Tourism ministry to hire PR firm for global promotion

The Tourism Ministry is planing to hire a public relations firm to boost the country’s image and to promote it as a safe destination for foreign tourists. “The ministry was speaking to stakeholders to finalise the RFP (Request for Proposal) document,” said Tourism Ministry Secretary Rashmi Verma.

“We will hire a central public relations firm to promote India, to promote its various facets as well as show the world that India is a safe destination. Its job will be to give out positive message about India, sell positive stories. It will be a private firm with credentials to promote India internationally,” said Verma.

The budget for the marketing activities have been raised from Rs 400 crore in 2017-2018 to Rs 600 crore in 2018-2019. “We have completely changed the way we looked at promotional activities. While earlier we concentrated on promoting tourism seasonally, now we are promoting India through the year. Instead of releasing generic advertisements, we are now focusing on themes,” she said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi practicing yoga

As part of its new campaign, the ministry has recently released ‘Yogi of the Racetrack’, an ad film focusing on yoga. Six more such campaigns will be released soon on Ayurveda, Indian cuisines, culture and heritage, cruise tourism, eco and adventure tourism — all made by acclaimed agencies for international markets.

The ministry has also decided to bring down its overseas offices from 14 to eight, thus focusing on specific markets. “A hub will overlook the operation in the region. We will have eight offices in key and emerging markets, and they will be supported by our marketing representatives and PR agencies. We, in conjunction with Indian missions abroad, are in the process of appointing marketing representatives and local PR officials,” Verma said. Tourism ministry will go ahead with its offices in US, Germany, UK, Dubai, Russia, China, Japan and Singapore.

The ministry also plans a film on Buddhist areas of interest, a dedicated website for easy access of tourists for Buddhism related information and a road show to promote it. “As of now only 0.005 per cent tourists come to India who are interested in the Buddhist circuit despite Buddha having such a strong presence here. There is huge potential in it and we have to capitalise it,” Verma told PTI.