Free Press Journal

Tourism Min may recruit Incredible India ambassadors directly


New Delhi: Tourism Ministry is considering recruiting directly brand ambassadors for its Incredible India campaign replacing the current practice of hiring them through a private agency amid indication that Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan and actress Priyanka Chopra are the top contenders to be face of the flagship programme.

The ministry’s contract with a creative agency for the campaign featuring Aamir Khan has already come to an end following which it was looking for new faces for the flagship programme to promote tourism. Khan, who was associated with the campaign for over five years, had come under attack from ruling BJP for his comments on perceived intolerance in the country.

Sources said Bachchan and Chopra were front runners for becoming the face of Incredible India, a campaign based on the concept of Atithi Devo Bhava, a Sanskrit verse which means the guest is equivalent to god. Bachchan had been promoting Gujarat tourism for past few years.

“Earlier, the ministry used to hire an agency which in turn would sign the contract with the ambassador but this time Tourism Ministry is considering to directly ink an agreement with the brand ambassador for the campaign,” a source said. The agreement would be for three years against the earlier practice of appointing them on campaign basis, the source said.

“The agreement would span for three years period. The ambassadors would be required to act for couple of campaigns during that period,” the source said, adding they would require to offer their service “free of cost” as was done earlier.

Khan ceased to be the face of campaign, following the expiry of the ministry’s contract with McCann Worldwide agency.

When asked about the appointment of Bachchan and Chopra for the role, Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma only said the the ministry has “not issued any notification” in this regard.