India as a ‘365 days destination’ with “Namaste Campaign” to welcome International Travelers
On the second day of the Arabian Travel Market, Dubai -2022, the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India held a press conference where they highlighted the ‘NamasteIndia’ Campaign for encouraging International visitors to travel to
On the second day of the Arabian Travel Market, Dubai -2022, the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India held a press conference where they highlighted the ‘NamasteIndia’ Campaign for encouraging International visitors to travel to India.
Co -Founder and COO
“As International travel begins to attain some level of normalcy with the resumption of scheduled commercial air operations, we at Yatra.com have witnessed an increase in booking enquires for foreign travel by 80%. The resumption of international flights has subsequently contributed to higher bookability. As there is a renewed sense of travel optimism amongst consumers, we have witnessed a healthy uptick for tourism destinations such as Europe and Southeast Asia. One of the biggest trends for international travel is the increasing confidence of corporate travellers to travel again. In terms of inbound tourism, there has been an upswing in traffic from South Africa and Greece/ Cyprus along with France. We are positive that with the opening up of international flights along with the incoming of summer travel season, there will be a significant rebound for travel, a much-needed boost to the travel and hospitality industry.”
Punish B Sharma
Vice President – Operations
THE FERN HOTELS & RESORTS
The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India under its “Incredible India Campaign” has showcased India as a 365 Day destination in the recently concluded Arabian Travel Market (ATM), Dubai.
India is surely a 365-day destination as India’s rich cultural and ethnic diversity is unique and presents a plethora of options for tourists visiting India. Even today when some parts of India are sweltering under intense heat with mercury touching almost 50, there are other places where the temperature is as low as 0 degrees. And there are places which have been witnessing intense rainfall as well. So, if you are a tourist looking to experience all three weathers you can do it in three days flat. Where else can one find such kind of weather?
And that is just one part. There are so many cultures and subcultures within one state. Monuments, historical places, temple town, deserts, mountains, jungle safaris, adventure tourism, you name it and it is there in our country.
The Fern Hotels & Resorts is blessed to have properties across the country. We are present in almost all the spheres of tourism. Currently our beach and mountain resorts in places like Goa, Mahabaleshwar, Gangtok, Mussoorie, Nainital jungle safaris in Sasan Gir, Sawai Madhopur and Polo forest are doing excellent business. Summer vacations are currently on in the country and this is a time when occupancies in tourist destinations are highest.
Currently the entire tourism is coming from domestic tourists. If campaigns like India 365-day destinations are successful we can see the influx of international tourists as well and this is going to immensely benefit the tourism and hospitality industry.
Lexicon Institute of Hotel Management
Readiness of hotels to be a 365-day destination.
A hotel is said to be in a 365-day destination if its average occupancy stays above 75% for a year and at least 50% during valley period.
The organised 5 star and Luxury segment is well equipped to promote the property and attract tourists during low sales period. However, it is the smaller properties with shallow pockets and weaker promotion and distribution networks that face the challenge. These depend on government initiatives and word of mouth network to bring in their business. Most employ contractual staff to support operations during peak times and keep a skeletal team during slack season. The movement to year-round business for these units will be slow and measured. Collective and cluster marketing may help in trickling flow of tourists from uncharted territories. If the tourist influx into these destinations increase the hotel managements will be pushed into full operational action.
With the aggressive marketing strategy to make India a year-round destination by the Tourism Ministry – Government of India, smaller hotels will have to equip themselves to get the market share of incoming tourists. Depending on the segment catered to, hotels will need to provide services like travel, entertainment, sports and recreation, site trips and culture fests, to distinguish themselves as worthy of a visit. Hotels will have to revisit their offers to enable the visitors to afford entrance and enjoy a huge range of variety and retain interest in being repeat customers.
Off season initiatives to attract tourists
City hotels have over the years developed several strategies to prevent tapering of occupancy during slack season. The challenge comes in for resorts and destination properties who need to engage several markets to assure higher occupancy.
Hotels promote local attractions and festivals to domestic and international travellers. Tourists have varied reasons to travel like sightseeing heritage monuments, savouring local culinary delights, experiencing regional fairs and ethnic culture. Markets like honeymooners, adventure tourists, nature lovers, and such others are not period specific, hence hotels target this segment to fill hotel rooms when business is low.
