x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

India just too big to have single campaign to attract tourists

Interview with Thomas Thottathil, the head of corporate communications at the luxury travel company Cox & Kings India, who talks about the tourism industry in India.

Thomas Thottathil, the head of corporate communications at the luxury travel company Cox & Kings India, talks about the tourism industry in India.

Do you think enough is being done to promote India as a destination?

The Incredible India campaign is doing quite well as far as India is concerned as a destination. What we have seen is more states taking the lead in promoting themselves overseas. If you look at India, it’s a vast country. You have all types of experiences that you can get in India. When you have to narrow it down, it all lands up at the doorstep of the state. How do you promote your own offerings to the world outside. Kerala, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, are doing a lot to promote tourism. I think that’s the way to go because India’s too huge to have one campaign for India as a destination.

Are there concerns about safety that might put off some from visiting India?

There are concerns expressed by foreign tourists, but then we advise them accordingly. See, security as an aspect is the same be it in India or be it anywhere else. We advise tourists where to go, where not to go, and what time of the day to move out.

Over the years India has become well known as a backpacking destination. Do you think it should be doing more to attract more high-spending tourists?

We do attract both sets of tourists. We do attract backpackers, then we have the charter tourists who go into Goa, then we have the high-end tourists. Somebody coming to India is coming for experiences. They’re coming for the Indian experience and that is something that attracts a particular segment of travellers. That is maybe the 40-plus type of tourist who has seen many other places and wants to come to India. I think we fairly get our share of high-end tourists.

* Rebecca Bundhun