Wednesday, 4 February 2009

An Incredible India where locals dance with tourists!

I was on a train and saw an advert for the Incredible India campaign on a billboard at a station called Fleet (a town in Hampshire, not to be confused with Fleet Street in London ).

Join the celebrations! Dance with the locals” the advert said. A picture of a couple of tigers accompanied this slogan.

I am all for promoting tourism, but should it be done with stories like these? I’m sure there are a few bits of India where locals might dance with tourists, but the average Indian looks at foreign tourists as a cash cow, meant to be fleeced. Many women tourists, especially those unaccompanied by men, suffer from varying degrees of harassment at the hands of young Romeos who think all western women are on the prowl for some free sex.

The tourism ministry needs to extol the virtues of India , but without venturing into the realm of fiction writing.

On the flip side, something must be done to reduce the fleecing and harassment of tourists by the locals.

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