Pick ‘n Mix India
India has used the promotional tag, “Incredible !ndia,” for the last few years. Many would agree that the adjective is not a bad one to describe the complexity and range of what India offers but another was offered by one of the visitors which seems to sum up the way India might be promoted to you in the agencies. Pick ‘n mix. The reason is that India has so many specialised areas that contribute to tourism. India might have been thought as a cultural and heritage destination in the past given that it has 28 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and over 150,000 monuments but that is just the tip of the visitor appeal.
From a sporting point of view, golf courses are springing up at a tremendous rate as Indians adopt the sport in their droves. Cricket has always been the main sport played but the success and appeal of the IPL20/20 has taken on a world-wide attraction. Polo has always been popular, much more so than in the UK.
Village or rural tourism where the visitor is taken into a village and talks, sometimes even eats, with the locals is also becoming popular but perhaps where India stands to score in a huge way is with wellness tourism. One part of that, medical tourism, is already popular with us because costs are so much lower. Having hip replacements, laser eye surgery and large dentistry work might be promoted more extensively in Britain and Ireland. It might even be available on the NHS as a way of keeping costs down and freeing up time in hospitals here.
It would be hard to forget the natural tourism that India offers. Jungles, tigers, coastlines, the mountains in the north are what springs to mind. But outside these protected areas, the infrastructure is changing fast. As the economy booms, so investment has been made in new roads, faster and better trains, new airports and more upmarket hotels some belonging to chains like Oberoi and Taj but an equal number of independent ones as well.
Now India is not just a destination for the few months of the year outside of the rainy season. It’s a year-long destination with facilities and attractions to entice you at any time of the year.