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Four Cultural Destinations: One Mission

India is one of the fastest-growing outbound travel
markets in the world. In the current scenario, when India’s outbound tourist
numbers are on the rise, the Visegrad Cooperation consisting of 4 countries
namely Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia organised a five-city
roadshow to tap the potential India market.

India is one of the fastest-growing outbound travel
markets in the world. In the current scenario, when India’s outbound tourist
numbers are on the rise, the Visegrad Cooperation consisting of 4 countries
namely Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia organised a five-city
roadshow to tap the potential India market.

As a part of their marketing campaign, the Visegrad countries
also popularly known as the European Quartet or the V4 group focused on
promoting MICE and Leisure tourism this year.


Following current trends in global tourism each year, V4
group decides on new marketing plan of actions. Recent trends indicate that
Indian travellers tend to visit couple of countries on one trip; hence the
European Quartet provides the right platform to explore four exciting and
enthralling European countries under one umbrella.

With tourist attractions such as Warsaw, Bratislava,
Prague, Budapest and innumerable beauty and health spas, the Visegrad countries
promise to offer Indian travellers a holistic travel experience.

The V4 group began with the roadshow from Mumbai on November
29, followed by Pune on November 30, Bangalore on December 2, Chennai on
December 3 and finally in New Delhi on December 4.

On the last day of the roadshow in New Delhi, Deepti
Tyagi
from India Tourism Review spoke with each of the representatives from
participating countries to find out the response to the event, the product
offerings of individual countries and the tourist segments they intend to tap
in the Indian market.

Krisztina
Basca

International
Market Development Manager

Hungary

The roadshow in all the five cities has been very positive.
I feel that there is lack of awareness about Eastern Europe. There is a need to
increase the number of awareness and promotional activities, which calls for a
lot of investment. The destination product offerings are well developed, all it
requires is effective marketing.

We organise FAM trips every year in collaboration with
other countries as usually Indians do not travel to mono-destinations. We also
organise entertainment events year round.

Hungary is a romantic destination with unique culture and
history. We also wish to cater to the MICE segment. The country is adept at
handling medium level conferences and business trips. We expect growth in the
number of MICE groups in the coming years. India is surely a potential market.
These roadshows gives us a good insight on the expectations of the individual
markets. The rich cultural life, tailor made programs and high level services
provided at a very reasonable cost makes Hungary an ideal destination. The B2B
connections in the Indian market also need to be strengthened. We are also
exploring opportunities to be featured in Bollywood movies.

Emilia
Kubik

Project
Leader: ‘I Like Poland’ Campaign

The response to the roadshows in all the five cities has
been very good. We have the biggest market in Mumbai. We are well aware of the
fact that Poland will not be the choice of first time Indian travellers as
their first preference will always be Western Europe. So, we are here to
promote the destination among travellers planning their visit for the second or
third time and who wants to look beyond Western Europe.

Poland is the biggest country in the region and is well
connected with other countries like Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia. In
future we would definitely like to promote Poland as a mono-destination as the
cities are highly unique with distinctive architecture. But since currently the
trend of the Indians travelling to Europe is such that they combine their
travel with two to three other destinations, we are promoting Poland as a part of European Quartet.

The four distinct countries are linked by similar
geography of Central Europe, culture and unique history, united by
post-communist transformations and since 1st of May 2004, all the 4 countries
are members of the European Union.

All the four countries share modern histories, values and
views but are equally distinct in terms of languages, architectural structures,
cuisines etc. Thus, offering a very distinctive experience to all the tourists while being in the same region of central Europe.

We would like to tap leisure and MICE segments. Poland is
well developed to handle corporate clients. Most of the infrastructure
including stadiums, highways and hotels are newly built. The country received
30 000 guest nights in the year 2012. Among Asian nations India is a key market
for Poland. We recently launched a campaign titled ‘Come and find your story’.
Next year we also plan to launch specialist training programme for tour
operators to educate them on how to deal with Polish market. We are also
planning FAM and study trips for tour operators in the year 2014.

Jan
Herget

Director
of Foreign Office Departments

Czech
Republic

We are here to promote the country as a heritage
destination with special focus on leisure and MICE segments of the market. To
add value to our product offerings we would also love Indians to explore the
Czech cuisine of which beer is an important part. Czech has many Indian
restaurants to meet the taste requirements of Indian travellers. Czech Republic
entered Indian market as a part of European Quartet in the year 2010. Most
Indians are well aware of Prague but are still unaware of many other cities.
There is a need to educate the travel agents and make complete itineraries for
their clients and make their experience unique.

We also offer MICE incentives. In the year 2012, the
country received 25 000 travellers from India. We also see a shift happening
from Western European countries to the Eastern nations. Prague is highly
popular among MICE groups. There are luxury castles around Prague. There are
more than 100 golf courses which will ensure that MICE groups can indulge in
outdoor activities while enjoying the historical architecture of the cities.
The only challenge that we face currently is that India is a difficult
structure of the travel market and it will take us some time to understand this
difficult structure.

Mario
Krizanovic

Head
of Foreign Affairs Department

Slovakia
Tourism Board

Slovakia is a perfect destination for leisure holiday to
spa treatments and wellness. Modern cities and their
 surroundings are supported
by infrastructure, quality and service. The country is brimming with unspoiled
natural beauty. Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia has in the last few
years become one of the fastest growing conference cities in Europe. The cities
and towns of the destination are rich with historical heritage from all
periods. Kosice is the European Capitol of Culture 2013.

Apart from culture and natural sites listed on UNESCO
World Heritage, the destination is also popular for traditional gastronomy and
its wines.

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