1 lakh Indians by 2019
The Czech Republic’s newly-opened tourism office in India, represented by VFS Global, plans to strike all the usual chords to make headway into the Indian travel trade.
The European nation of the Czech Republic that is bordered by Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Poland, has made its presence felt in the India market through its new tourism office. Inaugurated in mid-September 2017, the Czech Tourism India office is in partnership with VFS Global, which is also the agency that processes its visas through 16 VACs. It will be led by Arzan Khambatta, Head, Czech Tourist Authority – Czech Tourism India.
Present at the opening was Monika Palatkova, Managing Director, Czech Tourism Board, who said, “I really believe in the India market and its potential. We have seen Indian arrival figures to our country almost triple in the last five years. In 2016 alone, more than 66,000 Indian tourists visited us and we hope to increase this number to 100,000 by 2019.” The arrival figure does not include VFR and Airbnb customers.
The tourism board has already initiated a three-city roadshow – New Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai – which concluded in mid-September 2017. The delegation consisted of 10 sellers from the country, including Prague Airport, who
met the trade in these cities. Speaking about the offerings of Czech Republic, she said that apart from its cultural heritage, beautiful architecture and nature, it is also very affordable. “Moreover, it was ranked as the sixth safest country in the world in the Global Peace Index. Currently, the average length of stay is around 3.5 days but we want to increase this to five to seven days,” she said.
Speaking about various activities the India office will conduct, she listed online and offline training for agents, familiarisation trips, roadshows, joint campaigns, as well as participating in trade shows in India. Palatkova added, “We are in discussion with some airlines for starting direct flights between the two countries. The Indian travel trade has shown interest in Czech Republic, not just Prague but also other places like South and West Bohemia. Next year, we will reach out to other cities of Ahmedabad and Kolkata, followed by Chennai and Hyderabad in 2019.
Monika Palatkova Managing Director Czech Tourism Board