India has everything.. a Tourist can hope for.
Mountains to chill out, Beaches for fun and frolic, Breath taking Heritage Monuments, Palaces and Temples,Sandy Deserts, Rain Forests, Massive water bodies, Hectares of Greenery, Festivals almost through the year, Hospitable people...the list goes on.
But, yet, India is just beginning to attract the attention of the World Tourists. What do they expect from India and Indian Tourism?
How can Tourists be made more comfortable to let them enjoy their stay? Ideas are most welcome.
We will try and forward the ideas received to the concerned authority. Thanks for your time!
Well, first thing - India is attracting many tourists. It is one of the top 10 tourist destinations in the world(Some Frobes data or something like that, can/t recall the source).
Ok, may be there is a higher potential. If you read on forums where foreign tourists to India hang out, here is what you get to hear:
1. Unfriendliness from tourist services: A lot of foreign tourists are troubled by scams, scams and scams. Add to that, plenty of harassment, having to cope with touts, beggars, etc. They have come here to have a good time, but they get harassed.
2. Dual pricing policy is annoying. Taj Mahal Entry Fee - Indian Rs.20, Foreigners Rs.750!
3. Unfriendly Babus. If a tourist, for any reason, needs to interact with any bureaucrat, or police, they really have a tough time.
4. Some people are not prepared to see the poverty, culture shock and the crowded India. They leave quickly!
Also, travelling in india is not easy. Things are not set up for tourism. for example its such a drama to try and get a bus or a train somewhere. Staying in a hostel you have to fill out about 5 forms, why all the bureaucracy? if you want to see something you have to go out of your way to organise it yourself, its not always clear how to go about doing things that you have read in your guide. In some ways this is brilliant for a backpacker, its exciting and liberating and cheaper to do things independently. but sometimes its just nice to have someone else set everything up for you!
For the most part I would disagree with Jennygro. I think one thing that India has going for itself is the ease of travel. Trains and buses are very easy to arrange and I never had a problem getting anywhere I wanted to go. If you want to be let around there are travel agents who will book things for you. And if you really want to relax there are endless tours, both by international and local companies that will do everything for you.
But doing it all on your own present little challenge.
I would agree with arunchs though. The number one reason that many people stay away from India is the unfriendliness of the people. Of course the average person on the street is nice enough, but just about everyone who works with tourists thinks its good business to scam, lie, and rip off tourists. Everyone, from the hotel owners, rickshaw drivers, restarant owners, and random people on the street will outright lie to your face about anything. Rickshaw drivers will attempt to charge you 80 rupess for a 2 minutes drive and will often refuse to take you for anything less. Then there is the fact that you pay 10 times more than locals for museums and attractions. On top of that, as you walk down the street you get hassled by just about everyone in town as they attempt to sell you things or just follow you and stare at you. Women get even more hassles and Indian men are pigs to them. My girlfriends (who dressed very conservatively) was sexually assulted 4 times while in India.
At the end of the day tourists feel abused and unwelcome.
Now don't get me wrong, everyone deals with these situations differently, and for the most part I was able to ignore it and enjoyed my time in the country. However, its these never-ending daily ordeals that keep many people from ever going to the country. And for those who do go, a large chunck of them leave absolutly hating it and vowing never to come back.
Adityo Deva bhavo is what we say in India.
Meaning Our Guests are our Gods!
I guess, unfortunately it is not so in practise.
But harassment by Auto rickshaw guys( who dont differentiate
between locals and others) has been brought down by giving an
option called Call Taxis. You call them over phone and then they arrive. They are Cheaper, Safer and indeed more Pleasant.But dont gorget to take note of the Vehicle number as soon as you get in.
Pl try Call Taxis during your next visit to India!
The attitude of Tourist industry should change coz of competition.
And dont hesitate to make a complaint if there is a problem in
hotels or with the Travel guys( you can call the Traffic police and make an anonymous complaint with specific details).
