We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Fri 1 Jun 2007 12:00 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

India lacks travel trade support

Several India-based hospitality companies have slammed the region's travel agents for failing to promote and sell the subcontinent.

Several India-based hospitality companies have slammed the region's travel agents for failing to promote and sell the subcontinent.

"Although some 90% of the travel agents in the GCC are Indian, the majority are absolutely not excited about India," said Lincy Mary Isacc, director of sales and marketing, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts.

"They have no clue and no passion about their country; they are not passionate about anything they sell."

She said it would "be easier to go to Timbuktu and try to sell India than in the Middle East, because there are too many preconceptions [about the destination]".

"Take the Arab market; you ask them where they are going on holiday and they say Malaysia or Paris, and they are proud to say that, but I'm not sure they feel the same about India. There are many Indian labourers here in the GCC and that gives people the wrong impression," she added.

According to Moumita Mukherjee, associate director of sales, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, medical tourism is now drawing visitors from the Middle East, but little is known about India's tourism infrastructure and attractions.

"I would like India Tourism to highlight the USPs because right now what they are doing is just showing some colourful pictures of what India looks like," she told ATN.

"They must go a step ahead and show them the hotels and their services - all the different levels available - right from six-star range to accommodation for normal middle class people too."

Incredible India, the national tourist office recorded just 149,568 visitors from the Middle East in 2006, compared to visitor numbers to Malaysia, which hit the 250,000 mark during the same period.

This is all the more surprising given that the three UAE-based carriers; Emirates, Etihad Airways and Air Arabia offer a total of around 125 weekly flights to the Indian subcontinent between them.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Real news, real analysis and real insight have real value – especially at a time like this. Unlimited access ArabianBusiness.com can be unlocked for as little as $4.75 per month. Click here for more details.