Brand USA concluded its third annual India Travel Mission organized from September 8-13, 2014. The mission, traveling across three Indian metro cities, witnessed a tremendous response with over 600 Indian travel industry professionals attending buyer seller meetings in Bangalore, Mumbai and New Delhi. The U.S. delegations comprised of forty-one participants representing thirty U.S. companies including destinations, attractions, hotels and receptive operators. The India Travel Mission extended its reach this year by including Bengaluru (September 8) in the program, and returned to the major metros cities of Mumbai (September 9) and New Delhi (September 12).
During the mission, Brand USA announced the launch of their training program, the “USA Discovery Program” for the Indian travel trade.
Brand USA also unveiled its culinary guide, “Discover America: Great American Food Stories” aimed at promoting gastro-tourism in the USA and showcasing the U.S. as a top culinary destination for world traveler.
Mr. Jay Gray, Vice President, Global Partnership Development at Brand USA said, “Like earlier years, the India Travel Mission has been a great success and has been enthusiastically received by the Indian travel trade. New initiatives like the USA Discovery Program will engage the travel trade to learn the diverse travel options in the US. Additionally the recently published Culinary Guide with encourage gourmet enthusiasts to discover cuisines of the USA like never before."
Ms. Sheema Vohra, Managing Director of Sartha Global, marketing representative office for Brand USA in India added, “The U.S. has witnessed a continuous increase in Indian travelers arrivals in the last three years. We are confident that this trend will continue over the next decade and the India Travel Mission provides an excellent opportunity for Indian travel partners to cultivate lucrative business opportunities to the USA."
Mr. Jack Ferguson, President and CEO represented PHLCVB at the Mission and he was supported by Ms. Svetlana Yazovskikh, International Tourism Sales Manager during his business meetings with members of the Indian travel trade and media. Seeing the response generated by the mission, Mr. Jack Ferguson said, “We thank Brand USA for providing us a platform to interact with our Indian travel industry partners. We have recently appointed an in-market representative and are happy to state that 2013 saw an increase of 24% in overnight stays by Indian travelers in Philadelphia from the previous year. India is now in the top 5 overseas feeder markets for Philadelphia. We look forward to welcoming more and more Indian visitors and establishing the image of Philadelphia as a world class tourism destination.”
Caroline Beteta, Visit California President and CEO said, “The impressive 26% growth in visitors from India last year is a testament to the power of partnership and our ongoing collaboration with the Indian travel industry.”
A record high number of Indian visitors to California in 2013 made the Golden State one of the most preferred destinations for Indian travelers to the US. Accounting for 28% market share of Indian visitors to the US, 240,000 Indians visited California in 2013 – an increase of 26% over 2012. Indian visitor arrivals are forecasted to grow by another 14% in 2014 with 339,000 projected arrivals by 2017. Indian visitors’ average length of stay in California is 21 days.
Michael Goldsmith, Vice President of International Marketing for the LVCVA said, “We thank Brand USA India Mission for providing us a valuable platform that enabled us to share information on Las Vegas with our Indian travel industry partners. This event allowed us to continue our two – way dialogue and strengthen relations with our partners, and establish a strong presence in the Indian market.”
The LVCVA has been actively engaging with the media and travel trade through various ongoing programs throughout India. Earlier this year the LVCVA participated in SATTE 2014 and educational seminars organized by Brand USA in 10 Indian cities