Even as the government evades appointing a brand ambassador, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appears to have become the most effective face of ‘Incredible India’. In less than a year, the tourism ministry has again compiled figures that show an increase in tourist inflow from countries which Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visited.
According to the ministry’s marketing and research team statistics released on Friday, there is, on an average, a rise of 20% tourist traffic from 32 countries that Modi visited between 2014 and 2016. Interestingly, the highest growth has been recorded from Iran (33%), Pakistan (29.54%) and Saudi Arabia (15.04%). The highest inflow increase is from Turkmenistan, 76.75%, followed by Uzbekistan at 40%.
Ministry sources said that the promotional Incredible India film, to be released in October, would have clips of the Prime Minister’s speeches, including those made at diaspora events during his visits abroad. After the expiry of Bollywood actor Aamir Khan’s contract as brand ambassador, the government was yet to appoint his successor. The sources said the issue was not on the government’s radar as of now.
Barring Russia, Afghanistan and Mexico, there has been an increase in tourist traffic from all the other countries the Prime Minister has visited. Sources said the reason for the 36.1 dip in tourism into India from Russia was because of a general decrease in the figure of outgoing tourists from the country.
“When the Prime Minister visits other countries, the curiosity of the people there about India increases. It also instills a sense of confidence in our country,” said culture and tourism minister Mahesh Sharma.
With a general rise of 9.86% in tourist traffic into India, the ministry is planning theme-based tourism by identifying circuits like desert, Himalayas, Northeast, Ramayana and Mahabharata.
The increase of tourist inflow from China was 13.98%, US 8.46%, Ireland 13.79%, Australia 9.73% and Mauritius 16.42%. Among the neighbouring countries, Nepal recorded a rise of 22.39% of tourists to India and Bhutan 19.27%.