Rus­sia’s ed­u­ca­tional tour

Keen on de­vel­op­ing the India mar­ket fur­ther, Rus­sia has planned a num­ber of ac­tiv­i­ties to en­gage the travel trade. Ad­vis­ing it in this ven­ture is Na­maste Tourism that has now part­nered with Rus­sian In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre.

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It will reach out to the trade through its web­site. “We also plan to use so­cial me­dia plat­forms and print me­dia as well as airlines. We also have a strong B2B team headed by Rashid Kutty to cater to the

travel fra­ter­nity. Cur­rently, the po­ten­tial is 100,000 plus per month and grow­ing. We are in the process of ap­point­ing a sales and mar­ket­ing team for this as well.”

The Rus­sian In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre (RIC), a non-com­mer­cial en­tity that works with sup­port from Rus­sian Con­sulate in Mum­bai, re­cently tied up with Mum­bai-based Na­maste Tourism to re-ac­ti­vate the slow­ing India mar­ket for Rus­sia. It has chalked out a lot of ac­tiv­i­ties for the travel trade. One of them is con­duct­ing Fam trips for agents. It re­cently took 20 agents from Delhi, Varanasi, Luc­know, Ahmed­abad, Cochin, Chen­nai, Im­phal and NCR on one and are plan­ning an­other one this Septem­ber.

Paresh Na­vani, Co-Prin­ci­ple, RIC, says, “The growth in num­bers from India makes a strong point for cre­at­ing pro­grammes spe­cific for this mar­ket. We are there­fore work­ing on an India-friendly policy which should be rolled out by Q3 end or early Q4 of 2016. As per this, we will train ho­tels and ser­vice providers in Rus­sia about ex­pec­ta­tions of the In­dian vis­i­tor. We will also ed­u­cate them on what they can expect from In­dian tourists. RIC will cre­ate a frame­work for this, and or­gan­ise com­pli­ance train­ing and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.”

As per RIC, 2014 recorded 15,000 tourists from India, which jumped to 33,000 in 2015 in­di­cat­ing a 100 per cent growth YOY. Ex­plain­ing the role of RIC, Ka­te­rina Belyakova, Co-Prin­ci­ple, RIC in India, says, “We are a cul­tural bridge be­tween the tourism board in Rus­sia and India. We are also pro­mot­ing MoUs be­tween dif­fer­ent state tourism de­part­ments in India and Rus­sia. For in­stance, there is an on­go­ing dis­cus­sion be­tween Ker­ala Tourism and St Peters­burg Tourism for bi­later- al pro­mo­tions of tourism which has been ap­proved from India side. That should fall in place by 2017.” RIC had or­gan­ised a Fam trip in March 2016 for Rus­sian agents in Ker­ala.

Mean­while, Na­maste Tourism has un­der­taken mar­ket­ing and sales on be­half of RIC. The cen­tre is now plan­ning a con­ven­tion for more than 100 travel agents in Rus- sia in April 2017. This will be partly spon­sored by the Ho­tel Own­ers As­so­ci­a­tion in Rus­sia and the govern­ment of Rus­sia and will be given to agents at a sub­sidised cost. Ac­cord­ing to Sub­hash Mot­wani, Founder Direc­tor of Na­maste Tourism, “Sell­ing Rus­sia is a good bet for agents spe­cially in to­day’s sce­nario where peo­ple are go­ing on­line and book­ing hol­i­days. In case of Rus­sia, they will have to book through an agent. So there is no on­line threat that will kill their mar­ket.”

Paresh Na­vani

Co-Prin­ci­ple RIC

Ka­te­rina Belyakova

Co-Prin­ci­ple RIC in India

Sub­hash Mot­wani

Founder Direc­tor of Na­maste Tourism

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