Vibrant tourism campaigns attract India’s emerging middle-class travellersApril 20th, 2012 | Posted by in Articles and Opinions
For Indians, travelling is a luxurious form of leisure. It is the perfect remedy to get away from our hectic work-lives and enjoy family-time, while discovering India’s, and indeed, the world’s unexplored treasures. In recent times, this fascination for travel has been boosted by the Indian film industry. The use of breathtakingly scenic locations in movies has led to further growth of the travel and tourism industry among the middle class in India. To cater to this demand, every Indian state has tried to best leverage its historic/natural beauty through huge pan-India advertising campaigns. Whether it is the catchy ‘Hindustan ka Dil’ jingle by Madhya Pradesh Tourism or the Amitabh Bachchan-starrer ‘Khushbu Gujarat Ki,’ these ads are looking to attract the increasingly affluent middle class inIndia into knowing their country a little better.
On the lines of celebrity promotions, former South African cricketing-star Jonty Rhodes has taken up the role of promoting South Africa (SA) tourism to the great Indian middle class. Jonty Rhodes has a special bond withIndia, having coached the IPL team Mumbai Indians. Also known as the ‘Rainbow Nation,’South Africa, is hoping to leverage his appeal to promote travel interest in the country. Approximately 85,000 Indians visited SA in 2011; this is 18 per cent more than 2010’s figure of 72,000.
Although a majority of tourists to SA hail from metros like Mumbai, Chennai andDelhi, when it comes to spending, travellers from Tier 2 cities like Ahmedabad,Bangalore,Hyderabadand Pune spend 15-20 per cent more. To attract them, as well as tourists in Tier 3 cities, the country has announced its plans to expand its reach into middle class markets and has accordingly increased its ad-budget by 50 per cent over last year. For the same reason, the number of SA officials participating in a road show in India has risen from 32 last year to 62 this year, highlighting the importance of the Indian population in SA’s tourism plans.
Similarly, in a bid to position Oman as a safe country, rich in culture and natural beauty, Oman Tourism has launched a USD 200,000-campaign, ‘Opulence of Oman,’ to promote tourism in India’s Tier 2 cities, including Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Pune.Oman, which received 740,000 Indian arrivals in January-November 2011, is looking to conduct training programmes for select travel trade partners in such cities to educate them about the country and its various offerings.
The importance of India’s middle class, essentially arising from the country’s Tier 2 and 3 pockets has been recognised internationally. The popularity of Switzerland, for instance, which was stirred by a slew of mainstream Hindi cinema, has recently motivated the country to launch a campaign where the year 2012 has been christened as the ‘Year of Water.’ The travel destination, particularly famous for its snowy peaks, picturesque glaciers and ice-blue rivers and lakes, is leveraging the spiritual aspect of water which has long mystified Indians.
Switzerlandis looking to attract more Indian travellers since they contributed to more than cent per cent growth in the last five years. This has established thatSwitzerlandis the most favoured global destination of Indians. The number of Swiss travel partners arriving inIndiato showcase their products has also almost doubled from 12 to 22 in the last year. Targeting 20 per cent growth this year, the Swiss government is allocating an additional budget for promotions. An important part of their strategy is to carry out marketing and advertising activities through television as well as train travel professionals in Tier 2 and 3 towns.