DMCs: Vision 2018


Over the years, India has become home to many Destination Management Companies (DMCs) that offer local support for global destinations. As we enter 2018, Express TravelWorld spoke to leading DMCs to get their vision for the year ahead


Destinations’ new attractions


Lubaina Sheerazi

India is currently booming with a diverse range of travellers who are constantly looking for unique experiences around the world. Over the recent years, travel has certainly gone on to become a lifestyle statement. While Seychelles resonates with being a tropical paradise, Thailand has been highly popular as a destination of culinary delight and Oman is a beautiful contrast of all that was and all that will be. There is also Shandong which is a coastal province in east China that boasts of a fascinating history, majestic mountains and beautiful coastline. Additionally, we are also committed towards promoting Ethiopia, which is an intriguing destination with immense historic and cultural

The key attractions of our destinations for the year 2018:

  • Oman: The Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre OCEC which is situated within a purpose built, fully integrated business precinct and has been designed to accommodate world class congresses, exhibitions, regional meetings, gala events, performances and concerts. New Muscat International Airport that is designed as an ICAO category 4F airports and shall be able to accommodate the world’s largest aircraft, the Airbus A380. The runway has been designed to enable an independent parallel operation. Also, the new Muscat International Airport will have the capacity to handle 12 million passengers annually that will add to the landscape of Oman’s infrastructure. Kempinski Hotel Muscat nestled within the community of Al Mouj Muscat encompassing over six kilometers of stunning coastline will be an unparalleled luxury destination in the capital of Oman. It is expected to open in Q1 of 2018, with 310 rooms and suites, state of the art meeting facilities, world-class restaurants and bars, fully equipped fitness centre and an authentic spa experience.
  • Shandong: Shandong Province nestled strategically between Beijing and Shanghai is easily accessible via a thrilling bullet train journey, where you can visit ‘Jinan’ the capital of Shandong which has over 72 magnificent springs including the renowned Bauto Springs. There is also Qingdao, popularly known as China’s sailing city which is a beautiful port city with European architecture and a mesmerizing sea view. Bordered by the Yellow Sea on two sides, Qingdao boasts of Asia’s largest bathing beach and is also known for its locally produced Tsingtao Beer. Additionally, Shandong is also home to Qufu, the birthplace of Confucius, the legendary philosopher and founder of Confucianism.
  • Thailand: For Thailand, Show DC is Bangkok’s newest shopping and entertainment mall which houses hundreds of shops, restaurants, coffee shops, a cooking school, a rooftop bar, a very large duty-free shop and two theaters where visitors can watch spectacular shows.
  • Ethiopia: Ethiopia’s large diversity, arising from its history and in tune with its beautiful settings is dynamic and alive with energy and excitement. Here one can meet their ancestor, the hominoid skeleton of Lucy at the National Museum; marvel at the mystical churches of Lalibela, hand hewn from rock to create the Jerusalem of Africa and trek the Simien mountains to enjoy endless vistas.
  • Seychelles: The Beachcomber Seychelles Sainte Anne Resort & Spa will be refurbished and extended as per the French club adhering to the Club Med’s five star standards and requirements. Along with the new introduction, some off-beat experiences that fall true with Seychelles continue to be – a day trip to Curieuse and Cousin Islands, cycling around La Digue, trekking all the way up to Morn Blanc and Fond Ferdinand and diving at Desroches Island.

Brand strategy

Whether it is backpacking or luxury travel, there now exists a demand that is varied and interesting among the evolved Indian travellers. We are constantly in sync with the growing trends and are attempting to expand our horizons as a representative agency. Our focus has always been to offer the whole gamut of representational services, such as creative solutions for marketing, PR and sales along with significant media buying and digital marketing expertise.

Vision for 2018

It has been a successful year for our organisation with six new clients comprising of the most interesting mix – a premium hospitality brand, a country, a province, an airline and a luxury cruise liner. The year ahead seems even more promising and all of us at Blue Square Consultants are approaching the New Year with zest and enthusiasm to achieve higher heights, while continuously pushing the envelope towards newer horizons in the representation business.

