Delhi to address trade
Delhi Tourism is all set to promote Brand Delhi worldwide and is planning a number of events including Delhi Festival in November and a joint event with the travel trade to address their problems.
We want to facilitate an environment where people can come and stay for longer duration in Delhi. Currently, it has become more of a transit point. People come and leave for Agra or Jaipur. We are trying to change that and hence we are bringing events in the city. Kapil Mishra Minister of Tourism, Delhi Government
Being the country’s capital, Delhi gets maximum footfall and acts as a gateway to north for foreign as well as domestic tourists. However, there are challenges, and they are being addressed, claims Kapil Mishra, Minister of Tourism, Delhi Government.
Upbeat about the recent budget, which waived off luxury tax on hotels having per night room rate of 1500, Mishra said, “The budget was positive and for hoteliers it was like a festival. We have received great response for the budget from within the industry as well as outside.” He further added that for the government the keyword is ‘growth’. “We want to facilitate an environment where people can come and stay for longer duration in Delhi. Currently, it has become more of a transit point. People come and leave for Agra or Jaipur. We are trying to change that and hence we are bringing events in the city. We introduced the single window clearance for events four months back, and since then we’ve had AR Rahman, Farhan Akhtar as well as Disney’s Beauty and the Beast staged in the city. Also, Madame Tussauds Museum will be coming in Delhi soon, and will help everyone who is part of the tourism industry, including hotels. And that’s what the plan is.”
He added, “We are working with Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) for revival of our monuments. We are also engaging with tour operators as well as entrepreneurs who have creative ideas to offer new experiences to tourists coming in to the city.”
With many Indian states already having established tourism brands for themselves, Delhi still has a long way to go. But, Mishra denies, saying, “We are going to launch a very aggressive campaign in August this year. It will be a global campaign and would boost tourism in Delhi. Brand Delhi is going to be very big and the Delhi festival that we are going to organise in November will also be huge. It is going to be a very big global international festival on the lines of the Dubai and Singapore festivals. In fact, we are in touch with people who have organised Singapore and Edinburgh festival for working on it. The Delhi festival is going to be an annual property.”
However, there are challenges as well. Mishra reveals, “One area we really faced the problem was in getting the heritage tag for the city. It was almost done, the nomination was decided, but at the last moment it wasn’t cleared.”
Delhi Tourism is also working closely with the travel trade. “We are in touch with the tour operators and somewhere in the middle of this year we are going to plan a joint event and FICCI is helping us in the same. There we will be discussing the problems and policy solutions that the government can provide. This particular year is going to be a turning point in the tourism of Delhi, both for the people who are service providers and also in terms of the experience of the tourists who will be visiting the city,” he insisted.