In TamilNadu, there is a proposal to introduce Tourism Police who
will take care of Tourists.
Thanks for your time, friends...I look forward to scathing criticisms as we want to change Indian tourism. Let us wash dirty linen in public in common interest..pl go ahead..
I love India, but would agree with people here. India is not an easy country to travel in, and it is not for the faint-hearted.
I think one of the most irritating things for me was constant hassle, scams and being ripped off, and persistently lied to, dirt. Indian men's attitudes to women would put a lot of westerners off. However modestly you dress, it can be quite unpleasant, especially the constant staring. I travelled in India by myself, and met other girls travelling alone, but I wouldn't really recommend girls backpack there themselves unless they are hardened travellers. It's very exhausting, you also have to be constantly on your guard, to avoid being scammed. You also have to be very careful about hygiene with food etc.
Don't get me wrong, I loved India and would go back tomorrow if I could, but for my first week there I just wanted to leave, and some people would, because these things would be unbearable, and they would have a horrible experience.
But apart from that, I don't think there is much ailing Indian tourism, I think it is probably doing very well. It is a phenomenally diverse, beautiful and exciting country and I did find a lot of really good service, stayed in lot very good accomodation almost everywhere and met some wonderful Indian people.
[ Edit: Edited on Nov 29, 2006, at 4:45 PM by Clarabell ]
from the time i was 7 years old i wanted to go to india and i realised that dream when i was 19, i went back again when i was 21 and plan to return again when i am 25. i love india but i don't know why. i travelled there by myself the first time and with my boyfriend the second (who hated the place like he has never hated anything else in his life). India is a constant challenge and a crash course in life skills, i found especially when i was by myself that i could never let my guard down or i would be ripped off or taken advantage of in some other way. i love india but i never recommend any of my female friends go there, for a man it is a little easier but i still only encourage people who i consider to be "tough nuts" to try their hand there.
What irks most people is the dirt, the beggars and the mayhem on Indian roads. The Government is sleeping on regulating traffic.
I am currently in india and this is my 3rd visit, i love india and the majority of things about it, each individual state is completely different from keralas backwaters to goas beaches to the foothills of the himalayas in himichal predesh to the wonders and delights of rajhastan...
however i do agree with some points on the other posts... i find nothing worse than getting off a 15hr hour train journey and having 50 porters and rickshaw drivers attack you all trying to grab your bags and take you somewhere that you dont want to go! 'yes sir, cheap hotel sir, i know good hotel sir, your hotel very dear sir'
i can just laugh at it now but it does eventually wear you down as does the beggars with their 'please please' or 'shoe shine sir?' ive got flip flops on for goodness sake!!!
trains and buses are relatively easy to book at most stations although one man at Lucknow station was certainly extremely rude to my partner and I about 2 weeks back, shouting at us to go to enquiry when there wasnt even anyone at the desk!
being stared at is intimidating, sunglasses can help as they then cant see your eyes but its not nice when some of the lads will stand next to you to pretend to have their photo taken and all they are really doing is taking a pic of you! its most frustrating on the beaches in goa rather than other areas of india...
one thing i would like to see is the Pharaganj area of New Delhi changed into a pedestrien only area, most tourists choose to stay there but walking down the road to the station or to connaught circle is very challenging, you are constantly avoiding being run over by cycle rickshaws, auto rickshaws, cars, van, bikes, other people and you have to try and avoid stepping in cow shit too! it would be much more pleasant if it were to be changed into pedestrian only...
cant think of anything else, hope it helps a bit
In NDTV.com, under Travel, many Indians argue that everything
is fantastic about Indian Tourism because More tourists are arriving. This is pure non sense as the country has lost the culture of respecting tourists while History speaks of many chinese tourists as having reached the country thousands of years ago.
Why cant these people realise that being good to others is being good to yourself?
[ Edit: Edited on Dec 7, 2006, at 8:34 AM by Nivedita ]