Lubaina Sheerazi, COO, Blue Square Consultants

(As told to Sudipta Dev)


Destination’s new attractions


Rajeev Nangia

The beautiful, intense and dazzling Principality of Monaco has long fascinated visitors from all over the world. Taste the Mediterranean art of living on wonderful excursions amidst spell-binding scenery, where the heart beats a little faster. Discover tales of localities embracing the nostalgia of the region. Witness the high life with soulful wellness studios, ecstatic art and culture, best-in-class sports facilities and a legendary fashion extravaganza from luxury brands. The destination is also home to some of the best gastronomic delights, pubs and casinos of the world, painting the city into a complete nightlife haven, every evening. Each personalised leisure activity here is a lifetime possession and a priceless experience. Exploring the magnetic heritage and capturing wide-eyed views of this seaside European landscape, which blends blissfully with the modern, is definitely, a melange of all things fabulous. But if there’s one place that tops every traveller’s list, it is Monte Carlo. Experience a private tour of the principality or take to the sky in a helicopter. Discover the many attractions of the Principality in an Aston Martin and then later relax with a Duo massage for some well-deserved rejuvenation and retreat. Experience the exceptional menu signed by Michelin starred Chefs, which offers an enchanting view of the Principality at night. Ideal for a romantic candle-lit dinner. Then, follow the bright lights of Monaco and step into the Casinos and their gaming tables. Store in, is an exclusive range of the magnificent hotel properties offering a luxuriant stay and the most mesmerising attractions, so you can experience Monaco like never before. Monaco is one place that will always surprise you with its ever-changing delights and experiences.

Brand strategy

This year’s new strategy will revolve around the slogan ‘Green is the New Glam’, which will be used to promote, Monaco as an eco-friendly destination. The new redesigned website would give pride of place to images, experience and showcase new innovative tools such as the initiation of the augmented reality (AR) plan, so as to, benefit from the ability to visualising virtual graphics in the real world and indulge into environmental friendly promotions. To focus more on this aspect, we will be incorporating interactive video projects that will allow visitors to create paperless and personalised itineraries.

Vision for 2018

We present to the world our new Logo for ‘Monaco Tourist and Convention Authority. This new, dynamic typology is in line with our vision, as the text logo is a direct invitation to visit the Principality and is easy to identify and to remember. It is available in several colors, to suit the DTC’s various sectors of activity, for example in blue for cruises and green for sustainable development and to project ‘Green is the New Glam’.

Rajeev Nangia, COO, Trac Representations

(As told to Saloni Bhatia)


Destination’s new attractions


Anjum Lokhandwala

The emirate of Sharjah offers an inviting combination of culture, heritage, art and outdoor activities. Admire the rare artifacts at the Museum of Islamic Civilization, and visit the arts area for a taste of traditional and contemporary art. A walk through the heart of Sharjah will reward visitors with a glimpse into history, while outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy an exciting four-wheel drive through the dunes before relaxing on the white beaches or snorkeling through the clear blue waters offshore. Through the careful preservation of its rich heritage, creative craftsmanship and celebration of the arts, Sharjah is recognised today as the UAE’s cultural capital.

  • Mleiha Archaeological and Eco-tourism Project, a premier tourism and leisure destination from Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, is inviting youngsters, their friends, and families to travel back in time to discover the wonders of the past in a new series of packages designed to be both fun and educational
  • First shopping mall to open in Al Madam, Al Badayer Shopping Mall has been opened in the town of Al Madam on the Dubai-Hatta road, the first purpose-built air-conditioned shopping mall in Sharjah’s Central Region. It is less than an hour’s drive from Sharjah city and 20 minutes’ drive from Mleiha
  • The Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA) has announced that it has imported 288 wild animals from South Africa into the emirate, bringing Sharjah’s vision for what could be the largest safari park project outside Africa one step closer to reality

Brand strategy

The biggest aviation news of the year was of Sharjah International Airport expansion, which will increase airport capacity from eight to 18 million passengers a year. We are looking at branding and promoting Sharjah as a family destination keeping in mind that Sharjah has everything to offer for all age groups. There has been a considerable growth from 2016 and we are very happy with Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority’s (SCTDA) efforts towards the India market. It was a double-digit growth and we are very happy to see that we are moving in the right direction with our strategies.

Vision for 2018

In 2018, we would like to definitely see the increase in tourist arrivals to Sharjah and promote the destination as a must visit Emirate. SCTDA will be doing an online training for our business partners and also extend joint marketing support. SCTDA is open to invite any ideas from our esteemed trade partners which will enable us to promote the destination.

