In­dia a pri­or­ity GREAT mar­ket

VisitBri­tain will be launch­ing a new ‘Ex­pe­ri­ence Eng­land’ prod­uct in In­dia later this year, mak­ing it eas­ier for Indians to visit Lon­don and dis­cover other parts of Eng­land. It in­cludes open-jaw tick­et­ing, travel between des­ti­na­tions and seam­less bag­gage

TravTalk - India - - NTO - Hazel Jain

QHow was year 2017 in terms of num­bers and growth from the In­dia mar­ket? Last year saw strong growth from the In­dia mar­ket. Vis­its from In­dia to the UK were up 35 per cent in 2017 com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year, to a record 562,000 vis­its, with In­dian trav­ellers spend­ing £454 mil­lion in the UK last year. In­dia is one of our pri­or­ity GREAT mar­kets and we recog­nise its long-term po­ten­tial as an in­bound tourism mar­ket. Look­ing longer-term, vis­its from In­dia to the UK grew 67 per cent in the decade from 2007 to 2017, from 336,000 to 562,000. Spend­ing by vis­i­tors from In­dia in the UK grew 70 per cent from £267 mil­lion in 2007 to £454 mil­lion in 2017.

Q Is there a change in target au­di­ence, given the new cam­paign?

Our global mar­ket­ing cam­paign ‘Find Your GREAT Bri­tain, I Travel For…’ was launched in In­dia in Fe­bru­ary this year. Our pri­mary au­di­ence for this is what we term ‘buzz-seek­ers,’ young peo­ple aged 25-44, cou­ples and fam­i­lies. The tai­lored con­tent en­gages po­ten­tial trav­ellers, in­spir­ing them to book a hol­i­day to the UK and ex­plore more of the coun­try, show­cas­ing that Bri­tain is burst­ing with new ex­pe­ri­ences. We are also tar­get­ing cor­po­rates and in­cen­tive groups in In­dia to choose the UK for their events. We con­tinue en­cour­ag­ing the In­dian trav­eller to ex­pe­ri­ence more of re­gional Eng­land. We are also pro­mot­ing fam­ily travel dur­ing the win­ter months with a cam­paign fo­cused on Lon­don, Manch­ester and Liverpool.

Q Are newer cities in your radar now?

In ad­di­tion to the met­ros, we are ex­tend­ing our reach to Tier-II cities through a dig­i­tal chan­nels, pro­mot­ing tai­lored con­tent. Work­ing with our trade part­ners, we are ex­tend­ing our ac­tiv­ity to Tier-II cities through prod­uct train­ing, ed­u­ca­tional trips and sup­port­ing them to de­velop prod­ucts that make it eas­ier for them to sell the des­ti­na­tion. Con­nect­ing routes on Mid­dle East­ern car­ri­ers have also been grow­ing fast, pro­vid­ing ac­cess to trav­ellers from Tier-I and II cities within In­dia to re­gional Bri­tish cities in­clud­ing Birm­ing­ham, Manch­ester, New­cas­tle, Glas­gow and Ed­in­burgh. In 2017, about 1.5 mil­lion seats were avail­able to pas­sen­gers on di­rect, to the UK, with an av­er­age of 110 sched­uled ser­vices In­dia to the UK have higher seat ca­pac­ity than any other Euro­pean coun­try.

Q What are the cur­rent ar­eas that VisitBri­tain is fo­cus­ing on?

VisitBri­tain is work­ing with part­ners in In­dia in­clud­ing tour op­er­a­tors, OTAs and air­lines to pro­mote re­gional des­ti­na­tions and make it eas­ier for vis­i­tors from In­dia to book and ex­plore more of the coun­try. We are de­vel­op­ing new ‘themed’ prod­ucts and itin­er­ar­ies for the In­dian travel trade and our travel part­ners, and pro­mot­ing the ease of rail travel within the UK. We are launch­ing a new ‘Ex­pe­ri­ence Eng­land’ prod­uct in In­dia later this year, mak­ing it eas­ier to visit Lon­don and dis­cover other parts of Eng­land as part of the same hol­i­day. It in­cludes open-jaw tick­et­ing, travel between des­ti­na­tions and seam­less bag­gage trans­fer. Vis­i­tors will de­part from a dif­fer­ent English city to the one they en­tered, en­sur­ing min­i­mal travel.

Q What kind of trade ac­tiv­i­ties have you planned for the rest of the year?

We are ex­tend­ing our ac­tiv­ity to Tier-II cities, hold­ing train­ing ses­sions on UK des­ti­na­tions and the lat­est tourism prod­ucts and ex­pe­ri­ences on of­fer. We con­tinue to host ed­u­ca­tional trips to des­ti­na­tions across the UK for the travel trade and run cam­paigns with our trade part­ners, in­tro­duc­ing new prod­ucts and cus­tomised itin­er­ar­ies fo­cused on food and drink, cul­ture and rail. We also en­cour­age the In­dian travel trade to use the tools we have cre­ated. Our VisitBri­tain trade web­site that was com­pletely re­branded last year is a spe­cial­ist tool. It is the go-to-place for sam­ple itin­er­ar­ies, ac­com­mo­da­tion up­dates, as well as a UK sup­plier di­rec­tory and prac­ti­cal in­for­ma­tion on vis­it­ing the UK. VisitBri­tain has also re­vamped its im­age ‘bank’ that the trade can use to down­load des­ti­na­tion images for use on their web­site, brochures and other col­lat­eral by reg­is­ter­ing on our web­site.

We are launch­ing a new ‘Ex­pe­ri­ence Eng­land’ prod­uct in In­dia later this year, mak­ing it eas­ier to visit Lon­don and dis­cover other parts of Eng­land as part of the same hol­i­day

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