'Atithi Devo Bhavah': Indian Tourism Ministry's Social Awareness Program to Boost Tourism

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG180
Case Length : 16 Pages
Period : 2005-2007
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Indian Tourism
Industry : Tourism/ public sector
Countries : India

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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Background Note

Till the early 2000s, the efforts of the MoT to attract international tourists in India were limited to formulating policies and preparing pamphlets and brochures (Refer Exhibit I for the tourism policy initiatives of the GoI till 2002). Experts believed that there were no significant efforts from the government to support tourism...

Killing the Goose that lays the Golden Egg?

Foreign tourists to India often had problems almost as soon as they disembarked. It was difficult to get through customs quickly. Tourists waiting to clear customs were often left aghast as officials would leave on tea breaks keeping them waiting in a line.

Problems like dirty toilets at airports and lack of trolleys could also color their perceptions of the place permanently. Another major problem plaguing the Indian tourism sector was that foreign tourists were viewed as gullible victims who could be easily duped. Touts converged on tourists as soon as they reached and pestered them. Conmen frequently fleeced tourists...

A Campaign to Change Attitude and Perceptions

Lack of infrastructure and quality of services was the bane of Indian tourism industry. While infrastructure issues were being tackled separately, MoT began a national social awareness program to address the service issues. This program, named Atithi Devo Bhavah, was a capacity building exercise to develop a tourist-friendly attitude in India...

Components of the Campaign

ADB was a seven point program that targeted key stakeholders of the tourism industry, as well as the society as a whole (Refer to Table 1 for Atithi Devo Bhavah: the seven point program).

The key stakeholders listed were taxi drivers, tourist guides, operators, immigration officers, tourist police and others who have direct interaction with inbound tourists. Chowdhury emphasized that training was one of the key factors that would contribute to the success of the program...

Overcoming The Challenges

Any initiative aimed at changing attitudes and perceptions would pose significant challenges, and this was certainly true of the ADB program. Though the training was provided free of cost, designing a training program for the often semi-literate tourist sector workers, and convincing them of its significance, was a tough task...

Excerpts Contd...>>


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