Tourism: Is India at war?

by admin on September 1, 2012

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Taj Mahal, Agra India

Taj Mahal, Agra

Despite our tourism ministry’s much hyped about peace and tranquility; India is ranked 142 out of 158 countries surveyed by the Global Peace Index 2012, far below even the war torn countries like Angola(95), Uganda (98), Lebanon(136) Ethiopia(137), Myanmar(139) and just 5 points  above Libya(147) and 7 above points Pakistan (149).

However, in India’s budget session this year the Government allocated Rs. 1282 crore for tourism sector for year 2012-13 out of which Rs 348.20 crore has been earmarked for the ‘Incredible India campaign’ which showcased India’s hotspots in tourism, globally. True, some people got the message and most didn’t. France won the numbers game as it attracted about 78 million foreign tourists in 2010, but got the 40th spot by the Global Peace Index 2012. This index is supposedly aimed to go ‘beyond crude measure of wars and systemically explore the texture of peace.’ No doubt this is double- speak by vested interests, as it places India amongst war torn countries. It implies that tourists on world tour packages should avoid us at all costs!

Our saving grace is by World Travel and Tourism Council which envisages that India will be the tourism hot spot for the decade 2009 to 2018, which is proven by the fact that foreign tourist arrivals in India were 16.8 million in 2011 and foreign exchange earnings stood at US$ 16.91billion whilst its Global Rank was 17. It went up against the previous year’s figure of foreign tourists arrivals at 5.58 million and foreign exchange earnings of US$ 14.193 – a jump of 17.6% in one year! Millions of foreign tourists are still thronging the most serendipitous, fabulous places to visit in India and trend is growing at lightning speed.

So, who are you kidding Mr. Global Peace Index?  A Nation that staunchly believes in Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi’s preaching’s of non violence?

Bah! Western propaganda or statistics can prove anything you can say.  But does it mean peace prevails only in the backwaters of Kerala, or up north in mountains of Himachal Pradesh or the sea side beaches of Goa?  Then why do why do we need so much capital spend on it anyway? Why do we take you to the best of Tourist Places in India?  Why do tourists world over never equate India with the countries that rank anywhere near the position the World Peace Index puts us in?

Maybe that Global Peace Index was calculated by short sighted computers and nobody bothered to check the results? We claim vociferously that Aithi Devo Bhavah, which in Sanskrit means the Guest, is God. So what went wrong? Nothing, absolutely nothing!

mahableshwar india

Mahableshwar, India

Everything is summed to the much clichéd term “It’s the economy, stupid” a variation of which made the Bill Clinton in his campaign winning strategy against sitting President George W H Bush in 1992. The other phrases Clinton used were “Don’t forget health care.”True, India is gaining ground in Medical Tourism, which according some sources say is growing @ 30% annually and will reach $2 billion by 2015, but this is against the below the poverty people who almost account for half the populace of India, which has the 2nd largest population in the world! But then again its critics will say it is statistics. But even today, Mitt Roomey is using another catchphrase for his campaign “it is still the economy, stupid.” We all wonder if it will work in recession hit countries.

However, in India’s budget session this year the Government allocated Rs. 1282 crore for tourism sector for year 2012-13 out of which Rs 348.20 crore has been earmarked for the ‘Incredible India campaign’ which showcased India’s hotspots in tourism, globally. True, some people got the message and most didn’t. France won the numbers game as it attracted about 78 million foreign tourists in 2010, but got the 40th spot by the Global Peace Index 2012. This index is supposedly aimed to go ‘beyond crude measure of wars and systemically explore the texture of peace.’ No doubt this is double- speak by vested interests, as it places India amongst war torn countries. It implies that tourists on world tour packages should avoid us at all costs!

Our saving grace is by World Travel and Tourism Council which envisages that India will be the tourism hot spot for the decade 2009 to 2018, which is proven by the fact that foreign tourist arrivals in India were 16.8 million in 2011 and foreign exchange earnings stood at US$ 16.91billion whilst its Global Rank was 17. It went up against the previous year’s figure of foreign tourists arrivals at 5.58 million and foreign exchange earnings of US$ 14.193 – a jump of 17.6% in one year! Millions of foreign tourists are still thronging the most serendipitous, fabulous places to visit in India and trend is growing at lightning speed.

So, who are you kidding Mr. Global Peace Index?  A Nation that staunchly believes in Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi’s preaching’s of non violence?

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