As we learn, that after much deliberation, a decision was taken to project Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the face that will talk through a series of slick videos and other promotions how great it is to visit India as a tourist.
The term ‘brand’ refers to more than an individual or isolated promotion. It is a conglomeration of ideas about a product that heralds its relevance.
In that way, as a person who has strongly spoken about the need for India’s tourism marketability, the PM is singularly most suited for this job. However, any political representative as a brand ambassador, despite his over arching popularity can be both an asset or a liability.
However, the PM is a political person. He has his detractors and one cannot discount the power and pelf of those who will try their best to be critical of him. There is a fear that might impact the campaign in a way not intended.
The PM represents a resurgent India that seems impatient to sit at the international high table. He has the personality and charisma to do just that. The Tourism Ministry’s idea is therefore spot on.
Thinking out of the box and in totally new ways will add to the thrust of the campaign. This year, the recent promotions for India as a premier partner country at WTM left much to be desired. The posters and hoardings played safe and focused on traditional cultural tourism symbols. World over the accent is on experiential tourism. The experience does not have to be heavy with only culture or spiritual content. Adventure tourism, nature and other niche tourism angles need to be explored vigorously.
The Prime Minister as a face for tourism is not a bad idea provided the larger tourism campaign is more mindful of the international tourists’ preferences and likings, and not solely about what we would like them to appreciate about India.
Most importantly, building a tourism-friendly mentality among the people should be the first aim of utilising his goodwill and reach.
The views expressed within this column are the opinion of the author, and may not necessarily be endorsed by the publication.