‘Indian Tourists Rank Sixth in Terms of Spending in U.S.’
The U.S. government is designing new initiatives to attract more Indian visitors, American official Jonathan Ward said.
Indian tourists have been ranked sixth when it comes to spending time and money in the United States. They tend to spend more time during their stay in America as compared to U.S. citizens visiting India.
“India ranks 11th in U.S. in terms of number of visitors but in terms of tourism export market, it ranks 6th because there is a trend of Indian visitors staying much longer duration there,” Jonathan Ward, the Principal Commercial Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Kolkata, said at the 6th edition of Travel East conference organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Nov. 23. “So an average Indian tourist tends to spend more during his or her trip to the U.S.,” Ward added, according to IANS.
He pointed out that the number of Indian tourists visiting the United States has only increased in the recent years. This has encouraged the U.S. authorities to design a plethora of new initiatives to attract more Indian vacationers. The U.S. government wants to get in touch with tour operators to expand their knowledge about the tastes of Indian tourists and to attract more numbers in the future.
Tourism data analysis reveals that while 38 per cent Indians visit America with the sole objective of business, 28 per cent of them do so to meet friends and family who live there, Ward said. Also, 18 per cent Indians plan a trip to America to spend holidays while another 16 per cent have miscellaneous causes for the journey.
“The U.S. government has introduced a public private partnership named Brand USA in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Commerce that conducts tour operator briefings about different U.S. destinations once a year in India,” he added. “It also provides a certification program for the Indian tour operators that wishes to specialize in U.S. tourism and takes them to USA in familiarization trips to the U.S.”
Despite the fact that Indian tourists spend more time and money in the United States, numerous challenges exist in the tourism sector between the two countries. Distance, travel time and cost are the main hurdles, that can be addressed by introduction of more flights, and increase in the number of direct flights.
In a bid to attract more Indian tourists to the country, the U.S., government has opened many more visa offices in India.
There are 600 private sector organizations, state level governments, cities, several airlines and hotel chains together working towards the enhancement of tourism. Cities like New York, (and states like) California and Florida have their own office in India that works in this regard, Ward added.