Catalonia aims for direct air connectivity from India
Archana Sharma – New Delhi
Looking to boost Indian visitor arrivals into Catalonia, the Catalonia Tourism Board and the Government of Catalonia will soon announce direct connectivity between India and Spain. Commenting on the same, Suprio Bose, trade commissioner, Government of Catalonia, elaborated on the official manifesto in accordance with the Catalonia President’s visit to India in November 2013 resulting in a tripartite city charter. “The official announcement is still pending, however, the route will be Madrid-Barcelona to India. Air India would be serving from Delhi while Jet Airways will be connecting Mumbai with the other two cities,” he said. Bose expects the plans to be implemented by the end of 2015 and stated that there has been more than 40 per cent increase in seat capacities essentially by carriers like Qatar Airways and Emirates, through the Middle East to Barcelona and Madrid. The Catalonia Tourism Board will also be working closely with the Network of MICE Agents (NIMA) wherein they will be introducing new and innovative activities as well as venues to MICE groups and promoting Catalonia as a solo destination. According to David Miro, Asia-Pacific director, Catalan Tourist Board, Government of Catalonia, “We have been focusing on the India market since 2012 and we plan to reach one lakh Indian visitors by the end of 2015, initially the traffic was about 50,000 tourists.”
Miro also informed that the tourism board will invite MICE agents from India for ‘Buy Catalonia’ international B2B workshop, which will take place in mid-June 2015 in Barcelona. He also talked about undertaking various promotional strategies to encourage tourism in Catalonia beyond Barcelona.
Gajesh Girdhar, patron, founder and national coordinator, NIMA, and Rakesh Arora, coordinator, membership and registrations, NIMA, talked about holding their first conference in Catalonia in 2016.