With an increasing number of Indian leisure travellers going to foreign shores, lesser-known countries are making space for themselves on travel brochures.
Upwardly mobile regular vacationers are looking for options beyond London and New York.
While tourism boards from Croatia and Slovenian recently made their maiden visit to Mumbai, Monaco, a small nation flanked by France and Italy, opened an office in Delhi a few months ago.
Industry sources claim that Czech Republic will be setting up their tourism shop in India by December. South American destinations such as Brazil and Argentina too have planned promotional road shows later this year.
“India will be a leading source of outbound leisure market travellers,” said Niko Bulic, director general, Croatian Tourism Board, which is looking to tap second-time European travellers.
The interest in India is not surprising, with the country’s outbound travel market growing at 10.3 per cent a year, despite the global downturn in 2008.
“This growing class of affluent travellers is the key target segment for Monaco,” said Rajeev Nangia, director, Monaco Tourism Board (India).
The country, which has witnessed a 20 per cent rise in tourists from India between 2009 and 2010, is mainly drawing high net value individuals (people worth at least $1 million) to explore its shopping, gastronomy and nightlife.
Slovenia is mainly wooing small groups, adventure lovers and sports enthusiasts. Croatia wants to position itself as an addition on itineraries including Paris, Rome and London.
That Indians are trying out new holiday spots can be seen from popular summer vacation destinations. In 2010, Jordan, a year-old entrant on the Indian tourism scene, saw Indian tourists almost double from 6,500 last year. Turkey, another relatively new player, recorded a 20 per cent growth over last year.