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Indian Ambassador To Ireland H. E. Mr. Akhilesh Mishra In A Tête-à-tête With Mr. Arvind Sharma, Editor-in-Chief TravTour MICE

Indian Ambassador To Ireland H. E. Mr. Akhilesh Mishra In A Tête-à-tête With Mr. Arvind Sharma, Editor-in-Chief TravTour MICE

India recently opened its skies for international tourist flights after two long years which has paved the way for global travellers to visit our country. TravTour MICE recently spoke to Indian Ambassdor to Ireland H.E. Shri Akhilesh Mishra about the tourism possibilities between India and Ireland. We present the excerpts from his valuable views for our readers in the form of our questions and his answers:


Q. Please elaborate the significance of India as a tourism
destination in the Irish market.

A: Ireland, with its population of just 5 million received 11.3
million tourists in 2019 before Corona and generated about 6
billion Euros in revenue. US (27%), UK(25%), Germany (8%)
and France (5%) accounted for almost two-thirds of the overall
overseas tourism revenue generated by Ireland. Number of
Indian tourists visiting Ireland before the pandemic was around
50,000. The share of Indian tourists visiting Ireland is very
small relating to Ireland’s inbound travellers as well as India’s
outbound travellers, over 30 million. India is a major player
in tourism sector. With the fastest growing major economy in
the world, very large base of upwardly mobile and aspirational
middle-class and rapidly expanding eco-system of vibrant
start-up and youth-led enterprises, India’s role is becoming
ever more prominent in global tourism industry. India is the
second largest travel outbound market in Asia and the size of
India’s outbound tourism market is estimated to be US$42
billion by 2024. So, there is huge potential for Ireland to attract
Indian tourists.

Q. What is the market share of outbound tourism from
Ireland to India?

A: Before the pandemic about 40-50 thousand Irish tourists
visited India annually. As of now, India’s share in Ireland’s
outbound travel is not particularly significant.

Q. What are the strategies of Govt. of India to attract Irish
MICE management companies to India?

A: India and Ireland are both fast growing economies. India is
the third largest economy in Purchasing Power Parity, GDP over
$ 11.5 trillion, estimated to grow by 8.2% this year. Similarly,
Ireland, with GDP of about half-a-trillion dollar is the fastest
growing economy in EU, and has over €260 billion in goods
trade and €550 billion in Services trade. It is a hub of 1600
MNCs, including 9 out of 10 world’s top ICT companies, 13
out of 15 world’s top medical devices companies, 9 out of 10
top global pharma companies, 40% of world’s aircraft leasing,
about 30,000 start-ups. Post-Brexit, Ireland is the only English speaking member of European Union and provides unique
trans-Atlantic connectivity with US. However, the current India-Ireland bilateral engagement is much below potential. A major factor behind low level of engagement is lack of mutual awareness about remarkable transformations taking place in the two countries.
So, the most important action point on both sides is to
broaden the awareness about unique travel attractions India and
Ireland offer. In this context, the Embassy is engaging relevant
Irish circles in business, culture, academia and travel industry
to identify opportunities for mutually enriching engagement
between our two countries in different sectors including
tourism. The Indian diaspora is growing, currently about 50
thousand, and Ireland is becoming a popular destination for
Indian students seeking high-quality technical and professional
education. With the rapidly expanding over 1600 multinational
companies in Ireland, there is significant role for Indian
professionals to play. These are creating dynamics for wider
India-Ireland connectivity.

Q. In your opinion, what role does marketing play to
promote a country like ours in the current scenario.

A: There is limited awareness in India about stunning
transformation of Ireland from being a farming-based low
income economy to a tech-driven, knowledge-based economy
with second highest per capita income in the European
Union. Similarly, the people of Ireland do not seem to be fully
aware of the breathtaking socio-economic, technological and
entrepreneurial transformation India is going through under the
leadership of Honourable Prime Minister Modi, which is creating
unprecedented opportunities for international partnerships,
with Ireland. Therefore, the role of sustained and systematic,
comprehensive market strategy cannot be over-emphasised.
Since, both Ireland and India are passionate about art, literature
& culture, the promotion of tourism has to involve a wider
network of stakeholders not only in the traditional areas of
travel and tourism but also entertainment, film and creative
industries.

Q. Now, when the international skies are open, where do
you see the foreign tourist arrivals into India in the next
one year from now?

A: Based on the initial inputs from India as well as in Ireland,
the revival of the international travel and tourism has been
quite encouraging. We are quite optimistic about significant
expansion of India’s inbound and outbound tourism in next
year.