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With FIFA, Indian tourism plans to put best foot forward

If all goes well, you just may be able to spot Incredible India banners and other advertisements showcasing India as a tourist destination during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Sanjib Kr Baruah reports.

delhi Updated: Mar 31, 2012 23:16 IST
Sanjib Kr Baruah

If all goes well, you just may be able to spot Incredible India banners and other advertisements showcasing India as a tourist destination during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.


Emphasising on the need for a collaborative effort among the five BRICS nations to take the tourism cause forward, union tourism minister Subodh Kant Sahai said, “We are looking at the FIFA World Cup for big-time advertisement of India as a tourist destination, as part of our plans to market India. The idea is to garner as many eyeballs as possible.”

Outlining other plans, the minister said that 2013 will be declared as the India-China tourism year. “Compared to many other parts of the world, BRICS is better equipped to deal with tourism as they have more experience. What’s more, we will be partnering half the world,” he said.

The five BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — collectively account for nearly half the world's population and nearly a fifth of its total economic output. Preparation for the FIFA World Cup is an extension of a plan to showcase India at all mega events across the world. “We are also looking at advertising during the London Olympics in July 2012,” said Sahai.

Significantly, India, Brazil and South Africa have another trilateral initiative called IBSA, where the tourism-specific focus has been delineated for the three members. “Brazil will share its expertise with the other two in beach tourism while South Africa will focus on national parks and eco-tourism. India will provide inputs on rural tourism,” the minister said.

These moves are being contemplated in the backdrop of a new aggressive tourism policy, which aims to increase India’s share in international tourism arrivals to 1% by the end of the 12th Plan. It would require an annual growth of nearly 12%.