BBC World News has partnered with Ministry of Tourism for a series of global initiatives. This partnership has been kick started with a six part travel series called – Travel India from 4 October. The show includes journeys to spiritual spots, places of scenic beauty, and urban centres for business in conjunction with underdeveloped rural centres.
Seema Mohapatra, regional director-South Asia, ad sales, BBC Worldwide said, "This year, we have made 'Incredible India' larger and bigger. We have created our first ever AFP (advertiser-funded-programme) series from India. The way BBC AFP series work is quite unique as it is completely controlled by editorial."
"Travel India will be hosted by Harsha Bhogle. We roped in a cricket personality as cricket will get hot in another few months. Also, Bhogle has never done a travel show before and it's a new genre for him. He travels to lot of countries for cricket but he has never seen them from a traveller's point of view. This is a contemporary look at India from the eyes of an Indian citizen." BBC has created an integrated marketing campaign for the new series (see picture).
BBC has also created five 30 seconders for Tourism Ministry which will be their communication strategy for this year. Mohapatra said, "For this campaign, we did a research in which we asked travellers about what they think of India. Vibrant colours is what many people associate with India. Thus, colours will be our theme for the new Incredible India campaign." This campaign will break in the first week of November. Moreover, BBC has also created a corporate film for Indian tourism on the theme of wellness.
The media mix involves TV and online. BBC has also tied up with US Airlines and United Airlines to cut through to BBC programs and carry Incredible India campaign. All of this will be telecast on BBC World News across - Europe, Asia- Pacific, South Asia, Middle East, Australia as well as on UKTV.
"We are also doing an on-ground special with them called Spirit of Golf which is an annual corporate event in Delhi. This year, we will do it with Incredible India as our joint partners," added Mohapatra.
BBC is also doing a bespoke research for Tourism Ministry at the airports. "This will be like a travel survey post the campaign to look at image of India and people's experiences. For this, we will target both inbound and outbound travellers," she said.