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Karishma Sen

Karishma Sen

In an interaction at the recently concluded TraveRave 2013 in Singapore, T3  spoke to  Emirsyah Satar, Chief Executive Officer, Garuda Indonesia on his plans for the Indian market. Satar is of the opinion that the Indian aviation industry has huge potential which has not been tapped to the fullest and it is due for a much needed revamp. “India's tourism industry is massive and as each day passes it is mounting rapidly. Indian outbound into Indonesia has seen a significant growth over the past five years and there has been a steady flow of Indian leisure and business travellers between India and Indonesia. It is very important for us to have a presence in this market,” he said.

He further revealed that the airline plans to start flights between India and Indonesia by the second half of 2013. “We have been analysing the Indian market over the past few years and are currently looking at operations from Delhi and Mumbai. We have also conducted a study to understand the market, which is now at its final stage. We expect to take a concrete decision on the Indian market by the end of this year.”

Elaborating on the airline’s plans for the region, Satar opined, “We are very excited to start flying out of India and want to commence operations as soon as possible. Currently, we are waiting for all the government clearances and paper work to get done. Once we have a green signal on all the nitty gritties, we will make the official announcement.”

Garuda Indonesia has also appointed a GSA, Bird Group, effective August 2013, as its local representative in India to manage its marketing and sales activities, marking the airline’s first step in developing its network in the market, “This reiterates our interest and commitment to the Indian market. We are very optimistic that, with Bird Group on board, it will give us a leverage to strengthen our presence in India and enhance the quality of our services to better serve passengers between the two markets. Moving forward, Bird Group will be responsible for all sales, marketing and ticketing activities in India through its centrally located headquarters in New Delhi,” he added.

Speaking about the promotional and marketing strategies for the region, Satar said, “Six months prior to launching flights out of India, we plan to hold workshops to educate the travel trade and help them understand our business to sell better. We are also looking at participating in trade events and travel expos within Asia, particularly in India, to create a buzz among the travel industry.”

In a recent bid to achieve significant increase in Indian visitors to Indonesia, the airline has signed a codeshare agreement with Jet Airways, starting from travel effective 4 October 2013.Under the codeshare arrangement, Jet Airways will place its marketing code on Garuda Indonesia’s flights between Singapore and Jakarta. In turn, Garuda will place its marketing code on Jet Airways’ operations between Singapore and Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai. The codeshare will provide more choice for customers between India and Indonesia, by offering seamless and convenient connections over the international gateway of Singapore. “Indonesia is a famous tourist destination for Indian travellers and a strategic trade and investment partner for India. With the codeshare, we are positive that will see a boost in business and leisure travel between India and Indonesia,” Satar concluded.

In keeping with its annual promise of providing the industry with the best of travel and tourism, and mapping the latest trends in the sector, SATTE’s all new agenda for 2014 includes the SATTE India 2014 Conference, whose focus will be ‘Building partnerships in tourism’.

Keeping in mind the business-critical requirements of the industry, the conference will also focus on concurrent subjects that are highly relevant to all the attendees. The SATTE conference agenda will analyse trends, bottlenecks and future opportunities for the tourism industry in India.

In the travel and tourism sector, partnerships amongst the government, corporate and different tourism verticals are very important. The first panel discussion, ‘Inventing new approaches to forge a stronger partnership within the industry’ will touch upon understanding the changing market dynamics and developing a  PPP model to create a holistic atmosphere that enhances profitability of the tourism Industry in India.

The SATTE conference will also critically evaluate the concepts of Ecotourism and Responsible Tourism in its panel discussion on ‘Incorporating global best practices to make India a responsible and sustainable tourism destination’. Tourism takes place in the destination where tourists mix and interact with those who live and work there. The panel discussion will discuss how tourism can help the sustainable development of urban and rural areas and communities.

Not forgetting the most important topic in travel and tourism, the Aviation industry, the SATTE 2013 Conference session ‘Aviation– Challenges, opportunities and the way forward’ will focus on the growth opportunity of Indian aviation, and inviting foreign airlines to invest in the sector. The panel discussion will also touch upon topics such as, ‘Evaluating the impact of current economic scenario on Indian aviation sector and forecast about the next phase of growth’ and  ‘Current state of airport modernisation and need for regional connectivity’.

