Meetings and More at MAMA 2015

From the Harry Potter magic to the Ramblers meanders, from the Agatha Christie festival to the Bond Street fashion insight and Scotland’s Bollywood touch, MAMA 2015 organised by ETOA brought to light new opportunities to explore. By Reema Lokesh


From the Harry Potter magic to the Ramblers meanders, from the Agatha Christie festival to the Bond Street fashion insight and Scotland’s Bollywood touch, MAMA 2015 organised by ETOA brought to light new opportunities to explore. By Reema Lokesh

March Market Place 2015 (MAMA) organised by the European Tourism Association (ETOA) witnessed some serious networking over two days from March 16-17, 2015. The event brought to the fore a series of products and offerings across the UK and Ireland with some interestingly new attractions. ETOA invited Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) to be one of the partners for the event for a fruitful buyer-seller interaction. A 15 member team from OTOAI visited MAMA 2015 on a hosted buyer programme and they did come back with greater insights on destinations and places both old and new. Speaking at the event, Martine Ainsworth-Wells, director of marketing and commerce, ETOA said, “I have seen the Indian market evolve and change with time, it’s a very important market for us.” She also expressed her pleasure to have partnered with OTOAI as events such as MAMA work as an ideal platform to network and understand each other better. Though UK and Ireland have always been highly popular amongst Indian clientele, Guldeep Singh Sahni, president, OTOAI, did highlight visa related issues and grievances in a rather candid and clear way at the opening speech. Golden Tours (GT) which is Greyline in London, operate their own transport fleet and coach tours catering to a cross section of Indians especially the Gujarati /Marwari clientele. GT also offers Kidszania at Westfield – Shepherd’s Bush and Harry Potter Tours at Warner Bros for which it is the sole representative globally. As a DMC it offers group tours and FIT options through its India offices in Delhi and Ahmedabad. Taj Tours has been well established in the India market for offering readymade fixed departure coach tours and Niki DMC too works closely with the India market.

Visit Scotland has gone ahead and designed a Bollywood highlight trail. Sara Gonzales, trade marketing executive- emerging markets, Visit Scotland, expressed her will to work closely with the India market and is glad that the awareness is increasing amongst the Indian clientele. Matt Jones, business development manager, Warner Bros Studio Tours with the Harry Potter experience is also keen to rope in the Indian clientele. Rebeccca Hill from the Royal Collection Trust also gave an insightful overview on what’s on offer, which will fit well with the discerning Indian traveller. Another unique offering is from Ramblers Worldwide Holidays which organises walking and trekking tours in the region. Visit England too showcased its unique offerings at MAMA 2015. From Alice in Wonderland experience to the Agatha Christie Festival, this year there is more to London and England to learn and explore. Visit Wales too had its story to share. It offers you an experience to walk around the country, explore 641 castles, enjoy the 825 miles of coastline and get on the world’s fastest zip wire. Sinclair Global offers some luxury retail therapy, in their signature style. Shakespeare’s Globe too promises to take its guests on a special journey. The tour of Hamlet Globe to Globe, which opened at Shakespeare’s Globe on April 23, 2014, to celebrate the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, plans performances in Mumbai and Delhi.

Buyer’s Word

The Indian buyers did come back with a better understanding and insight on the products.

ETOA/ MAMA 2015 was an excellent platform to enhance products on the region with the credible DMCs and tourism promotion stakeholders. It was organised well, so the participants could explore well and took advantage for an effective networking with the suppliers and the co-participants as well.
Abdul Kareem, MD, Creative Tours & Travels

MAMA 2015 was an interesting experience that provided excellent networking opportunities. The Tri Nations- British, Ireland and Scotland, got together to showcase their tourism, culture and specialties. All local vendors kept up their appointment with the foreign delegates and showcased their products very well. An important point that was brought to notice was that separate visas are not required for each county and under a new BIVS visa scheme it is common for all the three countries. It was a pleasure to visit Scotland besides England.

Basher Ahmed, MD, Chennai Metro Travels

The Ramblers – walking tours was interesting. What I gathered from their meeting is that Indians as such don’t want to take walking tours. They need to tap the niche market in India who would like to go on such walking tours.

Krishna S Gupta, VP, Y Not Travel

MAMA 2015 was a well organised event with an excellent opportunity to meet a cross section of sellers encompassing all possible products from all three destinations. The setting was very comfortable for meetings and exchanges.

Surinnder Kumar, MD, Travel Mate India

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