In India recently to meet up with the important people of the travel trade and media, a high-profile delegation from San Francisco, laid down the strategy to make India its No.1 tourist source market. Here are some key points from their presentation, importance of India market for them and their strategy to take the numbers higher.
Priyanka Saxena Ray
A huge team comprising senior officials from the San Francisco Travel Association recently toured the cities of New Delhi and Mumbai to interact with the local travel trade and members from the media. Put together by the team of Sartha Global, who officially handle destination San Francisco in the India market, one can safely say the interactions couldn’t have been better planned or organised. The delegation consisted of Joe D’Alessandro, President and CEO, San Francisco Travel Association; Hubertus Funke, Executive Vice President and Chief Tourism Officer, San Francisco Travel Association; Howard Pickett, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, San Francisco Travel Association; Percy Stevens, Director, Global Tourism Development, San Francisco Travel Association and Nan Keeton, Deputy Museum Director, External Relations, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
San Francisco, with 16 direct weekly flights from India (keeping the recently added United connection in mind) and as many as 6 five-star hotels opening this year alone, the destination is aptly positioned as the hub to receive maximum traffic from the country. The most walkable city, which is also the great starting point for many road trips, San Francisco has many Indian inspired restaurants and a nightlife that is buzzing with plenty of options.
“India lies in one of the top 10 markets for us. It currently stands at No. 7 in tourism and at No. 3 in terms of spend. Tourism is the number one driver of our economy thus India as a source market is very important for us. In 2019 so far, we have already seen a 5% growth in visitation and +7.7% in “spends”. Ours is the only airport in the state of California that offers 16 direct weekly flights from India. There are some major events planned in the city for 2020 and we are looking forward to an increased traffic from the country,” shared Joe.
A new highlight about the meet was the presentation on San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which receives a million visitors every year. “We are not just a regular museum but a hub of innovation and inspiration. It is interesting to note that around 48% of our visitors are under the age of 35 and the average stay time at the Museum is 90 mins. With 3 dining options inside, I can assure this museum has lots to keep you engaged,” added Nan.
Concluding the event, Sheema Vohra, Managing Director, Sartha Global Marketing LLP, shared, “San Francisco is one of the safest cities in America. Since people are on their feet all the time, one rarely do come across a scary patch. San Francisco is also a great destination for MICE as there are numerous convention venues and options available.”