Addressing the hospitality industry woes will be the ‘Developing Innovative Partnership Model for Tourism in 2020’ session. The discussion will highlight trends, challenges and future opportunities for hospitality and tourism in India. The panellists will also discuss how OTAs and Social Media can help SMEs and travel agents in business growth.

Among other topics addressed at the conference will be, ‘Making tourism a vehicle for inclusive growth while conserving the environment’;  ‘Unearthing opportunities, predicting trends and overcoming challenges in domestic tourism in Asia and the Pacific’; ‘Developing strategy-focused alliances that create better experiences for tourists and local people’; ‘Establishing transparent and mutually beneficial relationship for tourism growth’; ‘Creating opportunities which encourage young people to continue to live in remote rural areas’; and many more.

The conference agenda will also include the ‘UNWTO ExpertSpeak’ which will be presented by a World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) representative. The session will present a UNWTO study and provide insights on ‘Religious Tourism in Asia and the Pacific in Asia and the Pacific - The Road Ahead’

In an attempt to make its mark on the global tourism map, the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has upped its marketing and promotional activities on international platforms to increase foreign tourist inflow into the state.

MTDC, which organised Diwali event in 2013 at Times Square in New York to promote Maharashtra and received overwhelming response, has decided to visit Times Square again this year on September 20, 2014. “We have realised the tourism potential of our state and we plan to use it as a major growth instrument to fuel the economy. Last year’s event was a huge success and it was very fruitful in promoting the state internationally. We look forward to boost Maharashtra’s distinctive feature of being a 365-day tourist destination for both regular and business travellers as we visit Times Square once again this September,” Chhagan Bhujbal, Minister of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra stated.

Shedding more light on the event, Jagdish Patil, Managing Director, MTDC said, “The event will showcase Maharashtrian food, dances, arts and crafts, fashion shows, photo booths with ethnic outfits, dahi handi-mallkhamb and other attractions. There will be orchestrated laser light shows and fireworks on giant screens. The event will have performances by top names from Bollywood.”

With over 350,000 pedestrians visiting Times Square daily, the event offers a greater opportunity to showcase the tourism potential of the state to a global audience. The event will be publicised widely on digital, television, radio and print media in the US. It is imperative that the whole world knows about the beauty of Maharashtra, stated Bhujbal and said, “Be it summer, monsoon or winter, Maharashtra with its diverse topography, climate and tourist attractions is a destination that is visited all year round.”

Adding to this initiative, MTDC has opened its first international office in Tokyo to lure tourists from Japan and other neighbouring countries. Talking about the Tokyo office, Patil said, “It is very important to make our presence felt in the Asian countries. This is a huge step by the tourism board that is set to offer us a great opportunity to easily connect with tourism players and international travellers.”
The Tokyo office was inaugurated by Sanjay Deotale, Cultural Affairs Minister of Maharashtra, at the Wakayama Prefecture, Wakayama Tourism Federation (WTF).
Responding to MTDC’s initiative, the WTF is expected to open an office in Aurangabad. Both parties are also going to coperate on other fronts including financial assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency for the Phase-III development of Ajanta-Ellora Caves complexes and an agreement between Ajanta Visitor Centre and Wakayama World Heritage Centre to boost bilateral tourism and conserve these heritage sites.

Fáilte Ireland views India as one of the important emerging markets and is looking to increase the visitor numbers from India to 40,000-50,000 in a period of five years from 21,000 in 2012. In 2013, Tourism Ireland is looking to increase this number to 25,000 due to the success of short-stay visa waiver programme. “We are expecting a double-digit growth in Indian arrivals every year. Over the years, there has been a consistent YoY growth of 17 percent in Indian arrivals and it will continue to grow,” informed Huzan Fraser, India Representative, Tourism Ireland.

Fáilte Ireland recently invited a group of travel journalists from across the globe to showcase their niche upcoming product- ‘Get Sporty in Ireland’. This trip showcased Ireland’s core traditions and the Irish love for sports. The trip highlighted the Gaelic Games and rural Irish traditions and how they can be incorporated into any itinerary or incentive programme for a complete Irish experience. “When it comes to experiencing real Ireland, there is nothing like incorporating Ireland’s unique national sports,” stated a tourism board official.The year 2013 for Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland is all about promoting their traditions, values and culture.

