Destination heads happy with 2017


Haitham Mattar, Chief Executive Officer, RAKTDA

The launch of the world’s longest zip line at Jebel Jais in December; a viewing deck near the summit and Season 2 of ViaFerrata at the summit were some important achievements in 2017. India is currently the fourth largest international source market for visitors to the destination. Indian tourist arrivals increased by 19.2 per cent in the first ten months of 2017. With international tourism arrivals to the emirate rising 12 per cent year-on year in the first ten months of 2017, RAK is on course to reach its target of 900,000 visitors by the year-end. We are also optimistic about attaining our goal of a million visitors by the end of next year and 2.9 million by the end of 2025.

Nishant Kashikar, Country Manager, India & Gulf, Tourism Australia

The Indian market for Tourism Australia has seen some remarkable growth this year. India as a market topped ninth in terms of tourist arrivals for the year ended September 2017, with the arrival number crossing over 290,000 tourists. It is also the eighth largest market in terms of spend by tourists for the year ended June 2017. We were relatively unaffected by the economic reforms such as demonetisation and the roll-out of GST. Arrivals from India to Australia since the demonetisation period (November 2016 to September 2017) grew at an average of 15 per cent. Tourist spend for the year ended June 2017 was at AUD 1.43 billion (Rs. 7,150 crore), a growth of 30 per cent over the previous year.

Vivek Anand, Country Manager, MTPA India

The year 2017 has been a good one for us despite major hurdles like demonetisation and GST. Yes, things could definitely have been better, but we expect to close this year with an increase of about seven per cent over 2016. Mauritius has seen big strides in the destination wedding segment and we too had a growth of about 30 per cent in that segment there. In addition, we have also seen a healthy growth in the arrival of high-end tourists.

Pranav Kapadia, Founder, Global Destinations

2017 was a roller coaster of a year. Since November 2016, we’ve seen regular ups and downs but it truly has been one of the most exciting and challenging years since I started Global Destinations. Despite all that, we expanded our portfolio of partners. We have also grown our presence in India by appointing a sales representative in Bengaluru for the south market. We now have a local presence in five key markets.

Anjum Lokhandwala, Founder & Director, Outbound Konnections

This year has been very fruitful for us and our existing principals have been extremely happy with the numbers we have reaped. All of them saw double-digit growth in 2017. Our strategy this year was not to bring new accounts but cater well to the existing ones with complete focus. We did face a lot of challenges with GST to a certain extent. Fortunately, we had already managed to achieve our targets for the year and the GST issue did not affect us as much as we expected it to.

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