Times Travel Show 2019 Mumbai-Feedback

I visited Times Travel Show last weekend in Mumbai. Times Travel show is in its second edition this year and offers a series of stalls related to travel, where business tries to win customers and a series of handpicked sessions and discussions curated by One Shoe Travel and Lonely Planet. My visit was primarily to deliver a 30 minute talk on how to find cheapest travel deals. After my talk I had enough time to explore the stalls. This post is a quick summary of my findings and experience.



The talk- Finding unbeatable travel deals :
My session was second one on Saturday the day 01. I shared my experience and tips on booking cheapest possible tickets and how to save during travel. I focused on being flexible, doing extensive research, various tips and strategies for booking and trip execution and finally the gamble of calculated risk taking.
I hope the audience found the session useful- I spotted many taking photos of the presentation.

Apart from the sessions I explored some of the stalls. Quick notes below

VFS Global Stall
VFS Global doesn’t have a helpline on its website. So I asked them if they have a helpline- they said they don’t have a generic helpline- I need to visit country specific page and there could be a helpline there. Wanted to ask why their Ethiraj salai centre doesn't provide parking space- forgot.

Kotak Mahindra
Kotak has a SIP plan that upon regular monthly investments allows you to take some money back say every 3 or 5 years which you can use for your travel purposes. They gave a neck pillow free- the only goodie worth mentioning that got from the event.

Korean Air stall
Koreal Air has flights to Seoul from Mumbai and Delhi. Asked them why Korean air domestic schedule is not available on Makemytrip (if you search ICN-Jeju on MMT it shows routes via Japan)- couldn’t get a response. Asked what would be their lowest fare between Jeju and Seoul- got a standard answer that price varies based on multiple factors.

Asked if there’s any visa exemption for just visiting Jeju island- I was told there is none.

Looks like Korean air isn’t planning any new planes for India route- they were only advertising A330-200

Ethiopian coffee
We attended a coffee making session at Ethiopian stall. The lady roasted the beans for good 10-15 minutes and then we were served coffee. The smell was good but being used to coffee with milk and sugar, drinking black coffee was not much fun.
Coins for sale- 73000 rs..

One team was selling vintage coins- the price tag put me off. Didn't bother checking details

Wefly Indoor Skydiving- I found this stall both funny and interesting- I first thought it is a small size replica of iFly indoor skydiving that operates on a wind tunnel. It turned out it was not. This weFly thing just involves hanging the kid to a winch and make them feel floating for a few seconds. A VR headset would probably give feeling of real skydive. No real flying but there were takers for this- hopefully this kid will try real skydiving some day.
Harley Davidson
3 super big Harley Davidson bikes were on display


Cox and Kings
Had a visa related question that could have been answered with an Yes or No. But the reception staff couldn’t answer and I was asked to take a seat inside, where  a professional travel consultant would attend to my queries. I hesitated, as this would involve me having to give all my personal details based on which they will spam me more with their ads. So I moved on

Indian food during International trips:
Found many travel companies advertising Indian food on international travel. Obviously Indians are not very keen to try local food. My detailed analysis on this topic is already available as a separate post.

Cars on display
Mahindra KUV300, Alturas G4, Skoda Octavia and Kodiak were on display- took a closer look.
 

GoPro
GoPro Hero 7 was available for about 35000 with some offers- like free accessories and some 10% discount- I have a 4 year old Hero 3 black and an upgrade was under consideration. But of late my goPro usage has gone down. So I was hesitant to spend over 30k despite the temptation and good offers.

Asked question about warranty- I had to send my gopro accessory to Singapore back in 2015- Now I am told warranty support is done within India.

I asked if buying online is safe- got an answer that it depends on seller- Some sellers are legitimate while others could be fake/unauthorized.

Sessions:
Attended a session on marathon running, about bunjee jumping in New Zealand, session about travel blogging by Kaushal and Divyakshi etc

Food:
Starbucks had an outlet, Redbull was selling a bottle for Rs 100, Sugar cane juice was being sold at Rs 100 for a cup, Rs 150 for a bottle like below. Pizza Rs 250 onwards. Speakers Lounge only had coffee and water, no food.

Possible improvements:
  • A badge for speakers would have been nice. Had to explain security that I am a speaker- On day one they didn't let me through, had to call an organizers. On day 2 the lady at the gate reluctantly let me in.
  • Website was updated only with a few days to spare. A more proactive update would have helped more people
Was nice to see event schedule in Mumbai Mirror

Day 2 we had a small gathering with other speakers
Hopefully next year it will be bigger and grander.

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