Friday, December 23, 2005

Tourism in India

Okay, here we go. I have been thinking about this for a little while, and a few months back, did a little bit of research about it too. And now, I really want to do something about it.

Indian Tourism.

I just cannot digest the fact that a land as beautiful as India has a paltry 0.4 % of the world's tourist share. So I decided that in some small way that I can, I am going to help the cause of making India a really popular tourist destination.

Some of the ideas that I figured could prove useful where many of us could contribute our mite, from our little nests, wherever we are in the world:

1. Spread awareness by word-of-mouth. Not selling Indian tourism, but just plain talk about what India is. A lot of Americans and Europeans, even Singaporeans that I came to interact with had several misconceptions about India and had some baseless misgivings about making a trip to India. I simply cannot accept that places in Thailand, Fiji or Sumatra have a lot more to offer to the thirsty traveller than India can. So I have begun in earnest in my own way, to tell non-Indians about India, about the incredible variety it has and the marvelous palette of the modern and ancient that India represents.

2. Spread awareness by Blogging about it. Here is where a little bit of organization and a mini-movement can take shape, albeit with great effort and patience. One of the ideas that I figured may be useful, is to give the prospective traveller snapshots and first-hand experiences of the thousands of tourist destinations in India. The idea is to start a blog community, that - once it achieves a critical mass - will be a place where the members of the community write about their tourist expeditions, trips to temples, get-aways in the jungles and post pictures so that the prospective traveller knows what to see, when and how, so that he has a great experience.

This is based on the simple yet powerful fact that none of us has seen as much of India as all of us together have. This blog will serve as a compendium of individual trips, indeed as a travelogue contributed by not one or two or even a few, but by all the members, it will help the community members exchange notes and suggestions, and more importantly the blog will be quite a handy resource on the web for the India-bound traveller.

Most travel reviews online, and magazines about tourism in India, including the very impressive Incredible India website are just not sufficiently detailed. Besides a first-person review will just lend that personal touch to help remove any misgivings from the minds of those who want to make the trip to a particular place.

Also, this forum may allow interested travellers to pose questions to the group, that may be answered by people who can, based on their experience.

What's in it for you and me? Well, even with a small percentage of tourist inflows of the world, the Indian tourism sector is one of the largest contributors to the economy, including both direct and indirect revenue, providing employment to millions of people. And it surely has the potential to create and sustain millions of jobs more. And to help to that cause is, I think quite a strong motivation.

India will surely rightly occupy her place as one of the most beautiful and attractive tourist destinations of the world. It is only a matter of time and you and I can help in making it happen a decade earlier than it would in the normal course.

And if you need any more reasons to know why its important to accelerate the growth in tourism in India, you can browse through a few of these sources and articles.

And you could also visit my other blog Friends of Indian Tourism, where I am planning to devote some writing space for Indian tourism.

If you have any suggestions for the above cause, dear reader, I would be glad to hear from you, do leave a comment on this post. Some of us would just do something like this for the love of writing, some others among us might like to share some photos, and some others just want to help the cause. All welcome.

And do please remember, when an opportunity presents itself - when you meet or talk to a non-Indian the next time, the least that we can do to help is to increase the awareness. So talk India.