Following Air India’s announcement that it has committed to daily flights to Birmingham, Visit Birmingham has revealed details of a tourism programme being run in India designed to bring more Indian tourism visitors to the Midlands.
Visit Birmingham, the city’s official leisure tourism body, is currently running a six-month training programme with Kuoni Academy for travel agents in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Amristar. The sessions aim to raise awareness of Birmingham’s attractions, the city’s central location, and its direct air links to Asia, following Air India’s commitment to increase its Birmingham-Delhi-Amristar operation to a daily service from November.
The initiative aims to build on the rising number of visits to Birmingham from India, which saw a 71 per cent increase last year. The city attracts more visitors from India than any other destination in England outside of London.
The aim of the programme, which runs until September, is to train between 200 and 300 travel agents, some of whom already promote the destination, as well as new agents. The workshops will provide grounding in Greater Birmingham’s tourism offer, as well as the city’s new developments in 2015, which include the £600m redevelopment of New Street station and the new Grand Central shopping complex.
“Approximately 80 per cent of the Indian market book through a travel intermediary, so it made sense to invest time in launching our first training workshops in India to showcase to agents what our region has to offer,” said Visit Birmingham’s Director of Marketing Services Emma Gray.
“Tourism plays a huge part in Birmingham’s economic success – with a £5.1bn boost in 2012. Initial sessions have been well received, so we look forward to welcoming a new wave of Indian visitors to the city as a result of this training programme and further campaigns in the Asian market next year,” she added.
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