New Delhi: BLTM, India’s leading trade exhibition for Bleisure and MICE Travel kicked off in the capital city. BLTM has gathered the best of Bleisure (Business+Leisure), and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) under one roof, at the Leela Ambience Convention Centre, Delhi. With over 200 domestic and international exhibitors from India, Asia, Europe, and other global destinations, the event solidifies its status as the leading platform in the industry for Corporate and Business travel and MICE.
The grand inaugural ceremony took place in the presence of key dignitaries such as Mr. Evgeny Kozlov, First Deputy Head of the Office of the Mayor and the Government of Moscow, Chairman of Moscow City Tourism Committee, Mr. Sergey Ivanov, Chairman of the State Committee on Tourism of Tatarstan, Mr. Sergei Azarenkov, CEO, St. Petersburg Convention Bureau, Mr. Kean Bon Lim, Area Director, India, South Asia, and Africa, Singapore Tourism Board, Mr. Krishantha Fernando, General Manager, Sri Lanka Convention Bureau, Mr. Gajesh Girdhar, Chairman, Network of Indian MICE Agents (NIMA) and Mr Sanjiv Agarwal, Chairman & CEO, Fairfest Media Ltd.
The other key industry leaders included Mr. R. K. Suman, Regional Director (North), Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India, H.E. Mr. Alejandro Simancas Mari, Ambassador of Cuba in India, H.E. Ms. Alena Karol, Consul, First Secretary, Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in the Republic of India, H.E. Mr. Peter Hobwani, Deputy Ambassador/Head of Chancery, Zimbabwe, Mr. Saurabh Tuteja, Management Committee Member, Enterprising Travel Agents Association (ETAA), Mr. Barun Gupta, President, Society of Incentive Travel Excellence amongst other senior Tourism Officials from Indian States and other dignitaries, officials, travel industry influencers.
Emphasizing on the outbound tourism market Mr. Gajesh Girdhar, Chairman, Network of Indian MICE Agents (NIMA) said, “India’s outbound tourism market is surging, set to reach US$ 15,163.4 Million in 2023, with an anticipated 11.4% CAGR through 2032. This growth is driven by Indians, particularly millennials, eager to explore international destinations. The MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) tourism sector in India is booming, thanks to government support and infrastructure development for global events. Our tourism sites are aligning with MICE growth. India’s outbound MICE market is one of the world’s fastest-growing. We expect to reach pre-COVID levels by 2024. Events like BLTM are key to our success, attracting international interest.”
The event witnessed the esteemed presence of a large international delegation, which further added a global dimension to the already illustrious gathering in the world of business travel. Among the exhibitors are renowned partners such as the Moscow City Tourism Committee, Singapore Tourism Board, Sri Lanka Convention Bureau, St. Petersburg Convention Bureau, the Ministry of Tourism – Govt. of India. These partners are joined by state tourism boards and co-exhibitors from captivating destinations like Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, and Telangana, adding to the event’s diverse appeal.
Mr. Evgeny Kozlov, First Deputy Head of the Office of the Mayor and the Government of Moscow, Chairman of Moscow City Tourism Committee, stated “Before the pandemic, the tourist flow from India grew by 12-15% annually. Now we are on the road to recovery – all the conditions have been created for this. Indian business tourists were the second most numerous in Moscow as of 2022. In this regard, the Moscow City Tourism Committee and NIMA (Association of MICE Agencies of India) jointly launched the Moscow MICE Аmbassadors program just this year. In 2024, the program is expected to expand with four streams of 50 participants each, resulting in a total of 200 Moscow MICE Ambassadors by the end of the year”.
The event brings together the key players in the travel trade within an exclusive B2B setting, underscoring its unwavering commitment to Business + Leisure Travel and MICE. BLTM is a meeting of minds, presenting a unique opportunity to establish lasting connections with some of the most prominent names in the field. The list of featured exhibitors includes Air Seychelles, Akbar Travels, Cordelia Cruises, Corporate Worldwide Stays, Kamay Hospitality, Radisson Hotel Group, Ramoji Film City – Hyderabad, Rezmytrip, Riya Travels, The Soaltee Kathmandu, The Zuri Hotels and Resorts, and many more.
BLTM is hosting over 250+ carefully selected Hosted Buyers from the Business+Leisure and MICE travel segments hailing from various parts of India. Additionally, the show presents an unparalleled opportunity to connect with over 3,000 qualified and vetted trade buyers from the Delhi & NCR region. 60+ top Wedding Planners are also attending the show.
At the core of BLTM lies the BLTM Forum, providing attendees with the chance to delve into destination presentations and participate in high-caliber panel discussions. On the first day of BLTM 2023, attendees had the chance to attend an engaging panel discussion facilitated by our institutional partner, SITE – India, with a focus on Incentive Travel, its Growth, Challenges, and Perspectives. Additionally, an enlightening Destination Presentation by Discover Moscow addressed a captive audience. Followed by a panel discussion on MICE and Business Travel – strategies and tactics in a changing market dynamic by some of the leading national tourism boards and convention bureaus. The day culminated with an exclusive, invitation-only MICE Awards ceremony, hosted by Discover Moscow.
Some more interesting sessions are in the pipeline for Day 2 of the show, i.e. tomorrow. Network of Indian MICE Agents (NIMA) is conducting a MICE Workshop; heads of NTOs and top wedding planners are coming together for a panel discussion on Delivering exceptional Destination Weddings through Partnerships; the day will end with the coveted BLTM Valedictory Session and Awards, followed by the much-awaited Responsible Tourism Awards by ICRT.
BLTM is exclusively dedicated to travel trade visitors on both days, i.e., September 29th and 30th, from 10 am to 6 pm.
“BLTM is the only show of its kind for the Bleisure and MICE travel sectors. As the national capital, Delhi naturally stands out as our preferred choice for hosting this event year after year. The venue Leela Ambience Convention Centre has one of the largest infrastructures within a a 5 Star hotel to be able to host such an event. As the Business and Leisure is increasingly being demanded as a blended product, BLTM offers a variety of sellers from top destinations, to the corporate hosted buyers and travel trade”, said Sanjiv Agarwal, Chairman & CEO, Fairfest Media Ltd, the organisers of BLTM. “BLTM 2023 has doubled in size since last year, the show is seeing a tremendous response from international and Indian participants” he concluded.
The show has garnered the active support of notable travel associations like NIMA, SITE India, OTOAI, TAAI, SKAL International, TAFI, ETAA, ADTOI, IATTE, TOA, ABTO, TIA and EEMA.