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May 02, 2012

Turkey And Eastern Europe Draw Indian Touristst

http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/karnataka/article3374690.ece

02 May 2012

Bangalore: Well-heeled Indian travellers are looking at alternatives to popular destinations abroad.

Though the South East Asian circuit — Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore — continues to remain popular, along with London and Paris, Indians are now looking for newer destinations, Nikhil Ganju, country manager of TripAdvisor India, told mediapersons here on Tuesday.

“A small niche audience is opting for destinations that are not much explored. These include Istanbul in Turkey and cities in Eastern Europe. Interest in Amsterdam is also increasing,” he said, providing details on trends based on travellers' preference.

Interest in newer destinations are developing also due to the marketing initiatives taken up by the respective countries, he said, adding that Turkey and South Africa were ideal examples of how initiatives by the tourism authorities could propel tourist numbers. “South Africa, which was a new destination for Indian travellers a couple of years ago, is now among the mainstream destinations.” Hong Kong, Las Vegas and Mauritius also continue to remain in the top 10 foreign destinations for Indians, he added. For domestic tourists, the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, Guwahati and Shillong in the north-east, and Wayanad in Kerala are the emerging destinations.

The online platform for tour planning and booking is picking up, he said. Without revealing the hits to TripAdvisor, he claimed that they have grown eight times over the last four years.

At a time when the use of smart mobile is set to increase, TripAdvisor has launched several initiatives. “A survey conducted by us has revealed that mobile devices are set to become the new travel essentials,” Mr. Ganju, said.