India is yet to exploit its full potential as a tourist destination and events like the country’s first art biennale are pointers to it, said senior bureaucrat Amitabh Kant.
He was speaking at a talk organised as part of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale at Fort Kochi on Saturday. The former tourism secretary of Kerala cited a set of tourism programmes that he spearheaded.
With the aid of video clippings, he explained how the programmes were successful in boosting the image of the state and the country as a cultural destination as well.
Prominent among them were campaigns like ‘God’s Own Country’ and ‘Incredible India’, besides those meant to give training to guides and taxi drivers, in addition to awareness campaigns for preserving the heritage sites and tourist resorts in the locality.
“The tourism segment aids to better job prospects and there are ways to boost the sector. We have to use the ideas well,” he said at the ‘Let’s Talk’ series.
“We brand our land not as an advertisement, but as an experience,” he added.
Endeavours like the biennale can give fresh energy to the country’s tourism sector, he said. The talk was followed by a session where two experts from the Sharjah Biennial spoke.
Sharjah Art Foundation president Hoor Al-Qasimi, along with Yuko Hasegawa, the curator of the upcoming biennale in the West Asian Emirate, explained the aesthetic and organisational aspects of the festival.