India needs to rework its strategy to take full advantage of WTM

India needs to rework its strategy to take full advantage of WTM

In spite of new ways and platforms of marketing emerging in recent years, World Travel Market London retains its relevance and glory and remains the world’s leading travel trade show. For India, it is important to revisit and rework its strategy to take full advantage of the country’s travel and tourism industry’s participation at WTM London.

Last year 5,000 exhibitors from 186 countries had participated WTM London, which is held every year in November. Number of total participants at the event last year was more than 50,000 that included travel industry professionals, journalists and government ministers and officers. This year WTM London is being held on November 2-5. WTM connects a range of tourism products and destinations from across the world to the UK and other international travel market. WTM brings together a wide range of players of international travel and tourism industry under a single roof. The reach and relevance of WTM London has only increased since its commencement in 1980.

“WTM has always been an important trade event as the UK still continues to be one of the key markets. It is critical for any player in the hospitality sector to maintain brand visibility not only in the domestic market but also in the overseas market given the fact that our product portfolio comprises hotels in the key inbound tourist circuits,” said Ajay Bakaya, Executive Director, Sarovar Hotels & Resorts.

The UK has traditionally been a key source market for Tourism India that makes WTM London a key B2B platform for Indian travel and tourism industry. “WTM is the ideal platform to promote India as a destination as UK is one of the key source markets for Indian tourism. Countries from Northern Europe make it a point to attend the mart which is the ideal selling point for Indian suppliers,” Karan Anand—Head, Relationships, Cox & Kings.

Talking about the significance of WTM London, Nishant Pitti, CEO, said that WTM London is the leading international event that connects professionals of travel industry and helps them in conducting business deals. “Through this event, personal and business opportunities are created to provide the customers exclusive contacts, content and communities. Over the year number of Indian exhibitors going to WTM London is increasing,” said Pitti.

Although a large contingent from Indian travel and tourism industry participates in WTM London every year, there is a perception in the industry that India has not been able to take full advantage of its presence at the WTM London over the years. “We are still to reach a stage where we are able to market India to its full potential,” said Bakaya, adding that Tourism India needs to plan its participation well in advance and create interest through above the line and below the line activities targeting foreign tourist operators in key source markets.

There is a scope for improvements in India’s presence at WTM London. Indian industry and the Ministry of Tourism should work together and devise strategy to take full advantage of the country’s participation at WTM London. “India should market themselves before the show begins and invite trade partners to visit the India pavilion. There should be a sustained effort by concurring with all the stake holders,” said Anand, who believes that it is up to the private sector to take advantage of their presence at the WTM London and showcase their products.

According to Prakash Bang, Managing Director, in order to get full advantage of the participation at the WTM London, follow-up on meetings conducted at the WTM London is very crucial. “With deluge of enquires and requests, it’s likely that seriousness is lost post the show,” said Bang.

Improvement and upgrading are the basic things that are always required in anything. “To make most of its presence at WTM London, India should come up with the idea to promote its cultural heritage at this event.

“Tourism India needs to plan its participation well in advance and create interest through above the line and below the line activities targeting Foreign tourist operators in key source markets.”

Ajay Bakaya 

“WTM is the ideal platform to promote India as a destination as UK is one of the key source markets for Indian tourism,”

Karan Anand

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