Adventurous Indians on international tourist destinations’ radar

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??There seems to be a sudden interest in the Indian traveller and particularly the youth, and this time, these are international tourism bodies that have become aggressive with their focus on them; and particularly in the last one month or so. New Zealand, South Africa, Oman, Turkey, British Columbia, and Germany are some of the countries that have lately launched different campaigns to woo the Indian traveller.

The common thread amongst these campaigns is the focus on engagement. The campaigns are not just focussed on TVCs or print but the international tourism bodies are making an effort in reaching out to this segment and apprising them about the opportunities these countries offer in terms of culture, art and nature and adventure.

So much so that a small country like Oman is doling out a two-day free stopover for UK-Europe bound premium Indian traveller. Oman’s Ministry of Tourism expects to attract over 800 passengers between May and September, this year.

Meanwhile, Tourism New Zealand is focusing on PR and B2B offering media personnel and travel agents special discounts through its “Explore New Zealand” programme. Under the initiative, the department will offer an ‘Explore Accreditation’ card to travellers, which allows travellers to avail deals including rental car offers, accommodation and a wide range of activities. To make it easier for agents and media to travel in partners and groups, the typical discounts that are offered on the card are generally in the range of ‘two for the price of one’ or a 50 per cent off for cardholders. “We know that most travel agents and media want to experience a product first, before they promote it to their clients or readers. The ‘Explore’ programme is designed to help make this possible,” says Mischa Mannix-Opie, Tourism New Zealand’s Regional Manager for South and South East Asia.

South African Tourism on the hand has launched a 20-city ‘The More You Do, The Closer You Get’ outdoor advertising campaign to “woo Indian tourists to the enchanting and rich experiential offerings of South Africa.”

The department has also launched a ‘Take Me top South Africa’ contest, targeted at “travel buffs, adventure junkies and tech geeks in India above 18 years of age”, providing “the lucky four” a chance to “trip-trot with Jhonty Rhodes and an on all-expenses paid 15-day holiday. One simply has to log on to www.takemetosouthafrica.com, and answer some questions.

“Through this unique contest, we aim to woo and create some buzz with the Indian travel and adventure enthusiasts. Incidentally, adventure travellers are one of the fastest growing segments across the world and we have also seen a huge increase in the uptake of adventure and high adrenaline activities by Indian tourists in South Africa,” says Hanneli Slabber, Country Manager, South African Tourism, adding, “Our ‘Take me to South Africa’ contest is one of the many initiatives planned for this year to widen our reach across various travel segments in India.”

SA Tourism has partnered with NDTV Good Times to capture the South African sojourn of the four winners and Jonty Rhodes. The contest will also be promoted on Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo.com. According to arrival figures of November 2012, South Africa received 97,664 Indians visitors between January and November 2012. During the same period in 2011, South Africa saw 82,700 Indian visitors, an increase of 18.1 per cent.

Talking about figures, India and China are the emerging travel markets for British Columbia, which feels that the province is the second largest destination for Indians in Canada. It hopes an increase of 10 per cent in Indian arrivals. The province has tied up with ‘Times of India Film Awards’, which is being held in Vancouver in the first week of April, for a customised travel package, ‘Holiday Amidst the Stars’. The package is being promoted through Kuoni and other travel agents.

Germany too is targeting a 10 per cent growth from all visitor segments from India in 2013 and is expecting to invest approximately half a million Euros in India in the year. According to Romit Theophilus, Director, Sales and Marketing, German Nation Tourist Office (GNTO) in India, Germany has registered a 55 per cent traffic to Germany from India, for the 2007-2012 period, and since the office’s inception in India.

It’s marketing theme for 2013, is “Germany for Young People”, which will be centred around broad spectrum of activities targeting the young, ranging from social media, online microsite development, and development of Youth hotspots. The main communication channels being used at the start of the campaign are a dedicated section of the website (www.germany.travel/youth) and social media platforms, in particular Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Last, but not the least, Turkey as a part of its New Delhi Turkish Fest was at an upscale mall in South Delhi, the gone weekend, where visitors to the mall got an opportunity to celebrate, learn and savour Turkish hospitality, culture, heritage and cuisine.

Turkey is also marketing the destination as a perfect wedding destination. “Turkey is blessed with ideal sceneries and locations that can enhance the grandeur of Indian weddings. One can easily locate an ideal place on a private beach or a cosy mountain destination to make their day special. Turkey also has a vibrant nightlife, array of dining and shopping choices to make it a destination to host a special event,” says Özgür Aytürk, Culture & Tourism Counselor, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Turkey.

The country is an ideal location for honey-mooners too feels Aytürk.

Will the Indian traveller fall for these, only time will tell.

About the author / 

Neeta Nair

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