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Tourism Tales with Amitabh Kant

Branding an entire country is not an easy feat, but it’s what CEO and Managing Director of the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMICDC), Amitabh Kant, probably better known as the man who created the ‘Incredible India’ campaign. Kant caught up with braingainmag.com at the One Globe 2014 Conference held at The Imperial Hotel, New Delhi, in early February, and we talked about the future of tourism in India and its viability as a career-choice for students.
BY Achala Upendran |   26-02-2014
Amitabh Kant, CEO & MD DMICDC at OG'14, New Delhi
Amitabh Kant holds a degree in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, and an M.A. in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi. He was also awarded a British Chevening Scholarship to attend Manchester Business School in the U.K., and completed a course in Governance through Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A).

Incredible India

Kant’s experience with the tourism sector began when he was posted as Secretary Tourism in Kerala. He was part of the team that conceived Kerala’s ‘God’s own Country’ campaign. When he moved into the India Tourism Development Corporation, he was given the task of rebranding India to boost falling tourism rates. “We’d just witnessed 9/11. Right after that there was war in Pakistan, consumer demand (for India) had really slumped and the challenge was to revive consumer demand,” he says. The ITDC had to “do an integrated 360 degree marketing campaign” to remind people of why they should come to India.

The Future of Tourism

Kant sees tourism as an ‘antidote to terrorism’, an industry that brings together people from different backgrounds and cultures rather than privileges or differences between them. He thinks that India’s tourism industry has only one way to go: up. Now with the introduction of the visa-on-arrival scheme for more than 180 countries, demand for this part of the world is likely to increase, he says.  “India has got great history, great culture, great character. It should emerge as one of the top destinations in the world. It was once a difficult destination to travel to,” he concedes, but now with the new scheme, a major bureaucratic hassle is out of the way and should tempt travelers.

Why choose this Sector?

Kant definitely advocates the tourism sector as a good career path for students looking to do something a little different career-wise . He says that there are “opportunities across various areas from hotel management to travel agencies to guides, chefs, airlines. It can be immensely satisfying.” The tourism sector is one “that gives you both good earning as well as professional satisfaction,” he says – adding that one does not need to worry about having a specific academic background in such a varied field.

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Capt. Surendra Birje
Before we start building smart city, we must first have a clean city. We should remove all encroachments on the footpaths and at public places. We should have streets with proper lane marking and street signs. We must have law enforcement for those breaking traffic rules especially lane cutting, over speeding, crossing red light signals. Safe pedestrian crossings with proper signals at appropriate places. We should stop rampant road widening efforts before disciplining the traffic. We should have proper tranches along the footpaths / dividers for laying permanent cables like fiber optics common for all communications. These should not require repeated digging. Ensure unique ID linkage in each transaction and encourage use of credit cards for fine payments. Many things need to be done first
23 June 2015


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