Special promotional packages with States soon for monsoon season, says Tourism Ministry official

August 29th, 2008 - 5:36 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Aug.29 (ANI): The Monsoon has traditionally been a lean season for tourism in India and now its time to change this perception. This was the overriding thought at the National Seminar on Monsoon Tourism, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), here today.
Leena Nandan, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, said that the ministry is working with States to develop promotional packages for monsoon season, and added that these packages will be announced soon.
Stating that foreign tourist arrivals have increased by 14.3 per cent in 2007, as compared to 2006, Nandan said that the time has come to attract tourists in the lean season also.
We have to innovate to attract tourists during the monsoon period, she said adding, prime packages that can be offered at this time are honeymoon packages, Ayurveda rejuvenation holidays, houseboat cruises and rainwalks.
Nandan said that States need to have focussed plans for monsoon tourism aimed at stakeholders like hoteliers and tour operators. She pointed out that West Asia is good market for promoting monsoon tourism alongwith Europe and the United States.
The marketing should be consumer oriented and activities should be planned during any monsoon package, she said, adding that the tourism ministry is already doing special promotions with Travel and Leisure of the United States.
Ashwani Lohani, Managing Director, Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (MPTDC), the co-sponsor of the seminar, said that his State offered unexplored beauty that could be cashed in during the monsoon season.
Enumerating points necessary to attract tourists during monsoon, Lohani said: Good roads are a must if we have to get tourists during this rainy season.
He pointed out that roads in MP have improved appreciably during the last four years. Another important thing is good signages, he said adding, we have put 150 signages along the major highways and our plan is to increase the number to 400 and cover all major roads. He said that these signages are colour coded and a tourist by colour would make out whether the place is a wildlife sanctuary or a heritage site, etc.
Loohani said the State is planning to have a round-the-clock control room to attend distressed calls from tourist and to help them. He informed that in four cities Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior and Jabalpur the State has used mobile phone technology to help and inform tourists about different sites in these cities. He also advocated tax incentives during monsoon season to attract more tourists.
M P Bezbaruah, former tourism secretary, said in his welcome address that the magic of monsoon rains can be a major tourist attraction in India. For this, he said, imaginative packaging is the key as monsoon is the season that fires imagination. He said good packaging can help India to overcome the lean season, which has many positives like lush green environs, filled up water bodies, etc.
Subhash Goyal, Chairman Stic Travels Pvt Ltd, pointed out in his concluding remarks that Goa was the first State to promto tourism during the monsoon season. Today, Goa hotels have 100 per cent occupancy during this period, he said. This, alongwith successful monsoon promotion by Kerala by giving Ayurveda packages, shows that it is possible to do away with this traditional lean season and attract tourist from all over the world to experience the magic of monsoon in India.
States like Kerala, Uttarakhand and Assam shared the Monsoon Tourism initiatives taken by them, at the seminar.(ANI)

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