Branding Bihar

Positive efforts are being made to brand Bihar as a social and cultural hub.To project Bihar’s rich cultural heritage in the international market and attract foreign tourists, the state government has decided to clinch a deal offered by Air India (AI) to brand one of its aircrafts, a Boeing 747, ‘Bihar’. The deal will cost the state Rs 40 lakh a year, but the government feels it is worth the cost. It will soon sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Air India.

Explaining the salient features of the deal, Anjani Kumar Singh, principal secretary, department of tourism, said Air India had made them an offer to inscribe ‘Bihar’, apart from its own insignia, on one of its soon-to-be-acquired aircrafts. Besides, the interior of the aircraft will have four different posters on heritage sites in Bihar. The airline will also run a 8-10 minute film and a 15-minute commentary on Bihar and its tourist destinations.

As part of this package, a four-page glossy pamphlet on Bihar and its ancient glory will be kept in the flap of each and every seat of the aircraft. The state government can change the in-flight posters every three months to avoid monotony. It has already prepared the film and audio commentary to be shown on board the aircraft and sent it to AI authorities, Singh said.

At the same time, the state is leaving no stone unturned to woo tourists from Buddhist countries, particularly Japan. Bihar’s tourism minister Nand Kishor Yadav and Anjani Kumar will soon go to Tokyo to participate in a world travel fare. The Indian ministry of tourism will organise a road show and a seminar with FICCI on the sidelines of the fare to showcase its tourism products to tour operators in Japan. Bihar wants to use the opportunity for aggressive marketing of its ‘Buddhist circuit’ in Tokyo, said Anjani Kumar.

“We have prepared a 30-minute documentary in Japanese for the occasion. Twenty-five minutes of the documentary have been dedicated to Buddhist sites,” he said.

Bihar is currently playing host to a group of hundred Buddhist followers from five Southeast Asian countries in a bid to promote Buddhist sites as tourist destinations.

“This delegation (ministers, officials and leaders of religious bodies) which has come from the five nations, are all believers of Buddhism. We are showing them around and we hope that when they return to their countries, they would promote the places of Buddhism in Bihar. We hope that the number of tourists would increase,” said Anjani Kumar Sinha, Secretary of Tourism Department.

The delegation visited the Patna Museum, which houses some rare Buddhist antiques.”As I am a Buddhist and all are Buddhists, we are proud that we have visited the land of Buddha. We are very pleased,” said Nabhaspor Bhutto Richal, Councillor, Ministry of External Affairs, Thailand.The visit, part of the Mekong-Ganga project, has been initiated by the Indian Government to promote Buddhist heritage sites in the country.

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One Response to Branding Bihar

  1. Atul September 8, 2007 at 11:27 am #

    Is a really cool effort. Naveen gave this idea that we need to start sending appreciation mails/letter to such officers like Anjani Kumar, Ajay Thakur and many others. Late MM Jha is no more with us but we couldn’t even share with him how proud and thankful we felt of him for his efforts towards revamping our education system

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