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Atout France expects a rise in the demand for MICE and customised FIT packages from India in 2014. “We foresee a rise in the demand for outbound MICE travel and a substantial increase in the number of Indian visitors opting for a tailor made holiday package customised to their preferences. We hope to have an augmentation in the number of Indian tourist arrivals in the coming year,” opined Catherine Oden, Director, Atout France India. She further shared that one positive factor that could pave the way for an increase in arrivals is the temporary suspension of biometrics for all visa applications.

France is very keen to increase its share of Indian MICE movements. Elaborating further, Oden said that Atout France is motivated to believe that the temporary suspension of biometrics on all visa applications will augment France’s positioning as a preferred business destination and corporates will be more encouraged to plan a business event in France. In October 2013, France welcomed a delegation of 8 Indian MICE travel professionals in Marseille for a global workshop ‘France Meeting Hub’. “This was a perfect platform for interactive networking between our French partners and travel agents. The workshop provided many opportunities for Indian professionals to widen their network of contacts for future business relationships as well as acquaint themselves with new offers and products that could be proposed to their clients.”

Atout France is cognisant of the growing importance commanded by MICE segment and has consciously tried to establish a channel of communication with corporate entities. The tourism entity also created a 24 page supplement on its products range to acquaint business professionals with all that France could offer. 

2013 marked the launch of Atout France’s campaign ‘Be There! Do That!’ According to the tourism office the campaign was well received by the travel industry and the end consumer. Moving forward in 2014, Atout France will continue presenting offbeat experiences in France through joint collaborations with French and local, travel agents/tour operators. Through the campaign, Atout France will also present MICE incentives in France. “For the year ahead, we will continue to build on creating greater awareness about France as a business destination and look to make further in-roads in this domain,” commented Oden.

Atout France in collaboration with Chamonix-Mont Blanc Tourism (CMBT) has also launched a three-month online training programme in India, called ‘France Experiential Travel Special’ (FETS), in January 2014.

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