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The Manchester-India Tourism Opportunity

Categories: India

India is an incredibly important market in Greater Manchester’s international tourism ambitions and presents significant opportunities for mutual economic growth. The subcontinent is a responsible for nearly 17 million outbound visits a year, with Indian visitors to the UK spending more than £400 million in the UK annually.

At the heart of the UK’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’, Greater Manchester is driving economic growth across the North of England and is an ideal business and trade destination for Indian companies to get a foothold in the UK marketplace.

The region is a fast-growing cosmopolitan conurbation which attracts an international workforce and student population; it is now the second most visited city in England, with an international reputation for sport, culture and entertainment; and is in a privileged position to act as the Gateway to the North of England, providing an ideal base to visit places like York, Chester, Liverpool, the Lake District and the Peak District

This week a high-level Greater Manchester delegation will visit India to explore the mutual benefits of collaboration resulting from the creation of the Manchester India Partnership (MIP), aiming to build and strengthen trade, boost tourism, encourage investment and forge greater academic links.

The MIP delegation will travel to Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi, as well as Bangladesh, joined by local and national partners including the Department for International Trade and VisitBritain.

Alongside a schedule of events showcasing the city-region’s key sector strengths across advanced materials, health innovation, digital, creative and tech, the delegation will also be helping to emphasise opportunities for tourism, culture and sport. This will include high-level meetings with tour operators and travel trade association heads; interviews with B2B and consumer media; and some key tourism partnerships announcements.

The delegation’s main tourism objectives are to increase Manchester’s profile in India as the Gateway to the North of England, to champion improved connectivity between the regions, and support GM-India cultural assets. For example, more than £5 million is being invested to co-curate a new South Asia Gallery that will form the centrepiece of an £11.5 million investment at Manchester Museum, due to open in 2021.

Of course, as a developing market for tourism, the delegation will also be highlighting the Greater Manchester tourism assets that resonate best with Indian visitors: our sport assets - home to two of the largest sporting brands in the world, Manchester United and Manchester City, plus one of the UK’s greatest cricket stadiums, Old Trafford; our fantastic shopping offer; our nightlife and culture – from West End theatre and year-round festivals and events calendar, to our music heritage and world-class museums and galleries; our growing food and drinks scene; and the breadth and depth of unique experiences on offer across the region.

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