Involving leading personalities in unique tourism projects could be a game changer

Promotion of islands and lighthouses as tourism products has clearly emerged as intrinsic pillars of the union government’s intent to give a new identity to Indian tourism in the recent times. A country which, as a tourism entity, is looking for solutions to enhance its experiential offerings, the government has clearly indicated that development of these segments would mean going beyond the ordinary. In an interesting recent development, the union government has asked renowned Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev to take up an island in Andaman and develop it as a unique Yoga destination. The proposition in experiential terms means, a scenic island which will offer yoga on the beach.

Involving leading personalities in unique tourism projects could be a game changerAddressing a recent industry gathering, Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari confirmed that the government would want Baba Ramdev to come forward and develop an island as a unique yoga destination in Andaman. The Union Shipping Ministry has identified islands and over 70 lighthouses all across the country which can be developed as tourism destinations. Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships ( a wing attached to Ministry of Shipping) has recently conducted two roadshows in the country offering land parcels adjacent to lighthouses in as many as 78 locations to develop for tourism activities (refer to our story in October edition – Pitch for lighthouse tourism). The government is encouraging the private sector to participate in these tourism projects on public private partnership (PPP) basis.

Developing an island or even a lighthouse as tourism magnets by involving the leading personalities of the day with massive mass following certainly seems to be the right approach to pursue these new tourism streams which do not belong to the ordinary basket. Having somebody as eminent as Baba Ramdev spearheading a yoga island project would undoubtedly create more buzz around it (in their process of development, you are actually creating a battery of anticipating consumers) and could well encourage more entrepreneurs to jump in the fray believing that there is seriousness at the top. Having a noted brand ambassador for other upcoming tourism segments could well be the game changer in a major way. Just to cite an example, if stalwarts like Sachin Tendulkar are brought on the board as the lead figure for a sports tourism academy, it will undoubtedly make a world of difference. Clearly, a noble idea which needs to be pursued diligently.

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