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Visit London woos Indian tourists

With Indian visitors to London spending more than visitors from Japan last year, Visit London welcomed an official Indian delegation in a bid to secure even more business from the second fastest…

With Indian visitors to London spending more than visitors from Japan last year, Visit London welcomed an official Indian delegation in a bid to secure even more business from the second fastest  growing tourism economy in the world.

In 2006, London welcomed over 212,000 tourists from India with an overall annual spend of £139 million, overtaking spending from Japanese tourists (£123 million) for the first time.

Approximately 90% of bookings in India are made through travel agents and a delegation from the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) is on an inspection visit to the capital, as London bids to host the influential TAAI Annual Convention in 2008.

TAAI is a membership association made up of travel agents, airlines, hotel and tour operators across India making it the largest travel association in the country with around 2000 people attending the Annual Convention.

Martine Ainsworth-Wells from Visit London said: “This is the first time that the Indian travel trade have looked towards Europe to hold their annual convention. We are delighted to welcome the delegation to show them London’s diverse attractions for both leisure and business travellers. If we succeed in winning the bid to host the convention, we could expect to see tourism from India grow by up to 30% in the years following.”

London’s bid to become the host destination for the TAAI 2008 Annual Convention is one of a number of initiatives to encourage Indian tourists to the capital including the appointment of a Visit London overseas representative to promote London directly to the Indian travel trade and consumers.

Supporting the Mayor of London’s programme of activities, Visit London will join a delegation to Mumbai and Delhi in November when the Mayor will meet with officials to encourage tourism, inward investment and study in London and to promote the mutual exchange of activity in these industries between the city and India.

During the summer, Visit London will be supporting “India Now” – the biggest ever celebration of Indian culture in London through three months of activity beginning in August. Taking place across a wide range of venues in the capital the celebrations culminate in an India-themed Festival on London`s Regent Street at the beginning of September.

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