Kyrgyzstan opens skies for Indian trade
To mark the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties with Kyrgyz Republic, the Embassy of India in Kyrgyzstan and Air Manas hosted Indian travel trade in Bishkek for B2B sessions. Industry stakeholders tell TRAVTALK how tourism ties between the two countries c
It's for the fourth time we organised this, but not on such a big scale. It is very important for people to know about our culture, our people, and what kind of experience India can offer. From that point of view, roadshows of this scale are very important. We are very prompt and flexible in giving visas and usually give it in a day. eTV will also help, especially for people who are living in different regions and we will go into that when even Kyrgyzstan agrees for it. Involving the trade is very challenging as Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked country, the route is a bit longer. Our focus is now how to make travel to Kyrgyzstan quicker and faster, what are the bottlenecks to address, to link it with international north-south transportation corridor. Last year we had 45 pharma companies coming to Kyrgyzstan and out of that we are going to have a joint venture with a Gujaratbased pharma company. As part of medical tourism this year 100 patients have gone for treatment as India is very cost effective. Hospital groups like Apollo, Medanta, Fortis, Jaypee and Wockhardt are very active here. They sometimes operate OPDs here, or through telemedicine network some hospitals conduct live surgeries from India with hospitals in Kyrgyzstan.
We want to increase the destinations we operate to in India, especially for the winter season from Goa, Hyderabad, and Kerala. If there are passengers between Mumbai and Bishkek we would certainly start operations there. We have a Boeing 737-800 new generation aircraft that can fly six hours distance, which is perfect for Delhi, Doha. Maybe we can start Kerala soon. We are planning a code share with Malindo Air. Our GSA in India is working towards involving the trade. Next year again we will have our roadshow in Delhi.
Kyrgyzstan is the perfect destination for honeymooners, family, & MICE tourists. This destination has a lot of activities and sightseeing places like Issyk-Kul and Bishkek. It's a new upcoming destination and if little efforts are put into marketing this it can develop very well. The flight between Delhi and Bishkek is only three hours so travelling is easy. We want to have B2B sessions between travel companies in India and Kyrgyzstan here as well as in our country. We are planning to have these sessions in April.
Initially when Air Manas started operations from Delhi to Bishkek there were only a couple of agents who knew about this part of CIS region. Now we can proudly say that we have been successful in creating awareness for the airline and the destination pan India through our marketing strategies. We have successfully organised two roadshows in India which have proved beneficial in creating awareness among the trade fraternity and our target market. There have been many delegates visiting Kyrgyzstan for tie-ups in various business sectors. The Kyrgyzstan Government needs to devise and establish favourable policies in order to encourage and increase trade and investment including tourism between the two countries.
Sharad Goel Managing Director Lark Logistics, Air Manas' GSA in India
Jayant Khobragade Ambassador of India to Kyrgyzstan
Ilgar Alptekin Director General Air Manas
Gajesh Girdhar Owner & CEO, Paryatan