When travel professionals gathered in Delhi—Travel and Tourism Fair

Words: Ambica Gulati

Sanjiv Agarwal, CMD, Fairfest
Sanjiv Agarwal, CMD, Fairfest

Fruit art from Thailand, wildlife in Madhya Pradesh, the fair hosted a lot of players from the travel industry. Organised by Fairfest Media, this is the brainchild of Chairman and CEO Sanjiv Agarwal. Though I didn’t get a chance to meet him personally, I did get some answers on the concept and idea behind TTF was through email. Excerpts:

How did you feel the need for this fair?
It was some 25 years ago, (there was no Internet then!) I saw in Calcutta where I live travellers had to go from pillars to post to get information. So much so, the coordinator of groups would go in advance to the destination, to do the shopping around, return and then take the group along, That is when I thought it should be other way round, the sellers should come to the buyers, and the idea was born. Now of course it has moved a lot and it is pretty much b2b forum, as well as very little b2c connect left.

This came very close after SATTE, does it hamper or help your efforts to promote tourism?
We have been in this time for decades. If fact, SATTE was traditionally slotted for April that was better a few years ago. But they moved to our time. It is against international conventions and rules. We will take it up at the appropriate time and forum.

What is the vision behind these fairs? What has been the reaction of the industry to TTF?
The vision is to create a network of such shows criss crossing the country (we do in 10 cities annually). Industry support is what keeps us going. We are the oldest and largest chain of travel trade shows.

What would TTF bring for the normal consumer?
Direct contacts, more choices, trust, better prices.

What are the future plans? Do you plan to invite more international participation? What would be the USP of the fair? Are you planning to take this to other cities across India?
A week back, we had done the show in Mumbai (branded as OTM = Oneworld Travel Mart) which had participation from 50 countries. More and more international participants are interested in participating with us in other cities. We hope to add one city every year. Apart from India, we want to go to neighbouring countries. Kathmandu is in this year’s plans.