Spain eyes Tier-II cities

Spain recorded over 50 per cent growth in In­dian ar­rivals in 2017. The board or­gan­ised a 3-city road­show in Delhi, Ahmed­abad and Chen­nai from Oc­to­ber 4-6, to in­ter­act with travel agents.

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In 2017, up un­til Au­gust, Spain recorded as many as 86,000 In­dian tourists, reg­is­ter­ing an ap­prox­i­mate growth of about 50 per cent over the same pe­riod in 2016, in­formed Ig­na­cio Du­casse Gu­tier­rez, Di­rec­tor, Tourism Of­fice of Spain – Mumbai, dur­ing the Span­ish Travel Show. “We have seen a huge in­crease in the num­ber of In­dian tourists trav­el­ling to Spain in 2017 and we hope to in­crease this num­ber fur­ther. Since our road­shows are an an­nual af­fair, we try to cover dif­fer­ent cities ev­ery year. Next year, we will reach out to other cities like Nag­pur and Jaipur. Though our main mar­kets are Delhi and Mumbai, I feel other mar­kets also con­trib­ute to the num­bers,” said Gu­tier­rez.

Madrid and Barcelona re­main the most pop­u­lar cities vis­ited by In­di­ans. Spain is try­ing to pro­mote other cities and re­gion like Malaga, Granada, Cor­doba, Va­len­cia, An­dalu­sia, etc. Fam­ily travel is the dom­i­nant seg­ment of travel to Spain from In­dia with MICE travel catch­ing up grad­u­ally. Gu­tier­rez points out, “MICE travel con­trib­utes al­most 30 per cent of the to­tal num­ber of In­dian guests to Spain. We also re­ceive small groups of friends, young­sters look­ing for party and nightlife. We are ex­plor­ing other seg­ments of travel like solo women travel and hon­ey­moon­ers. The av­er­age length of stay of In­di­ans in Spain is 7-8 nights with an av­er­age spend of 2400 per per­son per trip. We are very happy that Spain is in­creas­ingly gain­ing as a mono-des­ti­na­tion and we are en­cour­ag­ing re­peat vis­i­tors to ex­pe­ri­ence the des­ti­na­tion in its full spirit.”

At present, 1000 travel agents and tour op­er­a­tors are en­rolled un­der Spain Ex­perts 360, the spe­cial­ist pro­gramme of Spain. An up­dated ver­sion of the pro­gramme was launched in Oc­to­ber which would ac­credit agents as Spain Ex­perts if they qual­i­fied 7 out of 9 mod­ules. Spain is also ex­plor­ing projects for film tourism after the suc­cess of ‘Zindagi Na Mi­legi Do­bara’. “A major part of Sea­son 6 and 7 of Game of Thrones has been shot in Spain and we feel this has also had a pos­i­tive im­pact on the num­ber of In­dian ar­rivals to the des­ti­na­tion.”

Ac­cord­ing to Gu­tier­rez, the only di­rect flight from In­dia to Spain op­er­ated by Air In­dia from Delhi to Madrid has been a healthy route. “How­ever, Emi­rates con­trib­utes the largest share of In­dian tourists into Spain ac­com­pa­nied by other air­lines like Lufthansa, Qatar Air­ways and Turk­ish Air­lines,” he says.

Ig­na­cio Du­casse Gu­tier­rez

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