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‘US is a top aspirational destination for Indians’

By Siddhi Jain

New Delhi, Sep 29 (udaipur kiran) The US — the worlds fourth largest country with four different time zones — saw a 7 per cent increase in arrivals from India in July 2019, and that is bound to increase.

The country is an ace destination preferred by Indians. A leading US destination marketing organization tells udaipur kiran how it plans to increase Indian visitors.

In conversation with udaipur kiran was Jackie Ennis, Senior Director, Global Trade development for BrandUSA — the nation’s destination marketing organization with the mission of increasing international visitation to the US.

Edited excerpts:

1. What factors helped the US tourism sector boom and what lessons does India have to learn from this?

The US tourism sector is a very diverse product, similar to India. It’s a vast country with mountains, beaches, urban centres and great history. The complexity of the destination adds to the opportunities for different segments of travellers to visit.

It also means that domestic tourism is very strong. Domestic travel within the US is really encouraged. There is a conscious decision within the industry to lobby people to take time off. The industry also highlights the US as a diverse destination so if you live in Philadelphia, you can go to California for a completely different experience within the same country. We highlight Hawaii to Alaska, the deserts of Arizona and the beaches of Puerto Rico.

The rise of airline industry inside of India is also encouraging domestic Indian visitation.

2. What kind of Indian demographic is travelling to the US?

The US is the number one aspirational destination for Indian travellers. More people are recommending the US as a holiday destination in 2019 over 2018. Also, a large number of Indians consider the US as a friendly, open-minded and an adventurous holiday destination.

It is a long-haul destination so they stay for a good period of time, with a minimum stay of a week. They’re also more likely to travel with their families, including children. Intergenerational travel from India to the US is very strong — we see grandparents travelling with parents and children, often visiting relatives at one or two stops during the trip. But we also have seen a rise in the number of solo travellers in 2019.

3. For just Washington DC, in 2018, Indians made for 6 per cent of all overseas visits. How do you plan to increase Indian visits?

BrandUSA has the luxury of representing all of the US, not just one city. Washington DC actively targets the Indian market. It also has direct airline connectivity with India.

Expectations: Visitations will grow. We plan to increase visitations from India through a combination of travel trade activity, working with all levels of travel trade — be it product, retail, sales, and combining that with consumer and digital trade strategy.

(Siddhi Jain can be contacted at [email protected])

–udaipur kiran

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