Anjum Lokhandwala, Founder and Director, Outbound Konnections

(As told to Reema Lokesh)


Destination’s new attractions


Sanjay Sondhi

Indonesia’s new attractions include Lake Toba, The Borobudur, Surabaya with Mt Bromo, Jogjakarta with Borobudur and Prambanan temples, Lombok with Gili Islands, Jakarta with Bandung and Flores, Labuan Bajo.

Brand strategy

VITO’s brand strategy was to showcase Indonesia through various channels like OOH media, advertisements in mainline media and trade media. We conducted multi-city roadshows and consumer events in malls; and participated in trade expositions, wedding fairs and FAM trips. The main highlights were the new airline routes: Batik Air from Chennai to Bali, Air Asia from Mumbai and Kolkata.

MTPA’s brand strategy was to promote Mauritius as a destination ‘Beyond the Beach’. MTPA’s promotional activities in 2017 was to showcase the amazing activities for adventure lovers like sky diving, ziplining, quad biking, sea karting, helicopter tours and also a life time experience of walking with the lions. The sports minded travellers, can enjoy a game of golf at one of the many championship level courses in Mauritius. 2017 has been a good year, despite Demonetisation and GST with an increase of over 5 per cent over 2016. Mauritius has seen a huge increase in the Destination Wedding segment and had a growth of about 30 per cent in that segment.

As part of the promotional plan, MTPA organised workshops for tour operators along-with roadshows in five major cities in August 2017. MTPA was active on social media too. Familiarisation trips were organized for travel agents, media and wedding planners to give them firsthand experience. To showcase Mauritius as a luxury destination for the consumers, MTPA did a cover-shoot with Bollywood celebrity Ranveer Singh in association with one of the top lifestyle publications. MTPA also organised Mall promotion to interact with the consumers directly.

Vision for 2018

The year 2017 has been very productive for us with respect to Indonesia. We have witnessed a growth of 44 per cent month on month so far. 2018 seems to be even more promising. We start with participation at IITT in Mumbai then at SATTE in New Delhi followed by multiple city roadshows. To promote Indonesia as an attractive tourism destination in India, our marketing strategy will be, to be more visible to the consumers through consumer promotion campaigns, food festivals and tactical promotion. We plan to organise more FAM Trips for media, tour operators, and wedding planners to showcase diverse offerings of the destination. We will be focusing on  digital/ social, print and electronic media. Apart from participation in key travel, MICE and wedding fairs in India, we will also increase interaction with consumers through radio, TV campaigns, mall promotions and encourage film shoots at the destination.

In 2018, MTPA is looking at 100,000 tourists and will aggressively promote Mauritius as a destination for adventure tourism. MTPA will also focus on MICE, destination weddings, luxury, heritage, sports and promote the island accordingly. The Government is also promoting film tourism and has announced a 40 per cent subsidy to film makers who spend over one million USD for filming in Mauritius. MTPA will connect directly with the consumers through mall promotions, sponsored content on TV and FM channels, sponsorship of Golf and HNI events apart.  MTPA will continue promoting Mauritius as a perfect destination to travel agents, MICE agents, wedding planners in 2018.

Sanjay Sondhi, CEO, Om Tourism Visit Indonesia Tourism Officers (VITO India) and Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA)

(As told to Saloni Bhatia)


Destination’s new attractions


Amit Kishore

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) proclaimed 2017 as the ‘International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. In response to this, Taiwan a showcase of eco tourism  initiated ‘Taiwan Ecotourism Year 2017’ with the creation of special tours and packages targeted at this market, with activities planned throughout the year. Taiwan successfully hosted the International Firefly Symposium in April which attracted a never before 186 participants from 22 countries. The upcoming big festival in Taiwan is the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival that illuminates sky with more than a hundred thousand  hot air balloons and lanterns. The next festival is slated for, March 2 2018. Taiwan is increasingly seeing a rise in tourist footfall from India, so much so that it now has  numerous Indian restaurants with authentic Indian food cooked by Indian chefs, who know-of the Indian palette.

On the other hand, Jordan is a unique mix of history culture adventure wellness food and warm welcoming people. The key landmarks that are must see are Amman – the vibrant capital city, Wadi Rum – with its mars like landscape, Petra-seventh wonder of the world, Aqaba – on Red Sea and the Dead Sea – float without sinking  and give a 360 degree diverse and incomparable experience to the traveller.


