Like all countries everywhere, India has taken a major hit to its travel and tourism industry because of the current pandemic. But the world runs on hope, and most of us hope for a day when we all will travel like before.
And such a day will see travellers zeroing in on places that keep themselves relevant through virtual tourism or good social media strategies.
Here is a list of states in India that are doing their best to keep potential travellers anchored to them:
In its nascent stages, Chhatisgarh is one of those places that depend on word-of-mouth publicity because of its relatively unfamiliar position.
As a large number of ancient tribes call Chhatisgarh their home, its tourism underlines sustainability, tradition and preservation of its cultural heritage. It connects with the world through environmental messages that encourage viewers to share their Chhatisgarh experiences.
Though a major portion of tourists in Gujarat comes from within the state, it saw a big rise in foreign travellers and tourists from outside the state in the past five years.
Gujarat’s tourism industry regularly connects with a vast audience through social media, and its current strategy involves highlighting places and people through a number of pictures and videos on its page. Its tourism website has rough 360 degree views of its many attractions, such as Sakar Khan Dargah and Lakulish Temple.
This beautiful region — known to be a world with many worlds — had anticipated higher tourist inflows for the next several years, stressing on a rise in tourism to bring in better economic activity and more growth, but the pandemic worked like a bolt from the blue.
Its tourism department however is working hard to connect with audiences through an eclectic mix of messages that focus both on lifestyle and travel. There are regular posts with yoga tips, recipes, travel news and movie recommendations centred around Karnataka with an engaging language and pleasing videos.
With major plans to revive tourism once the lockdown ends, Kerala — which saw a 6% rise in tourist arrivals in 2019 despite the floods and Nipah virus scare — is staying in touch with the world through interactive posts and breathtakingly beautiful pictures of its fields and waterfalls.
There are aerial shots and 360 degree videos of some of its most captivating destinations plus cooking demonstrations and traditional orchestra clips. People from all over the globe have participated in Kerala Tourism’s #tripofmylife tagged posts that encourage audiences to share self-made videos and travel stories with Kerala’s tag on them.
A short video of apricot blossoms in Kargil — shared by Ladakh Tourism on Twitter — is enough to bring some cheer to the millions of people stuck at home everywhere. India’s Ministry of Tourism also conducted a webinar in April 2020 that invited people from all over the world to participate and know more about Ladakh and its unexplored magic.
The fragile nature of the place has brought about greater need for sustainable, environmentally friendly tourism that focuses on less tourists but deeper experiences and better livelihoods for the locals. As the world waits for borders to reopen, Ladakh is very much in touch with potential travellers and its own hopeful future.
One of the most colourful states in India, Rajasthan’s tourism channel has come up with a rajasthan from home series that highlights the state’s culture, food, places and music.
Rajasthan is a popular tourist destination for both domestic and international travellers. The state saw 21% rise in tourism with more than 50 million visitors in 2018.
Apart from its traditional heritage and historical glory, Rajasthan has also focused on shopping — especially its Jodhpuri juttis! Its tourism page on Twitter is currently holding a contest for professional chefs. The best entries will get featured on its social media pages; the contest is valid till 30 April 2020.
The land of gods and adventure is very much there on social media pages of hundreds of people with its unique YaadonkaSafar 7-part weekly web series on YouTube.
Along with this show, Uttarakhand’s tourism ministry has also come up with beautiful pictures of its popular spots plus quizzes that give followers worldwide a better idea of what the place has to offer. A five-part series on Beatles Ashram is currently running on Uttarakhand’s official tourism page!
If you want to learn a new skill — such as magic — sitting at home, head to the online page of Maharashtra’s tourism department. You can also share a picture of a sapling you plant or a video blog of yours during lockdown tagging Maharashtra Tourism so others are inspired to do the same.
Apart from sharing historical stories, regional books and movies, and beautiful pictures, the state is also encouraging people to be socially responsible by offering tips on recycling.
(If you come across other ways that different places in India are staying connected with future travellers, do let us know!)
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