Published on : Friday, July 12, 2013
To further promote USA as a destination of choice to Indian outbound travellers originating from South India, VUSACOM (Visit USA Committee), supported by the US Commerce Department, launched its Bangalore Chapter here on the 4th July. Under the leadership of VUSACOM India -President Ashwini Kakkar and Vice President Manoj Gursahani, this is the third chapter to be set up in India after Mumbai and New Delhi. The India committee comprises of leading travel companies that are promoting USA, State Tourism Boards, attractions, hotels and airlines, in addition to Honorary Committee Members from the U.S. Consulate General.
Speaking on the choice of the city Gauri Jayaram, President, Bangalore Chapter said “Bangalore is significant from the perspective of its strategic location in South India and the opportunity it offers to grow the MICE (Meeting Incentive Convention and Exhibitions) as well as educational exchange business.”
The main objective of VUSACOM is to enhance tourist traffic from India to USA, to facilitate simpler Visa processing practices and act as a platform for Travel Agents and USA Tour Suppliers to work closely with each other. Earlier this year a meeting between VUSACOM Bangalore Chapter and the U.S. Department of Commerce was attended by Consul General Chennai to discuss plans to meet the mutual objectives of growing tourism to U.S.A.
Recently, the U.S. Department of State implemented a program that will allow certain applicants to apply for visas without being interviewed in person by a U.S. consular officer. This will make it easier for Indian citizens to obtain visas to visit the U.S. for business meetings and also take time to enjoy the many tourist and cultural activities that America has to offer.
Despite it being the fourth most visited country for Indians, travelling to America continues to be aspirational to many Indians. Apart from the urban attractions, the more popular destinations with Indian travellers are America’s natural wonders, historic landmarks and entertainment venues. With India being one of the key markets, the US currently attracts 660,000 Indian visitors annually – a 20% increase over last year. It is nursing a target of 1 million Indian tourists by 2015. This increase in travel of Indians to the United States is indicative not just of America’s welcoming atmosphere, but also of the strengthening relations our two countries.
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