Indian Tourism: Bagging Losses

Ever wondered when asked about the destinations you dream to travel, destinations in India do not come up as the priority options. A country which is undisputed winner when it comes to diversified beauty may it be forests, wildlife, mountains, beaches, architecture, pilgrimage; captivating India can surely outclass the world when it comes to beauty and diversity. With such a big bag of variations, ever wondered why we can’t still hold mere 2% of international tourists and countries like Thailand, Bangkok, Singapore are ahead. Talks about the quality Indian tourism destinations have in offering you have a lot to discuss; the beauty of Himalayas is wilder than the Alps, the beaches of Goa are the undisputed New Year celebration destinations, Scenic beauty of eastern India can by far outclass major tourist destinations across the world.

Dating back to the 17th century when India was considered as an economic powerhouse, the country was the richest economy of the globe handling almost a quarter of the complete international trade. No doubts India is still an economic warhorse, but the country is ranked as 48th as of date on the list of international arrivals. What went wrong that countries like Thailand, Bangkok miniature of our size had 11 million visitors in the year 2010?

Give it a thought, what would you choose a sun bath on the beaches of Goa or a sun bath on the beach of Miami? A walk through the corridors of Himalayas,or a walk through the corridors of Alps?

Every 2nd of the 5th tourist who travels to India says there’s sheer lack of infrastructure in the country. The country is lacking basics from the word go. May it be sanitation, housing, hotels or the transport industry; major pitfalls in these basic amenities have turned India into a big NO in terms of travel preference. The major tourist destinations in India which house immense treasure in them are majorly accessible via rail routes. With inefficient railway system and over-crowded trains the journey houses tough competitions for the travellers. With rising disposable incomes and boom in the travel industry the hotel industry needs to catch up fast with the pace. Major travel destinations across the country go unexplored due to lack of hospitality. Due to high hotel to person ratio, travelers avoid travelling to these destinations, making the country loose several dollars.

Sorry pictures of the heritage across the country may it be the Taj Mahal of Agra or the forts of Rajasthan have become a reason of disgust for almost all the visitors. With all the care and handling given to the rodent and the spider department a desolate image is on its cards and speeding up. Majority of the tourist guides are mystery story tellers, a local tourist guide could even guide you the red fort saying its Humayun tomb. Leaving aside the odour one contends with across the country due to freedom of littering and poor sanitation, a visit to majority tourist sites across the country is accompanied with a luxury of beggars, touchers, feelers and the road side vendors.

Derogatory colloquial language is becoming an integral part of the foreign tourist visits to our country. The words like “firangi” and “habshi” are a common sight whenever an overseas individual passes by local residents. Several cases of economic and sexual exploitation against foreign individuals have lead to countries issuing travel advisories to India. The government’s Incredible India campaign and “Atithi -devo-bhavah” seemed to have lost their charm in the exploitation mystery. The management has forgotten the concept of mass tourism across the country. Unless you can shed hefty dollars, dig deep to buy luxury and have a trustable tourist guide, India is a tough job on your own.

With recent advancements in the hospitality sector and the government showing high interest on the security of tourists the tourism sector is showing growth. Services like Metros, improvement of facilities in railways, heavy competition in the airline sector are signs of rising tourism. The country is making efforts but it needs heavy fueling. In the modern era where marketing is becoming a trump card, India should play its aces properly. With vast variety and diversity available all across the country, India should carefully present its brand image to the world. With word of mouth being a great source of marketing the strategy needs to be developed with accuracy and perfection. The country has a major demand-supply setback and is losing heavenly on realizable potential.

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