U.S Suppliers engage with key decision makers @ Brand USA's Fourth India Mission

Marketing | September 15, 2015 | News

Brand USA Sheema Vohra India Mission

Brand USA concluded its fourth annual India Mission organized for travel trade from Sep. 6 to 11. The mission, traveling across three Indian metro cities of Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi witnessed an excellent response from Indian travel industry professionals. The U.S. delegations included 43 participants representing 31 U.S. companies including destinations, attractions, hotels and receptive operators. 

In this edition a special day was planned for interested U.S. suppliers to meet with top MICE corporates, in an effort to increase India MICE movement to America. Sheema Vohra, Managing Director, Brand USA in India, explained, "There is no other country in the world that is so MICE ready as the USA. There's infrastructure, unique venues, variety of accomodation options, various options for Indian food and numerous team building activities that follow with MICE. There is no language barrier and a lot of event companies find similar people to collaborate with. We just started our focused MICE initiative this year which was targeting the corporate decision maker. We hope there will be many more to follow. With the increase in airline lift, it will surely be easier."

Highlighting the unique MICE capabilities of their individual destinations, partners of the MICE-mission elaborated:

Chris Heywood, SVP, Global Communications, NYC & Co.

"The MICE market is still growing and shows great potential. New York City has world class meeting facilities. There are numerous activities like the Broadway, walking tours, food tours and VIP shopping. We also have a Delegate Discount Pass that offers savings at more than 110 New York City attractions, restaurants, shops and more."

Brian Said, Executive Director, Tourism Division, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau

"We market Philadelphia by telling visitors to combine it with Washington DC & New York. Pennsylvania offers tax-free shopping and King of Prussia is a major shopping mall. We aim at increasing the hotel inventory by 20% in the next 3 years. There are numerous unique venues and Indian restaurants we offer in Philadelphia."

Representative, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board

"Los Angeles offers a very creative, positive and can-do attitude that is very helpful to a MICE Planner. We have a natural synergy with India due to the film industry. A host of interesting incentive activities centred around the Warner Bros Studios can be arranged.The Getty Centre and Madame Tussauds are other prominent attractions which boast of an interesting MICE proposition. We have an award winning efficient meeting department and a preferred list of suppliers that will surely save your time while planning your next event."

The remainder of the mission provided an opportunity for U.S. suppliers to engage with key decision makers through free flow one-to-one appointments with the goal of increasing destination and product knowledge, business cooperation and travel bookings. The invitees included major stakeholders from the Indian travel trade, airline representatives, hospitality representatives and tour operators. Additionally, a dedicated media day was organised in New Delhi with leading travel trade and consumer media. 

Brand USA today launched a new Luxury module on the USA Discovery Program, the online training program, for agents in India. Housed at www.USADiscoveryProgram.in, the Luxury module focuses on the luxurious accommodation, dining, spa and ranch experiences that United States has to offer to its travelers. The online training tool enables agents to learn about the diverse destinations and experiences available in the USA and take interactive quizzes. 

Speaking on the occasion, David Whitaker, Chief Marketing Officer, Brand USA, said, “As always, India Mission has been a great platform for our partners who want to generate more business from this key market. The growth in all major segments – FIT’s, special interest, group, travel trade & luxury travel provides a huge opportunity for the USA. We will continue to plan focused initiatives to widen our audience reach in India and leverage existing opportunities”. 

Commenting on the occasion, Sheema Vohra, Managing Director, Brand USA in India added, “We are thrilled to witness such a great response from the Indian travel trade in all three cities. Every year, during the India Mission, we witness new developments, new partnerships and new opportunities for U.S participants as well as our Indian travel trade partners. We are confident that this trend will continue over the next decade and the India Travel Mission provides an excellent opportunity for Indian travel partners to cultivate lucrative business opportunities to the USA."

The USA has witnessed a steady increase in Indian travelers. In 2014, India is ranked 11th amongst the top 20 tourist generating countries for the U.S. with 961,790 arrivals, an increase of 11.9% over the previous year according to the U.S Department of Commerce. In 2014, Indian visitors also ranked 7th globally in terms of money spent in the U.S., with a total spend of $9.6 billion - an increase of 7% over the previous year.

This year, India Mission included participation from Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau, Gray Line New York Sightseeing, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Hornblower Cruises & Events, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, Marriott International Inc., Maxim Tours, Nevada Commission on Tourism, NYC & Company, NYC & Co. Partner (Empire State Building Observatory), & NYC & Co. Partner (The Metropolitan Museum of Art), Papillon Helicopters & Scenic Airlines, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, San Francisco Travel Association, Sans Incredible Vacations, Santa Monica Travel and Tourism, Sawgrass Mills, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Simon Shopping Destinations, Starwood Sales Organisation, The New Tropicana Las Vegas, Tours Limited LLC, Travel Oregon, Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios Hollywood, Visit California, Visit Florida, Visit Orlando, 7M Tours and Brand USA. 

In this edition a special day was planned for interested U.S. suppliers to meet with top MICE corporates, in an effort to increase India MICE movement to America.

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