines have brought along private sector co-exhibitors. Among the Indian states, the largest delegations are from Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Kerala, and Gujarat. While the countries and states do generic destination promotion, the private sector organizations strike deals, and transact the actual buying and selling of tour packages, hotel rooms and transportation, with the travel trade, business travelers, MICE sector, groups and FITs.
Participants at TTF&OTM include national and state tourism boards, theme parks and attractions, hotels and resorts, travel agents, tour operators, online travel agencies, airlines, cruiselines, railways, ground transportation agencies, MICE operators, travel-related financial products, and travel media.
TTF&OTM provides the Indian travel industry a platform to network and transact business with their counterparts from all over India and abroad. It also provides Mumbaikars with a one-stop opportunity to make their national and international travel and holiday plans. It helps them evaluate various options available and decide on standard or customized packages suiting their budget and individual needs and interests. TTF&OTM boasts of a committed visitorship of travel trade members, corporate and business travel decision makers, as well as leisure and holiday travelers.
This also the time when the travel operators contract business with their suppliers, and launch their packages and brochures.