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Sambhar Mafia - Cooked To Kill!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Incredible India? Enchanting Tamilnadu?

The Central government has been spending a lot on print and TV campaigns to promote Indian tourism. Some of the states have also decided to market themselves to the international tourists. Tamilnadu, Pondicherry, Kerala and Goa are some of the states / UT’s which have done so. I guess having one unified campaign for the whole country might make more sense than the destinations advertising for themselves.

If the destinations are quite popular and well established (Australia’s destinations promote themselves on an individual basis) then it might make sense to go for such a promotion. I came across the following ad in Time Magazine and wasn’t quite impressed with the way Tamilnadu was promoting itself –

Pic Courtesy: Agencyfaqs.com

Enchanting Tamilnadu – Experience Yourself

Today an astonishing number of Westerner’s practice yoga.
Guess where their teachers come to learn?
Yes, you guessed it right
Some of the finest purest yoga schools are in Tamilnadu
None of them advertise!
So visit Tamilnadu for a truly enchanting experience

Would somebody travel all the way to Tamilnadu to know about yoga? This kind of campaign might work for Kerala as they have created an image around Ayurvedas and Spa treatments. The ad has been done by DIPR (Department of Information and Public Relations, Govt. of Tamilnadu). When they are spending big money advertising in the best of magazines, can’t they spend a little bit more to hire a good ad agency to come up with a better concept? The word India has not been mentioned anywhere in the ad. Do they assume that all the people reading the ad would know where Tamilnadu is? (they would probably know if they have watched the news channels during the Tsunami)

Bibs had also made a post on tourism and I leave you with some of his thoughts:

A long 10 hr wait in Mumbai with the rain gods not in the best of moods. While Mother Nature has her own ways of getting attention, Air India really came up short on making life easier for the passengers. We had no clue as to when the next flight out was. They said 1 am and finally we took off at 4 am the next morning.

There was this French couple along with me. I could actually sense the frustration that was building up in them. They werent sure if they will get their baggage and also as to what the gate was and at what time etc. The whole thing seemed a bit amateurish to me, the way, Air India handles this whole thing. I think we have a long way to go before we can be a good tourist location. I am just suprised that so many tourists are still coming to India even with the amount of complications that they have to go through. There are so many basic things that can be done right without even making major investments for example by just putting enough people to help out the foreign tourists and provide them with information (after all, people are not a scarce commodity here). We can do all the marketing but if we cant follow up this with the basics back here, we can never be a serious contender for the 'share of wallet' in the tourism industry.


  • That was a thought provoking one-With Air India I have heard tons of problems and it doesnot seem to create any kind of alarm to the officials.

    By Anonymous vasanthi, at 12:52 PM  

  • one of the most obvious ways for TN would have been Temples. Even if they wanted to advertise about the 'yoga' teachers they would have used the pondicherry style ads where in the tourist is encouraged to 'learn french, sip wine, tan himself on beachside' all in a weekend. I have seen this 'learn massage, yoga etc.' in Leh too. Most of the foriegn tourists spend 2-3 weeks in India and they look for avenues to learn something.

    By Blogger Chandoo, at 1:07 PM  

  • Concentrate on the basics - AI & AAI need to learn this NOW!

    That advert sounds very odd.

    By Blogger Chakra Sampath, at 3:55 PM  

  • Nice thought on the Tourism Ad.

    Madurai Meenakshi Temple is in
    the news for the World Wonders..
    it would be one of the ideas to
    depict its picture to tell the world that ..there is more such
    temples here in Tamil Nadu (India)

    By Blogger Rajesh, at 7:00 PM  

  • Hey,

    Hmmm...'Enchanting Tamilnadu'... just doesn't even "sound" good... how abt 'Tantalizing Tamilnadu' :)


    By Blogger Carnatakam, at 11:53 PM  

  • @Vasanthi,
    I think they will run out of business quite soon

    TN has so much to offer and they are trying to promote just Yoga....just doesn't make sense to me.

    It is quite vague.....and this what the world gets to see about us

    Precisely....they should have featured some temples there

    Good suggestion. Tantalizing rhymes with the word TN but don't know whether we can back it up with attractions on the ground.

    By Blogger Kaps, at 1:09 PM  

  • Actually, I have had a very interesting experiance on this one. I was held up in Bombay airport some months back and was surrounded with the usual chaos that I love my country for(yes I truely love it). I was accompanied by an American who was first too shocked to talk anything and then slowly started talking to me. By the time we landed in Bangalore (our final destination) he said "Wow, I had heard a lot about this 'chaos thing', but nothing has prepared me for this. How do you guys even manage to live? But to be frank with you am enjoying it;)".

    By Blogger Krishna, at 3:33 PM  

  • I totally agree to the point that 'Im surprised how many foreigners still come to India'. I guess a lot come to see what really happens here.

    By Blogger Govar, at 2:11 AM  

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