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There is always so much said and deliberated on the potential and possibilities that India has to offer as a tourism destination. The India tourism story caters to a variant of buyers from the first time inbound visitor to the very own domestic traveller. For the first time inbound traveller, India ranges from being intimidating to interesting from shocking to spiritual. It is definitely all about experiential tourism which by its very nature is subjective, intangible and abstract. The general domestic traveller who is budget conscious needs to plan his vacations way in advance to get the most desirable transport seats especially on the Indian railways or an airline before the prices go soaring. Whichever the case may be, India is a destination that needs its own share of advance planning to get the best value, both tangible and intangible.

There are tourism campaigns being heavily marketed both nationally and internationally with the public and private sector going all out to rope in the customer from within and outside, but are we totally ready as a tourism product to provide a seamless tourism experience or are we left with very few options and circuits which are genuinely tourism friendly that cater to all ages? India is in serious need of more accessible tourism circuits, which logically demands its share of infrastructure in terms of connectivity and accommodation.

Apart from circuits, we need to redesign the tourism product to make it an all season destination. If one delves seriously, there are very few options to explore during the summers in India. Apart from a handful of hill stations and few states in the north, India needs to introduce more summer friendly destinations and improve the facilities for tours in these areas. The unexplored north east can be one of the potential areas.

On the luxury front, India is probably one the best tourism products in the world. Luxury surely comes with a price but it is interesting to note that luxury heritage options are opening up doors to a new segment of travellers, who are getting to experience a form of tourism that was initially unexplored due to both price and accessibility. Luxury heritage hotels are redefining themselves which will go a long way in nurturing tourism in a refined manner.

Reema Lokesh

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