The Gaelic Games experience

Fáilte Ireland, in conjunction with the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association), have worked together to give tourists easier access to experience first-hand the oldest field sport in the world. The objective of this initiative by Fáilte Ireland is to attract large numbers of tourists to Ireland and promote the benefits of Ireland as a tourist location. The main focus of the initiative is the promotion of Ireland as a ‘natural sports arena’.

Even for non-sports fans, there’s something about hurling and Gaelic football, the two field sports that have a long history in Ireland and is a major pull for tourists who are coming to experience traditional Ireland. For tourists, conference delegates and incentive groups, there are a number of ways to experience Gaelic Games or without attending a match at all such as learning to pick up a sliotar with a hurl etc. The ‘Kikenny Way’ is aimed at promoting Kilkenny on its Hurling success. “These are unique national games, brought to visitors in an innovative fun way,” explained PJ Lanigan, Co Founder, The Kilkenny Way. “We explain the tourist about 3,000 years of culture, the fastest field sport in the world and show teach them the fundamental skills and build challenges and team building around that,” he added. Talking about the India market, Georgina Caraher of Experience Gaelic Games said, “India is a very new market and we have received an incentive and a student group since our inception. But we are receiving encouraging response from Asia, particularly from India and China.”

Keeping the rural Irish Culture, Nature and Traditions alive

The trip also included a visit to a 17th century ‘Conamara clochán’ (a hill-village) situated on a drumlin hill amidst 200 acres of expansive primordial bogland, surrounded by lakes, bogs, seas, and mountains. Tourists visiting the hill-village enjoy the cluster of restored traditional cottages, buildings and little stone-walled green fields. “Our aim is to promote Cnoc Suain hill-village as a cultural site. We want to make Irish culture and nature reachable, and where both day visitors and residential guests leaving Cnoc Suain feel well informed and enriched by an enjoyable learning experience,” said Charlie Troy, Owner, Cnoc Suain- Hill Village.

The itinerary also included a visit to Highbank Orchard Farm in Cuffesgrange, as well as tour of the Kilkenny Castle.

The Gathering Ireland 2013

The Gathering Ireland 2013 is a tourism-led initiative in Ireland. It aims to gather together the Irish diaspora to return to Ireland during 2013 to be part of specially organised local gatherings and events during the year. It is a government supported initiative driven primarily by Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority, and Tourism Ireland. “The Gathering has been a huge success so far. We are pleasantly happy by the way the festivities have panned out. The whole year has been just a huge celebration,” a Fáilte Ireland official opined.

The way forward for tourism

Fáilte Ireland recently welcomed the launch of a wide-ranging review of tourism policy by Leo Varadkar, The Minister for Transport, Tourism& Sport according to a media release. Welcoming the start of a public consultation process to develop a new tourism policy, Shaun Quinn, CEO of Fáilte Ireland said, “In the last year, tourism has reached a new phase where, for the first time since the global downturn, businesses are now moving from consolidation and survival to seeking out new sources of additional customers and revenue. Speaking at the launch, Quinn emphasised that the future of Irish tourism will be rooted in international demand. Quinn opined that tourism needs to figure out how to get better and better at delivering compelling and authentic consumer experiences. Moreover, tourism needs to meet the challenge (and opportunity) of digital media and create the attractive creative content to suit social media and present Ireland as a cool and compelling place to visit, he added.

At a recent visit to India, Toga Hotels, a division of the Toga Group, met with the Indian travel trade in order to expand its reach in the Indian market. The company operates a total of 65 properties across Australia, New Zealand and Europe. Commenting on India as potential market, Jennifer Bruce, Associate Vice President, Toga Hotels, Australia, said, “India is a very important market for Toga Hotels. The response we have received is really encouraging and with Global Destination as our representatives in India we are seeing growth in numbers. This year, we witnessed a significant growth in Indian arrivals as compared with last year.

Toga Hotels is currently laying focus on attracting the Indian FIT and honeymoon segments. Bruce further opined, “The Indian Honeymoon and FIT market is really huge and has a want to travel; we are looking at tapping these segments with Vibe Hotels and Adina Apartment Hotels. Our properties are high-end, spacious and boast of premium luxurious amenities, complete with a specially-crafted ambience that is ideal for honeymooners and FITs. Our focus is to enhance awareness and promote these properties in the Indian market.”

