TTF 2023 was inaugurated by Shri Babul Supriyo, Hon’ble Minister-in-charge, Tourism, Information Technology & Electronics, Government of West Bengal; in the presence of HE Ms. Acharapan Yavaprapas, Consul-General of Royal Thai Consulate; Amrit Singh, IAS, Director Tourism, Govt. of Punjab and other distinguished dignitaries. The 3-day exhibition serves as the most prominent platform for the travel trade from Kolkata and nearby regions to connect, network, and conduct business with exhibitors from various parts of India and abroad.
The travel market in India is currently going through a significant turning point and is among the fastest-growing markets globally. Domestic tourism within India is experiencing a strong recovery and is projected to reach INR 35 trillion by 2029, with a yearly growth rate of 6.7%. Additionally, in terms of outbound tourism, a study conducted by Andersen predicts that it will surpass $42 billion by 2024.2
According to a research conducted by Booking.com,3 Indians have emerged as the most confident travellers in the Asia Pacific region, with 86% of Indians expressing their intention to travel within the next 12 months.
This upswing is clearly evident at TTF Kolkata, taking place on 14th, 15th & 16th July 2023 at the Biswa Bangla Mela Prangan (formerly known as Milan Mela). TTF 2023 is twice the size of last year, with the participation of over 400 exhibitors from 4 countries and 25 Indian states,
Kolkata, being the melting pot of travel-loving people is where TTF started more than three decades back – in 1989. It is presently organised annually in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore, making it India’s oldest and largest travel trade show network, focused on providing highly effective marketing platforms to promote tourism in India’s key travel markets.
TTF takes place in Kolkata every year before the Durga Puja holidays – the busiest vacation travel season in the region.
Recent reports indicate that Kolkata’s Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport is the 5th busiest airport in India.4 The introduction of new flights connecting Southeast Asia and the Gulf regions has further contributed to the airport’s growing passenger traffic.
Uttarakhand, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Karnataka, Gujarat, Kerala, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have joined the show as Partner States, with large colourful pavilions, highlighting their diverse attractions and actively participating in the show along with a large number of private hoteliers and tour operators. Feature States include Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chattisgarh, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra, Meghalaya and Punjab.
Thailand, a country that has daily flight connections from Kolkata is being showcased as the Feature Country. HE Ms. Acharapan Yavaprapas, Consul-General of Royal Thai Consulate in Kolkata attended the inauguration of TTF as the guest of honour. “Thailand, as the Feature Country at the Travel and Tourism Fair in Kolkata 2023, values Indian tourists and their growing interest in exploring our diverse attractions. With warm hospitality, renowned Thai cuisine, and a wide range of experiences, we also focus on Soft power 5F : Food, Festival, Fight ( Muay Thai), Fashion , Film. We aim to strengthen our bond and invite Indian tourists to discover an enchanting journey in the Land of Smiles, where they will be warmly welcomed and have unforgettable experiences.” said HE Ms. Acharapan Yavaprapas.
There are exhibitors from other countries such as Nepal and the UAE as well as from Indian states like Andaman & Nicobar Islands, New Delhi, Haryana, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and West Bengal. These exhibitors consist of travel agents, tour operators, hospitality chains, destination management companies (DMCs), and various attractions.
The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India plays a prominent role at the show, showcasing the ongoing initiatives and highlighting key events such as the recently held G20 summit, ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ and ‘Dekho Apna Desh’.
“TTF Kolkata is extremely important for the Indian tourism industry as Durga Puja holiday travel is a unique market. Punjab has a lot to offer to the tourists from this region and we are very hopeful to cater to them through our unique and diverse tourism experiences”, commented Smt. Amrit Singh, IAS, Director, Tourism & Cultural Affairs, Government. of Punjab.
The inauguration ceremony also witnessed a significant presence of the travel trade fraternity, including both new and established players from the industry. The event garnered substantial attention from the travel trade, and a large footfall is anticipated over the next three days.
The show has several interesting sessions lined up over the next three event days, including destination presentations by State Tourism Boards of Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, along with a high-tea and networking program organised by Rajasthan Tourism. Thailand will be presenting “Amazing Thailand: Part of Your Life”, on the first and second day of the event showcasing the uniqueness and beauty of the destination. ACT (Association for Conservation & Tourism), the Responsible Tourism Partner for TTF Kolkata 2023 has multiple engaging sessions planned for Day 1 and Day 2 of the show.
On the afternoon of 15th July, a panel discussion on the ‘Importance of Kolkata as a Gateway to Eastern India, both as a source market and as a destination’ is scheduled along with the heads of the leading travel associations of India.
“Indians are travelling within and outside India in great numbers. This is reflected in TTF’s expansion by nearly 100% compared to last year, surpassing our expectations. Holiday travel during the Pujas is one of the strongest seasonal markets here that destinations vye for.” said Sanjiv Agarwal, Chairman & CEO, Fairfest Media Ltd., the organisers of TTF.
TTF Kolkata is exclusively dedicated to the travel trade on the first day and the first half of the second day. Following that, the event will be open to all, when a large number of general visitors and travel-enthusiasts avail best offers to help plan their upcoming vacations, ahead of the festive season.