India: Third International Goa Travel Mart Opens



The third annual International Goa Mart in Goa, India. Credit: Robin Swados

The third international Goa Travel Mart took place in Goa, India on April 2-4, 2014 at the Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium, Taleigao. The inauguration ceremony was presided over by His Excellency, Governor of Goa, Shri. Bharat Vir Wanchoo, as well as by Shri RK Srivastava, the principal secretary for tourism. A media briefing on opening day was presented by Nikhil Desai, director of tourism.

More than 275 hosted buyers and media from over 30 countries were in attendance, with more than 5,800 scheduled B2B appointments having been scheduled. Also in attendance were 100 exhibitors from India from over 15 diverse tourism segments.

The prestigious B2B event brought together travel companies, hoteliers, state tourism boards and other leisure enterprises under one roof to showcase the tourism investment potential in the state. Goa, a beachfront community located in the southwestern section of India, contains nearly 30 different beaches in which tourists can indulge in such activities as viewing historical sites such as the Roman Catholic Basilica of Bom Jesus and Se Church, built by the Portuguese and both dating to the early 17th century; enjoying a five-day visit to the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Center, which runs five-day courses in hatha yoga from mid-November to mid-March; Canopy Eco Tours, designed especially for bird and nature lovers; diving; nighttime boat trips; river-based house boat tours; dolphin watching tours; snorkeling; paragliding; kayaking; deep sea fishing; and private eco-tours including crocodile watching and a fascinating visit to a spice plantation, including getting bathed atop an elephant!

The focus of the GITM was to serve as a venue for face-to-face networking among leading travel agents from India and abroad. The event differs from others of its kind due to knowledge sessions with eminent speakers from the airline and hospitality industries. Their goal: positioning Goa as India’s premier leisure destination by the year 2020. They also quite naturally wish to increase the number of American tourists to India, which currently numbers approximately 1 million.

Goa Travel Mart, www.goatravelmart.in