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As the Commonwealth Games in Delhi come to an end this week, India should use the event as an opportunity to rebrand itself and promote a new image to the world a marketing expert from Sheffield Hallam University has said.
Dr Richard Tresidder, from the Sheffield Business School at Sheffield Hallam, believes the Games are a chance for India to challenge tourists' embedded perceptions of the country and to move away from the traditional images used in current tourism marketing.
But only, he says, if organisers respond effectively to the organisational problems leading up to the Games.
He thinks traditional images of the Taj Mahal, colonial buildings or temples create a view of India as a place that looks to the past to define itself, positioning the country as a tourist destination where it is possible to escape the pressures of a fast-paced technologically advanced economy.
However he says this is only part of the picture as India is striving for economic growth and development, with technological development and major redevelopment dominating city centres.
Dr Tresidder said: "The Commonwealth Games could provide a lens through which India may redefine itself and its international reputation.
"Media attention and visitors to the Games have generated a new story of India that is removed from that of the traditional tourism brochures and have demonstrated that India is a modern country not purely defined by the past.
“But, the world’s perception of India will depend upon how the organisers respond to the teething troubles leading up to and the start of the Games.
"The implications of the Games is not just about altering or challenging the definition of India as a tourist destination, but also its position within the world economic order."
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