The status gave the country a greatly enhanced profile at WTM London 2016, highlighting its attractions to the world’s key source markets and international media.
India became WTM London 2016’s headline partner to promote its increased airline services and $300 million investment in tourism infrastructure.
The country was looking to agree deals with almost 10,000 senior buyers to help attract more than 13 million annual visitors by 2020 – up from 9 million in 2016.
WTM London facilitates £2.8 billion in industry business deals from almost one million business meetings, not including the speed networking events and meetings held at pre-appointment sessions.
Neela Lad, deputy director general at India’s tourism ministry, hailed the Premier Partnership as a “great success”. She added: “The huge exposure India achieved during the campaign has led to the 16% year-on-year increase of international visitors into India during January 2017,”, adding that this was significantly higher than the 7% year-on-year increase seen in January 2016.
“Furthermore, the increased on-site exposure at WTM London 2016 saw us hold many more meetings with buyers than in previous years,” she added.
“We are close to signing many deals from WTM London, which will help to further increase the number of international arrivals to India.
“The Premier Partnership has already paid for itself through the increase in business deals that have been agreed.”
Simon Press, WTM London senior exhibition director, added: “Being Premier Partner put India in prime position to promote its tourism offering to almost 10,000 of the world’s most important buyers through the WTM Buyers’ Club.”