Prashant Narayan

Which all will be the potential destinations that will bring in valuable returns to your business as well as economy of the country?

Prime Minister Modi’s new government has ushered in a new era for Destination India courtesy its pro-tourism initiatives: phased launch of e-visa facility to over 43 countries, together with the introduction of Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) has built critical mass-momentum and infused much-needed demand into the under leveraged inbound sector (40 countries account for 90 per cent of FTAs -foreign tourist arrivals- in India; and the scheme already seeing an increase of 7% in FTAs for the period January- October, 2014).

The recent increase in hotel inventory at tourist locations certainly is an encouraging initiative. We consider this to be a positive development as this will lead to rate correction at tourist locations and spur demand, both from overseas and domestic. With the entry of newer carriers and Visa on arrival facility getting an approval, there is huge potential of creating a huge competitive space – both a challenge and an opportunity – overall a positive development with correction in pricing, rationalisation and a balanced perspective. Not only is it expected to see a surge from last minute travelers but also the demand for Meetings & Conventions has already been witnessing an increasing growth with the addition of good hotels with convention facilities

For the coming year, we at Thomas Cook India see countries like US, Canada, Russia, and Latin America continuing to be the driving sources inbound markets contributing returns to the economy of the country and China, South Korea and Far East adding to the numbers of the traditional source markets.