Moving forward the hotel chain will focus on building relations with the travel trade in India through events such as the recently held ITM (India Travel Mission). Elaborating on the company’s strategy for the Indian market, Bruce added, “At the recently concluded ITM we interacted with 85 travel agents. We also did a two-day sales call in Mumbai where we met around 45 travel agents to raise awareness about our properties’ offerings. We are conducting a similar sales call in Delhi today and are expecting to meet at least ten agents there.”

Speaking on the association with Tourism Australia, Bruce said, “Toga Hotels is working closely with Tourism Australia in the promotional activities of the Aussie Specialist Programme. The company has also associated with state tourism boards such as Tourism and Events Queensland in a bid to extend its reach in the global market.”

Marriott International recently launched Courtyard by Marriott Pune Chakan. With this, Marriot has a room inventory of 920 in Pune.  The 175-room property is spread over three acres of land and covers an area of 11,725 sq ft of indoor and outdoor meeting space. According to Ritu Chawla, General Manager, Courtyard by Marriott Pune Chakan, the size of the meeting area makes it a perfect corporate/business hotel. “The USP of the property is its location which is a well-known industrial hub. Chakan being the automobile and manufacturing hub, a space needed to be filled for the luxury business traveller. The Courtyard is our answer for the same. Moreover, Pune has become a hub for MICE travel and Courtyard by Marriott Pune Chakan is suitably modelled to suit all business requirements,” she said.

Replying to a question on excessive room supply in Pune, Chawla said that the Courtyard’s in Pune have their individual share of business. “There is no question of oversupply as our properties are situated in very different locations in Pune, each catering to a different sector. Our aim is to provide a complete hospitality experience, with state-of-the-art amenities for the new-age business traveller. We are expecting a mix of 70 per cent international and 30 per cent domestic and local business.”

Chawla also detailed on marketing strategy for creating brand awareness for the hotel. “We will cash in on Marriot’s brand reputation. Apart from the traditional marketing, we are tapping the online space very aggressively. We will roll out online campaigns and have already put up hoardings in our main source markets such as Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. With this, we are expecting 50 per cent occupancy by the end of December 2013.”

Speaking about their choice of location, Shakeel Ladak, Owner, Courtyard by Marriott Pune Chakan, said said, “With an increasing number of industries coming up in the Chakan industrial belt, we felt this was the ideal opportunity to create a niche for this unique offering. The Courtyard boasts of amenities that are certain to exceed the expectations of our clients as well as cater to the growing number of business travellers to this part of the city.”

As part of its 2013 marketing strategy to achieve Dubai’s Tourism Vision for 2020, the Department recently organised a roadshow in  New Delhi followed by Mumbai and Chennai. India continues to be Dubai’s number 2 source market and has received 4,60,000 Indian visitors in the first half of 2013, witnessing a growth of 15.8 per cent compared to the same period in 2012.

A 22-member delegation participated in the three-city roadshow that included hoteliers, DMCs and attractions. Emirates, Atlantis, The Palm and Lama Tours, were the co-sponsors of the roadshow, that targeted over 1,000 Indian trade professionals covering major tour operators, wedding planners and high-end leisure operators. The delegation was led by Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing's (DTCM) officials, Mansoor Bawazir - Head of Region (India, Middle East & Southern/Eastern Africa) and Carl Vaz - Director, India Representative Office.

The Dubai delegation included Royal Arabian Tours, Bonton Tours and Travels, Discovery Travel and Tourism, Alpha Tours, Golden Sands Hotel Apartments, Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa, Sea View Hotel/ Royal Ascot Hotel, Al Rais Tours and Travels, Royal Gulf Tourism LLC, JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa, North Tours, Big Bus Tours, Bin Ali Tourism, ITL Tourism & Travel LLC, Admiral Plaza Hotel, Khalidia Hotel Apartments, The Oberoi, Dubai and Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Downtown.

Talking about the importance of India as a source market, Bawazir stated, “Dubai welcomed more than 5.5 million visitor arrivals in the first half of 2013, recording an 11.1 per cent year-on-year increase. We are here to endorse and showcase our products in the Indian market and further increase Indian arrivals. India is huge market with great potential and will be one of the important source markets to achieve our target of 20 million visitors by 2020.”

