Focus on promotion abroad
The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) opts for a joint effort with the state governments and the private sector for various projects, targeting rapid growth in the industry.
With the base for development in tourism strengthened by MOT the previous year, it is safe to say that their efforts have gradually begun to reap benefits. The first four months of 2016 have witnessed a 10.1 per cent growth with 31.08 lakh foreign tourists who visited India as compared to the FTAs of 28.23 lakh with a growth of 3 per cent in January-April 2015. Joint Secretary Suman Billa expresses that while the progress is encouraging, there still are some aspects that need to be reworked. MOT appointed India Tourism offices in various parts of the world to address the issue of overseas promotion. “The work they do is mainly create awareness about India, engage with the local media, participate in roadshows, etc., – things that cannot be done from here,” he says.
However, with the way things are fast changing all over the world, a simple bureaucratic approach to handling tourism promotion overseas may not be as effective. Billa comments, “One of the ideas is to make the overseas offices a nucleus for vendor management which will have specialised PR agencies and marketing representatives who act on your behalf. Since we are not a private organisation, the bureaucracy has certain hindrances. Hence, we have already appointed three PR agencies in China, the UK and Germany which have knowl- edge about how things function in the respective countries and will target the right crowd for events like roadshows.”
It is evident from the developments that the involvement of the private sector as well as the state government is crucial in achieving a fast-paced growth. Understanding this need, MOT and CII will be organising a Tourism Investment Summit from Sept 21-23, 2016, in New Delhi to encourage the participation of the private sector for tourism’s growth. Billa reveals, “For the summit, we will be reaching out to the Indian private players and foreign investors. But most of the investments will have to come from the states – there’s very little that we can do here except for highlevel clearances.”
He further adds that consultants, who will be knowledge partners to the states, will be appointed to help pick up the best practices in India. “They will examine the present policies, incentives and subsidies offered by states for investment so that the states can make the correct pitch at the Summit. They need to take the advocacy role and figure out how to effectively improve the attraction quotient. We’re covering a lot more ground rather than it being just another summit, more importantly we will be getting the states to make the right pitch and driving the private sector to fuel growth to tourism.”
a nucleus for vendor management which will have specialised PR agencies and marketing representatives who act on your behalf. Since we are not a private organisation, the bureaucracy has certain hindrances. Suman Billa Joint Secretary Ministry of Tourism, Government of India We have already appointed three PR agencies in China, the UK and Germany who have knowledge about how things function in the respective countries and will target the right crowd for events like roadshows