India has "bombarded" China with its biggest-ever advertising blitz to market and create awareness about the country's tourism potentials, including Buddhist spots, to woo at least one lakh tourists from the Communist nation this year.
"We have bombarded China with 'Incredible India' advertisements and jingles to woo Chinese tourists," Director of the recently opened India Tourism Office in Beijing, Shoeb Samad, told PTI in Beijing.
Samad said the recently-concluded 2008 Beijing Olympics was a successful platform for India Tourism which launched special advertisements at busy subway stations as well as catchy jingles on Chinese radio.
The best-ever Olympic performance by India at Beijing Games has also indirectly created an awareness of the country among the Chinese people, he said, adding that his office received umpteen messages of congratulations from them.
He said that preliminary statistics indicate that some 90,000 Chinese visited India in 2007. "As a result of our focused advertising and awareness campaigns, we are confident that in 2008, we can attract over a lakh Chinese tourists to India," Samad said.
He said India Tourism would be initially focussing on three major cities Beijing, the Chinese capital; Shanghai, the gleaming eastern financial hub; and Guangzhou, the booming business centre in southern China, marketing the popular 'Golden Triangle' Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Buddhist circuit as well as enchanting Kerala would also be high on the marketing agenda of India Tourism Office in China, he said. (More)
The Indian missions in China in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong are also actively assisting the India Tourism office in promoting the country to the Chinese people, Samad said.
"We have decided to target outbound tourism from China and this could be a 'win-win' situation for both sides," he said as India Tourism opened its well-decorated office on the 29th floor of one of Beijing's most sought-after addresses.
The increased connectivity between India and China with more flights and simplification of visa procedures have also boosted the tourism potential between the two most populous nations, he said.
The spacious office has facilities for interactive meetings and plans are afoot to invite leading Chinese tour companies to use the facility for briefing their clients about India.
Samad said India Tourism would address the secondary markets in China through a network of agents as well as airlines and travel agencies, who are craving for authentic information about India's tourism potentials.
The Beijing office of India Tourism will not only target the Chinese mainland but also cover Hong Kong as well as Macao, the Special Administrative Regions of China.
He said India Tourism has sponsored 18 Chinese travel agents to visit Hyderabad for the PATA conference. On October 1, his office will take six Chinese travel agents and travel writers on a familiarisation tour of India.
Moreover, some 100 Chinese travel companies are expected to visit India from September 16 to 19 to understand the Indian tourism market and hold business negotiations with their Indian counterparts.