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Thursday, 03 May, 2018, 11 : 07 AM [IST]

‘India is experiencing a wonderful moment for outbound travel’

The growth of Indian economy is igniting the desire of people to travel abroad. As a result more and more people from the main metros and smaller cities (of India) are visiting several destinations across the world, says Alejandro de la Osa, Director, Commercial, Europamundo, in a freewheeling chat with Prasenjit Chakraborty.
QEuropamundo is doing very good in Indian market. In fact 48% of your total global business comes from India. Why do you think the Indian market is doing so well?
First of all, Europamundo has undertaken extensive effort in India. The Indian team of Europamundo has been constantly disseminating information and giving presentations to the Indian travel trade. Secondly, India is a huge country which is also an advantage for us. I observed an interesting similarity between America and India. 25 years ago people belonging to middle class in America had started thinking that they should travel abroad. Today, India is also experiencing the same and people here have developed the urge to visit different parts of the world. I think this is a wonderful moment for the country and believe that more and more people from India will travel outside this country in the days to come.

QWhat are the significant changes you have observed with regards to the Indian market? Why people want to visit other countries?
I strongly feel that every market has its own moment, so is India. Of course there are several factors responsible for this. For example, the economy of India is growing which led people, especially the middle class to think visit other countries. Besides, presence of international media further giving fillip in this direction as they are showing interesting places of different countries.

QWhat are your latest innovative steps to attract more Indian guests?
We have one global product for the English-speaking market and in this we have nearly 200 tours for different parts of the world. This year we came out with specific products for Indian people where we will offer Indian food to them.

QWhich regions of India are you concentrating more?
We are working with our key distributors like Cox and Kings, Travel Tours, MakeMyTrip, etc. and they are covering the entire country. Travel Tours is no longer restricted to Southern region rather it has established its presence pan India after merger with Flight Shop. Similarly Cox and Kings with its 152 franchisees are strong enough to cover the entire length and breadth of the country. And

MakeMyTrip is known for the digital workshops platform hence it serves our purpose efficiently. Our product is available every nook and corner of the country due to the strength of our distributors. In fact, it is very encouraging for us this year to have groups consisting of 10-12 people from destinations like Indore, Raipur, Bhatinda, etc. This is something that we wouldn’t have imagined.

QIn 2017-18 the target was 3,000 passengers from India. What are the final figures?
We surpassed that figure and this year in terms of number we are looking at 10,000 passengers.

QAre you planning any specific step for the Indian market?
Most of our strategies need to be global as guests from different countries travel with us. For example, last year people from 81 nationalities travelled with us. Hence our product needs to be truly international and our approach is same towards Indian travel trade. No doubt, India is a very important market for us and by virtue of that we have 14 itineraries with Indian meals. Going forward, the international spirit will remain, but as and when conveniently possible the focus of Indian meal will be there. We also have to keep in mind that there are people from India who want experience many things, and food is one of them.

QStill if I asked you which region contributes more to your sale?
Europamundo has grown as a company in the region. We have a simple, friendly real time reservation system in place and the team has been training the trade consistently.

QWhat is the USP of Europamundo?
We also launched our new 3600 videos which will allow a person to experience the tour sitting at home, not only that he/she through this device will also come to know about destinations, activities and optional excursions in detail.

Besides this, our USP also lies in flexibility, completely B2B, and children of all age groups are allowed to travel. We do not cancel our tours.

QYou spoke about North, West and South of India. What about North-Eastern region of the country?
Our first round of work on the North East region was done last year. In the coming months we will be doing extensive works in the area. We found a market in the region as people there are very much interested to travel abroad.
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