With a growing interest in India amongst Canadians, tour operator Services International welcomed a full house last night to the second of three agent receptions in the Toronto area.
Nearly 40 travel agents attended The Host restaurant in Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood, a repeat performance of the night before (where the first event this week was held), said Garima Shamsukha, Services International’s business development manager for Canada. A third event will be held tonight (April 6) at The Host’s Mississauga location.
Services International, which has conducted tours in India since 1977, offers almost 80 customizable travel packages (including India, Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet and Sri Lanka) which travel agents can view and customize at www.india-travelpackages.com. The company has made recent in-roads in the Canadian market and with interest in India as a travel destination continuing to grow in Canada, Shamsukha cited a desire by agents to learn more about the country as a factor in the events’ strong attendance.
“2017 is shaping up to be the year of India and we are getting an overwhelming response at our events,” she told PAX. “India is in the spotlight and agents are learning more about the country, so now they want to start selling it.”
With agent education top of mind for Services International, the company also offers agent FAM trips throughout the year, which can be taken at any time during which the FAM operates. The FAMs include the Golden Triangle (which agents can take from April 1 to Sept. 30, 2017) and Kerala (operated from May 1 to Sept. 30, 2017).
India Tourism Director Anil Oraw, who provided guests with an update on travel to India, echoed that sentiment, adding that the interest in India travel amongst Canadians can also be seen with the recent launch of Brussels Airlines’ Toronto-Mumbai flight last week, which will be followed by Air Canada's launch of Toronto-Mumbai service this summer.
“The interest is very high,” Oraw said. “The time has come for India. Our objective is to let the travel agents know about our destination and we’ve invited the agents to come to India so in turn they can sell even more.”