The strategic and directed marketing by German National Tourist Office (GNTO) India office has successfully established Germany as a standalone destination in India market. “We have noticed that Indians have started doing solo Germany which is new for us. It started last year and we know that most of the people are requesting Germany on their own. This is new and exciting for us that Germany is getting established as a solo destination in India,” Romit Theophilus, Director, GNTO (India), said on the sideline of a trade meet in New Delhi.
Talking about the changing trends, Theophilus said that more people are now willing to explore Germany for its cuisine, castle, heritage and nature. “Indians now understood that there is a lot more to do in Germany. They are seeing Germany beyond beer and wine country. However, we do continue to talk that Germany is an affordable destination in Europe,” he said and added that one can have a great vacation at half the cost of what one pays in the neighboring countries and this also attracts a lot of people.
Sharing the growing numbers, he informed that Indian arrival to Germany has been growing considerably. “We have grown by 13.1 per cent till August this year. We are expecting almost 900,000 overnights from India to Germany by end of this year. We are on track to hit the target of welcoming 1 mn overnights from India by 2020. In terms of number, we roughly have 300,000 individuals who travel to Germany,” Theophilus said adding that GNTO India sees close to 8-10 per cent growth since last 3 years.
Another trend that he sahred was the growing share of leisure tourists in total arrivals. “ When we joined GNTO in 2007, the ratio of business to leisure tourists was 95 to 5. Five years ago, this ratio was 75 :25 and today it has come down to 50:50 which is really a good sign,” he said. The change in ratio is due to the right marketing strategy adopted by GNTO India.
Apart from metro cities, GNTO India has also been focusing on tier –II markets. “We promote Germany in tier –II markets through sales call, small events, webinars and we see a lot more interest among travelers in these markets. Markets like Lucknow, Jaipur, Pune, Nagpur, and Ahmadabad amongst others are growing fast for us,” he said.
On marketing and promotional fronts, Theophilus said that while we are working closely with B2B the focus is now on B2C as well. “This year our Budget has been increased by 30 percent. Of the total budget, we spend 70 per cent on B2C and 30 per cent on B2B,” he said and added that this year GNTO India will be focusing on Virtual Reality. “We are going to develop a lot of VR content this year,” he said and added that GNTO India is quite active on social media platform and online mediums.