India is one of the world’s fastest growing travel markets. In the past five years, Ireland has recorded a sizeable increase in tourist arrivals from India with an estimated 38,000 Indian visitors to the island of Ireland in 2018, a 9% year on year growth.
In 2015, the British Irish Visa Scheme (BIVS) was launched in India which allows tourists, business visitors etc. to visit both Ireland and the UK, including Northern Ireland, on a single visa. BIVS has been a fantastic breakthrough for increasing tourism from India to Ireland.
Great Britain annually attracts over 400,000 tourists from India and with BIVS this audience becomes a potential opportunity for Ireland. Since its introduction, there has been a significant increase in the total number of Ireland itineraries being marketed by Indian tour operators
With the increased air connectivity, Luxury Group and Incentive Travel from India to the island of Ireland has grown significantly. In the first 9 months of 2019, Ireland attracted 16% more Luxury Group and Incentive Travel over the same period last year.
Air access to the island of Ireland from India continues to grow. There are numerous flights originating from different cities in India with stopovers in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. Emirates, Etihad Airways, Turkish Airlines and Qatar Airways have flights to Dublin via their respective hubs which offer great connectivity to key and secondary cities in India.
Virgin Atlantic has recently relaunched its daily direct operations between Mumbai and London Heathrow, complementing its long-established route between London and Delhi. Onward connections to Dublin from London are very frequent.
Why should you target this market?
Tourism Ireland has been working continuously to promote the island of Ireland in India. According to WTTC, India ranked 3rd among 185 countries in terms of travel & tourism’s total contribution to GDP in 2018. In 2019 the number of agents featuring Ireland has increased by 11% with 313 itineraries of Ireland being sold.
The UK is one of the top three most popular long-haul destinations for Indian tourists, according to research revealed at WTM London 2019, showing phenomenal growth up 15% compared to 2018. A quarter of all Indian arrivals staying more than 22 nights. This is a great opportunity as Ireland is an easy extension to the UK with the BIVS.
We hope to continue to work with island of Ireland industry in 2020 to promote business and grow holiday bookings from this vital market.
How to work with this market
Throughout the year there are many ways we can work with you to promote your product or service to the India market through e-marketing promotion and in-market events. These opportunities offer great value for investment and are tailor-made to drive success for your business. Also while working with the India market following to be noted:-
- Indians travel with families and appreciate booking discounts such as, kids stay free
- Indian consumers are interested in luxury products
- Indian consumers enjoy scenic imagery
- Like to try local and Indian meals
- Indians are very active on social media. Provide free WiFi to encourage them to share their experiences
- India Sales Mission in January 2020 targeting 2 key cities – Mumbai and Delhi.
- Increased focus on social media with regular posts on dedicated Ireland Facebook India page to optimise our presence in India
- Regular ezines sent to trade and consumers
- Increased co-op marketing with trade and airline partners and media activities generating more high-value publicity opportunities
to view our market snapshot and here
for top tips for catering to visitors from India
Market contact: Huzan Fraser Motivala