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8 June, 2006 - 08:07 By Staff Reporter

Passage to India for Norfolk firm’s tourism expertise

A Norfolk company that provides tourism qualifications is exporting its product to India, with help from UK Trade & Investment.

A Norfolk company that provides tourism qualifications is exporting its product to India, with help from UK Trade & Investment.

Geoprojects, based in Knapton, offers the well-known International Certificate in Travel & Tourism.

It provides online teaching material, texts and syllabuses, which can be used by individual students as a distance learning course, or by tutors in classroom-based tuition.

Geoprojects supplies these courses to more than 340 colleges in the UK but – until they enrolled in UKTI’s Passport to Export scheme one year ago – had no export business.

Now the father and daughter team of Arthur and Katherine Jones are supplying colleges in India, Philippines, Mauritius, Greece and Dubai with the possibility of starting in Lebanon and China shortly.

The company used UKTI’s Passport to Export programme for small companies that are new to export to commission Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS) market research reports into Northern India and Greece, and visited India on a UKTI-assisted trip.

Arthur Jones said: “We had such a positive response from India that we visited the country using matched funding from UKTI’s Passport to Export scheme.

“The British High Commission was fantastic. Before we arrived the staff had found people who were interested in running our courses at their academies. They had visited the colleges and demonstrated our programme.

“The British High Commission is well respected in India and that certainly helped because people were instantly interested in the proposal.

“Now we have set up centres in Delhi and Kolkata and hope to set up in Bombay in a few weeks’ time. When I return, I know I will see the same adviser.

“Without the financial help and practical assistance from UKTI it would have been impossible to set up in India. Now our presence there is growing rapidly.”

Geoprojects also linked up with the International Association of Travel and Tourism and the package of Geoprojects courses and membership of IATT is proving a winner.

John Rimmer, international trade adviser at East of England International, which delivers UKTI services in the region said: “The tourism trade in developing countries is enormous and growing.

“These markets are looking to companies such as Geoprojects to help create standards of excellence.

“We enrolled them in the Passport to Export programme. They commissioned Overseas Market Introduction Service reports into Greece and India, and visited India on a UKTI-assisted programme.

“Arthur Jones is well-respected in his field and is able to offer a qualification which is internationally renowned. He is going to be a big star for UKTI.”

 

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