Monsoon no time for tourists? Lure honeymooners, say experts

August 29th, 2008 - 7:24 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 29 (IANS) Winter is the time when international tourists flock to India in their thousands, and in summer domestic tourists travel in droves to cooler climes. But monsoon tourism, sadly, has no takers. Or, is it? Honeymooners could possibly be lured to those wet places for that clingy feeling, experts say. At a national seminar on monsoon tourism here Friday, experts said that monsoon has not taken off because most people feel “rains spoil a holiday and not make it”.

An alternative was promoting it among honeymooning couples.

Himmat Anand, founder of the Tree of Life Resort and Spa, said that promoting monsoon tourism in India as a broad-based subject was a bad idea.

“Even when you look at the brochures of travel companies abroad, you will see that it is clearly mentioned that holidays are planned to avoid rainy weather. And then of course, we have all these cases of landslides in the mountains during the monsoon and people drowning on the beachside. Therefore, promoting monsoon tourism should be done carefully,” he added.

According to Anand, the market for monsoon tourism lies in the domestic tourists.

“We are more comfortable with the rains than people in Europe or the US. Therefore promoting monsoon tourism among the domestic travellers would be better, before venturing out of the country,” he said.

Anand said that if honeymooning couples, who more often than not plan their holidays during the winters, can be convinced to postpone their honeymoon to the monsoon, it will be a great deal done.

“Honeymooners make for a big market and if they can be convinced to honeymoon during the rains, nothing like it. Other niche products like ayurveda, which Kerala promotes, can be used to promote the season since the body responds to the treatment better during the monsoon,” he said.

Apurv Kumar, chairman of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) Rajasthan State Council, said that safety of tourists and connectivity are the two main challenges.

“During monsoon roads here simply break down. Proper connectivity is very important in order to promote monsoon tourism. Also safety should be the topmost concern,” Kumar said.

In 2007, the number of international tourists visiting India between the months of November-January were the highest ranging between 51,0987-53,2088.

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