New Delhi: India was awarded ‘Best Exhibitor’ Award for Australia and Oceania category at the world’s largest travel trade show, ITB 2018, in Messe, Berlin, Germany. Briefing media persons after his participation in ITB Berlin, K J Alphons, Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism, shared two big achievements of India Tourism at ITB 2018. He said the icing on the cake was the tremendous success of the Ministry of Tourism’s new campaign film ‘Yogi on the Race Track’, which he had launched at ITB Berlin 2018.

Since its launch on March 7, 2018, the film has been viewed over seven million times on twitter and is growing with each passing hour. Over 100 countries participated in the ITB-Berlin meet with their respective Tourism Ministers.
The Minister said ITB was a big platform to showcase India’s tourism product to the global tourism fraternity. This is evident from the fact that India took a large space for the India Pavilion, in which over 50 co-exhibitors comprising tour operators, hoteliers etc. from different parts of India participated. Additionally, over 25 Indian stakeholders participated with booking space outside India pavilion. This event also saw a participation of many of our State Tourism Departments.

At ITB Berlin, the Indian delegation met and discussed about the opportunities that India has for international tourism with multiple stakeholders, media persons and opinion makers. The highlights of their meetings included addressing a press conference, one-to-one meeting with the Secretary-General, UNWTO, Ministers of Tourism Round Table on the topic ‘Politics of tourism between growth strategy and overtourism’, Pacific Asia Travel Writer Association (PATWA) International Award Ceremony.

Tourism Growthwagon

The Minister informed that the tourism sector in India is registering continuous growth which is significantly higher than the World Average. Foreign Tourist arrivals during 2017 were 10.18 million with a growth of 15.6 per cent over same period of the previous year while global growth of foreign tourists is only about 5 per cent.

e-visa Norms Eased

e-Visa continues to be game changer for tourism sector. It is now available for nationals of 163 countries and allows visits for business and medical treatment. The process of obtaining the e-tourist visa has been simplified significantly by addressing issues like multiple entries and longer lead period for applying for e-Visa. During 2017, a total of 1.69 million foreign tourists arrived on e-tourist visa as compared to 1.08 million during 2016, registering a growth of 57.2 per cent. At a macro level, the primary reasons for India’s jump in international tourist arrivals should be attributed to the pro-active steps taken by the Union Government in terms of development of tourism infrastructure, easing of entry formalities for tourists by introducing the e-visa facilities etc.

Incredible India 2.0

He also informed that his Ministry has launched the ‘Incredible India 2.0’ Campaign during 2017-18 to position India as a ‘Must Experience’ destination amongst overseas travellers and to increase foreign tourist arrivals to the country. The strategy for the Incredible India 2.0 campaign will aim at moving to the next level of promotion and marketing with a shift from the present generic promotions being undertaken across the world to market specific and focused promotional plans and content creation.

The campaign will be launched in the prime source markets for India as well as in important potential markets. The Incredible India 2.0 is based on an expansion approach by adding new elements to the campaign, building longevity, providing ready material to the consumer, staying strong on social media to engage the consumer and building positive advocacy. By using modern proprietary research tools, an optimum media mix is being utilized for better results and to drive longevity.

Incredible India Website, App

Alphons said, “The Ministry of Tourism is developing a new Incredible India website, leveraging the latest trends in technology for promotion and marketing of our country, to provide enhanced visitor experience with personalisation and to realise the objectives of the Incredible India 2.0 campaign. This new website is aimed at providing an interactive and engaging experience for all visitors by providing relevant, interactive and immersive experience across multiple Digital touch points (website, and mobile app).

The Digital push is expected to make the Incredible India website a one-stop-shop for all tourists planning to visit India/ Indian destinations by providing complete details on destinations and enabling end to end planning. The website and mobile app will be used to measure each individual’s digital journey and analyse both intent and behaviour of the visitors through appropriate aggregation and thereby discovering high-value tourist segments. This will also enable the Ministry to judiciously target their campaigns and identify the preferred engagement touch-points across all digital assets.