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My Pet Peeve #1

On Jungfrau Last Spring, I happened to spend about 8 days in Switzerland with my family. As we went on our own, we did pretty much our own thing. This meant that we managed to see most of the things in Switzerland the way we wanted to – plus we also had a glimpse of the Swiss way of life. Marvellous experience, though it almost blew the bank away!

As we traipsed up and down the snowy mountains, drove by lakes, gawked at rusty armours in archaic castles, all I could feel was anger – and a little bit of despair. And those feelings were directed at the state of tourism in my own country.

India has a phenomenal number of national monuments, castles, lakes, caves, beaches – you name it, we have it. The Himalayas are some of the most beautiful and the tallest mountain ranges in the world. As I stood on ‘Top of Europe’, I couldn’t help thinking ‘this mountain is like a third of Mt Everest!’ The land is littered with castles and forts left over from the days when kings and queens ruled us. They have also left behind some fantastically carved rocks and caves in Mamallapuram (or Mahabalipuram), Elephanta, Konark, Ajanta and Ellora.
Mamallapuram's Shore Temple forms an impressive background
We can boast of the world’s second largest coastline –but filthy and unkempt isn’t the look to aim for if we want to attract travellers from all over the world. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, we have an abundance of beautiful spots, to attract every single type of holidaymaker. But does anyone know of them? No. Do we market any of these fantastic spots? Not really. Is any of it maintained attractively enough for people to say ‘You know, I would like to go to that place again’? No way!

Why? What is our Ministry of Tourism do anyway? What are they promoting? How are they selling the beautiful gems of our country to the world?

Marketing and merchandising are two words that don’t necessarily exist in our dictionaries. Well, merchandising certainly doesn’t. You go to any place in the world, you will find shops selling stuff from fridge magnets, key rings, scarves, carvings, stuffed toys, masks – you get the picture. What sort of tourist merchandise have we got?

Last month, when I went home for my holidays, folks at work wanted me to get them some fridge magnets that depict India. Try as I might, I couldn’t locate a single one. I finally settled for a small carving of Lord Ganesha’s face, which had a piece of sticky tape on its back!

When is our Tourist industry going to wake up?

Also appears at http://desicritics.org/2006/05/16/115355.php

Posted by DesiGirl 12:44 pm  

1 Comment:

  1. Martin said...
    Mahabalipuram is a treasure house of ancient Tamil art, culture, civilization, & history. A coastal city, Mahabalipuram has an immense place of importance in Tamil history and mythology. This beautiful coastal city of Tamil Nadu is ordained with a number of temples and places of archeological importance. It is not surprising therefore, that because of the overabundance of these places Mahabalipuram is often referred to as a legacy in stone. The unique instances of art, culture and architecture that has been preserved by the kings of the then Pallava dynasty proves to be a delight to the eye even today and it is not for nothing that Mahabalipuram is known as an “open air museum”. The richness of Mahabalipuram has made it one of the most favorite tourist places of South India. Hotels in Mahabalipuram are for tourists from different walks of life. As the place is more of a tourist destination rather than a business one, there are many leisure hotels and budget hotels in Mahabalipuram.

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