Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to be the mascot of ‘Incredible India’ campaign with the tourism ministry finally deciding to do away with plans to rope in any Bollywood stars, including Amitabh Bachchan, for the role which was lying vacant after ouster of Aamir Khan earlier this year.
About Incredible India :
- Incredible India is the name of an international marketing campaign by the Government of India to promote tourism in India in 2002 to an audience of global appeal.
- Incredible India title was officially branded and promoted by Amitabh Kant, then the Joint Secretary under the Union Ministry of Tourism, in 2002.
- In 2002, India’s Ministry of Tourism launched a campaign to promote India as a popular tourist destination. The phrase “Incredible India” was adopted as a slogan by the ministry.
- Before 2002, the Indian government regularly formulated policies and prepared pamphlets and brochures for the promotion of tourism, however, it did not support tourism in a concerted fashion.
- However, in 2002, the tourism ministry made a conscious effort to bring in more professionalism in its attempts to promote tourism. It formulated an integrated communication strategy with the aim of promoting India as a destination of choice for the discerning traveler.
- The tourism ministry engaged the services of advertising and marketing firm Ogilvy & Mather (India) (O&M) to create a new campaign to increase tourist inflows into the country.
- According to spending data released by Visa Asia Pacific 4 in March 2006, India has emerged as the fastest-growing market in the Asia-Pacific in terms of international tourist spending.
- The data revealed that international tourists spent US$372 million in India in the fourth quarter (October–December) of 2005, 25% more than in the fourth quarter of 2004.
- China, which came second in the region, was successful in making international tourists fork out US$784 million in Q4 2005, a growth of 23% over its Q4 2004 figures.
- The tourist spending figures for India would have pleased the Indian tourism ministry, which had been targeting the high-end market through its long-running ‘Incredible India’ communication campaign.
About Narendra Modi :
Narendra Damodardas Modi is the 14th and current Prime Minister of India, in office since 26 May 2014. Modi, a leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was the Chief Minister of Gujarat from 2001 to 2014 and is the Member of Parliament from Varanasi.
- He led the BJP in the 2014 general election, which gave the party a majority in the Lok Sabha (the lower house of the Indian parliament), for the first time since 1984 general elections.
- Since Modi’s taking office as Prime Minister, his administration has focused on reforming and modernising India’s infrastructure and government,reducing bureaucracy, encouraging increased foreign direct investment, improving national standards of health and sanitation and improving foreign relations.
- Earlier, as Chief Minister of Gujarat, Modi’s economic policies have been praised,although his administration has been criticised for failing to significantly improve the human development in the state and for failing to prevent the 2002 Gujarat riots.
- A Hindu nationalist and member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Modi remains a controversial figure domestically and internationally.
- Modi was sworn in as Prime Minister of India on 26 May 2014 at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. He became the first Prime Minister born after India’s independence from the United Kingdom.
- He was the first to invite allSouth Asian Association for Regional Cooperation leaders to attend his swearing-in ceremony. His first cabinet consisted of 45 ministers, 25 fewer than the previous UPA government.
- He started a monthly radio program titled “Mann ki Baat” on 3 October 2014. He repealed 1,159 obsolete laws in first two years as compared to 1,301 such laws repealed by his preceding governments over a span of 64 years.
- Avegetarian, Modi has a frugal lifestyle and is a workaholic and introvert. Adept at using social media, he has been since September 2014 the second-most-followed leader in the world behind only Barack Obama.Modi’s 31 August 2012 post on Google Hangouts made him the first Indian politician to interact with netizens on live chat.
- Modi has also been called a fashion-icon with his signature, crisply ironed, half-sleeved tunic-shirt, brand-name accessories, and a suit with his name embroidered repeatedly in the pinstripes that he wore during a state visit by US President Barack Obama, drawing particular public and media attention, and sometimes criticism.
- Although he is considered a controversial, polarising and divisive figure,British economist Jim O’Neill blogged that Modi is “good on economics” – one of the things “India desperately needs in a leader”.
- In August 2013, financial analyst Chris Wood of CLSA wrote in his weekly “Greed & fear” report: “The Indian stock market’s greatest hope is the emergence of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate”.