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Wingspan promotes unexplored attractions of CIS countries, Russia

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Wingspan is a 16 year old company that has always had a strong focus on Russia and the CIS markets. The company has been assiduously promoting destinations like Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia and Armenia in India. While Russia and lately Uzbekistan have been growing in popularity in the last few years, most of these countries are unexplored destinations, both for the Indian leisure traveller and the outbound MICE segment. “We felt there was a strong need to popularise these destinations, particularly in western India, where people want to try new destinations and do not know about CIS countries. Each of these places have cosmopolitan cities with modern infrastructure, good shopping malls, historic sites, cultural attractions and so on,” said Tasneem Udaipurwala, director, Wingspan. “These are unexplored sites – you do not see them in movies, in books, on the Facebook. The people are also friendly,” added Udaipurwala, pointing out that importantly, in terms of currency, it makes a huge difference as the exchange rates are favourable.

These are all value for money destinations – for a group or a MICE traveller within a budget of US$ 50-80 per day per person, including stay and three meals. “These destinations can also be an ideal three nights stay holiday / incentive package from India. The whole package would cost between `50,000 to `60,000, including fun-packed excursions with all meals,” informed Udaipurwala.

A new interest in eastern Europe in the last few years has made a difference. Russia has been a popular MICE destination in the last few years, Uzbekistan has also generated a lot of interest. All these places have night life, casinos and shopping. “Today a lot of people are asking for Uzbekistan. Similarly, there is a renewed interest in Russia. When we promote destinations like Armenia, Georgia, Croatia, people are excited about going there though they might not know how to go about it,” acknowledged Udaipurwala. She felt that among these countries Armenia is a destination that would be of much interest to Indian traveller because of its diversity and beauty. Air Arabia connects well to Armenia.

The fact that the tourism boards of these countries are not proactive in India, is a challenge. “We are working with the B2B network to promote these destinations and educating the industry,” stated Udaipurwala.

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