Tourism sector to adopt digital, social media strategy

Last Updated : 10 December 2019, 08:48 IST
Last Updated : 10 December 2019, 08:48 IST

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India's tourism sector is adopting a new digital and social media strategy to increase the flow of visitors from the East Asian markets, with a focus on China's millennials, a senior government official said here.

"We are currently in the midst of finalising the global media campaign and within that, there is a lot of shift to digital and social media because a lot of information flows on digital platforms in markets east of India," said Additional Director General of the Tourism Ministry Rupinder Brar.

She noted that young tourists want to feel India and for that, tour operators have been told to expand market concepts, taking tourists on immersive experiences -- tasting of foods, engaging in village lifestyles and breathtaking travel from the Himalayas and across the country.

Speaking to the media after the 'Incredible India' roadshow in Singapore on Monday, Brar said feedback from Chinese millennials has helped understand their travelling wish of experiencing the diversity of India from culture to village lifestyle and culinary skill.

With such feedback, tour operators have been urged to plan tour products and packages that offer more than the Buddhist circuit and the attractions of Taj Mahal, forts, palaces and monuments.

The Indian government wants to expand the Incredible India footprint in China as well as in Singapore and other markets east of India to attract the young tourists.

For that, Incredible India Roadshows were held in Chinese cities -- Chengdu, Chongqing and Kunming -- from November 11 to 16.

During the roadshows, Indian and Chinese tour operators held business-to-business meetings.

After the roadshow on Monday, Indian High Commissioner to Singapore Jawed Ashraf elaborated on the vast and diverse tourism possibilities in India and changes in tourism experience for visitors because of the availability of good information, new visa regime and price.

He also highlighted excellent connectivity to and within India, rapidly improving infrastructure, expansion in the hotel and accommodation sector, great leisure activities, varied culinary and shopping options, and facilities like 24-hour helplines in 12 languages.

"Discovering India can be a lifetime adventure for all of us. It isn't just a feast for all our senses, but also an inexhaustible source of pursuits for the intellect, philosophy, spiritualism, adventure, sports, wellness, art and heritage.

"And, once is not enough; visitors usually find themselves drawn repeatedly to India as there are multiple Indias and multiple layers of India, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from the Northeast to Gujarat.

"One of the things we need to do is to have very differentiated marketing. We have to look at different market segments, focus on specific destinations and circuits in our promotion, be more innovative in designing our products and destinations, promote different products for different demographic segments, and focus on developing complete experiences from arrival to departure," said Ashraf.

"In India, there are endless possibilities and we are only restricted by our imagination!" said Ashraf.

The Indian tourism sector is improving with the lowering of Goods and Services Tax on hotels from 28 per cent to 18 per cent and those in the 18 per cent bracket to 12 per cent in October 2019, said President of Indian Association of Tour Operators Pronab Sarkar, who was part of the 25-member Indian delegation for the Incredible India roadshow in Singapore.

However, Sarkar felt the government and the industry should do more to promote tourism products as in recent years there has been a slowdown in advertising Indian tourism.

Published 10 December 2019, 08:48 IST

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