India is the natural choice for a number of tourism destinations and its been a popular practice for destinations within mega destinations aiming to connect with the Indian travel fraternity. Visit Houston, is set to showcase itself and connect with potential tourism trade partners to take forward their business initiatives. Their objective is to introduce the destination to the Indian travellers for them to experience what the fourth largest city in the United States has to offer in the leisure and the MICE space. Their plan is to focus on the vast shopping options in Houston, culinary and cultural tourism and also the Space Center Houston, as their top attraction.
According to Jorge Franz, senior vice president of tourism, Visit Houston, “Houston is known to be a very authentic American destination. It is very diverse and thus, very welcoming. We have one of the largest Indian populations in the United States and that has heavily influenced the growth of travelers from India to Houston. I think the fact that we are home to Space Center Houston and NASA, the core of America’s space program is our key asset. With the immense interest that many Indians have in high tech and engineering, this will be our primary promotional tool and advantage.” Their aim is to first present the product to a specific target market, namely, families and couples who have already visited the United States. They are keen to connect with travellers who are looking for the next place to travel in the USA as they understand though not a first timers choice, they are confident to bring the second or third time traveller to the USA over to Houston.
Speaking about the India market, Franz, added that, “I was particularly impressed by the knowledge that many Indians in the tourism industry already have about Houston. That VFR traffic has really helped us. I also saw an opportunity for Houston with Incentive travel. Lastly, I was also impressed by how quickly the whole industry has evolved since my first visit to India 10 years ago. I’m a big believer in slow, steady growth. To increase travel to Houston, we must first show real long term commitment to the Indian market. The good thing is that we are here for the long haul”
Adding further to his opinion is Rati Dhodapkar, CEO. East West Marketing- India, “We are very happy that Visit Houston has come to India to promote Houston to the Indian travel fraternity. Houston will add a new dimension to the USA itinerary and give the Indian outbound traveller an opportunity to explore the various attractions that Houston has to offer”