Visit USA steps up presence in India

VISIT USA (VUSA) is spearheading trade-oriented efforts to attract more Indians to the US through its inaugural participation at SATTE, which is currently taking place in New Delhi from January 16-18.

“Co-sponsoring the SATTE event is a big step forward,” said Manoj Gursahani, vice president of VUSA. “We will launch a USA Specialist programme online in 2Q2013 for the Indian travel trade, and are supported by Travel Agents Association of India and Travel Agents Federation of India to encourage more trade members to participate in shows and support our efforts. We are talking to Outbound Tour Operators Association of India too.”

USA Grand Tours, a Georgia-based inbound tour operator also exhibiting at SATTE, has launched fixed departure packages ranging from six to 11 nights from India in 2013.

Said USA Grand Tours director, Pavan Patel: “We sell our packages at US$1,000-US$1,500, excluding airfares, which is about US$500 cheaper than similar packages offered by major Indian outbound tour operators. We are of Indian origin and understand the needs of this market.”

In 2012, the US recorded 660,000 Indian arrivals, a growth of 8.5 per cent.

American ambassador to India, Nancy Powell, said: “By 2015, the US expects to receive one million Indians. Cities in the US most frequently visited by Indians are New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Las Vegas, ranking (India) ninth as a source country.”

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