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Tuesday, 31 March, 2015, 17 : 00 PM [IST]

Serbia eyes tapping high-end young travellers from Indian market

Having enjoyed cordial bilateral relations with India, the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia, New Delhi intends to spread awareness about the destination and target potential young travellers. “We are a new destination in the Indian market and what makes us stand out, among other things, is the vibrant nightlife. We have a number of pubs, bars and cafes which are open throughout the night. Besides, round the year numerous cultural, entertainment, traditional and sporting events are held in Serbia. Thus, our target audience for promoting tourism would be the high-end younger travellers in the age group starting from early 20s, looking forward to explore newer destinations. Moreover, Serbia is affordable compared to the other European destinations,” said Vladimir Maric, Ambassador of Serbia in India.

Serbia houses a number of mountains, rivers, lakes and offers a rural set-up for adventure sports such as skiing, river rafting, mountain biking and paragliding. “I would recommend visitors to book a home-stay accommodation approved by the National Tourism Organisation of Serbia in any of the villages to get an authentic experience of Serbian culture, traditions and food. Plenty of spas and river cruising options are also available for tourists visiting the country. We feel that there is immense opportunity to invest in the Wellness Tourism segment of Serbia,” said Maric.

In a significant move, 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. On the connectivity front flag carrier Air Serbia, partly owned by Etihad Airways, operates connecting flights via Abu Dhabi that reach Serbia in about 10 hours.

From the beginning of 2016, the National Tourism Organisation of Serbia will ensure creating its presence in the leading travel trade marts in India, added Maric. “The tourist arrival from India to Serbia is almost negligible and thus this year the Serbian Embassy in New Delhi would solely be focussing on spreading the awareness about the destination in India. We are hoping also to establish connections, for Indian boys and girls to attend famous Serbian sports camps, be it for basketball, football or tennis. Serbia is a sports loving nation. Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic has been world’s number one for some time. He and our other famous sportsperson are the best global ambassadors that we have,” he said.

The Embassy of the Republic of Serbia, New Delhi would also be utilising the huge space at the Embassy to conduct educational workshops for tour operators and travel agents. Partnership with the carriers connecting India to Serbia is also on the cards. A joint promotional campaign with any of the neighbouring destinations could also be endorsed as a long-haul travel option for Indian visitors.
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