Where’s the MICE & leisure crowd headed?

TravTalk asks a few select travel agents in Mumbai who conduct outbound tours about some of the new and exciting destinations that their clients are asking about for leisure and MICE.

Vishal Suri, Managing Director, SOTC Travel

Some of the top destinations of 2017 are likely to be Croatia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Bali, Dubai, Japan, Tuscany, Scandinavia, South Africa, Cuba, Mexico and Azerbaijan. Vietnam is popular as a stress-free destination with visa on arrival for Indians and good connectivity. Scandinavian countries continue to attract Indians.

Veneeta Rawat, Director, Amazing Vacations

We see a sharp rise for Japan this year, for both leisure and MICE. It is great for us as 2017 has been announced as Indo-Japan year. The main tourism draw is the Sakura in Japan which is a gorgeous time to visit. Also, we see an increase in the Australasia segment of Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. Our bets are on these destinations for the coming season for leisure and also MICE.

Madhuri Kanga, Owner, Ahura Travels

A lot of our clients are now asking for Croatia, Iceland and Cambodia beyond the regular Angkor Wat. We are also witnessing a lot of queries for the new and upcoming Ras Al Khaimah. It is a stone’s throw away from Dubai and is known for outdoor activities like desert safari, sailing and go-karting.

Shantanu Chand, CEO, Go Beyond

We are getting a lot of inquiries for Madagascar, the land of King Julien from the movie of the same name. Madagascar is known for its tall Baobab trees, beaches and of course the lemurs. These queries are from honeymooners and couples only, and not families and groups. We were one of the first if not the first to start promoting Madagascar seven years ago. It seems to be picking up now.

Rajat Bagaria, CEO, Shrishti Holidays

This year we have seen demand for river cruising in Europe and Far East. Cherry Blossom season in Japan was in demand, though availabilities were a bit difficult. Israel has been in demand by the seasoned traveller. We have tourists travelling to all parts of the world now, and we cannot really call any destination as new. What is more important is the activity they want like cycling, trekking, self-drives and hot air balloon. So it’s the old destinations with a difference.

Rosita Haribal, Director, Travel Forte

We have been getting a lot of queries for Japan. Most travellers have not been to this part of the world as it is an expensive destination. Another region that seems to be getting a lot of attention is Eastern Europe which is far less explored than the rest of the continent. These queries are mostly by doctors for holidays with their families. Even South American countries like Brazil and Argentina are getting queries.

Dharmesh Advani, Director, Bombay Travels

Since we have a lot of senior citizen clients, we get a lot of queries for destinations that are close to India. Vietnam is popular because of its good connectivity from India and option for flexible budgets. It is also very safe with easy visa process and friendly people, which fits perfectly with my clientele.

Iqbal Mulla., Chairman, Treasure India

Some of the new destinations outside India which our clients would like to explore are Zanzibar, Croatia, Georgia and Seychellesas these places are less explored, have great historic relics to see and are within their budget. Our clients are also asking about islands that are unexplored and can be included in the itinerary for at least a day trip during their cruise trips.

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