Brand strategy

To make Taiwan more appealing and familiar to Indians, we believe in educating travel agents as they are the first source of information. We have successfully organized multiple road shows, educational seminars for the travel partners  who in turn help us promote Taiwan. Apart from focusing on trade, we are running consumer campaigns such as the recent celebrity endorsement campaign – ‘Retreat Taiwan’. This created a huge leverage for the various attractions in Taiwan through a tour of 7 celebrities who experienced different aspects of this amazing destination. Taiwan is also being promoted through new-age technologies like virtual reality and 360 degree photos, through numerous events and campaigns. In Taiwan also, we are conducting special training sessions for guides to help them understand Indian tourists better.

Jordan is a fascinating destination being discovered by Indians who are keen to experience its amazing dimensions and offerings. We developed a strategy specifically to address the Indian travellers focused on adventure, culture, faith, wellness and MICE.

Adventure: In the coming years we plan to promote this segment through both B2B and B2C channels. Adventure trips for the Indian agents, participation in the adventure expo are few strategies to name. Our campaign, ‘Xtreme Jordan’ that has already called attention to the idea of working out in the backdrop of picturesque Jordan is a visual treat and is popular among the youth. We are working on similar campaigns to be conducted in new future.

Culture and Faith-Holyland: Jordan is rich in terms of culture and religion. This segment will become hugely popular in the Indian market considering the affinity for spirituality in our country. Another segment that is gaining popularity lately is culture tourism. India is well-known in this segment for the inbound tourists. Our people have always been open in exploring the cultural aspects of other destinations too. Jordan’s vibrant culture encompassing the food, heritage and history gives true Middle-eastern feel that is unmatched by any of its competitors.

Wellness: The popularity of the spa vacation has increased worldwide as many people are adopting healthier lifestyles. For this reason, Jordan has complimented its natural therapeutic sites with first class resorts offering a diverse range of amenities; to name a few, we have the Dead Sea, Ma’ain Hotsprings, an escapade into the Wadi Rum or a wilderness retreat in the popular Dana Biosphere Reserve. Wellness can be a value addition and pull as part of the itinerary, clubbed with other experiences such as Culture, Gastronomy and History.

MICE: Jordan is located at the crossroads of three continents, making it an ideal meeting place for international events. This popularity is being tapped by educating travel agents across the country through different road shows planned efficiently.

Vision for 2018

Lonely Planet recently named Kaohsiung, a city in Taiwan as one of the top 10 cities to visit in 2018. This is a major achievement and will drive increased tourist footfall in 2018.

We wish to manage this huge demand by bringing to their attention the vast potential of Jordan, not just as an adventure spot but as a complete family holiday, wedding, MICE and honeymoon destination.

Amit Kishore, Co-founder, Think Strawberries Taiwan and Jordan

(As told to Saloni Bhatia)


Destination’s new attractions


Medha Sampat

South America is on every traveller’s wish list with popular destinations being Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia, etc. When an Indian travels to South America they combine various countries with one trip. This choice is dependent on their tastes, preferences and likes. The exotic South American countries are the new flavour of the season. The colourful cocktail that gives a mixed feeling starts at the wild exotic beaches and parties at Rio de Janeiro, and then with some of the extraordinary attractions in Argentina like the majestic Perito Moreno glacier – the progressive glacier where travellers can watch the miraculous sight of the ice collapsing, the energetic Iguazú falls-named as one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the stunning wine regions with a backdrop of snowcapped peaks that represent different wine routes along the Andes Mountains, Ushuaia commonly known as the end of the world, the vibrant city of Buenos Aires along with its thumping nightlife, exquisite tango performances, exciting sports where soccer and polo is considered to be the finest in the world, as well as, fabulous adventure options which includes interaction with penguins, whale watching, the gaucho experience and so much more. The flavour changes in Peru, with Cusco being a one of a kind town and Machu Picchu which needs no introduction. The Atacama Desert, Salar de Uyuni -the salt flats in Bolivia and the list is never ending. It is a natural wonder, packed into one continent, which allows travellers to really make their holiday special in every way.

Brand strategy

South America offers an assortment of products which can be packaged in an innovative way; hence it was important for the travel trade to understand the destination perfectly. Travellers are spoilt for choice. The diversity of the landscape, along with a varied portfolio provides several options for the traveller allowing them to craft a creative itinerary. Travellers want to create holidays which are beyond the ordinary where they have been fascinated with the marvelous scenery, great history, vibrant cities, variety of cuisine along with wine tourism bundled with adventure, sport and entertainment. Our focus and strategy has been to be able to offer the correct mix of elements to the trade based on client preferences. The idea is to showcase many attractions and assist the trade with important tools that allows clients to make informed choices.

