One of the world’s smallest nations is showing interest in Bangalore-based companies, which have highlighted the city on the world map. The city–state of Monaco is spread across just over two square kilometres off the Mediterranean coast. Apart from its size, it is known for opulence, casinos that are popular among well-heeled gambling enthusiasts and its Formula 1 street circuit. But all that, it appears, is not enough. It is trying to persuade Bangalore-based companies to use the place to host corporate events.
It is going the extra mile to woo Indian tourists. Not only does the country promise to arrange Indian cuisine, including vegetarian food, but also elephants and “white horses” for Indian marriages.
With Bangalore emerging as the biggest contributor to corporate tourist traffic from India to Monaco, its officials have landed in the city to expand the market. A delegation from Monaco Government Tourist and Convention Authority (MGTCA) met representatives of a couple of companies to showcase their nation as a destination for conferences. “Bangalore is a big and potential market for us. There have been a few corporate movements to Monaco in the last couple of years,” Guillaume Rose, president of MGTCA, told The Hindu . This initiative coincides with the decline – to an extent – in the number of tourists traditionally coming from its neighbours – France and Italy. This nation, sandwiched between the foothills of the Alps and Mediterranean Sea, is exploring newer markets in India and China, among others.
Currently, Mr. Rose said, about 50,000 Indians tour Monaco annually as day visitors while up to 5,000 tourists stay in the country. “The numbers are increasing every year. India is now the fourth highest contributor from Asia in terms of tourist numbers,” he said.
According to Corinne Kiabski, MGTCA’s press and communications manager, most Indians visit Monaco as part a tour of Europe. “We are here to create awareness that Monaco is cheaper than London or Paris, and can be a perfect location for MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) tourism,” she added.
We want Bollywood
Monte Carlo has been immortalised by Hollywood flicks, including a couple of James Bond movies (Never Say Never Again and Golden Eye), but it is yet to feature in Bollywood.
Hollywood came on its own, MGTCA Communication Manager Corinne Kiabski said, adding that Monaco has not featured in Bollywood so far due to logistical issues. “The country is open to a song sequence or to filming part of a movie. We interacted with at least three leading Bollywood production houses but nothing materialised,” she said.