Desperate India Tries Freebies to Woo Tourists

India has been a dismal failure at attracting foreign tourists compared to even tiny nations like Croatia.

Frequent terrorist bombings in major Indian tourist hubs like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore et al, the global recession and rape and murder of tourists must surely be causing nightmares to the somnolent pen-pushers in India’s moribund Ministry of Tourism.

As if the bombings and violent assaults on tourists were not bad enough, there’s the shockingly pathetic tourist infrastructure for travelers daring to visit India.

Now in what seems like a desperate bid to bring in tourists, India’s inept Ministry of Tourism is laying it on thick with a host of incentives via dull campaigns in magazines like the New Yorker.

Here are some of the bribes India is offering these days to draw foreign tourists:

* One complimentary companion Air Ticket
* One day’s complimentary hotel stay
* One complimentary sight seeing tour in a city of your choice (or so they say)
* One complimentary rural eco-holiday at any of 15 locations
(Source: New Yorker, April 20, 2009, P.44-45)

The freebies are being offered under a “One special reason to visit India” promotion.

Wonder, what the clowns at the Ministry of Tourism will think of next? Maybe, complimentary massages at Kerala and/or complimentary nights in Kamathipura.

Also, we doubt India is offering comparable incentives for domestic tourists.

By the way, when we clicked the Visit India 2009 tab on the Incredible India web site a malware was downloaded to our PC (Mal/Iframe-F, which our security software caught fortunately. Only the buffoons at India’s Ministry of Tourism are capable of such nonsense).

6 Responses to "Desperate India Tries Freebies to Woo Tourists"

  1. shadowfax_arbit   April 15, 2009 at 3:06 am

    “Also, we doubt India is offering comparable incentives for domestic tourists.”

    Why incentives, infact domestic tourists are treated worse, atleast in Goa. We were told that sunshades are supposed to be only for foreigners and Indians have to pay more than the actual cost to use it! Even the restaurants around were all showing EPL to woo the foreigners… I guess these shopkeepers collect the bills in dollars n cheat them off.. No wonder tourism sucks despite some beautiful places like the ones in Himalayan stretch…

    Shimla is really beautiful in case u havent been there–Shimla-0.jpg Responds:

    Shimla looks lovely. Never gone north of Delhi.

  2. shadowfax_arbit   April 15, 2009 at 3:23 am

    I think the major reason is that they get cheated in multiple ways and there is no proper tourism infrastructure or information center for the tourists. Tourists approach some local guides who cheat them, they get cheated in lodging, in restaurants, in travelling, in shopping etc. They end up spending lot of bucks for nothing.

    I dont think terrorism or getting raped of all is a concern. There are so many tourists in Goa. Not that everyone is getting raped. It happens very rarely, not only here, but everywhere…. Responds:

    There’s not much cheating at the tourist centers here but admission fees are quite steep, especially if people are coming from India.

    Compared to the rich attractions of India, there’s really not much here.

    Every city in India has so much to offer but little is really marketed well. Here, it’s the opposite. Little to offer but a lot of marketing and hype.

  3. babyface   April 15, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Have you watched Responds:

    No, we just saw the preview when we went to Eastern Promises.

    From what we remember, Darjeeling Limited didn’t meet with an enthusiastic response.

  4. babyface   April 15, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Lot of India.. Irrfan Khan is there.. Amara Karan is sort of cute.. another dusky Lankan-brit.. but I simply don’t have much patience to watch it in the afternoon. Responds:

    Don’t feel like watching a movie today (even if it’s free via RedBox).

    Today, we plan on finishing the latest issue of New Yorker and then reading a couple of chapters from Ram Guha’s book.

  5. the gora   April 15, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    I can’t stand Wes Anderson movies. They are hyped up as being clever and witty and whatever else. Rushmore sucked. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou was even worse. Can’t imagine sitting through The Darjeeling Limited.

  6. the gora   April 15, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Why on earth would anyone want to fly halfway around the world for a complimentary one night hotel stay? Responds:

    You missed the Free Companion Air Ticket, right at the top – that’s not a bad deal.

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