Exclusive Interview with Romit Theophilus, Director, German National Tourist Office, India
Germany’s National Tourist Office (GNTO), India, is taking part in ITB India, promoting what is already a popular European destination. We asked Romit Theophilus, Director, German National Tourist Office, India, what regions and themes his organisation is primarily promoting at the show.
We are showcasing Germany as an all-round destination highlighting our core theme for 2021, which is “Geman.Local.Culture”. We are doing this by promoting the authentic life in Germany’s small to medium-sized cities, for their exciting, often unknown highlights, presenting them as attractive destinations.
However, in light of the current situation and the ongoing travel restrictions, our aim is also to promote virtual experiences in Germany by focusing on our empathy campaign #DiscoverGermanyFromHome. In doing so, we invite the travel trade to discover Germany as a travel destination virtually, thereby strengthening contact with potential visitors to Germany.
At ITB India, GNTO aims to catch the attention of the travel trade, whilst maximising virtual appointments and showcasing alternate offers beyond the familiar tourist hot-spots. These include green spaces, parks, local recreation areas and leisure activities in the vicinity of urban destinations, as the Corona pandemic has disproportionately affected city breaks.
How important is the outbound Indian market for Germany, and what are the projections for coming years?
Destination Germany continues to be one of the most sought-after travel destinations for Indians travelling abroad. The Northern and Western regions in India are the largest tourism markets for Germany. However, inbound tourism into Germany for coming years depends not just on the situation in Germany but also on what is happening in its source markets. The revival of travel will be gradual despite probable vaccines and presumably the recovery trajectory back to pre-pandemic levels will take up to three years. We are focused on reaching our target of 2 million overnights by 2030.
What would you say are the key “selling points” of Germany as a destination for people from this region?
Germany is an ideal destination for visitors of all ages. It has superb infrastructure to combine exciting city trips, outstanding shopping tours, relaxing wellness breaks, thrilling sporting excursions, carnivals & festivals, self-drive experiences, museums, castles, theme parks and top-notch gastronomy. It also offers great value for money and is reasonably priced. Enjoying a central location in Europe and featuring modern MICE facilities, Germany continues to excel as a meetings destination as well, not just in Europe but all around the world. There is so much to experience and explore in Germany that it cannot be completed in a single visit.
What are your thoughts about the first edition of ITB India?
We are glad to be a part of the first edition of ITB India this year, which offers a unique opportunity to interact with the travel trade virtually during this three-day event. We wish the entire team of ITB India and all the other exhibitors and visitors for a successful and productive event.