New Zealand, Jordan favourite tourist spots at Indian mart

April 25th, 2009 - 8:59 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 25 (IANS) The New Zealand and Jordan tourism boards were a hot target of various domestic and international tour operators for business tie-ups at India’s SATTE-2009 travel and tourism mart.
The two countries are participating in India’s oldest travel and tourism mart for the first time, hoping to secure the growing market for Indian outbound travellers, estimated to be over 10 million at present.

The three-day event, the 16th edition this year, closed here Saturday. Sixteen countries participated.

According to Jordan Tourism Board’s (JTB) Ashish Sharma, the Middle East country, which boasts of 3,300 sites to visit, is fast emerging as a hot tourist destination for outbound Indian travellers.

Last year, Jordan saw an influx of around 30,000 tourists from India, Sharma said.

“To harness the potential of the Indian market, we are looking into various methods to ensure the quality of travel. Earlier, visa took six weeks to process. Now the JTB will provide on-arrival visas for group entry of over five persons,” he added.

Sharma said Jordan was focussing on the “niche” market segment. “The upscale traveller and the MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) travellers are our target.”

New Zealand, on the other hand, last year saw a five percent growth in tourists from India. In March this year, around 24,000 Indians visited the country.

“At this mart, we advocated our adventure travels by showcasing the travel experience of Indian cricketers during their recent tour and of (Bollywood actress) Priety Zinta, who participated in many of our adventure sports,” said Kiran Nambiar, New Zealand Tourism Board regional manager (India, South East Asia).

Nambiar added that their major concern was to get interested agents and domestic operators.

O.P. Ahuja, chairman and managing director of tour operator Holiday Maker, said the presence of Jordan and New Zealand was significant this year.

“There is potential of new business vibes. Many negotiations are taking place with the two countries,” Ahuja said.

“While New Zealand will fair well as an option for operators to supplement Australian tour packages, Jordan is a new market and will take off in due time,” he added.

A recent report by a leading global audit and consulting firm said India’s tourism business would grow to $42.8 billion by 2017 from the present level of $27 billion.

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