The Business and Luxury Travel Mart (BLTM), which takes place in India next month, is receiving strong support from a wide variety of trade bodies.
Held at the Hyatt Regency Gurgaon from 24-25 October, BLTM will feature sellers from global business, MICE and luxury travel suppliers, who will interact with hundreds of qualified hosted buyers from all over India, in addition to thousands of buyers from Delhi NCR, which is arguably the biggest source market in India for these segments.
Also attending will be incentive and meeting travel planners, event management companies, wedding planners, association managers, film line producers and representatives of other industry sectors.
The business travel industry in India is emerging as a specialised market with differentiated needs, in tandem with the global trends. The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Foundation report forecasts 10.7% growth in business travel spending in 2016, followed by another 10.2% in 2017 reaching US$36.1 billion. India remains the 10th largest business travel market in the world, moving up five spots since 2000.
GBTA expects that India will become the sixth largest business travel market in the world by the end of 2019.
“We are committed to creating BLTM as India’s premier show focused on business, MICE and luxury travel segments,” remarked Sanjiv Agarwal, Chairman of Fairfest Media, which is organising the event. “Hundreds of genuine hosted buyers will be flown in from all parts of India and neighbouring countries. Additionally, the venue Gurgaon NCR will provide a rich hinterland of high-value corporate buyers in thousands, who will be also accorded the same status as hosted buyers,” he added.
As the host state, Haryana Tourism will be supporting and participating in BLTM to promote itself as an emerging MICE destination.
Other leading trade bodies like Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) India, Network of Indian MICE Agents (NIMA), India Association Network (IAN), Indian Golf Travel Association, (IGTA) and Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), have confirmed their support, and will be curating education and networking sessions during the two-day event.
Luxury travel is also growing rapidly, buoyed by the new phase of consumption by the affluent Indian traveller, where the demand is fuelled not only by FITs, but also by uniquely Indian markets for weddings and other social occasions.
A clutch of apex organisations from the film industry, including The Film & Television Producers Guild of India, Motion Picture Association of America (India office), and the National Film Development Corporation of India will participate to highlight the marketing opportunities associated with promoting destinations for and through film shoots.
To cater to the growing segment of weddings, BLTM has roped in WedWise, India’s first ‘community driven’ wedding start-up with 31,000 active members, including the top wedding planners in India.
The support and participation of other travel industry associations like the GBTA, Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI), Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), is being finalised. Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA) is also keen to come onboard as a key stakeholder for the MICE industry.
Five hundred top corporate buyers from all over India are being offered fully-hosted status. In addition, the sellers also have a quota of nominating buyers.
Companies and organisation that have already confirmed their participation as sellers at the BLTM include AccorHotels, Club Mahindra, Lemon Tree Hotels, Pride Group of Hotels, The Ambassador Hotel Group and Variety Cruises. They will take their place on the exhibition floor alongside international destinations such as South Korea, Nepal, Malaysia and Zimbabwe.
BLTM will also provide opportunities for the Indian states to promote their products, including Goa, Rajasthan, and of course host state Haryana.