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Serbia focuses on India market

In an effort to attract more outbound Indian tourists, the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia, is concentrating its efforts to highlight Serbia as an interesting tourist destination for Indians

Archana SharmaNew Delhi

In an effort to attract more outbound Indian tourists, the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia, is concentrating its efforts to highlight Serbia as an interesting tourist destination for Indians. According to Vladimir Maric, ambassador, Embassy of the Republic of Serbia, the Serbian Tourist Board will soon be launching a campaign focusing the Indian outbound traveller. “Since tourist arrivals from India presently are almost negligible, the Serbian Embassy will be focusing on creating awareness about Serbian tourist destinations for the India market. The Serbian Tourist Board will also come up with concrete plans and campaigns specifically for the India market in 2016, while also identifying the main fairs and trade travel marts for particapitaion, ensuring the presence of Serbia as a tourist destination across India,” he added.

According to the records of the National Tourism Organisation of Serbia, more than one million foreign tourists visited Serbia in 2014 and the number of foreign visits increased by 12 per cent in comparison with 2013 and taking into account several previous years, the evident trend is that the number has been increasing to about 10-14 per cent on annual basis.

Maric also talked about focusing on the younger generation, especially due to the tourist offerings present in Serbia. “Serbia is a special destination for the younger generation due to its vibrant nightlife, with the number of pubs, bars and cafes which are open throughout the night. Besides, there are numerous cultural entertainment activities and a lot of sporting events happening throughout the year in Serbia. Thus, our target audience for promoting tourism would be high-end younger generation travellers in the age group starting from early 20s, looking forward to explore newer destinations,” he said. Maric also believes that Serbia is a more affordable destination in comparison to other European destinations.

Maric informed that since November 2014 Serbia has started giving visa-free entry for up to 90 days to Indian nationals holding valid Schengen/ UK and USA visas, and Air Serbia, partly owned by Etihad Airways, operates connecting flights via Abu Dhabi that reach Serbia in about 10 hours. Maric also stated that they are hoping for tourists to stay for an average of four-five days or for a weekend rather than making Serbia a long staying destination.

Talking about creating further awareness about Serbia as a tourist destination, Maric stated that they are hoping to create itineraries covering Serbia with the tour operators and travel agents. He also informed that being a smaller region in comparison, Serbia will also encourage joint promotional campaigns with any of the neighbouring destinations for regional packages as a long-haul travel option for Indian visitors.

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