US woos Indian tourists

HYDERABAD, AUG. 22 | Mumbai
Article Link: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/international/article3807419.ece?textsize=large&test=1
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The United States is seeking to woo Indian tourists inviting them to explore and enjoy the vast country and its diversity.

The US Commercial Service, part of the US Consulate General, is promoting travel and tourism with a focus on attracting conventions as a part of the MICE focus. MICE refer to meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions.

A high-powered Brand USA team is slated to visit India with a focus on attracting Indian tourists and promoting tourism back home, according to Ashwini Kakkar, President, Vusacom, and a well known name in travel and tourism industry.

Vusacom, that is Visit USA Committee, has been formed last year with a focus on bringing together various players in the travel and tourism industry, hospitality players, airliners etc with the sole objective of promoting tourism to the US and facilitating visitors.

Several chapters have been formed and more members are getting enrolled, he said.

The Consul General of US Consulate in Hyderabad, Katherine Dhanani, said traditionally there has not been much focus on attracting tourists. But this needs to change as the potential is huge.

Promoting US tourism is part of the President, Barack Obama’s National Export Initiative. In 2011, the United States welcomed more than 660,000 visitors from India.

Referring to visa for tourists, a senior official of the US Consulate said that 70 per cent of the applicants last year (during October 2010 and September 2011) were granted visas. Various consulates in India issued 3,08,373 visas under B1/B2 category that is business and tourist visas.