Saturday, 27 September 2014

Ahoy! Happy World Tourism Day

Many people associate tourism with a recreational activity but as per UNWTO, Tourism is a people-based economic activity built on social interaction. It prospers if it engages the local population by contributing to social values.

World Tourism Day

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) declared 27 September the World Tourism Day with the purpose to raise the awareness of the global community about the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, economic and political value. World Tourism Day (WTD) is a global observance to highlight tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic value.

The theme of this year's World Tourism Day is Tourism and Community Development which is sync with the Bed and Breakfast scheme. 
World Tourism Day; Tourism & Community Development
World Tourism Day; Tourism & Community Development

Tourism and Bed & Breakfast industry

The Bed and Breakfast industry is not a new concept in the world though it is adopted as a novel idea in the B&B scheme of “Incredible India” over the age old practice of “paying guest accommodation in India”. As per figures of foreign tourist arrival as mentioned in (MoT, Statistics at a Glance, 2012), in countries like France (8.02%), USA (6.3%), China (5.57%), Spain (5.57%), Italy (4.48%) where maximum percentage of foreign tourists arrive every year the shortage of regular commercial accommodation is met by the B&B stays prevalent in these countries but in different modes.

According to Caroll Cathy, an author of “Travel Weekly”, the utility of B&B type accommodation is increasing as many business travelers are finding that B&B inns suit their needs, and owners are furnishing these guests such equipments as private telephones and computer connection.
The ‘B&B stay’ concept helps in saving huge additional infrastructure costs towards construction of hotels, recycling of waste water, electricity generation ,and  cutting of trees etc. and other materials required for creating additional facilities for accommodation.

In a country like India, additional land for constructing more hotels is made available by shrinking of forest land, cutting of trees, generation of more electricity & water etc. In Delhi, there is always a shortage of accommodation particularly in budget category during the period of various festivals, carnivals, conventions, functions, national and international conferences etc. These events are generally planned from September to March every year where large number of foreign and domestic tourists arrive in Delhi thereby increasing the demand for more accommodation.

This day last year...

I remember clearly that on this day, last year, as the Managing Director, Delhi Tourism (DTTDC), our Department had facilitated the shooting of the upcoming Rajkumar Hirani’s Bollywood movie PK (Peekay), best known for its Nude-Aamir-Khan poster, in the bustling streets of Delhi by getting the various permissions from various departments. 

Peekay Poster Aamir Khan
PK poster

To appreciate our effort, the crew of Peekay held a dinner for Delhi Tourism where we interacted with Aamir Khan, his son, Mr Rajkumar Hirani, Anoushka Sharma and other members.

Aamir Khan, Peekay
With Aamir Khan

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Interesting facts about Bed and Breakfast establishments in Delhi

In a recent survey of around 50 Bed and Breakfast establishments (out of about 350 total B&Bs), some interesting facts were revealed. There is a group of substantial number of domestic tourists who stayed in lower tariff of B&B units at Rs. 1500 to Rs. 2000 per month (equivalent to US 25$ to 34$). These are generally those tourists who came to Delhi for pilgrimage. However, most of domestic and foreign tourists stayed in the tariff range of Rs. 3500 – Rs. 4500 (US 60$ - US 70$) per night. Average stay of tourists was 3 days in Delhi. Most of the B&B units are located in South Delhi particularly in Vasant Kunj, CR Park, Greater Kailash, Hauz Khas, East of Kailash and Kailash Colony. Out of total foreign tourists staying in B&B units, majority are from USA & UK (20%), followed by Australia (13%), Germany (12%) & France (11%). Chinese tourists seem to avoid B&B establishments). These tourists, generally, visit three world heritage sites in Delhi namely, Red Fort, Qutub Minar and Humayun Tomb.
Humayun's Tomb, Delhi
Humayun's Tomb

Qutub Minar
Qutub Minar

Red Fort
Red Fort
Some of the tourists visit Akshardham Temple, Bahai Temple, Jama Masjid also. Most take taxis or package tours of Delhi as these are cheaper compared to other cities in the world. Unlike cities like Berlin, Amsterdam, London, etc. there are not many souvenir shops in Delhi. However, Dilli Haat is popular among tourists and serves as a good shopping stop for souvenirs, handlooms and handicrafts. While Dilli Haat purchases are less costly, some foreign tourists also prefer to make such purchases from Janpath street shops at slightly higher rates. 

Janpath shopping street
Janpath shopping street
The tourists staying at homestays in Delhi very well know where from to purchase, how to travel within the city and where to eat at reasonable rates. The tourists staying in hotels have lesser choice of interacting with people, though they are also able to avail such information through sites like India Tourism, Delhi Tourism and other websites of local travel agencies. Delhi gets maximum number of tourists in the months from September to February.

If you wish to book your stay in authentic Bed and Breakfast accommodations in Delhi, please feel free to contact me at or +91 9810603010. 

These data are generally taken from DTTDC and are incorporated in the author’s Ph.D. thesis and research article “Economics of B&B Scheme of Delhi” published in July’13 issue of SAJTH.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Why should you visit India amidst security concerns?

In India, Tourism was first conceived as Tirthatan (religious travel) then as Deshatan (travel around the country) and finally as Paryatan with the sole purpose of promoting intermingling among people of neighboring states, to acquaint them with the culture of the host country.

In India, hospitality is based on the principle of Atithi Devo Bhava, i.e. "the guest is god".  Here people live in unity though there is diversity in Caste, Creed and Culture.

Atithi Devo Bhava- Incredible India
Atithi Devo Bhava- Incredible India

During various festivals, all the communities including Hindus, Muslims, Christians and others enjoy with great fervor and gaiety. Neighbours share their joy during family functions and also console each other at times of mourning. All Indian religions follow the principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and sharing of joys & sorrows with a sense of togetherness.

Thus, India has something for every tourist who wishes to get a taste of the unique culture of India. There are
  •       22 languages with 1542 dialects
  •       27 world heritage sites
  •       7500 km. of coastline
  •       9000 years old history, civilization and heritage
  •       55,000 km. of lakes, streams and rivers
  •       476 forts and palaces
View of Radhanagar beach at sunset- Incredible India Dr GG Saxena blogs
View of Radhanagar beach (Andaman and Nicobar islands) at sunset

India is also well known as a rich culinary heritage destination. It boasts of the following:
  •       70 million hectares of forest
  •       147 dance forms
  •       5000 years of experience in Ayurveda and Yoga. 

If you enjoy having morning tea then India is a must visit! There are a large number of “Tea states” totaling 1641 in India. 

Tea plantation in India- Incredible India
Tea plantation in India

Furthermore, India is host to almost 60% of the world’s tiger population. There are 60 national parks, 400 wild life sanctuaries.

Gir Wildlife sanctuary
Gir Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat

If you still have doubts about visiting India with your friends and family, feel free to reach me at or +91 9810603010.