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.

Travel Talk - India - - NTO -

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

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