Author Topic: chiru's latest interview to gulf news  (Read 402 times)

Offline manikumar18

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chiru's latest interview to gulf news
« on: July 17, 2013, 10:35:18 AM »
India ‘wellness tourism’ holds
immense potential
Tourism minister introduces ‘single
window’ mechanism for filmmakers to
shoot in the country
New Delhi: The ministry of tourism is
working on an overdrive trying to
match up with other nations that
have a remarkable presence in the
tourism sector. The man behind the
mission is Dr Konidala Chiranjeevi,
Federal Minister of State
(Independent charge), Ministry of
A highly successful Telugu film actor,
Chiranjeevi is a member of the Rajya
Sabha, whose focus is on niche
tourism and he is working towards
giving a makeover to the country’s
image with his ‘Incredible India’
Under the campaign, the ministry is
organising road shows to woo foreign
tourists through its offices in various
countries. And within the country it
is providing financial assistance to
several states under the ‘Product
Infrastructure Development for
Destinations and Circuits’ Scheme.
The superstar-turned-politician
informs, “We have even instituted a
new category of award, which will be
given to a state for its proactive role
in promoting tourism.”
Article continues below
He speaks to Gulf News in an
exclusive interview.
1)After about nine months of
experience as tourism minister, what
in your opinion are the best ways to
promote tourism?
I believe that it is imperative to be
interactive and be open to feedback
from tourists of all genres – be it
foreign tourists like backpackers and
business-cum-leisure travellers or
Indian tourists, some of whom take
one holiday a year to unwind, along
with family and friends. So, my
mission is to see that everyone has a
satisfactory experience, as the best
tourism promotion is through word-
2)What grouse do travellers often have
when they visit monuments and
tourist spots in India?
While a lot of them go back with good
memories, many also complain about
unhygienic conditions and suggest we
have better basic infrastructure
facilities. One naturally feels elated
to hear good things about the
country. But I cannot forget the
meeting with some tourists in
Vietnam, when one of the members
remarked that though places like
Bodh Gaya are sacred and they would
like to take home the soil around the
shrine as a sign of reverence, people
were using the area around it as a
toilet! Believe me, it was so
embarrassing to hear this.
3)So what is being done in this regard?
We are vigorously starting the ‘Clean
India’ campaign. And to execute it
effectively, I am connecting with chief
ministers of various states to ensure
cleanliness and hygiene practices at
tourist destinations. The campaign
has to be sustained through adoption
and involvement of private and public
sector stakeholders as a part of their
corporate social responsibility (CSR).
And already some organisations,
including the Oil and Natural Gas
Corporation, Indian Tourism
Development Corporation and Sulabh
International have come forward and
taken up the cleanliness drive at
places such as the Taj Mahal in Agra,
Red Fort in Delhi, Mahabalipuram in
Tamil Nadu and the river banks in
4)What steps are being taken to
promote film tourism, especially after
the success of Life of Pi, which was
shot in southern India?
Since India offers a diversity of
landscape and locations in different
states, we are making it an appealing
destination for production of both
national and international films. In
collaboration with the Ministry of
Information and Broadcasting, we are
initiating steps to have a ‘single
window’ mechanism for filmmakers
seeking permission to shoot feature
films or short films in the country.
This will mean that henceforth,
filmmakers will not have to run
around or wait endlessly to obtain
clearance from various departments.
Also, to develop synergy between
tourism and global and Indian film
industry, we are promoting cinema as
a brand of ‘Incredible India’
campaign at various national and
international forums.
Recently, India extended ‘Visa on
Arrival’ facilities to various countries.
5)What is the status on China, which
sends around 150,000 tourists to
India annually, including many
pilgrims to the Buddhist regions?
We extended this facility to
Singapore, New Zealand, Luxemburg,
Japan, Finland, Cambodia, Vietnam,
Laos, Philippines, Indonesia and
Myanmar and extension of the same
facility to other countries is an
ongoing process. Based on travel
trends, world tourism scenario and
security concerns, we are studying on
extending the scheme to China as
well. We understand that China is a
primary tourism generating market
and regular promotions are being
done to tap tourists from this region.
6)India is well known for its ‘medical
tourism’, but how about promoting it
also as ‘wellness tourism’ destination,
in association with practitioners of
alternative medicine therapies, as
traditionally, that India’s forte?
I agree that ‘wellness tourism’ holds
immense potential for India. Our
systems of medicine, namely,
ayurveda, yoga, panchkarma and
rejuvenation therapies are among the
most ancient systems of medical
treatment in the world. The increased
stress levels and mundane lifestyles
in many developed nations are
driving people to seek inner peace.
And the spiritual heritage of our
country including meditation
techniques is a rage among travellers
seeking solace. With this view in
mind, recently, a national level
consultant was appointed to identify
some spiritual tourism locales,
including the Sufi circuit, for
integrated development and
promotion of spiritual destinations.
7)Any plans of promoting inbound
tourism with an eye on smaller
destinations that are absolutely
incredible, but lesser known?
Considering that the tourism sector
has endless potential, we are hastily
taking up several campaigns. The two
newly introduced campaigns are —
‘Find what you Feel’ and ‘Go Beyond’.
The first one emphasizes the fact that
tourists from the world over can find
the destination or product of their
choice in India including – heritage
monuments, mountains, rivers,
beaches, flora and fauna, cultural
hubs, pilgrim centres, adventure
parks and exotic cuisines from
different states. And the second
campaign promotes lesser-known
destinations, which are situated on
the periphery of the established
tourist spots in the country. For this,
we are working towards easy
connectivity and better infrastructure
facilities. My target is to make India
at par with other international tourist
hubs and at the same time provide
greater consumer satisfaction to the

Offline rajaram

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chiru's latest interview to gulf news
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2013, 07:51:45 PM »
Good post.


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