Promoting India’s State Tourism Through Tourism Marketing
India is counted amongst the most fascinating countries in the world to travel and discover. Owing to its rich cultural heritage, age-old traditions, diverse geographical features and a huge variety of food, arts, and crafts, India is truly a Traveller’s Haven and attracts many foreign tourists from all over the world.
In fact, all 29 states of India are blessed with their own art and culture, scenic beauty, ethnic food, and numerous unique specialties.
According to the Ministry of Tourism, in the year 2011, India recorded a 8.9% annual growth in the number of Foreign Tourist Arrivals in India. In the same year, the number of Domestic Tourist Visits to all States / UTs of India saw an annual growth rate of 13.8%.
It is safe to say that the country’s domestic tourists provide a boost to the inter-state tourism, making it one of the most significant revenue generators for a geographically rich country like India.
Summers in India can be quite hot and humid in certain Indian states while winter months in other regions is enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine. It is due to the variable climatic conditions across parts of India that we use the concept of peak season and offseason. During the peak season, tourist destinations are flooded with visitors and during the off-season, there is a slump in tourist activity with a marked reduction in tourist inflow.
Marketing Strategies for Tourism Promotion in India
Off-Season Promotion – There is no denying that every state in India has its own Unique Selling Proposition or USP that makes it special and appealing to travellers and foreign visitors. This may include their scenic beauty, famous tourist spots, festivals, local arts and crafts, entertainment activities and local flavor, etc.
In an attempt to push tourism in their states especially during the off-season, State Tourism boards have started making use of well-drafted marketing strategies and programmes that can help them to catch the attention of prospective travellers and provide them a reason to visit even during the usual off-season.
States such as Gujarat, Rajasthan and West Bengal have already started taking steps in this direction.
This includes offering out-of-the-box entertainment packages and festival promotion which provide a unique opportunity to indulge in local festivities and experience life in those states.
Role of Celebrity Endorsements – Celebrities, especially movie stars have for long been seen endorsing various consumer products in adverts and marketing campaigns, and now also as State Brand Ambassadors. The aim is to use the popularity of these celebrities to promote tourism and entice prospective tourists to choose these states as their next holiday destination.
These days, a large number of MNC’s host conferences, events, and meetings at popular destinations for their employees. Such trips provide a pleasant change from routine and also result in promoting tourism in these regions.
In India, tourism marketing has gained tremendous speed and importance over the years and is growing by leaps and bounds.