Most of the Indian states are now jumping on to digital media to promote tourism in their state and Rajasthan, which is internationally identified for its rich heritage and culture and is also a preferred holiday destination is among few states. A good traveler is one who is eager to experiment and continuously trying to expand his sphere. Everyone knows that Rajasthan, having many popular destinations like Ajmer, Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer but with the launch of Rajasthan new campaign “Jane Kya Dikh Jaye” many more domestic tourists are coming here to discover the lesser-known destinations and have unique experiences such as Garadia Mahadev temple in Kota, Kumbalgarh (in the Rajsamand district near Udaipur ), Rawla Narlai (fort now is used as a heritage hotel with Rajput architecture), Gagron Fort – a Heritage Site in Jhalawar and so on.
Therefore, to access more about these places there are various OTA’s (Online travel agency) also that has become increasingly important within the tourism industry.
It is travel website that specializes that deals with travel products like flights/train booking, hotels, car rentals, cruises, activities, and other packages and sells to consumers. Many OTA’s that promote tourism are Booking.com, Agoda.com, Makemytrip.com, Goibibo.com, Tripadvisor.com, IRCTC, Incredible India, Rajasthan tourism.
The few popular itineraries of Rajasthan that are promoted by various OTA’s with the help of various headings, photos, blogs or videos through digital media to attract tourist are as follows:
Packages Places to Visit Type of tour Shopping Event, fairs & Festivals Famous Cuisines
Jodhpur-Jaisalmer Desert Tour Package Mehrangarh fort, Umaid Bhawan Palace, Mandore garden in Jodhpur & Jaisalmer Fort, Bada Bagh, Rani ka Mahal, Patwon ki Haveli, Raja ka Mahal and Desert National Park in Jaisalmer City tour, heritage and wildlife tour traditional clothes, locally-made leather items, home decor items, hand made carpets Desert Festival – Jaisalmer, Kite festival – Jodhpur Mawa Kachori, Lapsi, Baajre Ka Sogra in Jodhpur and Mutton Saag, Gatte Ki Sabzi, Makhania Lassi, Ker Sagri in Jaisalmer,
Kaacharaa Mircha Sabzi (typically found in Jodhpur and Jaisalmer
Wildlife Sanctuary Tour Ranthambore National park (Sawai Madhopur), Fort, Museum, Trinetra Ganesh Temple, Jogi Mahal Wildlife, Historical and Pilgrimage tour Rural Women Craft, Dhonk (embroidery and block printing items)
Sawai Madhopur Utsav, Ganesh Chaturthi Fair Kebabs, Laddoo, Safed Maas, Laal Maas, Lachha Parantha
Historical Capital of the Land of Maharajas Packages Choki Dhani, Havelis, City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Forts, Jaipur City and Heritage tour Lac Bangles Elephant festival, teej festival, Jaipur Literature festival, Donkey Fair, Jaipur International Film Festival
Ghevar, Dal Bathi Churma, Pyaaz Kachori, Chaats, Shrikhand, Paan
Honeymoon Tour Package Venice of the east – Udaipur, Mount Abu Honeymoon, Pre & Post wedding shoot, Destination wedding wooden handicrafts, Handmade juttis, legendary Polki, Lac, Kundan, and Meenakari jewelry Teej festival and Shilpgram fair in Udaipur, Summer festival in Mount Abu Mewari egg and non-veg curries, Dal Kachori, Kadhi pakoda, Papad ki Sabzi
According to Pradeep Kumar Borar (July, 2018), Special Secretary and Director, Tourism, Government of Rajasthan, in conversation with Elets News Network (ENN) says that as a result of our different, exclusive and effective marketing initiatives, the Rajasthan State’s tourism has witnessed significant growth and the State is ranked among the top tourist destinations in India.
Also, the National Tourism Awards was given to Rajasthan for the overall development of tourism in the state under “Best State – Comprehensive Development of Tourism” category and best promotional films.
Rajasthan unexplored destinations required to be promoted
Mostly tourism in Rajasthan is focused on the famous tourist spots like Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Jaipur, and Ajmer etc, which are already in the world tourism map. The tourism department now has decided to bring the other unknown heritage or cultural spots to the limelight and thus attract more tourists to the stat as still various places are left that are to be explored by the tourist. Few of them belong to small town or even the rural areas like:
1) Dungarpur – Romancing a different Rajasthan – A lesser known destination of Rajasthan situated at the foothills of the Aravalli Hills and surrounded on the east by the state of Gujarat, is rich with historical and cultural treasures. Deo Somnath, Galiakot, Nagfanji, Vijay Raj Rajeshwer Temple, Badal Mahal are few places to visit here.
2) Hanumangarh – For devotes of all religions, Hanumangarh is a unique shelter like Shila Mata Temple, Gurudwara, Bhadarkali Mata Temple, Bhatner Fort. (Historical and Pilgrimage tour)
3) Pali – Sahring a common boundary with around eight different districts of Rajasthan. Tourist can visit to Chhatra Sagar, Jawai Leopard Camp, Om Banna Temple, Ranakpur Jain Temple in Pali. (Wildlife and Pilgrimage tour)
4) Kuchaman- A historical city which is 100 kilometers from Pushkar. Having an impressive looking fort is now currently a heritage hotel having a rich collection of original inlay work in semi-precious stones, glass, and gold paint. Meera Mahal is an additional attractive palace in Kuchaman city.
