MAURITIUS and Dubai are both stepping up their pursuit of the Indian market, with weddings among the segments being courted.
Vijaye Haulder, deputy director, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA), said: “Every year around 10,000 weddings take place in Mauritius, out of which few are of Indians. Currently, 10 per cent of our overall arrivals from India comprise of MICE travellers and we are looking to increase these numbers significantly. Mauritius receives 50,000 golfers annually, out of which an insignificant number is from India.”
Last month, MTPA organised road shows in Bengaluru, Mumbai and New Delhi, in which 15 suppliers from Mauritius participated to promote their offerings in the wedding and MICE domains.
“We are educating partners about the incentives we give to MICE organisers on group travel of minimum 100 people. We are also talking to Air Mauritius to increase flight frequencies and are focusing on non-metro Indian cities to increase wedding and MICE arrivals,” said Haulder.
Last year 46,000 Indians travelled to Mauritius and the NTO is expecting 60,000 Indian arrivals by end-2013. Mauritius recorded 45,000 Indian arrivals from January to October. The NTO is targeting 10 per cent growth in 2014.
Meanwhile, also courting the Indian wedding and honeymoon segment is Dubai, encouraged by 15.8 per cent year-on-year growth in 1H2013 from India, its second biggest source market.
Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has been conducting a series of road shows in major Indian cities. Mansoor Bawazir, head for Region, India, Middle East and Southern/Eastern Africa, overseas promotions and inward missions, DTCM, said: “India will be one of the important source markets to achieve our target of 20 million visitors by 2020.”
In November, a 22-member Dubai delegation interacted with over 1,000 travel consultants and wedding planners in Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi.
Carl Vaz, director - India, DTCM, said: "We are looking at penetrating deeper into tier two cities like Pune, Indore, Nagpur, Chandigarh and Jaipur and tier three cities such as Visakhapatnam, Coimbatore, Raipur and Bhubaneswar.
“Currently, we have 2,000 certified experts from metros, tier one and two cities under the Dubai Expert Training Programme and we are now looking at adding 1,000 operators from tier three cities as Dubai specialists.”
Anil Guptaa, managing director, Mumbai-based Anjali Travels and Tours, said: “Dubai has the right mix of attractions, F&B, hotels and flight connectivity in making it a very attractive destination for Indians. Shopping is an added plus. We anticipate 20 per cent growth in 2014.”