Tag Archives: india tourism

How Tourism can Revive the India Story

India is on its way to becoming one of the greatest nations in the world. Some, like Masayoshi Son, the founder-CEO of SoftBank, back this statement not with mere words but capital, while others believe in its very essence and are committed to acting on their conviction.
I’m among the believers, and this is why I think tourism will go a long way in kick-starting India, in making India! Speaking from the perspective of a travel startup, I will now seek to analyse how the sector can help create jobs, reduce inequality and empower various social sectors.

Tourism India

Empowering Local Businesses
Consider the individual who lives in his own house in a village, with a small plot of farm land. He eats fresh food, breathes fresh air and has a social circle. Forced to leave his home, he travels to the city, where he lives in dirty shanties looking for daily wage work and has no access to education or healthcare.

Tourism is perfectly placed to promote reverse migration. We are able to put to use resources that are locally available and create a sustainable business for local communities.

Take, for instance, Orchha, a small town in Madhya Pradesh with a population of just 9,000. Orchha’s rich heritage makes it a popular tourist destination. Locals started to work in Orchha’s famous hotels as the tourist inflow gathered pace. Many went on to become entrepreneurs, opening cafes or retail stores. Some are expert guides and conduct tours. The local activities and crafts of the area are thus thriving.

A smaller example is that of Sattal, a hamlet in the hills 15 km from Nainital. The boatmen of Sattal were extremely poor as they waited for busloads of people to come from Nainital for day picnics, which happened only in the peak season of April, May and June. While each boat ride cost Rs 200, the boatman would earn only Rs 50. They earned barely Rs 50,000 for the entire year.

The first hotel started operations in Sattal in 2011, and provided guests with complimentary boating. Soon, customers started trickling in even during the lean season. In that first year, 2,000 customers stayed at the resort. As occupancy rose, so did the boatmen’s income.

At Rs 200 per trip, the boatmen were totally able to earn Rs 4,00,000 from us alone! Given 10 boats, it still meant Rs 40,000 per boatman only from us, almost equivalent to what they earned from day tourists. And then something else happened. As Sattal became a well-known tourist destination, new resorts and hotels came up. The number of boats increased several fold. In just a few years, tourism enabled the entire village of Sattal to generate ample employment and prosper.

Linking Micro Supply Chains
The plight of marginal farmers is a constant source of contention, with economists propagating further price reduction in agricultural commodities. Meanwhile, customers still pay high prices owing to supply and logistics constraints. So how does tourism help?

Meet Bashir Khan, a marginal farmer in Ramgarh who has a 1,000-square yard plot. He grows lemon grass, a herb popular for its oil extract. From his sparse available land, Bashir produces roughly 500 ml of oil a day. While the unsuspecting customer usually bought the oil at Rs 200-500 per 50 ml bottle, Bashir was forced to sell his produce for a meagre Rs 150 per litre! Impressed with the quality of extract and the low prices, tourists heading to Ramgarh started to buy the oil directly from Bashir. Surprised at the price he offered, they educated him about the demand and prices of comparable products in Delhi. Bashir now supplies to retail shops in Delhi.

Tourism has this ability to create a market for local products and match demand at that very destination, all while keeping prices attractive for customers.

Reviving Arts And Crafts
Indian design has been applauded for ages, yet, absurdly, we see Indian towns, cities and even the more affluent villages emulate western design, with concrete structures and the modern architecture of the West. Ironically, the poorest villages retain forgotten Indian designs — mud structures, thatched roofs and tiles, and make for the most beautiful settings.

Close to Mhaismal, a small hill station near Aurangabad, are the last two remaining households that work on the beautiful — but vanishing — metal art form of Bidri. Today, it’s in desperate need of support in the region. As resorts opened in Mhaismal, customers were able to visit the craftsmen’s homes and appreciate their art. One discerning guest even ordered the metalworks for her website, and as orders poured in, the Bidri trend caught on.

Tourism can revive arts that were once lost. Tourists can visit craftsmen, see their works and create new channels of demand. Its power in reshaping and rejuvenating the Indian economy should not be underestimated.

Source: yourstory.com

Amitabh, Priyanka New Faces of Incredible India

Film stars Amitabh Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra will now woo tourists through the Incredible India campaign. Actor Aamir Khan, who was the face of the campaign for 10 years, is being replaced after his November 2015 comment on rising intolerance in India.

Despite a decision being taken on the new brand ambassadors, a formal communication is awaited, a source in the tourism ministry said. It is, however, clear that neither Bachchan nor Chopra would charge any fee for the project. Even Khan’s endorsement was free of cost.