5) Rawatbhata: A place full of greenery, water streams, two beautiful waterfalls i.e. Chulia and Padajhar., picturesque mountains & fresh air. It has one of the oldest temple named Baroli temple.
6) Gagron Fort in Jhalawar –A historical city, once called Brijnagar and is known for its abundant natural wealth of vibrant flora and fauna.
7) Bharatpur – Thee ‘Lohagarh’ or the ‘Eastern Gateway to Rajasthan’ is a land of guts and glories. (Historical tour)
8) Jhunjhunu – A place with gorgeous Frescos and grand palaces. Shree Rani Sati Dadi Mandir, Khetri Mahal, Bandhe Ka Balaji Temple, Hanuman Mandir are some place to stopover in Jhunjhunu.
State Government initiatives to promote unexplored destinations
Rajasthan, known for its old heritage buildings and monuments, culture and glorious history holds an important place in global tourism. Many tourists annually visit these places for unique sculpture, which is a huge resource to improve state’s revenue along with employment generation. As these heritage sites are no longer concealed treasures, the government is currently concentrating on unexplored destinations that talk of cultural heritage in little towns of the state. To promote tourism at these unexplored sites, the state government has come up with a plan which will not only provide tourists new destinations, but would boost up employment opportunity for the villagers. In August 2018 (Shrimal Y. in DNA), the Panchayati Raj department has initiated all Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Zila Parishad to list heritage buildings, monuments with their photos that are located in the villages and place them on all the state notice board and on national highways passing through the state. The plan is, whenever tourists undergo the highways, he or she should feel tempted to go to the place. As tourism industry is rapidly growing; consequently not only in urban areas, but in rural areas as well it becomes essential to promote tourist activities that also lead to employment in rural areas. Various initiatives have been taken by Rajasthan government to improve the state tourism like:
1) Public private partnership (PPP) mode in tourism sector like water based activities in Chambal and other water bodies.
2) Promotion of eco-tourism in Rajasthan.
3) Promoting various small fairs and festivals.
4) Promotion of religious sites in the state.
The state government understands that tourism is neither a minimized substance nor it is related action, considering the tremendous tourism potential of Rajasthan. With the inclination that the multi-dimensional capacities and activity of tourism required an appropriate association structure which could deal with its promotional as well as commercial aspects successfully, Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) was set up to care for the advancement of tourism in Rajasthan. The RTDC is an original and well accepted unit to promote tourism in the state of Rajasthan. Its main function is to give infrastructural and service amenities such as accommodation, transportation, catering etc. Keeping in view the immense rise in tourist, the corporation has palmed and commissioned new units. Crafted by extension in various existing units is additionally embraced and it is executed viably and effectively.
Strategies for Digitalization of Unexplored Destination
There are many unique destinations with large tourism potential, which, if developed and placed intelligently, can add to the growth of tourism sector and increase tourist inflow in Rajasthan. To promote these places, the state must have some committed tourism policy like provision of basic tourist facilities, preservation of heritage and nature of the locations, organizing some events for tourist and use of social media to promote the destinations. Due to an increase in development of digital media, there are few effective promotion strategies for tourism like:
1) Setup Digital Marketing Strategies and Digital Data Security
2) Target customers as tourists/guests
3) Virtual Tourism for Virtual Realities of Destinations i.e. create awesome destination videos
4) Use a challenge to show interest in a destination
5) Show off the unique selling preposition on social media
6) Make us of smart phones and mobile apps
7) Focus on Cutting edge Technological Application
8) Appealing Contents Development
9) Digital Payments
10) Build a Discussion Platform on Facebook/Instagram/YouTube/Twitter
11) Provision instant Online Reviews & feedback
12) Starting a blog and post the articles
13) Close the talk with remarketing
A good traveler is one who is continuously trying to expand his sphere. And one cannot expand and broaden the sphere by constantly visiting the same and old popular places again and again. There are few destinations that are normally ignored by the common traveler and make certain that they are visited by less number of tourists. So these destinations tend to be less crowed and are neat and clean. But when it comes to Rajasthan, there are many offbeat destinations that can give a taste and feel of everything that Rajasthan is famous for – palaces, forts, temples, lakes.
The center point of promoting Rajasthan with the help of new concepts through digital media, identifying and developing new small and medium-sized destinations, strengthening the infrastructure, cheering up the private investment, increasing connectivity and a new marketing campaign. The potential of digital marketing are significantly endless. Emerging numbers of smart phones users has supported this fact. Ease of access through these smart phones has enabled the growth of micro-blogging, user generated content or tourist generated content. Through the move from offline to online travelers, the web and social media occurrence of various destinations are vital in form of e-destinations that serve as platforms where consumers can be stimulated, get all the information regarding a potential trip to a destination and eventually book the holiday.
The digital content should contain all the necessary information, i.e. from accommodation to pricing, popular and remarkable destinations, attractions for individuals, friends, kids and families, places to eat and to shop, including suggestions on good things to buy, including regulations and customs duties. The information should be well planned, designed and instinctive so that the users can have the best experience. It is better to provide the right kind of information but abstains from lengthy descriptions. Due to prospective benefit of tourism in the state, Rajasthan government had planned many tourism policies and linked up with many tourism organizations In Rajasthan, Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. (RTDC) is also built-in to promote tourism in the state and try to satisfy the tourists while providing accommodation, transport system and package tour facilities.