U.S. Ambassador to India Richard R. Verma and Kelly Craighead, Executive Director, National Travel and Tourism Office, U.S. Department of Commerce, will inaugurate the Brand USA pavilion at the South Asia Travel and Tourism Expo (SATTE) 2016 to be held January 29-31, 2016, in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, India. “I welcome Kelly to India to participate in SATTE. Indians represent one of the fastest growing groups of visitors to the United States. President Obama is committed to a national strategy to encourage travelers to choose the United States as a travel and tourism destination, and Kelly’s visit reinforces the U.S. government’s commitment to welcoming more Indian visitors to our country.”
Ms. Craighead will attend SATTE where she will interact with the Indian travel and tourism sector; work with an inter-agency committee at the U.S. Embassy on a strategy to attract Indian visitors to the United States; and strengthen the partnership with Brand USA as Mission India’s official partner to promote travel and tourism to the United States.
“Visitors from India spent $9.8 billion experiencing the United States in 2014, representing our seventh largest international market for visitor spending,” said Ms. Craighead. “As such, I am thrilled to be in India for SATTE to celebrate the importance of the Indian travel and tourism market to the United States and to encourage more travel in the future.”
The Lieutenant Governor of the State of Nevada, Mark Hutchison, will also be in India to attend SATTE and to hold a series of outreach meetings with leaders in the travel and tourism sector. The State of Nevada has recently appointed a permanent representative in India in order to encourage the continued growth of Indian visitors to Las Vegas and other areas of Nevada.
Tourism from India to the United States has been rapidly increasing. In 2014, more than 900,000 Indians applied for visas to travel to the United States. By year end 2015, that number surpassed 1 million. Over half of these visitors travel to the U.S. for leisure: visiting friends and family and/or as tourists. In addition to the important leisure sector, the U.S. Embassy and four Consulates in India have implemented a coordinated effort to encourage more MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conference and Exhibitions) travel to the United States.