'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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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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An Image Makeover to Attract Tourists Contd...

Most stakeholders viewed foreign tourists as gullible victims from whom they could make a few quick bucks. As soon as the tourists disembarked at a tourist spot, a pack of touts and taxi drivers often converged on them and fought over who would provide the service.

With touts of various sorts dogging them persistently, foreign tourists could hardly relax and enjoy themselves when they were holidaying in India. Tourists also had to deal with insensitive officials of the immigration and customs department; even among the general public, there were those who misbehaved and treated them rudely. Naturally, these unhappy experiences often overshadowed any appreciation of India as a holiday destination and spread negative perceptions of India among potential visitors too. MoT realized that for tourism to prosper in India this had to change or India would not be able to catapult itself into the league of the top ten tourist destinations of the world.

In January 2005, MoT launched a social awareness program as part of the 'Incredible India!' integrated marketing campaign. This program aimed at changing the attitude of people with respect to the way they interacted with tourists.

It was named Atithi Devo Bhavah (ADB) or Guest is God -a Sanskrit phrase which indicated the high esteem in which a guest was held in India since ancient times. India's Minister of Tourism, Renuka Chowdhury (Chowdhury), said, "'Atithi Devo Bhavah' is a nationwide campaign aimed at sensitizing people about India's rich cultural heritage, its preservation, cleanliness, hospitality and bringing out an attitudinal shift among the masses toward tourists. It is a symbolic representation of India's age-old hospitality and with this campaign, we are trying to re-install in the stakeholders a sense of pride and responsibility towards tourists, while positioning India as a popular tourist destination worldwide."5

The key components of the program were Samvedan Sheelta (Sensitization), Prashikshan (Training and Induction), Prerna (Motivation), Pramani Karan (Certification), Pratipushti (Feedback), Samanya Bodh (General Awareness), and Swamitwa (Ownership)...

Excerpts >>

5] "Incredible India - Atithi Devo Bhava," www.incredibleindia.org.


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