Diverse and multicultural is probably one of the apt definitions to describe India in her entirety. She plays host to a plethora of events, fairs, festivals, which are either, cultural, religious, social or seasonal. It is tough to draw a comparison with any other country or nationality. India is a living example of different cultures and ethnicity within one nation, following and practising traditions and events that are unique to a particular state. The potential is immense and it is only in the recent past that industry stakeholders have managed to identify this. Currently, there are only few states that go all out to position and promote their events both, nationally and globally, and create an environment around the fair or festival that will generate the desired visitors.
The initial mobilisation towards marketing and promotion of fairs and festivals has taken place wherein the private as well as the public sector in their individual capacity are working towards promoting their festivals and events. The PPP model format has also taken place in the fairs and festivals space. As a first ever initiative the Gokulashtami festival was promoted by Maharashtra Tourism along with Spain, with an aim toward achieving cultural understanding. However, this seems to be just the tip of the iceberg. Countries which probably have just one for two events to be proud of go all out toward image building through aggressive marketing drawing in the tourists. Though India has begun its work towards promoting fairs and festivals, there is a long way to go. From infrastructure development to focused marketing, there is more to achieve.
Apart from infrastructure development, the other vital link in the business of tourism is its human resource. Talent crunch and talent management is a cause of serious concern in the industry and the recently held capacity building workshop by FICCI was an encouraging initiative to get some issues addressed related to the topic. Training and developing the vast majority of people who form the different links of the tourism chain is a humongous task before the government. Though the success of the efforts made so far is yet to be to be ascertained, the fact that the Fifth Five Year Plan has brought about a focused approach is a matter of great hope for the industry.