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Aggresive marketing helps attract tourists

Thursday 6 January 2005, by MANJU*V.

MUMBAI: Some tourists are influenced by aggressive marketing. The positioning of Rajasthan as a tourist hotspot is a case in point. In the late 70s, the French, who are known for their love of the arts, embraced what were then mofussil towns like Jaisalmer despite the poor infrastructure.

"It was a remote town, approachable by a single train that ran from Jodhpur every night," says N S Rathod, president of the Indian Association of Tour Operators. Having had their fill of Louis XIV’s Palace of Versailles, French tourists came down to Jawahar Nivas, the palace of the Maharaja of Jaisalmer.

"The tourists would go without ice, bread and eggs on mornings when that one train was delayed," he adds. Today, Rajasthan is seriously marketed but tour operators vouch that the Rambagh Palace of Jaipur, the Umaid Bhavan palace in Jodhpur and the Shekawati murals can now do quite well without a sales pitch.

Other destinations on their way to popularity sans the publicity blitzkrieg are the surf beaches of Asia (India has none).

These are patronised by tourists from the US, whose crowded beaches and surf rage got them to travel eastwards to destinations like Kuta beach in Bali, Baler in the Philippines and Hikkaduwa beach in Sri Lanka.

See online : Times of India

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