Being a great fan of travelling, I’ve been lucky to visit almost all parts of India and a few other Asian countries including Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. The experience of navigating across all these countries has given me plenty of adventures and fun filled moments during my travel. At the same it also gave me some key learning that could go a lot way in improving our country.
Yes, compared to Singapore and Dubai which has exceeded the expectations in a tourist destination standpoint, India has still miles to go before they can quite achieve that. It’s still under a “Developing nations” category unlike the former and hence making critical progress towards the same
One of the most key metrics that emerge when you identify the most important factors to build a tourist destination is navigation, infrastructure and cleanliness. Cleanliness is something that’s inbred and it’s going to need a radical change to stop people from dirtying places or spitting
So coming to infrastructure and navigational facilities, naturally Singapore and Dubai are several decades ahead. They have an integrated transport system where a single commuter pass can allow you to travel across any government transport like Metro,SkyTrain, Tram, Bus etc. This is something super useful for every traveller to merely get a single pass and navigate around the city by himself with just a map in hand. He doesn’t need to ask directions nor rely on taxis that may take him around on a longer route and con him of extra money
In almost all countries there are free maps available almost at every corner/airport/public places which also has information on key tourist areas and ways of getting there. One simply needs to mark their interests and get hopping on. In fact there are Hop On-Hop Off tours offered by the government in many countries that helps you to look around any place, come back and board the next Hop On bus covering 20+ places in a single day
The situation however is quite in contrast with India where you are inundated with expensive hotel rooms with almost no facilties, being barged by taxi drivers at the airport and railway stations and of course fake tourist guides in all national monuments who are ready to con the next foreign tourist guide. India offers some spectacular tourist spots across the country like The Taj Mahal, Jaipur forts, Madurai Meenakshi Temple, Marina Beach, Goa etc. Yet the amount of focus on tourist development is almost lackadaisical. No fixed navigational facilities unless if you are coming in a packaged tour, absence of informational kiosks in tourist cities, lack of government control to monitor and regulate fares for autos/taxis can deter a lot of foreign tourists to choose India. India boasts of a huge coastline in the west from Goa to Kanyakumari and in the east we have a bigger coastline from Vizag via Pondycherry until Kanyakumari. Yet other beach destinations like Langkawi, Singapore, Mauritius, Maldives and Bali are taking advantage and welcoming visitors with joy.
Hopefully I’ll wait for a day when this gets changed and we can proudly boast of a far superior tourist destination than any other country