Brand USA’s fifth annual India Mission draws largest U.S. delegation to date
Brand USA has had an immensely successful innings with its fifth annual India Mission organised for the travel trade from September 18–23, 2016. The mission, travelling across three Indian metro cities of Mumbai, Bangalore and New Delhi witnessed an excellent response from the Indian travel industry professionals.
The mission provided an opportunity for U.S. suppliers to engage with key decision makers through free flow one-on-one appointments with the goal of increasing destination and product knowledge, business cooperation and travel bookings. Additionally, a dedicated media day was organised in New Delhi with leading travel trade and consumer media to interact with the U.S. partners participating in the mission.
Christopher L Thompson, President & CEO, Brand USA, said, “In 2015, more than 1.1 million Indians visited the United States, a 17% increase over 2014. India will surely be a key contributor toward our goal of welcoming 100 million international visitors to the United States by 2021.”
Cathleen Domanico, Vice President- Global Trade, Brand USA, informed that the top source markets from India remain Mumbai and Delhi. In order to tap the Tier 2 cities of India, Brand USA conducted 10 Educational Seminars last year which was a great success and attended by top travel agents.
Domanico also updated on the ‘USA Discovery Program’, an interactive online training programme that provides travel agents with the knowledge and skills needed to sell trips to the USA more effectively. Currently, over 3,300 travel agents from across India have completed the USA Discovery Program, she added.
Sheema Vohra, Managing Director, Brand USA in India, added, “We are thrilled by a great response from the Indian travel trade in all three cities are confident that this trend will continue over the next decade providing an excellent opportunity for our Indian travel partners to cultivate lucrative business opportunities with the USA.”
The U.S. delegation included representatives from 37 U.S. companies including destinations, attractions, hotels and receptive operators.
The California delegation was a cross-section of the Golden state’s iconic destinations and attractions, including the California Academy of Sciences, Hornblower Cruises & Events, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, Red and White Fleet, San Francisco Travel Association, San Francisco International Airport, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, TravDek- DMC and Universal Studios Hollywood.
Alex Vigil, Manager, Europe & India Marketing, Visit California, informed that more than 258 million visitors travelled to California in 2015 from every corner of the world; 291,000 of them from India. “Indian travellers stayed an average 18.5 days on their trip, spending $ 1785 each, making them a valuable target for California tourism businesses,” he said.
Sandeep Talwar, President & CEO, TravDek, informed that they will launch a mobile application by January 2017 offering vacation packages and customised itineraries to destinations throughout USA.
Ann Tok, International Communications Manager, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, updated the travel trade and media on new hotel and attraction openings and shared all Philadelphia has to offer within its compact, walkable, safe and clean downtown. “India continues to be a key market for Philadelphia, which welcomed more than 25,000 travellers from India in 2015, making it one of the city’s top ten markets for overseas visitors according to data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Travel and Tourism Office,” she added.
New York City welcomed an estimated 283,000 visitors from India in 2015, reflecting a growth of nine percent since the previous year.
Las Vegas is known as the ‘Entertainment Capital of the World’, a destination that has something for everyone. “India is an important market for Las Vegas and we are delighted to be a part of the Brand USA India Mission once again this year. It gives us the opportunity to share the latest updates from the world’s most exciting destination with our travel industry partners in India,” said Michael Goldsmith, Vice President of International Marketing, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.