Nepal reached out to showcase and promote itself as a Lifetime Destination to the highly potential West India market through Sales Mission in Surat, Gujarat, on Jan. 20, and in Pune, Maharashtra, on Jan. 22, 2020. The third in a series of Sales Mission in India since early January, 2020, 10 Destination Management Companies (DMC) participated in the programs at Surat and Pune, led by Nepal Tourism Board and attended by almost 100 local tour operators in each city. The programs were ideal one to reach out to West India market especially the local travel trade with fresh communication and updates.
At evening program at the Grand Bhagwati (TGB) in Surat, the program included B2B sessions among the private sector tour operators from Nepal with the local counterparts, destination presentation highlighting Nepal’s unique products for Indian travelers by NTB Manager Ms. Archana KC Rana, lucky draw and interaction with the audience. President of South Gujarat Association of Travel Agents (SATA) Mr. Minesh Naik, spoke on behalf of the local tourism fraternity appreciating the program and the presentation on Nepal, and expressed his full support for promotion of Nepal in Surat city as well as Gujarat.
Similarly, program at The Westin Pune scheduled for afternoon, proceeded with B2B among the Nepali tour operators and the local travel trade, followed by presentation showcasing Nepal as a destination offering lifetime experiences by NTB Manager Ms. Shradha Shrestha, followed up by lucky draw and interaction with the audience. At the program, representative of the Pune travel fraternity, Mr. Santosh Khawale, Chairman of Enterprising Travel Agents Association of Western India Region, expressed full cooperation and support from the Pune travel trade for the promotion and success of Visit Nepal 2020.
The programs focused on showcasing Nepal as a lifetime experience for travelers around the world and particularly for the Indian travelers. Easy accessibility, value for time and money, and a wide variety of options offered by Nepal including luxury, soft adventure, spiritual getaways, entertainment were focused on during the presentations at both the cities. Both programs included interaction sessions with the audience and lucky draw through Nepal Quiz. Winners were presented with gift vouchers of “4-nights 6-days package for couple” to Nepal. Private sector tour operators from Nepal at the Surat and Pune programs expressed confidence in the market and were positive about the turnover at both the events which they said would yield desirable results.
Around 205,000 Indian tourists visited Nepal by air in 2019, 17.17 percent of the total tourist arrival to Nepal by air in 2019. Air arrival number from India has increased dramatically over the years, with around 90,000 in 2004 to about 100,000 in 2014 and a hundred percent growth in 2018. Growing Indian outbound, increased air connectivity in the India-Nepal sector, rising Indian economy, as well as Nepal’s increasing visibility as a destination, diversified products and customized packaging, are said to have played positive role in increasing the arrivals from India by air. Increasing the arrival numbers further from India is Nepal’s major priority for 2020.
Upgrade of the Tribhuvan International Airport, operation of Bhairahawa International Airport and the Pokhara Airport in 2020, are expected usher in a surge in tourist arrival from India in 2020 and the new decade. Similarly, air connectivity is growing in the sector; five-star properties are increasing in the capital valley, Pokhara, Chitwan, Lumbini and the border cities of Nepal; tailor-made packages are curated by the innovative private sector of Nepal to cater to the market specific preferences; and mega events are planned in 2020, so that travelers from India can enjoy more of Nepal when they visit the country.
The Sales Mission in Surat and Pune, was the third leg of the Nepal Sales Mission in India which started early January 2020, from Amritsar and Chandigarh as the first in the series, Indore and Jaipur as the second, and to be followed by Trichy, Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi in South India the upcoming week.