The creative storytelling in tourism ads

MUMBAI: Tourism ads have had the same ingredients for years: panning through scenic views, mountains, palaces, forts, rivers and people dressed in traditional state outfits. Once in a while you throw in a celebrity.

These ads centre around a story about the state they represent. Vivid images of the landscape coupled with the right storyline and music can transport you into a place you may have never thought of visiting.

The World Travel & Tourism Council calculated that tourism generated Rs 14.02 lakh crore or 9.6 per cent of the nation's GDP in 2016 and the sector is predicted to grow at an annual rate of 6.8 per cent to Rs 28.49 lakh crore by 2027. About 88.90 lakh foreign tourists arrived in India in 2016 as compared to 80.27 lakh in 2015, recording a growth of 10.7 per cent. Domestic tourist visits to all states and Union Territories numbered 1,036.35 million in 2012, an increase of 16.5 per cent from 2011.

Before the year 2002, the government’s efforts to promote tourism did not create much impact. Then The Ministry of Tourism decidedto put in a concrete effort to promote tourism with its iconic ‘Incredible !ndia’ logo in all communications, along with signing Amitabh Bachchan as the brand ambassador for Gujarat tourism. Since then, every year, Indian states release tourism ads to attract travellers.

We’ve rounded up some of the most beautiful and iconic state tourism ad campaigns that incorporate creativity, alluring storytelling and show true essence of the state.


Gujarat tourism has been synonymous with Amitabh Bachchan for over a decade now. The vibrant Gujarat theme has been well received and had led to a 30 per cent increase in tourist arrival in the state from 1.70 crore in 2009-10 to 2.23 crore in 2011-12.

TVC Link::

Madhya Pradesh:

Madhya Pradesh tourism ads are known for their playfulness, vibrant shots and catchy jingles. Madhya Pradesh state tourism has create some of the most iconic ads that truly justify MP as the heart of India - MP mein dil ho bacche sa, MP ajab hai sabse gajab hai, sau rang hai and hindustan ka dil dekho.

TVC Link:


Rajasthan, known for its desserts, vibrant colours and alluring folk songs has always been a constant favourite among local tourists and foreign lands. All Rajasthan tourism ads perfectly encapsulate the essence of Rajasthan.

TVC Link:

Jammu and Kashmir:

Jammu and Kashmir has often been hailed as heaven on earth and there is hardly any doubt that it is perhaps one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Although the state hasn’t been very creative with its previous communications and campaigns, it has pitched itself as the ‘warmest place on Earth’ in its latest campaign. The film showcases the story of a couple on vacation in Kashmir. The duo mistake a citizen of the state for their taxi driver. Instead of correcting them, the man takes them on a tour of the state.The film was conceptualised by J Walter Thompson agency.

TVC Link:


Assam is another state that wasn’t really creating any interesting ads or promoting its state tourism until now. The state has however launched its new multimedia campaign with its brand ambassador Priyanka Chopra that captures not just the beauty of the state but also its diverse and rich culture. The central theme of the campaign ‘Once you visit Assam, it stays with you forever’ was created and conceptualised by YAAP & Crayons agency.

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