Thanks to remarkable marketing, New York City received 11 million foreign visitors in 2012.
Let’s not kid ourselves here about the so-called attractions of New York City.
Other than the Broadway shows, a bunch of good museums and Ellis Island (Statue of Liberty), New York City does not really have much to boast of.
Unlike India with a hoary past dating back thousands of years, New York City does not have much of a history to speak of.
No Qutub Minar, no Jantar Mantar, no Taj Mahal, no Sanchi Stupa, no Chola Temples, no Khajuraho, no Benares, no Rajinikant. Zilch, zip.
Until the enterprising Dutch immigrants came sailing into the southern tip of Manhattan in 1614 and established a settlement there, the area now known as New York City was home to the Algonquian tribes of Native Americans.
There was not much then and there’s not much now in New York City!
Times Square New York City
With so little to boast about, still New York City attracted 41 million domestic visitors and 11 million international visitors in 2012.
All gaping at the not-so-gape-worthy billboards in Times Square.
No surprise then that New York City hotels sold 29 million hotel room nights and generated $504 million in hotel tax revenue in 2012.
The hospitality industry across the five boroughs of New York City today employs 356,000 New Yorkers.
NYC hoteliers must be laughing all the way to the bank.
Foreign Visitors to India
In contrast, the entire Mera Bharat Mahaan (India) with several thousand years of history and supposedly a “glorious past” got a paltry 6.4 million foreign visitors in 2012.
Foreign visitors to India in 2012 are based on SI estimates that take into account Ministry of Tourism figures that put foreign tourist arrivals up to the end of November at 5.89 million.
Besides creating thousands of jobs in New York City, the deluge of tourists is a huge boost to hotels, museums, Broadway theatres and other businesses.
Visitors to NYC are estimated to have generated $55.3 billion in economic impact to the city’s economy.
Why India Fares Poorly
Besides the obvious problems of pitiful infrastructure, crumbling monuments, all round filth and poor hygiene, India has done a rotten job of marketing the nation as a tourist destination.
If anything, India is synonymous in the West only with Delhi Belly.
Incredible India Campaign on New York City Tour Bus
After several years of the Incredible India campaign, it’s a shame that India still gets less tourists than just New York City.
As if poor infrastructure and hopeless marketing were not bad enough, India is now developing a horrid reputation as a lawless land where rape, murder, theft and riots are all too common.
Every day brings fresh reports of gruesome rapes in the nation’s capital Delhi and all across the country.
Compounding the problem, India now has a prancing monkey heading the Ministry of Tourism.
Chiranjeevi’s only claim to fame so far is to make a monkey of himself in a few hundred trashy Telugu films. The bloke not only has zero experience in managing a large organization but his political debut too was a miserable failure.
With improvements in infrastructure and greater investments in maintaining monuments supported by a a souped-up marketing campaign, Incredible India has the potential to create tens of thousands of jobs in the tourism and hospitality sectors and add billions to the coffers of the nation’s economy.
Until then, India as a must-visit tourist destination will remain a mirage.