VUSACOM prepares roadmap to increase tourist flow to US

Pune, Wed Mar 07 2012, 01:44 hrs
Article Link: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/vusacom-prepares-roadmap-to-increase-tourist-flow-to-us/921041/

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In a bid to increase tourist flow to the US, the Indian chapter of Visit USA Committee (VUSACOM) that started functioning from Mumbai four months back, is branching to cities like Pune. VUSACOM is organising roadshows and will be opening its offices in several cities to facilitate people in getting visas and thereby increasing tourist arrivals from India to the US.

Manoj Gursahani, vice-president, VUSACOM said, “On an annual basis 6,50,000 tourists visit the US from India and our target is to increase it to 1 million in the next few years.”

VUSACOM, a non-profit initiative, is supported by the US commerce department. “The committee comprises leading travel companies in India and the number of members is increasing rapidly,” an official said.

Gursahani said this tourism promotion effort comes in the backdrop of US President Barack Obama’s speech in Florida’s Disneyland, on January. He had said that in the years ahead more tourists will come from countries with rapidly growing economies, huge population and emerging middle class.

As per statistics, despite the slowdown seen in the the last few years, Indians visiting the US spend 5 times more at premium retail outlets there. “Indian tourists visiting America in 2010 spent an average of $4,390 totalling a staggering $2.86 billion for 6, 51,000 visitors. According to a report by The International Trade Administration, the US anticipates a 50 per cent increase in travellers from India by 2016,” an official associated with the VUSACOM said.

The initiatives VUSACOM is taking include facilitation of visa, encouragement of group travel through holding of meetings incentive conference exhibition and events, acting as a business to business platform for travel agents and facilitation of meetings with different US tour suppliers.