CHESTER hosted the first fact-finding visit by a journalist from India this week.
Times of India associate editor, Jug Suraiya, was greeted at the end of his 4,500 mile journey by a salute from a Roman legionnaire and afternoon tea at the Chester Grosvenor & Spa, accompanied by his wife, Bunny.
Living in Delhi, Jug is an award-winning columnist and travel writer, becoming the first Asian to win the Pacific Asia Travel Association gold award for travel writing.
The two-day visit, hosted by tourism board, Visit Chester & Cheshire, included a tour of some of Cheshire’s finest gardens.
“Jug’s interest in Chester-Cheshire as a destination is a direct result of our growing reputation on the world stage as a region of quality, choice and value,” said Visit Chester & Cheshire Director of Operations, Barrie Kelly.
Jonathan Slater, managing director of The Chester Grosvenor and Spa, added: “We were delighted to host the visit and hope that Jug’s experiences will inspire others to see for themselves what Cheshire has to offer.”
According to Visit Britain market research, in 2006, there were an estimated five million outbound visits from India. There are forecast to be 9.4 million trips by 2011, an increase of 87%.
The UK’s market share of Indian visitors was 7.2% in 2006. This forecast is set to remain static in 2011.
Britain remains seventh in the league for travel from India with London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leicester and Reading among the top UK destinations.