Seoul train, Tokyo taxis to invite tourists to India


India has unveiled a major outdoor advertising campaign in Japan, South Korea and other key South East Asian markets to woo more tourists to the country.

Come December, a subway train in Seoul, the South Korean capital, will be completely wrapped in the several enticing images of India, as part of the ‘Incredible India’ campaign.

A similar campaign was launched in Ginza, the nerve centre of the Japanese capital, recently, which saw 10 Japanese Velo taxis, an improvised form of rickshaw, wrapped in images of famous Indian tourist spots.

“Advertising on public transport has proved successful for the campaign as the visibility is for greater duration,” says Manmohan Sadanah, regional director, East Asia, Tourism.

The mode is also cost effective, he says, adding the advertising through train in Seoul will cost $50,000, which is the amount usually spent on giving three advertisements in print media.

“The ‘Incredible India’ campaign has received a good response from the industry in East Asia and we are thinking of new ways to raise awareness among people,” he says.

Earlier, bus stands in Seoul, the capital of South Korea, were decked up in Indian hues in June while in November two buses, one each in Taiwan and Tokyo, will ply with images of India painted on them.

“One of the buses in Japan will ply on the prime Shibua-Rippongi route,” say officials. The massive advertising blitz in the region reflects the growing realisation in the government and the industry about the potential to attract tourists from East Asia.

“We have been targeting the European market and the US but now there is a realisation that there is a massive market in East Asia which can fill all our demand for tourists,” says Randhwa, who is here as part of the Namaste India festival, showcasing India’s rich cultural assets and its growing economic prowess.

The two-day festival, being organised for the last 16 years, has picked up the pace up with large number of visitors attending it annually.

“The ‘Incredible India’ campaign is giving a major boost to such events,” he says, adding similar festivals will also be organised in various Japanese prefectures like Osaka.

Apart from the traditional links, the region enjoys with India, officials says the tourist flow from the East Asia is hardly affected even after the terror attacks as the governments do not give any knee-jerk reaction here.

The tourist flow from Japan has almost doubled in the recent years. “The increase is almost 100 per cent. The advertising has paid good dividends,” says Kumar Rajesk of Goodluck travels here.

With golf being passion in Japan, an Incredible India Golf Tournament will be organised in December here as part of efforts to especially target the well off.

Japan has proved to be India’s leading and fastest growing market for tourists whose numbers are expected to cross 150,000 this year.

Officials attribute it to an innovative campaign to increase India’s visibility. Short films on India were being shown on LED screens in major market places in the capital, especially in evenings when people venture out of offices and houses.