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12 November 2012 - Bernama

Making a paradigm shift in the strategy to promote Indian destinations abroad and within, the Indian Tourism Ministry has launched two new campaigns, reports Press Trust of India (PTI).

While the international campaign is called "Find what you seek", the domestic campaign is titled as "Go Beyond".

Both these campaigns were launched at World Tourism Mart (WTM) in London, India's Tourism Minister K. Chiranjeevi told reporters here.

The WTM, an annual international tourism event, was held from Nov 5-8.

"With the new campaign we have tried to take the Incredible India campaign to the next level with shifting focus from products to consumers," he said.

The Incredible India was launched in 2002.

"Till now we had been promoting India from the destinations and products point of view internationally. The campaign has been very successful so far. But the time has come to take it to the next level and now our focus is on consumers," the actor-turned-politician said.

Underlining his ministry's priority, he said, "our aim is to increase foreign tourist arrivals in the country. At present we are attracting only 0.65 per cent of total world tourists and we want to increase it to one per cent," he said.

Currently, India attracts about 6.3 million foreigners in a year and the ministry's target is to double up the arrival in the next five years.

"The increase in foreign tourists will help in generating jobs in the country," he said, adding, "There are so much to see here... let it be heritage sites, forts, beaches, lakes, mountains, wildlife, festivals. India offers something for everyone."

In the 12th Five-Year Plan document, Planning Commission has recognised tourism as a pro-poor and nation building activity.

On domestic tourism, Chiranjeevi said, "We want to promote lesser-known destinations and we have launched 'Go Beyond' campaign for this which focuses on promoting lesser-known destinations to the domestic tourists and also the world."

He said concerted efforts would be to make tourism India's main economic and political agenda taking all state governments, Union territory administrations and stakeholders on board and establish India as round the year destination.

Asked about the travel advisory issued by various countries, he said, "I am happy that the United Kingdom has withdrawn the advisory travel to Jammu and Kashmir. We are going to initiate a fresh dialogue for entering into a MoU with the UK on tourism cooperation."

India was conferred three awards by the World Travel Awards organisation at the WTM 2012. The three awards are Asia's leading destination, Asia's leading tourist attraction - Taj Mahal and Asia's leading Tourist Board.

Referring to WTM, Tourism Minister said India's participation is increasing by every year.

"We had taken space that was about 15 per cent higher than last year's space. Private stakeholders from India had taken space of a similar size. This year, there were over 110 Indian participants from the trade, state governments and Union Territory Administrations in WTM for doing business," he said.

Coinciding with the WTM 2012, the minister also attended UNWTO Ministers' Summit held to discuss the subject "Open Borders and Open Skies: Breaking Barriers to Travel". He held discussions with other officials from UNWTO, the UK and South Africa.

India would be hosting the next meeting of the UNWTO Regional Commission for South Asia and Far East and Pacific in April-May next year in Hyderabad. India is currently the chairperson of the UNWTO Regional Commission for South Asia.

Source: Bernama


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