India to expand tourism promotion to Brunei

National 1 minute, 44 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

INDIA is set to expand its tourism promotion to the sultanate this year as part of its bid to draw some 900,000 visitors from Southeast Asia, an increase of 15 per cent from the previous year.

R K Suman, assistant director of the India Tourism Office in Singapore, said he plans to roll out promotional activities and campaigns across ASEAN to include Brunei, Cambodia and Laos, countries which were excluded in last year’s marketing strategy for the region.

“We have a wide range of promotional programmes in the ASEAN region,” he was recently quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India.

The elaborate move to attract a surge of ASEAN visitors will include tourism promotion through the media and television networks as well as public buses with advertisements featuring Indian tourist attractions.

Additionally, India’s marketing campaign will also be featured on billboards at shopping malls and public places in the region.

The assistant director said he would continue their tourism promotion this year through special seminars, forums and networking sessions as well as participation in annual travel, tour and hospitality exhibitions held in ASEAN’s major cities.

It was reported that Southeast Asian tourist traffic into India has been on the rise from 540,910 in 2012 to 628,955 in 2013 and 685,805 in 2014.

“We are expecting a 15 per cent increase in Southeast Asian tourists visiting India this year, especially boosted by the introduction of e-Visas and our promotional campaign across the region,” said Suman.

He also noted an estimated 10 per cent increase in 2015 with over 754,000 visitors.

India opened its electronic visa service to Bruneian passport holders in February, enabling travellers from the sultanate to visit the South Asian nation with greater convenience.

“Brunei’s inclusion completes the introduction of the scheme to all ASEAN members and hopefully lays the groundwork for more connections to be made between the countries,” said Anil Wadha, Secretary (East) of India’s Ministry of External Affairs.

He said previously that he anticipated the introduction of the e-Visa service would help boost the number of travellers from the sultanate to India.

The Brunei Times