HPTDC plans ‘familiarity tours’; but what’s new about it


Shimla: In its desperation to attract more tourists to the state, the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) has now though of what it believes is a ‘new idea’, of ‘familiarity tours’ for travel agents and travel writers.
During the recently concluded business development meetings at Mumbai and Delhi, Commissioner cum managing director, HPTDC, Ram Subhag Singh today announced to organize special tours for entrepreneurs in travel business and travel writers based in Delhi and South West India so that the tourism wealth of Himachal is exposed to the people who influence the tourists.
But, the department officials should be reminded that they are again late as such tours have been in vogue for quite some time. While Malaysia and Singapore have been specifically arranging tours for Indian journalists for a long time, now Nepal too is targeting Indian tourists by offering such incentives, Kerala too is not much behind having successfully marketed its backwaters. And there are more such examples.
The department needs to think something original beyond the discount coupons and lackadaisical marketing. With the world economy opening up, the tourism sector has been growing exponentially, This means that practically every country, state is trying to attract tourists. So where does Himachal stand.
The department claims this year special focus would be to encourage tourists to take adventurous excursions to tribal and backward areas like Kinnaur, Lahaul & Spiti and Pangi, but would that be done by briefing them individually. Where is the plan to do that? The government had also planned an advertising campaign in foreign campaign but nothing has been hard about it. Back home, Himachal could not find a place in the India Incredible campaign even.
And what about the brand ambassador idea? Though the Dalai Lam has always made headlines, even the ongoing unrest among the Tibetan community in Himachal could have effectively been used in some kind of marketing campaign.
The point is – the department needs to apply brains more often or even continuously to make the state’s presence felt. It should remember that we are in a marketplace.

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  1. It is surprising that the tourism department is talking about marketing tribal areas as tourist destinations, while its prime tourist destination around Shimla are in a bad shape. Try to travel to the well known golf course at Naldehra and see in what bad condition the road leading towards it is and this is the most visitd place throughout the year. Anyways, many bureaucrats who frequent the route on weekends for golf match might be well aware….but it seems who cares.

    In state capital Shimla itself it is hard to find clean toilets and then we talk about giving the tourist a relaxing stay.

  2. The basic problem with HPTDC is it doesn't have any marketing plan at all. The state has been well written and hardly needs any more jaunts by these travel writers to have free hospitality at the cost of tax payers money.

    HPTDC has'nt integrated travels agents (TA) into its scheme of things. TA are a big no-no when dealing with HPTDC. It has still to come to terms that it is the TAs who control the market and HPTDC is just a facilitator. Season time is boon time in Himachal but it is the off season where HPTDC occupancy is dismisal. Off season period in Himachal is more than the season period. If HPTDC were to streamline its working and rope in TAs, the business in off season would definately go up.

    HPTDC is not optimaly using its website at all. Firstly, the site looks damn outdated. It has a typical sarkari look. Please make it a little more exciting. See what Kerala and Karnataka have done with there sites. HPTDC offers online room reservation facility but the same is not available while booking transport services. Now sitting in Delhi, I can reserve a room in Manali from my home but to book a VOLVO to Manali I have to go all the way to the CP office. Phew!! half the excitement of using HPTDC services is gone. HPTDC needs to understand that the technology can generate more business than the babus sitting in AC offices. It must strive to make the whole experience of using HPTDC services more customer friendly.

    Finally, if one ever booked a room with HPTDC booking offices, they still call the hotel voucher as "permits". In liberal India, permits became obselete in the previous century.

    It is the mindset which has to change

  3. HPTDC plans ‘familiarity tours’; but what’s new about it,

    Hi pls spending the hard earned / laboured money of state people try to counsalt the professional people about the right time to organised the FAM TOUR as well as the segment which you want to hit, so eak khana purti na ho jaye bye sending invitation to a to z with out knowing there profile expertise, business intrest, so pls organise the trip with the professional advisoary can consult Dr. Chander Mohan from HPU tOURISM dEPARTMENT AS HE IS WELL VERSED WITH THE INDUSTRY UPTO DATE & the nitty grityy as he had a practical , professional as well as theoritical experience………hello as this time we don;t need the ambassodor we need firstly to set up our infrta in order as per hospitality standard, and he is doing the best with out any expensive the publicity for Himachal Since 1959 no need to say anything pls……..will give more if required continue.

  4. Just, an example, how the Govt has its priorities all wrong, the NH 22A from Pinjore to Swarghat is in a pathetic condition between Nalagarh and Swarghat. This stretch is used by tour and taxi operators while traveling to Manali and back as they do not enter Punjab (via Ropar) as Punjab charges a hefty tax of 4000/- per vehicle.

    The tourist season is in full swing these days and on an average 60-70 tourist buses cross this stretch daily while going and coming back from Manali. The ride is extremely bumpy and the tourists gets an extremely bad impression about the state. The govt must understand we are asking people to spend their hard earned money to visit Himachal. Can't we ensure at least a smooth journey within Himachal?

    Isn't the priorities all wrong as spelled out by the Govt or by any chance the "Sahib" will include this stretch in the fam tour. That will give these writers something to write about.

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