Our campaigns are highlighting new and out of the box experiences which will excite the Indian traveller. Some of our campaigns even talk about the real-life experiences of travellers. This allows them to evaluate and differentiate between each place. Different experiences appeal to different people, but in reality with so much diversity, the opportunity to live the dream, experience the perfect holiday and be spell bound with so many options makes travellers come back to us for more.

Vision for 2018

We specialise in introducing new destinations in the Indian market. The idea is to do this correctly while keeping the brand values intact and creating an aspirational value for the destination. The focus is to bring the two worlds closer, make it more accessible and add a comfort factor to fill in the missing elements in terms of product knowledge. Based on the choices the continent offers the intent is to equip the travel trade to sell it more effectively, to give travellers the most breathtaking experience, and make various attractions on every traveller’s bucket list.

Your mind, your body and your courage will take you to far off places. Be bold, be innovative and you will be able to create an electrifying vacation that will cherish, allowing you to fulfil your deepest desires making this trip extra special in every sense.

Medha Sampat, Director, Knack Marketing

(As told to Sudipta Dev)


Destination’s new attractions


Beate HK Mauder Kakkar

New York City is dynamic, constantly changing and evolving. Among key infrastructure developments are LinkNYC, offering free Wi-Fi across all five boroughs i.e. Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island; the new Second Avenue Subway, with three new stations on Manhattan’s Upper East Side; the introduction of NYC Ferry-new state-of-the-art way to commute and connect in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx; redevelopments at all three major local airports; and an expansion at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Evolving neighborhoods include Hudson Yards, debut in 2018 the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States with 17 million square feet of commercial and residential space. Additional developments include the Seaport District NYC, opening summer 2018 in Lower Manhattan, with 400,000 square feet of culinary, fashion and entertainment experiences, as well as upcoming developments in Staten Island’s Destination St George with the Empire Outlets, (spring 2018) New York City’s first and only shopping outlet and the New York Wheel, set to be the tallest observation wheel in the world.

New York City has the most active hotel development pipeline in the country, with an expected inventory of plus 25,000 hotel rooms by the end of 2019. Noteworthy hotel openings this year include 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge- 194 rooms, The Whitby Hotel-86 rooms, Public, an Ian Schrager Hotel- 367 rooms, MOXY NYC Times Square- 612 rooms and the New York EDITION Times Square- 273 rooms (early 2018) and The Hoxton Brooklyn with 175 bedrooms will open early 2018.

New attractions include the “New” Midtown Manhattan with Gulliver’s Gate, National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey, NFL Experience Times Square and Opry City Stage. Productions coming to Broadway in 2017–18 include SpongeBob Square Pants, Frozen, Mean Girls and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, among others.

Brand strategy

NYC & Company has launched its new global tourism campaign titled “True York City” to showcase the unique culture of New York City’s five boroughs. This campaign invites travellers to discover the iconic experiences the city is known for, as well as lesser-known aspects that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.

New York City is the world’s greatest creator and exporter of culture. The city invites travellers who seek authentic experiences and appreciate the ‘local,’ from arts, design and retail to culture and cuisine, to explore both our iconic sights and our neighborhood gems—likely to be small businesses, locally owned and operated. The more integrated into the local culture the visitor becomes, the more positive the impact on the city and its residents. The hashtag #TrueYorkCity serves as a call to action for audiences, both local and from away to share their “True York City”.

Vision for 2018

For New York City to continue to be the top global trendsetting city in the world. NYC & Company recently partnered with Jeremy Jauncey, founder and CEO of Beautiful Destinations, 20th Century Fox on its film The Greatest Showman and the James Beard Foundation on a new culinary tourism effort, such partnerships will be the ongoing trend for 2018. NYC & Company, announced the first-ever NYC Broadway Week Winter Stay hotel promotion to coincide with NYC & Company’s celebrated biannual Broadway ticket offering, NYC Broadway Week returns from January 16 to February 4, with tickets on sale January 5, 2018.

