INDIA DESTINATION PROMOTION AT ATM, DUBAI 2007
"Travel trade from India will put efforts to boost eco-holiday packages for this summer at Arabian Travel Mart": says Gour Kanjilal, Travel Consultant & Executive Director, Indian Association of Tour Operators).
India has done very aggressive promotions in expanding the Middle East market and expecting to reap the benefit during the current financial year through heightened presence at the Travel & Tourism shows in the region and intensifying media campaigns, through Media relations/hospitality programme to educate the travel industry's visit to our country. Efforts are also being put to position India as top destination mainly for eco friendly holidays. There is appositive awareness about India specially for eco tours.
"Most of the new generation Arab holidayers are looking for clean air, clean environment and would like to be nearer to the nature which is offering new experience and also relaxation."
We have all the physical attractions of the countryside and added attribute of a welcoming and friendly people. Ministry of Tourism have focused on hill stations all over India for them under media campaign "Beat the Heat and enjoy the cool in India" where they have Himalayas to choice. Luckily, India is connected from the gulf with 16 airports and over 400 flights per week. So mobility has increased. Preferred destinations are Shimla, Kullu-Manali, Ootacamund, Munnar Hills, Kodaikanal Mahableshwar, and even Dalhousie,
Chamba. If Kashmir can be promoted (it needs an image to present as safe destination to travel) we can get over 20% increase in traffic immediately. Our hill stations with snow capped mountains even in summer months are great summer escape destinations. Also local festivals, local bazaars, local ethnic cuisine, bejeweled and local costumed ethnic people offer a very rich experience. Similarly for the Arabs, a special effort is being done to promote India during monsoon season. Hardly the Arab children have seen monsoons.
They find it a new experience to drench themselves in the outburst of rain in Goa Coastal, Kerala Coastal region and all the more packages are available at a very affordable price which during peak season may cost a fortune. They move with family and find it very affordable. "added Shri Gour Kanjilal.
Spice Tours are also being focused for them specially in Kerala Region with visit to spice growing areas, Tea growing areas House Boat experience, lake cruises and seeing the life goes around the lake in typical Kerala House Boat "Kettuvallam" is really an eco-friendly experience. For children who have not seen elephant an elephant ride at Bandipur, Mudumalai or at Corbett to see animals at its natural habitat offer real thrilling experience. Enter from any points, one can combine wildlife tours. Rail journeys (Palace on wheels, Konkan Rail, Fairy Queen and even toy Trains) are being promoted.
The Middle East people are like Indians, they like to shop wherever they go. No doubt, India is the place for treasure hunt. They like to collect lot of things specially textile, jewellery (artificial), wooden items, Zari work etc. Food of course is a value addition and sea food luxury in Goa, Kovalam, Chennai etc are regular place for gourmet experience. Watersports, Parasailing, windsurfing and are liked by them as adventure tourism is in the blood. They don't like architecture much but be nearer to nature and enjoy good shopping.
Now health tourism is increasing as India is termed as a perfect place for medical treatments and rejuvenating packages with Ayurveda at Kerala, Goa, Karnataka resorts and getting increased attention.
MICE Tourism is also one segment which will be focused by our tour operators as India is strategically located and has good air connections and infrastructural facilities. Spiritual tourism for NRI's with visit to Tirupathi, Vaishnodevi with V.F.R will also be emphasized provide a continuous flow, No doubt Middle East will always remain a favourable market for India. Here people are now particular about what they want and also prepared to pay on a basis of quality and service. Our tour operators have accordingly worked out Holiday packages targeting this new breed of eco-tourists. This ATM, India will offer real exciting packages and Arab Holidayers will enjoy their India sojourn" echoed Shri Gour Kanjilal.