TravTalk - India
Gearing up for the big leap
Wedding tourism turned out to be a game-changer for Rajasthan during the pandemic, and now the state is pushing for border tourism, experiential tourism and also bringing in a film incentive policy among things to bring more revenue for the state coffers.
Claiming that being the largest state of the country gives a vantage point to Rajasthan, Dr Punita Singh, Joint Director, Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan, said that most attractions are positioned at different places, particularly the heritage properties, which are all spread out across the state.
“All these properties are in remote villages or far off places. This puts us in an advantageous position. In the new normal, people like to travel to quiet resorts or places little away from the city, looking at experiences close to nature. Hence, apart from heritage, for which Rajasthan is known for, in the new normal it proves advantageous that these properties are being sought after more. Wellness resorts have also come up. Indian government is also marketing these places. Hence, Rajatshan is focusing more on experiential tourism,” she said. Repositioning Rajasthan
Singh revealed that Rajasthan came up with their new tourism policy in 2020 amid the COVID lockdowns and the waves. “The policy focuses on enhancing our product experience and experiential tourism, under which we majorly look at heritage properties, resort experiences and vast experiences, which Rajasthan offers. One of the new products that has emerged owing to lockdown guidelines is wedding tourism, which has become a big component now. Earlier considered a luxury segment with only celebrity weddings at palace hotels, but now it is common. People with lower budgets are also going for destination weddings or resort weddings with 200-250 guests,” she claimed.
I feel this (industry status) is a milestone for Rajasthan tourism and the state as a whole, which would benefit greatly
Right after the first lockdown, Rajasthan came up with COVID guidelines for the tourists, which were predominantly domestic. “We started a campaign called Rajasthan from home. Initially, we were visible on our social media platforms and we did a lot of engaging activities, like best of the chef, photography competition and videography competition for people who had already travelled. Post lockdown opening, restrictions started coming down, and the surge of domestic tourism was so much that all our properties, both in private and public sector were full. We were the number one state in SAATHI guidelines as we did the certification for proper hygiene. Thus, some of our destinations like, Udaipur, Jaipur, Mount Abu, did not have rooms,” she informed.
Saying that she is proud and happy to share that the Chief Minister of Rajasthan has given tourism industry status in the latest budget announcement. “I feel this is a milestone for Rajasthan tourism and the state as a whole which would benefit greatly," she said. Millennial focus
Singh believes that like Rajasthan, other states should also focus on millennials. “They can offer new experiences like adventure tourism, cycling, or other activities. For any small event happening anywhere, should be marketed well, so that people would go and see. Just like we are a land of fairs and festivals, which can be promoted and yes infrastructure is very important. We are also focusing more on our budgets and allocations for the tourism infrastructure, which helps the local people too. Other states can also work on film tourism. Rajasthan, despite being a natural winner in film tourism sector, we are coming with the film incentive policy very soon to give a healthy competition to rest of the states,” she claimed.