Wednesday, December 29, 2010

DOT to lure chunk of 15M Indian tourists next year

The Department of Tourism (DOT) expects to attract next year a bigger share of some 15 million tourists from India.

The DOT said this following a five-day sales mission to India with nearly 400 Indian tour operators and travel agencies in New Delhi and Mumbai getting the message.

“We are happy that the business-to-business meetings (B2B) were able to raise interest in the development of… tour packages for the April–June Indian travel season," DOT Assistant Secretary for International Tourism Promotions Benito Bengzon Jr. said on the government portal. 

Bengzon, who led the high-level delegation from the Philippine travel trade, stressed that the sales mission was an “excellent platform to develop business ties with Indian tour agents." 

With the more than 50 percent increase in target arrivals from India, the DOT wants to see the inclusion of the Philippines in the 2011 tour offerings by outbound Indian wholesalers and travel agencies.

"The Philippines is vying for the market’s interest for shopping and entertainment. Manila is considerably known to this market for its large high-end shopping malls, entertainment centers and gaming facilities," the DOT said.

Meanwhile, Philippine Airlines will start its Manila-New Delhi direct link next March to address a major concern surrounding flight connectivity.

"Existing indirect connections with long stopovers result in trips of between fourteen to thirty hours. With the direct service, travel time will be shortened to just six-and-a half hours," the DOT said.

Meanwhile, the DOT said another important issue that was threshed out during the sales mission was visas to the Philippines.

Philippine Embassy in New Delhi Minister and Consul General Maria Agnes Cervantes and Philippine Honorary Consul in Mumbai Retnasamy Swaminathan offered to support the Indian travel trade. — With Jerrie Abella/VS/KBK, GMANews.TV

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