Hotels seek partnerships with trade associations and corporates for MICE business. These properties provide family packages to executives to encourage travel with spouses and children, thus creating the business-leisure surge. Events, trips and activities are planned to keep the executive and his family engaged during the trip.
A comprehensive ‘Destination Website’ helps all stakeholders including hotels to develop year-round business. Two states who have maxed this strategy are Kerala and Goa. The palatial cities of Jaipur, Udaipur and Jodhpur have marketed themselves as wedding destinations with hotels creating a robust year-round flow of mega-receptions.
The hotels too drive their engagement marketing through digital and social media, to keep the potential customer involved in the products and services on offer.
The Namaste Campaign by The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, is a great effort to improve on Foreign Tourists Arrival. India has always been an attractive civilization for eons. The “Incredible India” campaign put its culture on the international map. It brought the worlds attention to its hidden glory and forced the government to lose inertia over several aspects like water, sanitation, hygiene and safety of tourist in the country.
The “Namaste Campaign” is assertively focussing on key areas of development and reaching out to International Tourists at the same time. India has enough and more scope in areas of adventure, wedding, wildlife, wellness and spiritual tourism. The hotel industry in India will react positively and decisively in expanding its portfolio of rooms in every market to match the incoming demand of the future.
What needs to be seen is the action on the ground after the promotional noise is over. Will we see a dramatic rise in the number of airports, quality of roads, infrastructure near tourist sites, ease of entry and exit, relaxed hours of entertainment and safeguarding the interests of the regional hosts and the environmental ecosystem? This will be the real test of the campaign.
Director of Sales
Crowne Plaza Kochi.
1. Is your Hotel ready to be a 365 days destination? Hotels offerings for 365 Days destination?
Yes, Crowne Plaza Kochi is equipped to cater to all kinds of requirements from MICE, weddings, corporate events, exhibitions, as well as inbound and domestic tourists.
We do destination weddings from different parts of India as well as other countries.
We have restaurant outlets that cater to locals as well as tourists that offer cuisine from all around the world, as per client requirements. We are an end to end solution provider for guests who are travelling from other parts of the world and we ensure to make their event the finest and most memorable one.
With a large banquet space in our hotel, we cater to large sized MICE requirements from corporate companies with easy access to the airport and the city centre. The hotel is a preferred location for all MICE activities. We also have backwater access where our guests can enjoy boating and water sport activities.
We also have the largest in-house spa in the city with both ayurvedic and western treatments recommended to you by our Spa Doctor.
Since we offer such a variety of services, we can definitely welcome guests at our beautiful property as a 365 Days Destination.
2. In off-season what initiatives do hotels take to attract tourists
– During the off-season, we are expecting Arab Tourism from GCC to come in and we plan to curate a personal experience for each guest in order to make them feel welcome in Kerala. We can offer Kerala special ayurvedic treatment, as well as have a Mediterranean food spread. We also plan on promoting domestic travel from other parts of the country. The off season in Kerala is during the monsoon, and we do host GCC guests during this period since they travel here to experience the rains on their holiday.
3. Views on “Namaste Campaign”
– It is an initiative that will greatly benefit our tourism industry especially after the pandemic now that business is picking up. The Namaste India Campaign will definitely change the idea of India as a tourist destination. If we are open to tourists all year round, that will not only increase our visibility as a country with our rich cultural heritage, but also impact our economy in a positive manner.
Director of Operations
Alila Fort Bishangarh
In off-season what initiatives do hotels take to attract tourists
‘’We as a destination always work on a 365 days plan , curating experiences indoors and outdoors to make every guest stay a memorable one throughout the year. In the extreme summer the focus shifts to our in house Spa and wellness, followed by our summer seasonal crops from our farm that adds to the culinary experience for our guests. Dining under the full moon, starry nights when the weather is cooler, and also early morning treks and village tours before 8 am. We have indoor activities for our little guests to keep the busy as well. The focus is on getting intimate spaces and curating experiences for families to celebrate and stay comfortable even in the so called off season and have value for money for their stay and time spent at Alila Fort Bishangarh’’.