• Rohit Hangal

Riding the Heritage-Tourism story! - Part 2

Updated: Nov 30, 2020

This is the final part of a two part series. To read part 1, click here: Riding the Heritage-Tourism story! - Part 1 (

Travel Companies and DMCs focusing on pure numbers will find it difficult to sustain the recession and the competition. Special Interest Travel in India can be fun, diverse and highly profitable. The biggest advantage is that there are a few parables thus less competition. Indians are traditionally great story - tellers and will find it easy to take an interest (whether it is based on history, architecture, adventure, wildlife, education, music, World – War Commonwealth war graves, etc), and add value to it by creating a marketable destination packages around it. We do not have to go a long way to search for inspiration, when we are surrounded with so much around us at our doorsteps. Small and Medium Enterprises, who cannot match scales of rates and reach of big multi – national travel companies will find specializing in creating customized & special interest travel more satisfying and profitable than catering to the rate race to bring numbers and wafer-thin margins.

Wikipedia says “In marketing, product differentiation (also known simply as "differentiation") is the process of distinguishing the differences of a product or offering from others, to make it more attractive to a particular target market. This involves differentiating it from competitors' products as well as one's own product offerings. The old-fashioned marketing ideology of creating a USP (Unique Selling Preposition) still works at most times.

There are some interesting little tours in cities of Bengaluru and Mysore with varied themes that have created interests in the expat community here, International delegations, students, tourists and even local residents, who found another dimension to this city, which oscillated wildly from being an once pensioners paradise, to the home of the quintessential filter coffee, Masala dosas and of some of the friendliest brews!

Use your creative instincts to research and identify for instance a ‘Theme for your Dream’ experience package. Titled after the Singing legend Cliff Richard who was born in King George Hospital, Victoria Street, in Lucknow on October 14, 1940. How is that for a theme to get cracking at! (‘Theme for your dream’ is a hit Cliff Richard number from the early seventies). Nostalgia is the new opium for the heritage buffs from around the world.

With every destination around the world, when the going gets tough, the tough goes domestic! Mere sloganeering or having the Prime Minister having to push discerning travellers to travel within is not enough. We have to sensitize state governments to reach out to markets within to have an impact! The attempt to reach out Heritage travel markets is not a smooth highway though, but sure commands enough respect to reach out a market closest to hearts and proximity alike!

The author is the Director of 'Sphere Travelmedia', which provides a range of consulting services for travel companies, hotels, resorts & destinations seeking a break – through into the Indian Travel and Tourism market.

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