Having celebrated its 25th anniversary this past summer, NYC Restaurant Week will take place this winter, January 22 to February 9, 2018, with reservations open January 8. Returning for its second year, NYC Attractions Week will return January 29 to February 11, with tickets on sale January 18. Therefore, with multiple value programmes taking place over the same dates in January 2018, this winter will provide visitors with an opportune time to visit and save.

Beate HK Mauder Kakkar, MD, Indiva Marketing and MD-India, NYC & Company

(As told to Sudipta Dev)


Destination’s new attractions


Hector Dsouza

SouthWest Germany continues to bring in a large number of visitors from India. Over the past seven years we’ve seen a growth rate of 290 per cent in terms of tourist arrivals from India. Indians are the highest spenders when it comes to shopping, dining and local travel, averaging a daily spend of Euro 175 per person per day. With a recorded duration of 4.3 days per visit, Indian travellers spend the longest duration in SouthWest Germany (Baden Wuerttemberg) as compared to our international average of 2.2 days per visit.

SouthWest Germany’s uniqueness lies in the fact that besides castles and natural sceneries that dot most European destinations, it is host to a number of world class attractions that makes it a class apart. Notably, it is renowned for spas, cars and parks. Europe’s second largest reserve of thermal waters lie in Baden Wuerttemberg, not surprisingly both Stuttgart and Baden Baden have world class quality thermal spas, providing a variety of water based rejuvenation treatments. Caracella Sp & Friedrichsbad (pronounced – Fredericks Bath), located in the elegant and charming city of Baden Baden are simply the best deserving a visit from discerning travellers. Europe’s finest theme-based amusement park – Europa Park brings in 5.5 million visitors every from different parts of the globe. Roller Coasters dominate the skyline of this park, with a variety of new attractions being added every year. The first gasoline powered automobile was invented in the state of Baden Wuerttemberg, needless to stay there are three world class museums, namely – Mercedez Benz Museum designed in the shape of a helix. the Porsche Museum renowned for sport and racing cars, and finally MotorWorld, acclaimed for its car-theme-based hotel and vintage automobile museum.

201801etw42Many festivals are held during the spring and summers months. It commences with the Heidelberg Spring Festival from March 17  to April 21, featuring 90 musical concerts and a must for music lovers, held at Heidelberg. The city of Stuttgart too celebrates spring with a huge funfair in the month of April. The festival begins with the tapping of the barrel of beer by Stuttgart’s Lord Mayor. The world’s largest wine festival is held in the last week of August with over 250 different varities of local wine served in 120 different stalls. International Horse Races and the Vintage Car Festival is celebrated in August at Baden Baden, while the charming city of Freiburg has its very own wine festival from July 5-10, 2018. Both Oktober Fest and Halloween are grand events at Europa Park, held during the months of September and October. Summer months also witness Illumination of the Castle at Heidelberg and a brilliant lakeside show (now in its 500th year) at the waterfront of the Lake of Constance. Beer is synonymous with German culture; the second largest traditional beer festival is held in the city of Stuttgart at the end of summer and begining of Autumn. Tubingen plays host to an international Chocolate Fiesta  from December 4 – 9 where you can learn to cook with chocolate, pair beer with chocolate and even have a chocolate massage.

Germany’s world famous Christmas Markets are held in all important towns and cities of Baden Wuerttemberg, the medieval market at Esslingen and the scenic Black Forest Christmas Market, outshine the rest.

Brand strategy

The brand strategy for 2018 is to actively target travellers on various platforms currently available, social media will also be an active mode for SouthWest Germany. Plans are still being finalised, our emphasis will be to train staff from the tourism industry, besides participating in exhibitions and organising couple of fam trips.

Vision for 2018

‘Awaken to Freshness’ is our tagline for 2018 for Baden Wuerttemberg, also known as the Sunny Side of Germany.

