VUSACOM-India Chapter officially inaugurated by US Secretary of Commerce John Bryson

Leading Tour Operators urge simpler US visas to boost business tourism

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March 30, 2012 marked the official inauguration ceremony of VUSACOM-India, by US Secretary of Commerce, John Bryson. The event held at the Ball Room of Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai, was an evening of speeches by the President and Vice President of VUSACOM-India, followed by a special address by Secretary Bryson. This was followed by the traditional “lighting of the lamp” and “unveiling of the curtain”, symbolic of the Committee’s official launch! The distinguished audience included many prominent members of the travel industry.

VUSACOM (Visit-USA Committee) has a presence in over 40 countries. The Indian Chapter has recently been established at the behest of the US Commercial Service, with the main purpose of increasing tourist arrivals from India to the US. It is a “Not-For-Profit”, Section 25 Company, and will function under the support and guidance of the US Consulate. 

In the opening speech for the evening, President of VUSACOM-India, Ashwini Kakkar said that, after a 9-month-long process of setting up, and establishing itself as a “Not-for-Profit” Company under Section 25 of the Companies Act, VUSACOM-India was indeed delighted to have John Bryson officially “kick-off” the Committee. He said, “The main purpose of the Committee is to promote increased arrivals of Indians into the US”.

VUSACOM-India’s Executive Committee consists of eminent personalities from the Travel, Tourism and Hospitality industry. The Committee has plans for aggressive expansion on a pan-India basis. It is poised to establish many new regional chapters by the end of this year. Speaking about the Committee’s plans for expansion, Vice President Manoj Gursahani stated “We will be setting up Chapters in mini-metros like Jaipur, Nagpur, Surat, Coimbatore, Chandigarh, and others also, because there is a lot of growth and a spurt of SMEs in these regions.” Mr. Gursahani added that the official website of the Committee:, driven by advanced technology, would soon be developed into an interactive medium that members could use to facilitate easy connections with Hoteliers as well as Travel and Hospitality companies in the US.

Secretary Bryson, in his address, said that under President Obama, the US Government was working closely with the travel and tourism industry, and was looking at their “National Tourist Strategy” as an important contributor to the economy in the future. He added that India was an important part of this strategy. He said that “Brand USA” ( was launched under public-private partnership with the idea of helping people in the travel industry in countries like India, help clients get around the US easily.

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