Governing and promoting tourism in India
Introduction India’s recent focus on tourism development is notably due to a new tourism policy offensive being pursued by India’s Ministry of Tourism. Although the private sector provides many of the key services such as food and accommodation for tourists in India, it has been the Indian state that has been dominant in ignoring, restricting and, more recently, promoting tourism development in the country. To begin, this chapter conceptualises the notion of state power in relation to tourism more generally. The chapter then highlights the tourism development processes that India has been through in the last twenty years. It will thus examine the organisation of the Indian state and its federal governance as it pertains to tourism development (Hannam, 2004a). It points out the context of national tourism policies and it explores the impact of the recent campaign ‘Incredible India’ and highlights the changes in recent years in terms of tourism supply, such as the creation of new cultural assets, the revalorisation of heritage assets and the adaptation of the tourism industry to international tourism demands and standards. Finally, the chapter also highlights the regional differences in terms of tourism governance and promotion between ‘honey pot’ states such as Kerala and less promoted states such as Assam (Hannam, 2005a).