Hector Dsouza, President, L’orient Travels and India representative, SouthWest German Tourism

(As told to Mohit Rathod)


Destination’s new attractions


Prashant Chaudhary

Starting with 2017 we have embarked on showcasing Russia and other CIS countries beyond just Moscow and St. Petersburg. At over 17 million square kilometres, Russia is not just the biggest country in the world but also boasts of the most incredible range of tourism products. Besides, the former Soviet regions like Kazakhstan, Belarus and the pre-Baltic countries offers some of the most exotic and undiscovered experiences. And therefore we are bringing in 2018 a lot of new attractions and products that offers some of the most incredible and breathtaking travel experiences in 2018! Some of the new products and attractions that we are promoting are:

  • Snowy St. Petersburg: Exploring Saint Petersburg during winters is probably the best experience that one can imagine anywhere in the world. It provides tailor made itineraries to suit individual needs. Staying in the snow-clad country-side villas, learning skiing, riding a dog sleigh, etc.
  • Sochi: Hailed as the Switzerland of Russia, Sochi, venue of 2014 Winter Olympics, boasts of breathtaking pristine natural surrounding along the Black Sea coast. Lots of sporting and adventure activities, health resorts or a peaceful country-side escapades for those seeking out a time by themselves, Sochi is waiting to be discovered by Indian travellers. Besides, with casinos bigger than those of Macau, Sochi is also waiting to be discovered by gaming enthusiasts.
  • Inland river cruise: An unbeatable attraction if one wants to have a slice of both the world, the razzle-dazzle of city and pristine Russian country-side and lots of nature. Our river cruise itineraries get one to explore Moscow and St. Petersburg along with unexplored country-side and lots of nature to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
  • Trans Siberian Train: Embark on a journey of a lifetime through some of the most scenic train routes of the world onboard the Trans Siberian Train one what could be the longest train ride you have ever taken. Unexplored country-side, undulating vistas, hundreds of large and small far-flung cities and towns that you never heard of before and along the way getting to explore places like Lake Baikal, world’s largest freshwater lake by volume. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lake Baikal is also the deepest, clearest, purest and oldest lake of the world.
  • Belarus and pre Baltic countries: We believe “Regular is Mundane.” Moving beyond the archetypes, we bring some very exciting sojourns to undiscovered exotic land of Belarus and other former Soviet countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania that offers tailor-made itineraries to suit any taste.
  • Kazakhstan: Ninth largest in the world and Central Asia’s economically most advance country, Kazakhstan offers some of the greatest adventure of life in its windswept lake-dotted vast steppes, high mountains and lush valleys and wildlife. Besides exploring Baikonur Cosmodrome, world’s first and the largest space launch facility, combined with hedonistic city nightlife, dazzling shopping centres, wide green leafy avenues of Almaty and museums are some other lifetime experiences that one can enjoy.

Brand strategy

Salvia as a travel brand in India has always been identified with travel to Russia and to some extent the other former Soviet countries also known as CIS countries. Since its inception in 2000/2001, Salvia’s brand positioning has been singularly unique that no other company in travel business in India can boast of, that is, brand Salvia is today synonymous with travel to Russia and the former Soviet countries.


Salvia is already the biggest industry brand for travel to Russia. Going forward our strategy will be to further strengthen our relevance to the entire former Soviet region as we see huge untapped and latent opportunity in this region when it comes to promoting outbound travel from India to this region.

Vision for 2018

Our mantra for 2018 is “Regular is Mundane.” In travel what is popular or common is often boring for the well – heeled and discerning tourist travellers. And therefore our vision for 2018 is not just to excite but also challenge the travel industry with a whole bouquet of unconventional tourism products from Russia and the other former Soviet regions.

Prashant Chaudhary, President, Salvia Travels

(As told to Sudipta Dev)


Destination’s new attractions


Ellona Pereira

The new Zugspitze cable car, which was officially opened on  December 21, 2017, will be in full swing over the coming months, parallel to regular hours of operation. During construction work, Zugspitze visitors are offered the rare opportunity to witness a technical masterpiece in the making and experience Germany’s most spectacular building site at first hand. The cable car’s inaugural journey will mark the beginning of a new era, one in which the state-of-the-art Zugspitze cable car whisks passengers up to the highest mountain in the country in unparalleled comfort. Six years of planning and construction, sometimes under the most challenging of conditions at 3,000 metres above sea level, have been invested in this superlative project which is an indisputable highlight not only for Bayerische Zugspitzbahn Bergbahn AG, but also the entire tourism-dominated region.

In the cold weather, the Nymphenburg Palace canal becomes Munich’s longest curling track. Thanks to the shallow water, an icy cover quickly forms across the 500 metres between Gerner Bridge and Hubertusstraße. Beginners and experts are both equally welcome here. Curling teams can also come into their own in the park café’s beer garden. In winter, the beer benches are cleared away and two long ice rinks are set up in their place. The winter season gives the best opportunity to see the roofs of the old town as they look like they’d been dusted with sugar. From the tower of Old St Peter’s Church or the Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall), you can see the entire city centre and on some days, even some of the Alps in the background, too. Visibility can be especially good in winter that’s when it is worth taking a trip to the Olympiaturm (Olympia Tower). You are also protected from the cold by a pane of glass.

