Beyond Incredible India!
BUSINESS ECONOMICS|September 16-31, 2019
The ‘Incredible India’ campaign was launched in 2002 by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India to promote India as a global tourist destination. Sagnik Chowdhury, Regional Director (East), India Tourism, spoke to BE’s Aritra Mitra.

Q. How far has the ‘Incredible India’ campaign impacted the Indian tourism sector?

A. It was in 2000 that renewed focus was given to bring inbound tourists to India. For this, the ‘Incredible India’ campaign was initiated in 2002, aimed at capturing the attention of foreign markets. In order to establish India as a global tourist spot, the term ‘Incredible India’ was coined. This campaign ran for many years and has done its job by creating a new outlook for India in the global forum.

Of late, India has focused on sector-based tourism and has achieved significant success. For instance, India has grown into a major medical tourism and wellness tourism hub. The exotic locales of India have helped in the emergence of adventure tourism like skating, mountaineering, camping, paragliding and scuba diving. Due to the geographical diversity, India can be a major hub for adventure sports and the tourism ministry is looking to promote India as an adventure tourism destination. Similarly, the ministry is also promoting golf tourism to attract high-spending tourists. To attract tourists for these different sectors, we have recently started the ‘Incredible India 2.0’ campaign. Earlier, we mainly focused on destination-based tourism but now we have tried to shift our focus to product-based tourism.

Q. What are the marketing objectives of the India Tourism offices abroad?

A. There has been a restructuring of our overseas offices. We have identified our markets and have reduced the number of overseas offices from 14 to seven. We have also opened a new office in Moscow. However, the human resource allocation has remained the same. Apart from this, we have plans for representational offices in potential emerging markets through PR or marketing firms from where people will be informed about the ‘Incredible India’ brand, its products and services. Despite the information available on the internet, there is a need for our offices abroad for the personal touch. If we aim at a meaningful increase in tourist inflow - which is now around 1% of the global tourist volume - expansion of our overseas offices is essential. At present, we are organising thirty road shows globally to capture foreign markets.

Q. What are the steps undertaken for improvement of government infrastructure related to tourism development?

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