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Brand USA pitches US as tourism hub ahead of Modi visit

Brand USA’s third annual India Travel Mission  a public-private partnership to promote the country as a premier travel destination, had previously visited the cities of Bangalore and Mumbai before coming to New Delhi.

The US delegation comprised of 30 different companies which included destination, tourism and hotels. The objective of the mission was to provide a platform for US suppliers to interact with India’s travel buyers.

The engagement with Indian corporations aims at facilitating increased destination and product knowledge, business cooperation and travel bookings.

“Like earlier years, the response from the Indian travel trade has been quite positive. Such initiatives will continue to foster tourism relations and explore diverse travel options in the US,” said Jay Gray, Vice President, Global Partnership Development at Brand USA.

During the mission, Brand USA announced the launch of the ‘USA Discovery Program’ for the Indian travel trade. It is an online learning tool created to train Indian agents to sell USA to prospective travelers. A culinary guide, aimed at promoting gastro-tourism in USA was also unveiled.

USA has witnessed a steady growth in Indian travelers over the years. In 2013, US saw inbound travel from India increase to 8,59,000 travelers, an 18.6% jump over the previous year. Indian visitors also ranked 10th globally in terms of money spent in the USA in 2013, with a total spend of $ 5.6 billion – an increase of 14% over the previous year.

With the new government at the Centre, positive business sentiment seemed to be a common thread which a lot of the US companies remarked upon.

“There is a perception of change in the business environment now. Whether or not that can translate to a tangible or something discernable can only be remarked upon after the new government gets some more time,” – said one delegation member representing Brand USA.

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