In a bid to increase tourist footfall and take the essence of the country’s 5,000-year-old civilisation to the world, the Union Ministry of Tourism will now focus on wooing millennials from across the world, said Minister of State for Tourism KJ Alphons.
Work on the plan, he said, was set afoot with the Ministry of Tourism’s short-film “Yogi of the Racetrack”. The minute-long advertisement on yoga has received more than nine million hits in the past six days. The ministry is now planning to launch advertisements on Ayurveda and Kaziranga on the lines of the “Yogi of the Racetrack,” which will be translated “into all global languages.”
“We are hoping that it (the advertisement) will receive 10 million hits by Wednesday. It is not like any government advertisement…The aim is to target millenials – the dynamic and fidgety men and women across the world,” Alphons told The Indian Express on Tuesday.
The move to push tourism comes amid concerns over visitors’ safety in the wake of 2012 Delhi gangrape case. “I was asked this question by an American journalist at a press conference recently. The incident quoted was the Nirbhaya rape (in 2012). I replied that the question had the answer itself. While the incident was deplorable, the fact that no other case could be cited meant, that India is safe…I see a huge bias in reporting by the foreign press while representing India.”
The Minister of State for Tourism said the government was also focusing on ‘night tourism.’ “This doesn’t mean night clubs. But entertainment for tourists in the evening. Right now, the only option people have is to drink. There is innocent entertainment. Take for instance, the Qutub Minar. Why should it be closed at 5pm. Live performances could take place there, restaurants could be set up and 24-hour shopping complexes would take place. India has enough of good policing for security to not be a concern.”
He added Rs 5,638 crore had been sanctioned for a total of 67 projects, most of which were likely to be completed by the end of this year. The government had also identified different thematic circuits, such as the Buddhist circuit, the Himalayan circuits, the Spiritual Circuit among others. He added that tourism presently accounts for 6.88 per cent of the GDP and 12.36 per cent of employment and that it had contributed a total of Rs 1.8 lakh crore to the total revenue.