‘Indian travellers will soon be in top 10 list for US’

New Delhi, Sep 11 (IANS) Thinking of a holiday in the pristine wilderness of America or to try your luck in a casino in Las Vegas? Well, that is exactly what Brand USA is looking for. They are going all out to attract more tourists from here and are hopeful that India will figure in its top 10 countries list very soon.

“In 2014, India was ranked 11th amongst the top 20 tourist generating countries for the US with 961,790 arrivals, an increase of 11.9 percent over the previous year according to the US Department of Commerce. By 2021 we expect 1.85 million tourists from India,” Carroll Rheem, vice president, research and analytics, Brand USA told IANS.

The Obama administration has set a goal of attracting 100 million annual international visitors to the US by 2021.

The Brand USA, a public-private partnership initiative, was established by the Travel Promotion Act to spearhead the global marketing effort to promote the US as a premier travel destination. It started four years back and the Indian representative office is over two years old.

“It is a platform created to showcase destinations in the US and to promote travel and trade. In 2015, we will cross the mark of 1 million visitors,” she added.

Brand USA have partnered with 33 countries so far and India is one of its key targets. “We expect India to be in the top 10 list soon.”

Asked about how the mission strategises to increase the inflow of tourists, she said: “We will do a lot of social media promotion and digital marketing to touch that number. We will build enough offers in the market. It is very important to reach the people at the appropriate time.”

Chicago-born Rheem, whose parents are from Korea and migrated to the US in the 1970s, said the UK and Japan had been historically the largest tourist market for the US. But now the country is focusing to draw more tourists from Latin America and Asia.

The country is eyeing a higher tourist inflow from India, banking on a friendly visa regime and better air connectivity.

“The US has seen tremendous growth in airlift from the Middle East and Europe in the recent past,” Rheem said.

Brand USA delegation, with 43 participants from 31 companies, has already travelled across Mumbai and Chennai.

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