Amitabh Bachchan

The contract will be for three years, ending in 2019. The next Lok Sabha election is slated for the same year.

Officials in the tourism ministry said this is the first time contracts will be signed directly with the actors, without any marketing agency coming in between.

However, a new agency will be appointed through tendering for various aspects of the campaign.

“Both Amitabh Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra are globally recognised faces. Incredible India as a campaign requires brand ambassadors that have an audience both within and outside India,’’ N Chandramouli, chief executive officer, TRA, publishers of The Brand Trust Report, said. Bachchan already has such a base, while Priyanka has developed one, positioning herself as a multi-faceted personality, who sings, acts in Hindi movies as well as American TV shows, he said. “So yes, the choice is apt in that sense.”

Priyanka Chopra

Bachchan is currently promoting brand Gujarat too.

According to the 2015 Brand Trust Report, Bachchan, 73, was the most trusted male cinema personality, while Chopra (33) came in at number two as the most trusted female personality after Katrina Kaif.

Recently, Amitabh Kant, secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), defended the government’s stand to replace Khan. Kant, who played a key role in creating the Incredible India campaign in 2002, said Khan had damaged the brand identity of the country with his remarks. “A brand ambassador promotes a brand. People will come to India and tourist flows will increase only if the brand ambassador promotes India as incredible India,” he said.

Santosh Desai, managing director and chief executive officer, Future Brands, said the new brand ambassadors are expected to take note of this and be cautious when making public statements. “With opportunity comes responsibility. Both Amitabh and Priyanka are representing the country as Incredible India brand ambassadors and will make statements on issues carefully.”
Earlier this month, tourism ministry had said that its contract was with McCann Worldwide and that it was coming to an end. Subsequently, tourism minister for state Mahesh Sharma had tweeted that ”Aamir Khan ceases to be the mascot for government’s Incredible India campaign, contract for which has expired.” The ministry did not hire Aamir Khan, Sharma had said.

Khan, on his part had said, “it is the prerogative of the government to decide whether they need a brand ambassador for any campaign, and if so, who that ambassador should be.” He had added, ”whether I am brand ambassador or not, India will remain Incredible, and that’s the way it should be,” he said.

Source: www.business-standard.com

Govt to Launch 6 New Circuits to Boost Tourism in India

Government will soon launch six tourist circuits in a big way to provide a boost to the sector.

 

“Our aim is to create better infrastructure for facilitating tourists to visit more places,” Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma said at a tourism investors’ meet organised by FICCI here today.

Government will soon launch six tourist circuits in a big way to provide a boost to the sector.

He said the government has finalised a blue print for growth of tourism and more tourist circuits will be added soon.

 

“We will be launching six tourist circuits soon. They are Ramayan Circuit, Desert Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit and Rural Circuit,” Sharma said.

 

Tourism Ministry has already been working on launching spiritual circuits across the country which include Buddhist Circuit, Jain Circuit and Sufi Circuit.

 

“Work on Ramayan Circuit is already on and soon we will come out with a detailed plan for other circuits as well,” he said.

 

The minister lamented that though India has picturesque beaches and mountain ranges, its tourists prefer to go abroad and suggested that tourism sector was losing because of “perception”.

 

beaches in Andaman and Nicobar
Beaches in Andaman and Nicobar

“Our beaches in Andaman and Nicobar are the best in the world. India’s share of Himalayas is also maximum. But Indian tourists go to foreign countries to see their beaches and mountains,” Sharma said and added, “It is because of the aggressive marketing approach of the hoteliers and airline operators of those countries.”

 

The Tourism Minister also admitted that medical tourism was lagging behind in the country despite the prevailing cheap treatment cost here. “Indian doctors are doing well in many foreign countries. Our treatment cost is very less in comparison to other countries. A bypass surgery is eight times cheaper here than abroad. But still we are unable to tap that market,” he pointed out.

 

Sharma also emphasised on developing the right perception, saying it is important for attracting tourists. “Let us propagate the brighter side of our destinations
than highlighting uglier side only,” he said.

 

Sharing his personal experience, he said that he was denied morning walk in Johannesburg for safety and security reasons. “I was politely told not to venture out of the hotel for my morning walk in Johannesburg as the place was not secured.
But there are so many international advisories on India which affect the tourism sector,” he said.

 

Assuring support, Sharma sought cooperation of private players to make Indian destinations popular.

 

Source: www.ibnlive.com