Now, the foreign tourism organisations have found another way to woo Indian tourists. This time it’s through their Web portals. With Tourism New Zealand and Singapore Tourism taking the lead in adding a separate link with customised information that an Indian tourist would need, other tourism organisations are likely to follow the path soon.
Starting from the tour operators that one could contact for planning out a trip to uniquely designed travel packages for the region, from activities such as self-drives, bungee jumping and others that Indians prefer over tourists from other nationalities to cuisines that one could try while in that country, all form a part of this separate link.
Reasons for this trend? Industry experts say this is to tap the growth of outbound tourism in the country. “It’s all about good marketing. International tourism organisations realise the potential in the Indian market and with the growing disposable income and more and more Indians looking to explore foreign shores, such measures would perhaps, help the destination boards to add to their tourist count from the country,” says Mr Shyam Ayachit, Manager, Atl Travels Ltd, an IATA-certified travel agency in India.
On the other hand, Mr Subhash Motwani from Compact Travels says, “These initiatives also indicate that the tourism bodies are getting more focussed in their approach towards Indian tourists. By providing detailed itineraries, data on travel agents to contacts and other information, more enquiries come in for the destination.”
While the phenomenon could be fast catching and has its own advantages, adopting a different approach while marketing the destination is important, says industry experts.
New Zealand tourism, for example, has added a unique feature to its Web site called travel planner. Elaborating more on the same, Mr Kiran Nambiar, Manager for Indian region, Tourism New Zealand tells Business Line, “It helps a tourist to be his or her own travel manager. All one needs to do is select link to travel planner and start collecting all that he or she wants to do while in New Zealand date wise. Once done the tourist could present that to a travel agent for accessing the cost of the trip or pass on to friends for assistance etc.”
Till December last year, the destination saw around 21,000 Indian visitors. Mr Nambiar says this number is likely to grow by 15 per cent by end 2008. Currently, of the total Indian visitors count, 60 per cent go for holidays, 35 per cent to visit friends and relatives and five per cent for business.