Scandinavian Tourist Board conducted its annual three-city roadshow in Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai to apprise the trade about new offerings of the region and its upcoming plans for the India market. The region is expecting to record at least 15 per cent growth by 2017 end.
The tourist board met approximately 100 travel agents in Delhi and Chennai each and about 150 travel agents in Mumbai, where they discussed the opportunities to further grow the market to Scandinavian countries. “We are expecting to record over 15 per cent growth in Indian bed nights in 2017 over 2016 with 350,000 Indian bed nights recorded year-to-date. We have seen a tremendous growth in interest towards Scandinavia with some markets in the region witnessing a 20 per cent growth too. All segments have shown growth, be it leisure, honeymoons or the incentive market from India. Our focus has been on Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru but we have also seen other cities showing interest as well,” says Mohit Batra, India Representative, Scandinavian Tourist Board.
He explains, that all three capitals of these Scandinavian countries are connected through Emirates Airways and now with Air India’s direct flight to Stockholm and Copenhagen, Scandinavia is much closer home than ever before. He adds, “I am aware that some companies like MakeMyTrip have aggressive plans where the fixed departures are almost 10 times for the next year as compared to this year.” Batra further points out a shifting trend where the younger travellers are taking to Scandinavia as their first experience of Europe. “Though I feel that the Indian tour operators have a good sense of the market, I hope to see better products being sold in the market,” comments Batra.
Denmark usually records a significant growth from the India market but in 2016 the destination recorded a decrease in the numbers due to a very high rate of occupancies in Copenhagen, informed Flemming Bruhn, Director, Visit Denmark. “The problem is lack of rooms at the destination but we are already working on the solution. We are building new hotels and we ensure a 20 per cent increase for the next two years.” He also feels that with enhanced connectivity on Air India connecting Copenhagen and Stockholm, the region can expect good numbers in 2018. “We have developed five signature routes of Denmark that present the best of the destination within a week. We have witnessed a trend among the India travellers where they are no longer combining too many countries in one itinerary and allow for an immersive experience of say two destinations at most in 8-10 days,” adds Bruhn.
Per Holte, Market Director Tourism—Asia and New Developing Markets, Innovation Norway, informs, “We expect an approximate 20 per cent growth from this year from the India market. So far, we saw fairly old-aged Indian travellers but more recently, we are witnessing a new segment of younger travellers and young families wishing to take road trips in few areas at the destination.”
Ruth Dolla, Project Manager India, Visit Sweden informs that the destination recorded about 167,000 Indian visitors in 2016 and based on the current calculation, by the end of 2017, Sweden would have recoded an 18 per cent growth in the Indian arrival figures. “The month-on-month increase is much more, about 35 per cent. Indians traditionally have been travelling to southern Europe but they now want to travel to new destinations, so I think it’s a natural growth and it’s only going to go up from there,” says Dolla.