VISITBRITAIN has facilitated the signing of memorandums of understanding (MoUs) between leading travel associations of the UK and India, a move the NTO expects will significantly bolster Indian arrivals.
The MoUs were signed last week at SATTE 2014 by The European Tour Operators Association with Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) and Travel Agents Federation of India, and between Outbound Tour Operators Association of India and UKinbound.
“Working with the travel trade is key to our strategy as 80 per cent of the visits from India to the UK are booked through the travel trade. We expect to create a more positive business environment and drive more inbound to the country through this initiative,” said Sandie Dawe, chief executive of VisitBritain.
“We will be able to now work through the leading trade associations on effective communication about the visa process and product offerings. At present the Indian market to the UK is London centric. About 68 per cent of Indian visitors are coming to just London and we want to convey the message that there is more to the UK than just London,” she added.
“The signings of MoUs will boost tourism ties between the two countries as all these associations have a strong member base,” said Iqbal Mulla, President, TAAI.
India is the UK’s 15th largest source market, with over 300,000 arrivals in 2013 or a nine per cent increase. VisitBritain expects to surpass its aim of 425,000 Indian arrivals by 2016.