Incredible India Essay
Some enigmas rule human life, such as the gap between lip and the cup may seem invincible, or one may be all decked up and yet have nowhere to go. Metaphorically speaking, situations like these take place more in the sphere of trade and commerce than normal life and it is because of that, the mechanics of branding and positioning occupy top spots in the company agenda. This state of affairs gained momentum right from the beginning of the 21st century (Barney), from when the globalization started taking over and rediscovered humans as its prime capital, a process that has now been intensified more than ever.
Accordingly every segment of trade and commerce is now busy in discovering all possible niches of business, besides innovating the ways and means to create and consolidate their place there. For that matter, the significance of evaluating and modifying the company strategies, if so needed, has never been felt than it is now. This is the current attitude of the companies, and from that perspective, the “Incredible India Campaign”, a flagship project to promote Indian tourism too needs to adopt that, in order to determine its current standing in the marketplace.
Therefore, this paper explores the
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Its first phase of campaign ran for three months, through which it highlighted various tourist attractions in India, such as Himalayas, wildlife, yoga and Ayurveda etc. , through print and electronic media, where Ogilvy and Mather (O &M) were assigned the charge of print media campaign, Enterprise Nexus, Mumbai, took the responsibility of spreading the TV campaign through global channels like CNN, BBC, etc. The formulated objective was to run a campaign towards promoting Indian Tourism like a brand and to position it through constant and consistent approach (Indian, 2005). II. 2. Philosophy
The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India decided to imbibe the Indian philosophy of hospitality with this campaign and thus it introduced “Atitithi Devo Bhavah Program” (Atithi, 2004), where its Sanskrit title meant “Guest is God”. This program aimed to sensitise the existing and prospective stakeholders towards tourists, and thus floated a nationwide campaign. This was more of a social awareness program which aimed to create awareness about the high prospect of Indian of tourism among Indians, besides imbibing in them the sense of preserving Indian heritage, culture, hospitality and cleanliness, etc.
Such a move might have been fuelled by the general impression that India was one of the less-favoured tourism destinations among international travelers, comparing to its Asian counterparts like Thailand and Singapore, besides the fact that the shocking incident of 11th September 2001 had generated a fear of travel to Asia. (O &M, 2003) Thus overall it looked like an appropriate and cohesive approach towards establishing India as a positive brand in the international tourism market. II. 3. Initial Outcome Accordingly, this campaign recorded positive outcomes to the tune of 13.
3 % increase in tourist traffic between the period 2005-2006, and 21% raise in foreign exchange earnings in 2005, while it welcomed 4. 43 million tourists in 2006. So far so good, but there are other facts, too, that hint at the possibility of Incredible India Campaign proving to be a white elephant to the Indian Government, as it has spent no less than $69. 5 million in its endeavour during the financial year 2006/2007, while Indian tourism could manage only 0. 53% share of the global tourist market (King, 2007).
This indicates that somewhere down the line something is going wrong, in spite of the effort and planning, and this campaign needs to be overhauled, if it wants to remain in the race. Though Thomas E. King, Travel and Lifestyle Editor, cites issues like inadequate tourism infrastructure, exorbitant room charges, poor airport facilities or rail-road connectivity are the possible spanners between the effort and outcome of this campaign, one needs to gather the clues from facts and figures before coming into any conclusion regarding brand India’s performance in a part of the market, i.
e. , market in UK. III. Evaluation of Incredible India in UK Market Like any other trade sector, evaluation of a brand in a specific market depends heavily on the data collected in some specific segments, and in here they are: A. Quality of infrastructure, i. e. , issues involved amenities like transport, water, rail and road links, boarding and lodging, etc. B. Travel behavior, i. e. , estimate about the appetites of the travellers. C. Effectiveness of communication: This area is self-explicit. D. Quality of product, i. e.
, quality and quantity of tourist sites, where quality should be interpreted as the magnitude of significance of a site in terms heritage, beauty, adventure, unique natural phenomenon, therapeutic or spiritual angles. Detailed and authenticated data on the state of these segments would be instrumental in determining the exact standing of this campaign in a specific market. For that matter this study uses the information furnished in the Report on Evaluation Study in Selected Overseas Markets (2007) created by The Gallup Organization for Market Research Division, Ministry of Tourism, and Government of India.
A. Infrastructure: While the Gallup Study observes the overall growth in the infrastructure Industry is encouraging for tourism in the future, it furnishes terribly disappointing information in the next page, where it compares the state of India’s aviation industry to that of China and informs that India has 15 million seats (as on September 2006) as against 140 million seats in China (p. 13). However, the report churns out good news after a few pages by mentioning about the awards won by Incredible India campaign and the survey results that consider India amongst the top five favourite destinations (p.
17). B. Travel Behaviour: Only 32% people of United Kingdom are aware of Indian Tourism Offices, though India and UK has a direct relationship for around 300 years. The Gallup Report (p. 45) observes that the past travel record of UK citizens(46%) were only next to Australia (51%), while the current survey shows that American tourists (799, 062) have pushed the British tourists (796,191) behind them (Incredible, 2008).
Gallup Report observes that in terms of future behaviour, UK shows only 5% growth rate (p. 50). Now tallying this observation with the state of communication with UK would provide the clue why the future of growth of Indian tourism in UK looks so dismal. C. Effectiveness of communication: The chart below highlights the state of communication between India and other major countries/continents in terms of travel arrangements.