First snatches India brief to increase tourist trade

The Indian state that contains Mumbai has brought in its first agency to highlight the area’s cultural diversity and position Mumbai as the ‘gateway to India’.

The Maharashtra Tourism Dev­­elopment Corporation (MTDC) has given the brief to First Public Relations. It wants to see coverage on TV, in national newspapers and in lifestyle magazines.

First will try to highlight the lesser-known and more diverse attractions within Maharashtra, including two UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Ajanta and Ellora caves, as well as Mumbai itself.

The state is also home to several wildlife reserves.

First will also use the increasing popularity of the Bollywood film industry to promote Maharasthra, which is the economic capital of India.

But Maharashtra also suffers from a violent monsoon season, claiming over 350 lives in the last month alone. Over 16,000 people have been affected, and over 10,000 shifted to safer places.

This month Microsoft chairman Bill Gates offered to help the Maharasthra government set up ‘agro-kiosks’ to serve farmers in the state. The kiosks will help farmers get the latest information on weather and cropping patterns in agricultural produce prices.

The Maharashtra region has proved lucrative for UK agencies in the last few years with booming Indian industry fuelling PR contracts. Last year Lewis PR announced it was moving into the Indian comms market with an office in Mumbai (PRWeek, 21 July 2006).

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