Patricia Hewitt hosts dinner on Indian tourism, sponsored by Matrix Cellular

By Simon Jones |

UK India Business Council Chair, Rt. Hon. Patricia Hewitt recently hosted a dinner sponsored by Delhi-based member Matrix Cellular, India’s largest country specific SIM card provider

Among those attending were representatives from Merlin Entertainments, Taj Hotels, Bicester Village, the Cinnamon Club and London and Partners. The event highlighted the growth of Indian tourism into the UK, both in numbers and spend. The number of Indian travellers overseas still represents only just under 2% of the country’s total population, so the future potential of the Indian travel market is undoubtedly enormous. The UK’s diaspora and historical ties results in more Indian visitors to the UK than Chinese nationals.

Figures from 2006 to 2015 show 350,000 to 420,000 Indians with Chinese visitor numbers from 150,000 to nearly 270,000, a difference of 150,000. Gagan Dugal, Founder & Director of Matrix Cellular said, “There are 20 million outbound travellers from India of which 8 million are business travellers. Close to 1.5 million travel to Europe”. With its GDP growth rate now overtaking China’s and the growth of disposable income in India’s middle class, Indian tourism now offers the industry a major revenue opportunity.

The London dinner also signalled the launch of the multi-services Matrix Travel Companion App, an app which offers both convenience and access to the best deals. Increasingly tourists, from India and worldwide, including from China, are organising their stay through this, accessing savings on purchases of as much as 35%. The interface is very simple and intuitive, is downloaded free and is available on iOS and Android.

The app extends discounts from over 850 of the best lifestyle stores in the world, including Macy’s and Luxury Shoppes in the US, Bicester Village in the UK, Mall of the Emirates, Harbour City in Hong Kong and the Starhill Gallery in Malaysia. Travellers can book over 150,000 attractions globally using the Matrix App, such as Broadway shows like CATS, Aladdin, The Beatles and West End shows like The Lion King. They can buy tickets for the Eiffel Tower, London Zoo, the Grand Canyon, Madame Tussauds, the Louvre Museum, and for Disneyland, Legoland, Thorpe Park and many more. The app avoids the queues for tours of famous venues such as the Vatican museum, the Sistine Chapel, art galleries across the world and much more.

As well as these deals and discounts, the app also enables travellers to book a SIM card and travel insurance, get foreign currency including with debit cards, and it is an easy way to get VAT refunds in several countries.

More details can be found here.

Those attending the dinner also received a copy of the UK India Business Council report “The Indian Tourist and Growth Potential for the UK Tourism Industry”.

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