Synergise business & leisure tourism: Saxena

Manisha Saxena, Director General, Tourism, Government of India, puts emphasis on diversified tourism in the country. Micro-level planning, targeted marketing beyond conventional destinations, and synergy between business and leisure travel are key to tourism growth, she says.

Janice Alyosius

India has immense potential to attract inbound tourism with its diverse offerings. The Union Ministry of Tourism is actively promoting its offerings to the world, emphasising that there is something for everyone in India.

Stressing on the importance of targeted marketing to diversify inbound tourist footprints beyond the quintessential destinations like Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur, Manisha Saxena, Director General, Tourism, Government of India, said, “There is a need to highlight lesser-known gems like wildlife reserves and heritage sites like Khajuraho to tap into the potential lying dormant in India’s tourism landscape.” Additionally, Saxena focuses on the need for synergy between business and leisure tourism. “While people are travelling to India for business, we really need to have all those events mapped; what kind of people are coming from which countries, what are their interests, and what can we offer them in advance. ‘You are coming to India, you are attending a conference in Visakhapatnam, what you can do. You are coming to Bengaluru for a conference, you can go to Nandi Hills, you can go to Mysore, you can go to Coorg,’ etc. So, those are the things, so that when a person is coming, this site is able to plan in advance what leisure activities they are ready to do, and probably even bring their families. That is one aspect that has been really important for us to be able to do,” she suggests.

Saxena also emphasises on the need for micro-level planning in the tourism sector, stressing on the importance of identifying the target clientele during events. She points out the disparity between the availability of luxury hotels and the condition of budget accommodations, particularly for backpacker travellers. Furthermore, she referred to the G20 events and underscored the potential for diverse events beyond business conferences, suggesting art and literature events as examples.

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