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11 Nov, 2012

Indian Ex-Film Star, Now Tourism Minister, Cites “Paradigm Shift” in Marketing Campaign


Ministry of Tourism, 09-November, 2012 – India Tourism has launched two new campaigns: an International Campaign called ‘Find What You Seek’ and a Domestic Campaign called ‘Go Beyond’. Both were launched at last week’s World Travel Market 2012 in London.

The Union Tourism Minister Mr K. Chiranjeevi said the launch of these campaigns reflects a “very important paradigm shift” in strategy to promote India within the country and abroad. The ‘Go Beyond’ campaign focuses on promoting lesser known destinations to domestic as well as international tourists.

He said, “Until now, we had been promoting India internationally from the point of view of the destinations. The Incredible India campaigns which we launched in 2002 have been extremely successful. In our ‘Take II’ of the Incredible India campaign, we are going to focus on the consumer under the theme of “Find What You Seek”.

He said, “Tourists from the world over can find the destination or product of their desire in India, be it heritage sites, forts, beaches, backwaters, lakes, mountains, adventure, wildlife, culture, festivals, medical, wellness, MICE, religion or shopping.”

Mr Chiranjeevi assumed charge as Minister of Tourism on 1 Nov 2012. He began an acting career in 1977 and has acted in 149 Telugu, Three Tamil, Three Hindi and Two Kannada Films. He received the Nargis Dutt Award for National Integration for his Home Production Rudra Veena. A recipient of seven Filmfare Awards for Best Actor, Mr Chiranjeevi was conferred with Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian honour in 2006.

He floated his political party Praja Rajayam and won 18 seats in 2009 Andhra Pradesh assembly elections. He merged his party with the Congress party last year and was elected to Rajya Sabha in April this year.

In his first media statement upon assuming the ministerial position, he said he would seek the cooperation of India’s cinestars in promotion of “Incredible India”.

Referring to the threefold increase in the 12th Plan outlay for Tourism, Mr Chiranjeevi said this will go to a great extent in providing jobs for 2.5 crore people in the country. He said that present share of India in international tourism is very low and “we should strive hard to increase it up to at least one percent.”

Attending the WTM last week, he said that this year, the Ministry had taken up space that was about 15% higher than last year. Indian private companies also took additional space of a similar size. This year, there were over 110 Indian participants from the trade, State Governments and Union Territory Administrations in WTM.

The Minister also attended UNWTO Ministers’ Summit on the subject ‘Open Borders and Open Skies: Breaking Barriers to Travel’ and held discussions with Mr. Taleb Rafai, Secretary General, UNWTO; Mr. Hugh Robertson, Minister of Sports and Tourism, UK and Mr. Marthinus Van Schalkwyk, Tourism Minister of South Africa. He assured them that India will continue to play an important and pro-active role for promoting global tourism.

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

Mr Chiranjeevi expressed pleasure over the fact that UK has withdrawn its advisory against travel to Jammu and Kashmir. He said, “We are going to initiate a fresh dialogue for entering in to a Memorandum of Understanding with UK on Tourism Cooperation”.

The Minister said India and South Africa have agreed to work together for protecting the tourism interests of developing nations jointly. He said, “We have also agreed to hold the first meeting of the Joint Working Group on Tourism Cooperation with South Africa at the earliest with the objective of enhancing tourist traffic between the two countries”.

Mr Chiranjeevi said India’s position was 38th in the world in terms of World Tourist Arrivals and 17th in terms of World Tourism Receipts. During WTM 2012, India was conferred three awards by the World Travel Awards organization: Asia’s leading destination, Asia’s leading tourist attraction – Taj Mahal and Asia’s leading tourist Board.

He said his priorities would be to: facilitate development of synergy between various Departments / Ministries, State Governments, Union Territories and Industry for development of Tourism, make India an affordable destination by facilitating development of Budget Accommodation, ease Visa Regime and expand Tourist Visa on Arrival Scheme to additional important source market countries, expand human resource base and create new employment opportunities.

He added, “Our effort should be to give and promote experiential tourism and show case true India. The visitors to India should be compelled to come again and again and revisit the experience because of its rich diversity”.

The Tourism Minister said he is aware of hygiene and sanitation concerns. To improve these standards, Tourism Ministry has launched ‘Campaign Clean India’. “I would be especially focusing for the success of this campaign”, the Minister added.

During WTM 2012, India was conferred three awards by the World Travel Awards organization: Asia’s leading destination, Asia’s leading tourist attraction – Taj Mahal and Asia’s leading tourist Board.