Brand USA’s third annual India Travel Mission meeting concluded in New Delhi on Saturday. The mission, a public-private partnership to promote the country as a premier travel destination, had also visited Bangalore and Mumbai. The US delegation comprised 30 companies, which included destination, tourism and hotels. The objective of the mission is to provide a platform for the US suppliers to interact with India’s travel buyers. The engagement with Indian corporations aims at facilitating increased destination and product knowledge, business cooperation and travel bookings.
“Like earlier years, the response from the Indian travel trade has been quite positive. Such initiatives will continue to foster tourism relations and explore diverse travel options in the US,” said Jay Gray, vice-president, Global Partnership Development at Brand USA.
During the mission, Brand USA announced the launch of the ‘USA Discovery Program’ for the Indian travel trade. It is an online learning tool created to train Indian agents to sell the US to prospective travellers. A culinary guide, aimed at promoting gastro-tourism in the US was also unveiled.
The US has witnessed a steady growth in Indian travellers over the years. In 2013, the country saw inbound travel from India increase to 8,59,000 travellers, an 18.6 per cent jump over the previous year. Indian visitors also ranked 10th globally in terms of money spent in the US in 2013, with a total spend of $5.6 billion — up 14 per cent over the previous year.
With the new government at the Centre, positive business sentiment seemed to be a common thread which a lot of the US companies remarked upon.
“There is a perception of change in the business environment now. Whether or not that can translate to a tangible or something discernible can only be remarked upon after the new government gets some more time,” said a delegation member representing the brand.