Vaz believes that the growth from the Indian market is a result of DTCM’s focus on Tier-II and III cities. “We are looking at penetrating deeper into Tier-II cities like Pune, Indore, Nagpur, Chandigarh and Jaipur and Tier-III cities such as Visakhapatnam, Coimbatore, Raipur and Bhubaneshwar. Currently, we have 2,000 certified experts from metros, Tier-I and II cities of India under the Dubai Expert Training Programme and we are now looking at adding 1,000 agents from Tier-III cities as Dubai specialists,” he said adding that the main market segments that DTCM is looking at tapping in India this year are the group series departures and the family segment along with the niche segments of weddings / honeymoon, school groups, adventure / sport and luxury seekers and single women travellers who will be heading for the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) 2014.

Speaking about the way forward Vaz opined, “We aim to achieve year-on-year double digit growth from the Indian market. We are looking at developing niche segments and will work closely with tour operators dealing with single women travellers, ‘silvers’ (senior citizens) and women shopping groups

One of the co-sponsors of  the event Lama Tours is also very bullish on the Indian market and has recently introduced Lama Express Visa service two months ago in Delhi and till date have processed 1,600 visa. Kulwant Singh, Managing Director, Lama Tours, informed, “We are planning to introduce the same service in Mumbai by November and in Bengaluru by December this year.”

In India, cruises are being promoted and sold for the last two decades by a few focused and some transient agents and representatives. As a result, most of the travel agents and seasoned travellers today are familiar with cruising as a market segment and not a holiday option. Nishith Saxena, Director, Cruise Professionals is of the opinion that in India the passenger opting for cruise as a holiday option has not reached even 10 per cent of the forecasted potential. “Currently, there are more than 15 ocean cruise liners and river cruise companies with significant presence in the country offering diverse destinations and attractive offers from time to time to lure the Indian traveller. We hope that, in the near future, India emerges as a significant source market for cruises world over,” Saxena said.

Saxena attributed the slow growth to several factors but highlighted three most important factors: Lack of awareness among the consumers, lack of cruising option closer to home and limited interest amongst travel agents when it comes to promoting wider destination range. “Apart from the three most common and main factors the most recent challenges we have faced have been dramatic depreciation of rupee and worldwide strike by the Canadian High Commission,” he opined.

According to Saxena, while the US$ cost of the product is very enticing, the high exchange rate and new visa norms is causing many passengers to have a relook at their plans. “Passengers planning to visit cruising destinations like Alaska, Canada and New England have been affected due to no visas being granted since early July 2013. Also the constant tussle with passengers wanting to book through their friends and relatives overseas because of the inability of their local agent to service their requirement is another challenge which shall be negated once the local travel agents are more confident in servicing passenger’s cruise booking requirements.”

Elaborating more on their marketing and promotional strategy, he opined, “We have invested a substantial amount of money over the years as we view India as a developing source market. Various sales and marketing activities are undertaken periodically to develop and nurture the market, targeting cruises as an alternate vacation option.” He added that the marketing activities keep evolving each year based on new trends and market requirements.

Speaking on their product offering, Saxena revealed, “Cruises always have something for everyone. For elderly Indian travellers, whether they love activity or crave for tranquility, our cruise lines offer all the possibilities. Passengers can opt for shore excursions to explore a port of call or just relax by the pool. Our Signature Shows, lounge performers, movies and casinos are just some of the entertainment our passengers enjoy.”

One of DTCM’s (Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing) key focus areas is to tap the Indian wedding, family and luxury segments. DTCM has already activated several joint marketing initiatives with leading travel and tour operators across India to further promote Dubai as a tourism destination.

“India continues to be a top source market for inbound visitors into Dubai with the total number of Indian guests reaching 463,175 for the first six months of 2013, a growth of 15.8 per cent over the corresponding period,” said Carl Vaz, Director ‐ DTCM (Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing) India.

As part of DTCM’s B2B contact engagement, DTCM has in place an online travel agents training program which enhances the trade’s product knowledge which in turn helps travelers a more qualitative experience. DTCM will also focus on niche segments such as student groups, senior citizens, sporting enthusiasts, heritage and culture enthusiasts, up-market leisure travelers and the lucrative wedding segment. Moreover, the tourism department aims to position Dubai as a foremost destination for both leisure and business travellers by continuously evolving their tourism offering.

