TravTalk - India
Explore Britain in different way
India, one of the lucrative markets for the UK, which saw a huge jump in number of tourists from the country in years before COVID, continues to hold importance, which reflects in the UK offering a variety of experiences and products to the Indian travellers.
Dame Judith Macgregor DCMG LVO, Interim Chair, British Tourist Authority (BTA), claims that Britain is open for tourists. “We have no further requirements for people who are not vaccinated and no further requirements for people who are vaccinated,” she said at an exclusive interaction during ExploreGB, which was held virtually recently.
She claimed that India is an important market for them. “It is one of the markets that saw a huge jump in the years before COVID. Hence, we ended up with almost 700,000 visitors and a considerable value from the UK economy, which is good for us. The market is beginning to pick up again,” she added.
She said, “I was in Dubai in February where I met representatives of travel trade and media from India, who were interested about everything in the UK. We have put a great effort in promoting the Commonwealth Games (CWG).”
Response from Indian trade
Sharing details of her meeting with the travel trade from India in Dubai, Dame Judith shared, “It was interesting to understand the nature of the market and of people who might travel first. They confirmed our own sampling, which had shown about 75 per cent people saying they wanted to travel overseas, but 50-60 per cent have not yet booked or have not yet determined where they want to go. Hence, it is an opportunity to put the message out that the UK is an easily accessible destination in terms of COVID, as compared to some countries.”
She added, “Secondly, we found out that people are looking to do something different and want to have their social experience, especially tempted after COVID. Hence, we launched a multimillion multimedia campaign in February to see Britain in a different way. Under the campaign we are presenting all the icons and destinations of Britain differently. This year is very special because it is the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Hence, there will be many things going on in our country where visitors will be welcome to join the local festivals, artists and exhibitions.” Other than that, she said, under the year-long celebration called UNBOXED, there will be some whacky AI ideas coming up in many different locations. “Finally, we are putting emphasis on cities because cities have been the place that people have been wary and chary about, because of COVID,” she said.
What lies ahead
She claimed that they are expecting this year to reach about half of what they achieved in 2019. “Hence, we are looking at about 21 million visitors coming, which would be around two-third or maybe half of the volumes we had in 2019,” she added.
It is an opportunity to put out a message that the UK is easily accessible in terms of COVID