Hol­land: The new des­ti­na­tion of choice

A delegation rep­re­sent­ing the at­trac­tions of Hol­land and its tourism stake­hold­ers vis­ited In­dia re­cently for the Hol­land Sales Mis­sion, al­low­ing them to have one-to-one meet­ings with the In­dian travel agents and tour op­er­a­tors. Here’s what they had to say

Travel Talk - India - - QUICKBYTES - NISHA VERMA

The In­dian ar­rivals to Maduro­dam dif­fer ac­cord­ing to the tourist sea­son, and we roughly re­ceive around 45,000-50,000 In­dian vis­i­tors on a yearly ba­sis and about 80 per cent of them come through tour op­er­a­tors. In the last 20 years, we have seen the In­dian pop­u­la­tion in Maduro­dam grow­ing year by year. For us, the In­dian mar­ket is im­por­tant as it’s grow­ing and we re­ally want to grab a good share of this mar­ket.

We get a lot of In­dian vis­i­tors and ow­ing to their de­mand for a bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ence, we have launched Hindi lan­guage on board on our au­dio guides. This is be­ing ac­cepted well and there is growth in num­bers from In­dia for us. In our meet­ings with the travel trade in In­dia, we got to know that they did not have a di­rect con­tact for the Am­s­ter­dam Canal cruises, which is very valu­able. Most of the agents want In­dian din­ner cruises, but the bud­get for the same is quite high. I want to make sure that In­dian vis­i­tors have a great ex­pe­ri­ence on board.

We met with the In­dian travel agents and they are happy to have our prod­uct on of­fer, and I hope they can use this ex­pe­ri­ence as part of their pro­mo­tion. We had a group of around 2,000 peo­ple re­cently in parts, and they liked the ex­pe­ri­ence and bought the prod­ucts, as they are of ex­cel­lent qual­ity. We hope that such ex­pe­ri­ences could be repli­cated with the In­di­ans as well since In­dian mid­dle class, fam­i­lies and stu­dents are trav­el­ling a lot. I hope the travel agents can make good pack­ages for them through DMCs in Hol­land.

Am­s­ter­dam Air­port Schiphol cel­e­brated its 100th birth­day in 2016. We don’t aim to be the big­gest but the best air­port in the world. In be­gin­ning 2016, we had seven ser­vices from Am­s­ter­dam to In­dia, but since Oc­to­ber last year, we have 31. Now, with Jet Air­ways and KLM start­ing new flights to Ben­galuru, Delhi and Mum­bai, there will be more In­di­ans com­ing to Am­s­ter­dam. The meet­ing with the travel agents in In­dia was also very help­ful in know­ing their in­ter­est in the des­ti­na­tion and know what their clients think of the air­port.

The travel agents in In­dia are re­ally im­por­tant for us. Apart from look­ing at the main at­trac­tions, we saw a great po­ten­tial in the MICE mar­ket. The agents had many ques­tions on pack­ag­ing dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ences, VIP vis­its and spe­cial pack­ages for shop­ping out­lets on group vis­its. Some­one had queries on only women pack­age and work­ing on an ex­pe­ri­ence in Am­s­ter­dam for it. My team is al­ready work­ing on this. It’s lovely to meet agents and work around new ideas and itin­er­ar­ies. It’s es­pe­cially good to know what they want and how they want to pack­age it.

So far, we have not been able to come to In­dia and it’s our first time here. Cur­rently, we don’t at­tract any In­dian vis­i­tors and hence, we came to know more about this mar­ket, so that we can make ef­forts to make vis­i­tors from here feel at home. Through our meet­ings with the agents, we are glad to know that how well do peo­ple here know the fairly-tales. We know about the growth of the In­dian mar­ket, and we have got pos­i­tive re­ac­tions so far. If we can at­tract cer­tain num­ber of In­dian vis­i­tors, I am sure that peo­ple would come and tell oth­ers and the prod­uct will grow.

In­grid Kraak­man- Beemter­boer Man­ager Cheese­farm Catha­rina Ho­eve

Henry Wil­lig Kaas B.V.

Ebe­line Di­jkhuis Mar­ke­teer Part­ner­ships, Avi­a­tion Mar­ket­ing, Schiphol Mas­ter­dam Air­port

Bjorn van Gelder

Sales Man­ager, Blue Boat Am­s­ter­dam Canal Cruises

Jack van de Vliert

Head, Leisure Sales, Eftel­ing

Natalie Ko­larik Rep­re­sen­ta­tive ITO Tours

Joris Van Dijk CEO Maduro­dam

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