Published on : Tuesday, July 9, 2019
In order to boost Indian tourism, the Indian government hosted an “Incredible India” roadshow in the US and Canada, which was led by a high-powered Indian tourism delegation.
The delegation’s five-day roadshow, held from June 24 through June 28, was held in Washington DC, Boston, Seattle, and San Francisco in the US and in Vancouver in Canada.
Meenakshi Sharma, Director General of Tourism, spoke about the vision and challenges that the tourism industry has been facing and urged not only Americans to visit India but also 2nd and 3rd generation Indian-Americans to visit. She urged them not just to attend a wedding or for shopping, but to visit the tourist destinations.
Another important aspect for the roadshow is the “Industry to Industry” partnership,” said Sharma who brought in over 30 travel companies along with her who are members of Indian Tour Operators Association (IATO), and who are traveling on their own aiming to build a relationship with US-based businesses.
Sharma said that the four-day roadshow has brought in a lot of positive interest with more business-to-business meetings.
To promote tourism, India has extended e-visa facility to 167 countries. In 2018, 274,000 Americans visited India through e-visa facility.
“We do have competition from Sri Lanka and Thailand because of destination vacation, (tourists) look for the cost. When you create a package even $20 matters,” Sharma said.
Sharna said that the government is working on adding more tourist police at important tourists’ destinations, to stop any harassment, since, a lot of people are traveling alone.
The government has launched a 24/7 toll-free, multi-lingual tourist helpline in 10 international languages besides Hindi and English and a short code 1363, which can be used in cases of medical emergency or anything security-related.