Atout France’s recently concluded annual showcase saw a record-breaking participation of 29 French-Indian delegates representing a collection of myriad tourism offerings in France. The delegates comprised of an interesting mix of established partners and new entrants in the form of newer regions making a foray into the market. A large contingent of the delegation was from the Auvergne-Rhône Alpes region that showcased its plethora of alpine destinations and activities to the discerning Indian traveller. Held between 12-16 September, the showcase commenced in Mumbai, travelled to Kolkatta for the first time with a finale in Delhi. The workshop also included opportunities for hosted buyers from outstation cities to interact with the visiting delegates.
The roadshow provided ideal opportunities for visiting delegates to interact and network with members of the travel trade fraternity in all 3 cities and establish synergies. A grand soirée held in Mumbai unveiled Atout France’s objective of showcasing its “pôles d’excellence” or areas of expertise – one of them being nightlife in France. The theme of the soirée was a French evening that recreated the French art de vivre in Mumbai. From wine tasting experiences to a celebrity cocktail mixologist infusing French elements in her heady cocktails, the soirée brought to life the true flavours of France and added an interesting facet on how to best enjoy a French evening.
Addressing the gathering, Sheetal Munshaw – Director Atout France India was pleased to announce India’s encouraging growth in Indian arrival figures to France that touched the 5,00,000 mark in 2015. India’s largest incentive movement to France comprising of 2200 passengers also took place in December 2015 enhancing France’s positioning as a preferred incentive destination. Ms Munshaw also emphasized the growing influence of Bollywood and its positive impact on tourism. With the much awaited Yash Raj’s Befikre shot in its entirety in France this April (to be released in December this year) and last year’s Tamasha shot partly on location in Corsica, France is steadily gaining favour with Indian film-makers.
Bridging the gap between French and Indian sensibilities, Ms Munshaw also announced the launch of a first ever MOOC (Massive Online Programme) for the French travel industry enabling them to better understand the Indian market specificities and in turn better serving the Indian traveller. Optimizing on France’s popularity as a wedding destination, a destination wedding guide was released this summer in France to better acquaint the French travel and hospitality industry with the nuances of planning the Big Fat Indian Wedding.