Amitabh Bachchan’s Gujarat tourism ad to go global

(This story originally appeared in on Dec 22, 2011)

AHMEDABAD: The ‘Khushboo Gujarat Ki’ advertisement campaign featuring the state’s brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan will now go global from January 2012.

The campaign, which was launched in October 2010, was so far restricted for telecast within the country. Officials said that after Gujarat Tourism was adjudged the best tourism department in the country on Sunday, it was decided to take this campaign overseas too.

Officials said that the department has already been promoting the destination and its fairs and festivals in other states. The department now proposes to promote the state in other countries through the Government of India offices abroad and in in-flight magazines available on all major airlines.

Officials said that the state scored over the tourism departments of Kerala and Madhya Pradesh when it was adjudged the best at the annual awards ceremony of the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI). The award was presented by Union tourism minister Subhodh Kant Sahai.

Vipul Mitra, principal secretary (tourism) said that Gujarat tourism‘s growth was 14 percent, twice that of national growth rate. “One of the vital reasons for such growth rate is the advertisement campaign,” said Mitra. “However, it is Amitabh Bachchan’s campaign that has drawn in the maximum number of domestic tourists.”

Soon after the department was awarded, the superstar in his official blog said that “it needs to be mentioned here that this is some achievement. Despite all the baseless criticism that came my way – that I was being paid large sums of money, that this was in lieu of favours done for me by the Gujarat Government and on and on and on.. But.. the system that was most vociferous in their tirade were the ones that now acknowledge it and offer awards in person.”

He further said that one had to do one’s job with sincerity and the rest followed.