Ministry considers Aamir Khan as brand ambassador to woo Chinese tourists

The tourism ministry is readying to hold business-to-consumer road-shows in foreign countries for the first time and is considering using Bollywood stars such as Aamir Khan to promote India in key markets such as China where they command a huge fan following, said Union minister KJ Alphons.

The tourism ministry is planning to conduct business-to-consumer road-shows abroad for the first time. It is considering association of Bollywood starts such as Aamir Khan for the promotion of India in the key markets like China, where they have huge fan following, said the Union Minister for Tourism, KJ Alphons.

“Revenue from foreign tourist arrivals grew 19.2 per cent year-on year to USD 27 billion last year and the target is to double this in three years and target USD 100 billion in five years,” said the minister, while talking to the media.

“We should have aggressive campaigns. Currently the main focus will be midtown China. We are planning to have at least 10 per cent of the Chinese Market. Our prime minister is himself popular in China; he is our biggest brand ambassador. The second brand ambassador is Aamir Khan. We are exploring how to use Bollywood to promote tourism in Chinese market,” said Alphons.

“We will conduct multiple events in 27 first tier 1 cities of China and then will move to tier 2 cities. Other road-shows are planned in UK, France, Italy, Russia, Australia and the Nordic Countries,” he added.

“Our traditional road-shows have been business-to-business meets, but now we will have business-to-consumer meets, which means connecting with the public at large. We will have massive public campaigns and we will do aggressive marketing through B2C campaigns,” said Alphons.

The tourism ministry has been urging the finance ministry to exempt cruise tourism from goods and services tax (GST) for five years, a proposal which has the support of the shipping ministry. In addition, the tourism ministry is pushing for a reduction in the 28% GST levied on hotels with tariffs of Rs 7,500 and above.

Globally, there were around 24 million cruisers last year; however we got only 171,000 cruisers, which were pitiable.  We want to have a good portion of this and the current structure is highly taxed. So we are seeking a five-year tax holiday on cruise tourism and this has the support of the shipping ministry. We will gain enormously from this. We have taken it up strongly with the finance ministry,” said the Minister.

Source: Economic Times