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 Promoting Tourism through Marketing Initiatives


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Promoting India's State Tourism Through Tourism Marketing

Owing to its rich cultural heritage, age-old traditions, diverse geographical features and a huge variety of food, arts & crafts, India is one of the fascinating countries in the world to travel & discover. Each and every state of India is blessed with a variety of tourist attractions making India a 'Traveller's Haven'. Every year, the country attracts many foreign tourists who are mesmerised by India's scenic beauty, heart-warming ethnic flavour, diverse flora and fauna & the promise of an experience of a lifetime!

According to the Ministry of Tourism, in the year 2011, India recorded a 8.9% annual growth in the number of Foreign Tourist Arrivals in India. In the same year, the number of Domestic Tourist Visits to all States / UTs of India saw an annual growth rate of 13.8%. It is safe to say that the country's domestic tourists provide a boost to the inter-state tourism, making it one of the most significant revenue generators for a geographically rich country like India.

Summers in India can be quite hot and humid in certain Indian states while winter months in other regions is enough to send shivers down anyone's spine. It is due to the variable climatic conditions across parts of India that we use the concept of peak season and off season. During the peak season, tourist destinations are flooded with visitors and during the off-season, there is a slump in tourist activity with a marked reduction in tourist inflow.


Marketing Strategies for Tourism Promotion - Off-Season Promotion There is no denying that every state in India has its own Unique Selling Proposition or USP that makes it special & appealing to travellers and foreign visitors. This may include their scenic beauty, famous tourist spots, festivals, local arts and crafts, entertainment activities and local flavour, etc.

In an attempt to push tourism in their states especially during off-season, State Tourism boards have started making use of well drafted marketing strategies and programmes that can help them to catch the attention of prospective travellers and provide them a reason to visit even during the usual off-season. States such as Gujarat, Rajasthan and West Bengal have already started taking steps in this direction.

This includes offering out-of-the-box entertainment packages and festival promotion which provide a unique opportunity to indulge in local festivities and experience life in those states.


Role of Celebrity Endorsements Celebrities, especially movie stars have for long been seen endorsing various consumer products in adverts and marketing campaigns. This association has been taken a step further by the West Bengal & Gujarat State Governments by hiring Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan respectively, as their state Brand Ambassadors. The aim is to use the popularity of these celebrities to promote tourism and entice prospective tourists to choose these states as their next holiday destination.

This is done by designing innovative ad campaigns such as 'Khushboo Gujarat Ki' that project the essence of these states and what one can expect here in terms of locales, flora and fauna, cultural heritage, must-visits and of course the unique local flavour.

These days, a large number of MNC's host conferences, events and meetings at popular destinations such as Jaipur for their employees. Such trips provide a pleasant change from routine and also result promoting tourism in these regions.

Some states benefit from the popularity of their neighbouring states and this results in pushing tourism in both states. For example, tourists to Agra usually also plan to visit Jaipur in their same trip!

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