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Govt to tailor India tourism offerings based on visiting countries’ profile

According to a report in The Indian Express, in order to market its tourism offerings better, the government will project different aspects of India to different countries.

This is being done with the help of Indian missions abroad, officials said. For 20 of India’s major source markets, which include the US, UK, Thailand, Canada, China, Oman and Russia, the missions have been tasked with chalking out specific marketing plans customised as per the profile of tourists from the respective country.

For instance, India will pitch itself as a destination for culture and history to the French, while adventure tourism and the Buddhist circuit may be marketed to Thailand. In the case of Russians, the need is to expand the spectrum of tourism beyond Goa and Kerala.

Recently, Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, along with officials from the Tourism Ministry, held a virtual meeting with Ambassadors and Tourism Officers from some of these missions, wherein specific marketing plans were presented.

“There is a realisation that the one-size-fits-all approach to promoting India as a tourist destination to foreigners does not yield great results. So, the idea is to market the tourist offerings in a more customised manner,” says an official.

For instance, in the case of French travellers coming to India, it was observed that more than 70 per cent of them go online to check out a destination before they travel, and most of them also write blogs and reviews after their visits. “Only those with an extremely satisfactory experience express themselves as ambassadors of a destination,” as per a presentation submitted to the ministers by the Indian Mission in Paris.

It was recommended that more direct flights be added between French and Indian cities, and historical linkages between the two countries be highlighted to generate curiosity. The mission also decided to participate in big-ticket tourism events in France — such as Salon Mondial du Tourisme in March and IFTM Top Resa (tourism trade show) in September — to highlight such offerings.

The plan to customise tourist offerings is meant to appeal to different country profiles by making the most of India’s diversity. The factors that will be kept in mind to design the new strategy include age-group and income profile of the tourists from a country, their gender, connectivity with the country (and if there’s a need to establish more direct links), and other relevant market trends and insights, officials say.

It was almost a year ago that the government appointed tourism officers in 20 Indian missions abroad to give a boost to the sector that was brought to its knees during the pandemic. The job of these officials is to promote India abroad and liaise with the tourism ministries of the respective countries to woo potential tourists.

“We have Tourism Officers identified in 20 Missions abroad, where we have large tourist footfalls,” Reddy said. The countries include Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Oman, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the Netherlands, the UK and the US.

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