UBM to power up India’s largest travel trade show

UNITED Business Media (UBM), which is buying SATTE for UBM Asia from India’s Cross Section Publications, foresees the travel trade show, already the largest in India, becoming twice as big in three years.

In an interview, UBM Asia senior vice president, Michael Duck, said that apart from leveraging on the expertise of the existing India team, the company would also use UBM’s own operational expertise to bring about economies of scale and best practices to SATTE in areas such as marketing communications, stand contracting and global PR.

UBM owns and/or organises 14 exhibitions in India, running the gamut of industries, from food and fashion to pharmaceuticals. It also produces at least six publications and medical directories. It has five offices there, in Mumbai (the India HQ), Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai.

Duck said the partnership that Messe Berlin had with SATTE would continue. The show is branded as “in cooperation with ITB Berlin”, and Duck said following first meetings with Messe Berlin and the acquisition announcement, “they (Messe Berlin) had agreed to continue to support SATTE, as they believe the India travel market plays an important part of the ever-growing industry”.

“We at UBM Asia look forward to also seek opportunities/ways to improve and continue the relationship with them,” he added.

The only problem to growth is finding suitable venues in Delhi as convention space, he said. However, he foresees the problem to ease, as more hotels with convention facilities open in Delhi.

Other than space, the sky’s the limit for SATTE. “There is great hunger among India’s wealthy to explore new countries, so the outbound growth will continue to be good. But it is also important to position the show as inbound, as India is changing so much – look at the quality of airports, hotels and the increase in professionalism of the tourism industry staff. And we’re coming into it at the early stages still of the market, so there is tremendous potential,” Duck said.

Currently, SATTE’s size is around 6,500m2 nett. It is held in Delhi every January. This year’s edition, the 18th, saw close to 600 exhibitors and 9,300 attendees from more than 40 countries.

UBM is expected to complete the acquisition by the end of April following Indian regulatory approval.

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