Tuesday 24 June 2014

Just weeks before the Indian cricket team arrives in England, VisitBritain, UKinbound and ETOA are hosting their India Market Seminar to grow tourism from one of Britain’s fastest growing markets.

Taking place on Tuesday 24 June at Lord’s, one of the most iconic cricket venues in the world, senior figures from across the Indian tourism industry will present their insights and discuss the market and its potential to boost business to Britain.

New figures show that India has become Britain’s largest BRIC market in terms of volume of visitors. There were a record 375,000 visits to Britain from India last year, up 11% on 2012. Expenditure figures are growing at an even faster rate and only behind China in terms of total value. In 2013, spend by Indian visitors grew by 32% to a record £441 million (nominal spend).¹

Work is already underway to strengthen tourism ties between the two countries. In January this year, UKinbound and ETOA signed MOUs with their respective counterparts in India to maintain a strong B2B relationship and generate even more tourism business in the years to come. VisitBritain’s research suggests that the number of annual visits to Britain from India has the potential to reach half a million visits by 2020.

Tuesday’s seminar will look at the outbound performance of India, with a particular focus on two of their most important destinations - the UK and Switzerland. Tourism Economics estimates that in 2012 there were 218,000 visits from India to Switzerland. Swiss Tourism, the national tourist board for Switzerland, will share its strategy and explain how Switzerland has been able to achieve such strong inbound numbers from India in recent years.

Keith Beecham, acting CEO of VisitBritain said: “China grabs the headlines but the Indian market is one of our most loyal and the largest in volume of all of the BRICs. Indian visitors have a higher propensity to travel beyond London, so they are a hugely valuable market in terms of spreading the regional benefits of international tourism across the country. We need to find ways of boosting visitor numbers further and this jointly hosted seminar will help the UK industry learn more about exactly what makes Indian visitors tick.”

Deirdre Wells, CEO UKinbound commented: "Tuesday’s seminar is our first formal gathering since formulating our MOU with OTOAI and it demonstrates the importance of this partnership. The commitment of the Indian trade associations travelling to the UK for the event, the high demand from our members causing it to sell out and the collaboration from the UK tourism industry all show the value of the Indian market. We look forward to seeing this partnership strengthen and grow over the year to come."

Mr. Guldeep Sahni, OTOAI President said: "With the new Government in place - which has promised to prioritise the Indian tourism industry - and the rupee becoming stronger, it is time to invest in India and also attract visitors from India. Indians are high spenders, and with more families moving towards the upper middle class segment, there will be an upward trend in the number of travellers from India."

For more information contact:

VisitBritain Media Team

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