KAHINI CHAKRABORTY – Mumbai
After receiving about 25,000 Indian travellers to Rhone-Alps last year, its tourism board is looking at aggressively targeting the FIT and MICE segments from the Indian market. To increase the number of tourists in the following years, the board is going to highlight destinations such as Lyon, Chamonix-Mount Blanc, Lake Annecy and Aravis mountains, Evian, Cotes du Rhone and Beaujolais region. This information was divulged by Barbara Breheret, representative for India, Rhone-Alps Tourism, during the workshop jointly organised with Emirates Airline for travel agents in Mumbai on the occasion of new flight services launched to Lyon. Lyon is France’s second-largest city and also popular as a wine region in Europe.
“The objective of organising the workshop was to create greater understanding about the selling aspects of Lyon and its offerings. We have a lot to offer since Paris is close to Lyon-honeymoon, heritage, culture, adventure, leisure, food and wine. With 70 per cent of our clientele being from Mumbai and Delhi, we are now looking at targeting other tier I and tier II cities such as Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Ludhiana. Since we want to sell niche products we are not targeting much of group travellers,” she added. Apart from having their presence during roadshows organised by Atout France, the Rhone-Alps tourism is also studying options of organising more workshops in the Indian market. Emirates Airline operates 185 weekly flights to 10 Indian destinations. The airline additionally operates 33 weekly flights from France.
Commenting on the workshop Essa Sulaiman Ahmad, vice president -India & Nepal, Emirates Airline said, “This workshop highlights the airline’s commitment towards Lyon. This new initiative will benefit Lyon’s tourism sector by bringing more visitors from India. Emirates Airline is working firmly to promote Lyon across our network and continuing our support of Rhone-Alps tourism by partnering with them.”