Brand strategy

Munich has been in the past participated in several trade shows but in the coming year we will reiterate our interest in India as a major source market and also strengthen relations with the existing travel agents and we look forward to make new partners.

Vision for 2018

The year 2017 has been good for Munich as far as the Indian arrival figures are concerned. The highlight of the year was Munich’s participation in the travel trade shows with the Jewels of Romantic Europe. Besides, Munich was earlier considered as a gateway destination for Eastern Europe but now this has been reckoned as one of the upcoming MICE destinations in Europe. We look forward to promote Munich as one of the luxury and MICE destinations of the year 2018.

Ellona Pereira, Senior Manager, Sales, Munich Buzz Travel Marketing

(As told to Saloni Bhatia)


Destination’s new attractions


Pooja Sabharwal

Holland is a beautiful country with plethora of attractions that attract visitors from India all-year-round. This year on  April 1, 2017 ‘Zip Holland’ opened its gates for adventure seekers. It is the the most unique zipline in The Netherlands, that covers a distance of 350 metres, starting from the Bungy Tower and zipping down over the Scheveningse Pier, along the Ferris Wheel and back down to the beach with speeds up to 70 km/h. Efteling, a fantasy-themed amusement park in Kaatsheuvel in the Netherlands is now being promoted extensively among the Indian travellers. The attractions there are based on elements from ancient myths and legends, fairy tales, fables, and folklore. A great new experience awaits anyone who visits Madurodam: Nieuw Amsterdam. It is an immersive attraction where you go back in time to experience New Amsterdam in the 17th century. One can also see the Dutch roots of New York at Madurodam through Nieuw Amsterdam.

Brand strategy

The HollandCity strategy consists of three parts: districts, storylines and event strategy. The objective is to distribute tourism across all seasons and the entire country. With our motto ‘Supporting the known, introducing the new’, we are presenting the Netherlands in a different way to tourists and business visitors. We will continue to promote popular destinations and cities, while highlighting lesser known sights and regions as well. Our promotional strategies majorly revolve around themes and attractions, including shopping, festivals and celebrations, nightlife, castles, soft adventures, tulips, wildlife viewing, windmills, food and beverages and cultural expeditions.

Vision for 2018

Destination Holland holds the vision of promoting the Netherlands beyond Amsterdam and making it a must go-to country in every European itinerary. We are looking forward to sustaining and adding further on the double-digit growth in the year 2018.

Pooja Sabharwal, Account Director, Destination Holland, India Buzz Travel Marketing

(As told to Saloni Bhatia)


Destination’s new attractions


Sheema Vohra

The United States of America, being a large country, has a mature tourism infrastructure with the most diverse and comprehensive tourism product offerings in the world. There are new museums, theme parks, shopping outlets, hotels and resorts etc opening up regularly across the country.

Brand strategy

The US offers Indian travellers a range of destinations and experiences to choose from. Over the years the country has witnessed a constant increase in the number of tourists from India. To keep this momentum going and to inspire more and more Indian travellers to visit the USA, Brand USA has implemented several initiatives in the India market. The year 2017 had been designated as the US – India Travel and Tourism Partnership Year’. The objective was to effectively position the United States and India towards increased trade in travel services by bringing the governments and the private sectors in both countries together. It also creates an opportunity for Brand USA to bring new programming opportunities in the India market to its US domestic partners. The initiative will also create inroads for the US travel industry with the India travel trade, and to facilitate better connections and opportunities to promote travel from India to the United States.

We are also focusing on expanded co-operative marketing programmes and B2B marketing initiatives, product development, besides ongoing consumer marketing. Brand USA’s consumer campaigns are meant to welcome prospective travellers to come explore the endless opportunities in the USA, and show how far they can go – geographically, spiritually, and emotionally.

Vision for 2018

Our vision for 2018 is to expand the quantity of US travel product offerings in the India market, while simultaneously increasing awareness of destinations and attractions beyond the major gateway cities. USA has an unparalleled range of holiday products and experiences, unmatched by any other destination in the world.

Sheema Vohra, Managing Director – India, Brand USA