India rides high at ITB Berlin

Having bagged the first prize for India pavilion, ITB Berlin proved to be successful for the Ministry of Tourism. KJ Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C), Tourism, shares responses from the event, record-breaking arrivals and plans to develop night tourism activities around the country.

NISHA VERMA

ITB success

The India pavilion won the first prize in the region at ITB Berlin. K J Alphons, received the award and shared that the response at the exhibition was overwhelming for India. Speaking at a press conference in New Delhi, he said, “We won the first prize at ITB Berlin for the Indian pavilion in the Asia, Oceania, Australia region. We had fruitful interactions with the media and other ministers of participating countries.”

Another highlight was the release of a new advertisement on yoga release of a new advertisement on yoga release by MOT at ITB. “Called ‘Yogi on the race-track’, the 60-second promotional video received 7 million views in just four days. This ad depicts a motorcycle racer who found solace in Yoga to calm himself, and realised that this ancient practice was needed to be successful even in motorcycle racing. It’s a new approach of conveying that peace of mind is required in every aspect. Six such ads will be released in a couple of months and will be played in specific countries and regions,” he added.

Record arrivals

Alphons announced that they have crossed 10 million foreign tourist arrivals last year. “We recorded 10.2 million foreign tourist arrivals in 2017, bringing in income in US$ 27 billion last year, which is equivalent to about 1,80,000 crores and constitutes about 6.88 per cent of the GDP. We are providing jobs to approximately 43 million people which is about 12.3 per cent of total employment. Our international tourist arrivals, which also includes NRIs, is about 16.5 million. This means our country has done extremely well,” he informed.

We recorded 10.2 million foreign tourist arrivals in 2017, bringing in income of US$27 billion last year, which is equivalent to about 1,80,000 crores and constitutes about 6.88 per cent of the GDP

Domestic in focus

Talking about domestic tourism, he shared, “The number of trips booked by Indians has gone up to 1.8 million in 2017 compared to 1.6 million in 2016. We believe that it’s not just FTAs  which will bring jobs in India, but Indians seeing India also generates plenty of business. We will also be putting ads for domestic tourists. We have 23 million Indians going abroad. We are running a campaign in electronic media for domestic tourists and NRIs to visit India. Our dedicated campaign, ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ runs in countries like Canada, USA, etc. We want to double the numbers and generate huge revenues in the next three years.

Night tourism

The Ministry is also considering to develop night tourism around various monuments in the country. “We plan to illuminate all our monuments for night visits and are in talks with ASI to make such visits possible by stretching the opening hours till 9-10 pm. Spic Macay is doing cultural evenings for us at various locations including Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, as well as on Varanasi Ghats. These are initiatives to create life around our rich cultural heritage to have tourists to include in activities in the evening.

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