Con­nec­tiv­ity to fuel ar­rivals for Hol­land

With a tar­get of 16 per cent growth in 2017, Carola Muller – van Rijn, Global Travel Trade Man­ager, NBTC Hol­land Mar­ket­ing, is hope­ful that the new con­nec­tion of Jet Air­ways from Bengaluru to Am­s­ter­dam is only go­ing to fuel this growth.

TravTalk - India - - NTO - NISHA VERMA

QWhat kind of growth have you seen from the In­dian mar­ket?

The growth in vis­i­tor num­bers from In­dia was around 33 per cent last year, which went from 100,000 ar­rivals to 130,000 In­dian vis­i­tors in 2016. This year, we fore­cast a 16 per cent growth to that num­ber, which would mean around 147,000 In­dian vis­i­tors. By 2020, we ex­pect this num­ber to reach 185,000, which is a sub­stan­tial growth. The Jet Air­ways and KLM Royal Dutch Air­lines flights on this route are mostly full and we are sure that we are go­ing to reach that num­ber sig­nif­i­cantly.

QHow did the growth tra­jec­tory change af­ter Jet Air­ways launched last year?

The stake­hold­ers we work with in the Nether­lands have con­firmed there’s an in­crease in num­bers to their ac­com­mo­da­tions and we hope that this trend keeps con­tin­u­ing. Last year, when Jet Air­ways started fly­ing to the Am­s­ter­dam hub, we saw an op­por­tu­nity to pro­mote des­ti­na­tion Hol­land, as part of that con­nec­tiv­ity. Jet Air­ways is now go­ing to launch a new route from Bengaluru to Am­s­ter­dam Air­port Schiphol. Also, KLM is in­creas­ing its flight ca­pac­ity. With Bengaluru be­ing the new route, we are bring­ing it in our mar­ket­ing plan for the year as well. It is also a part of this sales mis­sion, along with Delhi and Mum­bai.

QWhat kind of mar­ket­ing ac­tiv­i­ties are you car­ry­ing out in In­dia?

Our fo­cus group is quite broad and in­cludes FITs, leisure groups and fam­ily groups. We fo­cus on the leisure seg­ment more than the MICE seg­ment. As a tourism board, what we are do­ing is that apart from the iconic des­ti­na­tions like Am­s­ter­dam, Zaanse Schans and Maduro­dam, which are must-see places, we are also pro­mot­ing ar­eas which could be lesser known to the In­dian trav­eller. Hol­land is a very com­pact coun­try. It’s easy to travel around, and thus, we pro­mote Hol­land as one big me­trop­o­lis of dif­fer­ent dis­tricts, with dif­fer­ent themes at­tached to them. We al­ways do a mix­ture of con­sumer and trade ac­tiv­i­ties. While we have some PR ac­tiv­i­ties or press re­leases, there are some con­sumer ac­tiv­i­ties like ad­ver­tis­ing as well as trade ad­ver­tis­ing. We do in-house train­ing ses­sions, at­tend travel shows in In­dia, and this sales mis­sion is also a part of the trade ac­tiv­ity, where we bring key Dutch stake­hold­ers to In­dia, who have an in­ter­est in the mar­ket or have rel­e­vance in the mar­ket and pro­mote the des­ti­na­tion through them. We will also do some trade shows that will be hosted lo­cally and would be man­aged by our rep­re­sen­ta­tive of­fice in In­dia. We will also have a fa­mil­iari­sa­tion trip to the Nether­lands for the travel trade in In­dia, which will take place in Oc­to­ber this year. Now, we are al­ready fo­cus­ing on next year.

QA­part from the met­ros, are you also look­ing at Tier-II or III mar­kets? It’s all based on bud­get, be­cause In­dia is a big mar­ket. We are right now only fo­cus­ing on Tier-I mar­kets. By ex­pand­ing in the smaller mar­kets, we don’t want the mes­sage to be­come too scat­tered and too frag­mented.

QAre you mar­ket­ing Hol­land as part of the Euro­pean itin­er­ar­ies or stand-alone des­ti­na­tion?

We pro­mote the Nether­lands as a stand-alone des­ti­na­tion. We are aware that In­di­ans don’t only travel to the Nether­lands but travel to many Euro­pean coun­tries to­gether. How­ever, our pro­mo­tion re­volves around the Nether­lands as a solo des­ti­na­tion only.

We are aware that In­di­ans don’t only travel avel to the Nether­lands but travel to many Euro­pean coun­tries to­gether. How­ever, our pro­mo­tion re­volvess around the Nether­lands as a solo des­ti­na­tion only. . Carola Muller – van Rijn

QHow was the re­sponse of In­dian agents and tour op­er­a­tors at the sales mis­sion?

Most of the agents I met know Hol­land quite well, specif­i­cally ar­eas like Keuken­hof or Am­s­ter­dam, which is a pos­i­tive sign. This also fits in very well with our strat­egy of pro­mot­ing dif­fer­ent parts of the Nether­lands to the In­dian con­sumer by as­so­ci­at­ing cer­tain themes or by fo­cus­ing on dif­fer­ent themes. We want to make peo­ple aware that many other places are also there, and a lot of tour op­er­a­tors are also look­ing for new prod­ucts.

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