Another country from the region is Oman aggressively working on India to attract Indian tourists and MICE by offering attractive packages.  “The new convention centre coming up and the new airport, both expected to be ready by 2014, will make it even more attractive,” Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative, Ministry of Tourism, Sultanate of Oman explained. In 2013- 14, Oman plans to target tier II cities such as Pune, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad. “The focus now is to tap tourists from non-metros, and tier II.  Several offline/online training programs have been conducted with travel agents across different cities. We plan to relaunch our online training program in 2013 or early 2014.We will continue to work closely with the travel agents through various initiatives like joint promotions, advertising, roadshows, familiarisation trips, online and offline training programs, sales visits, and so on,” she added.

Similarly, Abu Dhabi is also going aggressive in India. According to the latest figures released by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), India has emerged as the largest overseas source market for the emirate during the first six months of this year. Some 80,179 Indians stayed in Abu Dhabi’s hotels from January until the end of June, which is a 22 per cent rise compared to last year. Abu Dhabi recently conducted a five-city road show in  2013 which was extremely well received by the travel fraternity.

Bejan Dinshaw, Country Manager, India, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi ) informed, “Travel trade is an important and essential peg for promoting tourism in the Indian market scenario.  We have another road show slated shortly for which we look forward to garner enthusiastic industry support as we have till date,” he said adding that TCA Abu Dhabi is looking at deploying a well thought out strategy to tap the huge potential of the Indian market. “Our task is extensively aided by the technologically advanced infrastructure and some of the world’s finest tourist attractions in Abu Dhabi.” TCA Abu Dhabi and TUI recently launched a month long campaign ‘Abu Dhabi Month’ which ran throughout August in the TUI flagship store in Delhi.

The honeymoon segment from India is increasingly catching the attention of most of the National Tourist Offices, especially island destinations such as Fiji, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago, who are going aggressive in the Indian market. “While other islands may offer sun and sand, Jamaica presents a fantastic diversity of options for couples in search of rich cultural experiences in addition to a setting of extraordinary beauty,” said Kavi Ghei, Chairman, TRAC Representations that represents Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) in India.

He further stated that Jamaica offers the world’s most renowned all inclusive honeymoon resorts such as Sandals Montego Bay and Couples Sans Souci, Ocho Rios. “Growth in stop-over arrivals by permanent residence from India in Jan–Feb 2014 as compared to Jan – Feb 2013 has been 23.4 per cent. The increasing numbers prove that Jamaica has been gaining popularity in the Indian market,” Ghei added.

Trinidad and Tobago, which is still a niche and relatively new destination in the Indian market, is focusing on promoting diverse products. However, the honeymoon segment is rapidly seeing an increase in demand and bookings. “Honeymoon couples today are much more experiential and are ready to opt for destinations such as Trinidad & Tobago, which are off the beaten track yet offer a wide variety of products and offerings. Trinidad & Tobago has several day-time offerings for honeymooners such as scuba diving, turtle watching, sailing, snorkelling as well as a vibrant nightlife,” shared Huzan Fraser, India Representative, Tourism Trinidad and Tobago. Trinidad and Tobago received approximately 5,000 visitors from India and expects a 15-20 per cent growth in number in 2014.

Fiji is also witnessing a consistent growth in Indian traffic - a 30 per cent increase in 2013, and the growth largely came from honeymooners and couples, said Kajal Somaiya, India Representative, Tourism Fiji. “While our main focus remains honeymooners and couples, we will continue to develop the family market and niche segments such as adventure, diving and high-end incentive groups,” she added.

Further, to make its presence stronger in the Indian honeymoon segment, these destinations have upped their marketing activities. Somaiya added that their main aim is to make the couples’ honeymoon the most memorable experience possible by applying all their knowledge, expertise to catering to all their needs and comforts. Fiji is conducting a webinar (with T3) in the third quarter to reach out to the Indian travel trade in a more effective manner. JTB uses an integrated marketing strategy with maximum thrust on public relations, and promotional activities to reach the travel trade as well as consumers.



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