KAHINI CHAKRABORTY – Mumbai
The travel fraternity along with the US Commercial Consulate have come together to form a new Visit USA Committee (VUSACOM). The main objective of VUSACOM is to increase the number of arrivals from India to the US from the current 12th standing in tourist arrivals into the US to single digits. VUSACOM is supported by Richard Rothman, US Commercial Consul and his office. Ashwini Kakkar, MD, Mercury Travels is the chairman of the committee, while the other core committee members include Richard Rothman; Aliagar Motivala, US Commercial Section; Marsha McDaniel, US Commercial Section; Madhavan Menon, MD, Thomas Cook; Manoj Gursahani, chairman, Travelmartindia; Rajiv Duggal, MD, Kuoni India; Karan Singh, VP, Cox and Kings; Sudhir Patil of Kesari Tours; Bharat Patil of Raja Rani Travel; Nalin Kapadia of Incredible Vacations; Sanjay Arya of Uniglobe Keshav Travels; John Nair, head business travel, Cox and Kings; Ma Ravi Shankar, CEO, Vacations Exotica; Sheema Vora, president, Sartha Marketing Consultants; Shampa Dhali, director, global sales, Marriott Hotels India; Vaishali Fernandes, sales manager, global sales, Marriott Hotels India; Mark Mendes, managing director, Discover the World Marketing – India. VUSACOM will function from TravelMartIndia office in Mahim, Mumbai.
Talking about how VUSACOM will aid in helping the travel trade, Gursahani said, “VUSACOM membership comprises of travel agents, tour operators, hoteliers , airlines, DMC’s, etc. VUSACOM will create awareness amongst its members about the various new destinations/places of attraction in the US. It will facilitate B2B meetings between tour operators/ travel agents in India with the US based suppliers like hoteliers, airlines, DMC’s, attractions, etc.” When asked about the expectation in terms of increase in visa issuance post VUSACOM’s formation, Gursahani informed that more than 4,90,000 non-immigrant visas were issued during fiscal year FY 2011, an increase of 4.3 per cent from FY2010. “VUSACOM expects that post their launch and various promotional activities, it should increase by another 10 per cent,” added Gursahani.
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