- By: Deepali Nandwani
Over the past month or two, the Union Ministry of Tourism has organised a series of webinars on various destinations and cities in India under its innovative Dekho Apna Desh campaign. From City of Cities – Delhi’s Personal Diaries to one on Humayun’s Tomb and Ladakh – Explore the Unexplored, the webinars, much like the campaign running on MoT’s Instagram account, is an attempt to present an undiscovered India to its citizens and encourage them to travel.
Dekho Apna Desh was launched by the Union Minister for Tourism, Prahlad Singh Patel, at Konark, Odisha in January, but is being promoted with vigour all through the lockdown. The campaign encourages Indians to traverse through the streets of Kolkata, lose themselves in the ghats of Varanasi, and explore the culturally rich past of Delhi.
The campaign is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal, made from the ramparts of Red Fort on August 15, 2019. In his Independence Day speech, he asked every citizen to travel to at least 15 destinations by the year 2022, to promote domestic tourism and help develop local economies. The need to help local communities is far more crucial now, as we struggle to open the Indian economy and revive tourism while staying safe.
Most experts and hoteliers expect domestic tourism to recover faster than international tourism. In a winning strategy, Dekho Apna Desh campaign focuses on encouraging people to explore India’s diverse destinations and take a much-needed break within their borders, in some ways appealing to nationalistic sentiments.
During the lockdown, MoT has been engaging with the industry and travellers through webinars to promote both, the lesser-known destinations and lesser-known facets of popular destinations. According to Patel, the series of webinars shall be an on-going feature and the ministry would work towards showcasing the diverse and remarkable history and culture of India, including its monuments, cuisine, arts, dance forms, natural landscapes, festivals, and many other aspects of the rich Indian civilization.
The Instagram campaign has reached several travellers, with an average of 400 likes per post. Indians are ready to travel and explore their country once we are completely open and ready to welcome travellers.