European Quartet invites travellers from India to ‘Discover Central Europe’

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Taking forward a journey that commenced in 2010, the Central European destinations paid their sixth visit to India, encouraging travel fraternity members to ‘Discover Central Europe’ through roadshows conducted in Mumbai followed by New Delhi.

The cooperation under foreign national tourist organisations between V4 (European quartet) – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, dates back to 2003. Despite being strong competitors in the European market, the destinations have collaborated as neighbours to promote themselves at long haul markets like India. “We have established this platform, ‘Discover Central Europe’ for long haul markets. We introduced us in the Indian market for the first time in 2010. Since then, we have been coming every year, hitting different cities. We are now concentrating on Mumbai and New Delhi as the strongest outgoing markets from India,” informed Emilia Kubik, Chief Specialist, Department of Marketing Instruments, Polish Tourist Organisation.

Each of the destinations highlighted their respective tourist attractions through audio visual presentations. The delegation comprised Emilia Kubik, Chief Specialist, Department of Marketing Instruments, Polish Tourist Organisation; Robert Vincze, Head, Slovak Convention Bureau; Mark Kinces, International Marketing Manager, Hungarian Tourism Agency; Karina Vitkova, International Marketing Manager, Long-haul Markets, Czech Tourism; Subhash Motwani, Managing Director, Namaste Tourism, Mumbai; along with Mukesh Gupta, Chairman, Tourism Committee, PHD Chamber; Mohit Jain, Chairman, International Affairs Committee Europe, PHD Chamber;  Purrshottam Bhaggeria, Co-Chairman, International Affair Committee Europe, PHD Chamber, and Saurabh Sanyal, Secretary General, PHD Chamber.

The roadshow aimed at promoting Central Europe as a all-year-round destination that boasts of a tradition, culture, heritage and visual delights way beyond its respective capital cities of Budapest, Warsaw, Prague and Bratislava.

Poland witnessed 26000 Indian arrivals in 2015, informed Kubik. “People are gradually getting familiar with the countries. We have to concentrate on demand from the market. For Polish Tourist Organisation, we plan to bring more and more media people including bloggers, freelancers and others who can influence the community. For tour operators, we are planning some FAM trips as well.”

Highlighting Slovakia’s endeavour to promote visitor arrivals from India, Vincze said, “We are trying to use our industry network, find providers interested in the Indian region, find Indian tour operators, to create a matchmaking platform to see the cultural and gastronomical aspects of travellers from India are met. We see potential in Bollywood movie making, MICE, honeymoons and weddings.” Slovakia had a record year last year, registering 4.3 million arrivals to the destination.

Czech Republic on the other hand invited all to come and explore the unexplored and experience the ‘Land of Stories’.

Motivating travellers to ‘think Hungary-more than expected’, Kinces, corroborated a good value –for-money ratio through an elaborate showcase of its attractions.” For Hungary, India has a great potential. We see huge growth in terms of visitor numbers from the country, this year, by 70% compared to last year. In the last six years, we have seen a growing interest among Indians for the destination. As people get the real experience of Hungary, they are sharing their experience and more and more people tend to come to Hungary. We are encouraging travellers to enjoy the freedom of travel with the Central European region with the Schengen visa,” he said.

The presentations were followed by B2B interaction with representations from the destination. “We received a huge response at both Mumbai and New Delhi. The interest from India is very big,” expressed Vincze.