March 5, 2024

At ITB Berlin, India promotes both tradition and modernity

India is highlighting not only its rich cultural heritage and stunning nature, but also its top-class infrastructure and the digitalisation of its tourism industry

India organised both a press conference and a special evening at ITB Berlin this year to highlight the commitment of the Indian government to tourism. Speakers at the events were M R Synrem, Joint Secretary at India Ministry of Tourism and P. Harish, Ambassador of India in Germany. The evening provided an opportunity to present India culinary delights as well as a cultural performance with some spectacular dances.

Both the Ambassador and Joint Secretary stated that India remains extremely committed to the growth of tourism. “Tourism is essential to the economy of the country and particularly to Indian people as it generates jobs. Beside the travel and hospitality sectors, tourism protects our culture and traditions which also secure a living to local people”, said the Ambassador.

The tourism industry in India accounts for roughly 5% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). It is a driver of sustainable and inclusive development, especially for livelihoods. The 10th Five Year Plan was renewed, the National Tourism Policy, the global Incredible India campaign and the Millennium Development Goal. According to P. Harish, the focus on sustainable tourism is at the heart of the government’s strategy. It does not only concern the tourist trade and tourist organisations but also tourists themselves. “Through their behaviour and as a consumer, tourists will affect choices and outcomes by choosing more sustainable and environment-friendly options. It is vital that citizens and consumers also exercise their choices that are green and sustainable, ” stressed the Ambassador.

The Indian government has embarked on many marketing initiatives to (re)position India tourism: diversity of the destinations and tourism products, luxury tourism, digitalisation to simplify visits for international travellers and a comprehensive effort in infrastructure. Main focus of India tourism marketing campaign is centered on nature and adventure tourism; culture and heritage; wedding with a dedicated website and MICE. “A lot of changes have happened in India. Under the Prime Minister’s initiative, there has been a huge expansion in infrastructure. Over 50 airports, aerodromes, seaports or roads have been created up to the most remote parts of India to enable smooth connectivity to all parts of the country. Earlier, if it was only the state capital that was connected by air, we have many more locations within our states that are now connected by air connectivity, and this enables movement of tourists to areas that are close to UNESCO World Heritage Sites as well as other areas of tourist interest,” said M R Synrem, the Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism.

“This would facilitate offering of better tourist products and packages for foreigner and non-tourists and this is something that we are completely focused on. There has been a significant easing of visas and provision of visas for tourists. We now propose e-visas to tourists. It has been hugely successful because tour operators and tourists can directly secure visas from the comfort of their homes and offices without having to apply physically. This is a smooth process as long as one follows the digital instructions and it’s normally delivered within two days, within 48 hours,” explained the Ambassador.

Finally, India is also experiencing a huge resurgence in mystical, sacred, and religious tourism. New circuits highlight places of sacred interest in the country, including many new religious sites such as the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, opened a few weeks ago by India Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

Hall 5.2 / Stand 223
At ITB Berlin, India promotes both tradition and modernity