The move forms part of India’s efforts to enhance its tourism industry and drive more international arrivals. The country is aiming to entice more tour operators from key global source markets to promote the country as a year-round destination.
It will focus on a variety of niche products, including rural, wellness, medical, adventure, golf, MICE and cruise tourism, to overcome the issue of seasonality.
Sponsoring the WTM Buyers’ club will provide India with a greater amount of exposure to tour operators from a wide range of sectors.
“India is very happy to be sponsoring the WTM Buyers’ Club for WTM London 2015,” said Dr Lalit Panwar, The Indian government’s secretary for tourism. “The objective of the Ministry of Tourism is to promote India as a year round luxury destination through its vibrant destinations and tourism products and to increase tourist traffic to the country.
“There is an ever-increasing amount of new and exciting products to educate the world’s leading buyers about. WTM London is an event when the Indian tourism stakeholders get to meet the world’s buyers and sign business agreements. The Ministry of Tourism and the Indian exhibitors look forward to a very successful WTM London 2015,” he added.
WTM London’s senior director, Simon Press, commented; “WTM London will host more than 9,000 of the world’s most important buyers through the WTM Buyers’ Club. These buyers will sign deals worth more than GBP2.5 million (US$3.9m) with exhibitors. India is in prime position to promote its exciting range of tourism products to these buyers through its sponsorship of the WTM Buyers’ Club.”
In 2014, 7.7m tourists visited India, up more than 10% compared to 2014. And for the first six months of 2015 the country welcomed 3.85m tourists, up 3.4% year-on-year.