Scandinavian Tourist Board, collaboration between tourism boards of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, is betting big on India due to the sustained growth in Indian arrivals in last five years. “Over the last five years, the overall growth has been consistent of about 15-30 per cent from India to the Scandinavian countries. We expect 10 per cent average growth from the Indian market,” Mohit Batra, India Representative, Scandinavian Tourist Board, said. According to him, the growth comes across all the segments of the travel industry – fixed group departures, individual travellers and incentives. “This year we see people travelling in a group of 4-8, they are complete FITs. We also see a lot of interest in younger generation to visit Scandinavia. We have observed a healthy growth in the number of Indians travelling to these destinations, primarily from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru. But, cities such as Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Pune have also been showing encouraging results,” he added.
The Board recently conducted a three city roadshow in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. “This year we have a delegation of 25 Scandinavian partners including National Tourist Boards, Regional Tourist Boards along with delegates from attractions, cruise and voyage companies and DMCs. This reflects that there has been an increasing interest from partners.
Speaking on the marketing activities, he said that the ‘Explore Scandinavia’ Facebook page now has close to 20,000 followers. We also do a lot of offline training programme. We reach out to more than 250 agents year on year. Going forward, we aim to market the destination to the right profile of travellers and generate an organic growth to Scandinavian destinations, he said.
Talking to T3, Flemming Bruhn, Director, Visit Denmark, informed that Denmark welcomed 72,000 bed nights from India in 2015, reflecting an increase of 30 per cent. “This year, till July, we had 11 per cent growth. So far, 90 per cent of Indian visitors go to Copenhagen. We are aggressively promoting the Danish Viking heritage attractions such as Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, Trelleborg Viking Fortress and the Viking Village in Albertslund,” Bruhn said and added that he expects expect 10-15 per cent growth YoY for the next five years from India.
Lotta Thiringer, Regional Director - Growth and Development Markets, Visit Sweden informed that India has emerged as the second biggest market for us in Asia. “We had 158,000 overnights from India in 2015, a growth of 15 per cent over 2014. The average length of stay of Indian travellers in Sweden is around eight days. Indians are coming to Sweden mainly for leisure and soft adventure. Almost 40 per cent of Indians coming to Sweden are business visitors who stay for about two weeks.”
Norway received around 15,000 to 20, 000 Indian visitors in 2015, an increase of 15-20 per cent over 2014. “We are very happy with the growth from India. More people are coming during winter times for Northern Lights, the greatest magic show on earth as the bright lights dance in the sky. Indians are spending most of their times on soft adventure. We are satisfied with the growth from India. We do not want to grow too fast as we want to deliver quality to our visitors,” Per Holte, Market Director Tourism - Asia and New Developing Markets, Visit Norway, said. He said that the fjords are the soul of Norway. There are over a thousand fjords along the coastal line of the country but the most iconic ones are- Nærøyfjord, Sognefjord, Lysefjord, and Geirangerfjord which lie on the western coast. In May 2017, a new Gondola Ride would be unveiled from Hotel Loenfjord which will enable reaching the Fjords in just six minutes,” he revealed.
Talking about the connectivity, Batra said that Emirates added Oslo as one of the points in 2015. Several international airlines like Qatar, Turkish and European carriers offer direct connectivity from their hubs.