The “Incredible India” campaign to promote tourism in one of the world’s most unknown paradises and fascinating countries has not been a success. Indians not respecting its principles have mostly spoiled it and have shot the goose that lays golden eggs.
India has so much potential it is even difficult to calculate how much the country could benefit from improving its services and attitude towards tourists. That is why it is a pity that its public relations efforts and infrastructure do not match the ambitions of the “Incredible India” campaign. As foreign tourists provide 65% of the revenue in India, the attitude towards them must change if Indians are to profit.
As soon as one arrives in Delhi, the problems are visible. Bored immigration staff are not very welcoming. The taxi drivers outside the airport fight for the tourists attention to earn more money than their rivals. Once outside the airport, the plethora of beggars and masses of filth do little to whet the appetite for an Indian adventure.
Nobody is pretending that India is not an absolutely fascinating and stunning mix of cultures, religions with almost every natural phenomenon to offer. The locals, however, are doing little to help its cause. An ancient pilgrim town named Rishikesh is the epitome of the mess. Instead of promoting the city to lovers of yoga, meditation and alternative treatment methods, the local people are more concerned with gaining money out of the foreigner’s pocket. Visitors are becoming tired of extra taxes for foreigners. India needs to make improvements in its treatment of foreigners to make the massive campaign worthwhile.